If you own a small business and are ordering products from China, you will need to pay for those products.  The easiest way to do so is transfer money.  The rise of the Internet and money exchange makes it quick and easy to do so.  Sourcing Nova has compiled this guide for you to send money to China.  Enjoy the read.

 Determine the CNY rate


Money fluctuates in price almost daily.  If you can catch the day’s rates in your favor, it could mean a better price for your products.


There are restrictions associated with sending money to China.  Before you do your transfer, be certain to find out what currencies your recipient can accept.  The U.S. dollar is fairly well accepted across China.


Larger amounts sent will result in a more favorable exchange rate.  The transfer agencies make their money on small profit margins based on the exchange rate – often between 10 to 15 percent of the amount you will send.


Choose your transfer company – one out of eight


There ar plenty of services available for your transfers – Wise, TransferGo, Azimo, Western Union and Remitly to name a few.  The best company to use is the one that will save you the most money.


Your decision needs to be based on the factors you want

There are many things to consider: price, transfer time, reviews or compromise.  You need to select the ones that are most important.  You will not be able to meet 100 percent of what you want each time.

Create an account, and start the process

The transfer company will have a homepage for you to start the process.  It is a standard sign up process like for any website, although you may be required to submit identification as part of the process.

It can be a pain looking for transfer companies and making the comparisions.  This is why we have looked into fees, apps and options to make sending money to China easier for you.

Note this!


Transfering money to China or from China has requirements on movement of its currency – the Renminbi.  China takes money laundering and tax evasion seriously.  Sending money to China is not an issue, no matter the amount, provided the money is tied to your personal identification.


Basically, and this is very important, wired, transferred or as cash, any amount over 10,000 RMB will be monitored by the government as it enters China.  This includes paying for your products.


How to send money to China to pay for your products


It is very common for people to send money to China for a variety of reasons, including family living outside of China and sending money home.  The desire to send money as inexpensively as possible makes sense – it is helping family and friends.  There are a few ways to send money to China, and this article will address that fact.  It basically comes down to one of two ways: bank transfer or use a money transfer system available online or with an app.


What about a bank transfer?


Banks normally do not have the best fees for exchange.  It is important to look at 100 percent of your options before sending.


Banks are the first and obvious choice, but banks often hide additional fees and costs by changing the exchange rate.  Transfer companies look at the mid-market fair rate – up to eight times cheaper than a bank.


Documentation required


Coming from the U.S., sending money into China is not an issue.  All you will need is a few basic documents.  The recipient will have their own set of documentation required to pick the money up.




You will need a piece of identification such as a state issued driver’s license, identification card or passport.  There are some who may request a social security number.  It best to ask.


Recipient information


The name, phone number, Chinese bank account and routing number are necessary.  Sourcing Nova will provide this information to you when it is time to make the first payment.  They will also need:


•         Transfer number – You will provide the PIN, MTCN, reference or tracking number.   The agency will tell you

•         Government ID – The identification card, passport or mainland permit are all acceptable

•         The total amount – The recipient should be aware of the total amount

•         Sender’s information – You will have provided this information previously


Transfering money to China – The various options you have available to you


There are several different services and agencies that you can use.  Sourcing Nova is going to list the best ones.


International Wire Transfer


This is ideal or low to medium transactions, such as ordering samples of your products you want to sell.  The normal terms include a 30 percent down payment and the remaining 70 percent based on the credit terms with the recipient.


Escrow services


Escrow services mean you send money to a third party who then holds the amount until you and the recipient agree on release.  This can provide an excellent level of protection.  Some unscrupluous manufacturers will forge the required paperwork for a faster release in the case of a dispute.

Transfer directly to a sourcing agent

This is very much like escrow but slightly different.  The sourcing agent will use their manufacturers to hand the process.  These manufacturers are vetted and trusted, so you do not have to concern yourself.  The sourcing agent is working for you specifically.  This proves to be a stress free process as a general rule.  After all the sourcing agent is contracted to you.

Sourcing Nova has the money transferred directly into a bank account.

The best transfer agencies to use


There are plenty of transfer agencies, but Sourcing Nova has its preferences.  Here they are in no particular order.




PayPal is a very commonly used program to transfer money and for good reason.  It is safe and well established in the transfer community.


How long will it take?


There are two ways PayPal will transfer money to China:


•        Standard service – Two working days; free

•        Instant service – Within 30 minutes; one percent fee with a maximum $10.00 USD fee


What amounts work for PayPal?


You may use a credit card with PayPal, which is a good idea for your tax reporting purposes.  However, PayPal offers a very liberal refund policy of up to 180 days.  Many Chinese businesses are hesitant to take PayPal for this specific reason.  It is very easy to apply for a refund after getting courier information on a purchase.


If the manufacturer or sourcing agent will accept PayPal or Xoom, more on this in a moment, it is typically less than $500.00 USD.


PayPal is not commonly accepted in China, and thus there is very little reason for companies to accept payments through PayPal.




If both have PayPal, Xoom is for Chinese bank accounts, which Sourcing Nova uses for money transfers.  The only requirement is you must have a China PayPal account, available at paypal.com/cn (change to English is easy).  Add money to your account, and the recipient can get money with email or phone number.


Few Chinese use or have heard of PayPal.  The transfer is fast, but the withdrawl time is a few days.


Lastly, PayPal and Xoom alike have very difficult to understand fee structures that are only obvious after transfer and withdrawl.   Fees can range from 0.5 percent for a balance or bank account to 7.4 percent on a credit card plus other fees to China.


Safety and features


PayPal is one of the oldest and most established money transfer systems.  It is very secure and highly trustworthy.




•         Safe

•         Pay bills on app

•         Easy updates with text and email



Wise, formerly Transferwise, is one of the best ways to send money to China.  Banks, like we said, have huge fees, often hidden, that translate into bad rates for you and your manufacturer or sourcing agent.

Wise is just easy.  It can be set up and ready to go within 10 minutes, set the transfer from USD to CNY, add the bank information and transfer the funds.  Best of all, Wise works with banks across the world.

Wise is one of the most preferred ways to send money to China and is great if you are ordering sample products.
(h4) How long will it take?


Wise says three to five business days, but we are aware of receiving money within two.


Safety and features


Wise is extremely safe to use and is one of the more widely accepted across China.  Wise also has the best rates of all of the services and reasonable fees – $2.95 USD and 1.19 percent of the total amount.  If you can do so via bank transfer, that is the best way.




The nice thing about Remitly is credit cards have an express option.  This means your manufacturer or sourcing agent will have the money in minutes.  There is also no minimum for sending money.  Remitly is also cheaper than PayPal/Xoom and Western Union alike.  The website and app also accept payments.


There is a $3.99 USD fee plus the exchange rate – depending on the amount of the transfer and your country of  origin.


How long will it take?


When we say minutes, we mean it.  It is more likely to take more time putting in the information for the transfer than the transfer itself.


Safety and features


Remitly is very safe and licensed.  There are various ways for the manufacturer or sourcing agent to pick up their money after sending.


WorldRemit will accept transfers up to $10,000.00 USD to China.  The rates are compatible with the other transfer services, but WorldRemit has more options than PayPal, Western Union and MoneyGram.


There is no transfer fee but a margin to the exchange rate added to the amount sent from the U.S. to China.  That amount depends on the amount you send.


How long will it take?

WorldRemit offers choices.  A wire transfer is done in minutes with the RMB ready.  A cash delivery with ID and transaction number is immediate.

Safety and features

Again, safety is a basic factor with WorldRemit as it is with all of the services.  The cash pick up is a great element as are the clear costs.


OFX sets itself apart because they still use a telephone service for transfers and no flat fee for transfers coming from the U.S.


Like WorldRemit, there is a margin fee added to the exchange rate during the conversion process.  OFX has a minimum of $150.00 for a single transfer and $250.00 for recurring ones.


How long does it take?


The recipient will have their money within one business day.


Safety and features


OFX is very safe.  It has an easy set up and phone access for those who would prefer it.  Large amounts of transfer can lock into the best rates available.

(h3) Western Union
When it comes to sending USD to China, Western Union has long been a standby choice.  The money is wired instantly, and you can do it via any number of different ways – in person, website, app or at a store.


