Apr 19

Surviving in Japan: How to do a Furikomi (Bank Transfer)

Posted by Ashley Thompson (Shizuoka-ken, 2008-2010) of Surviving in Japan: without much Japanese and Lifelines columnist for The Japan Times.

Ashley Thompson is "Surviving in Japan: without much Japanese"

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.

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