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What is a SWIFT?


The Society for Worldwide Inter-bank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is an electronic communication method used by banks all over the world to correspond with each other in a secure and standardised way. SWIFT transfers are secure, standardised, relatively inexpensive and extremely quick.

If you are unsure of the SWIFT code, simply select Foreign Bank Search while capturing your Global Payment application.

When entering the SWIFT code, please make sure that all the letters are in uppercase.

What bank details do I need from the recipient before I can send funds to them?


You will require one of the below before you can send funds:

An IBAN (International Bank Account Number). This is used in most European countries, the Middle East and Caribbean. It is 34 alphanumerical characters which consist of the following:

  • The first 2 letters will represent the Country code
  • Bank account number
  • Branch identifier
  • Routing information

Account number and branch code. This is the beneficiary account number. The account number and branch code of the selected bank would need to be completed.

  • For GBP remittances - 6 digit sort code
  • For AUD remittances - 6 digit BSB number
  • For CAD remittances - Bank code and transit number
  • For India remittances - IFSC code

For USD remittances please use the Branch code for the Beneficiary Bank

  • FW - FedWire - 9 digits
  • ABA - American Bankers Association - 9 digits

This is the beneficiary branch code that is required for all payments to the USA.

The relevant supporting documents, as required in terms of Exchange Control Regulations, where applicable

What if the Beneficiary Bank is not listed on the Search Tool?


Please contact the Foreign Exchange Advisory Team for assistance on 0860 1 FOREX (36739) or email forex@fnb.co.za .

  • Individuals: Contact the Foreign Exchange Advisory Team on 0860 1 FOREX (36739) or email forex@fnb.co.za .
  • Business: Contact the Channel Support team on 087 0 EFOREX (336739) or email fxsupport@rmb.co.za .

What is a "Charge option" and what options do I have?


A charge option lets you choose which party will be paying for the banking transaction charges on your Global Payment. Bank charges can be paid or settled as follows:

  • SHA (shared) - You, the sender pay all your bank charges and the recipient bears all other bank charges (this is the most common type of charge indicator).
  • OUR - Your account will be debited for the initial charges as well as the post transaction charges received from the recipient's bank. Post charges may take up to six months to be processed by the recipient bank.
  • BEN (beneficiary) - The recipient bears all banks charges. All charges will be deducted from the capital amount and the recipient will receive the balance.

How do I find the branch or city required?


Use the Foreign Bank Search tool to search for the beneficiary bank.

If you still cannot find the specific branch or city required, simply select the example that displays xxx in the last 3 characters of that SWIFT code and the payment will be sent to the beneficiary's bank. (e.g. CHASUS33XXX, BARCGB22XXX, COBADEFFXXX, BNPAFRPPXXX).

If an error message 'Invalid SWIFT code' appears; please check the amount of characters in the SWIFT code is 8 or alternatively 11. If the SWIFT code is 8 characters, simply add xxx at the end of the code to ensure it meets the 11 character criteria.

How long does it take for my payment to go through?


If all regulatory compliance requirements are met and if all is in order with your payment it should take 2-3 business days.

How can I ensure the funds reach the beneficiary within an acceptable timeframe?


  • Ensure you have captured the correct banking details where applicable
  • Attach all relevant documents relating to your transaction.

Do I get rewarded for sending money abroad?


Remember, you can earn up to 50% back in eBucks on the transaction charges when sending or receiving foreign currency via Online Banking or the FNB Banking App on your smartphone (for individuals).

Should you require further information regarding required documentation, Exchange Control requirements or banking details:

  • Individuals: Contact the Foreign Exchange Advisory Team on 0860 1 FOREX (36739) or email forex@fnb.co.za .
  • Business: Contact the Channel Support team on 087 0 EFOREX (336739) or email fxsupport@rmb.co.za .

How can I ensure the funds reach the beneficiary within a sufficient time period?


  • Ensure you have captured the correct banking details
  • Attach all relevant documents relating to your transaction

If you require further information regarding required documents, regulation or banking details; simply contact the Forex Advisory Team on 0860 1 FOREX (36739) or email   forex@fnb.co.za

What is FNB's SWIFT code for inward payments and do we use a sort code?


The SWIFT code for FNB is FIRNZAJJ. Should a sort code be requested, your 6-digit branch code can be used.

I would like to earn eBucks on funds coming into my account from abroad; but I don't know what details to give the sender of the funds


When sending your details to the sender, please include the following:

  • Name - Your account name
  • Bank - First National Bank
  • SWIFT - FIRNZAJJ
  • Account - Your account number
  • Branch code - Your branch code
  • Correspondent bank name and SWIFT code which can be selected from the table below
Currency that will be sent Corresponding bank details
US Dollar (USD)

Bank Name: JP Morgan Chase Bank - New York

SWIFT code: CHASUS33

British Pound (GBP)

Bank Name: Lloyds TSB Bank PLC - London

SWIFT code: LOYDGB2L

Australian Dollar (AUD)

Bank Name: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd - Melbourne

SWIFT code: ANZBAU3M

Euro (EUR)

Bank Name: Deutsche Bank Ag - Frankfurt

SWIFT code: DEUTDEFF

Swiss Franc (CHF)

Bank Name: Union Bank of Switzerland - Zurich

SWIFT code: UBSWCHZH80A

What can FNB offer me if I have recurring payments coming into my account from abroad?


If you will be receiving these funds on a regular basis, you can provide FNB with direct authorisation to convert these funds on your behalf at a competitive rate immediately; this is known as a Standing Instruction.

In addition, you will earn eBucks back on the transaction charges for a standing instruction payment received in foreign currency.

How does MoneyGram work?


You can send and receive a MoneyGram transfer from any FNB Branch, ATM or via Cellphone Banking.

Before sending money for the first time to your beneficiary/ies you will need to visit an FNB Branch to load your beneficiary/ies once, thereafter you will be able to send cash to them anytime using Cellphone Banking and ATMs.

