Story by: Michelle Farnsworth, Photos by:
How can I send money overseas from my bank account in Korea?
Dear Money Sender,
There are many ways to send money overseas from Korea.
No matter which method you choose though, you will first need to designate just one bank as your “Primary Foreign Exchange Transaction Bank”. To do this, you must visit the bank in person with your passport (and Alien Registration Card if you have one) and then do all foreign exchange transactions from that bank (any branch of that bank). You can easily change your designated bank by visiting the new bank you would like to use anytime.
Remember, each person can send $50,000 USD (or equivalent) overseas per year (one year starts in January and ends in December). If you would like to send more, you will just need to show proof of the source of the funds.
You can use any combination of the following methods to get your money out of Korea (although some details may vary by bank). But once you reach your $50,000 USD limit, you will have to visit a bank branch in person to send more money overseas. For each of these transactions, be sure to bring your passport (and Alien Registration Card if you have one):
1. In person at a bank branch: Be sure that you know the beneficiary’s account number and their bank’s routing number. Also, ask your teller to give you a preferential exchange rate. It never hurts to ask!
2. Online: You must first register for online banking at a bank branch in person. Then, online overseas remittance is available to you 24 hours 7days a week and you can send money to anyone, anywhere. Most banks offer reduced transaction fees and a preferential exchange rate for overseas remittances made online, making this the least expensive way to send money overseas. Please note though that only residents (those with a valid Alien Registration Card) are eligible for online banking.
3. At an ATM: You must first register the overseas beneficiary at a bank branch in person (only one beneficiary per account). Then, you can remit money overseas at any of your bank’s ATMs. Again, only residents (those with a valid Alien Registration Card) are eligible to make overseas remittances from an ATM.
4. Automatic overseas remittance from your regular checking account: If you send the same amount overseas on a regular basis, you can set up a regular automatic overseas remittance from your Korean won account. You must first register for the service and register each beneficiary (as many as you like) at a bank branch in person. At that time, you must choose the currency, the date, and the cycle (monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, or every six months) for the automatic transfers that will be made automatically to each designated beneficiary on the specified date
5. Automatic overseas remittance from a special overseas remittance account: You can select the criteria that will trigger an automatic overseas remittance from a special overseas remittance account: either by rate, by date, or by amount. You can only have one beneficiary per account, but you can open as many accounts as you would like.
6. Money Gram: A money gram is the fastest way to send money (USD only) overseas. You must visit a bank branch in person with your passport to make this transaction. Your money will be deposited in the overseas beneficiary’s account in approximately one hour. This is a relatively new service in Korea and several restrictions apply.
7. Banker’s Check: You can purchase a check in any amount you like and send (through mail) or carry (by hand) overseas. The fees are similar to those for an overseas remittance.
(Submit your banking questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Dear Michelle: Banking Advice for Foreigners in Korea” is a monthly column written by Michelle Farnsworth. Michelle is an 9-year resident of Korea who is currently the Foreign Client Relationship Manager at the Shinhan Bank Foreign Customer Department. Please visit the “Shinhan Bank Seoul Global Center” on Facebook for more information. Also, please note that the banking information provided in this column is based on Shinhan Bank policies and may not be applicable to all banks in Korea.