Transferring Money Out Of South Africa - Forex Outward 

We assist individuals with transferring money out of South Africa to most countries around the world. As South Africa’s leading foreign exchange intermediary, we provide our clients with exceptional exchange rates, ISO accredited service and security standards, and expert knowledge on exchange control.

In this article we cover:

 How Much Money Can You Transfer Out of South Africa?  

Transferring money out of South Africa has become an easier process as exchange control regulations have been relaxed over the years.

That said, depending on the amount and the reason for the transfer abroad, there can still be a number of requirements that need to be fulfilled.

For adult individuals who are South African residents, there are 2 annual allowances that can be utilised.

1.   Single Discretionary Allowance  

In each calendar year, an adult holding a green barcoded ID book or the newer ID card is permitted to transfer up to 1 million rand. This allowance is called the single discretionary allowance.

There is no need for any tax clearances or further documentation from an exchange control perspective.

2.   Foreign Investment Allowance  

When an individual is transferring money out of South Africa, that exceeds the single discretionary allowance, they need to make use of the foreign investment allowance.

This is where we start to see some exchange control requirements, the main one being the need to obtain a tax clearance certificate.

A tax clearance certificate (application for international transfer - AIT) is applied for and issued by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Its purpose is to confirm the individual's tax affairs are in order.

A tax clearance certificate is valid for one year, but it should be noted that the PIN number provided when the tax clearance certificate was issued is used again when an actual transfer out of South Africa occurs. This is simply to ensure the individual has remained tax compliant between the date of issue and the actual date of transfer.

Both of these allowances can be utilised, meaning an adult individual may transfer up to 11 million rand per calendar year. Where there is a husband and wife, they are both entitled to the allowances, meaning a household could transfer up to 22 million per calendar year.

Individuals Wishing to Transfer Over 11 Million Rand per Year  

A special application can be made to transfer in excess of the 11 million rand from the two allowances. This application is made to the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank for approval, and it is worth mentioning that such applications will automatically trigger an audit on the individual applying.

Child's Travel Allowance  

Individuals under 18 are granted a travel allowance of up to ZAR 200,000 per year.


Non-residents have no restrictions placed upon them in terms of what they can transfer out of South Africa, as long as they can show evidence of the source of their funds.

The Best Way to Transfer Out of South Africa  

While some individuals still use their banks to transfer their money out of South Africa, many make use of an accredited intermediary, such as Merchant West Incompass.

Accredited intermediaries have some important advantages over typical banks when it comes to transferring your money:

  • Better exchange rates: an accredited intermediary is able to canvass the market to obtain the best exchange rates possible.
  • Bulk negotiating power: by transferring billions of rand per year, intermediaries are able to obtain better rates than an individual would.
  • Lower fees: banks tend to levy various admin/TT charges whereas Merchant West Incompass has no extra fees if the transfer is in excess of ZAR 50,000.
  • Service levels: there is support in the form of a real person, as opposed to an online platform or call centre environment.
  • Transparency: you can expect low fees and excellent exchange rates that are fully transparent and disclosed.

The Safest Way for Transferring Money Out of South Africa  

When it comes to transferring money out of South Africa, you want to ensure that you are dealing with an intermediary of the highest standards. At Merchant West Incompass, we have taken a number of steps to ensure the integrity and security of your data and funds:

  • We are an accredited intermediary with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
  • We are registered with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
  • We hold international accreditations of ISO 9001 and 27001, for service and security.
  • All of our money transfers are carried out in strict accordance with exchange control and anti-money laundering regulations.
  • We only use authorised dealers for our money transfers, such as Investec and Capitec Business.
  • We are trusted by some of the largest investment houses in South Africa, which has seen us on various application forms for offshore investments, as well as being granted preferred supplier status.
  • Your funds are held in an account in your own name and never in ours.

Other Assistance an Intermediary Can Offer  

Tax Clearance Certificates  

You can rest assured that you need not have any concerns over obtaining tax clearances. Merchant West Incompass will take care of the application on your behalf. We compile, submit, and monitor the entire process for you.

Exchange Control Issues  

There are times when exchange control regulations can be confusing, and accessing appropriate advice to allow you to transfer your money abroad can seem almost impossible. Our in-house team of experts will be there to guide you through the most complex of the exchange control regulations.

Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs)

Transactional bank accounts can be difficult to open and expensive to run; therefore, we are able to offer our clients a true alternative - FCA’s. After a modest opening charge, the accounts carry no set monthly fee, are interest-bearing where applicable, and available in most major currencies. Opening one could not be easier, and can be done from the comfort of your own home or office.

Forward Cover

If you are concerned about rand fluctuations and wish to secure your exchange rate today, for some time in the future, we are able to provide you with forward exchange cover for a period of up to 12 months.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Get Registered and How Long Does It Take?

Registration is straightforward and quick. Our application process is completely online, and if you need any help with completing it, you are most welcome to call one of our team members.

How Does the Money Transfer Process Work?

Once your application has been approved, you will receive details for your account that has been opened. This account is in your own name, is interest-bearing, and will be used to facilitate the flow of funds for your transfers. When you’re ready to trade, you can simply deposit funds into your account, and then one of our traders will call you to ascertain your plans. You may wish to simply hold funds there for the interest, trade straight away, or indeed ask us to watch the rate for you.

Once we have traded for you, a trade confirmation will be emailed to you, confirming all the details of your trade.

How Long Will My Money Transfer Take?

Typically, three days after you have traded, the money will arrive in the account you have specified.

Are There Any Minimum Transfer Amounts?

There are no minimum amounts, but please note a fee of ZAR 250 is payable on trades below ZAR 50,000.

If you are looking at transferring money out of South Africa, you can get in touch with us using our contact form, and one of our team will be in touch shortly afterward.