Monday, 1 March 2010


Like I promised, I've finally put together a rudimentary guide to using your UFJ account to do bank transfers with their ATMs.

Although there IS an English menu, UFJ does NOT have a transfer button to do things like say, pay your rent or send money anywhere! For English, you only have access to basic functions like withdrawals, deposits and checking your bank balance.

This is the first screen you'll see as you approach the scary ATM machine. See that English button? Don't push it. It won't help you here. As indicated, hit that お振り込み (transfer "furikomi") button, and we're off!

This page lists after hours bank fees. When I did this, it was after hours so this probably won't come up if you do it in banking hours. Press that green button to continue.

This is just a fraud warning screen. Press the blue button on the left.

If you have the usual UFJ cash card, press the button indicated here. See that red button on the top, right hand corner? I like to call it the "abort" button. Screw up on any of the screens, press this to cancel your session. Über useful ne?

Next, enter your PIN number. Mine is.. nah, it's a secret.

If you make regular payments (say for rent), it's a great idea to get the staff to make a "furikomi cardo" (transfer card) for you at an ATM, which will bypass the next few steps of inputing the recipient's bank details all over again. Otherwise, good practise I suppose.

This is a list of banks. You'll have to use your eagle eyes to recognise a bit of kanji. UFJ branches are easier. If the bank is not listed here, press the "other banks" button.

If it IS a UFJ bank, select the branch here. UFJ branch not on this screen? Select the "more" button.

If it's an outside bank you select the first letter of the BANK's name. In this example, I'm looking for Kyoto Bank, so that would be "ki" (キ). You'll have to know your katakana alphabet here.

Ok, so here you see all the banks starting with "ki", the button I've marked is Kyoto Bank.

Now we have to get the BRANCH of the (in this case) Kyoto Bank. Again, select the first letter of the bank BRANCH's name.

The previous screen I just selected "ki", so here are the BRANCHES that start with "ki".

Ok, so now we have the bank and branch in place, we have to tell WHAT kind of account this is. In most cases it will be a standard bank account, so press the left button.

Enter the account number to send the money and press that green button.

Put in the transfer amount, hit the yen key, followed by the adjacent green button.

This just says it won't be processed until the next business day because it was out of banking hours at this time.

If you have some kind of special student/corporate number use the other button. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, press the button indicated.

This screen is just an identity check. If you see your name where it's indicated, press "はい" (yes).

This is a final check screen with all the details. Of course I've blanked out all the details for privacy. If it's all ok, press the green confirmation button!

Because I did this just for this demonstration I didn't go any further. From memory the following screens asks if you want a receipt and if you want to do any other transactions. Easy huh?

I'd just like to add a little disclaimer: While I think I've tried to do this walk-through as clear as I can. (I was drinking a can of chu-hi writing this) I take NO responsibility if somehow you cause earthquakes, tsunamis or send your money to my account by "accident". If you panic at any stage, hit that red "abort" button on most of the top right-hand screens, and ask for staff/security guard to help. I KNOW how stressful it is to work these things in Japanese.

An email has been sent to UFJ to add some English to bank transfers to hopefully rectify this situation in the future to make this post redundant, but personally I'm not holding my breath. Considering the amount of English speakers with UFJ accounts I don't think it's too much to ask, is it?

If you are a traveller here and have a foreign ATM card, you CAN'T use your card here at all. Instead go to Citibank where facilities like Cirrus allow you to use your home card.

If this helps anyone, please leave a comment of thanks. Just keeping my karma clean..


C said...

you are a champion! thank you so much for doing this - you have no idea how much this has made my life a weee easier haha cheers :)

Jimmy In Japan said...

I have a feeling this will be useful for a LOT of foreigners living in Japan.

I did a 2nd solo transfer today with success. Keep in mind that not all UFJ ATMs have the same screen layout as my pictures (Have the pics handy for reference).

Glad I could help. Thanks for the feedback!

Michael said...

Many thanks for that

Jimmy In Japan said...

I'm happy this helped you. Thanks for writing back to let me know it worked out :D

Motorbiking in Japan said...

Excellent guide mate. A life saver.

jeb500 said...

These screens seem to match the screens of my ATM at MUFG, the successor to UFJ. Thanks a lot for the helpful information.

Jimmy In Japan said...

