Transfer money to China

Money transfers to China are increasing significantly because more and more goods are ordered in China. Consider, for example, the rapidly growing internet company Alibaba, based in Hangzhou. Compared to EU countries, payment for goods in China is much more complicated.

Transfer money to China via the bank

As a rule, a foreign bank transfer is used to make an international payment. Compared to a domestic transfer, a foreign transfer should preferably also include the IBAN and BIC of the recipient, partly for cost reasons, in addition to the account number. Unfortunately, the IBAN code is missing in China because the country does not have a standard structure for bank account numbers. And it is advised to make the payment in dollars. Instead of Chinese characters, it is better to use a so-called pinyin editor for the name of the beneficiary. All information must be filled in very carefully so that no errors are made. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to retrieve a transfer that has been made.

How much does it cost to transfer money to China?

As a rule, a transfer to China costs 1.5 per mille, but this can vary from bank to bank. If the amount exceeds 12,500 euros, an additional declaration must be completed. Instead of transferring the total amount in one go, one could divide the money into several transactions, each amounting to less than 12,500 euros. In this way the explanation can be omitted. An online transfer for large amounts is not possible at most banks. If the costs at the main bank are too high, you can inquire whether the transfer might be more favorable elsewhere.

How long does a transfer to China take?

A transfer to China by bank usually takes two weeks. If you opt for an urgent payment by the bank, which costs 10 to 20 euros more, the transfer only takes 3 to 4 days. In addition to a bank transfer, the international transfer can of course also be processed via PayPal or Western Union.

How can one avoid delays or other complications?

Transferring money to China, the land of limitless possibilities, is not an easy task. Various regulations and laws can complicate the transfer process. Play it safe and always follow the indicated guidelines carefully, otherwise the transfer to China will end up in the beneficiary’s account with a long delay or perhaps not at all. It is also recommended to consult with the recipient in advance whether the payment can be made in the Chinese national currency, the Chinese Yuan (CNY).

The exchange rate for a foreign transfer

Fluctuations in the foreign exchange market can play an important role in foreign transfers. In that context, it is good to inquire about the current rate at the financial institution. Especially for higher amounts, even the slightest deviation from the price can significantly affect the final amount.

Transfer money via Western Union or PayPal

Reputable institutions such as Western Union or PayPal also offer attractive options to transfer money to China. With PayPal, people often only pay percentage fees for the transfer abroad, which amount to approximately two to three percent of the amount transferred. This makes the transfer a lot cheaper. Payment can be made by credit card, which usually only charges a small percentage of the amount transferred.

The costs in relation to the invoice amount

In principle, a transfer to China is only worthwhile for larger amounts, because otherwise the costs will be disproportionate to the invoice amount. Anyone who regularly needs to transfer money to China should consider opening an account with a bank that offers these payments at low costs. With one-off transfers or orders, on the other hand, one would have to calculate each time whether the purchase is still worth it, taking the costs into account.