To fund your EasyEquities USD account, you need US Dollars - plain and simple.
What this means is that unless you are lucky enough to have a little treasure trove of dollars sitting in an offshore account somewhere already, you will need to convert your Rands into dollars and effectively take them offshore.
Not too long ago that could be tricky, but thankfully our National Treasury has relaxed our exchange controls significantly in recent times so that unless you're a heavy hitter looking to take more than R1 million offshore in any tax year, then you almost don't need to think about it.*
There are 2 scenarios that will affect how you fund your EasyEquities USD account, which we will deal with individually below. Please note, funding your account with a credit or debit card is NOT allowed:
1. I DON'T HAVE DOLLARS -
This is probably the situation facing most EasyEquities clients so don't fret, you have two options as follows:
A. EasyFX - In our perpetual quest to keep everything easy and inexpensive, the Innovative folk at EasyEquities have developed EasyFX an on-platform forex solution that enables you to convert available funds in your EasyEquities ZAR account to dollars in your EasyEquities USD account so you can invest in the US instruments available there.
The solution has a minimum fee of about a 1 / 5 (Yes - only one-fifth of the usual minimum fees bank forex solutions demand) and a two-day guaranteed exchange rate that gives clients the flexibility to determine if that rate will work in their favour - if not they can cancel it just before the close of the window.
For details on how to use that solution - check out our How does the EasyFX solution work? FAQ article.
B. Swift Payment
If you prefer to make the payment from your own bank account and don't mind paying more, then you can fund your EasyEquities USD account by SWIFT Payment. This is an international payment offered by most South African banks. Most offer it through their respective online banking platforms. You can login and provide your bank with:
- Our EasyEquities Citibank USD account details - you can find these details on the Deposit page of your EasyEquities USD account
- Your unique EasyEquities reference number - it is critical that you get this right to avoid a delay in the allocation of funds. Please read - Correct reference for SWIFT transfer
There are a few additional fiddly details that you need to know in order to complete the SWIFT payment. These may include:
1. Reason for payment or BOP (Balance of payments) category code.
If your EasyEquities account is an individual account (ie. in your name), then please use the 512/01 code (foreign investments - shares)
We recommend that you AVOID using the 512/07 (foreign investments - other) code
2. Charge allocation.
This instructs the bank whether you (the applicant) want all charges included in the payment (ie. if you instruct the bank to transfer $500, you expect $500 to arrive at the other bank.
We recommend selecting the OUR option, which indicates that you will pay all transfer charges and the amount of dollars you send, will arrive in your EasyEquities USD account.
Alternative options include: SHA (shared) which means you only pay your bank's outgoing transfer charge and the amount that arrives in our US account would be less than what you intended.
3. Beneficiary address
The banks require you to specify the beneficiary address. You should try our registered office address first (left-hand column in the table below).
Some banks don't accept that and require that you use the address of the bank, in which case, please use the details in the right-hand column in the table below.
|Registered Office address||US Bank address|
|Address Line 1||25 Owl Street||111 Wall Street|
|Suburb||Braamfontein Werf||New York|
|Province or state||Gauteng||NY|
|Postal or Zip code||2092||10043|
|Country||South Africa||United States of America|
4. Tax reference number
It's worth having your tax reference number on you when you start making the SWIFT payment as most banks will require that you have it in order to submit the transfer.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF COSTS:
Unfortunately, while reasonably easy to do, transfer by Swift payment can be quite costly with most banks charging a minimum fee of between R180 - R250, before the spread on the exchange rate is factored in. If you're only transferring R500, this could mean that 50% or more of the Rand amount could be transfer costs and you'd end up with the dollar equivalent of only R200 arriving in your EasyEquities USD account. This will require high returns before you even break even.
For some helpful information on how some of the South Africa banks handle SWIFT payments as well as some fee information, please visit this FAQ article Helpful SWIFT bank information
2. I DO HAVE DOLLARS IN AN OFFSHORE ACCOUNT - INTERBANK TRANSFER
If you're a savvy international jetsetter who holds US dollars in an account offshore, you can simply transfer an amount of dollars from that account into our First World Trader Nominees account with CitiBank.
You can find these bank details, together with the reference number to use on the transfer, on the 2nd block on the Deposit page of your EasyEquities USD account, the first part of which is shown in the image below.
OPENING AN OFFSHORE ACCOUNT
If you plan on opening an offshore account and haven't done so yet, we have put together some information on some of the South African bank offerings in this FAQ article - Helpful bank information for opening offshore accounts
* There's a discretionary allowance allowing South Africans to take up to R1million offshore in any tax year.
If you want to take more money offshore (between R1 and R10 million), you can seek authorisation from the South African Reserve Bank, which you can do by completing a Tax Clearance Certificate, available in any SARS branch. For more information check out the SARB page HERE