Good call! I've always referred to them as UFJ, but you're absolutely right. MUFG are the same bank, so the screens will be the same although I've seen some ATMs don't have the exact same graphics, but they're set up the same way. I've change the post title to include MUFG ATMs. Ta.

Xcully said...

For three years id been searching for this type
of guide now i found it!!! You have no idea
How happy i am you are a life saver jimmy
Thank you!!!

Xcully said...

For three years id been searching for this type
Of guide and today i finally have it!!! Thank you
Jimmy youre indeed a life saver. You have no
Idea how happy i am. Thank you and God bless!

Jimmy In Japan said...

Thanks for the reply. This is my most popular post on my blog. UFJ, can you hear us?

Nica said...

Hey! Thanks for writing this. As a foreigner living in japan using UFJ, i had NO idea you could do this, so this is super useful. I have a question for you. Do you think you can do this same kind of bank transfer but to American bank accounts? As in put money from your UFJ account to you US bank account? I assume there will be all kinds of foreign exchange fees and such but just wondering if it can be done. Thanks!

Jimmy In Japan said...

Hi Nica. The easiest way that you can transfer money to an overseas account that I know of is via Lloyds Overseas Remittance Service.

It's easy to set up. You can either go to their office in Asakasa Mitsuke, or apply online.

It costs 2,000 yen transferring via (your UFJ) ATM, or 4,000 yen if you want to do at their counter.

You can increase your ATM transfer limit (max 2,000,000 yen) at a UFJ bank counter. Over the counter bank transfers at UFJ, I think is 4,000 yen.

If any other foreigners know of any other ways, they can chime in here.

Hope this makes sense to you :)

nakame said...

Can you do a transfer without a bank card, just with cash. Bank staff helped me do it before, but now I am tying to do it myself, but cant get past the screen with two options, both options seem to want a card put in... and cant get past that point...

Jimmy In Japan said...

It's possible at some ATMs to do a transfer with cash. I haven't done it with UFJ before though. I didn't need to. I believe you have to look for an option around the time it asks to put your card in where it might give you an option for cash (現金).

jeb500 said...

Thanks for the helpful post. I set up a Lloyds account and make a furikomi transfer successfully. After you have completed a furikomi, that payee will appear in a history list. You can just select a previous payee from the list during future transactions. If you select a previous payee, the ATM will ask you only for the amount you want to transfer. This is very convenient, but Jimmy's guide is important for completing the first furikomi.

Jimmy In Japan said...

"Woww, Thanks, :D

but in case of the sender name should be added some of registration number, i just have to choose いいえ button and add some number there, right?

Posted by b_lackshadow to jimmy in japan at 7 June 2011 4:46 PM"

It asks if the name is yours that you want to inform the receiver. Because it's for something I want the person to know it's me, I say はい.

Sorry for deleting your original post. Damn iPhones!

b_lackshadow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicol said...

You ARE AWESOME!!! Thank you. This help so much. Now i Can pay rent and the likes.

Jimmy In Japan said...

No probs Nicol. Gotta fight the power! They're not making them English anytime soon by the likes of it.

Nicol said...

True. I did check and I was a bit sad but...this does help. I do have a question though.

Do you have any tips on learning the language. I repeat mostly what I hear and I try to look through books and dictionary for words so I can ask questions even though I barely understand the answers.

I guess also that I have only been in Japan for 5 months now. lol

Jimmy In Japan said...

If you have an iPhone, get an app called "Human Japanese". It's one of the few things that have given me the most motivation to learn (though I don't have that much to begin with!) I've heard good things about Japanese Pod 101, but haven't used it personally.

You will hear a lot of the same words over and over eg. "kawaii", "oishii", "sugoi" to name a few. To be honest, I had help to write this guide from a native, so I am miles and miles far from fluent.

Get out of your English bubble and speak with Japanese people as much as possible. Gotta learn to crawl before you can walk.

Have fun in Japan ok?:D

Emmy Endutz ^,^v said...

thank you so much Jimmy! ^-^
I think it's almost two years after you post this tips but this is the most helpful guide I can find.
I dare to transfer money to my friend coz' your great information.
i've got lot of friends who just want send money via ATM but cancel it coz those curly letters :D
I'll share your tips and God bless u, Jimmy! ^-^

Jimmy In Japan said...

