Revealed: The cheapest service to send money from South Africa to Zimbabwe

Send money from South Africa to Zimbabwe Ecobank Rapidtransfer

South Africa is home to the bulk of the Zimbabwean Diaspora who went there seeking greener pastures. Those Zimbabweans, in turn, contribute a huge chunk of foreign currency inflows through remittances.

It comes as no surprise that South Africa is a battleground for several remittance companies who want to be the number one choice for Zimbabweans to send money to Zimbabwe. In this case, the number one choice is disproportionately chosen based on the charges or fees of remitting money.

World Bank has been on the forefront of advocating for the reduction of remittance fees with some promising and positive progress. In light of this, World Bank regularly curates a list of remittance services according to the fees charged for sending money from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

In World Bank’s latest list, which consist 13 different remittance services, Ecobank’s Rapid Transfer is the cheapest service to send money from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

The study indicates the cheapest remittance service based on the proportion of fees to the total amount of money sent.

Remittance Service/companyCost as a percentage of the total amount of money sent to Zimbabwe
Ecobank Rapidtransfer3.83%
EcoCash Remit5.34%
World Remit5.51%
Mama Money7.19%
Hello Paisa9.18%
Western Union13.82%
Standard Bank23.46%
First National Bank26.70%

What is and how Ecobank Rapidtransfer works

Ecobank Rapidtransfer is a service offered by Ecobank that allows account holders and non-account holders to send and receive money. Recipients get their money in Zimbabwe as US dollars.

How to send money with Ecobank Rapidtransfer

>Go to any Ecobank branch or Rapidtransfer agent and complete a Rapidtransfer “Send” form

>Submit valid proof of identification

>Pay in the amount you want to transfer, plus the required commission

>Collect your reference number and call your beneficiary with details of the transfer

Receive money in three easy steps:

>Take a valid form of identification to any Ecobank branch or Rapidtransfer agent

>Complete the Rapidtransfer “Receive” form and submit it to the Rapidtransfer teller

>The Rapidtransfer teller will verify your documents then call up the transaction to pay the money out

Acceptable forms of identification:

>International passport

>Driver’s license
>National ID cards

>Voters ID cards

>Identification card of recognised corporate bodies

Please note that Ecobank reserves the right to accept or reject any other form of identification.

Why choose Rapidtransfer

Your transfer is instantly available at the receiver’s location.

Rapidtransfer FAQs

Is it possible to send money from one of my Ecobank accounts to another, using the “Send” form method? Or can I only send money directly to another person’s account?

Rapidtransfer enables the sending and receiving of money in all Ecobank branches within the Ecobank African network. You can also send a Rapidtransfer online.

Can transfers be reversed to get money sent back?

The sender can place a request at the sending branch where due diligence will be done to ascertain the validity of the claim. If the claim is successful, only the principal amount will be refunded.

The sender is likely to lose a part of the principal, depending on the ‘spot exchange rate’ that was originally used versus the exchange rate on the day of reversal.

Why do you need an identity card for sending money?

This is to ensure that Ecobank complies with the legal requirements of KYC (Know Your Customer) and anti-money laundering regulations. The ID card must be genuine and current. The identity card will also help both parties in the future, in case there is a question or query on a specific transfer.

Can I open an account at Ecobank with my remittance?

Yes, when you fully complete the account opening process.

Are there hidden charges?

No, all charges are made known to the customer.

Why are questions asked from walk-in customers when sending a certain amount of money?

Ecobank has to make sure that transactions are compliant with international money laundering laws.

How is Rapidtransfer different from the bank’s normal transfers abroad?

Usual bank transfers abroad are done through correspondent banks, which can take one day depending on the destination of the funds. These correspondence banks will deduct charges just as the sending bank does.

In addition, when funds finally get to the customer it is less than the initial amount due to bank charges. It usually takes as long as two to three working days for funds to reach their destination.

True to its name, Rapidtransfer will deliver the money in minutes. Beneficiaries can cash the funds the same day. No transfer service compares to Rapidtransfer when you need emergency or quick cash.

Is there a daily maximum amount when sending money using Rapidtransfer?

The limits vary from one country to another, but transactions must not exceed 10,000 US dollars.

What are the costs for sending and receiving?

There’s no fee to receive funds, as the sender bears the cost.

Where is the service available?

Rapidtransfer is available in all countries across Africa where Ecobank is available. You can also send money from UK to Zimbabwe with Rapidtransfer.

Can I transfer funds from my foreign account?

Yes. The amount will be converted to local currency, subject to regulations in some countries. Payment will then be made to the beneficiary in the local currency of the receiving location.

Are customers provided with a pin code?

Yes, customers receive a Rapidtransfer transaction reference number, which is unique to each transaction.

Can I ask a relative to collect my transfer on my behalf?

No, it is not transferable.

How secure is the service?

The service is extremely secure as it uses the same advanced and customised core banking platform that Ecobank runs on, which includes the latest international security software.

Can a non-Ecobank account holder use Rapidtransfer?

Yes, absolutely. Just visit any of our branches with a valid means of identification.

Can I use Rapidtransfer to transfer money to an Ecobank account?

Yes. Just make sure that the beneficiary’s account details are clear on the Rapidtransfer “S” form and the rest will be handled by the Rapidtransfer teller.

Do account holders also need an identification document?

No. Identification is only required when a cash amount is to be sent out, or if you are the beneficiary of a cash pay-out transaction.

What do I do if I am dissatisfied with a transaction?

Customers can lodge a complaint in the Customer Service compliant registerbox in the branch or call our contact centre line.

Can I use Rapidtransfer to pay employees that are working temporarily in one of the countries within Ecobank’s network?


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