Shinsei Bank international transfer: Fees, rates and transfer time

24.02.18
8 minute read
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Setting up an international bank transfer can be a little daunting. You want to get it right the first time, and of course - you don’t want to end up paying too much in fees. That’s why doing some research in advance can help, so you can pick the best service for your needs, and avoid any unexpected charges.

Shinsei Bank offers different methods of making an international money transfer, depending on the type of account you hold, and the details of the transfer you want to make. You can use the GoRemit service online, or if you have a PowerFlex account you can also use the PowerFlex overseas remittance service. Both options have different costs, and details like cutoff and transfer times also vary depending on which option you go for. Likely, though, you could actually save even more money by using a transfer service like TransferWise. But more on that later.

(Source 22 February 2018)


A quick example before we get started.

A theoretical online bank transfer sending ¥150,000 from Japan to a pound sterling bank account in the UK.

While the prices between the two may look comparable at first glance, it isn’t just the stated fees you need to pay attention to.

What isn’t often mentioned is that, on average, banks and money transfer providers often mark up the exchange rate by 4-6% to make money on converting your currency. Which means it’s a good idea to compare the exchange rate you’re offered with an online currency converter to find out how much your international transfer is really costing you.

In addition, nearly all transfers sent internationally are sent via SWIFT. Which means there are likely 1-3 intermediary banks in addition to the recipient bank that may levy fees of their own. Costing you even more.

Provider Fee Exchange Rate Total Cost
Shinsei Bank (Japan) ¥2,000 Exchange rate + markup ¥2,000 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from both intermediary and recipient banks
TransferWise ¥1,190 The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google ¥1,190

(Source 1, Source 2 19 January 2018)


Now that you know a little more about how much it really costs to make an international transfer, you can make the right choice for you. Here’s all you need to know about making an international transfer with Shinsei Bank.

What are the fees for an international transfer or remittance with Shinsei Bank in Japan?

Shinsei Bank’s normal international money transfer rates are fixed, but transferring Japanese Yen abroad is more expensive than transferring another currency if you use the GoRemit system.

Shinsei Bank International transfer fees table

Shinsei Bank Transaction Regular Fee
Incoming international transfer Shinsei Bank doesn’t charge for incoming transfers, but intermediary banks might take fees before the transfer reaches your account
Outgoing international transfer PowerFlex account holders can make one overseas remittance per month for free, with subsequent transfers charged ¥4000GoRemit transfers cost ¥2000, with an additional charge if you want to send JPY abroad
Additional intermediary and/or recipient bank fees Shinsei Bank explains it like this: “*For both services [PowerFlex and GoRemit], as with any international remittance, intermediary banks will deduct a fee. In addition, beneficiary banks in some countries may also levy a charge.”*

(Source 1, Source 2, 19 January 2018)

Shinsei Bank exchange rates

If you’re making a transfer in a different currency to the one your account is held in, you need to know the exchange rate that’ll be used and check it’s fair. The GoRemit exchange rate is available online, but it’s worth remembering that the rate will fluctuate throughout the day. This is what Shinsei Bank says:

>The GoRemit exchange rate is updated every business day around 10 a.m. and is valid until 3 p.m. that day.

What gets more complicated is that it’s not always Shinsei Bank that sets the exchange rate used in an international transfer. Depending on how your transaction is routed through the payment system, an intermediary bank might choose the exchange rate to use. This invisible intermediary has no need to keep you happy, and so there’s no guarantee that the rate used will be the same as the exchange rate given on Google. In fact, if an intermediary picks it, you’re likely to find that the rate has been marked up, so they can pocket the difference for their own profit.

(Source 1, Source 2 19 January 2018)

A cheap and transparent alternative: TransferWise

When it comes to moving your money across borders, your regular bank doesn’t necessarily offer the best service available. If you need to make an international money transfer to or from your account in Japan, then you could find you can move your money faster, cheaper and with less stress, by using a specialist in international money transfers like TransferWise. The service is safe and efficient, and uses the real exchange rate with only a small transparent cost per transaction.

