İşbank is Turkey's first national bank, founded by the Turkish Republic. Headquartered in Levent, Istanbul, İşbank offers personal and corporate banking solutions to an international customer base. The purpose of this review is to examine the bank's cross-border money transfer capabilities and to compare these services to competitor operators in the remittance industry.
Türkiye İş Bankası, more commonly known as İşbank or Isbank, was set up in 1924 as the first bank founded by the Turkish Republic. It was created to bring economic advantage and benefits for the citizens when the government did not guide economic and social activities. Its founding brought various economic breakthroughs that led to the introduction of ATMs, electronic banking, savings accounts, and other financial services to the nation.
Today, the bank operates over 3,000 branches across Turkey, Bahrain, China, Egypt, Iraq, Kosovo and the UK. Isbank recently won the “open banking” award at the Innovation in Digital Banking Awards 2021, hosted by The Banker Magazine.
Yes Isbank offers “Foreign Currency Transfers” services, communicated via the SWIFT network.
İşCep is the official banking app of Isbank, which allows customers to send money through their smartphones. Note that this service can only be used for domestic money transfers.
International money transfers with Isbank must be made in-person and customers are required to visit a branch to set up these sorts of transactions.
Isbank presents all live currency exchange rates on their website which makes it easy for customers to determine the rate of exchange for their foreign currency transfer. In this section we will assess the currency conversion rate offered by Isbank, alongside the bank’s fee structure.
The bank conducts currency conversion in three different ways: the first is via digital banking, the second is via the central bank and the third and final method is via local Isbank branch.
Regardless of the method, the bank facilitates international transfers using 12 major currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, DKK, JPY, KWD, NOK, SAR, SEK and CHF.
According to our research the bank applies a foreign exchange spread of 0.38% to the majority of these currencies. This is a competitive rate, as most traditional banks typically apply profit margins ranging between 3 - 6% higher than the mid-market rate to foreign currencies.
International money transfers with Isbank are most often conducted via the SWIFT network, and fees will vary, depending on the destination and currency.
Most SWIFT transfers arranged at a local Isbank branch will incur fees that amount to 0.6% of the transfer value. This is relatively competitive, but please bear in mind that SWIFT payments are not the quickest mode of transfer.
The banking and insurance transactions or the "banka ve sigorta muameleleri vergisi" (BSMV) tax may be included in a customer's transfer fees. The Isbank website does not indicate the tax amount or the conditions for its exemption from a SWIFT transfer.
Isbank offers competitive exchange rates and transfer fees for their foreign currency transfers, however, some specialist operators do not charge any fees at all. If you are sending large sums of money abroad, you may want to check out TorFX, a company that facilitates larger global payments, fee-free.
Isbank uses the code “ISBKTRIS” as its SWIFT code. The bank clarifies that this is its only SWIFT code; it does not have separate codes per branch.
Interested customers may want to consider the following pros and cons of Isbank before arranging a money transfer with the company.
Domestic money transfers with Isbank can be arranged through the İşCep app or Bankamatik (ATM). Transfer options in-app include money transfers in Turkish Lira (TRY) or electronic funds transfer (EFT). The Isbank website does not disclose the processing times for thesedifferent transfer methods.
Customers must visit a local Isbank branch to send money outside of Turkey. Before arriving at the bank, customers must gather the following information:
Full name and address of the recipient
SWIFT code of recipient’s bank
If available, the recipient’s IBAN (International Bank Account Number)
İşCepMatik is a new-generation ATM powered by Isbank. With this, customers can withdraw the money they receive from any local and international transfer.
This ATM features a cardless cash withdrawal and deposit feature. Customers have to use their smartphones to connect with the ATM via Bluetooth or scan a QR code to withdraw their received money.
Isbank has also partnered with Western Union. Customers of Isbank can directly receive funds in their account if the sender sends it through Western Union. If not, customers can visit an Isbank branch to receive money sent to them via Western Union.
Isbank encourages customers who regularly receive foreign currency or remittances to create a foreign currency savings account. The bank does not specify the advantages but recommends it for convenience.
Isbank can be reached through the following customer service channels:
Via phone at 0 850 724 0 724; overseas customers should call +90 850 724 0 724
Via online contact form found here on the Isbank website
Via İşCep for in-app help and messaging
Isbank primarily uses SWIFT transfer for international money transfers and customers are required to visit a branch to perform these transactions. Before making an in-person visit, customers can review up-to-date currency exchange rates via the Isbank website. Generally, the exchange rates are competitive and minimal fees are incurred for cross-border services.
However, due to the limited available currencies and network coverage, banks like Isbank simply do not hold up to the expert standard set by global remittance operators such as WorldRemit, InstaRem and Wise. These companies offer a wider range of currencies, support far more countries around the world as well as offering various payment and transfer methods, including airtime top up and cash pay-out options. Our users can determine the best transfer options for them using the MoneyTransfers.com comparison tool today.
This section answers key questions related to the banking needs Isbank offers, as well as its international compatibility.