Moving abroad from South Africa soon? Check out these banking tips
August 7, 2018
When moving abroad banking isn’t exactly what you want to be thinking about, but it often becomes a headache. It seems the process of setting up a bank account in a foreign country is never smooth.
If you want to avoid fluctuating retail exchange rates, hefty conversion charges and card acceptance issues, you need a local bank account. Also, if you want to make and receive domestic payments, such as income, and operate your finances in the local currency, you also need a local bank account.
So here’s how to avoid those banking headaches when setting up your new, foreign bank account.
Inform your bank
Talk to your current banking provider before you leave to see what international banking solutions they provide. Many banks are part of an international group or have partnerships with branches all over the world. Your current bank may be able to begin, or even complete the set-up of a bank account in your destination country, all before you even leave. This is the ideal scenario.
Update your address
If you’re among the majority that have to set up your account at your destination, changing your address as soon as possible will help you later. As part of the application process, most banks will ask for proof of address at your new home. This is documentation from an official institution with your name and new address; hard to come by when you’ve just arrived. To get your new proof of address easily and quickly, change your address with your current bank before you leave and request a statement to be sent.
Research for your suitable bank provider
Research which bank and which products you want to apply for. Not only do banks’ accounts, rates, fees, benefits, rewards, insurances and services vary, but their application requirements will also vary. You may find that some banks have more relaxed requirements when setting up a new account.
Start the process as soon as possible
Some banks will require you to book an appointment to set up an account. Some will allow you to begin an application online. Whatever you can do remotely, do it and start it as soon as possible. This includes preparing required documents. By starting early and even from home, you’ll avoid delays with booked-out appointments, unknown application requirements or difficult documentation.
Mobile app banking solutions
Because this process always takes time, you’ll need a banking solution to hit the ground running at your destination. Mobile app-based banks take just minutes to set up, offer competitive or even no fees and send you a card which you top up and spend in the local currency. You may even find that you prefer the modern, app-based bank over the traditional branch bank you apply for.
Build a new credit history
Your credit history won’t travel with you to your new country, so your credit rating will be back to square one. Any credit you apply for will be capped at low levels, so, to help your future-self, take out a credit card or overdraft facility when you open your bank account. This way you can begin to build a credit history for any services that check your credit score in future.
Avoid expensive international money transfer
Finally, when you’re ready to send money to your new bank account, do it at the right time with the right service. International money transfers are logical, but expensive. New services are emerging that do it better, such as Moneycorp, with competitive rates and smart features for expats managing foreign currencies. Knowing when to transfer with exchange rates in your favor will save you money which is why Moneycorp can even notify you when a currency reaches your chosen rate.
Now, banking headache eluded! Here at Crown Relocations, we make sure your whole move is as smooth as possible. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local team today.