Money transfer to Thailand: common methods, processing time and fees

Kirstie Lau4 min
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Money transfer to Thailand: common methods, processing time and fees
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Thailand stands out as a popular destination for Hong Kong travelers and ranks as the fourth largest trading partner among ASEAN countries, boasting strong economic and trade relations. With the increasing demand for financial transactions, cost-effective alternatives to traditional bank transfers have emerged for sending funds to Thailand, including the third-party financial and remittance platform Airwallex. This article delves into three most common methods of money transfers to Thailand, with comparison on processing times, fees, and restrictions to aid individuals in selecting the approach that maximises profitability.

Why should you use Thai Baht for payments to suppliers in Thailand?

Beginning in early December 2023, Hong Kong residents can use the Faster Payment System (FPS) during their travels in Thailand. By simply scanning QR codes at over 8 million merchants, they can make payments and benefit from instant currency conversion. Nevertheless, Hong Kong businesses engaging with Thai suppliers or local companies will still need to rely on traditional bank wire transfers or remittance platforms to settle payments in Thai Baht.

Challenges of sending money to Thailand

In the midst of global economic uncertainty, businesses face rising operating costs in the high-interest setting, and international trades are also impacted due to FX rates fluctuations. For instance, consider traditional bank transfers – businesses encounter potential fees and inflated exchange rates from banks when sending funds to Thailand and settling bills in Thai Baht.

Especially in urgent scenarios requiring large sums of currency for large orders, businesses must proceed with remitting to Thailand even amid fluctuating rates and increased costs. In addition, individual banks may impose fees or undisclosed charges, which heightens expenses even further. 

Nevertheless, banks may need to review remittance requests to ensure compliance with legal requirements. This process may delay the funds by several business days. Delays may also occur if the remitter fails to provide all necessary documentation.

3 common methods to transfer to Thailand

1. Bank transfers (international remittance services)

Visiting the bank in person for international remittance is a conventional approach. Remitters typically need to bring identification documents and specify the recipient's name, the name of the Thai bank, account number, and other relevant information. The Hong Kong bank will then process the request and transfer the funds to the Thai bank. It's worth noting that different banks might apply extra handling charges, and being mindful of the bank's remittance cut-off time is crucial. Traditional banks usually require 1 to 5 business days to complete the remittance process.

2. Remittance through online banking

Online remittance is done through e-banking or mobile applications. To send a remittance, users simply need to follow the instructions and enter the recipient's Thai bank account number, bank name, and other required details. Online banking offers convenience and speed so transfers can be done at any time and from anywhere. However, different banks typically impose multiple charges, and the funds may not always be instantly credited.

3. Through third-party financial and remittance platforms, such as Airwallex

The market now presents a range of alternative remittance choices, including various third-party platforms like Airwallex. Airwallex is an all-in-one leading global financial platform for modern businesses that offers remittance services to Thailand – businesses can swiftly open a commercial account within minutes, free from account opening or transaction fees. With competitive rates as low as 0.2% above the interbank rate, businesses can benefit from relatively speedy remittance processing, with 70% of transfers credited on the same day.

Comparing various approaches to sending money to Thailand 

Bank wire transfers / online banking Airwallex
Processing time 1 to 5 business days 70% of transactions can be credited on the same day
Fees or charges for overseas transfers Multiple handling charges apply, with the basic fee ranging from approximately HK$50 to $200 $0 account opening fees, monthly fees or hidden charges
Limitation on large-sum transfers Up to HK$400,000 for non-registered recipients and up to HK$3,000,000 for registered recipients None from the platform itself

Advantages of using Airwallex for money transfer to Thailand

Airwallex is renowned for its one-in-one services, competitive charges and swift processing times. Established in 2015, Airwallex operates across 19 global locations. In Hong Kong, it operates under the supervision of the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department and holds a Money Service Operator license (MSO License No. 16-09-01929). Additionally, Airwallex is registered or licensed by various international bodies, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), with an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL License No: 487221). Airwallex US, LLC is also licensed by multiple state authorities in the United States.

By opening an account with Airwallex, customers can exchange currencies at competitive rates. Whether it is small transactions or significant remittances, 70% of all transactions can be processed on the same day – no more stop sweating over remittance delays and supplier relationships.

Things to note before remitting to Thailand or making Thai Baht payments through Airwallex

Before sending money to Thailand or carrying out transactions in Thai Baht, it is essential to make sure that there are adequate funds in your Airwallex account. This ensures the conversion of funds to Thai Baht with fees as low as 0.2% above interbank rates. 

When initiating the transfer, validate the recipient's details, including the name and account number of the Thai bank, branch, and more, before proceeding with the remittance.

Open a global multi-currency account for free in Hong Kong

FAQs

1. When is the best time to transfer money from Hong Kong to Thailand?

When sending money from Hong Kong to Thailand, it is recommended to avoid days with significant FX rate fluctuations, such as those surrounding US interest rate announcements. 

As a third-party financial and remittance platform, Airwallex offers highly competitive and stable rates, with the option of FX forwarding to further mitigate the impact of FX fluctuations. Users can conveniently and cost-effectively send money to Thailand at the most opportune time.

2. How do I transfer money from Hong Kong to Thailand?

You can remit funds from Hong Kong to Thailand through online banking wire transfers, international remittances through bank branches, money changers, or third-party financial and remittance platforms like Airwallex.

3. How long does it take to transfer money to Thailand? 

Funds typically arrive within 1 to 5 days through bank transfers, though instant transfer is possible based on the sender's chosen remittance method. Bank transfers are governed by international remittance protocols and transfer amounts, while the third-party financial and remittance platform Airwallex can accomplish instant transfers in 70% of instances.

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Kirstie Lau
Senior Associate, Growth Marketing

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