For transferring money from Canada to South Africa, bitcoin is very good if you learn to navigate the markets.
You can buy bitcoin on Kraken exchange (deposit CAD) for low fees (+-0.25%) and then transfer it to Luno exchange and sell for ZAR. If you know how to navigate Luno, you can sell for zero fees, or instant sell is 1% fee but can be easily avoided.
The main advantage of using bitcoin (BTC) is the fact that BTC typically trades at a 5% premium in SA. So your funds will actually become more. It is a bit of arbitrage trading mixed with remittance.
A quick example using current prices and fees:
1. You deposit 10,902 CAD to Kraken, buy bitcoin at 0.25% fee (current price 10,875 CAD = 1 BTC), with the fee included, you now have 1 BTC
2. Transfer the 1 BTC to the SA Luno exchange wallet (low fixed transfer fee, like 20 ZAR). Then you sell for ZAR (at a 5% higher current price in SA of 123,000 ZAR, zero fees) and withdraw to a SA bank account (8.5 ZAR fixed fee).
3. So now you have R123,000 (minus like R30 fees) in you SA bank account.
Compare this to transferring via a bank, who will give an exchange rate of around R10.33/CAD at the moment, excluding any other transfer fees or percentage based conversion fees.
Working with R10.33/CAD, the original 10902 CAD will convert to 112,600 ZAR.
So with bitcoin, you actually get 10,000 ZAR more on the other side. Something to think about/worth investigating. Depends on the premium between the two exchanges, but SA is typically 2% to 6% more, the premium has even been as high as 10%.
Obviously, for transferring for SA to Canada, the opposite is true.
I recall using Transferwise when my mom was still alive and I used to send her money from Canada to SA so there must be a CAD$ to ZAR option. I haven’t used it in a couple of years but their app was really good and fees were low.
TransferWise and XE doesn't seem to have a ZAR -> CAD option.
Exchange4Free OTP isn't my mobile phone at the moment
Did my cash through FNB, their rate wasn't too bad to be honest.
Asked if I can get a special rate for >R100k, but still haven't had a response from firstname.lastname@example.org