US Bank account or straight foreign exchange/money transfer

Hi Nomads
This seems to be a typical issue that has come up before. But one that I certainly haven’t been able to solve.Yet. :smiley:

I am a South African resident and tax payer. I have a N26 Euro Bank Account and a US based trading account. My problem starts with the USD trading account. In order to transfer money out of the account I need a USD Bank Acc to transfer the funds into. Yes, I could transfer the money back to SA, BUT I really dont want t do that. Ideally something like Transferwise would be perfect. A worldwide debit card, holds various currencies, would even do away with the need for my N26 Euro Account. I have a physical address in the US as proof of address but no SSN. I don’t really travel to the US so opening an account in person isn’t really an option for now.
First option would be to open a US Bank account online like I mentioned with someone like Transferwise. If this isn’t possible I could use some sort of money transfer/exchange option to move funds out of US trading account into, have them do the foreign exchange and then deposit money into my N26 Euro Account.
Thoughts and advice please.

Hi Dion,

Without knowing what broker you are using or what asset class(s) you are into, I will have to speculate. While the United States has a strong brand name where investing is concerned, the fact that you don’t live there, are not a citizen or have a social security number are reasons why I feel you should be investing with a non US broker.

For security reasons, most brokers will only remit funds to the account you first funded your account with or your account on their books (again depending on what asset class you are into).

If you have not already funded the investment account, you may want to consider other options that let you setup and fund your account with the ability to move funds in and out without getting to South Africa. Below are some options from Investopedia

Using N26 or any CRS complainant bank will have your banking activities reported to your tax resident country which should not be an issue since you are not planning to avoid paying your tax.

Consider banking in Costa Rica, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay or Singapore for territorial tax countries. Look into Cambodia, Armenia and Georgia for both non CRS and territorial tax countries. Most of these countries will require you to visit there to open an account. Having said that, Georgia seems to be the best option for you as not only can you open a bank account without visiting the country but you also have a 1 year visa free entry into the country where your money is. Armenia is a close second with the view/option of dual nationality via investment in mind and Singapore if and only if your money has lots of relatives.

Hope this helps, have fun with your research and happy investing…

Hi Akan
Thanks for the detailed response. I already have a trading account in the US, and have been investing for past five years. The trading account is with Saxo and the actual Bank is Deutsche Bank New York. The account was funded from a South Africa Bank account. I am free to list any beneficiary to draw money back too.
Seems like I could transfer the money with Payoneer, at 1% and a yearly fee of 29USD it seems pretty high. Or I could use XE Moneytransfer, which will cost way less, the only issue is if they will receive funds on my behalf from a third party. :thinking: