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Review: Standard Bank international money transfers

A simple and convenient way to send funds to family and friends overseas.

  • Good if you like dealing with an established, trusted provider.
  • Not so good if you’re looking for the best exchange rates and lowest fees.

Standard Bank exchange rates and fees

When you make an international payment with Standard Bank, you’ll first need to review the exchange rate and fee that apply to your transaction. Standard Bank adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate on international transfers — compare the rate you’re quoted with the current interbank rate to work out the size of this margin.

A transfer fee will also apply. This fee is 0.5% of the transaction amount for online payments, and slightly higher for teletransmissions. If you’re sending a transfer via the Shyft mobile app, fees vary depending on the currency you send.

Available currencies

Standard Bank supports international transfers in a wide range of major currencies, including:

  • AUD Australian dollar
  • CAD Canadian dollar
  • EUR Euro
  • GBP British pound
  • HKD Hong Kong dollar
  • JPY Japanese yen
  • SGD Singapore dollar
  • USD US dollar

What types of transfers can you make with Standard Bank?

Standard Bank supports the following transfer types:

  • Online bank transfers. You can submit a transfer request from your Standard Bank account by logging into the provider’s online banking portal.
  • In-app transfers. You can use the Shyft Global Wallet app on your smartphone to send international transfers, buy foreign currency and store AUD, EUR, GBP and USD. You can also make international payments via Standard Bank’s mobile banking app.
  • In-branch transfers. Another option is to lodge a transfer request the old-fashioned way by visiting your nearest Standard Bank branch and filling out a form.
  • MoneyGram transfers. Standard Bank has also partnered with MoneyGram to allow you to send cash transfers to more than 200 countries around the world. You can send money by visiting a Standard Bank branch with a forex outlet, with funds paid into your recipient’s bank account, mobile wallet, or made available for collection at a MoneyGram outlet.

How long does a transfer with Standard Bank take?

Transfer processing times vary depending on a range of factors, including where you’re sending money and the transfer method you select.

For example, if you’re sending a standard online bank transfer, you’ll need to allow at least two business days. However, if you want to send a MoneyGram cash transfer via an in-branch forex outlet, the funds can be delivered within 10 minutes.

What payment methods does Standard Bank accept?

You can pay for your Standard Bank international payment via:

  • Bank transfer
  • Mobile wallet payment from your Shyft wallet
  • Cash (if sending a MoneyGram transfer via an in-branch forex outlet)

Transfers typically takeClock icon for transfer speed

1 day

Is Standard Bank safe to use?

  • Security and regulation: Government regulated.
  • Established: 1862.
  • International presence: Operates in 20 African countries.
*According to Standard Bank on 19 February 2020.

Standard Bank has been operating in South Africa for more than 155 years. It is one of the largest banks on the African continent and has a presence in 20 African countries. Standard Bank is a licensed financial services provider and the provider takes steps to ensure that all international payments satisfy foreign exchange controls.

How does Standard Bank make money?

Standard Bank makes money on international payments in two ways:

  • Exchange rate markups. Standard Bank adds a margin on top of the mid-market rate. Also known as the interbank rate, the mid-market rate is the “real” exchange rate you see quoted on Google.
  • Transaction fees. You’ll also need to pay a transfer fee on your international transaction.

How to register an account

If you’re not already a Standard Bank customer, you’ll need to create an account by completing the following steps.

How do I make an international money transfer with Standard Bank?

You can send an international transfer with Standard Bank by:

  1. Logging into Online Banking.
  2. Entering your recipient’s full name, gender and address.
  3. Entering the recipient’s bank account details.
  4. Providing the reason (BOP code) why you are making the payment.
  5. Reviewing the full details of your transaction before submitting.

What is Standard Bank?

Standard Bank is one of the oldest companies in South Africa and has a history dating back to 1862. The bank offers a full range of financial products and services to its South African customers, and operates in a total of 20 countries throughout Africa.

Standard Bank is headquartered in Johannesburg.

In a nutshell


  • Established provider. Standard Bank has been providing financial services to South Africans for more than 150 years.
  • Wide range of transfer options. You can send bank account and cash transfers with Standard Bank, and submit your transaction online, in a branch or via your smartphone.
  • Simple and convenient. The transfer process with Standard Bank is simple and straightforward. You can also send a cash transfer via the MoneyGram network even if you don’t have a bank account.


  • Fees and exchange rates. Transaction fees and exchange rate markups add to the cost of your transfer. You’ll be able to find cheaper international payments with a specialist money transfer service.

How does Standard Bank compare to other services?

If you want to see how Standard Bank compares to the exchange rates and fees offered by other money transfer services, enter the details of your transaction 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 0.067 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 0.067 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 0.067 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 0.067 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 0.067 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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