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Incompass Financial Solutions
Authorised Financial Service Provider
Graphic Centre, 2nd Floor
199 Loop Street
Cape Town, 8001 - South Africa

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Ph: +27 (0) 21 424 2936
Fax: +27 (0) 86 568 2086

Best Rand Exchange Rates

best rand exchange ratesAccessing the best rand exchange rates is easier and quicker than you may think. The exchange rates you get when buying or selling rand has a profound effect on the money you end up with in your bank account.

Keep reading and discover the secret to obtaining the best rand exchange rates for each and every time you transfer money in or out of South Africa.

Who sets the exchange rates?

At this stage it is important to understand the backdrop to buying or selling rand in South Africa.

Due to exchange control regulations, only authorised dealers can buy or sell rand. Authorised dealers are basically banks who have been granted this status (authorized dealer) by the Reserve Bank of South Africa.

So this means even if you use a currency company, such as Incompass, the banks will always be involved in setting the exchange rate you receive.

Therefore, what will result in getting the best rand exchange rates is the ability of the currency company you select to work with to:

  1. Negotiate rates with the bank; and
  2. Reduce their own margins.

Bulking buys you purchasing power

Buying a currency (doing a money transfer) shares a common denominator with buying any other product - the more you buy the cheaper it gets.

Currency is no different and this is why most people will get a better rate by using a currency company rather than going directly to a bank.

At Incompass, although every client's money transfer is an individual transfer, all our clients are seen by our authorised dealer(s) as being under the one Incompass 'umbrella'.

A simple example will demonstrate why we therefore can get you a better rate than you will get at bank:

  • An individual contacts the bank, wishing to transfer ZAR1 million.
  • Incompass transfers billions of rand each year.

Our sheer bulk buying power means we can get you a better deal than going directly to the bank. Note that there are exceptions to this and an example is a business transferring large sums in and out of South Africa each year.

What makes Incompass the currency company of choice?

In your quest to find the best rand exchange rates you may well have encountered the murky waters of industry jargon and indicative exchange rates.

Let's unravel these now and give you the basic need-to-knows:

  • Interbank rate - The interbank rate is essentially the rate at which banks exchange currencies with one another. Wikipedia refers to it as the 'top-level foreign exchange market where banks exchange different currencies'. Key here is the phrase 'which banks exchange currencies with one another' - therefore this not a rate that you as an individual can access.
  • Banks will buy currency off each other at slightly more or slightly less than the Interbank rate. As an example:

If the ZAR - GBP rate is quoted at 15  (ZAR 15 to £1),  then the banks will buy GB Pounds from each other for slightly more than ZAR15 and buy pounds for slightly less than ZAR15.

For example:

Mid-market rate

Customer can buy GBP

Customer can buy USD


15.40 USD/GBP

15.60 USD/BGP

The difference between the upper and lower rates is called the 'spread'.

  • This spread (or margin) differs completely for the individual looking to do a transfer. The banks add a much larger spread to the exchange rate you receive and that generates the most income on a foreign exchange deal or transfer.

When you as a customer buy or sell ZAR for GB Pounds, you are more likely to get rates like these:

Mid-market rate

Customer can buy GBP

Customer can buy USD


1505 USD/GBP

1495 USD/BGP

This is for bank-to-bank transfers and is even higher if you are buying holiday cash. The difference is an additional margin that the bank makes on the transaction. This is known to be as much as 10% (check out the money transfer bureaus next time you pass).

Incompass employs a very simple philosophy when it comes to exchange rates - 100% transparency!

  1. We subscribe to Reuters, which means we get to see the interbank rate (most currency companies do not).
  2. We have an all inclusive spread, which means the banks and ours, of just 1.2% including all fees. Please note that due to the very low spread, transfers below ZAR 50,000 attract a swift fee of ZAR 250.

Incompass saves you money

Incompass is an FSCA-authorised Foreign Exchange specialist that carries out money transfer deals worth billions of ZAR each year on behalf of its customers.  Because of our volumes we get wholesale rates from our partners - and unlike our competitors we pass these savings on to you, our customers.

As soon as you open a free personal account, you can access our live and highly competitive exchange rates. Why not open one today? There is no obligation to carry out any transfers or payments.

Start saving on your money transfers today.


Our guarantees

  • Market leading forex rates.
  • No administration fees.
  • ISO 9001 accredited service levels.
  • ISO 27001 accredited security levels.
  • 100% transparency on all money transfers.
  • Tailored services to meet  your money transfer needs.

Get in touch

Phone: +27 (0) 21 424 2936

Fax: +27 (0) 86 568 2086

Email us