What are the limits on MoneyGram transactions?


A customer can send a maximum of R25 000 per transaction and R50 000 per month via MoneyGram

What can MoneyGram be used for?


MoneyGram transactions can only be used for cross-border transfers. MoneyGram can only be used to send a 'Gift' or 'Salary' (depending on your residential status). Transfers done within South Africa and within the Common Monetary Area (CMA) should be done via a normal EFT from the sender's account.

Do not send money to someone you do not know or for any of the following reasons

  • Donations
  • Lottery Winnings
  • Purchasing of a vehicle
  • Online purchases
  • Bank facilities
  • Online romance
  • To secure accommodation bookings
  • To secure employment

Do not send money to someone you do not know or for any of the following reasons


May an FNB customer use another customer's reference number?


No. A MoneyGramTM reference number may only be used by the original sender or the intended receiver. If a customer wants to cancel or amend a transaction, or if a recipient wants to collect funds, it is important to validate that the FNB customer submitting the reference number is the original sender or the intended beneficiary.

Can MoneyGram be used for transfers within South Africa?


No. MoneyGram transactions can only be used for cross-border transfers. Transfers in South Africa (and within the CMA) should be done via a normal EFT from the sender's account.

Can SA residents use MoneyGram to send a portion of their salary cross-border?


No. Residents may only use MoneyGram to send Gifts (BoP category 401) to somebody in another country. Only Foreign Nationals can send a portion of their salary cross-border (BoP category 417). This is most often used by migrant workers who send a portion of their salary to family in their country of origin.

Is MoneyGram available to companies to send or receive money?


No. MoneyGram may only be used to send money from one individual to another individual.

Tips when sending funds via MoneyGram to eliminate fraud

  • Do not send money to claim lottery or prize winnings, or on a promise of receiving a large amount of money.
  • Do not send money because you were "guaranteed" a credit card or loan.
  • Do not send money responding to an iInternet or phone offer that you are not sure is honest.
  • Do not send money to someone you do not know or whose identity you cannot verify.
  • Do not give any information about this transaction to a third party.

Note: *If you have done any of the above and want to stop your transfer, visit your nearest branch as soon as possible to assist in cancelling your transfer.

MoneyGram transaction exceptions

ATM/ADT and Cellphone transactions cannot be done to

  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Puerto Rico

Sending transactions to these destinations must be done via an FNB branch.

Transactions done to Nigeria can be done via an FNB branch and ATM, but Cellphone transactions cannot be done to Nigeria.

MoneyGram cannot be used to receive money from India.

Tips when sending funds via MoneyGram to eliminate fraud


MoneyGram transaction exceptions


How does the refund to a customer work in the case of a cancellation?


When cancelling the transaction on the same day that it was processed, the system is able to automatically reverse the charges. If not cancelled the same day, the transaction charges are not systematically reversed and client will be liable for these charges. Remember that even if the charges are reversed on a same day transaction, there will still be differences in the exchange rates used (buy rate and sell rate) and the customer may be refunded less than the amount they were sending. Contact the FNB Forex Advisory on 08601 FOREX (36739) with any queries.

What documents do I require when tranferring funds from my cheque account to a Global Account?


The documents required when transferring from your Cheque Account to your Global Account (via Online Banking) are dependent on the type of allowance you wish to use:

  • R1 million (calendar year limit) Single Discretionary Allowance for Investment: No documentation is required*.
  • R10 million (calendar year limit) Foreign Investment Allowance: Your valid SARS Tax Certificate for Foreign Investment Allowance (referred to as FIA-001).

* You may not exceed the limits set by the SARB. This includes the Foreign Investment Allowance and Single Discretionary Limit specified by SARB from time to time. If using the Single Discretionary Allowance (for investment purposes) to fund your FNB Global Account, please note the Single Discretionary Allowance also covers matters such as travel, gifts, etc. and you may not exceed your Single Discretionary Allowance Limit specified by SARB. We may require your green bar coded ID document or Smart Card ID if we do not have the document on our records.

For payments into the account, from abroad, what details must I give the payer or paying bank?


  • The SWIFT code: FIRNZAJJXXX
  • Your Global Account number
  • Your Branch Code
  • Specify the currency type to be paid into the Global Account

How do I fund my Global Account via FNB Online Banking?


Before you start, ensure you have your personal income tax number with you.

  • Login to your Online Banking profile
  • Select the 'Forex' tab
  • Select the 'Global Transfer' tab
  • Complete the details and select the following as the Reason for Transaction (BOP): 512-04: Deposit into a foreign currency account

How does this online Global Account differ to the 'old' Foreign Currency Accounts?


This account provides the convenience of opening the account as well as viewing the account, balances and transaction history via FNB Online Banking. Offshore beneficiaries can be created and paid via FNB Online Banking. Funding of the accounts, transfers between the accounts, and payments from the accounts can be done via FNB Online Banking.*

*All transfers are subject to the normal Exchange Control requirements

For payments into the account, from abroad, what details must I give the payer or paying bank?


  • The SWIFT code: FIRNZAJJ
  • Your Global Account number
  • Your branch number

Where is the funding tab on FNB Online Banking?


  1. Login to your Online Banking profile via www.fnb.co.za
  2. Select the TRANSFER tab on the top menu bar.
  3. Complete the required fields and complete transfer.
  4. The functionality is within the standard FNB Online Banking TRANSFER tab. You are not able to do this transfer from the FOREX tab.

What funds may go into the account?


From South Africa:

  • Foreign Investment Allowance (R10m) or
  • Discretionary Allowance (R1m) for Investment Purposes

From abroad:

  • Income
  • Salary earned abroad
  • Rental income from property abroad
  • Interest earned abroad
  • Dividends
  • Inheritance
  • Funds that were previously sent abroad for investment purposes that are being repatriated

How do I transfer from my Global Account to my FNB Cheque Account?


