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Review: FNB international money transfers

What would it look like to send money with First National Bank?

  • Good for worldwide payments and a variety of transfer options.
  • Not so great for transfer fees.

FNB exchange rates and fees

There are two factors that determine the cost of your FNB international money transfer: the exchange rate and the transaction fee.

The exchange rate you get from FNB is not the mid-market rate. Instead, the bank adds its own margin to the current exchange rate. Check the current mid-market rate to find out the size of the markup that applies to your transaction.

On SWIFT transfers, you’ll pay FNB a commission calculated as a percentage of your transfer amount (minimum and maximum limits apply) plus a flat-rate SWIFT fee. However, if you submit your transaction online or via the FNB app, it’s possible to earn up to 50% of your fees back in the form of rewards points (known as eBucks).

If you opt to send a MoneyGram transfer, the fee increases based on your send amount. As a result, the fees on large transfers can be quite expensive.

Available currencies

FNB offers international transfers to a wide range of currencies, including:

  • AUD Australian dollar
  • CAD Canadian dollar
  • CHF Swiss franc
  • EUR Euro
  • GBP British pound
  • JPY Japanese yen
  • INR Indian rupee
  • USD US dollar

What types of transfers can you make with FNB?

FNB supports the following transfer types:

  • SWIFT transfers. You can send an international transfer via the SWIFT payment network directly to your recipient’s bank account. Transfers can be lodged online, through the FNB app or in a branch.
  • MoneyGram transfers. The other option is to send a cash pickup transfer via the MoneyGram network. You can send your transfer via an ATM, your nearest FNB branch or FNB Cellphone Banking, and your beneficiary can collect the cash from over 350,000 MoneyGram locations in 200 countries and territories worldwide.

How long does a transfer with FNB take?

Transfer times vary depending on the transfer method you choose and where you’re sending money.

SWIFT transfers are generally completed within 2-3 business days.

If you send funds via MoneyGram, the cash you send will often be available for your recipient to collect within minutes.

What payment methods does FNB accept?

You can send SWIFT transfers using the funds in your FNB bank account.

If you’re sending funds with MoneyGram, you can pay using cash.

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 day

Is FNB safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Government regulated.
  • Established: 1838.
  • Ownership: FNB is a division of First Rand Limited.
  • Awards: Most Valuable Banking Brand in Africa – Brand Finance Banking 500 Report; Best Foreign Exchange Provider in South Africa – Global Finance World.
*According to FNB on 21 February 2020.

FNB, or First National Bank, is one of South Africa’s largest banks. With a history that dates back to 1838, it offers financial products and services to millions of South African customers. It also adheres to the Banking Council’s Code of Banking Practice, and requires customers to prove their identity and address as part of regulations under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.

How does FNB make money?

FNB makes money on international transfers in two ways:

  • Exchange rate. The exchange rate you get from FNB isn’t the mid-market rate (the “real” exchange rate banks use when buying currency from one another). Instead, the bank applies a margin before selling foreign currency on to you.
  • Transaction fee. You’ll also need to pay a transaction fee to FNB whenever you send an international transfer.

How to register an account

If you want to send a SWIFT transfer with FNB, you’ll first need to open an account. You can do this by completing the following steps.

How do I make an international money transfer with FNB?

You can send money overseas with FNB by completing the following steps:

  1. Log in to your online banking account.
  2. Select the “Forex” tab and then “Global Payments”.
  3. Choose whether you want to make a one-off or repeat payment. If it’s a one-off, you’ll need to provide your beneficiary’s personal information and banking details.
  4. Select the reason for your payment.
  5. Review all transfer details and finalise your transaction.

What is FNB?

FNB is one of the country’s major banks and lays claim to being the oldest bank in South Africa. Its history can be traced back to the founding of the Eastern Province Bank in Grahamstown in 1838.

Today, FNB is a division of First Rand Limited and is headquartered in Johannesburg. FNB also has subsidiaries in Botswana, Lesotho, Ghana and several other African countries.

In a nutshell


  • Bank and cash transfers. FNB offers the flexibility of sending funds directly to your recipient’s bank account, or using MoneyGram to send a cash pickup transfer.
  • Convenient transfer methods. Send your transfer online, via the FNB app or by visiting a branch.
  • Rewards. You can also recoup up to 50% of your transfer fees in the form of eBucks rewards.


  • Fees. A minimum fee applies to all SWIFT transfers with FNB, so make sure you’re aware of the total cost of your transaction before sending any money overseas.

How does FNB compare to other services?

Find out how FNB’s exchange rates and fees stack up against the competition by entering the details of your transfer into the table below.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 60 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.068 USD
Skrill offers easy transfers to many popular destinations, but keep an eye out for added fees. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 2 days ZAR 0.00 0.068 USD
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour ZAR 250.00 0.068 USD
Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer with no fee. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
EUR 8 3 - 5 days EUR 3.00 0.068 USD
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
USD 2,000 1 day ZAR 0.00 0.068 USD
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

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