Hey no problem Emmy. If only I had a 100 yen for every person this post has helped. lol

While UFJ have not updated the English part of their ATMs to do transfers, they have a new screen which allows you to select a previous transaction's details which makes this super easy for recurring payments. It comes up after you hit the furikomi button.

darkdark78 said...

A very Helpful "How to" for a kanji illiterate gaijin like me.Thank you so much jimmy in japan

Jimmy In Japan said...

Thanks for the thanks! UFJ have made it slightly easier with a list of recent transfers for recurring payments.

kiwi said...

Thank you for guidance about the money transfer inside Japan. How about an international bank transfer? Can we transfer money though UFJ ATM to abroad?

Jimmy In Japan said...

Hi Kiwi. Sorry for the late reply. You can't do an ATM international transfer directly without setting up something like the Lloyds service I mentioned. You CAN do a transfer if you go to an actual UFJ branch. I haven't done it that way but I've heard it's about 4,000 yen (as opposed to 2,000 yen with Lloyds *not including what your international bank and UFJ transfer fees incurs).

Nicol said...

Question: I want to pay a bill but the company wants me to add the pay code or V number. How do I add that from the ATM?

Jimmy In Japan said...

Oh hi Nicol. I remember you! I'm not in Japan anymore, so it's a bit hard to check. From memory it was just branch and account numbers. V numbers sound like a credit card. What you should do is take the info to your bank and say "tetsudatte okudasai" (help please) to the staff. Always worked for me! I hope you're enjoying Japan! Ja ne

Emilie Gleyze said...

Hi !
Even in 2014 thank you so much for posting that !
Here is my question : do you know if the transfer is effective in the same day if you do it during business hours ? If I depose cash on a bank account via UFJ branch, does the owner will have this money same day ? *thanks a lot

Jimmy In Japan said...

Hi Emilie. I used to transfer money from auction wins, and they did go in the same day. Do it as early as possible. If you can you should try to do your transfer at least the day before though. Have a nice day :)

Emilie Gleyze said...

thank you very much ! it just not possible for me to do it the day before because I want to deposit cash on a bank account and I think it can not be done at ATM

Jimmy In Japan said...

I transferred at 9am so earlier the better, It's cheaper to transfer using the ATM rather than doing it over the counter.

Unknown said...

Hi guys, know this is an old post, just wondering if anyone has any advise...
I live in japan and have the MUFG debit card, I am overseas in Malaysia for a few months and using the debit card for cash withdrawls, I know the exchange rate will suck but its my only option, anyways I keep getting insufficient fund messages after some withdrawals even though definitely enough in the account, is there a withdrawal limit put on the cards for overseas withdrawals??
Anyone had similar experiences? Mines cutting off before 100,000 yen.
Tried ringing the number on the card but as I dont speak Japanese and they dont have anyone speaking English in the service centre, that didnt get me far!
Thanks in advance!

Jimmy In Japan said...

That 100,000 yen sounds like a daily limit which sounds normal for an international ATM withdrawal. I don't think there is any way around that other than taking out your maximum every day even if you don't need it and carry a lot of cash! Credit card may be another option.

Keia said...

I also have a (probably quite easy) question and would be awesome if you can help me out on this one. I lived in Japan for a year some time ago and got a MUFG bank account. I still do online banking with that acc from abroad but I was told if i don't use my account at all for a year, it gets... just deleted. Is that true?

Well, my actual question is... I haven't used my card in many months and forgot lots about how things work but going back to Japan for travel this year. I most likely have forgotten my PIN but want to deposit cash on my account to be able to continue using online banking when I'm out of Japan again. Is it possible to deposit cash without having to use a PIN? Like... can I just deposit cash on an account without logging in?
It seems like my account isn't open for oversea-money transfer which means I can't deposit money from my home-bank account to my japanese one.

Looking forward to your reply!

Jimmy In Japan said...

Hi Keia. I can verify your account will still be open. How long for I don't know. I have another account with another bank than has 10 yen in it and the bank still sends me emails like it's still active. Completely untouched for 3 years!

There should be no problem depositing money into the account if you remember your account number, but I think you won't be able to get it out if you don't know your PIN!

For travel I'd recommend a credit card with no international fee transactions. That's how I've always done it. I still have a bit of yen here. I've never bothered to change it back to AUD. Or else use your normal home card and take out as much as you need. Japan is still cash based.

