How to Do International Transfer and the Documents Requirements for Sending Money Abroad

September 21, 2022

Money transfer is one of the forms of transactions through banks and other financial institutions. Money transfer activities are transfers of funds between accounts from one bank to another bank branch or to accounts in another bank, either for the needs of the customer or for the needs of the bank itself.

Transfers are categorized as domestic remittances, while transfers that cross the territorial border of a country are called remittances. Cited from the official OJK website, remittance is a secure money transfer service that is carried out from within the sender’s country to recipients abroad (Outward Remittance) or vice versa from abroad to within the country (Inward Remittance), where the distribution can be in the form of a transfer to a bank account. or distributed in cash.

How Much Does International Transfer Remittance Cost?

Remittance fees charged by banks and remittance agents will vary depending on the route/channels and the exchange rate used. The transfer fee will be determined based on the destination country, the currency used, as well as the recipient's bank and the processing bank’s channel. It will also depend on if the sender wants the funds to be received in full amount at the recipient’s bank account. The following is a breakdown of the fees that may arise for international transfer remittances:

1. Transaction fees 

Transaction fees are the service fees charged by each service provider. This will differ from each service provider. Transaction fees is also determined based on the remittance channel used:

  • Local Rail: using domestic interbank lines by utilizing 'reserve' funds from the processing money changer networks spread across sending/receiving countries
  • SWIFT : (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) operates worldwide as a secure network for sending transaction messages or orders between bank and non-bank financial institutions covering 208 countries in the world. SWIFT can also be used to send funds in a currency that is not the local currency of the recipient country.

2. Commission fee

Commission Fee is a fee for buying and selling foreign currencies activity used in the transaction.

3. Exchange rate fee

Exchange rate fee is a margin fee for the exchange rate imposed by the processing bank or non-bank institution where the foreign currency is bought. The mid-market exchange rate is always changing from time to time. Therefore, the exchange rate for selling/purchasing foreign currency is determined by each service provider to absorb the margin of changes in the exchange rate that occur in the time window of foreign currency transaction inquiry and purchase.

4. Full Amount Fee

The international transfer remittance process usually involves more than one bank or other financial institution. Usually the beneficiary bank will take a deduction from the funds received, which is usually their fee of processing received funds to a non-local currency. The amount of this deduction will be determined by the beneficiary bank. To ensure that the beneficiary receives the funds in full amount, for example in the case of invoice payments, the sender can choose to pay the full amount fee. This full amount fee is charged by the sending institution to anticipate the fees deducted by the receiving bank.

Where Can Remittances Be Carried Out?

Both inward and outward remittances can be made through banks, post offices and other financial institutions that have official legalities and licenses. Sending remittances in Indonesia to and from overseas is regulated under Bank Indonesia (BI), with a category 3 license for remittance and fund transfer service providers. 

Remittances are generally made through banks, both private banks and state-owned banks. and the following are some of the banks that provide such remittance services:

1. BNI Smart Remittance

BNI Smart Remittance is supported by an extensive international network through 6 BNI branch offices located abroad including those located in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, London and New York, 1 sub branch in Osaka, and 1 representative office in Yangon, as well as more than 1600 correspondent banks worldwide.

Money transfer services through BNI Smart Remittance can be carried out in 125 types of local currencies in various countries. The international transfer process can also be carried out by using BNI Mobile Banking.

BNI Smart Remittance also presents the BNI Wesel PIN, where inward remittances from abroad can be collected in cash at BNI outlets, Post Offices, Alfamart, Pegadaian, Agen 46, and other BNI Wesel PIN cash out agents. In addition, there is also BNI Mobile Remittance (BNI MoRe), which is BNI's digital innovation to facilitate remittances from Singapore to Indonesia and can be accessed via your smartphone anywhere and anytime.

For Incoming Transfers, recipients of remittances who collect the sent funds at BNI branches through the BNI Wesel PIN service are directed to bring a PIN number and identity card (in the form of an ID card or driving license). Meanwhile, remittances received in BNI savings accounts can be collected through BNI ATMs, BNI outlets or Agen 46.

