As of June 2017, the department of statistics in Singapore indicated that approximately 214,700 Singaporeans live abroad. Some of them are students studying while others are expatriates who moved with their families overseas.
The largest communities of Singaporeans abroad can be found in Australia, the UK and Malaysia. From time to time, overseas Singaporeans send home money for family upkeep, education, property purchase or for social contributions. Whatever the case, the bulk of these transactions come through the banking system and money transfer providers.
Currently, Singapore has 228 banks and 98 money transfer operators. Some of the common remittance providers and money changers include Currencyfair, Instarem, OFX, Transfast, Transferwise, Western Union Business Solutions, World First Asia, WorldRemit, and Aramex.
Singapore is a global financial destination with lots of popular transfer corridors. Such countries normally have lots of sending channels as well. However, the more the providers and banks in the Singapore corridor the more you need to do your homework well before you send money. Due diligence will ensure that you get a provider that is fast, affordable and simple.
In this guide, we explore the different ways of sending money to Singapore, what is required to send and receive money in the country, reasons why people send money to Singapore and some of the factors to bear in mind when sending.
Sending money to Singapore is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Singapore but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending and receiving money.
When sending money to Singapore there are a number of channels you could use. Three of the most prominent are international wire transfers, online money transfers, and in-store cash transfers.
You can wire money from your local bank to a bank in Singapore. This channel works well if both you and the recipient have bank accounts. Most banks abroad allow for online bank transfers, in-person branch transfers, and mobile banking transfers.
Whatever the options available, bank transfers to Singapore may be delayed depending on the country you are sending from and the time of day. For instance, sending money to Singapore from the United Kingdom through Barclays Bank PLC, you will pay £15 for Online Banking and £25-£40 for branch or telephone transfers.
JP Morgan Chase has a branch in Singapore that you can use to make transfers if the recipient has an account there. For outgoing international wire transfers, JP Morgan Chase charges its customers $40-$50 per transfer.
Looking at how expensive bank transfers can get and the time it takes for money to reach the recipient, it may not be economical to use them for small transfers or not at all if you have a better option.
As stated earlier on, Singapore has 98 money transfer operators. Most of them are global giants with wide sending and disbursing network coverages. When sending money to Singapore using online money transfer services, you will enjoy the simplicity, flexibility, speed and affordability.
Signing up for an account is simple and fast. All you need is to provide your personal details including email address and physical address and you are up and running. The verification process usually takes a shorter time, about 30 minutes to a couple of hours.
Depending on the provider, you’ll have different transfer payment options and other few requirements. Most online money transfer providers accept credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers as payments options. The costs of sending in terms of transfer fees and exchange rate margins also vary.
For instance, sending 1000 GBP through TransferWise from the UK to Singapore, it will only cost you 4.26 GBP and you get to transfer midmarket rates. WorldRemit will cost you a little lower in transfer fees at 2.99 GBP but their exchange rates come with a margin of about 1.14% off the mid-market rate. On the same route, NatWest will cost you 22.00 GBP and still charge an exchange rate margin of about 3.08%.
The payout options for online money transfer services range from direct-to-bank deposits to cash pickups. For instance, Xoom can send money direct to Singaporean banks such as DBS, POSB, United Overseas Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank within two business days.
Xoom cash pickups in Singapore can be accessed from 20 locations operated by the following contracted agents: BKK Forex Pte Ltd, AAA Money Pte Ltd, Mass Express Pte Ltd and Ameertech Remittance and Exchange.
WorldRemit supports direct-to-bank transfers to Singapore and the transfers take about 3 business days.
Western Union and MoneyGram are the biggest cash transfer operators that allow for in-store cash transfers. Western Union customers in the UK can send up to 50,000 GBP to Singapore through cash pickup or bank deposit. The cash pickup payout option is the fastest, taking only a few minutes for your money to get to the recipient. Direct to bank deposits take up to 3 business days. Sending 100 GBP to Singapore will cost you 2.90 GBP in transfer fees and up to 8.2% in exchange rate margin.
When sending to Singapore through MoneyGram, the maximum is 6000.00 GBP and the only payout is cash pickup. You’ll be charged 1.99 GBP to transfer 100 GBP at an exchange rate margin of 4.15%.
If you don’t want to pay at a store, you can opt for online payment using a credit card, debit card, or a bank transfer.
You can do an airtime recharge directly to the recipient phone through Xoom. In Singapore, Xoom has partnered with 3 carriers: M1, Singtel, and Starhub. Recharges are instant and the recipient gets an SMS notification.
Sending money to Singapore shouldn’t be a hassle with online money transfers. The information required is minimal though it varies from one provider to the other.
Most of this information is requested when opening the transfer account. For subsequent transfers, only a few details related to the recipient are asked when sending.
Here are two main ways you can receive money in Singapore. You can either choose a bank deposit or opt for a cash pickup.
Direct Bank Deposit -The transfer is deposited into the recipient’s bank account. This method is safe and appropriate for large transfers.
Cash Pickup – The transfer is directed to the agency network of the provider in Singapore. Cash pickups are particularly suited for small transfers.
If the money is deposited into your bank account, there is nothing else you are required to do. However, for cash pickups, there is some information that you have to provide to the attendants at the agent location to claim your money.
You may also be asked to positively identify the sender before you are allowed to pick the cash.
Singapore is not just home to the Singaporeans in the diaspora but also a key business hub. There are lots of reasons why people send money to Singapore. Some of the common ones include:
Overseas Singaporeans whose families are still in Singapore, send money to support them with day to day living costs.
There is so much you can invest in when you consider the positive economic climate in Singapore. You may either invest in the real estate or in financial assets.
Some of the inflows into Singapore are channeled into the housing market. The houses purchased could be residential or commercial.
Overseas clients with contractors and sub-contractors in Singapore often send payments for contractor fees in Singaporean dollars.
Singaporeans with earnings abroad that they would like to send home often use money transfer services for better rates and quick delivery times.
Sending school fees to family or paying it directly into school accounts from abroad is possible through online money transfer providers.
Money transfer service providers have unique advantages when it comes to sending money from across borders. When planning your international transfer to Singapore, consider using online money transfer operators for simple, fast and cost-effective payments.
When sending money to Singapore, you need to be alive to the following factors that may affect your transfer.
Making transfers to Singapore is much easier, fast and cost-effective with money transfer services. Ensure you do cost comparisons across the board, looking at each provider before picking on the appropriate one.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to the Singapore. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.
Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com