Hi @stevento and @mirron ,
I’m researching the same… only difference is that I have a French bank account that I need to credit with EURO’s. I’m reviewing all sorts of options.
I talked through several options with Revolut Support and the following was concluded:
1a) Transferring SA Rand to the Revolut account (Lloyds) with a SWIFT “BEN” transfer, would induce all costs of the transfer to be borne by Lloyds. Revolut is a customer of Lloyds, but cannot disclose what these costs are because they “don’t know” what the intermediary banks charge. This is currently not an option.
1b) Lloyds UK opens a bank account at FNB SA and FNB SA opens a bank account at Lloyds UK and we enjoy fee-less transfer (see: https://blog.revolut.com/swift-sepa-how-international-money-transfers-actually-work/) by SWIFT.
I would be surprised if these two massive banks don’t already have these bank accounts at one anothers banks and just play “as if they don’t” and charge us anyway… There is unforunately no transparancy as to where (which intermediary banks) the costs are coming from, so they can just say whatever. Last but not least, as much as Revolut may want to reduce this, Revolut have little to no choice but to accept whatever they can negotiate Lloyds to agree on.
- Topping up with a non -EEU credit card, would involve “a small fee” (see: https://www.revolut.com/de/help/getting-started/topping-up/by-card/will-i-be-charged-for-topping-up-by-card?lang=en) The Revolut support employee was not able to disclose what this fee is… but they did state that they would potentially charge more than the SWIFT charges… Which are also unknown.
3a) One interesting option may be to use Crypto… Tethered currencies could be a sollution (usdT). We have the instant transfers as we are used to with Crypto and the relatively stable tethered currency ( https://www.cryptocompare.com/coins/guides/what-is-usdt-and-how-to-use-it/ ). Downside is that we need to buy it from Rand and exchange it back to EURO’s… Not many companies actually offer this… and even if they do, they charge a surplus.
3b) Using Ripple of Bitcoin (or any other crypto currency) is a little too volatile for my liking… even more so than the Rand ;o) and we still have the issue that the companies offering the Fiat to Cyrpto and vice versa exchanges charge a surplus.
Transferwise, nothing new to say here. This is obviously a very interesting option.
Currencies Direct SA which charge 1% on top of the interbank rate, which is also an interesting option.
I would really appreciate it if Revolut would add ZAR (South African Rand) to their support… as it’s one of the most liquid emerging market currencies the world has at the moment! Tourism is booming there… and there are lots, and lots, and lots of European expats that are in the same situation as us.
I hope Revolut takes advantage of this situation in South African and brings the power back to the people and their funds, forcing the banks in South African to also innovate!