Meanwhile, for Outgoing Transfers, BNI customers (not walk-in customers) are directed to bring a passbook to the nearest BNI branch by paying the transaction fee according to the provisions, and bringing the underlying documents that are required to carry out the outwards transfer transaction. Below are the costs incurred when you use BNI Smart Remittance for Outgoing Transfers:

  • SWIFT fee in rupiah currency amounting to Rp 35,000;
  • SWIFT fee in the same currency amounting to USD 5-50 with a transaction limit of less than USD 5,000 up to an amount of more than USD 100,001;
  • The SWIFT fee in different foreign currencies is IDR 35,000; and
  • The full amount fee for certain currencies, amounting to USD 25 (for US Dollar), EUR 30 (for Euro), SGD 30 (for Singapore Dollar), AUD 25 (for Australian Dollar)

2. Remittance BCA

Remittance BCA serves 16 major currencies, namely AUD, CAD, CHF, CNH, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, SAR, SEK, SGD, NZD, USD, THB and MYR. One of its selling point is Value Today, which means that funds can arrive on the same day.

BCA Remittance services consist of Inward Remittance and Outward Remittance, with disbursement and distribution services available through BCA Partners. BCA Cash Disbursement partners include POS Indonesia and Alfamart. Meanwhile, BCA Cash Delivery Partners are Moneygram, Xpress Money and Transfast.

Inward Remittance BCA or money received from abroad, can be directed to a BCA account or received in cash. If the remittance is collected through a BCA Account, Inward Remittance funds are credited directly to the customer's account. Meanwhile, if in cash, remittances can be taken in cash using a PIN number through BCA Partners or international money transfer operators.

You can collect inward remittance in cash by filling out the withdrawal form, showing a valid pin number and identity card (KTP/driving license/Passport), and paying a stamp duty fee of Rp. 10,000.

Outward Remittance BCA has a sub service called Local Currency Settlement, which is a remittance service to countries of destination (Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and China) using the country's local currency, namely Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), Thai Baht (THB), Japanese Yen (JPY), Chinese Yuan (CNY), or Rupiah (IDR) which is easy and provides facilities for your goods and services trade transactions. The advantages are wide transaction coverage, ease of transactions and special promos every year.

Remittance BCA limits the amount of funds that can be transferred per transaction up to USD 25,000 for sources of funds in indonesian rupiah, and USD 100,000 for sources of funds in foreign currency. BCA charges competitive fees and limits on each of its products and services, including:

  • Telex fee of IDR 35,000 to IDR 50,000 per transaction;
  • Full amount fee or funds received in full without deductions amounting to USD 25;
  • Value today fee or funds received on the same day amounting to IDR 30,000; and
  • Service fee of 0.125% with a minimum of US$ 5 and a maximum of USD 150

3. Mandiri Remittance

Mandiri Remittance offers secure remittances from abroad including Hong Kong (1 remittance office), Malaysia (14 outlets), and the Middle East (22 Bank Mandiri partners) for recipients in Indonesia in the form of transfer to accounts or collection in cash.

Through Mandiri Remittance, money can be sent in various currencies such as USD, EUR, SGD, AUD, JPY, GBP, CAD, CNY, NZD, SAR, HKD, CHF, SEK, DKK, NOK, INR and other currencies. Furthermore, Mandiri Remittance remittance services can be performed at all Bank Mandiri branches, Mandiri Internet Bisnis (MIB), or Mandiri Cash Management (MCM).

Mandiri Remittance set a fee for each remittance transaction that occurs including a SWIFT transfer fee of IDR 35,000, a provision fee of 0.125% of the remittance amount (minimum USD 5 and maximum USD 150) that charged if the currency of the source of funds is the same as the currency sent, and for full amount fees of USD 25 for USD currency and USD 30 for currencies other than USD.

What are the Document Requirements for Using Remittance Services?

Like money transfer activities in general, remittances might be carried out by individuals or by companies. The requirements for carrying out remittance activities for the two are also different. For individual or personal clients, the documents that must be prepared are:

  • Identity card (KTP);
  • Driver's license (SIM);
  • Passport; or
  • Other official documents issued by Government Agencies.

