How To Transfer Money In Japan – 2021 Most Detailed Guide

If you are moving to Japan and planning to rent an apartment here, you will need to have a bank account to pay for your rental costs. In this blog, you will be explained how to transfer money in Japan by using a cash card (or ATM card) as well as the ways to send money to Japan from the USA if you are working in the US and want to transfer funds to your family or friends in Japan. Now, let’s check the blog out!

How To Transfer Money In Japan

In this part, you will know how to make a domestic bank transfer (furikomi) at a Japanese ATM by utilizing a cash card to transfer money from one bank account to another in Japan.

Necessary Information For A Domestic Bank Transfer In Japan

Most Japanese bank ATMs allow you to select your preferred language (English, Korean, Chinese, or Portuguese) by touching the relevant button on the start screen, however, some information is only available in Japanese, including the bank account details of where to transfer money to. Therefore, it is really important to know the five pieces of information below about the recipient who is your landlord or property management company.

When you go to a Japanese ATM, remember to bring these pieces of information with you:

  • 銀行名 (Ginkō-mei) or 金融機関名(Kin’yūkikan-mei) – Name of bank or financial institution
  • 支店名 (Shiten-mei) –  Name of branch
  • 口座科目 (Kōza kamoku) – Account type
    • 当座 (Tōza) – Current (Checking) Account or
    • 普通 (Futsū) – Regular Account
  • 口座番号 (Kōza bangō) – This is a seven digit number
  • 口座名義 (Kōza meigi) – The name of the company or person you are transferring money to (recipient)

You’ll also need:

  • Your cash card
  • Basic knowledge of hiragana and/or katakana to choose the bank and type the recipient’s name

Steps To Make A Domestic Bank Transfer With A Cash Card

So, how to transfer money in Japan? Well, you’ll only need to follow the following steps in order to make a domestic bank transfer:

  • Step 1: On the welcome screen, select ofurikomi (お振込み).

The first thing to do is selecting ofurikomi (お振込み), which means “transfer”.

  • Step 2: Confirm that you are aware of any potential bank transfer fees.

When making a bank transfer outside of “regular” ATM hours, many Japanese banks charge a fee (usually between 9AM and 9PM). To acknowledge that you are aware of any additional fees, tap the green (kakunin) button that means “confirm”.

  • Step 3: Insert your cash card and enter your PIN.

Insert your cash card, or if you want to record the transaction you can insert your deposit ledger booklet (通帳, tsuchou) before inserting your card.

After you insert your cash card, a fraud alert screen will appear, which warns you that there have been recent instances of frauds in which the criminal calls pretending as a family member and requests money be transferred.

Tap the blue (tsudsukeru) button to continue the transaction. Tap the red (chushi suru) button to cancel the transaction. This screen may appear in a different step depending on the bank ATM you use.

After acknowledging the fraud alert, enter your 4-digit PIN ( 暗証番号 – anshou bangou) on the next screen. If you make a mistake while entering your PIN, you can correct it by tapping the yellow ( 訂正 – teisei) button.

Next, tap the 振り込み先指定 button, which means “designate bank transfer payee” to confirm that you will designate a payee on the next screen.

  • Step 4: Choose the name of the bank that will receive your money.

The names of the major national and regional banks will be displayed on most Japanese bank ATMs. All you have to do is tap on the correct one. If the recipient bank is not already listed, tap on “その他金融機関” which means “other financial institution” and you will see another screen where you will be asked to enter the first few characters in katakana of the recipient bank name and a new list will be shown for you to choose.

  • Step 5: Choose the name of the bank branch that will receive the payment.

On the next screen, you must enter the first few letters of the bank branch name (支店名) in katakana. A list of branch names that match the characters you typed will appear on the screen.

  • Step 6: Choose the type of account you want to use (checking or regular)

In this step you will need to choose between a regular account (普通 – futsu) or a checking account ((当座 – touza).

  • Step 7: Enter your account number, which is seven digits long.

You will be asked to enter the 7-digit account number provided by the payee in this step.

At this point, most bank ATMs will display a screen asking if you want to save this payee information for future use. It’s a good idea, especially if you’ll be paying your rent monthly via bank transfer. On the registration screen, you’ll want to look for the following two words and buttons: 登録する (touroku suru) – register and 登録しない (touroku shinai) – do not register

  • Step 8: Enter the amount of money to be transferred.

Enter the right amount, then tap the green “円” button which means “yen” then “確認” to confirm. You can enter the amount using only numbers, or you can use the button to add four zeros (units of 10,000 yen), or the (sen) button to add three zeros (units of 1,000 yen).

On the following screen, you must confirm that the transfer amount is correct.

  • Step 9: Double-check that all transfer details are accurate.

This is the last and most important step! Check the information on the confirmation screen to ensure it is right. To finish the transaction, tap the 確認 (kakunin) button.

Watch this video to know exactly how to make a domestic bank transfer in Japan!

Ways To Send Money To Japan From USA

In the previous part, you’ve known how to transfer money in Japan. Now, you will be provided useful information on how to send money to Japan from USA if you are working in the US and want to transfer funds to your family or friends in Japan.

1. Through Banks

The first way to transfer money from the US to Japan is through banking systems.

In Japan, the strong presence of international banks such as Lloyds, Santander, Royal Bank of Canada, Standard Chartered Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of NewYork Mellon and others has made it easier to send money to Japan via wire transfers and this has taken much less time.

how to transfer money in Japan

The strong presence of international banks in Japan has made it easier to send money to Japan via wire transfers and this has taken much less time.

