Traditional & Culture

Japan Cuts Bank Transfer Fees for the First Time in Almost 50 Years

Bank transfer and remittance fees between banks are expected to be halved this fall, for the first time in more than 40 years.

Direct bank to bank transfers have long been a standard method of payment in Japan, and with that process comes a transfer fee or remittance fee. For the past 40+ years, almost half a decade, the fees incurred when sending money from an account at one bank to an account at a different bank have stayed high: 117 yen for transfers under 30,000 yen (about 1.10 USD/280 USD) and 162 yen (about 1.50 USD) for transfers above that amount.

With mounting criticism for those high costs, the Japanese government began negotiations with the country’s banking institutions in an attempt to lower transfer fees, and results finally seem to be on the horizon. Fees will be cut in half, down to 62 yen (0.58 USD).

It seems that the tipping point came last year, when the Fair Trade Commission published a report ponting out that thanks to advances in banking systems, the actual remittance cost for a bank to transfer funds is only 44 yen (0.41 USD) per transfer. At the time, Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe commented that steps would have to be taken to lower the fees to a more reasonable level.

With the rise of mobile banking apps and cashless payment methods in Japan, bank transfers are likely to increase in the coming years, and the 62 yen fee may lessen the burden for all parties involved. Both corporate and private bank account holders in Japan will undoubtedly be pleased to find the fees lowered this fall, with the cut planned to be implemented in October.


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