Bank Better, Live Better

foreign exchange services

Find out what you need to know about using your Global One card abroad and our international payments services that we can offer with Mercantile Bank, a Division of Capitec Bank.

Article Image


  • South African residents over the age of 18 have a Single Discretionary Allowance (SDA) of R1 million per calendar year which may be utilized for travel purposes, investment purposes (income tax number required) as well the sending of monetary gifts to individuals abroad
  • South African residents over the age of 18 additionally have a Foreign Capital Allowance of R10 million per calendar year that may be utilized for Investment purposes abroad. In this regard, a valid Tax Compliance Status (TCS) Pin is required to avail of this allowance (TCS Pin obtained from SARS).
  • South African residents under the age of 18 may only avail of a travel allowance of R200 000 per calendar year

You may use your Global One card if you qualify as a South African resident, have a valid passport and a passenger ticket for journeys commencing from South Africa. The abovementioned allowances are valid for one calendar year.

Residents temporarily abroad may use the allowances as described above without returning to South Africa.

Using your Global One card abroad

​You may only use your Global One card for travel-related expenses, and we may ask you for proof of travel. Refer to the Exchange Control Regulations and the Currency and Exchanges Manual on the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) website before using your Global One card abroad.

Before you travel or use your card for international online purchases, ensure that your personal details such as your contact numbers, permits and address are up to date on your Capitec Bank account as this information is compulsory for Balance of Payments reporting to SARB and your card may be suspended if the information is not available.

Doing international online purchases does not absolve you from complying with the ad valorem customs and excise duties, or from complying with any of the requirements imposed by Customs.

Your Global One debit or credit card is accepted anywhere you see the Mastercard® logo. However, to avoid declined transactions when abroad:

  • Get cash from any ATM displaying the Mastercard logo (not all ATMs accept foreign cards). Carrying cash can be risky; pay by card and pay low, fixed transaction fees
  • Save our WhatsApp number +27 67 418 9565 for quick and easy assistance
  • If possible, choose to pay in the local currency as some transactions could attract additional currency conversion fees and cost more than you expected
  • Try to have another card as backup in case your card is damaged or lost
  • Ensure you have sufficient travel insurance (you get free basic cover with our credit card or you can choose to get our comprehensive top-up cover and pay a premium)

Card Restrictions

Supplementary Global One cards can only be used in South Africa.

Common Monetary Area (CMA) clients – South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland – can only use their debit cards in the aforementioned countries including South Africa.

International payments to Capitec Bank accounts

We acquired Mercantile Bank, now a division of Capitec Bank, on 1 December 2020.

This means we now have our own international bank relationships and can send and receive international/foreign currency payments!

Balance of Payments

According to the Currency and Exchanges Manual of SARB, any money received from abroad must be declared before it may be credited to your account. The declaration of the money can only be made by the accountholder before the account is credited and not by a third party; supplementary cardholders or holders of a power of attorney may not make the declaration on behalf of the accountholder.

All clients receiving international payments must be FICA compliant and ensure that their personal information is up to date on the bank’s records; this includes address information, contact details and permit numbers. The information is compulsory for the Balance of Payments reports and will also reduce delays in processing the inward payments.

Note: the beneficiary name in the payment must reflect your name as per your identity document or passport in the case of foreign nationals. Payments may not be processed if a different name reflects as the beneficiary in the payment and could result in the payment being returned.

In terms of the Currency and Exchanges Manual of SARB, international payments may not be processed without the account holder's declaration of the money. The declaration can be done in person or by means of either of the following forms:

  • Integrated Balance of Payments form for once-off payments
  • Standing Instruction and Indemnity form for regular payments

Once-off payments

The once off Integrated Balance of Payment form should only be completed if you have received money from abroad and the Bank is not able to contact you.  Note that the document may only be completed in black ink, any alterations must be signed in full and requires an original signature. Download, print and complete the form; then email the completed form to or fax it to 0860 88 88 15.

Regular payments

If you're going to be receiving money regularly from the same sender and for the same reason (i.e. salary) from abroad and wish to have this money credited to your account automatically, complete the Standing Instruction and Indemnity Form. Download, print and complete the form; then email the completed form to or fax it to 0860 88 88 15. The Standing Instruction form remains valid until you have cancelled it in writing. Note: the sender of the money must match the sender on the form to release the funds.  The form may only be completed in black ink, any alterations must be signed in full and only original signatures are permitted.


The Reserve Bank made a dispensation that allows authorised dealers to process international payments, without obtaining a declaration, to the beneficiary’s account provided that:

  • The value is under R50 000
  • Client has a South African ID number
  • The beneficiary name in the payment matches the account information on Capitec Bank’s records,
  • The account number is correct, and
  • The reference field clearly states the reason for the payment.

