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How to Send Money to China: 6 Methods You Can Use in 2024

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While it’s certainly easier to send money to China nowadays than in the past, some challenges remain, such as ensuring the transaction's safety and cost efficiency.

Whether you are paying the suppliers for your business, sending money home for family and relatives, or simply transferring money to your Chinese bank account, comparing and evaluating the various transfer options is essential to help you choose the best method.

In this article, we will share 6 secure ways to send money to China in 2024. We'll discuss their transfer fees, exchange rates, transaction speeds, and setup processes, providing you with a comprehensive overview to make an informed choice.

What To Consider When Sending Money To China

Like every cross-border payment from one country to another, sending money to China involves factors such as exchange rates, processing fees, and other considerations that may influence your decision when choosing the payment option. 

For example, if you are importing from China, you may be required to pay import fees, shipment costs, and many other fees. These expenses can significantly affect the total cost and guide your choice of money transfer option, focusing on minimizing the fees and maximizing transaction efficiency. 

Here are some other factors to consider:

  • Understanding Total Costs: Transfer and currency conversion fees vary by provider and transfer amount.
  • Speed of Transactions: Choose a transfer service based on how quickly the funds will arrive in the receiving account.
  • Transfer and Receiving Methods: Ensure the transfer methods align with the recipient’s ability to receive funds, whether through bank deposits, cash pick-up points, or digital wallets (such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Before moving on to the different methods of sending money to China, let’s clarify the different terms used for Chinese currency to avoid confusion.

The Difference Between CNY, CNH, and RMB

When sending money to China, you will come across 3 different terms related to the Chinese currency: CNY, CNH, and RMB.

In short, the official currency of China is Renminbi (RMB), while the difference between CNY and CNH is that:

  • CNY, or the Chinese Yuan, is the onshore version of the RMB used within Mainland China.
  • CNH refers to the offshore RMB, which is traded outside Mainland China.
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Helpful Resource: Learn more about the currencies in China, from how they work to their differences.

Now that's out of the way, let's get to know more about the different methods of secure online money transfers to China.

6 Methods to Send Money to China

Method

Transfer Fee

Exchange Rate

Speed

Bank or Wire Transfer

USD 25-75, plus currency conversion fees

Depending on the bank or financial institution.

1-4 days

PayPal

Personal Transactions:
5% + international fee (USD 0.99 - 4.99) + currency conversion fee (4%)

Commercial Transactions:
2.99% + 4% currency conversion fee

Retrieved from wholesale rate quote + percentage fee

Standard Transfer: 1-3 business days

Instant Transfer: 30 minutes or less

Statrys

HKD 85

Based on the mid-market rates

2-3 working days

Wise

Starting from USD 0.50 + 1.84% of the transaction amount, depending on the payment method

Based on the mid-market rates

A few minutes

Western Union

From USD 0.99, depending on the sending methods.

Not specified

Instantly or up to 4 business days

Remitly

Below USD 1,000: 2.99
Above USD 1,000: Free

Not specified

Instantly or up to 2 working days

1

Bank or Wire Transfer

International bank or wire transfers are a popular choice for businesses to send global payments due to their common usage and effectiveness.

All major banks in China, as well as every other country, utilize the SWIFT code system for secure international bank transfers between bank accounts.

Key Things to Know About Wire Transfer

Transfer Fees

USD 25-75, plus currency conversion fees

Foreign Exchange Rate

Varies depending on the bank or financial institution

Setup Difficulty

Low

Speed

1-4 days

Given the substantial flat rate, wire transfers are not cost-effective for small or frequent transactions. 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.

It's important to note that wire transfers to Chinese banks can sometimes be subject to delays. This is due to China's stringent anti-money laundering regulations and foreign investment laws, which may prompt an investigation into the transfer, potentially extending the process by several days or even weeks.

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Did you know? Our research indicates that the currency used in SWIFT transfers significantly impacts transfer times. On average, USD payments are processed the fastest.

Statrys mobile application dashboard showing a total balance in a business account.

2

PayPal

PayPal is a popular ecommerce payment gateway that enables users to send and receive funds safely and securely. PayPal allows you to link your bank account and credit or debit card, and users can use a PayPal account to make purchases online, send money online, and many more.

It is one of the most recognized payment options in online stores worldwide.

PayPal became available in China in 2019 when it acquired a 70% stake in GoPay. However, it is important to note that personal PayPal accounts registered in mainland China cannot receive international money transfers. Only merchant accounts can accept global RMB payments.
For personal transactions, PayPal offers various options for receiving funds, including direct bank transfers, mobile wallet deposits, and cash pick-up via Xoom.

Key Things to Know About PayPal

Transfer Fees

Personal Transactions: 5% + international fee (USD 0.99 - 4.99) + currency conversion fee (4%)

Commercial Transactions: 2.99% + 4% currency conversion fee

Transaction Limit

USD 4,000 per transaction (non-verified accounts)

USD 60,000 (verified accounts)

Foreign Exchange Rate

Retrieved from wholesale rate quote + percentage fee

Setup Difficulty

Low

Speed

Standard Transfer: 1-3 business days

Instant Transfer: 30 minutes or less

Trustpilot Review

1.3/5 based on 29,106 reviews 

(Retrieved 6 May 2024)

Although PayPal gained popularity in China due to the Chinese language being accessible on the platform, PayPal China accounts are mainly for making international payments, not receiving. 
Another downside of PayPal is the substantial transfer and currency conversion fees, which may make it a less attractive choice for larger businesses to send money to China. Before using PayPal for your payment transfer services, it's best to quickly determine the cost of your transaction and the fees you will pay for PayPal services.

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Tip: Try our PayPal Fee Calculator to see if PayPal is the right method for you to send money to China.

3

Statrys

A screenshot of Statrys' website.

Founded in Hong Kong, Statrys is an award-winning fintech company that provides payment services to businesses expanding in Asia. The company offers a simple and streamlined way for businesses to make payments globally.
With Statrys’ multi-currency account, businesses can make international wire transfers to China (also known as TT or Telegraphic Transfers), which are widely accepted by Chinese suppliers.

The Statrys business account offers features to fit the needs of a small business:

  • A multi-currency business account in Hong Kong, supporting 11 currencies, including HKD, AUD, CAD, CHF, RMB, EUR, GBP, JPY, NZD, SGD, and USD.
  • When you receive CNY funds into your Statrys account, you will be able to convert to 10 other currencies at a cheaper rate.
  • Virtual and physical Mastercard® payment cards with built-in controls and limits to manage business expenses
  • FX services at competitive exchange rates (spot and forward contracts)
  • Xero integration
  • Real-time tracking of SWIFT transfer

Key Things to Know About Statrys

Transfer Fees

HKD 85

Transaction Limit

No transaction limit

Foreign Exchange Rate

Based on the real mid-market rates

Setup Difficulty

Low

Speed

2-3 working days

Trustpilot Review

4.7/5 based on 273 reviews

(Retrieved 6 May 2024)

4

Wise

A screenshot of Wise's website

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a UK-based payment service provider that allows users to receive and send money worldwide, including the USA, Canada, China, and Singapore. They offer personal and business accounts for users to transfer and manage their funds in over 40 currencies.

Wise is a safe and cost-efficient method to send remittances to China, offering payments through connected bank accounts (ACH), wire transfers, debit cards, and credit cards. Personal account users can also send money to Alipay and WeChat Pay, meaning the CNY payments can be received within a few minutes.

Key Things to Know About Wise

Transfer Fees

Bank Debit (ACH): USD 0.88 + 2.13%

Wise Account Transfer: USD 0.50 + 1.84%

Wire Transfer: USD 6.99 + 1.85%

Debit Card: USD 0.88 + 4.27%

Credit Card: USD 0.88 + 9.17%

Transaction Limit

Via UnionPay: CNY 18,000

Via Alipay or Weixin: CNY 50,000

Business to Business: Unlimited

Foreign Exchange Rate

Based on the mid-market rate

Setup Difficulty

Low

Speed

As fast as a few minutes, depending on the transfer method and partner

Trustpilot Review

4.3/5 based on 218,626 reviews

(Retrieved 6 May 2024)

As Wise provides transfer services to and from various currencies, we recommend checking their pricing and CNY transfer FAQ pages for accuracy, as the above fees are for transfers from USD to CNY.

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 Tip: Having a Wise account can minimize your transfer costs if you’re looking to send money in CNY frequently. Read our Wise Business Account review to learn more about its key features and fees.

5

Western Union

Western Union is an online money transfer platform similar to Wise. They allow users to transfer money to China through different methods, including in-person at a Western Union agent location and online from the mobile app. Individual clients can also send money directly to an Alipay account.

Additionally, they offer flexible delivery options, including a direct transfer to the recipient’s bank account and cash pickup. 

You can conveniently schedule your transfers with Western Union if you regularly send remittances to China. 

Key Things to Know About Western Union

Transfer Fees

Depends on the sending and receiving method

Transaction Limit

Up to USD 7,000 for online transfers to bank accounts in China

Foreign Exchange Rate

Not specified

Setup Difficulty

Low

Speed

Depending on the transfer method, it could be instantly or up to 4 business days

Trustpilot Review

4.1/5 based on 73,611 reviews

(Retrieved 6 May 2024)

6

Remitly

Headquartered in Seattle, Remitly is an online remittance service offering international money transfers to over 150 countries. Remitly provides flexible ways to send and receive money in China, including bank deposits, UnionPay, Alipay, and WeChat. 

Remitly is an option to consider for expats and individuals who regularly transfer money for personal purposes. It does not charge a transaction fee for transfers above USD 1,000 to China.

As of May 2024, new customers are eligible for a fee-free first transfer with Remitly. 

Key Things to Know About Remitly

Transfer Fees

Below USD 1,000: 2.99

Above USD 1,000: Free

Transaction Limit

USD 2,999 in 24 hours

USD 10,000 in 30 days
USD 18,000 in 180 days

Foreign Exchange Rate

Not specified

Setup Difficulty

Low

Speed

Same day or up to 2 working days

Trustpilot Review

4.3/5 based on 47,001 reviews

(Retrieved 6 May 2024)

Bottom Line

There are a few different ways to transfer money to China. Currency instabilities, remittance limits, and the urgency of the delivery can affect which method you choose. The information above can help you get a brief overview of your options for sending money to China.

Statrys offers an alternative to traditional banking solutions for businesses incorporated in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the British Virgin Islands.

Our user-friendly online system allows you to manage your account from anywhere at any time. Plus, with our transparent pricing structure, you know exactly what you pay per transaction when sending money to China.

Statrys mobile application dashboard showing a total balance in a business account.

FAQs

What is the best way to send money to China?

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Best way to send money to China:

1. Wire Transfers
2. PayPal
3. Statrys Business Account
4. Wise
5. Western Union
6. Remitly

Can I transfer money to China?

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How much money can I send to someone in China?

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Is it legal to send money to China?

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Disclaimer

More info

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