Seven Bank, Western Union to start overseas money transfer service

Seven Bank, Western Union to start overseas money transfer service Ousmane Sankhon, center, gets ready to crack open a barrel of sake with Seven Bank and Western Union officials on Tuesday. PHOTO BY RENA TAKEUCHI

TOKYO —

Seven Bank and Western Union announced Tuesday that they will start an overseas money transfer service on July 19. Using the Internet/mobile banking network of Seven Bank, you can send money anytime 24 hours a day from any place you like. Seven Bank ATMs are installed at about 15,000 locations nationwide.

In the agreement with Western Union, recipients will be able to collect money at 400,000 locations in about 200 countries, officials said at a news conference in Tokyo. During the event, Seven Bank officials performed a live demonstration of how to send money to a recipient in Manila in just one minute. 

Seven Bank said users can send 10,000 yen for only 990 yen and 50,000 yen for only 1,500 yen, with no payment due on the receiving end. Receivers do not need to open a bank account.

“We started this service to make it easy for all the foreign workers, who are very valuable for Japan’s economy, to send money back home.
The foreign population in Japan is expected to increase in the next decade and we believe this service will help those people and Japan’s economy as well,” said Seven Bank executive Yasuaki Funatake. He said that Seven Bank expects up to 1 million transactions a year in three to five years.

Funatake also said that the network had an inbuilt system to monitor for money laundering and other illegal transactions.

To help publicize the new service, Seven Bank has enlisted TV personality Ousmane Sankhon, who has lived in Japan more than 40 years, as its spokesman. Sankhon said he still sends money to his family in Guinea, and added that the overseas money transfer service will become essential for foreign people working in Japan, who wish to remit money back home.

The service is available in English, Japanese, Chinese and Tagalog. For more information, visit http://www.sevenbank.co.jp/soukin/en/

Japan Today

  • 0

    some14some

    Chances of success ? 10% - Good Luck (courtesy) !

  • -1

    asianTourist

    If foreigners in Japan send remittance money back to their relatives monthly, the new service will prosper at a fist rate.

  • 0

    Papigiulio

    rates are much better. now I have to pay 50% for everything I sent, its ridiculous

  • 0

    Jason Lok

    This will definitely be successful! The only options I have to send money is by Japan Post money remittance (if I want to wait for a while before the money is received on the other end), GoLloyds London (if I want to go through the troublesome and long sign-up process, then pay comparable fees), or through a bank transfer (if I want to lose an arm and a leg). Sending money by 7-11/Western Union is more convenient and accessible than the other complicated processes to send it. Sending 50,000 for 1,500 means a 3% fee, not bad!

  • -1

    techall

    It's abiout time. Note the line about 400,000 locations and 200 countries and Japan is just getting on board now. Sumitomo bank used to have WU service but mostely receiving only and only during normal banking hours. Western Union is still the best way to send money to someone who is cash strapped in a hurry. Just walk into any agent with your MTCN and valid ID and receive the cash.

  • -1

    techall

    It's great for foreign workers but I find the real benefit is emergencies. My son lost his wallet in the states and had no cash, no debit card, no atm card. I was in Singapore with close to a 12 hour time difference. He called me and explained his perdiciment and I told him to get to Western Union and call me back. He called back in about an hour (by which time I had also got myself to Western Union). I sent him $2,000, told him the MTCN over the phone and he got the cash immediately. The whole process, from his first call, took about one and a half hours.

  • 0

    Realistic

    Not convenient:

    -- Transfer charges are high (my current bank charges JPY 2000 for any amount)

    -- FX rates are unknown till receiver receives the money. (with my bank I know FX rate at the time of remittance, so can calculate how much can be received.)

    -- After-tax amount is paid to the receiver. Double tax!

    Sorry cant use this!

  • 0

    techall

    @Realistic: Does your bank have 24 hour service on both ends? Is the transfer immdeiate? Usually banks take 3 to 5 banking days.

  • 0

    some14some

    @techall how many people will face emergency situation and how often? your son's case may be once in life time and may repeat not more than 10 times in your/his whole life span.

  • 0

    gogogo

    “We started this service to make it easy for all the foreign workers, who are very valuable for Japan’s economy, to send money back home.

    How does sending money outside of Japan help Japan's economy? Seems this guy just said something for the sake of it.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    GoLloyds has been in operation for more than a decade, and has a flat rate of 2000 yen per transfer, regardless of how much or how little. The only advantages I can see for this are the 24 hour usability (if indeed the ATMs allow it -- many will say that they cannot perform certain functions because it's not banking hours, if you can believe it) and that there is no fee on the receiving end. I guess the not needing a bank account thing is also a plus, although I don't know too many people who live/work here and don't have one.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    gogogo: "How does sending money outside of Japan help Japan's economy? Seems this guy just said something for the sake of it."

    Tough one, I know, but the guy actually says the foreign WORKERS are valuable to the economy, not their sending money elsewhere.

  • 0

    cleo

    When my son was overseas and needed money in a hurry, I was able to put yen into his Shinsei account here and he could draw it out there in local currency, no bank charges or fees. Don't see the need to pay those whopping fees.

  • 0

    Realistic

    @techall It's not 24hr service. The transfer time is good. Same day within few hrs.

    In rare case of emergency remittance (like your case) it's acceptable to give up better exchange rate.

  • 0

    saru_au

    Sending 50,000 for 1,500 means a 3% fee, not bad!

    3% is ok for very small payments... but 3% commission is way too high for larger payments, and as others pointed out, you will also get reamed on the exchange rate,

    over 100,000 yen and you should stick to golloyds (I think we pay 3500yen when our company sends payments? maybe personal payments are still 2000yen?) the FX rate is WAY better than any bank in Japan, registration of new recipient accounts online is now fast, takes a few hours, and the transfer is next day in most cases.

    ==========

    I'd be more interested to know if Seven Bank system can also RECEIVE western union transfers

  • 0

    saru_au

    The service is only for the transfer of money from individual customers (aged 18 and over) in Japan to receivers living overseas. It will not send money to companies. The service will not transfer money from overseas to Japan.

    ok, so no use to me :)

  • 0

    sqwak

    @gogogo

    How does sending money outside of Japan help Japan's economy? Seems this guy just said something for the sake of it.

    I think what it means is that it will make it easier and convenient for foreign workers to send money home. This is an attractive point for foreign workers who are known to send money home to support their families.

    Their cheap labour (plus, they are usually hardworking) are sought by many industries in order to be able to stay competitive in the market. Hence boosting the economy?

  • 0

    METinTokyo

    The Nigerian 419ers are going to love this.

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