  • Login to your Online Banking profile
  • Select the 'Forex' tab
  • Select the 'Global Transfer' tab

Complete the details and select the following as the 'Reason for Transaction (Disinvestment of capital by a resident individual - Deposits with a foreign bank)': BOP 511-04: Deposit into a foreign currency account.

What details should I give to the sender of the funds?


When sending your details to the sender, please include the following:

  • Name - Your account name
  • Bank - First National Bank
  • SWIFT - FIRNZAJJXXX
  • Account - Your account number
  • Branch code - Your branch code
  • Correspondent Bank Name and SWIFT code which can be selected from the table below.

 

Currency that will be sent Corresponding bank details
US Dollar (USD)

Bank Name: JP Morgan Chase Bank - New York

SWIFT code: CHASUS33

British Pound (GBP)

Bank Name: Lloyds TSB Bank PLC - London

SWIFT code: LOYDGB2L

Australian Dollar (AUD)

Bank Name: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd - Melbourne

SWIFT code: ANZBAU3M

Euro (EUR)

Bank Name: Deutsche Bank Ag - Frankfurt

SWIFT code: DEUTDEFF

Swiss Franc (CHF)

Bank Name: Union Bank of Switzerland - Zurich

SWIFT code: UBSWCHZH80A

Remember, you can earn up to 50% back in eBucks on the transaction charges when sending or receiving foreign currency via Online Banking or the FNB Banking App on your smartphone (for individuals).

What can FNB offer if I have recurring payments coming into my account from abroad?


If you are receiving these funds on a regular basis, you can provide FNB with direct authorisation to convert these funds on your behalf at a competitive rate immediately; this is known as a Standing Instruction. This functionality is restricted to certain Balance of Payments codes. However, should you elect to put a Standing Instruction into effect for payments that are not eligible, you will receive an error message when attempting to complete the transaction.

Should you experience this error, contact:

  • Individuals: Contact the Foreign Exchange Advisory Team on 0860 1 FOREX (36739) or email forex@fnb.co.za .
  • Business: Contact the Channel Support team on 087 0 EFOREX (336739) or email fxsupport@rmb.co.za .

Remember, you can earn up to 50% back in eBucks on the transaction charges when receiving foreign currency regularly by authorising us to convert these funds on your behalf with a Standing Instruction.

How does my PayPal™ account differ from my FNB bank account?


A PayPal account is not a bank account. It is a virtual wallet that can be used to securely and conveniently pay for goods and services online.

FNB's Top Up and Withdraw service with PayPal allows you to transfer funds between your PayPal account and your qualifying FNB account similar to how you would make a payment to a beneficiary. Although your PayPal account is listed as an 'account' on your FNB Online Banking profile, you will not be able to view your PayPal account balance.

To view your PayPal account balance, you will need to login to your PayPal account at www.paypal.com. For more information on how to shop securely with PayPal, visit www.paypal.com.

Unlike an FNB bank account, you do not earn interest on a PayPal account balance. If you would like to earn interest on your funds, rather transfer them out of your PayPal account into your qualifying FNB account. Remember that according to South African Reserve Bank exchange control regulations, all funds received into your PayPal account must be withdrawn within 30 days using the FNB Withdraw service.

What if I don't bank with FNB?


Then you're losing out, as FNB customers with qualifying accounts and access to Online Banking have exclusive access to Top up and withdraw with PayPal.

FNB also offers a selection of financial service products to suit your needs.

Ready to join?

Can my business use this facility?


Yes. All you need is a South African PayPal wallet, a qualifying FNB bank account and access to FNB Online Banking.

Note: FNB Top Up and Withdraw with PayPal is only available to personal and business users with qualifying FNB accounts and access to FNB Online Banking. The service is not available to Online Banking Enterprise™ users. All FNB Top Up and Withdraw with PayPal transactions are subject to terms and conditions.

Why can I only top up in US dollars?


PayPal offers the ability to send funds and make payments in many currencies. At this stage South African Rand (ZAR) is not a PayPal currency so as an interim solution the FNB 'Top Up' service with PayPal will only facilitate the conversion of the funds from South African Rand into US dollars. The US dollars in your PayPal account can used to make purchases in any PayPal currency, with PayPal merchants worldwide.

Why can I only withdraw in Rands?


PayPal offers the ability to receive payments in many currencies. At this stage South African Rand (ZAR) is not a PayPal currency so as an interim solution the FNB 'Withdraw' service with PayPal will only facilitate the conversion of the funds from US dollars to South African Rand when withdrawing funds from your PayPal wallet.

If you have non-US Dollars (e.g. Euro) in your PayPal wallet, it will be converted into US Dollars when you withdraw to a qualifying FNB account. If you have multiple non-US Dollar currencies in your PayPal wallet, funds will be withdrawn and converted into US Dollars in order of the primary currency held.

How quickly will a top up reflect in my PayPal™ wallet?


A Top Up can take between one and four days to reflect in your PayPal wallet. This excludes weekends and public holidays in South Africa and the United States of America.

For a withdraw transaction, how quickly will funds reflect in my qualifying FNB account?


A withdrawal can take between three and six days to reflect in your FNB account. This excludes weekends and public holidays in South Africa and the United States of America.

What if I don't have access to FNB Online Banking?


Unfortunately the Top Up and Withdraw service with PayPal is only available on FNB Online Banking. The service is not available on FNB Cell Phone Banking or via the FNB PayPal Services Contact Centre.

FNB Top Up and Withdraw with PayPal is only available to personal and business users with qualifying FNB accounts and access to FNB Online Banking. The service is not available to Online Banking EnterpriseTM users. All FNB Top Up and Withdraw with PayPal transactions are subject to terms and conditions.

Not registered yet?

How can I access my balance and keep a record of funds coming in and out of my PayPal™ wallet?


