Transferring money to South Af

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Transferring money to South Africa: Tougher than ever

The World Bank estimates global remittances to have totalled US $550 billion in 2013, 75% of which was money sent to developing countries like South Africa.

Transferring money to South Af

Businessman with face pressed against wall, profile, close-up

Despite this, South Africa’s exchange control regulations remain among the tightest in the world. It’s a minefield out there, and if you’re in a rush to get your money home, it’s recommended you choose a forex provider that specialises in inbound transfers to South Africa.

In a bid to combat money laundering, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has tightened its regulations around cross-border transactions. Local banks are now required to report all incoming payments before they release your funds, protracting the time it takes for your money to enter South Africa. Some money transfer companies have even had to suspend their services to South Africa, seeing no way around this problem. 

For years, South African expats have had to deal with unfavourable exchange rates, an old-fashioned money transfer system reliant on high street banks, and stringent exchange control regulations.  Since the revision of the balance of payments (or “BoP”) in 2013, a system of reporting cross-border transfers to SARB, SARB has tightened the regulations around transactions even further to quash money laundering.

Though the intentions of BoP were to force banks and underlying brokers to comply, it’s made it tough for Saffas to transfer their salaries, investments and savings home.

The trouble is, banks tend to withhold the release of funds into the recipient’s account until they have personally spoken to that person. This has been the biggest issue for people transferring money into South Africa, as every transaction has to go through the Reserve Bank before it reaches the recipient’s account – who then has to personally clear the funds.

No matter who you are, you’re required to report all transactions to SARB. In the worst case scenario, banks have even been known to reverse the funds straight back to the sender’s destination if the recipient was unable to clear them. In addition to the fees incurred, the time it takes for this money to clear (only to have it returned with fewer zeroes than you started off with) leads to many disgruntled recipients.

1st Contact Forex addresses this problem by fulfilling the role of the recipient, clearing your funds on your behalf. We work closely with the Reserve Bank , while our compliance officers ensure that we’re compliant with local authorities for each and every transfer, whether it’s an urgent R1,000 for your family or R1 million to pay off your bond. This means your money reaches South Africa without delay, tracking your money home every step of the way.

After all, we’re expats ourselves, with almost twenty years’ experience in the field of international money transfers. South Africa just happens to be our speciality.

Visit 1st Contact Forex for fast, safe money transfers to South Africa and exchange rates that beat the banks, every time. Being specialists in exchange control regulations, we can assist you with complicated transactions too.

Gemma Cloete is a proud member of the 1st Contact Forex team.