Relocating from South Africa to the UK

If I shall be so brazen as to start a topic… :thinking:

I feel it important though and could attract more loyal Monzo customers :wink::rocket:

I am relocating back to the UK in just under two weeks now :grin: (after living there as a child last) and Monzo has proven to be an awesome solution :grin: to a common problem to many, of being able to open a UK account with the least amount of fuss. Many others are in need of the same solution, but there are a few details that need to be covered which will undoubtedly be questions asked. :nerd_face:

The main one I think would be how could people go about transferring South African currency into their Monzo accounts. I was able to do this through converting SA currency to Pounds on my Shyft account, which is offered by my South African bank, Standard Bank. I could then easily transfer Pounds to my Monzo account with my Shyft account and use my Monzo app in the meantime to use my pots :wink: and even managed to buy a few shares :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::grin: (even with my card still waiting for me in the UK, in safe-keeping with my father, and me still being in SA for now). So when I arrive I am ready to go :wink:

So this would be a fantastic option for others relocating to the UK from SA. :grin::rocket: What other options are there there for those who don’t have Standard Bank accounts and don’t have a Shyft account? I could not find any option of converting South African currency in Transferwise.

My thoughts are that people on the forum may be aware of options, or possibly Monzo staff may have an answer for me.

I could then be in a better position to tell people that are relocating all about Monzo :wink::rocket:


Hello… :wave:… Anyone… :see_no_evil:

Know there’s lots going on… But this is an opportunity to help many… :rocket: And a “couple” of customers, (who I am sure will be very loyal going forward, i.e. main principle current account), to gain :wink:

I think Revolut could be an option but not sure about the costs. They offer ZAR account but the only way to transfer to that account is via SWIFT which most banks can do though they will charge for that.
Then once ZAR are in Revolut, these can easily be converted into GBP.

This is what I could think of :sweat_smile: I am sure someone with better knowledge will come along to comment.

Screenshot_20181206-133242__01 Screenshot_20181206-133309


Thank you for that @SC95 :wink:

Was kinda hoping for a Monzo solution though :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

One you have GBP just simply transfer them to Monza Monzo :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Using TransferWise directly, or their Borderless account seems like the best approach!

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I don’t think TransferWise support SAR. So I assume that Monzo don’t either.

Thank you @SC95… In SA we used to have an Opel Monza car model :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: But no excuses… That was an unfortunate blip… :see_no_evil:

Corrected :wink:

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South African Rand is ZAR, not SAR.

SAR is Saudi Arabian Riyal, I believe.

TransferWise does seem to support ZAR natively in their app (but not SAR!). There may be restrictions though.

We don’t support either natively in Monzo.



Looks like Transferwise can’t help right now… :expressionless:

Ah, that’s a shame :frowning:

Thank you @simonb

This seems to be the crux of the matter,… Is how to convert to GBP first and then transfer.

Thank you @Recchan :slightly_smiling_face:

It seems there are other options besides the Standard Bank Shyft account to do the exchange and transfer. :grin: Someone has commented on a post I placed on a Facebook page for South Africans emigrating to the UK and mentioned a company called Currencies Direct in South Africa who can also assist to exchange and then transfer into a Monzo account.

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Hi, I run the immigration Facebook group mentioned above and I can confirm the that WBForex has successfully assisted expat South Africans to transfer their funds to their Monzo accounts in the UK. They would of course convert the ZAR Rands into GBP.
Although we have seen some success from our group members about other services, unfortunately as mentioned above, the ‘Transferwise’ service is not South African Reserve Bank approved (yet) so they are not really an option at this point. If you need any more details or help in this matter, I would be more than happy to share our experiences.

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The way that I do it with rare currencies (such as Qatari riyals which aren’t supported by TransferWise), is to exchange locally and do a GBP international transfer.

I use a bank in Qatar that has a reasonable exchange rate to do the exchange there, and then pay their transfer fee to send GBP directly to Monzo using the IBAN generated by an IBAN calculator.

Generally, exchanging in Qatar gives me a much better rate than sending QAR to the UK to do the exchange here. (Because Qatari riyals are a rareish currency in the UK so there’s not much competition on the rate).

I hope that helps you in some way.

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And on that note - what happens if I send a non-GBP currency into my Monzo account using my IBAN?

Good question… I am also interested to hear the answer.

Im a new Monzo user… well I have not used it yet as I just signed up.
I too live in South Africa, the problem as I see it is switching currencies twice - terms of cost.
So converting Rands to PDS then drawing out money in say Europe, the funds in the Monzo account which I assume are always related back to PDS would then be switched to Euro. Would that not mean losing more worthless rands or is there no charge to switch currencies? Hope this is a clear question?

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