Western Union likes the old ways, so they prefer you send your money from an actual counter and not other ways available.  It is actually cheaper to do so.


One of the better things about Western Union is there is no need for a bank account.  All that is needed is the basic information of the recipient.  You provide the transfer number, recipient name, amount and your name.  The rest is done with the system.


Fees vary, but there is a way to estimate fees on the website.  Cash is the best way to send the money. Although debit and credit cards work, PayPal is a better option if the sourcing agency or manufacturer will accept PayPal.


Only one person can receive up to $50,000.00 USD per year, so it is best to have more than one person as a beneficiary.


Safety and features

Being old and established, Western Union continues to be a staple for sending money to China.  If you are sending a significant amount, check before you send.  There is often a hefty handling fee attached to an amount greater than $5,000.00 USD.

Some are not using Western Union like they once were because of the fees.  It is something to check on for certain.


Moneygram and Western Union are very close to the point of being almost identical.  However, the company was in serious financial straits, and a Chinese company almost bought Moneygram and its debt.  The U.S. called off the deal, however.


Moneygram is not a preferred provider by any means.  It is far better to use one of the other services.


Telegraphic Transfer (T/T), Wire Transfer

Telegraphic Transfer, wire transfer or bank transfer, the names are all the same thing and are the basic business to business way to pay for products in China.  Both parties must have a bank, which is not a problem for Sourcing Nova.


At your bank, ask for a T/T or wire transfer to send your money to China without issue.  Wiring money is done with the SWIFT system, and this is the only international way to send money to a Chinese bank account.


A little information is all you need for a wire transfer – the recipient name, account, bank name, address and SWIFT code.


There is normally a wire charge of $20.00 to $50.00.  Sourcing Nova does recommend a large scale bank, if possible, for the best transfer rates and fees.  Some choose to divide the fees, with the customer taking the first fee and the recipient in China taking the second fee.


How long does it take?


On average, one to three days time is all it takes to make the wire transfer to China.


Safety and features


The only safety issue is if the money does not reach China after a few business days, there could be an error in the transfer system.  This is another reason to wire transfer with a large scale bank – there is a slimmer margin of error in this instance.


Lastly, the SWIFT code is necessary.  Banks who want to wire money in other ways are not familiar with wiring to China.  Again, a large bank is best for this.



Veem is very much like a wire transfer in that is uses a SWIFT code to send money to China.  Veem only makes a one time charge because they use blockchain, benefiting both sides of the transaction.


The exchange rate is often calculated lower than the current standard rate.  So if the exchange is 1:6.7, it is common for Veem to lower it to 1:6.5 to give a cushion for profit margin.


How long does it take?


Veem takes a long time for the first transaction – up to 14 business days, but subsequent transactions are much faster – around three days.


Safety and features


Veem cites protection of the customer for the extended time in transfer, but the are also new in the industry.  They have excellent customer service.


It is best to start with a small amount, for samples ideally, if you want to try Veem over the other services.


How can you stay safe when sending money to China?



Each of the companies listed take safety of their customers information and money very seriously.  However, no system is 100 percent.  Here are some recommendations for additional safety measures.


·         Be aware of privacy policies and track progress

·         Use a strong and unique password like what is recommended by many websites

·         Make sure the transfer system has a two-factor authenticaion with SMS or email security code options


What is necessary to send money to China


This is easy.  You only need a bit of basic information:


·         Account name and address

·         Account number

·         SWIFT/BIC code


You will need to pay the wiring fees, as will the recipient.


A few more things to consider


There is the accepted standard for paying for products.  That is to pay a percentage down, approximately 20 to 30 percent, and the remainder when the product order is almost complete.  It is during the two payment times when product testing takes place to ensure quality compliance.


Many manufacturers run on tight budgets and are not willing to take an unnecessary chance on having to start over a whole batch of products.  This is why Sourcing Nova recommends pre shipment inspections on products before paying the remainder of the invoice.


Final thoughts


Sourcing Nova has tried to cover all of the big transfer agencies available for you.  When you are ready to order products and make that initial payment, Sourcing Nova can assist you with it for a smooth transaction.  In our years of service, we have yet to have a problem with any money transfers to China.  Let us know when you are ready in a comment below.