HOW TO DO A BANK TRANSFER IN JAPAN

In writing my previous blog about TransferWise, I realized that there might be expats out there who are eager to try it out but are hesitant to do so because they are not familiar with how to accomplish the final step – doing a bank transfer (in Japanese, Furikomi). While many ATMs in Japan now come with English menus, the translations tend to only cover the most common services such as withdrawals and deposits. Yes, a wire transfer would very likely have you confront that dreaded Japanese side of the menu and could be a bit confusing – unless of course you read this blog first and walk up to the ATM with all the information that you need.

PRIOR TO MAKING THE TRANSFER

Before heading out to make a transfer, be sure that you know the following details about the account you are transferring money to (note that you don’t have to memorize this information and could simply take note of them on a piece of paper or on your smartphone).

  • 銀行名 (ginkou-mei) 金融機関名 (kin’yuukkan-mei) – these Japanese words mean ‘name of bank’ or ‘name of financial institution’ i.e Japan Post, MUFG, Mizuho and others. Be sure to know or get a copy of the name and pronunciation or katakana spelling for the
  • 支店名 (shiten-mei) – name of bank branch
  • 口座科目 (kouza kamoku) – meaning ‘account type’. This typically comes in the following options:
    1. 普通 (futsuu) – regular account
    2. 当座 (touza) – current (checking) account
    3. 貯蓄 (chochiku) – savings account
  • 口座番号 (kouza bango) – receiver’s seven-digit bank account number
  • 口座名義 (kouza meigi) – name of the account you are transferring money to

With all of the information above in hand, you can now head down to your nearest ATM. Of course, don’t forget to bring your cash card.

By the way, if your transaction is time-sensitive, take note that most banks’ cut-off time is at 3PM on weekdays. This means that transfers made before 3PM on business days will go through on the same day. On the other hand, transfers made after the cut-off or no weekends will go through on the next business day.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO DOING A BANK TRANSFER USING YOUR CASH CARD

Keep in mind that depending on which bank’s ATM you are using, there might be slight variations on the words used and process followed. For this blog, I chose to use 7eleven’s machine because I think it’s probably the one most readers would have access to. 7eleven convenience stores are everywhere, even in places where there might not be a lot of bank branches. In any case, using other banks’ ATM, this guide would still be a helpful resource and should assist you through the process successfully.

Step 1: Insert your ATM card to access the banking options screen.

Step 2: Choose カード振込 from the list of options (2nd from the top on the right, facing the screen). On other banks’ machines, the terms お振り込み (ofurikomi), お振込 (ofurikomi) or ご送金 (gosoukin) might be used.

Step 3: This next screen warns you about possible fraud. If you believe that there is a chance you are being swindled and would like to terminate the transaction, press on on the はい/Cancel button. Otherwise, press the いいえ/Confirm button to proceed to the next step.

Step 4: This display explains the fees for sending money which, in the case of 7eleven ATMs (I think other banks’ machines are slightly cheaper and the fee structure is not too complicated, to be honest) depend on the time you are transferring funds, the banks involved, the amount of the transfer and the type of account you are sending money to (personal or corporate). There is too much here to explain so I will not get into the details. Just remember that sending money on the following cases will cost you more: outside of regular ‘ATM hours’ (8:45 AM to 6PM), sending money to non-7eleven accounts, transfers of more than 30000JPY and transfers to corporate accounts. The highest possible fee is 440JPY which is applicable when your transfer satisfies all the ‘cost-you-more’ characteristics listed earlier.

If you are fine with the fees, press the 確認 (kakunin)/Confirm button on the lower right side.

Step 5: Enter your PIN then, the amount you would like to send. When done entering the amount, you need to press the 円 (yen) button on the keypad (not the screen). Next, press 確認 (kakunin)/Confirm on the screen or Enter on the keypad.

Step 6: If you have made a transfer before, the next screen will show the saved accounts you have sent money to in the past. You can simply choose the account you would like to sends funds to.

Since you are reading this blog though, I’m guessing this is your first time. Press on 新しい振込先 (atarashii furikomisaki) on the lower left to enter the details of the account you would like to wire transfer to.

Step 7: Here, choose the bank or financial institution you are sending money to. Remember that list of information I said you should know even before you make the transfer? Yes, this is where you start using those. The institutions that will be displayed initially are your own bank (top) and 7eleven bank (lower left). If you are going to be making transfers to banks other than these, simply press その他金融機関 on the lower right to see more options.

Step 8: Once you’ve chosen the bank, the next step is to enter the bank branch. You will need some knowledge of katakana here. If you are not familiar with katakana, I suggest you research this part in advance – it’s really not that hard, I promise. Basically, what you have to do is just type in the first (or first few) katakana of the branch’s name. For example, here, I am transferring to the 恵比寿 (Ebisu) branch. In katakana, that would be エビス. As soon as I press エ, I am presented with the branch names that start with ‘E’. Be careful because, just like in the case of this transfer, I did not find the name of my branch right away. I had to press the 次へ (tsugi he) button (lower right) to see other options.

Once you’ve found it on the list, pick the correct branch.

Step 9: Select the account type.

Step 10: Key-in the receiver’s bank account number.

Step 11: As a security measure, here, you are asked to enter your phone number – with hyphens.

Step 12: Following that, you will be presented with a summary of your transfer details which from top to bottom are:

  • receiver’s financial institution
  • receiver’s account number
  • receiver’s name
  • transfer amount and processing fee
  • sender’s name
  • senders phone number

If you need to change any of the information, press the corresponding 変更 (white with orange outline) button. If everything looks good, press 確認 (kakunin)/Confirm on the lower right.

Step 13: This next screen asks whether you would like to save the transfer receiver’s information for future use. Select 登録する on the left if you do and 登録しない on the right if you don’t.

Step 14: Lastly, you will be asked if you would like to make another transfer (連続振込/renzoku furikomi button on the left) or just finish the transaction (終了/shuuryou button on the right).

And there you go, you have just successfully done a wire transfer using an ATM in Japan. Congratulations!

If you found this blog helpful, be sure to go to my website for more information that will sure make your life in Japan easier!

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