I was working on a trends report recently and one of the sections was on apps for people who send money to/from Korea. I’ve lived in Korea for 15 years and way back in the beginning, the only way to transfer money outside of Korea was to go to the bank and start an international transfer with the teller. The process took some paperwork each time. Over time, sending money abroad from Korea has become a little easier but there is nowhere near what you can do now. I was so used to using banking systems that I didn’t realize that there were amazing new start-ups, companies and apps to transfer money outside of Korea. Moreover, these global money transfer options are much cheaper than the bank transfer option as well.
So, let me give you all I learned about banking apps in Korea that help you send money abroad easily, quickly and with lower fees as well.
Find the best app to send money to/from Korea below:
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Why you should send money home from Korea via apps instead of sending it directly to your bank
For my first few years in Korea, I was sending money back home to pay off student loans in the United States. For the past few years while in Korea, I’ve been sending money back home to work toward long-term savings goals. If going to your bank in Korea sounds daunting, as it may be, but it can also take a lot of time that you may not have in your day, then go with the application route. Also, the apps are cheaper, so there’s that too.
The Korean banking system can be a little bewildering. I will say that banks in Korea have English language services so if your teller does not speak English when you arrive, just ask them to call their English helpline and they will use a translator to help you.
Another thing to note about walking down the bank road. You can only have one transfer bank, so before you create a transfer account in a bank, make sure that it is the one you want to keep going.
Bank Transfer / Bank Transfer
You can sign up for a transfer account in your Korean bank account. This is what I used for a decade before finding application options. I set it up so I could transfer abroad directly via the ATM in my bank, so I didn’t have to go every time at least. Transfer fees or transfer fees are added to these options although they are taken at the sending and receiving ends. Fees can vary but are usually between W8,000 and W30,000. You can create this account directly in your Korean bank. Bank transfers usually take two to three days to appear.
Apps to send money to/from Korea
There are many money transfer apps available in Korea and if my search for direction is good, there is definitely more to come. Sending money from Korea abroad will be easier and easier. Make sure to check Verify apps before downloading.
Sentbe quickly became a major player in overseas transfers. Sentbe is a financial technology company that is especially popular among the expats in Korea because it is in use in many countries around the world now. There is a transfer limit of $5,000 per transaction and $50,000 per year. If you’re sending money to the US, the transfer fee is W5,000 for the ASAP transfer or W2,500 if you choose the standard transfer option. Transactions usually take two business days. This is one of the cheapest transportation options, so keep that in mind when reading about other options.
How to start:
- Download the app or register on the SentBe website.
- Sign up for an account and fill in your personal information including your phone number, passport number or ARC.
- Enter your Korean bank information and SentBe will send you W1000 to verify that it is your account.
- Start sending money. Express transfers only take 1 day and regular transfers take 2 days.
The great thing about WireBarley is the minimal fee. Have you ever evaluated how many fees are charged when transferring money through your bank? WireBarley is much cheaper, which saves you money, moreover it is fast, it only takes a day or two to appear in your bank account. Note that it “takes longer” if you send money on weekends… as if you were sending money from your local bank on this note.
How to start:
- Register and download the app.
- Sign up for an account and fill in your personal information.
- Select your overseas country as South Korea and your receiving country and fill in your banking information.
- Wait for verification.
- You can start sending money directly on the app once you choose the recipient and choose the amount which is that easy.
sage (formerly Transferwise)
By offering money transfers at average market exchange rates, you can transfer from one account to another within hours. If you need to send more money to Korea than to send outside Korea, this is probably the best option for you. They will also show you how much you will save using their service compared to other bank transfer services.
How to start:
- Register for an account And verify your identity.
- Select the type of currency you are converting and enter the amount.
- Fill in the recipient information and the type of transfer you want to make: bank, debit or credit card transfer.
- Press Submit, and you will receive a receipt confirming the payment. that easy.
As a well-known money transfer company and used by people all over the world, it is also available here in Korea. Transfer fees can fluctuate on this depending on the amount you are sending. As a global company, their app offers real-time quotes of exchange rates which makes calculating the total amount more convenient. This is generally a more expensive option than the ones listed above.
How to start:
- Sign up and sign up for a free account on their website or via the mobile app.
- Enter your banking information and recipient information.
- Confirm the transfer and then Western Union will send you real-time updates about your transaction.
Similar to Western Union, MoneyGram is a well-known financial services company worldwide with remittance options in more than 200 countries and regions. Use the app to set up automatic transfers on a weekly or monthly basis if you have some student loans to pay off. This is a more expensive option than the ones listed above.
How to start:
- Register and sign up for an account on their website or via the mobile app.
- Enter your personal information and banking information.
- Click Submit and wait for the transferred funds to be received.
US money and tax reminder
Another note, since I’m American, remember your fellow Americans, we are One of the few places where taxes are required each year No matter where you live, make sure you know how to do it and how to file Exceptions for foreign earned income and tax credits on your income so that you are not double taxed.
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