Send Money To South Africa. Cheap And Fast Ways To Transfer Money Abroad.
Compare the best rates and fees to send money to South Africa
Why trust Exiap?
Join over 100,000 monthly users saving thousands by finding and comparing exchange rates and fees for their next international transfers.
What is the cheapest way to send money to South Africa?
- Wise: 16.82 GBP
- CurrencyFair: 17.89 GBP
- WorldRemit: 18.93 GBP
- TorFX: 20.2 GBP
- Remitly: 25.92 GBP
When you are looking to send money to South Africa it's important that you calculate the total cost of your Pound Sterling to South African Rand transfer. You'll want to pay attention to both the upfront fee the provider shows you as well as the GBP/ZAR exchange rate.
Often providers will claim to have low, or even no fees, but in reality they're hidden within the exchange rate. Right now, the GBP/ZAR interbank rate is 19.7527. Whenever you compare fees for transferring money to South Africa, it can pay off to look at the exchange rate they offer.
For example, most traditional banks add a hidden markup to the exchange rate they offer you. If 1 GBP is 19.7527 ZAR, your bank can add a 3% exchange rate markup and give you a rate of 1 GBP = 20.3453 ZAR. Depending on how you set up your transfer this could mean that it would cost you more or your recipient could receive less.
Wise, the cheapest option, has a GBP/ZAR exchange rate of 19.7527 and a fee of 16.82 GBP. This would save you 9.1 GBP compared to Remitly, who has a fee of 25.92 GBP.
Pricing data is collected from providers' websites, and the fee is calculated by factoring in the total cost (the transfer fee plus exchange rate margin).
What is the fastest way to send money to South Africa?
Providers in the table typically take:
- Wise: Instant-2 Days
- Remitly: 0-2 Days
- WorldRemit: 1-2 Days
- CurrencyFair: 1-3 Days
- TorFX: 2-3 Days
Typically, sending money to South Africa will be much faster using a money transfer company compared to a bank that can take 3-5 working days. The fastest provider in our table to transfer money to South Africa is Wise (Instant-2 Days).
What is the best rated provider to transfer money to South Africa?
Of the 5 providers we found for transferring money to South Africa, here’s how they stack up in terms of number of reviews and average score on TrustPilot:
- TorFX: 1,645 reviews, rated 4.9/5 on Trustpilot
- CurrencyFair: 5,794 reviews, rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot
- Wise: 162,030 reviews, rated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot
- WorldRemit: 62,168 reviews, rated 4.2/5 on Trustpilot
- Remitly: 35,276 reviews, rated 4/5 on Trustpilot
Safest way to send money to South Africa
Choosing an international money transfer service can feel like a risk. However, our comparison tool will only ever recommend secure providers which operate within the law in any part of the world they're in.
When you're looking for the safest ways to send money to South Africa from the UK you'll usually want to look out for providers which are registered with and operate under the FCA. In some cases operators may also be regulated by the PRA. And if you're sending money with your bank, you may also read about the FSCS. Too many acronyms? Let's look at what they mean.
FCA - Financial Conduct Authority - almost all financial activities have to be authorised by the FCA. The FCA's job is to regulate and oversee financial activities to make sure standards are upheld and financial businesses are trading safely and legally.
PRA - Prudential Regulation Authority - the PRA exists to make sure banks, building societies, insurance companies and other similar financial institutions are being managed safely, to control risk and keep customer money safe.
FSCS - Financial Services Compensation Scheme - the FSCS protects customers when their bank, insurer or other eligible financial service company fails. You may be able to get compensation through the FSCS to make sure you don't lose out if your bank goes bankrupt or runs into other financial difficulties.
How to send money to South Africa?
You've got a few key options if you need to send money to South Africa:
- Bank transfer to South Africa - most banks will let you send money internationally online, by visiting a branch or by phone. Payments to ZAR will be sent directly from your bank account to your recipient's local bank account in your chosen currency.
- Walk into a branch - several specialist money transmitter services operate through large branch and agent networks, so you can visit a physical store and make your ZAR payment in cash if you want to.
- Send money online to South Africa - if you'd rather make your GBP/ZAR payment online or using your smartphone, you can choose your own bank's online banking service, or an international payment specialist. Specialist services can often offer better exchange rates and lower fees than banks.
How to send money to another bank account in South Africa:
Sending money to another bank account in South Africa is often the most convenient option - both for you, and your recipient. Your recipient doesn't need to take any action to receive the money, it just lands in the nominated account in the currency you choose, and can be spent or withdrawn easily.
If you're sending money direct to a bank account in South Africa, choosing a specialist provider can be the cheapest and fastest way to make your payment. Different providers have their own processes for arranging payments - but the steps you'll take are usually roughly the same:
4 easy steps to send money with a money transfer provider:
- 1Create an account
Register a new account with your preferred service, by entering your contact details and some basic information. You may even be able to do this using Facebook or Google for convenience
- 2Verify your identity
Depending on the type of payment you're making, you may need to verify your account by uploading an image of your ID documents. This step helps keep your money safe, and is often a legal requirement.
- 3Top-up your account
Add money to your account in pounds, using a bank transfer or card payment.
