Send money to Japan
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Imagine being able to convert Australian dollars to Japanese yen, then transfer it to any bank account in Japan, any time of day or night? Well thanks to online international money transfer providers, you can do just that.
Whether you're looking to send cash gifts to family in Tokyo, or you're a business that needs to pay a contractor based in Kyoto, this guide will cover everything you need to know - including how to compare your money transfer options and how to actually send funds to Japan.
If you are travelling to Japan for a holiday, this section isn’t for you. Head on over to our travel money section to find great deals on travel money cards and read up on tips for money-savvy overseas travel.
FAQs for transferring money to Japan
How safe is making an international money transfer online?
If you've chosen a reputable provider, then you can rest assured that your online money transfer is in safe hands. There are a few telltale signs that the provider you've picked is reliable and trustworthy:
- They are registered with ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Report and Analysis Centre). This means they abide by Australia's international money transfer compliance and reporting laws.
- They offer customer support services - whether that's an Aussie-based team you can call during business hours or an account manager with whom you have a direct point of contact.
As with any online banking activity, it's also important that you take personal precautions, such as setting a strong password, installing the right anti-virus software and downloading the latest updates on your PC or mobile.
Prying eyes will find it extremely difficult when your online transaction is encrypted with the latest online technologies and software, so make sure your computer is up to speed with the latest protection before making any transactions or transfers.
Hot tip: Do you genuinely know the person you’re sending money to? You should always know the person or third party before wiring yen to them, hopefully saving you from online scams.
I want to transfer money to Japan online. How do I do it?
You’ll be surprised at how straightforward it actually is. Think of your own personal bank account. When you want to pay a bill via BPAY or make a transfer to someone’s personal account, you need integral information to help identify the third party. The same applies to an international money transfer.
Important information and numbers you need before making an IMT include:
- Recipient's full name
- Recipient's residential or business address
- Recipient's bank account details, including their IBAN (international bank account number)
- SWIFT or BIC code - this is a unique 8 or 11 digit number that identifies banks around the world. Use this tool to search up the SWIFT/BIC code of your recipient's bank.
It’s a good idea to have this information handy before making your transfer, to ensure your transaction is as smooth as possible.
What are my international money transfer options?
In Australia, there are three main types of international money transfer providers, and depending on your needs, one or the other may be more suitable. So to help you out, we've broken down the pros and cons of using each service to convert Aussie dollars to Japanese yen:
While banks do very well to offer almost every product and service available in the land of money, they aren't generally specialists in IMT, so their end delivery may be limited and they likely won't be your cost-effective option.
Pros: Trusting and familiar names with generally good reputations. They also offer convenience, as you'll be able to transfer money overseas with your existing bank account.
Cons: Sometimes limited time and knowledge to do what you want them to. If they have a dedicated IMT service team available, then you’re in luck! But the conversion charges and fees still may be higher than competitive alternatives.
Foreign Exchange Specialist
Also known as FX specialists are international money transfer experts that you can almost always rely on. They’re likely to be cheaper than banks and faster with their delivery. Foreign exchange providers like TorFX and OFX offer a safe and fast online method of converting dollars to yen.
Pros: Competitive pricing, helping you secure some of the best exchange rates and fees out there. They'll also give you access to tools like forward contracts and limit orders, which can protect you from exchange rate exposure (i.e. when the rate doesn't move in your favour).
Cons: Unlike the banks, they're usually online-only, which means you won't have the choice of in-branch services. Smaller transactions may also be excluded - depending on the FX specialist, minimum transfer amounts of up to $10K may apply.
Standard Wire Transfer
This is a fast and easily accessible way of transferring funds from one person or entity to another. A wire transfer can be made from one bank account to another or through a transfer of cash at a branch. Popular options are Western Union and PayPal.
Pros: A recipient can access the funds within minutes of a wire transfer, including picking up the cash in person. These are usually ideal for transfer of less than $200.
Cons: The exchange rate generally isn’t as good as a bank or foreign exchange specialist.
Aren’t all international money transfers the same? What should I look out for?
Yes and no. Yes in that your money will be transferred eventually, but no in terms of the service, exchange rate and fees attached. Let's explore some of the differences you should be comparing:
- Exchange rates: This will have the most impact on the cost of your money transfer. Exchange rates are constantly moving up and down, and providers then add their own margins on top of that rate. So the exchange rate you get could vary quite significantly, depending on the provider and the time of your transfer. To get the best deal, look for a higher AUD/JPY exchange rate - that means you'll get more Japanese yen for the same amount of Aussie dollars sent.
- Fees: In addition to the exchange rate margin, providers may also charge a transfer fee, which you should be able to find further details on in their product disclosure statement. Some providers don't charge this fee at all, while others may waive it if you transfer above a certain amount.
- Transfer speed: Transfers could take from as quick as a few minutes, up to several days. Again this varies from provider to provider. As Japan is a common country to send money to, you could expect your funds to each your recipient between 1-5 business days, although it's best to double check the exact timing with your provider.
- Limits: There are IMT offers out there with no minimums, which means you transfer as little as you like. Then there are agents that have medium to high minimums, which could be anywhere from $200 - $10,000. Make sure you go with a provider that caters for your transfer amount.
- Online vs phone in person: If you aren't too savvy with technology, then over-the-counter money transfers with a bank may be preferred. But if you're after convenience and the flexibility to send money 24/7, then you may want to look for a provider that offers online money transfers with remote customer support. Remember that fees will vary between each transfer method - for instance, in-person services tend to cost more than the online alternative.
How do I set up an international money transfer?
Firstly, you need to decide which direction you will take - online, in person or over the phone?
Working this out first, will determine your best next steps.
- Will you be logging on to your online bank account or app?
- Visiting a branch?
- Filling out a form online?
Whichever way you choose to transfer money to the Japan, some crucial bits of information you’ll need for a successful transfer include:
- Full name and address of the recipient’s bank
- Recipient's name, address and account name
- Their account number or International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
- Their bank's SWIFT/BIC code
- Amount you would like to send
- The account details from which your transfer amount will be withdrawn and sent (this would usually be your bank account).
One-off vs regular transfers to Japan: what are my options?
Most banks and FX specialists will cater for both regular and one-off international money transfers. Either way, you'll want to secure best exchange rate with the lowest fees, especially if your overall transfer amount is a large sum (like thousands of dollars). That's because the more money you send, the more you'll save by shopping around and opting for the cheapest deal you find.
For those making regular transfers above a certain amount, you may also be eligible for other benefits, like fee waivers and the option to lock in an exchange rate if your transactions are fixed.
Where can I compare international money transfer providers for Japan?
Right here at Mozo! Get started by comparing exchange rates and features below. You can also type in your transfer amount for an estimate of how much Japanese yen you'll get with each offer.
To weigh up an even wider range of big banks and FX specialists who can help you send Aussie dollars (and other currencies) to Japanese Yen, head on over at our international money transfers comparison table. Exchange rates are updated hourly.