I’m going to assume you already have a bank account in Japan. And perhaps you signed up with GoLloyds to transfer money to your bank accounts in your home country, or you made some online purchases, or even have a bill that needs to be paid by furikomi (bank transfer). So now you are at the bank, panicking in realization that the stupid ATM doesn’t have a “transfer” button in English (usually only withdrawal, balance inquiry and deposit). I’ve been there, too.
You can of course, ask the bank employees to help you, but they are only available during business hours, which often end at 3 p.m. Not the best news for those of you (probably most of you) who are working during the day. Or you could take someone with you who can read kanji. But what if those said kanji-readers start to passive-aggressively hint that they are busy and would just love to help but don't know if they can? Ok.... you think. I guess I'll try to do it myself. After my constant barrage of questions within a two week duration, I decided to figure out the transfer thing myself - even if it took me ages. Two days and two ATM visits later, I succeeded.
Oh, and try not to sit in front of the ATM the first time you try this with a long line of folks waiting behind you for their turn with the machine. (Avoid after-work rush hour). They may not show it, but they are burning with rage inside, thinking you are clueless, and why would you be so stupid as to do this by yourself?, and that they have families and dinner and shopping and things to get to. And yet, soon enough you will be impressing the socks off all of them, and standing behind them in line thinking the very same thing.
*Note: Some of the information here may not display on the ATM you use, although most of it should at some point. The placement may vary slightly, as may the color and size of buttons. Just look for the particular kanji here, and you'll be all right.
**Remember to bring along the information from GoLloyds, or the online retailer, or the bill, or whatever it is you have furikomi information for.
Some of this information may or will include:
Account/beneficiary name (for GoLloyds type transfers): 受取人 (うけとりにん, uketorinin)
Financial Institution (the “receiving” bank, or recipient): 振込先 (ふりこみさき, furikomi saki)
Bank name: 銀行名 (ぎんこうめい, ginkoumei)
Branch name: 支店名 (してんめい, shitenmei)
Account Number: 口座番号 (こうざばんごう, kouza bangou)
Remitters/payers name: 振込人名 (ふりこみじんめい, furikomi jinmei)
other words to know:
furikomi (bank transfer): 振込 (ふりこみ) - sometimes this is preceded by お
bank: 銀行 (ぎんこう, ginkou)
account: 口座 (こうざ, kouza)
regular deposit: 普通預金 (ふつうよきん, futsuyokin)
confirm: 確認 (かくにん, kakunin)
correction: 訂正 (ていせい, teisei)
amount: 金額 (きんがく, kingaku)
cancel: 取り消し (とりけし, torikeshi)
go back/return: 前に戻る (まえにもどる, mae ni modoru)
cash: 現金 (げんきん, genkin)
*When doing a furikomi, keep in mind there should be a cancel button on every screen if you need to stop the process at any time (say, a line 20 people long are standing behind you, starting to invade your personal space). You'll see confirm and correction typically when entering information.
how to do a furikomi (bank transfer)
I just want to apologize in advance for the lack of quality pictures - I had a mad horde of folks surrounding me from behind, waiting for me to hurry up and finish as I discreetly and hastily snapped photos with my iPhone.
1. Make sure to choose 日本語 (Japanese) on the main screen, instead of English (unless the ATM you use has a transfer function in English, then you won’t need to worry about the rest of this tutorial).
2. Press お振込, the polite form of “furikomi". (Some ATMs may just say 振込). In the picture it is the button on the bottom.
3. Some ATMs may say キャッシュカード (cash card), or they may say cash card and 現金 (cash). If an ATM has this latter option, you can also do a transfer by putting cash into the machine. Not all ATMs offer this function though, as you'll see in the picture below. In that case, you use your bank card to transfer funds directly from your account (an easier option anyway).
