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How to send money to Germany
Secure, convenient ways to send your money to Germany.
Online money transfer companies typically offer the lowest fees and the most competitive exchange rates — often beating your local bank by a longshot. You’ll need to send cash if your recipient doesn’t have an account with a supported bank, so compare options to find the best deal for your situation.
Compare providers who can help you send money to Germany
Compare minimums, speed, fees and more when converting South African rands to euros in Germany.
Enter the amount you’re transferring to see how much will arrive at your destination.
How to send money to Germany online
Sign up and send money with a digital money transfer specialist in four steps:
- Sign up for a free account. Pick a provider and sign up for a free online account using your contact information, proof of ID and preferred payment method.
- Provide transfer details. Submit your recipient’s contact information and pick a delivery method. If transferring to a bank, you’ll need their German bank account details.
- Confirm transfer details. Double-check your payment method, expected fees and destination.
- Save your receipt. Record your receipt’s confirmation number to track the progress of your transfer to Germany. Some money transfer providers send a text or email when your transfer is complete.
What’s the best way to send money to Germany?
Online money transfer providers typically offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees on money transfers to Germany. Some offer cash pickup in as little as a few minutes, while others transfer to bank accounts. Sending money through PayPal or your bank is also an option, but you’ll typically face higher fees and weaker exchange rates when going that route.
Digital money transfer services
Companies like XE and Wise specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s German bank account, often in as little as a day or two.
Services like MoneyGram and Western Union allow you to transfer cash for pickup at a local branch in Germany— often in 15 minutes. While it’s a fast way to send money, you’ll pay for the convenience in weak exchange rates and high fees.
The euro is a popular currency, so your bank will likely be able to exchange them. If your bank supports euros, beware of high fees and wide margins on the exchange rate compared to digital and other options when sending a wire transfer to Germany.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending R10,000 to Germany
Let’s say you need to send R10,000 to family in Germany. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of August 4, 2020.
|Digital money transfer service||Cash transfer||Bank transfer|
|Fee||R0||R50||R250 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 ZAR = 0.047 EUR||1 ZAR = 0.044 EUR||1 ZAR = 0.043 EUR|
|Transfer speed||1-2 days||Minutes||2-5 days|
The bank option ends up being the slowest and gets the smallest amount of money to your recipient in Germany. If you go with the digital money transfer service, your recipient ends up with EUR€50.75 more than the bank offers. If speed is crucial, a cash transfer can typically have your transfer to Germany in as little as 15 minutes — just make sure there’s a cash pickup location near your recipient before sending.
How to get the most out of your money transfer to Germany
Weigh costs and fees against convenience to best compare money transfer providers that send to Germany. Consider:
- Exchange rates. The ZAR-EUR relationship fluctuates often, so using a service that allows you to lock in exchange prices may help you save money down the line if the euro rises against the South African rand.
- Transfer fees. Transferring money overseas nearly always requires fees, but they might be hidden in the exchange rate. When sending large amounts, it may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to secure a stronger ZAR-EUR exchange rate.
- Transfer limits. How much you can send varies by company, and different amounts can attract higher or lower fees. Shop around for the best deal on the amount of euros you’re sending to Germany.
- Turnaround. Transferring money through a local bank can take a business week or longer. If you need the funds delivered quickly, seek out a digital specialist that offers instant transfers to Germany.
- Sending limits. Comparing prices for one large transfer instead of many small transfers is typically easier, so picking the service you use based on how much you’re sending is a valid strategy for saving money.
- Transfer methods. Whether you want money sent to a German bank account or picked up as cash at a local agent, narrow down a company that matches your preferred delivery method.
Emergency cash transfer
When urgency trumps cost to get your money to Germany quickly, look for money transfer companies that support cash pickup in minutes. You can pay with a credit or debit card for fast pickup, but fees are higher than other methods.
How to send money to Germany without a bank account
Cash transfer services can help you if you’re unbanked or marginally banked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for a local company that supports storefronts for cash payments. These services include agent locations in other countries that allow your recipient to pick up cash without a bank account.
Germany’s exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weaker currency. Germany’s exchange rate is based on the euro, which is flexible compared to the rand. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.
Track how the euro trades against the South African rand in our historical rate chart.
Documents needed for transferring money to and from Germany
To send money to Germany from South Africa, you’ll need a government-issued ID and other documents, while documents needed to pick up money in Germany may be different by company.
Documents to send money from South Africa
To send money from South Africa to Germany, you’ll need documentation and details that include:
- Identification. Most services require a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID.
- Payment method. Your service may accept credit or debit cards, cash, bank accounts or personal cheque.
- Recipient information. Submit your recipient’s name as it appears on their ID, along with their phone number, German bank account and routing number.
Documents to receive money in Germany
To pick up money in person, documentation can include:
- Transfer number. The person sending you money can forward the transfer’s confirmation details — called a PIN, a MTCN, a reference number or a tracking number, depending on the company.
- Government-issued ID. A German Passport, German ID, EU-country issued ID, or similar official ID may be required to pick up your transfer.
- Amount sent. You may need to know how much was sent, usually within 10% of the total.
- Sender’s information. Take along your sender’s full name, the sending country and their address, if known.
Sending your hard-earned money to Germany shouldn’t cost a fortune. Compare money transfer companies that specialize in foreign transactions for the strongest rates, lowest fees and flexible delivery. For transfers to other countries, rely on our country specific guides the next time you need to make a transfer.
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