Your PayPal account balance and transaction history can be tracked by logging onto your PayPal account at www.paypal.com

In addition, FNB Online Banking will provide you with a history of all your Top Up and Withdraw transactions.

All FNB Top Up and Withdraw with PayPal transactions are subject to terms and conditions.

How do I track my transactions?


Once you have completed a Top Up or Withdraw transaction, you will receive a unique reference number that can be used to monitor the progress of your transaction.

A progress update is provided on FNB Online Banking or you can call the FNB Top Up and Withdraw contact centre on 0861 PAYPAL(729725) and speak to a consultant.

Please remember that if you have a PayPal specific transaction query, you will need to visit www.paypal.com .

What is the daily limit on top up or withdraw?


There is no daily limit on either Top Up or Withdraw transactions, however you annual Reserve Bank discretionary allowance applies.

All FNB Top Up and Withdraw with PayPal transactions are subject to terms and conditions.

I currerntly use PayPal™ with my FNB Credit Card, can I still do this?


Yes, you can use your FNB credit card when shopping with a PayPal merchant. All you need to do is link your credit card to your PayPal account and shop with the added benefit of not exposing your credit card details and you can earn eBucks if you are shopping with a FNB credit card.

Alternatively, make a purchase with PayPal by transferring funds ('topping up') into your PayPal account from a qualifying FNB account.

Please note that you cannot use a credit card account for Top Up or Withdraw transactions.

What documents do I require when purchasing foreign currency for my trip abroad?


To comply with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Regulations, each request for foreign currency for travel purposes will need to be furnished with proof of travel documents (e.g air ticket) and a copy of a valid passport for each traveller purchasing foreign exchange. The proof of travel documents must indicate that the journey commences from South Africa.

When can I purchase my foreign currency for my trip abroad?


Foreign currency may be purchased up to 60 days before date of departure.

How much foreign currency can I purchase for my trip?


A South African resident over the age of 18 years is entitled to a discretionary allowance of up to R1 million per individual per calendar year (1 January - 31 December). This allowance can be utilised for any of the following: travel, gifts, study, donations, alimony, maintenance and investment. Children under the age of 18 years qualify for a travel allowance not exceeding R200 000 per calendar year.

The costs of land arrangements (hotels, cruises, tours, etc.) are deductible from a travel allowance, except the payment of airfares in Rands.

What do I do if I have foreign currency left over when I return from my trip abroad?


Any unutilised portion of a travel allowance must be resold to an Authorised Dealer within 30 days of your return to South Africa.

I have captured my forex application but my documents do not want to upload. What do I do?


If you encounter a problem uploading your documents via FNB Online Banking, simply email the documents with the application reference number to one of the following email addresses:

Individual: fxtravel@fnb.co.za

Business: bustravel@fnb.co.za

As a South African temporarily living abroad what do I need to know to open an account before I return to South Africa?


Any resident who has departed from South Africa to any country outside the Common Monetary Area, with no intention of taking up permanent residence in another country.

An FNB consultant will take care of all aspects relating to the banking needs. This ranges from opening resident accounts, cross border transactions as well as any exchange control compliance issues. We can open accounts for you prior to your return to South Africa. When applying for an FNB account, a Consultant will send you full application forms which you will need to complete and send back.

You will need to include the following documents:

  • Latest proof of income (overseas)
  • Clear certified copy of your green bar-coded RSA identity document OR a valid passport
  • Proof of residency (a certified copy of latest utility bill reflecting your current residential address details)
  • 3 months' latest bank statements from your overseas bank

The process

  • When the completed forms and the requested documents are faxed or emailed an account will be opened*.
  • You will then be able to deposit money (a deposit must be made within the first three months in order to ensure activation of the account); however, you will only be able to withdraw money from this account once the original documents have been viewed and authenticated in terms of FNB's 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) requirements, and signed copies have been placed on record.

* Qualifying Criteria and Terms and Conditions apply

As a South African who is temporarily abroad, you qualify for the following products:

  • Resident Cheque Account
  • Resident Home Loan
  • Resident Investments
  • Resident Savings Accounts
  • Resident Vehicle Finance

As a homecomer what do I need to open an account on my return to South Africa?


An FNB Homecomer consultant will take care of all aspects relating to the banking needs of a Homecomer. This ranges from opening resident accounts, cross border transactions as well as any exchange control compliance issues. We can open accounts for you prior to your return to South Africa.

When applying for an FNB account, an FNB Homecomer Consultant will send you full application forms which you will need to complete and send back.

You will need to include the following documents:

  • Latest proof of income (overseas)
  • Clear certified copy of your green bar-coded RSA identity document OR a valid passport
  • Proof of residency (a certified copy of latest utility bill reflecting your current residential address details)
  • 3 months' latest bank statements from your overseas bank

The process

  • When the completed forms and the requested documents are faxed or emailed an account will be opened*.
  • You will then be able to deposit money (a deposit must be made within the first three months in order to ensure activation of the account); however, you will only be able to withdraw money from this account once the original documents have been viewed and authenticated in terms of FNB's 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) requirements, and signed copies have been placed on record.

* Qualifying Criteria and Terms and Conditions apply

The Homecoming Revolution is an independent non-profit organisation sponsored by First National Bank. It encourages and helps South Africans around the world to return home. Read more about the Homecoming Revolution on their helpful website.

As a foreign national temporarily living in South Africa what do I need to know if I want to open a bank account or obtain funds?


A Foreign National is a natural person who is a temporary resident in South Africa or the Common Monetary Area with a work or study permit, (it excludes those purely on holiday and on business visits).

The norm applied by Exchange Control is that contract workers should, while they are in South Africa, be treated like residents for banking purposes. That means, for example, that a Foreign National can keep bank accounts or obtain funds from financial institutions for the purchase of a house in the same way as a resident.

