If you have friends or family residing in China or you’re making purchases from a business based in the country, then sending money from UK to China might be a top priority. Fortunately, it’s easy to send funds securely from a UK account to a recipient situated in China and there are various ways to initiate a transfer.

In this article, we’ll uncover some of the most popular ways to transfer money from UK to China and give you top tips to ensure your transaction goes smoothly.

How to Send Money from UK to China

Before you initiate a transfer, it’s important to consider all of your options so that you can determine which cross-border transfer method is best suited to your needs. The speed, cost and security of a transaction varies depending on which services you use, so be sure to do your research in advance so that you’re able to make an informed decision about how to send your funds.

To get started, take a look at some of the most popular options when sending money from UK to China:

Bank Transfer

An international transfer from a regular high street bank can certainly be a secure way to send funds to a recipient in China but it may not be the most cost-effective option. Unlike digital FinTech institutions, traditional banks tend to charge relatively high fees for international transfers, so you could end up spending more than you need to when you’re sending money from UK to China.


As an established electronic money institution (EMI), PayAlly offers secure international transfer options and cost-efficient methods of sending money from UK to China. In fact, our competitive pricing and bespoke tariffs are a great incentive for clients who want to send or receive funds internationally.

When sending money from UK to China, many clients choose to use a SWIFT transfer. Connecting 11,000+ financial institutions in over 200 countries and territories, the SWIFT financial messaging system is one of the most popular ways to transfer funds overseas and you can initiate a SWIFT transfer directly from your PayAlly account.

Typically, SWIFT transfers take 3-5 days to complete, although many recipients report receiving funds more quickly. While fees are typically incurred, we strive to offer competitive and cost-efficient rates at all times.

If you’re sending a large amount of money from UK to China, then a TARGET2 transfer may be your preferred option. Although this system is run by the European Central Bank and facilitates transfers in Euros, it’s a real-time gross settlement scheme that offers efficient transfers and connects more than 52,000 institutions worldwide. However, fees for sending TARGET2 payments are generally higher than other transfer options, which is why it’s most suited to larger transfers.

International Money Transfer Company

There are many international money transfer companies that offer cross-border payment options, but they vary in terms of pricing and reliability. If you’re thinking of using an international money transfer company when sending money from UK to China, do some research to ensure you’re using a reputable firm.

While international money transfer companies often advertise low fees, there can be hidden charges that accrue when you’re making a transaction. A low flat fee may be combined with a relatively high commission-based charge to increase the total cost of sending the payment, for example.

Although many people find international money transfer companies to be a viable way of sending cross-border transfers, it’s worth noting that they aren’t covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FCSC), so there’s less protection if the company is unable to trade.

Cash Payments

When you’re sending money from UK to China, it’s most common to transfer the funds from one of your accounts into the recipient’s account. However, there are service providers that offer a ‘cash-based transfer’.

If you want to make this type of transfer, you can send the funds from your account to a designed pick-up location (such as a branch of an international money transfer company) where the recipient can pick up the funds in cash. Alternatively, you could visit an in-store branch in the UK and fund the transfer via cash, rather than debiting your account.

Sending Money from UK to China: How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of sending money from UK to China predominantly rests on two factors: the fees charged by the service provider and the exchange rate at the time of the transfer.

Fees and Charges

Every bank, EMI, financial service provider or international money transfer company can set their own fees when offering cross-border transfers. Often, you’ll be charged a flat fee and/or a commission fee that’s based on the amount you’re sending to the recipient.

As different entities charge varying fees, you can reduce the cost of sending money from UK to China by researching the institutions that offer the lowest charges.

Exchange Rate

The exchange rate at the time you make the transfer will determine the value of the Pound (GBP) against the Yuan (CNY).

If you send £100 to a recipient in China when the exchange rate is 8.98, for example, they will receive approximately ¥898.21. However, if you send the same amount of funds when the exchange rate rises to 9.61, the recipient will receive approximately ¥961.18.

So, if you need to send a specific amount to a recipient in China, you can lower your total expenditure by sending the funds when the exchange rate offers a favourable conversion.

By taking both the service providers fees and the exchange rate into account, you can calculate how much an international transfer is likely to cost but, crucially, you can reduce your costs by choosing a low-cost provider and securing a competitive exchange rate.

Sending Funds from UK to China with PayAlly

Designed to localise international payments and simplify financial management, the PayAlly ecosystem offers a variety of features that provide our clients with access to secure, efficient and low-cost financial solutions. To find out more, contact PayAlly now on +44 330 777 2244 or email us at info@payally.co.uk.