4. Press cash card, キャッシュカード, if using your bank card to transfer from your account. Enter your PIN.
5. The next screen should ask if you want to use a pre-made furikomi card. If this is your first time you won't have one. If you do the same transfer multiple times, a card can make the function much easier and faster.
If you are using a furikomi card, press the top button. If you don’t have a card, you can make one at the end of the transaction to make the process easier next time (if it's a transaction you are likely to repeat). So, no card, press the bottom button, その地, which means “other."
6. The next screen, at least on this ATM, but may vary, will ask if you are transferring to a different account within the same bank, or to another institution. If it’s to the same bank as the one you are using, press the button with your bank's name. Otherwise, press other (the bottom button).
7. Now, a screen should come up with blank boxes awaiting your information. On the left hand side (or somewhere on the screen) will likely be a box for the bank information. Press お振込先.
8. The next screen asks you to choose the institution you are sending to. Is it a bank? Press 銀行 (top button). If it’s not a bank, it might be a credit union, in which case look for: 信用組合 or 信用金庫. Check your transfer information to confirm what type of institution it is.
9. After you’ve chosen the institution type, you need to find the specific bank (name) by choosing the kana it starts with. So, for example, if the bank is Mitsui (三井, ミツイ) bank, then you press “ミ“ (mi). The characters are all in katakana.
10. Once you choose the appropriate character, the ATM will show you a list of banks (in Japanese still of course... unless that bank has a foreign name or uses roman letters in its name). Find the recipient bank. If you don’t see it, double check the name, go back to the previous screen, and try again.
11. Once you’ve found your institution, you need to choose the branch name. So if it’s Chuo, 中央, for example, then you’ll want to find “ち“ (chi).
12. After you’ve selected the branch name, choose what type of transfer it is. My ATM screen gave me three choices: regular, 普通; special, 貯蓄; and checking, 当座. Again, you'll want to check the transfer information you have to determine what type of account it is. Most will probably be regular (普通); in this case, the top button.
13. Next, you’ll be taken back to the main screen. Click on account (口座) (top button on the right hand of the screen here) to type in the account number you are transferring to.
14. Enter the account number. Press the 訂正 (yellow button) on the left to delete/start over. Press the green button, 確認, on the right to finish/confirm. If at any time you need to go back to the previous screen for whatever reason, press 前に戻る, (まえにもどる), the yellow button on the bottom of the screen.
15. Back on the main screen, choose the final blank area, 振込金額. (Which means, amount of money to be transferred). The next screen will look similar to the account number page. Simply enter in the amount of money to be transferred, and hit the green confirm button, 確認, when finished.
16. *If using GoLloyds, you’ll also need to enter your remitter’s name. On my screen there were two large yellow buttons on the bottom. One was for remitter name (probably see something with these kanji: 振込人名) and the other for telephone number (which will probably have 電話番号). To add the remitter name, press the button with: 振込人名.
17. After checking all of the information, click the confirm button in the lower right corner. The following screen (seen in the picture below) may ask if you will repeat this transfer again. If you will be making this transfer often, such as with GoLloyds, then press はい (yes). If not, such as a one time payment, choose いいえ (no).
18. Finally, you may see a screen asking if you want the remaining balance printed on a receipt. Choose する, if you do, or しない if not.
That's it! Yes, it is a bit long and complicated at first, but once you've done it, (or if repeating, once you have a card) the process is much faster. Generally, once you have a card, the process is simplified to:
1. Press furikomi (お振込)
2. Choose cash card for a direct account transfer
3. Stick your bank card in the machine, enter a PIN if necessary, wait for it to ask for your furikomi card
4. Put your furikomi card in the machine
5. Enter the amount to be transferred
Easy, breezy. And you see, everyone around you will be so impressed! You read Japanese! You completed the entire process in Japanese! Why you clever gaijin, you!
Well, that is, if you haven't kept them waiting for more than 5 minutes. In which case, practice makes perfect. がんばって！
*New* Now you can download a .pdf of this how-to. Click here to download and view.