Send money to China

According to the World Bank, China is one of the top receiving countries for international money transfers, with Australia being a big contributor. The number of Australians investing in Chinese businesses and property is on the rise and there also continues to be a large influx of Chinese people migrating to Australia. In fact, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows Chinese migrants now make up the third largest group of overseas-born residents in Australia.

As such, there are many reasons why people might send money to China, including:

  • Purchasing goods and services for your business
  • Paying wages or royalties
  • Paying school or university fees to support children living in China
  • Cash gifts for friends or family living in China
  • Emergency transfer of funds to a relative for medical reasons
  • Buying investment property in China

Remember this guide is informing people about transferring money to China, and not for those wishing to travel there. If you’re planning a holiday to China for personal or business reasons, head to the Mozo travel money section of our site.

Who to use for sending money to China

If you're looking to send money to China, you’ll notice that there are several different options. But the main players in this now competitive market are banks, foreign exchange and wire transfers providers.

Foreign exchange providers such as OFX, WorldFirst and TorFX specialise in sending money overseas. They're typically cheaper than the big four banks, meaning that if you're transferring money to China on a regular basis, or need to make a large one-off transfer, you could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars by choosing a specialist provider over a bank. That way, you'll receive more Chinese Yuan for the same amount of Australian dollars.

Here's a quick breakdown of the differences between providers: 

Feature Bank Foreign Exchange ProviderStandard Wire Transfers
Exchange Rate Bank exchange rates are typically more expensive than an independent broker. The bank usually charges a bigger margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate (the rate you see on Google). As specialists in the field, foreign exchange providers usually offer much better exchange rates, charging a smaller markup than the banks.
Usually wire transfers' exchange rate usually expensive. Much like a bank, wire transfer providers like PayPal and Western Union charge a margin on top of the exchange rate you tend to see on Google.
Transfer fees

Fees can vary depending on the bank and the transfer method. Among the big four banks, in-person transfers range from $30-$32, while online transfers can go up to $12.
Fees are minimal, with some providers even waiving the transfer fee entirely if you transfer above a certain amount.
Fees tend to calculated by a percentage ranging from 1% - 5% depending on the provider. This percentage depends on how much money you are sending. There is also a transfer fee that cost you up to $50.
Transfer options Most banks should allow you to transfer money in a branch, online, via an app or over the phone; most options come with a fee. You can transfer your money online or over the phone, but in-branch options generally aren't available. Some providers also have an app which you can use to make and track transfers.You can send in person cash transfers at places like Western Union. Also over-the-counter service available in many places around the world. So whoever you are sending money to can also pick it up at a counter service. 

How to compare international money transfer providers

Regardless of whether you’re sending money to China for individual or business purposes, there are five key features to look for when comparing international money transfer providers.

1. Transfer limits: Some providers have a minimum and maximum amount you can send to China. You might have to shop around to find one that allows you to transfer the amount you wish to send. While with the big banks you may be restricted by your daily withdrawal or 'pay anyone' limit, IMT specialists are typically good for transfers ranging from $50-$2,000 all the way up to the millions. 

2. Rates: The higher the AUD/CNY exchange rate, the more Chinese Yuan you’ll receive for your Aussie dollar. Don’t go with the first exchange rate you come across, and take the time to calculate how much you’ll get from the different rates being offered by several providers. A few cents difference in the exchange rate could save you lots. Mozo's international money transfers comparison table also does the calculations for you. 

3. Turnaround time: This refers to the time from when your money is sent and processed by the IMT provider, to the moment it hits the recipient’s bank account. Depending on the provider, you could be waiting 1-5 business days before the funds arrive. That said, some IMT specialists like Azimo (integrated with Alipay, a major Chinese online payments platform) do offer near instant transfers to China. 

4. Charges and fees: There are several fees associated with transferring money to China but if you do your research, some foreign exchange specialists may waive the charges if you meet a certain criteria. Fees to be wary of include: a transfer fee, a sending and receiving fee, a cancellation fee and an amending fee.

5. Transfer options: Sending money to China really couldn’t be easier. You can make the transfer online, by phone, or in a branch (each with different transfer fees) and some providers even have an app you can use.

How to transfer money to China

As we’ve mentioned, transferring funds to China is now a fairly easy, economical and hassle free process that can be done from the comfort of your own home. Regardless of which foreign exchange specialist you have decided to use the method is pretty much the same.

  • Register and set up an account with a foreign exchange provider
  • Decide how much you want to transfer and to which country you want the money sent
  • Confirm and make sure you are happy with the costs and exchange rate of the transfer
  • Provide details of the recipient including their name and bank details
  • Book the deal!

Checklist when sending money to China

You now know how to set up an international money transfer, so let’s look at what information you need to make it happen.

  • Personal details: Name, address, date of birth, country of birth, phone number
  • Sender’s account details: Bank details of the account where the transfer will come from
  • Recipient’s personal details: Name, address and bank account number
  • Recipient’s bank details: Full name and address of bank including the SWIFT/BIC code

Other IMT FAQs

I only want to make a one-off transfer to China, what are my options?

This will depend on how much you want to transfer. If it’s just a small amount AUD$200 or less, then PayPal is a fast and secure option, with low fees. For a one-off larger transfer it’s definitely worth choosing a foreign exchange specialist. The better exchange rate you’ll receive from an IMT specialist could save you hundreds or even thousands on your large one-off transfer.

Is it safe to send money to China? 

Yes, if you go with a reputable international money transfer provider! The good news is, all IMT providers featured on the Mozo website are authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to ensure they’re following best practice. They hold an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence, which means that should something go wrong, you have an external government body, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), to turn to for a resolution. IMT providers on our site also have security and verification processes in place to protect your transfer and personal details.

Can I track my international money transfer to China?

You sure can! Just check in with the provider and they will give you an update. Many IMT specialists also provide real-time tracking to their customers, so you can know your money is at all times. 

How often is the information on exchange rates updated on your website?

The information on international money transfer rates is updated hourly on Mozo, but because of the fluctuating nature of foreign exchange, you may find a small difference to the 'live' price you will get from the IMT provider at the exact time of your overseas money transfer.

Can I change or cancel my transfer to China?

It will depend on how far along the transfer is. You’ll have to check with your provider. If you do cancel or change the transfer, you may incur a fee.

What is a spot deal?

A spot deal is an arrangement where you lock in the current exchange rate immediately with a legal binding of converting one currency for the other within 24 hours of booking the deal. This is different to a forward contract, where you lock in the current exchange rate for a future transfer, up to two years in advance. 

What does a SWIFT/BIC code stand for?

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) or a Bank Identifier Code (BIC). This is an 8 or 11 digit code that identifies banks around the world.

Your next step

Ready to weigh up your exchange rate options for transfers from Aussie dollars to Chinese Yuan? Get started with the IMT specialist offers below, or head over to our international money transfers hub for even more deals.

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