A complete guide to the FNB foreign currency account, including features, fees and how to apply.
Using Standard Bank, customers can send money internationally, exchanging from ZAR into a different currency, for example, USD, GBP and EUR.
For all international payments, Standard Bank provides options to both send and receive international payments, and needless to say, this comes with its own set of extra costs. In this article, we’ll look into the process of sending money internationally with Standard Bank, including Standard Bank international transfer fees.
For international money transfers to South Africa, researching an established money transfer service provider and bank alternative such as Wise is a great cost-effective method to minimise the fees.
There are two fees to consider when making an international payment with Standard Bank¹.
The commission fee is the amount Standard Bank charges you to send your payment.
For outward telegraphic transfers (sending money from South Africa to another country in another currency) you will have to pay a commission fee of 0.5% if you use the Standard Bank app or make this payment. To make this outward international payment at a branch, the commission fee is 0.6%⁷.
|International transfers from South Africa made via⁷||Online banking/ Standard Bank app||In branch|
|Minimum fee amount||R151||R200|
|Maximum fee amount||R690||R850|
|Additional tele-communication fee||R108||R142|
For inward telegraphic transfers (sending money from outside South Africa to someone within South Africa) you will have to pay a commission fee of 0.43% if you use the Standard Bank app or make this payment⁷.
|International transfers to South Africa made via⁷||Online banking/ Standard Bank app||Another physical channel|
|Minimum fee amount||R153||R185|
|Maximum fee amount||R555||R791|
|Additional tele-communication fee||R122||R122|
If you want to send an international payment via the SWIFT network, Standard Bank will also charge you a SWIFT fee to do this.
As well as paying an additional commission fee or a SWIFT fee, there are also beneficiary bank fees you might need to pay when you make an international payment with Standard Bank. Since the cost of these fees varies depending on the bank, Standard Bank cannot disclose the amount to its customers looking to make international payments. Making an international transfer with Standard Bank comes with the inclusion of transfer fees, different exchange rates and hidden charges.
Wise provides a transparent, cheap, and fast solution for international transfers to South Africa⁵ ⁶.
For those who value transparency, you do away with hidden fees and expensive transfer charges as Wise uses a mid-market exchange rate, with a minimal transfer fee mentioned upfront⁵.
Any additional flat fees aside, it’s also important to know the exchange rate that’ll be used for your international transfer with Standard Bank. Standard Bank publishes its exchange rates with the most common currencies around the world on its website².
Standard bank, like many other banks, uses its own exchange rates when buying, selling, or sending international transfers in a different currency. By offering their own rates, they manage to add a hidden fee, taking higher profits from their customers.
It’s always recommended to compare their rates with the mid-market rate - the rate you can see in platforms like Google or Wise. The mid-market rate is the mid-point between buying and selling rates and is considered the most fair rate for currency exchange.
In fact, Wise always offers the mid-market exchange rate when sending money to South Africa, and you can always check the mid-market rates from the currency converter⁵.
Standard Bank says that the payment from an international bank transfer will be processed within 2 business days. This transfer might take longer if you send your payment outside of the bank’s cut-off times³.
Standard Bank international transfer process
You can make an international payment using the Standard Bank app or Standard Bank internet banking. Below is how you can send an international payment using the banking app:
- Click ‘More’ at the bottom of the screen
- Select ‘Explore products’
- Choose ‘Foreign Exchange’
- Click on ‘Outward International Payments’ and complete the following steps, including providing a reason for your payment (BOP code).
If you are sending an international payment through online banking, here’s what you need to do:
- Sign in and click on ‘Transact'
- Click on ‘International Payment’
- Follow the steps to complete the payment
There are a few things you’ll need to make an international transfer_ from_ South Africa to someone abroad using Standard Bank. These include:
- Full name and physical address
- Account number or IBAN and valid bank SWIFT code
- SORT or routing code, depending on the recipient’s country
If you’re sending money to South Africa, you’ll need to ask the recipient to provide you with their:
- Standard Bank account number
- Universal Standard Bank Code (Branch/sort code, which is 051001)
- Account type
- SWIFT code (the SWIFT address for Standard Bank is SBZAZAJJ)
For South Africans living either abroad or in South Africa, the maximum amount of money you can send internationally is R1 million per calendar year (1 January - 31 December). This is part of your discretionary allowance or your ‘forex limit’⁴.
If you want to make any international money transfers in excess of this R1 million allowance, you can go to your nearest Standard Bank Bureau de Change or any branch with a forex teller with the necessary documents.
On top of commission fees, currency conversion costs and many other hidden prices, sending money internationally with Standard Bank can really add up, regardless of whether it’s an inward telegraphic transfer or an outward telegraphic transfer.
That’s why considering Wise might be a good option to save you both money and time. Our focus is building instant transfers for clients all around the world, so you can send and receive money from abroad with no hidden costs, currency markups or any additional fees⁵.
|For international transfers it’s worth finding out for yourself if you can save money by using Wise.|
- Standard Bank international payments guide
- Standard Bank live forex rates
- Standard Bank payment cut off times
- Foreign investment allowance
- *Transaction speed claimed depends on funds availability, approval by Wise’s proprietary verification system and systems availability of our partners’ banking system, and may not be available for all transactions.
- Standard Bank forex pricing guide
Sources last checked on date: 08-Aug-2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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