Founded in 1968, this Singaporean bank was originally set up to provide financial services and help establish existing industries in the newly independent sovereign island city-state. First known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited, the bank adopted the abbreviated title of DBS in 2003. In this review we will be evaluating the credibility, accessibility and overall cost of DBS international transfer services.
DBS Bank is a global financial institution operating in 18 markets, with over 280 branches worldwide. The bank has headquarters in Singapore's famous Marina Bay. As the largest bank in Southeast Asia, with total assets of $1.26 billion as of 2021, DBS offers an array of financial services to customers across Asia and beyond.
In the last 50 years the bank has received copious industry awards including being granted the prestigious title of World’s Best Bank in the Euromoney's 2021 Awards for Excellence.
DBS is undoubtedly a major player within the financial district of Singapore and has gone on to dominate key markets such as Hong Kong, China and India, so we want to know more about the bank’s commitment to providing safe, speedy and secure transfers services to customers with international financial requirements.
Yes; through the global money transfers arm of the bank, DBS Remit, customers can arrange international remittances to over 50 destinations worldwide.
Designed to be provide “seamless overseas transfers” customers can send and receive money using DBS Remit in the following regions: Australia, Canada, Eurozone countries, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mainland China, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam.
As we take a closer look at the cross-border payment options offered by DBS Remit, the question of foreign exchange rates and transfer fees must be addressed, to better understand the value for money.
Understanding the importance of transparency - a quality prioritised by many of the leading money transfer providers - DBS Bank gives customers the opportunity to calculate the rate of exchange for their chosen currency, as well as providing them the arrange “locked-in rates” so as to avoid any unpleasant surprises later down the line.
According to our research, the average DBS Remit foreign exchange spread for popular currency pairings is approximately 1.3% above the mid-market rate. Some banks charge anywhere between 4 - 6% on top for converting funds into foreign currency and 1.3% is pretty reasonable in comparison.
This being said, there are several money transfer companies - such as Wise or OFX - who can offer a more competitive rate of exchange, even in some cases offering to match the mid-market rate exactly.
One of the most common reasons for service providers charging a steep spread on foreign exchange is because the company does not charge a transfer fee and therefore has to make a profit by other means. This is the case with DBS Bank: there is no transfer fee for international transfers through DBS Remit.
Although DBS Bank does not charge a transfer fee for sending international payments, sometimes customers may be charged for receiving an overseas payment: the full table of fees and charges for DBS Bank transfers can be found here.
Furthermore, the overall price of a cross-border transfer is subject to change, with some third party banks and service providers charging additional fees.
DBS Remit offers competitive rates and zero transfer fees, as well as status tracking updates for certain foreign currency transfers. For this reason, DBS Bank is a viable option for anyone in Asia who wants to send money abroad and feels more comfortable using a bank. However, generally speaking, the top remittance companies are able to beat the cost and speed of a transfer that has been arranged through a bank.
Presenting the key characteristics of DBS Bank international transfers will give our readers a better chance to weigh up the pros and cons of this service.
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Beijing|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Chongqing|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Dongguan|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Guangzhou|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Hangzhou|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Nanning|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Shanghai|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Shenzhen|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Suzhou|
|Dbs Bank China Limited||China||Tianjin|
|Dbs Bank Hong Kong Limited||Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|Dbs Bank Ltd Hong Kong Branch||Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|Dbs Bank Ltd Mumbai Branch||India||Mumbai|
|Dbs Bank Ltd Tokyo Branch||Japan||Tokyo|
|Dbs Bank Hong Kong Limited Macau Branch||Macao||Macau|
|Dbs Bank Ltd Labuan Branch||Malaysia||Labuan|
|Dbs Bank Ltd||Singapore||Singapore|
|Dbs Bank Ltd Seoul Branch||South Korea||Seoul|
|Dbs Bank Ltd Taipei Branch||Taiwan||Taipei|
|Dbs Bank Taiwan Ltd||Taiwan||Taipei|
|Dbs Bank Ltd||United Arab Emirates||Dubai|
|Dbs Bank Ltd||United Kingdom||London|
|Dbs Bank Ltd Los Angeles Agency||Usa||Los Angeles Ca|
|Dbs Bank Ltd Ho Chi Minh City Branch||Vietnam||Ho Chi Minh City|
DBS Bank prides itself on its simple, easy-to-follow online services, including effortless DBS Remit money transfers: “Just 3 taps and you’re done.” In this section we will provide guidance on how to register for a new account and how to use it to send money abroad.
Step 1. Complete DBS Bank’s online application and upload all documents required for your personal or joint account application
Step 2. The application will be processed by a DBS Bank representative within 3 business days: a debit card will then be sent to your contact address
Step 3. Your account will be activated as soon as you use your debit card for the first time
Step 1. Log into your DBS digibank account, either via the mobile app or desktop browser
Step 2. Start the process of sending money by tapping “Overseas Transfer” on the home screen
Step 3. Enter the amount you wish to transfer and select the account you will use to fund the payment
Step 4. Enter the recipient’s details: this includes full name, contact details, address and banking information
Step 5. Review the details of your transfer, ensuring it matches the information provided by your recipient, and tap Send
Funds sent from overseas should reach the recipient within 3 working days, depending on the country, currency and day of the week .
DBS Bank offers customer support via the following channels:
Customer service phone lines for personal, corporate and SME banking help
In-person appointments for speaking to a customer service representative
Virtual help from the DBS digibot via mobile or website
Self-service FAQ section via mobile or website
Full list of customer service options available here.
For customers based in Asian countries, especially Singapore, DBS Bank is a great option for international banking. The bank often partners up with other banks and service providers to provide incentives and promotions that benefit customers based in Southeast and Central Asia.
As far as traditional banks go, DBS Bank is intuitive and multifaceted, as well as digitally-enhanced. The bank has kept up with competitors in the financial services industry by offering various online channels - such as DBS Remit and the digibanking mobile app - that provide effortless international transfer options.
However, although this bank is a reputable and trustworthy institution, there is no harm in exploring other options and we encourage customers to consider specialist money transfer companies as well as banks. Use our handy comparison tool to see the different services that are available to you.