International transactions from Israel

This page is about transactions FROM Israel, for transactions TO Israel see here.

Overview

Unfortunately, like many aspects of Israel’s banking system, making international transactions from Israel can be counterintuitive and old fashioned. Although it is undoubtedly improving, people visiting from Europe or the United States may find the process a bit outdated. Perhaps most frustratingly, the process can change from bank to bank (a common issue when banking in Israel in general). All that said, as well as standard transfers there are other options that we’ll explain below. If you do it right, and follow the rules, foreign transfers in Israel don’t need to be a headache.

Bank transfers – SWIFT

The most common means of transferring money from Israel abroad are via an international bank transfer using the standard SWIFT system. Transfers using SWIFT are generally carried out the same business day (subject to working hours). If you’re intending on making a foreign transfer using SWIFT you’ll need the following information:

  • Remitter number, full name and address of the recipient.
  • Bank information of the recipient of the funds, including their SWIFT code, bank address and name, and branch name.
  • Personal information of the recipient of funds, including name, address, city and country.
  • Be prepared to disclose the reason for transfer.

Note:

  • If transferring to the United States you may need the bank code in the Federal clearing house (FW). This is also known as the ABA or routing number.
  • If transferring to an IBAN country (most of Europe and others – see full list of IBAN countries here), you’ll need the full IBAN code. You can usually get this by contacting your foreign bank.

Where:

  • Usually you’ll need to do this from your branch in Israel. Some banks may have an online option, but especially in English is can be challenging.

How long:

  • With most banks, your funds should arrive the next working day.

Cost:

  • This can vary wildly, but it will include the transfer commission (which can itself vary), and the exchange commission. Usually you can decide when in the branch whether to pay associated fees or pass them on to the beneficiary.

 

Western Union/Israel Post

Western Union IsraelThe Western Union money transfer service is another popular form of making international transactions from Israel. It can only be done using a post office, and even then not at every branch. You can see which branches of Israel Post have this service available here.

Depending on circumstances, Western Union is usually more expensive than a bank transfer, but is popular due to its speed, taking just minutes. It is also useful for getting money to countries with more obscure banking systems.

Where:

  • Branches listed here. Pay attention as not all can do foreign currency transfers.

How long:

  • Usually only minutes.

Cost:

  • It can be expensive, costing up to 20% for small transactions but under 5% for bigger transactions. You can see the costs per amount on the table at the bottom of this page.