The best way to send and receive money from China


If you’re moving to the UK as an international student, you may be wondering how you’re going to send and receive money. Don’t worry, iQ has you covered!

We’ve put together some suggestions on the most economical, fast and secure options for all your money transfers to China. 



TransferWise is an online money transfer service, which allows you to transfer money up to 8 times cheaper than with a bank. Like other transfer services, a small fee of 1.5% is charged to send money overseas.

The cleverness and beauty of TransferWise, is that it makes the currency exchange part of a transaction transparent – so your money will be exchanged using the best rate. No need to stress about sneaky bank charges, we think that’s pretty awesome!

A few things to consider when using TransferWise:

·         You will need a UK bank account to send and receive money.

·         You don’t have to link your bank account, you’ll only pay in for the transfers you create.

·         You can only make CNY transfers to private recipients who have a UnionPay bank card.

·         Your recipient must be a private individual - you cannot make CNY transfers to a business.

·         It may take up to 2 days for the money to be transferred into your bank account.

TransferWise can send money to many banks in China, although there are some that do not accept overseas payments such as:

·         Agricultural Bank of China

·         China Merchants bank

·         China Minsheng bank

·         Industrial Bank Co

·         Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

·         Bank of Communications

Making transfers with TransferWise is easy, here’s a quick tutorial


Banking in the UK

Before or after arriving in the UK, you’ll need to open a UK bank account for the years you’re a resident here. Most UK banks are happy to open accounts for international students. Here are a few to consider:


If you like the idea of using TransferWise, Barclays offer something similar with an International Student Additions Account for all your money transfers.

Things to consider:

·         Free banking to overseas students with no monthly fees.

·         You can open an account online before you arrive, reducing the amount of time needed at your in person appointment; in which you’ll need to show your documents.

·         Full online, mobile and telephone banking is available.

·         Customers are required to pay in their main source of funding, and must be studying in the UK for a minimum of twelve months.

·         They have 1,600 branches across the UK.

What you’ll need:

·         Your address(es) for the past 3 years, including a UK address.

·         Your place of study and course details.

·         Your income details (if you have any).

·         Your employment details, including your employer’s address (if you also work).

·         Proof of your student status for your branch visit (offer letter from University or Student ID).

Further information here

Bank of China

The Student Prime Account  is a great option for many international Chinese students, if you don’t fancy the idea of using a transfer company.

Here’s why:

·         You can open an account in China before your arrival in the UK.

·         Friends and family at home can send you money with no charges and vice versa.

·         You can withdraw cash from many ATM machines in the UK, without commission charges.

·         You collect your debit card from one of their branches after you arrive in the UK.

·         Want to speak to someone in the UK about your account in person? Branch locations are listed here

·         They provide Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese and other dialect speakers for those that need support.

What you’ll need:

·         Valid Passport

·         Proof of address

·         Offer letter from University

Further information here