Sending Money from Japan to International Locations using Transferwise (Transferwise Coupon included)

It is inevitable. At some point during your stay here in Japan, you will have a reason for sending money from Japan to international locations. There are several ways of doing this like using your local Japanese bank to do international transfers. However, using that option will lead to very high charges expecially if you are only sending a small amount. I inquired once in SMBC and I almost fainted (approx 2500 yen base and some charges depending on the amount). But if you need to do so ASAP for the first time, I do not recommend this method since this will require 2 weeks of verification (max).

As a student here in Japan with financial obligations back home, I have to find a fast, cost-effective and less-hellish way of transferring money to my Philippine bank account because every yen counts.

Initial Preparations before Registration

You can set up your Transferwise quite easily by either using your Google log-in or your Facebook account. Before doing that you need to prepare the following:

  1. Scanned copy of residence card or any ID which shows:
    • Your photo
    • Your full name
    • Your date of birth
    • Your signature
    • An expiry date
    • Document number
    • The full machine readable zone (The two lines of letters and numbers at the bottom of the document)
  2. Your My Number card. Japanese laws require this for international bank transfers. You can get this card from your post-office. It will take 1-2 weeks for you to receive this after processing so make sure to allocate time for that.

If you are going to transfer less than 100,000 yen on your first registration, you only need the ID and my number card and the transfer is so fast (probably 3 days to a week). If you are going to transfer more than that, you will have to wait a little longer because they will need to verify your ID and your address. Also, if you plan to do it the second time or more so after the first transfer, you will also need to verify your address.

ID and Address Verification

Transferwise will send a registered letter to your Japanese address after registration, which will take 2-5 working days to arrive. This will be sent as soon as your ID and My Number documents are verified and you will then need to sign for the letter when it arrives. It must be you who receives the letter but iff you’re not at your address at the time of delivery, a slip will be left and you can call to book a time for the letter to be re-delivered. That letter will contain a pin code which you will enter in the website. Don’t worry, it’s so prominent after log-in that you will know where to enter it.

Transferwise vs WorldRemit vs Western Union vs Paypal

WordRemit is said to be the best money transfer service in the world. So why did I use Transferwise? Tranferwise’s rates are lower for a smaller amount of money transfer (500 yen) and they offer coupons. That means that if you click my invitation link for a Transferwise coupon, you will receive will receive a £500 worth of transfer, completely free of charge! If you click that link, I will earn a bit of money (only if 3 people did a transfer so the probability of me earning money from this is not too high).

Here is the sample comparison from

How to do the Money Transfer

1. Click on the Send Money button in your home page (logged-in). It will take you to this part:

Decide how much you need to send and it will show how much they will charge you and how much the recipient will receive

2. Click Continue and it will take you to this part. All the other options will be blocked out in Japan.

3. Click Personal Profile and it will take you to this part: Select who you will be sending the money to. You can add a recipient from here.

4. The preceding steps will be according to if you will transfer the money to your own registered account. It even says when the money will arrive. See how fast it is?

5. Review the details carefully before clicking the Corfirm and continue button and it will prompt you to choose a method of paying Transferwise. If you do the bank transfer (furikomi), there will be no extra charge. Japan Transferwise also accepts debit cards for a fee.

6. Transfer the money and wait for it to arrive. Viola. Painless and convenient.

If you chose bank transfer, you will receive this information from Transferwise:

トランスファーワ – – – – –
Use this reference
P- – – – –


恵比寿支店 / EBISU / エビス
Account type
普通 / Current account / フツウ
Account number

Please be forewarned that local bank transfers done in the ATM will be entirely in Japanese. But don’t fret, I will guide you through that in another article.

Have you used Transferwise before? Share your opinion on the comments ! Thank you for reading. 🙂

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Paula Lapizar

Chemical Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Tree-Hugger. Bargain Hunter
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Paula Lapizar

Chemical Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Tree-Hugger. Bargain Hunter

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