When a Foreign National takes up temporary residence in South Africa, you will be required to declare to your bankers whether you are in possession of any foreign assets and if so, provide an undertaking to the effect that you will not place such assets at the disposal of a third party normally resident in South Africa. You will also need to declare that you have not applied for similar facilities through another bank.

You will also be required to provide the bank with an original and valid South African temporary residence permit issued by the Department of Home Affairs.

As a Foreign National you are entitled to deal with your foreign assets in any manner and transfer abroad accumulated funds during your stay in South Africa.*

* Provided you are able to substantiate the source of such funds and that the value of such funds is reasonable in relation to your income generating activities while in South Africa.

As an immigrant and permanent resident of South Africa am I entitled to resident banking products?


A natural person who has changed residency from a country outside South Africa or the Common Monetary Area and has taken up permanent residency in South Africa or the Common Monetary Area.

Once you are a permanent resident of South Africa or the Common Monetary Area you will be entitled to resident banking products.

Where can I get information and websites to support me when visiting South Africa, emigrating, returning home or while in South Africa on a temporary basis?


If you are interested in Foreign Banking and the ins and outs of South African regulations and rules, that pertain to this sector(including tax laws), or seek more information on returning to South Africa after having left our shores, have a look at the following websites:

What do I need to know if I want to take money into or out of the country?


These helpful guidelines will assist you in understanding the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Exchange Control Rules and Regulations to move money in and out of the country.

How to take money in and out

  • Clients can deposit and withdraw funds on demand as long as the transactions are within the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Exchange Control Rules and Regulations.
  • Proof of source of funds is required when over the counter deposits are made

Non-residents and emigrants only:

Non-resident accounts may only be funded from the following:

  • Foreign currencies.
  • Deposits from other Non-Resident accounts.
  • Re-deposits of Rand drawn under the provision of debits, e.g. encashment of cheques or ATM withdrawals.
  • Payments in Rand by South African residents eligible for transfer in terms of the various Sections of the South African Reserve Bank Exchange Control Rules and Regulations. A South African resident intending to pay Non-Residents must approach their bankers to complete and sign the Balance of Payments form. The funds will then be transferred via the SWIFT system and the transaction will be appropriately captured on the Balance of Payments (BOP) system. A transfer of Non-Resident funds between Authorised Dealers is only permitted by means of an authenticated SWIFT message.

Withdrawals

  • Blocked funds to be remitted against Exchange Control approval
  • All foreign funds introduced by an emigrant can be remitted abroad at any time provided the transactions are within the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Exchange Control Rules and Regulations.

What do I need to know if I am planning to emigrate?


The process

To formalise emigration you will be required to complete form M.P.336(b) at your local FNB branch.

You will be interviewed by one of our consultants who will help you with the completion of the form and inform you of any required documentation.

Please bring the following with you:

  • South African Identity Document/Passport
  • Any documentation confirming that you are entitled to take up permanent residency in the new country of domicile.
  • Original documents for any assets declared, such as title deeds, share certificates, and policies.

Any liabilities (borrowings) need to be expunged (paid off) before you leave South Africa

  • FNB Credit Card/s
  • Overdraft facilities
  • FNB Vehicle Finance
  • Unsecured Loans

Prior to departure all issue access mechanisms must be cancelled and destroyed, such as:

  • Cheque Book
  • ATM Card/Debit Card
  • FNB Credit Card

Please update any contact details abroad (if available) with your FNB branch, such as:

  • Residential Address
  • Postal Address
  • Email Address
  • Contact Telephone Numbers

Foreign capital allowance

Within South Africa there are certain limitations on the amount of foreign exchange allowed to be taken out of the country for vacation or business purposes. These limits, also called the Exchange Control Rules and Regulations are stipulated and managed by the South African Reserve Bank.

Have alook at the following link: https://www.resbank.co.za/pages/default.aspx

South African temporarily abroad


Any resident who has departed from South Africa to any country outside the Common Monetary Area, with no intention of taking up permanent residence in another country.

An FNB consultant will take care of all aspects relating to the banking needs. This ranges from opening resident accounts, cross border transactions as well as any exchange control compliance issues. We can open accounts for you prior to your return to South Africa. When applying for an FNB account, a Consultant will send you full application forms which you will need to complete and send back.

You will need to include the following documents:

  • Latest proof of income (overseas)
  • Clear certified copy of your green bar-coded RSA identity document OR a valid passport
  • Proof of residency (a certified copy of latest utility bill reflecting your current residential address details)
  • 3 months' latest bank statements from your overseas bank

The process

  • When the completed forms and the requested documents are faxed or emailed an account will be opened*.
  • You will then be able to deposit money (a deposit must be made within the first three months in order to ensure activation of the account); however, you will only be able to withdraw money from this account once the original documents have been viewed and authenticated in terms of FNB's 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) requirements, and signed copies have been placed on record.

* Qualifying Criteria and Terms and Conditions apply

As a South African who is temporarily abroad, you qualify for the following products:

  • Resident Cheque Account
  • Resident Home Loan
  • Resident Investments
  • Resident Savings Accounts
  • Resident Vehicle Finance

Homecomer


An FNB Homecomer consultant will take care of all aspects relating to the banking needs of a Homecomer. This ranges from opening resident accounts, cross border transactions as well as any exchange control compliance issues. We can open accounts for you prior to your return to South Africa.

When applying for an FNB account, an FNB Homecomer Consultant will send you full application forms which you will need to complete and send back.

You will need to include the following documents:

  • Latest proof of income (overseas)
  • Clear certified copy of your green bar-coded RSA identity document OR a valid passport
  • Proof of residency (a certified copy of latest utility bill reflecting your current residential address details)
  • 3 months' latest bank statements from your overseas bank

The process

  • When the completed forms and the requested documents are faxed or emailed an account will be opened*.
  • You will then be able to deposit money (a deposit must be made within the first three months in order to ensure activation of the account); however, you will only be able to withdraw money from this account once the original documents have been viewed and authenticated in terms of FNB's 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) requirements, and signed copies have been placed on record.