In order to improve the process you must ensure that your personal account information (FICA) and contact number are up to date on Capitec Bank’s system to avoid unnecessary delays in processing the payment

When expecting funds from abroad, a client can ask the sender to include one of the words below that best describe the reason for the payment in the Reference field.  Capitec Bank will be able to identify the reason, allocate the correct reason code needed to report the information to the Reserve Bank, SARS and Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) without having to contact the client. When the payment is processed, the client will receive an SMS containing the category we used in the report to the Reserve Bank.


Reason description

BOP category





Rental income








Family maintenance (please use Alimony)


Financial assistance


The SMS confirmation is automated and will be sent to the client within 24 hours after processing the payment. Should the client disagree with the chosen category, they must contact Capitec Forex within 14 days to dispute the category and provide the correct information. Capitec will submit an amended report with the new category.

SWIFT code

The SWIFT code for Capitec Bank is CABLZAJJ.  This code must always be captured in field 57A the "Account with Institution" by the foreign bank.

Account restrictions

Clients who use their transaction/savings accounts for business reasons or for bulk salary transfers may not use their retail accounts to make or receive any international transactions in favour of the business name. All transactions received in favour of salary transfer clients and in business names will be returned. If your business has a need for foreign exchange services please contact our Business bank, on the following link or call 011 302 0358 for more information.

Foreign loans

Preapproval is needed from SARB for the introduction of a foreign loan before the money is paid to South Africa.

If you're going to receive a foreign loan from abroad, download, print and complete the form below. The forms and a copy of the signed loan agreement between the borrower and the lender, must be emailed to or faxed to 0860 88 88 15.

For more information, call 021 809 4501 or 0860 66 77 09.

Exchange Control Application Form

Contact details

If you are expecting money from abroad or you will be sending money from abroad to your own account, please ensure that you update your contact details, including an email address if available. If you do not have a Standing Instruction for the payment, Capitec must be able to contact you complete the regulatory requirements. If we cannot contact you within 30 days, the money will be returned to the sender. To update your details, visit your nearest Capitec Bank branch.


The cost associated with payments from abroad will be deducted by the processing bank(s) from the value received before it is credited to your account (the beneficiary) unless otherwise indicated in the payment instruction.

Fees for international payments cannot be determined or quoted before the payment being received due to the number of other banks that might be involved to make the payment to Capitec Bank.

Please refer to the fee brochure or website for the fees applicable to receive an international payment.

Clearing times

Since we depend on a number of local banks to process these international payments, we can't guarantee the exact clearing times.

Payments from abroad normally take 3 – 7 working days from the time that the money is sent. If the sender or the foreign bank provides the Bank in South Africa with too little account information, the transaction will take longer and could even be returned.

It is important that our SWIFT code (CABLZAJJ) be included in field 57A of the SWIFT payment instruction as this helps automate the processing of the payment. If it's not included, the payment will be returned to the sending bank as an invalid payment instruction.

Returned payments could incur fees and these cannot be determined or quoted due to the number of local and foreign banks involved in the payment. The fees will be deducted from the value of the payment.

IBAN Number

The paying bank sometimes ask for an IBAN number. South African banks do not use IBAN numbers and it should not be required for payments to Capitec Bank. Should the paying entity force the capturing of an IBAN account number they can use the Capitec 10 digit account number preceded by zeroes (“0”). For example: the IBAN reference could be 0000001123456789.

Exchange Control Application

Certain Balance of Payments categories may require referral to the Financial Surveillance department at SARB for consideration as the transaction may not be permissible or fall outside the ambit of the Currency and Exchanges Manual before such transactions and/or payments may be executed. The timeframe for the applications to SARB is about 6 – 8 weeks, a fee payable in advance and is quoted in the fee brochure.

Exchange Control applicable to foreign nationals

Not from South Africa? Here's what you need to know to operate a Capitec Bank Savings Account,

Emigrating from South Africa

Individuals who are emigrating from South Africa to take up permanent residence in countries outside the Common Monetary Area who have ceased to be residents for Tax purposes will be required to obtain a TCS PIN letter issued by SARS Tax Compliance Status (TCS) system.   Interested clients may contact the Interbank Forex team who will arrange for a Business bank consultant to facilitate the Outward International Payment Process

Get more info on SA Receiver of Revenue website regarding emigration here.

Bank accounts for foreign nationals

Not from South Africa? Here's what you need to know to open a Capitec Bank Savings Account, bank accounts for foreign nationals

Was this article helpful?

you may also like...

View All Other Articles View All
guidelines for safe banking

guidelines for safe banking

It can still be safe to do your banking. Here are some important guidelines to follow.

Read More
learn from your bank statement

learn from your bank statement

Spend some time looking over your bank statement for any bank better, live better areas to improve.

Read More
switch to the best way to bank

switch to the best way to bank

What if there was a simple, affordable way to help make your financial goals a reality?

Read More
do you have lazy money?

do you have lazy money?

While most people work hard for their money, their money isn’t working for them. Right now, there’s R295 billion in lazy money in South Africa. Money that’s simply sitting in transactional accounts earning no interest. If that money earned just 4.75% interest, it would put over R14 billion extra into the pockets of South Africans each year.

Read More
View All Other Articles