- 4Add recipient details and send
Once you’re ready to send a payment, add your recipient’s personal and bank account details, check the exchange rate and fee applied to your payment, and confirm. That’s it - your money will now be sent, and you can track its progress online or in your provider’s app.
How can you pay for your transfer to South Africa?
Different providers offer different options to fund your international money transfer. Luckily, you have plenty to choose from.
Let's take a look at a few payment options for sending money to South Africa with these providers:
Bank transfer, card (debit or credit), SWIFT, Google Pay or Apple Pay
Bank transfer, card (debit, credit, and prepaid) or Apple Pay
Bank transfer, SWIFT, debit card or cheque
Bank transfer or card (debit, credit, and prepaid)
Details needed to send money to South Africa
The details you'll need to send money to South Africa may vary by provider. At a minimum, you will need to know the recipients name and you will typically be asked for their:
- SWIFT code
- Account number
- Phone number
GBP/ZAR exchange rate trends
As with many currencies, the GBP/ZAR exchange rate moves over time, due to changes in supply and demand.
Exchange rate fluctuations can be caused by underlying shifts in how well the economy in United Kingdom or South Africa is doing. Other things that can influence the rate are the changes in political stability, or even simple speculation, where traders buy or sell currencies based on how they think trends are going to change.
Right now, 1 Pound Sterling buys 19.7527 South African Rand.
The average GBP/ZAR exchange rate over the past 7 days was 19.5868. It is 0.164% compared to the previous 7 days, when it was 19.5547.
How much will my money transfer to South Africa cost?
To send money to South Africa using one of the international money transfer providers in our tables, the fees range from 16.82 GBP with Wise to 25.92 GBP with Remitly (but the fee could be even higher with a bank). The exact cost depends a lot on where you're sending money, how much you're sending, how you want to pay, and how you want the payment to be received.
Typically sending money directly to a recipient's bank account using a specialist service can be done with fairly low costs, while traditional bank wire fees can be higher. Paying for your transfer with either a credit card or cash can often mean the fees crank up, too.
When you're sending money internationally, don't forget that the overall fee you pay can include the transfer fee, an extra charge wrapped up in the exchange rate used, and third party charges like a cash advance fee from your credit card issuer.
How long does it take to transfer money to South Africa?
The length of time it takes to transfer money to South Africa depends on a variety of factors including the provider you use, how you're paying, and how you want your recipient to get the money in the end. From the providers that we display, the fastest international money transfer provider to South Africa is Wise, which can deliver the money to your recipient in ZAR in Instant-2 Days. The slowest provider to send Pound Sterling to South Africa is TorFX, which takes 2-3 Days to send money to South Africa.
Sending money to South Africa - The verdict
When it comes to choosing the best provider for sending money to South Africa from the UK, it really depends on what your needs are.
The cheapest provider shown in our comparison is Wise and the fastest is Wise. Wise can get your money to your recipient in South Africa in Instant-2 Days.
If safety is what interests you the most when it comes to picking the best international money transfer provider to South Africa, then all the providers we listed above are regulated by different financial institutions and should be safe to send money to South Africa with.
The ultimate guide on how to find the best exchange rates online
Frequently asked questions when sending money to South Africa
There's no single best way to transfer money to South Africa. It all depends on your priorities. Different providers offer a different balance of cost, speed and convenience. Using our comparison tool to check out a range of providers is a good way to painlessly find the best option for you.
You can send money to South Africa using your own bank, a specialist money transfer service, an e-wallet, or by visiting a physical money remittance store. Each option has different pros and cons, so the best for you will depend on your specific transfer and personal requirements.
You can't send money to South Africa from the UK for free. International transfers cost providers money to arrange, so there's always a fee somewhere to make sure that the business covers its costs and generates profit. However, many providers choose to make the fees you pay trickier to spot by adding them into the exchange rates used for transfers. That way they can advertise commission free payments, while still making some money every time.
An exchange rate shows how much you'll get when you sell one currency and buy another. However, there is no single exchange rate out there - instead, banks and financial service providers can set their own rates, which may actually include extra fees.
The best rate to use as a benchmark is the mid-market exchange rate for your currency pair. You can get this from a Google search, or using a reputable online currency converter. This is the rate that banks and payment providers get when they buy currency themselves. If the rate you're offered by a provider is different to the mid-market exchange rate that usually means there's a markup - an extra fee - being added to it. This can push up costs or mean your recipient gets less than you expect in the end.
There is no official best time to send money to South Africa and that depends on a variety of factors such as when you need to send money or when you want the funds to be received.
It’s also going to depend on a variety of other factors such as, the time when you send money or the fees you are offered by providers or banks.
Transfers made online for cash pickup, or to mobile wallets, are often available quickly - if not exactly instant. You may also be able to send an instant payment with an ewallet service. However, in both cases, you’ll probably pay a premium for the speed.
Your currency knowledge centre
PayPal international transfer: All you need to know
How to open a business bank account in the UK: Step by step guide
TSB international transfer: Fees, Time and Exchange Rates
How does Wise work: Step-by-step guide 2022
Create a Wise account for free and send money abroad instantly. Learn more about how Wise works and how to make low cost international money transfers