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How to receive money from overseas in South Africa

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There are a lot of different ways to to receive money from Overseas but with so many options available to the average consumer, making the decision on what service to choose can be harder than it looks.

But out of the pool of options the top 3 ways according to rearch are Bank Transfers (SWIFT/Wire transfer), Paypal & Money Transfer services

A. Bank Transfers (SWIFT/Wire transfer)

Bank transfers are widely used for receiving money from overseas. They are considered secure and direct, as funds are transferred directly to your bank account. Many individuals and businesses prefer this method despite potential higher fees and longer processing times, especially for larger transactions.

How to receive money from overseas: FNB

Receiving money from overseas through First National Bank (FNB) in South Africa involves a process that includes providing the sender with your bank details and ensuring that you comply with relevant regulations. Keep in mind that procedures may change, so it's always a good idea to verify the information with FNB or check their official website for the most up-to-date instructions. Here's a general guide to receiving money overseas through FNB:

  1. Provide Details: Give the sender your full name, FNB account number, branch code, and FNB's SWIFT code: FIRNZAJJ.

  2. Sender's Action: The sender initiates the transfer using the provided information.

  3. Wait for Transfer: It might take a few days for the funds to arrive in your FNB account.

  4. Check Your Account: Monitor your FNB account for the deposited funds. You might receive alerts too.

  5. Currency Conversion: If needed, FNB will convert foreign funds into South African Rand.

  6. Regulatory Compliance: Be ready to provide additional info if required for regulations.

  7. Verify Fees: Double-check for any unexpected fees on your account statements.

Can Capitec receive money from overseas?

Just like FNB, You can also make international swift payments with Capitec. How can you do this? Follow these steps:

  1. Share Details: Provide the sender with your Capitec account details, including your full name, account number, and Capitec Bank's SWIFT code: CABLZAJJ.

  2. Sender's Action: The sender initiates the transfer using the provided information.

  3. Await Transfer: Wait for a few days for the funds to reach your Capitec account, depending on processing times.

  4. Check Account: Regularly check your Capitec account or watch for notifications to confirm the deposit.

  5. Currency Conversion: Capitec will convert foreign funds into South African Rand if necessary.

  6. Compliance Check: Be prepared to supply additional information if required for regulatory compliance.

  7. Verify Fees: Review your account statements for any unexpected fees.

The process for bank payments are fairly similar but always make sure to do your research before making a transaction.

B. Paypal

PayPal is a popular online payment platform that provides a convenient way to receive money from international sources. Many freelancers, small businesses, and individuals use PayPal due to its ease of use and global recognition. However, it's important to consider PayPal's fees and currency conversion rates.

How to withdraw money from paypal?

Withdrawing money from PayPal in South Africa is a straightforward process. Once you have received funds into your PayPal account, you can transfer the money to your linked South African bank account. PayPal offers the option to withdraw funds in South African Rand (ZAR), which is convenient for local use. Keep in mind that there might be withdrawal fees associated with the transfer, and the exchange rate used for the currency conversion might differ from the market rate. It's advisable to review PayPal's current fees and terms before initiating a withdrawal to ensure a smooth transaction.

C. Money Transfer Services (Western Union, MoneyGram, Wise, FiveWest):

Money transfer services like Western Union, MoneyGram, Wise & FiveWest are commonly used for smaller transactions or urgent transfers. They are also seen as the better option compared to the higher fees of banks and provide much shorter processing times. They offer competitive exchange rates and the convenience of local pickup options.

Western union

Western Union: Western Union provides fast and widespread international money transfers, allowing recipients quick access to funds through a vast network of agents.


MoneyGram: MoneyGram offers a global platform for secure and expedited money transfers, with options for both online and in-person transactions.


Wise (formerly TransferWise): Wise offers transparent and cost-effective international transfers, providing real-time exchange rates and low fees.


FiveWest is a South African-based money transfer service that aims to provide efficient and competitive international transfers, catering to the needs of users in the region with a focus on simplicity and value. When considering your payment options, feel free to try this company compare tool that compares all the different transfer companies, helping you find the best rate

What is the fastest way to receive international payments in South Africa?

Is FNB the fastest way to receive international payments? Find out more here. We've written a comprehensive guide on the fastest way to receive international payments in South Africa if you need funds transferred in a hurry!

If you're looking for dollar payments, check out our international payments from the USA to South Africa guide.

FiveWest Forex

You Send:

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At 0 ZAR

You Receive:

ZAR icon



20 USD
You save
Should arrive by
This is an indicative rate that may fluctuate over time
Published: 25 August 2023Receive money from overseas in South Africa via bank transfers (FNB, Capitec, Standard Bank, Nedbank) and money transfer services (PayPal, Western Union, MoneyGram and FiveWest). This guide compares options for fees, processing times, and ease of use.

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