Singapore, as a global city aiming to be the best place to live, work, and play, has attracted a large proportion of non-Singaporeans to live on our shores. Non-residents account for approximately 30% of the population in Singapore.
Today, an ever-increasing number of people rely on remittance services, including migrant workers, expatriates, and Singaporeans with family members living abroad.
Transferring internationally via a traditional bank
You can remit money through banks in two ways:
- An outbound remittance at your bank branch.
- An online money transfer overseas through internet banking.
Although internet banking is generally less expensive, it requires the opening of a bank account, as well as the imposition of transfer limits. In addition to bank transfer fees, the bank receiving the funds may charge you agency fees.
Transferring via a money transfer specialist
Money transfer services are another option if you don't want to send money through a bank. Their services may be offered both online and offline.
The fee structure is one of the most significant distinctions between money transfer providers and banks. Cable or telex fees are not charged by online money transfer firms. Instead, money transfer providers make money by collecting a per-transfer fee or adding a margin to your exchange rate.
Transfer methods available from money transfer specialists
When it comes to transferring money internationally from Singapore, most, if not all, money transfer specialists give you four options.
- In person, at a money transfer specialist's branch, over the counter.
- Using a mobile application.
- By phone.
Pick-up methods available to the recipient
When you send money with a money transfer specialist, the recipient can collect the money in a variety of ways.
- Withdraw directly from their bank account.
- Cash can be collected in person at any of the money transfer specialists' outlets.
- Into a smartphone wallet (not available from all providers or for all currencies).
- Cash sent to your door (not available from all providers).
How to fund a transfer via a money transfer specialist
Whatever currency you choose for the receiver to receive the funds in, you'll have to pay the corresponding amount in Singaporean dollars, plus fees and charges. You have the following payment options.
- Bank transfer in Singaporean dollars.
- Prepaid card.
- Credit card.
- Debit card.
Alternative ways to send money
There are other ways to send cash if you don’t like the idea of a money transfer.
- Singapore's Foreign Money Order. Banks can give you a paper international money order or an international bank draft in the currency of your choice, payable to a specific person or firm. The money order is mailed to you. It's inconvenient and more expensive than an online transfer.
- Visa Money Transfer. Visa and Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) allow you to send money to Visa cardholders in nine countries: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. Visa Money Transfer is the first time it has been made available through a postal service.
- Cryptocurrency bank transfer. If you and the recipient already have crypto wallets, you could convert SGD to a coin of your choice (BTC, ETH, etc.) and send that.