While it’s certainly easier to send money to China nowadays than it has been historically, there are still many hurdles to navigate to ensure both safety and cost-effectiveness. Finding the best method for transferring money to China will need to consider several factors, including ease of transaction, speed, cost and transparency of the process.
Every cross-border payment depends on exchange rate and processing fees, but sending money quickly in China requires a thorough understanding of the process. Read below to understand more about the payment methods that work in China, and to find out which one is best for you.
What’s the best method for sending money to China?
Due to the friendly user experience and high overall credibility, PayPal is one of the most popular money transfer tools for smaller amounts all over the world.
- Reliability: Very High
- Transfer Fee: 2.9% + currency altering fees
- Setup Difficulty: Low
- Speed: Fast
PayPal has a decent-sized user base in China due to the robust Chinese language interface within the platform. Although it is pretty expensive to use in China, it’s hard to resist the ability to send money anywhere right from your smartphone.
The main downside of PayPal is the currency conversion fees, along with a 2.9% transfer fee. Fees like this can really add up over time, making Paypal a less attractive choice for larger businesses with many transactions per day. Here is a link to the PayPal website where you can get more information.
2. Bank or Wire Transfers (via SWIFT)
Wire transfers have been around for a long time. They’re extremely common and often the best choice for businesses.
The largest and most reputable international banks in China - as well as every other country - use the standard international SWIFT code system to reliably transfer money between accounts.
- Reliability: High
- Transfer Fee: $35-45 along with currency conversion fees
- Setup Difficulty: Low
- Speed: Relatively slow to medium (A few days to a few weeks)
Such a comparatively massive flat rate obviously excludes wire transfers for small, frequent transactions. As we know, things like Paypal are best for that.
However, some conventional vendors may not accept a new or less common transfer method. When that’s the case, a wire transfer may be your best, or only, choice.
You’ll notice the Reliability metric above is “High”, and not “Very High”. This is specific to China, and a few other countries which have equally strict money laundering regulations and foreign investment laws.
Occasionally, when sending a wire transfer to a bank in China, the transfer will be frozen and investigated.
This could delay the wire by a few days, or even a few weeks. It’s not very common, but because it can happen, we advise keeping it in mind.
Do you need to make a one-time, large transaction to China for a family member or business partner? If so, TransferWise is the quickest and easiest transaction method. TransferWise also possesses superior exchange rates compared to, say, Western Union.
How much does it cost to transfer funds to China via TransferWise?
- Exchange rate: Best Available; No Spread
- Transfer Fee: 2.95 USD + 1.19% of your total amount
- Extra Fees For: Bank wire transfer; credit and debit card.
How does it work?
- Make an account online and login.
- Enter the amount you want to transfer, along with the recipient’s details.
- Make a payment to TransferWise by utilizing a bank transfer, or a credit or debit card.
- TransferWise will send the money on your behalf.
Your chosen recipient will get the money in Renminbi (Chinese Yuan) within a couple of business days.
This money transfer site specializes in smaller remittance transfers. WorldRemit basically offers more flexible delivery options than methods like Venmo, Crypto, PayPal, and so on. Think of it like an alternative to TransferWise or Western Union, with different markets, rates, and delivery options. Check all of them to see who gives you the best features for your area.
How much does WorldRemit charge to transfer money to China?
- Transfer Fee: 0.00 USD
- Maximum transfer amount: $5000
- Exchange Rate: Varies; Uses Spread
How to send money via WorldRemit?
- Create an account and login with your credentials.
- Enter the amount of money you want to send. Select your transfer method (bank deposit, cash pickup, or digital platform). Then, enter all the banking details of the recipients.
- Make local payment to WorldRemit by utilizing bank transfer or a credit or debit card.
How long does it take to send money with WorldRemit?
Transfer time depends on your chosen method:
- If you opt for cash delivery, money will be instantly available to the recipient at the counter of their local WorldRemit location, and upon presentation of a photo ID and transaction reference number.
- If you opt for a wire transfer, the recipient will get the money within minutes.
There are tons of ways to send money to China that we didn’t have room to discuss here - in fact, covering all of them would probably be hundreds of pages.
This last one is our absolute favorite, and not just because it’s us. Take a look at what we have to offer below.
5. Statrys Business Account
Statrys specializes in giving cross-border enterprises the most efficient and convenient method possible for transferring funds to their international vendors.
One of the ways in which we do this is our non-bank business account service. Think of it as a one-stop shop for every aspect of your international finances. A single platform with everything you need, including vendor payments, payroll, forex, and more. It’s more than an account - it’s a control center.
In the last several months, the pandemic has created the need for touchless, social-distanced financial services that maintain all of the security and functionality of traditional bank accounts. Statrys has not only met this need, but exceeded it.
Our non-bank business accounts only take 15 minutes to sign up, are usually approved within 48 hours, and require no face-to-face meetings. We’re also double-regulated by agencies in both Hong Kong and The United Kingdom, so you can trust that your money is truly safe. Sign up today!