Jeremy zaplatosch said...

Awesome. It still works in 2017!! Thanks a lot for your help. Jeremy

Jimmy In Japan said...

That's great to hear Jeremy! I'm not really surprised UFJ haven't updated their UI to make it easier for foreigners doing bank transfers.This is 2017, for chrissakes!

Shiruba said...

Hmm I am not sure why so many of you expect Mitsubishi to spend time and effort on upgrading their English atm menus. The number of English users is small enough to be considered a rounding error. I'm sure they keep track of the number of times people hit the English button and find it to be far below 1 percent. MUFG isn't targeting tourists, and even most foreigners who live in Japan understand Japanese - so there is no return on investment for them to justify the work.

As for depositing cash, withdraw or deposit cash at the counter if you have your pass book and ID.

By law, Japanese banks can not close accounts that have money in them, so no worry about accounts disappearing.

If you want to do international transfers directly from MUFG, the cheapest and easiest way is to register the destination account at the bank branch office, and then it will show up for online banking.

The cheapest way overall to transfer money overseas is to use transferwise. You make a domestic transfer to them, and then they make a domestic transfer to your destination account.

Depending on your country, you can also sign up for seven bank, and use their international transfer service, which works with western union overseas.

Jimmy In Japan said...

Hi Shiruba, The last figure I found was 1.5% as of 4 years ago. Sure, it's small but it is still about 1.98 million foreign residents! MUFG SHOULD spend time and effort providing for this because they are a service, not holding our money out of kindness. Not only this but the fees of transferring your own money is ridiculous.

Unfortunately for a lot of English teachers, MUFG is the default account you get set up with. They have an English button. I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to update it. Japan Post and Rail had done it. MUFG is not the only bank. If I was still living there I would not use them. They are a joke.

This is my most viewed post on my blog so there is a need for this. Dealing with in and outgoings of your own money is stressful in another language. Thanks for your information though. I'm sure others will be interested to know it.

Shiruba said...

Hi,just for reference, the government says that the number of foreigners in Japan is around 1.7 percent, including Zainichi Koreans. Of this number, more than two thirds are Chinese or Korean. So people from countries like the US and UK are part of "other", which puts them well under one percent of the population. (add to that, the fact that a considerable number of even those study the language before moving).

In not saying its "right", just that businesses rarely justify doing anything for well less than one percent of their potential customers unless that is their niche.

Imagine a bank in the US adding Korean because 0.9 percent of their customers need it... Unlikely. They add Spanish and in some areas Chinese, because the percentage of customers that want it is well over 10 percent.

Korean and Chinese would be well ahead of English on the priority list in terms of tourists as well.

Seven bank, for example is actively targeting both tourists and resident foreigners.

As for the fees Mitsubishi bank charges, I can't disagree there. I would recommend seven bank for those who want to send money to Philippines, etc., and transferwise for the US and other countries.

As far as the popularity of this post... Of course, because it's in English. If you get a million views or something, then it might even make sense to show it to Mitsubishi to prove there is a market. A signature petition might not even hurt.

Jimmy In Japan said...

Hey Shiruba, I figured that percentage would include non-English speakers. You make a good point that Korean and Chinese are a large percentage of foreigners in Japan. So why don't they even cater for that? In Australia we have multilingual ATMs - Chinese, Korean, and yes, Japanese.

In Japan I can think of two banks that have better English menus and even OMG, online banking in English! Even your example of Seven bank shows that it is worthwhile targeting both. If I knew what I found out much later I would've kicked MUFG to the kerb. I wouldn't do a petition to make them change. I'd look at the alternatives. Banks and other businesses don't change because like the worst things that bugged me the typical response was always "shoganai".

But finally, like you imply Japan doesn't have to change for us, and I don't expect it to. I had enough of the compromises so I left. I'm happy that out of the 700 or so "useless" posts some of you guys actually found it useful and made your lives a little bit easier in Nippon.

Atsugi street king said...

It's been 2 years when I first used this guide and until now, I'm still using it everytime I transfer money thru atm. I'm terrible in memorizing things :D

Jimmy In Japan said...

Ha! That's awesome Atsugi street king. Don't transfer money drunk on the chu-hi :)