interview on how to send money to south africa

Interview on how to send money to South Africa: Mark Lawson, Director, Exchange4free

When did Exchange4free start money transfer services?

Exchange4free money transfers was started in the United Kingdom in 2004 initially helping South Africans living and working in London to send money home to South Africa.

The company really focused on one single channel into South Africa and from there the antipodean markets started opening up such as Australia and New Zealand.

The business has now expanded significantly beyond just sending money into South Africa and now enables clients in over 40 countries to send money to over 100 countries worldwide.

In addition to sending money to South Africa and various other parts of the world, Exchange4free have also launched some exciting payment, white label and technology solutions into the remittance and payment market.

How do I send money to South Africa using Exchange4free?

All clients first need to register a money transfer account with Exchange4free in order to send money to South Africa.

We will perform relevant due diligence on clients in line with our Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Policy and regulatory responsibilities after which we will activate the clients account.

Once the clients account is activated then they can send money to South Africa in one of the following two ways:

  • Send Money Online to South Africa: Login using your Member ID and Password 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and book an online money transfer and exchange rate to South Africa, or
  • Call our FX Dealing Desk for a Quote: Clients can phone through to our FX dealing desk to speak to one of our foreign exchsnge dealers. This is generally used for larger amounts

Once a rate is agreed then the client simply pays the money to Exchange4free and we send the money to South Africa.

What makes your service unique for clients sending money to South Africa?

Our service is unique in that we have been issued with our own reporting code by the South African Reserve Bank for inward transfers into South Africa.

This means that we have a competitive edge to be able to bypass many of the high costs charged by banks, including an inbound receiving fee of up to R700 charged by South African banks to receive money from abroad. The reason why the South African banks charge this fee is because they have to report these inflows into the SARB system. In our case, we do this reporting ourselves allowing us to offer our clients a much cheaper, in fact free as we charge no fees whatsoever, money transfer service to South Africa.

Our clients have the comfort that their transactions are being reported correctly to the SA Reserve Bank and this is extremly important

What fees does Exchange4free charge to send money to South Africa?

Our business model is unique in that we do not charge any transfer fees on all amounts that clients want to send worldwide. We also offer extremely competitive exchange rates to clients and when sending to South Africa we also cover all inbound receiving fees.

So we charge NO FEES and NO HIDDEN COSTS to our clients.

What are the main countries from where remittances are sent to South Africa?

Exchange4free specialises in sending money into South Africa from over 40 countries including the United Kingdom, All of Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Others.

Exchange4free will shortly be launching in the United States.

How do I send money out of South Africa?

South Africa is governed by Exchange Control Regulations meaning that the flow of funds out of the country is controlled by the South African Reserve Bank.

This means that every transfer of money out of South Africa has to be reported to the SA Reserve Bank and has to fall within a specific allowance offered by the Reserve Bank. Each allowance type needs to be supported by documentation and paperwork specific to that allowance.

Companies sending money out of South Africa need to have a 'firm underlying committment' such as an import invoice or similar in order to buy foreign currency and move those funds out of the country. Each currency purchase or sale needs to be supported to documentation showing that there is a valid reason and firm underlying committment for which those funds are required.

Private clients have a number of allowances available to them per calendar year including a R4M Foreign Investment allowance, a R1M Discretionary Allowance and so on. The Discretionary Allowance includes payments for travel, gifts, overseas study, maintenance .etc. up to a total of R1M per calendar year.

All money transfers out of South Africa need to be authorised by the Reserve Bank who has indirectly passed this responsibility over to the Authorised Dealer Banks who are allowed to make these approvals on the Reserve Bank's behalf, subject to regular audits.

Exchange4free South Africa focuses on assisting private and corporate clients in South Africa to move funds out of the country and Exchange4free are a market leader in this space. Please visit for more information on these services.

The South African Reserve Bank have also just released a new foreign exchange licence for a 'Money Transfer Operator' which would enable Exchange4free to send small amounts of money out of South Africa without having to go through the banks. This is a key step forward for the South African money transfer industry as it will greatly reduce costs to send money out of South Africa, especially smaller amounts where costs are exhorbitant.

Please contact Mark Lawson at for further information on Exchange4free or assistance.


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