Japan receives over $4.5 billion yearly in remittances from countries such as the United States, Brunei, Thailand, China, Australia, and Brazil. The United States-Japan corridor is by far the busiest, accounting for slightly over a third of the total remittances to the island nation.
Sending money to Japan from the United Kingdom, the United States or even from countries as far as Ecuador can be quite a challenge if you do not know what it entails. The cost, time, and exchange rates can take a toll on both large and small amounts.
This is why knowing the ways to send money to Japan, the information you need in order to send and receive transfers, and the considerations to make is very important. This guide will walk you through all these and more. Read along.
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There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Japan but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending and receiving money.
There are various ways you can send money to your family and friends in Japan. Traditionally, banks have dominated most of the corridors. However, the entrance of online money transfer services has drastically changed the scene.
There are international banks such as Llyod, Santander, Royal Bank of Canada, Standard Chartered Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of NewYork Mellon and others that have a strong presence in Japan. This makes it easier to send payments to Japan through wire transfers as it takes a much shorter time.
When sending through correspondent banks, transfers may take longer to be delivered and the fees can be significant. Depending on how significant you are as a customer, you may be able to do your transfer via telephone. For instance, Santander allows for telephone-based transfers. Also, most of the banks have online platforms that you can access 24/7 and transfer funds to your family in Japan
The greatest inconvenience with most banks is that they offer very low rates on transfers and others have hidden fees. Also, doing an electronic transfer of funds requires that you have a bank account.
In August 2018, Xoom launched its transfer support to Japan. This came as a huge relief to the 340,000+ Japanese immigrants living in the United States. TransferWise is another great online money transfer provider that allows Japanese in the diaspora to send money home through direct bank deposits.
If you are paying suppliers, employees, or contractors in Japan, OFX can help you transfer at competitive rates.
Setting up on an online money transfer is simple and takes a few minutes to get you going. Some of the providers will require that you verify your details before being allowed to send. When it comes to paying for your transfer, there is a lot of flexibility even if you do not have a bank account in the sending country.
You can use a bank transfer, direct debit, credit card, or debit card depending on the provider and the country you are sending from. Xoom and TransferWise allow for all three payments methods. OFX transfers to Japan can only be funded through BPAY or Electronic Funds Transfer.
The payout methods for money transfer services in Japan are mostly bank deposits. Some of the top bank's money transfer services providers have partnered with include Aomori Bank, Bank of Fukuoka, Chiba Bank, Hokuriku Bank, Japan Post Bank Co., Mizuho Bank Ltd, Saitama Resona Bank Limited, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
Most providers have mobile applications you can download and send money on the go. You can also check live rates, add or remove recipients, and track transfers.
Apart from making transfers online or through the bank, money transfer operators such as Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to deposit money at an agent and send.
You have the option of starting in-store and send money to a pickup agent in Japan or directly to the recipient’s bank account. You can also pay a bill directly from an agent location. The other option is to start online and finish the process in-store. MoneyGram has agents distributed in all the 47 cities in Japan from Aichi to Yamanashi.
Western Union and MoneyGram also have apps that you can download from either Google Play or App Store and send funds to Japan conveniently.
Sending money to Japan is simple on most platforms. When sending through the bank, you’ll need an account in the sending country and the recipient in Japan also needs an account. The process of setting up an online money transfer is simpler than opening a bank account. The only information you need is:
There are lots of reasons why Japanese in the diaspora send money home. They vary case by case but through analysis of the remittance information and frequency, the following are some of the common reasons.
Some Japanese in the diaspora do not live with their families. As such, they send money home to support them in their basic needs or supplement the income they are getting in Japan.
Diaspora Japanese who have taken up home loans, often remit monthly payments through money transfer services. In fact, there are transfer features such as recurring payments than can help with such periodic and predictable payments.
Overseas Japanese who are sourcing for finished products or services from home often send money through online transfer providers to settle debt obligations.
Whether it is investing in the stock market, real state or in tech innovations, Japanese have a strong attachment to their domestic market. The good news is that, with currency exchange planning, you can lock in rates for the duration of your transfer.
Money transfer services have dominated most remittance corridors to Japan. This is because they are faster, cheaper and convenient to people sending both small and large amounts. The following are the key reasons why you should send you next transfer through money transfer service providers.
When sending money to Japan, there are a few things you must bear in mind to ensure smooth transfers. Top on the list are:
Therefore, sending money to Japan from any country requires that you understand the various avenues available and what you need to transfer funds. Always prioritise safety, cost and speed of delivery.
Ria Money Transfer’s fast option is the quickest way to send your funds to Japan. Make sure you are paying for the fast option, however, otherwise the money will take days to arrive. With Ria Money Transfer’s fast service, your money should reach its Japanese destination in a matter of minutes.
The cost of sending money with Ria Money Transfer’s fast service is more expensive than the service’s slower option. They more than make up for this with both their speed and the fact that most of the more expensive options are actually far slower.
It should also be noted that Ria Money Transfer has no sending locations in Japan.
OFX is by far the cheapest way to send funds to Japan. OFX charges a small currency exchange fee that depends on the amount of money being transferred. The more money you send through OFX, the better deal you end up getting. On the lower end, OFX takes 1% of the transfer. However, as you send more money, this rate declines to the eventual lowest possible rate of 0.4%. The only catch is that OFX requires you to be sending a minimum amount of money to be able to use their service. For many countries, this would be a larger issue, but any amount of money simply won’t go as far in Japan. In the case of sending cash online to Japan, OFX often only takes a day or two for the transaction to be completed.
If the minimum transfer is too high for you, TransferWise is usually as cheap as OFX for smaller transactions. TransferWise (and the majority of services apart from OFX) doesn’t carry a minimum transfer fee.
TransferWise is the easiest way when it comes to money transfers to Japan. As a peer-to-peer system, TransferWise has a nice, streamlined process for sending cash online to Japan. All you need to do is follow three simple steps:
The current exchange rate for the Japanese Yen (JPY) is 108.6725 JPY per American Dollar (USD), as of the time this was written. The JPY reached a high of 109.5355 JPY per USD, and a low of 106.7675 JPY per USD during the last 90 days. The average exchange rate for the JPY was 108.3284 JPY per USD for the last 90 days.
The average volatility rate of the JPY against the USD was 0.24% over the last 90 days. This is a moderate volatility rate, and while the JPY has fluctuated in recent years, it is not to a significant extent for the purposes of sending money. You can reasonably expect only moderate fluctuations going forward, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
The overall best way to send money online to Japan is through OFX. If you’re sending funds to Japan with any regularity, you’ll likely be sending more due to the fact that everyday goods and expenses in most of Japan are quite high. Beyond that, OFX offers the biggest savings by far when you transfer funds online to Japan. As a currency exchange company, OFX makes sending money very easy as well.