Whether you’re sending or receiving money abroad, going travelling, moving overseas or simply want to invest in foreign currency, we’ll make your financial journey hassle-free.
Take a look at what we offer
Quick, easy and safe ways to send and receive money
Need to send or receive money overseas? Choose our easy to use person-to-person or bank-to-bank payment solutions.
Visiting SA? Explore our non-resident banking.
What you need to know:
We understand that, as a non-resident either visiting or living in South Africa, it can be difficult to navigate unfamiliar processes in a foreign country. We are dedicated to helping you in any way we can - from international money transfers to setting up transactional accounts and investments.
Why open an account in SA?
- A secure place for your money and banking that can serve your needs wherever you are in the world
- A full range of services and facilities that you would expect from a major international bank
- Peace of mind that your account is in a well-run, stable banking environment
- Diversification of your banking portfolio
You will need the following:
- A fully completed Letter of Authority in respect of Bank containing the details of your existing bankers whom we may contact to verify your identity
- Certified copy of your passport
- A utility bill showing your name and current residential address
- All relevant application forms
Once you have filled out all the documentation and submitted it to us, we will review your application and, if successful, open your account.
Tips for travelling safely in South Africa:
- There are limits on the amount of currency you can bring into South Africa. For cash in South African rand (ZAR), the limit is R25,000. You should declare any amount higher than this on entry to South Africa.
- Don’t change or withdraw large sums of money in busy public areas including foreign exchange facilities or ATMs.
- Be aware of ATM theft - never be distracted by a stranger asking for assistance at an ATM.
- Don’t give personal or financial account information details to anyone.
- Protect any documents containing details of credit cards or bank accounts.
- Always carry your identity documentation or a copy of your passport.
- Keep photocopies of your credit and debit cards in a safe place.
- Avoid wearing flashy, expensive watches and jewelry and carrying large amounts of cash in public areas.
- Always travel with a cellphone. The emergency number to call for the police is 10111.
What you need to know
As a non-resident visiting South Africa, your account will have certain restrictions. All deposits made into your account, from local sources, will only be made available once you have provided supporting documentation validating the source of funds and exchange control requirements.
Get peace of mind when travelling from South Africa
Travelling from South Africa for holiday or business? Emigrating? At Absa we offer you a variety of solutions to help make your journey enjoyable and hassle free.
Multi-Currency Cash Passport
An Absa Multi-Currency Cash Passport is a card preloaded with foreign currency and is a safe, easy and convenient way to take your spending money overseas. It can be preloaded with up to four currencies on a single card.
United States dollars - US dollars (USD)
Great British pounds - GB pounds (GBP)
Euros - euros (EUR)
Australian dollars - AU dollars (AUD)
Withdraw cash internationally
Absa was the first South African bank that joined the Global ATM Alliance and it allows our customers to use their debit cards to withdraw cash from any of our alliance partners’ ATMs at a reduced rate across the world.
- When planning your holiday, ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date.
- If you require a visa, make sure you apply in good time as the process at certain embassies can take a very long time.
- Remember to make copies of your passport, all flight/travel documents, bank cards and the purchase agreement for traveller's cheques in case of loss, theft or emergencies.
- Give your itinerary and contact numbers to family - just in case.
- Check the weather forecast for your destination before departure as temperatures and weather conditions may differ.
- When buying travel tickets with your Absa Credit Card, you automatically qualify for free basic Travel Insurance, but you can get a free quote to upgrade your insurance online or alternatively call us on 0860 151 151.
- When packing, remember that there are airline restrictions on hand luggage and the size of toiletries allowed on board.
When looking at exchange rates, keep the following in mind:
- Exchange rates change many times per day.
- Due to fluctuations, rates quoted on radio and television will probably not be the rates that you will receive.
- There is a difference between a ‘buy’ and a ‘sell’ rate; different products are also sold at different rates.
- All financial institutions offer different rates - speak to us for a competitive rate.
- You could buy or sell your currency on different days so you get the benefit of different exchange rates.
How we can assist you
South African residents who are taking up permanent residence outside the Common Monetary Area (South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland) are regarded as emigrants. Absa can assist by ensuring the correct completion of all formalities with the complicated emigration regulations.
Exchange control regulations:
For exchange control purposes your South African bank account becomes subject to regulatory restrictions.
Your emigration should be formalised through one of our foreign exchange branches as follows:
- Complete a Form M.P.336(b) - Emigration: Application for foreign capital allowance. The form is available from the South African Reserve Bank website www.resbank.co.za
- Obtain an Emigration Tax Clearance Certificate (IT21 (a)) from the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Submit the Form M.P.336(b) and the Tax Clearance Certificate, if applicable, to one of our dedicated foreign exchange branches.
- You will also have to submit any other documentation as required on the Form M.P.336(b), which includes a copy of the permanent residence permit, if you have been granted permanent residence abroad.
Our travel checklist
Prosper with a foreign currency account
Want to diversify your investment portfolio and protect yourself against currency fluctuations? Open a foreign currency account with Absa.
Need more help?
Let one of our consultants assist you.
Call us on:
0860 151 151
+27 (0) 11 335 4019
Email us at: