In this South Africa Money Transfer Guide, we will teach you how to maximize the power of your currency and save more when sending money abroad.
For the companies we recommend, listed below, it doesn’t matter if you are sending money to or from South Africa as they can do both at lower costs and more quickly than your local banks.
The Guide’s Topics:
- Cheapest Way to Send Money to South Africa
- Best Companies for Transferring Money from South Africa
- Today’s South African Rand Rates
- Popular Reasons to Move Funds to South Africa
- Regulation and Limitations
Best Company To Send Money To South Africa
* Expected Rates reflect our rate expectations based on our research. We do not guarantee accuracy. For some companies we used a range of rates because they offer wholesale rates for large trades and higher rates for small trades.
Supported Countries & Payment methods
Currencies Direct will provide you a fee-free money transfer to South Africa within 48 hours. It’s that easy and that simple. No matter if you send the money from Hong Kong, New Zealand, the USA, or the UK, Currencies Direct can do the job. If you have heard of a country more than twice in your life, it’s already a popular country with this company.
With TorFX, things are pretty much the same: quick delivery time, great team of specialists, and zero fees for your transfers. To get a quote, fill in a brief form on their website, and they will get back to you by phone or email.
Launched in January 2011, TransferWise is famous for establishing the P2P way of making international money transfers and creating a real competitor for banks. Because of the P2P technology, money transfers can now be much cheaper, quicker, and easier to complete. This is exactly why more and more people are using their platform every day.
Best Company to Send Money from South Africa
|Min. Transfer: £ / € 100.|
Transfer: Online or by Phone.
Why Them? Over 150,000 Active Clients.
£4.5Bn Transferred Annually. 18 Worldwide Offices.
Supported States & Currencies
Money transfer operators are regulated in South Africa by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), which gives licenses to operate in the whole country, in contrast to the USA, which has state by state regulations.
Currencies: Currencies Direct works with 40 different currencies at any given time. But this doesn’t mean that they can make transfers to only 40 countries as some currencies are used in multiple countries. For example, the euro is used in France, Spain, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Finland, and 13 other countries and is only one currency out of 40.
Today’s Foreign Exchange Rates for ZAR
The Rand’s behaviour
A weak current account position and above-average inflation maintains a weakening bias for the rand. Cyclically, trends in global commodity and gold prices are crucial given the export profile. The South African current account has been in deficit since 2003, with a peak at 7% of GDP in 2008, and the gap remains around 4% of GDP.
Inflation remains well above the G20 average and, after a 2008 peak above 11%, has never been below 3% compared with an average G20 rate below 3% since 2013. The combination of current account deficits and higher inflation rates will put underlying downward pressure on the rand, with high yields only providing short-term support.
Minerals and precious metals account for around 40% of South African exports, with metals and chemicals also being big contributors. The trade and rand performance will, therefore, be influenced strongly by trends in global commodity prices. The rand will strengthen when prices are high and will be vulnerable in recessions.
The rand will also be inversely correlated with global risk conditions—sold when confidence is weak and bought when sentiment is strong.
There is an important correlation with gold as the rand strengthened to 6.50 against the dollar in the third quarter of 2011 when gold peaked above $1,800 per ounce, before weakening beyond 17.00 early in 2016 as gold hit lows around $1,050. If gold strengthens, the rand will tend to appreciate, as has been the case this year.
Reasons To Send Money To A South African Bank Account
Currency exchange involving the South African rand is common, in particular GBP/ZAR and AUD/ZAR because there are approximately 500,000 South Africans residing in the UK and 145,000 South Africans residing in Australia. It makes sense considering South Africa is part of the commonwealth, and thus it is easy for South Africans to settle in the UK and in other commonwealth countries.
Why do more and more people prefer other commonwealth countries over South Africa? Read more in this Economist article.
In addition, the ZAR is a pivotal currency within Africa. It is heavily used in surrounding countries, such as Swaziland, Lesotho, and, of course, Zimbabwe (as Zimbabwean citizens make up the largest group of immigrants in South Africa).
Real Estate: According to Knight Frank’s Africa Report 2015, the population of Africa will quadruple to over 4 billion by 2100. This will result in a major focus on real estate and high demand for commercial and residential properties in the upcoming decades. South African house prices have risen since the 2008 recession ended, mostly because of the major interest cuts made by the Reserve Bank in response to the global financial crisis.
Tourism: The Broll Report set South Africa as the second most visited country in Africa in 2013, with 9.5 million tourist arrivals. Therefore, it is very important to have money in your bank account for your next great trip to South Africa. Using one of our recommended companies is the best way to do this as they will wire the money to your bank account and you can quickly pay for any excursions during your trip. Most of the companies that offer tours will need a bank-to-bank transfer to be made up front.
South Africa has always been a beautiful destination for tourists, mostly because of the almost 2,800 km of coastline and the huge diversity of fauna and flora. Just two quick facts:
– Table Mountain has over 1,500 species of plants. That’s more than the entire UK has.
– Kruger National Park supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent.
It is no surprise, then, that the tourism industry in South Africa is so big that it supports one in every 12 jobs.
Business: South Africa is a world leader in mining. It is internationally recognised as one of the most abundant resources of minerals like manganese (80% of the world’s known manganese reserves) and chromite (72% of the world’s known reserves), so it is unsurprising that many companies are trying to take a piece of the pie that is mostly managed by the local government.
Thinking Of Relocating To South Africa?
If you are considering moving to South Africa and living there as an expat, you may find the following information helpful.
Advantages of Moving to South Africa:
- Private Security is Sensational: This country has the best private security in the world, with fast response times and integrated alarm systems.
- Low Cost of Living: The cost of living is 53.73% lower than in the USA.
- Great Job Opportunities:
- South Africa is the hub for international business on the African continent as a whole and has many positions in English, although regional cultural dialects are a plus as well.
Disadvantages of Moving to South Africa:
- High Crime Rate: There were 17,068 murders in 2014.
- Terrible Traffic: South Africa is rated as the 20th most congested country in the world.
- Since Apartheid, South Africa has been recovering from a vast racial and class divide. Thus, it has a very high rate of racial sensitivity that should not be overlooked.
How the Money Transfer Is Done
FX companies operate with large amounts of currencies, so they are able to make use of a wholesale rate when buying currencies. This is why they can offer better exchange rates than your local bank, and because most of the processes are made online, the costs are small, which results in lower fees for customers when they make money transfers to South Africa.
Keep in mind that 90% of FX companies have worldwide offices, so you can send money to South Africa from the UK or the USA as quickly and easily as you can from a closer country.
Another benefit is the short delivery times (1–2 days) compared to banks, which take 5–7 business days to clear a payment. The process through banks is slowed down by the fact that the receiving bank will usually keep your money for one to two days for ‘clearing purposes’, meaning they will keep it to earn interest on your money.
Transfer Money to South Africa Needed Details:
- Beneficiary name
- Account Number
- Swift Code or BSB/Routing number
- Bank name
- Identity proof (national ID or driver license)
The actual process of sending money is pretty simple and straightforward:
- Register a free account with the company.
- Get a quote from the company.
- Add funds in to your account.
- Receive confirmation when the transfer is complete.
Our Company Recommendation:
- Send Money to South Africa: Companies that can make money transfers to people in South Africa.
- Send Money from South Africa: Companies that take on South African Clients.
Regulations and Taxes When Transferring Money to and from South Africa
The South African economy is one of the largest and most advanced in Africa. Since apartheid ended in 1994, it has grown as a major destination for foreign investors, with increasing liberalisation.
Nonetheless, the global economic downturn hit hard, as with other emerging economies, and current regulations are expected to remain.
South Africa uses the South African rand (ZAR), a fully convertible and free-floating currency.
South African Reserve Bank (SARB)
The SARB is the central bank and main financial regulator. They enforce restrictions on money transfers in order to regulate the inflow and outflow of currency and to prevent money laundering. Any trading, foreign or local, must be done through a broker who is registered with the SARB as a Financial Services Provider (FSP).
South African Revenue Services (SARS) clearance is only needed for locals transferring amounts exceeding ZAR 1 million.
Non-residents are allowed to retrieve any money transferred into South Africa if they can provide proof of the original transfer of these funds. It is therefore important to keep copies of SWIFT transfers and bank statements.
Funds accrued by non-residents from property sales can be transferred. Documentation provided by a registered broker is necessary.
Taxation on foreign income
South Africans are taxed on any foreign income. Non-residents are taxed on income from a South African source.
Biggest banks in South Africa
- Standard Bank
- FirstRand Bank
- Barclays Africa Group Limited
Make the most out of your money
The best GBP to ZAR exchange rate is around 1 to 20. So for every 1,000 pounds, you will receive 20,000 rand. (This is almost the average monthly salary in Johannesburg, which is one of the more expensive cities to live in.) In other places, like Thekwini, Ekurhuleni, or Tshwane, this amount will get you even further.
According to Budgetyourtrip.com, the average daily cost per person is ZAR 1,200. This equates to just GBP 60, which means that you can easily plan a vacation on the sunny Cape Town beaches for cheap—less than £1000 for two people for a long weekend with everything included.
Now you have all the tools and information you need to send money to South Africa inexpensively. In this article, you learned what to do and what companies to use in order to get the most out of your money. So if you want to start your life as a South African expat, you now know how to send money from South Africa quickly and easily.