* Qualifying Criteria and Terms and Conditions apply

Homecoming Revolution:

The Homecoming Revolution is an independent non-profit organisation sponsored by First National Bank. It encourages and helps South Africans around the world to return home. Read more about the Homecoming Revolution on their helpful website.

Foreign national


A Foreign National is a natural person who is a temporary resident in South Africa or the Common Monetary Area with a work or study permit, (it excludes those purely on holiday and on business visits).

The norm applied by Exchange Control is that contract workers should, while they are in South Africa, be treated like residents for banking purposes. That means, for example, that a Foreign National can keep bank accounts or obtain funds from financial institutions for the purchase of a house in the same way as a resident.

When a Foreign National takes up temporary residence in South Africa, you will be required to declare to your bankers whether you are in possession of any foreign assets and if so, provide an undertaking to the effect that you will not place such assets at the disposal of a third party normally resident in South Africa. You will also need to declare that you have not applied for similar facilities through another bank.

You will also be required to provide the bank with an original and valid South African temporary residence permit issued by the Department of Home Affairs.

As a Foreign National you are entitled to deal with your foreign assets in any manner and transfer abroad accumulated funds during your stay in South Africa.*

* Provided you are able to substantiate the source of such funds and that the value of such funds is reasonable in relation to your income generating activities while in South Africa.

Immigrant


A natural person who has changed residency from a country outside South Africa or the Common Monetary Area and has taken up permanent residency in South Africa or the Common Monetary Area.

Once you are a permanent resident of South Africa or the Common Monetary Area you will be entitled to resident banking products.

Moving money in and out


These helpful guidelines will assist you in understanding the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Exchange Control Rules and Regulations to move money in and out of the country.

How to take money in and out

  • Clients can deposit and withdraw funds on demand as long as the transactions are within the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Exchange Control Rules and Regulations.
  • Proof of source of funds is required when over the counter deposits are made

Non-Residents and emigrants only:

Non-Resident accounts may only be funded from the following:

  • Foreign currencies.
  • Deposits from other Non-Resident accounts.
  • Re-deposits of Rand drawn under the provision of debits, e.g. encashment of cheques or ATM withdrawals.
  • Payments in Rand by South African residents eligible for transfer in terms of the various Sections of the South African Reserve Bank Exchange Control Rules and Regulations. A South African resident intending to pay Non-Residents must approach their bankers to complete and sign the Balance of Payments form. The funds will then be transferred via the SWIFT system and the transaction will be appropriately captured on the Balance of Payments (BOP) system. A transfer of Non-Resident funds between Authorised Dealers is only permitted by means of an authenticated SWIFT message.

Withdrawals

  • Blocked funds to be remitted against Exchange Control approval
  • All foreign funds introduced by an emigrant can be remitted abroad at any time provided the transactions are within the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Exchange Control Rules and Regulations.

Guidelines to emigration


The process

To formalise emigration you will be required to complete form M.P.336(b) at your local FNB branch.

You will be interviewed by one of our consultants who will help you with the completion of the form and inform you of any required documentation.

Please bring the following with you:

  • South African Identity Document/Passport
  • Any documentation confirming that you are entitled to take up permanent residency in the new country of domicile.
  • Original documents for any assets declared, such as title deeds, share certificates, and policies.

Any liabilities (borrowings) need to be expunged (paid off) before you leave South Africa

  • FNB Credit Card/s
  • Overdraft facilities
  • FNB Vehicle Finance
  • Unsecured Loans

Prior to departure all issue access mechanisms must be cancelled and destroyed, such as:

  • Cheque Book
  • ATM Card/Debit Card
  • FNB Credit Card

Please update any contact details abroad (if available) with your FNB branch, such as:

  • Residential Address
  • Postal Address
  • Email Address
  • Contact Telephone Numbers

Foreign capital allowance

Within South Africa there are certain limitations on the amount of foreign exchange allowed to be taken out of the country for vacation or business purposes. These limits, also called the Exchange Control Rules and Regulations are stipulated and managed by the South African Reserve Bank.

Have alook at the following link: https://www.resbank.co.za/pages/default.aspx

Important links


Important information and websites to support you when visiting South Africa, emigrating, returning home or whilst in South Africa on a temporary basis.

If you are interested in Foreign Banking and the ins and outs of South African regulations and rules, that pertain to this sector(including tax laws), or seek more information on returning to South Africa after having left our shores, have a look at the following websites:

  • South African Reserve Bank
  • South African Revenue Services
  • Homecoming Revolution

What happens if I don't use the IBAN or banking details I have for the beneficiary?


If you don't use the IBAN when it is available on the invoice or banking details I have for the beneficiary, your transfer could be delayed or refused - and you might have to pay an extra fee.

What is a CCN?


A CCN is an 8-digit Customs Client Number. Clients need to apply for a CCN from SARS Customs and Excise. With older CCN's, the number might only be 5 digits in length. When this occurs, simply add zeros at the beginning of the number to make up the 8-digits required.

What is a Letter of Credit (L/C)?


This is a written, irrevocable undertaking by the Importer's Bank that the Exporter will receive payment against documentary evidence, provided that the T&Cs stipulated in the L/C were met.

Some of the documentary credit types that FNB offers.

  • Standby L/C
  • Irrevocable Confirmed Credit
  • Transferable Credit
  • Revolving Credit

If I use an L/C, is payment guaranteed?

Payment is only guaranteed if all the terms and conditions of the L/C are met. If there are any discrepancies, the guarantee of payment falls away, and all parties will need to accept the discrepancy/ies, before payment can take place.

Can an L/C be cancelled?

An L/C can only be cancelled if all parties, including the banks involved, agree to cancel the instrument.

What does confirmation mean?


If the beneficiary is not comfortable with the perceived risk associated with the issuing bank or the country in which the issuing bank is situated - they may ask for the L/C to be confirmed by the advising bank, in their country or another bank that has the required risk appetite. The L/C will then be confirmed / guaranteed by their bank. There is a confirmation fee that is charged for this. Confirmation will, however, fall away if drawings against the L/C are discrepant.

What is a discrepancy?


A discrepancy can take the form of a document not being timeously presented or if any term or condition of an L/C cannot be met. This means that one of the parties was not able to perform as called for under the L/C. This results in the guarantee of payment falling away. All parties must accept the discrepancy for payment to be negotiated.

How can I guarantee that the goods received are in accordance with the goods I have ordered?


Banks cannot guarantee the quality or quantity of goods. Banks deal in documentation only, so, if the documents presented are in order, payment will take place. An importer can always request that the shipment be inspected (pre/post shipment inspection) by an independent third party, prior to shipment, to ensure that the goods are of the required quality/quantity. This pre/post shipment inspection should be a condition of payment in the L/C.

What does the MRN refer to when I am making an import payment?


A MRN is the Movement Reference Number issued by Customs once goods have been cleared. This number is provided by Customs (a division of SARS) and is a required field for all payments for imports into South Africa.

What documents do I need to submit to the bank once my imported goods have arrived in South Africa?


  • Documentation evidencing the transportation of the goods to South Africa.
  • Commercial invoice from foreign supplier.
  • An import permit, if required, or confirmation that a permit is not required.
  • An SAD500 or Release Notification.

What is a UCR?


UCR stands for Unique Consignment Reference Number which is required by the South African exporter. This number will identify the export transaction and must be used on all export documents that are presented to customs in order to be able to clear the goods out of South Africa.

The exporter will also need to provide this number to FNB on receipt of the proceeds. This will ensure that the proceeds are correctly linked to the actual goods that where exported.

Who is SARB and why do they need to know all my transaction details?


The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is the central bank of the Republic of South Africa. "The primary purpose of the SARB is to achieve and maintain price stability in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in South Africa." For more information refer to the South African Reserve Bank's website.

Who is responsible for providing the information required by the SARB?


In accordance with our mandate as an Authorised Dealer, we are required to provide true and accurate information when processing cross-border transactions. The onus is on the client to provide the bank with the correct information and by agreeing to the Terms and Conditions clients declare that the information they provide is true and accurate.

What are balance of payment (BoP) category codes?


BoP category codes are codes that categorise the type or purpose of the transaction. i.e. goods, services, imports, etc. Categorising cross- border transactions is a requirement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

What is BoPCUS 3?


As an Authorised Dealer in foreign exchange, FirstRand Bank (including its divisions) are required to report cross-border transactions to the South African Reserve Bank. This system of reporting is called Balance of Payments Reporting, or BoP Reporting for short. From August 2013 SARB implemented changes to the cross-border reporting system to stay in line with international standards. This is called BoPCUS 3.

Which countries are included in the CMA (Common Monetary Area)?


The Common Monetary Area countries include South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho which have their own currencies, however they also accept South African Rands. There is no limit to the amount in Rand you can take while travelling amongst the CMA countries.

Why is it mandatory to provide the required information when making a payment abroad or receiving funds from abroad?


Balance of Payments data is most important for national and international policy formulation. SARB uses the information to understand the factors that influence the balance of payments of South Africa. In addition, as a Bank we require this data to be in compliance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) standards and to comply with the local FICA requirements.

What about my privacy as a client when FNB requires transaction details?


The data submitted is intended to satisfy regulatory SARB, SARS and FICA requirements. Data will not be divulged to other third parties, unless the information is requested through due legal process.

What is a SARB Authority (Auth) reference number and SARB application number?


This will only need to be completed if you had to apply to the South African Reserve Bank for permission to enter into a specific cross- border transaction that requires permission. The SARB Application Number is the number of the application that was submitted to SARB. The SARB Auth Reference Number is the e-docs number or any other SARB authorisation number allocated by the SARB in the reply to the application. The format of the SARB Auth Reference Number is as follows: CCYY-12345678 (8 digits). Add zeros in front of the number to make up the 8 digits, if necessary.

To find out if your payment will require a SARB number, contact:

  • Individuals: Contact the Foreign Exchange Advisory Team on 0860 1 FOREX (36739) or email forex@fnb.co.za .
  • Business: Contact the Channel Support team on 087 0 EFOREX (336739) or email fxsupport@rmb.co.za .

What is a Tax Clearance Certificate?


A Tax Clearance Certificate is a document issued by SARS certifying that you are tax compliant and that your tax affairs are in order.

I want to emigrate from South Africa. How do I inform the bank?


South African Residents wishing to emigrate from South Africa must provide a valid tax clearance for emigration and complete a form MP 336(b) declaring all assets. FNB will then submit this to the South African Reserve Bank on your behalf and accord all approved allowances in respect of emigration. This transaction can be quite complex, so give us a call on 0860 1 FOREX (0860 1 36739) for advice and assistance.

I would like to buy a property overseas


South African residents are allowed to invest in offshore property up to the value of R 10 million per calendar year. We can facilitate the transferring of these funds abroad. Should you wish to purchase property with a value of more than R 10 million, we can assist you with an application to SARB.

What is a bank selling rate?


This is the rate at which customers can buy foreign currency from the Bank. This rate will vary depending on whether the customer is making foreign currency payments, purchasing foreign currency travel products or utilising other types of foreign exchange products.

What is a bank buying rate for notes?


This is the rate at which the Bank will buy foreign notes from customers who wish to sell their unused foreign notes back to the bank on return from an overseas trip, excluding CMA countries. (To adhere to the SARB exchange control regulations, this needs to be done within 30 days of the customers return). This rate would also be used to buy foreign notes from other banks customers.

What is a bank buying rate for TT (telegraphic transfer)?