International travel is more a part of everyday life now, and many of us have friends and family overseas. That means there are lots of reasons you might want - or need - to send money abroad on a more regular basis. If you need to do international money transfers frequently a TransferWise borderless multi-currency account is another useful tool. You can keep your money in several different currencies, and then exchange it whenever you need it. It’s also a great option for people who work with companies based overseas. If you’re paid in the EU, the UK, Australia or the US but don’t actually live there, you can get your salary using local bank details with a borderless account. Because that removes the need for an international payment, you don’t need to worry about potential hidden fees.

See for yourself if you can get a better deal with TransferWise.

How do you make an international bank transfer (PowerFlex or GoRemit transfer) with Shinsei Bank?

Any account holder at Shinsei Bank can use the GoRemit service online or at an ATM as long as you register in advance. It’s important to note that you have to register to use these services - and then register the person you want to transfer money to as a recipient. To use GoRemit, this recipient registration has to be done by post, so you’ll have to leave plenty of time.

If you have a PowerFlex account you can also choose to use the PowerFlex overseas remittance service. In this case, you have to register the recipient in a branch before you can make your transfer. Once you’ve visited the branch and submitted the documents needed to register the recipient, you can then do further transfers to that individual on the telephone for convenience. Transfers can be made in 12 different currencies.

There are lots of helpful details and a comparison of the features of the two services, on the Shinsei Bank website.

(Source 19 January 2018)

What do I need in order to make an international money transfer?

Before you can make an international money transfer, you have to first offer proof of the source of the funds, such as a recent payslip or proof of the sale of a property. You must then register the individual you’re transferring to with your bank. This is done to prevent fraud and make sure that the transfer isn’t in any way connected to bribery, corruption, or other illegal activities. If you use a PowerFlex account you’ll have to provide certain details about the person you’re transferring to and the reason for the transfer. In the case of GoRemit, you might be asked for these details, depending on the nature of the transfer. A list of documents which might be required is available in English online.

If you’re doing a PowerFlex transfer you can expect to need the following:

  • The transfer amount
  • PowerFlex cash card and registered signature or seal
  • Completed application form
  • The full name of the person you’re sending the money to, as written on the account
  • Recipient’s home address
  • The recipient’s IBAN if you’re sending to Europe, or destination country, account number and branch details if not
  • Depending on where your money is being transferred to, you might need the SWIFT/BIC code, or routing code if you’re transferring to the USA
  • Documents to prove the nature of the transfer

For a GoRemit transfer, you have to apply and receive a paper registration pack in the mail. You then fill in the forms and provide the necessary documentation. Once you’re fully registered, however, you can make remittances to overseas accounts in 12 currencies, online or through an ATM.

(Source 1, Source 2, Source 3 19 January 2018)

What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?

To get someone to transfer money from overseas to your Shinsei account, you need the following details:

  • Your account details - bank and branch name and address
  • Your full name and address
  • Account number
  • The correct SWIFT/BIC Code

Japanese banks don’t use IBAN numbers, so getting the SWIFT/BIC code correct is essential. You can check the SWIFT/BIC code you need, here.

Because of the laws related to funding of criminal activity, bribery and corruption, you might have to answer some questions if you receive an international transfer, to demonstrate it’s not connected to anything illegal.

How long does an international bank transfer with Shinsei Bank take?

If you’re doing a PowerFlex transfer, it’ll take up to a week for your money to reach the recipient’s account. A GoRemit transfer should take 1 to 3 business days to get to its destination.

(Source 1, Source 2 19 January 2018)

Contact / Help - More questions around your transfer?

If you have specific questions about your transfer, you can talk to the advisors at Shinsei Bank.

  • You can call their customer center on various different numbers depending on the specific question, and whether or not you need an English speaking operator.
  • Call into a branch and get help in person.
  • There is also a lot of helpful information on the FAQ page on the Shinsei Bank website.

When you’re making an international money transfer you have a few options. You might choose to use one of the services offered by Shinsei Bank, or perhaps you’ll get a better deal if you choose a different specialist service like TransferWise. By doing some research in advance, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal for your transfer.

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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