Best International Money Transfer Service in South Africa

Welcome Money Transfer Comparison: a site wholly dedicated to reviews and comparison of international money transfer services. This is our South African section. We help customers understand how much they are actually paying, and help them figure out which is the best way to transfer money internationally for their needs. โœŒ๏ธ

๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Transferring from South Africa: Limited and Capped

Transferring money from South Africa can prove to be a difficult chore.

There are strict foreign exchange controls over the amounts of money you can transfer from South Africa internationally (R1,000,000 without prior clearance from South African Revenue Service or 10m Rand with prior clearance)

Also, the amount of providers who are able to handle South African customers is quite limited, with only a handful of the money transfer services in UK or USA are authorised to operate in in S.A.

When looking at StandardBank’s foreign exchange rates, you can see 2% or higher spreads, and whenwhen you read deeper you can see that there’s a SWIFT fee and a commission taken on top of the markups.

This means international money transfers from South Africa are EXPENSIVE.

Potentially you would be 3% of your transfer, which is 30,000 Rands if you send out a million.

Due to the associated costs and complexity, it makes sense to use a bank-alternative;

A money transfer company, or a broker, can help you ease the process and pay a LOT less.

Background: South Africa is Hungry for Cheaper Transfers

Massive Emigration from South Africa

The movement of skilled workers our of South Africa (previously referred to as the “brain drain”) has a major impact on the South African economy.

What has ended up happening is that the professionals with the qualifications that could positively impact the economy have left leaving a hole in the skilled workers that are available to further drive the success of the country?

This is not only limited to professionals, but also to skilled tradesmen that streamline the economic success of the country.

Without the innovation of skilled professionals and entrepreneurs, it is quite difficult for South Africa to have progressed in the professional sphere.

Another impact that the South African economy has seen is that it has an ageing elderly population that has since retired without the younger workforce to fill the void.

This void in skilled workers combined with the heightened race empowerment movements paralyzes the countryโ€™s potential economic successes as the size of their workforce continues to shrink as the elderly population decides to retire and leave the workforce.

Since the average age of immigrants has been between the ages of 20 and 40, it not only leaves a gap in the workforce, but also a gap in the workforce of subsequent generations.

This impacts the countryโ€™s education system as well given that they are using government resources for many of their citizenโ€™s education and then those citizens are deciding to relocate to better opportunities abroad.

Furthermore, the children of those immigrants will be raised outside of South Africa and not only be distant from their cultural identity but also, from the opportunity to bring their unique skill sets to the South African economy.

As touched on above, the issue is cyclical. Professional workers are looking at the economic downturn and thinking that their wages may be higher elsewhere.

With the movement of capital being so frictionless, and with few language barriers, South Africans are emigrating for economic reasons.

This further reduces both the demand in the economy and the productive capacity โ€“ further damaging the economy and making emigration look all the more alluring.

As people look to move out of South Africa, the need to transfer money overseas grows.

Large Investments in South Africa

While a lot of Rands are moving out of South Africa, South Africa’s commercial property sector is experiencing a resurgence despite economic volatility and ongoing load shedding, driven by workers returning to the office and the resumption of normal operations across industries.

The Western Cape has seen strong performance, with a 66% increase in investment activity in 2022 compared to the previous year.

In Johannesburg, demand for prime office space has increased, with the financial, legal, insurance, and healthcare sectors driving demand.

The industrial property sector has also performed well, with increased focus on logistics, supply chains, and warehousing due to the rise of e-commerce.

Landlords in high-demand areas like Rosebank, Johannesburg, and Cape Town CBD have gained the upper hand due to a scarcity of supply, leading to a natural progression in rental prices.

As lucrative investment opportunities like the above rise, the need for more affordable ways to transfer money into South Africa grows.

South African Banks for Money Transfers

All South African banks enable customers to transfer money internationally.


There are strict limitations on the amounts.

There are high wire costs.

There are commission.

There is a sub-par exchange rate.

And South African banks, across the board, have quite poor rankings from customers.

All of the above hinting of a less-than-optimal journey expected.

There are good news, though.

There is finally some competition in the South African remittances market, and banks are joining the party.

Solutions like Shyft, by Standard Bank, is actually a feasible solution to the best international money transfer services listed on this page.

While this money transfer app is more oriented towards small transfers, the rates offered on it are competitive and the UI is good.

But these solutions are still not suitable for transferring large sums of money from South Africa to UK, USA, Australia, Canada and the likes.

Money Transfer Services Help Transfer Money from South Africa and to South Africa

Best International Money Transfer Services for South Africa: Currencies Direct ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Currencies Direct’s Service is a popular way for transferring money from South Africa to UK, EU, USA, Australia and Asia, supporting 120+ currencies.

The number one rated international money transfer service globally, namely Currencies Direct, is one of few brokers licensed to handle South African clients.

The brokerage, which is headquartered in London and have 20+ offices in Europe, as well as offices in the USA, is one of the safest options to transfer money globally for cheap, with more than 20 years of experience and boasting trading volumes in the billions of dollars each year.

It offers a “full-suite” type of solutions – from business foreign exchange services, hedging, bespoke guidance for both individuals and businesses and above all competitive rates and NO FEES policy which means that there are no fixed costs per transfer, making them usable for both small and large international money transfers.

The company has 97% positive reviews from customers across the globe, including South African customers, and is highly consists in its level of service.

On-boarding with Currencies Direct South Africa is less complicated than opening a new bank account but does require to provide information about the source of funds and the recipient.

Once you have signed up with Currencies Direct, you could use them to transfer money internationally from any of your bank accounts, so if you have multiple bank accounts in SA and out of SA – you won’t have to sign up again.

If you are sending money to South Africa, and/or have dual nationality, you can consider additional options.

Look at the sections below highlighting the best international money transfers in each country: