Send Money To Japan

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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USD
JPY
United States
Japan
United States
Japan
Amount Received 99,617.36 JPY
Fees: 9 USD
Rate: 100.5221*
Payment Options Speed
Bank Transfer 3-5 Days
Debit Card 3-5 Days
Key Features
  • Internationally renowned bank
Visit Site
Amount Received 98,978.91 JPY
Fees: 10 USD
Rate: 99.9787*
Payment Options Speed
Bank Transfer 3-5 Days
Debit Card 3-5 Days
Key Features
  • Internationally renowned bank
Visit Site
Current Mid-Market Rate:   1 USD = 108.6725 JPY
* Some rates may be indicative.

How To Send Money To Japan

Sending money to Japan is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.

Find a Trusted Provider

Use our comparison table to find the best provider for your needs.

Sign Up and Deposit

Sign up with the provider and deposit the amount you want to transfer.

Transfer Money

As soon as you're ready, you can start sending money online.

Ways To Send And Receive Money In Japan

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.

    Ways to Send Money to Japan

    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.

    The Banking System

    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.

    Money Transfer Services

    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.

    In-Store Cash 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.

    What is Needed to Send Money to Japan

    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:

    • A government issued-ID document. Depending on the country you are sending from, you can use a passport, social security card or driving license.
    • The recipient’s name as it appears on their legal documents
    • The address and phone number of the recipient
    • If you are sending directly to a bank account, the recipient bank details (bank name, branch and account number)
    • The amount of money you want to send and the transfer payment method

    What Are the Ways of Receiving Money in Japan?

    The two main ways you can receive money in Japan are cash pickup from a physical agent and direct deposits into your bank account.

    • Cash Pickup -MoneyGram and Western Union are the two main transfer providers who use physical cash pickup agents in Japan to deliver transfers. It is usually the fastest method but also a bit costlier.
    • Direct Bank Deposits -Most online money transfer service providers have partnered with banks to allow for direct deposits into recipients’ accounts. This is a much safer method when receiving large sums of money.

    What is Required to Receive Money in Japan?

    When the money is sent directly into a bank account, the recipient isn’t required to do anything. However, for cash pickups, there are some documents and information that is required by the agents before they can release the money. This may vary with the provider.

    • The recipient's government-issued ID
    • The transaction number- In the case of Western Union, the number is called the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN). MoneyGram will require that you complete a simple form, enter the reference number and then receive your funds.
    • Though not common, you may be asked to indicate the reason for the remittance.

    Common Reasons for Sending Money to Japan

    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.

    Family Support

     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.

    Repatriating Incomes

    Some of the Japanese who work and earn abroad, prefer to have their earnings paid into their home accounts. Money transfer services like OFX can make this process simple.

    Mortgage Repayments

    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.

    Supplier Payments

    Overseas Japanese who are sourcing for finished products or services from home often send money through online transfer providers to settle debt obligations.

    Investment

    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.

    Why Send Money with a Money Transfer Service?

    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.

    Speed of Transfer

    Compared to banks, money transfer providers such as TransferWise, OFX and Xoom deliver funds faster. Funds transferred directly to the bank typically arrive in 1 or 2 days. Western Union and MoneyGram transfer to pickup locations may even arrive the same day.

    Multi-Currency Support

    Irrespective of where you are sending from, money transfer providers will give you the ability to convert your currency to the Yen. TransferWise allows you to send money in more than 50 currencies. OFX has a much larger currency base of 55+ standard and exotic currencies.

    Exchange Rates

    Ordinarily, money transfer providers such as Xoom and OFX make their profit from exchange rates and transfer fees. However, when you compare online money transfer providers with banks, you’ll get margins of 2-3% above the mid-market rate for money transfer operators and 5% or more for banks.

    The lower the exchange rate, the lesser the amount you can send. TransferWise charges a 0% exchange rate margin. All transfers are made at the interbank rate.

    Transfer Fees

    Providers have different fee structures and pricing models. There are those that charge fixed fees, others variable fees based on the amount, still others charge a combination of the two. Normally, as the amount increases, the transfer fees drop.

    Safety and Regulation

    Providers are regulated by bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),  the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) among others. These bodies ensure that the providers comply with a strict code of ethics in their operations, guaranteeing you the safety of your funds.

    Ease of Setting Up

    Opening an account and verifying your documents is a simple and quick process that takes approximately 10-15 minutes for some providers. If your provider allows, paying for your transfer with a debit or credit card makes sending faster than through a bank transfer.

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    Things to Consider When Sending Money to Japan

    When sending money to Japan, there are a few things you must bear in mind to ensure smooth transfers. Top on the list are:

    • Zero Rate Policy - The bank of Japan deliberately lowered and has maintained low-interest rates for a couple of decades to encourage borrowing, spending, and investment. A lot of capital flight has taken place over the Zero Rate period because the zero rate means minimal yields in Japan-based investments.
    • Remittance Cap - In a bid to curb money laundering, Japan Post Co. and Japan Post Bank Co. are putting in place reforms to limit the amount of money that can be sent to Japan from overseas through their bank transfer service to ¥5 million per day. To add to this, the number of post offices offering international money transfer services will be reduced from 3,210 to 1,194.
    • Taxation on Large Remittances - Taxation in Japan covers gifts both monetary and non-monetary. That being said, there is an exemption on the amount you can receive as a gift in a year. However, exceeding that amount may expose you to taxation. Also, factors such as the country you live in can have a profound effect on your tax status in Japan. The best approach is for the recipient to seek professional advice from a tax expert well versed with international money transfers and tax implications.

    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.

    Your Questions Answered

    What’s The Fastest Way To Send Money Online To Japan?

    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.

    What’s The Cheapest Way To Transfer Money To 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.

    What’s The Easiest Way To Send Money To Japan?

    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:

    1. Tap in the amount of money to be sent
    2. Tap in the destination
    3. Pay TransferWise for the transaction.
    4. Wait one or two days for the funds to arrive
    Current Exchange Rates For Japan

    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.

    What’s The Overall Best Way To Send Money Online To Japan?

    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.

    OFX is a great provider to send money to Japan, Korea, Singapore and to transfer savings to Zimbabwe.

    Looking to Send Money Somewhere Else?

    Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Japan. If you're looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.

    Jonathan Merry
    Written By
    Jonathan Merry
    Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com