12 May 2023

Sending and receiving payments from Israel

Are you ready to launch in Israel? Discover everything you need to know about how to send and receive payments in one of the world’s most exciting economies.
Sending and receiving payments from Israel

As the fourth most prosperous economy in 2022, Israel is riding the wave of early investment in its tech sector. It benefited hugely from the boom in demand for software as global internet usage exploded.  

Now, world-leading tech brands, including Google, Microsoft, and Apple have established research and development facilities in Israel.  

The country’s venture capital industry has been vital in developing an environment where tech companies can thrive. Initially focused on military technology, investment broadened to tech startups more generally. According to techaviv.com,  there are 97 tech “unicorns” –companies under 10 years old with a $1bn+ valuation - founded by Israelis. 

So far, so impressive. If you own a business, you should be aware of Israel's financial system if you plan to expand there. Knowing the financial landscape can be beneficial.  

In this guide, we’ll talk you through the different ways to send and receive payments from Israel. We’ll cover how long transfers take, how much they cost, and how they’re processed. Let’s go! 

Global money transfers in Israel

Transferring money to and from Israel is relatively straightforward, but it can be expensive – especially for businesses making regular transactions. 

For some businesses, opening an Israeli bank account is the first step. However, for non-residents, establishing financial infrastructure can be challenging.  
Registering a company in Israel requires an Israeli citizen to be a guarantor for tax purposes. That aside, opening a local business bank account can take several months and requires legal representation with in-person visits. 

Fortunately, alternative banking providers are innovating to help international businesses of all sizes access global markets more easily. For example, with a 3S Money International Business Account, you can have an Israeli business account without being a resident. 


Israel’s currency is the Israeli new shekel. Its symbol is ₪, and it has the ISO currency code ISL. Each shekel is divided into 100 agorot. 

The 20th century saw various changes in Israeli currency. From 1952 to 1980, the currency used was the Israeli pound. From 1980 to 1985, it was the Old Israeli shekel. The Israeli new shekel was introduced to curb hyperinflation and has been used since 1985. 

Consumers can exchange ISL worldwide and be traded via currency futures in the foreign exchange market. 

Consumer payment behaviours in Israel

Israel’s population is one of the most tech-literate in the world. Internet penetration is 95%, and over 80% of the population has a smartphone

It naturally follows that many Israelis choose to shop online. Fashion is the top market sector for ecommerce at 29%, followed by electronics and media at 25%

Statistics indicate that 84% of Israeli citizens have engaged in international ecommerce. This suggests that the population is open to making online transactions abroad. 

With such a tech-savvy population, it’s perhaps not surprising that there are many different payment methods in Israel. You can expect all the big names to appear: Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal, but digital wallets are becoming increasingly prevalent. 

What are the different ways to send money to and from Israel?

If you’re looking to transfer money to and from Israel, there are several ways to do it. They include: 

  • International money transfer specialists 

  • Bank-to-bank international transfers 

  • Online multi-currency business accounts 

  • Cash pick-up 

  • Digital or mobile wallets 

International money transfer specialists 

You're spoilt for choice regarding companies that specialise in international money transfers. Moneycorp and Western Union are well-known examples. 

This transfer method allows you to decide how to receive the money. Options include bank transfer, mobile wallet, and cash pick-up from a physical location. This flexibility and range of options can make it a helpful tool. 

However, the fees can be significant. If you want a faster transfer, you’ll pay a premium for it. That means the sender must pay significantly more, and the recipient will receive less. Either way, the provider pockets a healthy profit. 

With so many international transfer providers, ensuring that your chosen service is regulated by a body such as the DFSA, FCA, FSCS, or similar is crucial.

Bank-to-bank international transfers 

Another option is to use your bank to transfer the funds. This is a popular choice for many businesses and individuals as it’s often the most accessible and convenient. But it can also be expensive: 

  • Banks usually charge a fee to arrange and process money transfers. 

  • Some banks may also charge a percentage of the total amount you’re transferring (as much as 3-4%). 

  • Banks may use their own foreign exchange (FX) rates which could cost you 5-7% more. 

  • International transfers often involve chains of different banks (called “correspondent banks”), all of which will charge a fee, pushing up the total cost. 

All banks are different, so check your business account's terms to see your bank’s international transfer charges. If they charge a lot, consider an alternative, especially if you plan to make regular international transfers to and from Israel. 

Online multi-currency accounts 

An alternative to traditional bank transfer is an online multi-currency business account. These digital platforms allow you to send and receive payments in multiple currencies, usually with far more competitive FX rates and lower fees.  

Multi-currency accounts, like the 3S Money International Business Account, are popular with businesses operating in multiple markets worldwide. They offer a streamlined global payment systems and FX rates 5x times cheaper than traditional banks.  

Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) tend to offer online multi-currency accounts.  EMIs provide many of the same financial products and services as traditional banks, but they operate differently. For one thing, they don’t have branches you can walk into. 3S Money, for instance, is an EMI. 

Here are a few reasons why EMIs are so attractive to growing international businesses: 

  • Savings: EMIs offer lower fees and more competitive FX rates than traditional brick-and-mortar banks. 

  • Simplicity: All your business transactions are visible in one easy-to-use platform accessible anywhere in the world. 

  • Scale: Your business can grow quicker with greater access to multiple markets and currencies. 

The alternative banking solutions offered by EMIs enable businesses to make payments in different countries without holding local bank accounts. Find out more about EMIs here

Cash pick-up 

Some transfer providers offer the option to pick up physical cash at one of their locations near your recipient. 

This service is often an option provided by international transfer specialists, so the same pros and cons apply. It’s straightforward, and the cash can often be available in minutes, depending on the opening hours of the physical location.  

However, there’s usually a price to pay for convenience and the same risk of losing out to significant markups on currency conversion. And again, this solution is reasonable for occasional transfers but problematic and costly for regular payments. 

Digital or mobile wallets 

Another option for sending and receiving cross-border payments from Israel is a digital or mobile wallet.  

PayPal was one of the first digital wallets and is still the world’s most widely used. While a popular personal (peer-to-peer) transfer tool, business transactions can be expensive. There are no set-up fees, but the standard charge is 5.4% + $0.30 per transaction. There are also hefty currency conversion charges. 

There are many other digital and mobile wallets out there. Always choose one that suits your local and international business needs. 

What’s the best way to send money to and from Israel?

Suppose you’re a business sending and receiving regular international payments to and from Israel. In that case, one-off transfer services, such as those offered by traditional banks and international transfer specialists, will be expensive. 

Most international businesses will be completing multiple transactions daily. This can vary from paying suppliers, employees, and freelancers, to collecting customer payments and settling taxes.  

If you use transfer specialists or traditional banks for these regular transactions, their high fees, commission-based charges, and FX markups will add up and eat away at your bottom line. 

Businesses that wish for easy access to foreign markets should obtain an 3S Money online multi-currency account. It allows payment sending and receiving in 65+ currencies and 190+ countries, including Israel. 

How do I send money to Israel? Step-by-step.

With a 3S Money International Business Account, you can send money in 65+ currencies to 190+ countries, including Israel. Here’s how: 

1. Open a 3S Money International Business Account 

Once approved, get Israeli account details in your business name. 

2. Enter the transfer details 

Add the recipient’s name and account details, then choose the currency and country. 

3. Send your money 

Make the transfer from your online account and receive an alert when it’s complete. 

How do I receive money from Israel? Step-by-step.

A 3S Money International Business Account makes it easy to receive international payments in 65+ currencies from 190+ countries, including Israel. Here’s how: 

1. Open a 3S Money International Business Account 

Benefit from one easy-to-use platform for all your international payments. 

2. Give customers your account details 

Get Israeli account details in your business name to easily collect ISL payments. 

3. Receive your money 

See the payment arrive in your online account. 

How long do transfers to and from Israel take?

It depends on where the transfer is being sent from, where it’s going, and when you send it.  

  • Most traditional bank transfers take up to five working days. 

  • SWIFT transfers take one to five working days. 

  • Transfers between 3S Money accounts are instant. 

  • It could take longer if you send your transfer on the weekend or public holiday. 

  • Some receiving banks take longer to process incoming payments than others resulting in delays. 

How does the Sabbath impact banking in Israel?

The Jewish Sabbath, known as Shabbat, is a weekly day of rest and spiritual observance. During this time, Jewish individuals refrain from work to pray, study, and spend time with family. 
Israeli banks close earlier on Fridays, typically at 12:30 or 1:00 p.m. This allows employees to prepare for the Sabbath. During the Sabbath (Saturday), all bank branches are closed with no available in-person services. 

However, customers in Israel can still use online and mobile banking services during this time. Many banks offer online services for checking balances, transferring funds, and paying bills.  

How much money can I send or receive from Israel?

In principle, there’s no limit to how much you can transfer. However, some providers will cap the amount you can send in a single transaction. So, you may have to do multiple transfers if you want to transfer a large amount. 

3S Money doesn’t impose transaction limits. We pride ourselves on being international payment specialists, especially in high-value transfers.

Transferring large amounts

If your provider does impose a cap, watch out for multiple transfer fees. Making frequent payments for things like supplier bills and salaries for workers could be costly in the long run. 

When transferring large amounts, consider the following: 

  • Some providers cap the amount you can send in a single transfer, so you may have to do several. 

  • There may be a limit on the number of transfers you can make in any 30-day period. 

  • Larger amounts can take longer to process. 

  • Your provider may enquire about large transfers. This is considered best practice and an essential part of how regulated institutions meet their obligations. Learn more about who 3S Money is regulated by

How much does it cost to transfer money to Israel?

We mentioned earlier how international transfers via traditional banks could be a costly way to send money. Let’s look in more detail at the fees you might pay: 

Transfer costs 

  • Outgoing transfer fee: You’ll most likely be charged a flat fee for sending an international transfer. A UK bank, for example, will typically charge between £20-£40. 
    3S Money charges just $1 (or your local equivalent) per transfer, regardless of how much you send. More about 3S Money pricing. 

  • Incoming transfer fee: Most UK banks charge around £7.50 for receiving payments from international bank accounts. 
    3S Money charges £0.00. 

  • Initiation fee: Some banks might charge you a fee if you request the transfer over the phone or in person rather than online. For a UK bank, you can expect this to be around £20. 
    3S Money doesn’t charge initiation fees. 

  • Commission: Banks might also charge a fee based on a percentage of your transfer amount. For UK banks, this is currently around 3-4%. 
    3S Money charges just $1 per transfer (or your local equivalent) regardless of how much you send. 

  • Exchange rate markup: Transfer providers apply their own exchange rates to international transfers, which means you’ll pay more – and they keep the difference. 

Key takeaways

We’ve covered a lot in this article, so here are some tips and main takeaways to consider: 

  • Israel is home to a thriving tech sector with 97 “unicorns” and many leading tech research.  

  • An online multi-currency account can be an effective solution for businesses looking to scale and easily access new markets. 

  • With a 3S Money International Business Account, you get Israeli account details in your company name. 

  • Watch out for currency exchange markups, as they can eat into the money you’re sending. 

  • When choosing a provider for global payments, ensure an independent body regulates them. 3S Money is FCA and DFSA regulated and uses safeguarding to protect 100% of your funds.  

Manage your money to help your business grow

Ready to get Israeli account details for your business and start making and receiving payments? The 3S Money International Business Account provides an uncomplicated way for companies that need to function across many nations to access global payment options.

Meet the authors

Matthew Ivo


Matthew Ivo is the Senior Content Manager with a strong background in crafting engaging finance-related articles. With extensive experience in the field, Matt’s writing brings clarity and valuable insights to complex financial topics, captivating readers with his expertise.


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