This is the rate at which the bank will buy foreign currency from a customer who receives funds from overseas via the SWIFT network and wishes to deposit the funds into a local Rand account.

What does the indicational rate mean when I get a quote?


This rate is an indication of the rate the customer can expect to receive but may vary to the rate at the actual time of getting a quote due to changes in market rates. The bank is not obligated to give the customer the indicative rate when the customers transacts.

What does the word 'spot rate' mean when I am getting a quote from the dealer?


A spot transaction is an exchange of one currency for another at a specific rate, settlement of which takes place 2 business days later.

What is a Business Global Account?


Our Global Business Accounts are selected currency denominated accounts which can be used to mitigate exchange rate risk. It is used by exporters and importers to hold foreign currency for payment of goods or receipt of funds for products supplied or services rendered.

Features and benefits


Get the best out of our Business Global Account by managing your foreign currency flows. This account suits businesses involved in import and export transactions, such as ships agents, freight forwarders, marine insurers, stockbrokers and other similar businesses.

Who qualifies?


South African based businesses: - Standard FICA documentation will be required to open this account. Once we have received and validated your documentation, you will be able to activate your new account by making a transfer.

Not a South African based business: - We have a Non-Resident Business Global Account for you! Simply email us on foreigncurrencyacc@fnb.co.za or ask to your Business Banker for more information.

Currencies available


We offer 40 currencies, of which, 9 can be opened online. To open our other currency accounts, complete the "Call me back" form on Online Banking. Alternatively, contact your Business Banker.

How to apply?


South African based businesses: Simply go to fnb.co.za and click "For My Business" and scroll down to "Business Global Account"

Non-Resident business: Simply email foreigncurrencyacc@fnb.co.za

Contact us


For more information on all our Foreign Exchange solutions; and expert advice on all cross-border transactions, contact us:

  • Individuals: Contact the Foreign Exchange Advisory Team on 0860 1 FOREX (36739) or email forex@fnb.co.za .
  • Business: Contact the Channel Support team on 087 0 EFOREX (336739) or email fxsupport@rmb.co.za .

Global Payments


Convenient + secure

FNB offers a range of foreign exchange solutions to suit your individual and business needs; whether for travelling, sending or receiving money globally or managing imports and exports. Foreign Exchange is a simple and convenient way to transact around the world. We make use of the SWIFT method of transferring your funds which guarantees a secure and fast transfer service.

  1. What bank details do I need from the recipient before I can send funds to them?
  2. What if the Beneficiary Bank is not listed on the Search Tool?
  3. What is a "Charge option" and what options do I have?
  4. How long does it take for my payment to go through?
  5. How can I ensure the funds reach the beneficiary within an acceptable timeframe?
  6. Do I get rewarded for sending money abroad?
 

Global Receipts


Receive international payments


When receiving funds from abroad you will receive an inContact SMS and the transaction will be available on your profile via Online Banking or the FNB Banking App on your smartphone (for individuals). You have 30 days in which to convert the funds at your convenience.

  1. What details should I give to the sender of the funds?
  2. What can FNB offer if I have recurring payments coming into my account from abroad?
 

MoneyGram


Quick + efficient

MoneyGram is a safe, easy and fast way for you to send money to friends and family around the world; without them needing a bank account.

  1. How does this work?
  2. What are the limits on MoneyGram transactions?
  3. What can MoneyGram be used for?
  4. Can SA residents use MoneyGram to send a portion of their salary cross-border?
  5. Is MoneyGram available to companies to send or receive money?
 

Global Accounts


Save in foreign currency

A Global Account is an account in foreign currency that lets you invest your foreign investment allowance, as determined by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). You can open a Global Account instantly, for free via Online Banking and start transacting in a limited number of foreign currencies. To qualify, South African residents require a qualifying FNB cheque account, must be 18+ years old and have a valid SA ID number as well as a SARS income tax number.

  1. What documents do I require when transferring funds from my FNB Cheque Account to my FNB Global Account?
  2. For payments into the account, from abroad, what details must I give the payer or paying bank?
  3. How do I fund my Global Account via FNB Online Banking?
  4. What funds may go into the account
  5. How do I transfer from my Global Account to my FNB Cheque Account?
 

Global Business Accounts


Handle import + export transactions

Our Global Business Account (CFC account) is specifically designed for South African businesses which handle import and export transactions or are service providers receiving and making regular foreign currency payments. This account also offers hedging capabilities, which can help businesses manage currency risk.

  1. What is a Global Business Account?
  2. Features and benefits
  3. Who qualifies?
  4. Currencies available
  5. How to apply?
 

Travel


Foreign notes + travel cards

At FNB we understand planning a trip abroad takes time and effort, therefore we have changed the way you order foreign exchange.

Whether you want foreign notes, a Multi-Currency Cash Passport™ (travel card) or both, you can now order it via Online Banking and get it delivered to your door.

You can also earn 50% back in eBucks on your transaction charges when you pay for travel arrangements such as accommodation, car hire or tours and other arrangements in advance via Online Banking or the FNB Banking App.

  1. What documents do I require when purchasing foreign currency for my trip abroad?
  2. When can I purchase my foreign currency for my trip abroad?
  3. How much foreign currency can I purchase for my trip?
  4. What do I do if I have foreign currency left over when I return from my trip abroad?
  5. I have captured my Foreign Exchange application; however, my documents do not want to upload?
 

Imports + Exports


Protecting you from risks

With the import and export solutions available from FNB, we help you unlock international markets, and not only cater for your specific needs, but also help protect you from the risks associated with global transacting.

  1. What is a CCN?
  2. What is a Letter of Credit (L/C)?
  3. What does confirmation mean?
  4. What is a discrepancy?
  5. How can I guarantee that the goods received are in accordance with the goods I have ordered?
  6. What does the MRN refer to when I am making an import payment?
  7. What documents do I need to submit to the bank once my imported goods have arrived in South Africa?