For service users in the form of corporations or companies, they are required to provide:

  • Deed of establishment and/or articles of association and by-laws of the Corporation and the most recent amendments if any;
  • Business license or other license from the authorized institutions;
  • Taxpayer identification card number (NPWP) belonging to the company; and
  • Identity document of an authorized person to act for and on behalf of the company.

Another important point is the underlying transaction document to fulfill the remittance requirements, especially for big transaction amounts of over 25.000 to 100.000 USD in a month. The underlying document type differs in terms of the transaction category.

Types of transactions for payment of salaries or services of foreign workers, for example, required documents in the form of photocopies of work agreements or other supporting documents between the foreign workers and the company.

Another example is bill payment or payment for the purchase of goods (export - import), the required documents are in the form of an invoice or commercial invoice which must have a validity period or maturity date, and a customer statement stating that payments in foreign exchange have not been made on the invoice. 

Here we attach an example of a statement letter accompanying the underlying document which is usually required in the remittance process.

Example of an International Remittance Underlying Transfer Document / Letter


We, the undersigned:

1. Name of individual/company* : …………………
2. Individual/company address : .………………….
3. Tax ID number             : .……………………..
4. Id number of individual/company* : ………….

Hereby declare:

1. That we comply with the applicable law, are responsible for the authenticity and truth of the Underlying Transaction documents, and as a whole do not commit purchase of foreign currencies against Rupiah above the nominal value of the Underlying Transaction;
2. Have a need for foreign exchange and will conduct foreign exchange transactions with the following details:

a. Types of Transactions Performed : ………………
b. Total Foreign Exchange Needs : …………………..
c. Purpose of Use of Foreign Exchange : ………….
d. Date of Use of the Foreign Exchange : ..……………
e. Underlying Documents and/or other information: …………………

With regard to aforementioned Foreign Exchange Transactions, we state that:

1. The information in this statement is true and can be accounted for;
2. In the event that later things are found that are not in accordance with the contents of this statement, all legal consequences that arise will be our full responsibility.

Thus this statement is made consciously with no coercion from any party, and to be used as it should properly.

Location, …………….

Sufficient duty stamp
company stamp


In accordance with the Regulation of the Members of the Board of Governors (Peraturan Anggota Dewan Gubernur) Number 24/10/Padg/2022 concerning Regulations for Transactions in the Foreign Exchange Market, the underlying documents must be provided for transfers above 100,000 USD in the related month. This nominal amount has been increased, from previously requiring these underlying statements for transfers above 25,000 USD.

The sender of funds needs to include the projection of the amount of transfer that will be carried out during the relevant month. This Underlying Transfer Letter will continue to be valid for the relevant month as long as the cumulative transfer amount does not exceed the amount notified in the statement.

Easier Alternative for Business Remittance and International Transfer 

The following is information on the methods and fees for international transfers from Indonesia for personal or corporate use. The international remittance process can be time-consuming and costly. However, did you know, you can make FX transfers via your Aspire account and save up to Rp 4,5 juta per month? 

With your Aspire account, you’re entitled 10 FREE FX TRANSFERS per month! This means we’ll absorb any hidden fees banks may charge for your FX transfers.

Example of hidden bank fees

  • Admin Fee: Rp 50,000
  • Same day Fee: Rp 80,000
  • Full amount Fee: Rp 370,000 (~USD 25) 

Here’s how to make FX transfers with Aspire in 3 easy steps:

1. Submit your transfer request and supporting documents digitally to our Customer Support team

2. We’ll provide you an Aspire FX confirmation form (includes the FX rates) 

3. Once approved, we’ll complete the transfer right away!

The Aspire all-in-one finance management system provides integrated features for all your business operation financial needs.

With Aspire, send and receive money via virtual accounts to various banks all around Indonesia, and carry out international transfers all in 1 dashboard. All transactions will be recorded neatly and integrated with the company's bookkeeping software and budgets for a more transparent reporting. Check out the other Aspire features such as spend management or claim management that can help streamline your company's operational finance management process.

Keep aspiring with Aspire

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