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Transfers sent through correspondent banks may take longer to be delivered and incur considerable fees. You may be able to do your transfer over the phone, depending on how significant you are as a customer. Santander, for example, accepts transfers made over the phone. In addition, most banks have online platforms that you can use to send money to your family in Japan at any time.

The biggest drawback of most banks is that they offer extremely low transfer rates, while others charge hidden fees. You must also have a bank account in order to make an electronic money transfer.

2. Through Money Transfer Services

Traditionally, banks have been the major choice for transferring money to Japan. The advent of online money transfer services, on the other hand, has dramatically altered the scene.

how to transfer money in Japan

The advent of online money transfer services has made it faster and cheaper to send money to Japan from the USA.

Xoom debuted its transfer support in Japan in August 2018, which came as a big relief to the United States’ 340,000+ Japanese immigrants. Another excellent online money transfer service is TransferWise, which allows the Japanese to send money home via direct bank transfers. OFX can assist you in transferring funds to Japanese suppliers, employees, or contractors at competitive rates.

It’s easy to get started with an online money transfer, and it only takes a few minutes. Before you can send money, some providers will ask you to verify your information. Even if you don’t have a bank account in the sending nation, you have a variety of options when it comes to paying for your transfer.

Depending on the provider and the country you are transferring from, you can use a bank transfer, direct debit, credit card, or debit card. All three payment options are supported by Xoom and TransferWise. BPAY or Electronic Funds Transfer are the only ways to fund OFX payments to Japan.

Bank deposits are the most common payment options for money transfer services in Japan. Aomori Bank, Bank of Fukuoka, Chiba Bank, Hokuriku Bank, Japan Post Bank Co., Mizuho Bank Ltd, Saitama Resona Bank Limited, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are among the leading money transfer service providers. Most providers offer mobile apps that may be downloaded and used to send money while on the go. You may also track transfers, check current rates, and add or remove recipients.

Why Choose A Money Transfer Service?

  • Exchange Rates

Money transfer companies like Xoom and OFX often benefit from exchange rates and transfer fees. When comparing online money transfer providers to banks, money transfer operators have margins of 2-3 percent above the mid-market rate, whereas banks have margins of 5% or more. The less the amount you can transfer, the lower the exchange rate. The exchange rate margin charged by TransferWise is 0%. The interbank rate is used for all transactions.

  • Transferring Fees

Fee structures and pricing models vary by provider. There are those charging fixed fees, while others charge variable fees depending on the amount or charge a combination of the two. Normally, the transfer fees decrease as the amount grows.

  • Transferring Speed

Money transfer providers like TransferWise, OFX, and Xoom transfer payments faster than banks. Direct bank transfers usually take one or two days to arrive. Transfers to pickup locations using Western Union and MoneyGram may arrive the same day.

  • Ease Of Setting Up

For some providers, opening an account and validating your documents is a straightforward and quick process that takes about 10-15 minutes. Paying for your transfer with a debit or credit card, if your supplier allows it, is faster than sending via bank transfer.

  • Currency Converting Support

Money transfer providers will allow you to convert your currency to the Yen regardless of where you are sending from. TransferWise lets you send money in over 50 different currencies. OFX’s currency base is substantially larger, with over 55 standard and uncommon currencies.

  • Safety And Regulation

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) regulate providers. These organizations verify that service providers follow a strict code of ethics in their operations, ensuring the security of your funds.

3. Through In-Store Cash Transfers

Money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to deposit money at an agent and send it instead of making transfers online or through the bank.

You can start in-store and send money to a pickup agent in Japan or to the recipient’s bank account immediately. You can also pay your bill at an agent’s location. The other alternative is to begin the process online and complete it in-store. MoneyGram has agents in all 47 Japanese cities, from Aichi to Yamanashi.

Western Union and MoneyGram both provide apps that can be downloaded from Google Play or App Store to send money to Japan.

how to transfer money in Japan

Money transfer companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram allow you to deposit money at an agent and send it instead of making transfers online or through the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s The Fastest Way To Transfer Money Online To Japan?

The quickest way to send money to Japan is through Ria Money Transfer, which can deliver your money in a few minutes with its fast option. However, the cost of sending money using Ria Money Transfer’s fast option is higher than the slower service.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Ria Money Transfer doesn’t have any sending locations in Japan.

2. What’s The Easiest Way To Send Money To Japan?

TransferWise is the easiest option and maybe the best way to send money to Japan. What you need to do is follow these easy steps:

  • Choose the amount of money to be sent
  • Select the destination
  • Pay TransferWise for the transaction.
  • Wait for one to two days, then the money will be delivered

3. What’s The Cheapest Way To Transfer Funds To Japan?

OFX is by far the most cost-effective method of sending money to Japan. It charges a small currency exchange fee, which is based on the amount of money being sent. You will get a better deal if you transfer more money through OFX. Normally, OFX  takes 1% of the transfer. As you transfer more money, however, this rate falls to the lowest possible rate of 0.4%. Note that you must send a minimum quantity of money to be able to use OFX’s services.

Conclusion

Hope that this blog has given you the most detailed guide on how to transfer money in Japan. Keep following Question Japan for more useful information related to Japan like this!

About Yuu Sato

Yuu Hiasa has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.