Transferring Money to Singapore: A Guide to Doing Them Well

Marina Bay, Singapore. By nightWith people travelling all over the world to live and work, money transfers are fast becoming an everyday necessity. Finding a competitive exchange rate that’s not going to leave you feeling out of pocket is an extremely important consideration when deciding which method to use to transfer your money. If you want to stop losing money when you are transferring money to Singapore then these tips are definitely worth reading. They will help you get the most out of your exchanges and avoid the highest charges and fees.

 

Here’s our recommendations based on a number of situations.

 

The Best Ways to Transfer Money to Singapore

 

If you are moving from Singapore to the UK

 

All of the UK banks allow you transfer money to Singapore and back and it’s a very easy process to do so. However it’s worth remembering that the fees charged by banks for international transfers are high, and you will not be getting the most competitive exchange rate.

 

To avoid large fees, consider using an online money transfer service.

 

Providers that offer a service for transferring money from the UK to Singapore are OFX, TorFX, World First, and HiFX.

 

Our Verdict: HiFX give you competitive exchange rates for transfers of Singapore dollars (SGD). A good choice for payments that are under £10,000.

 

Sending money for business

If the business is sending currency, consider these two important things.

  1. The Exchange Rate Margin is the difference between the rate you are offered and the wholesale exchange rate published by xe.com.
  2. The specific business products on offer.  These could be forward exchange contracts, limit orders and foreign currency accounts.

 

Our Verdict: HiFX have great exchange rates and a £0 fee structure which maximizes your overseas payments. You can also set up foreign currency accounts. This lets you keep the funds in your account in a foreign currency, only converting them when the time is right.

Buying a Property

If you are in the process of buying a property in Singapore or have recently sold a property and want to get the money back to the UK then you need to find a provider who has a strong presence in both countries.

 

Our Verdict: OFX is the obvious choice for international property transactions due to its local account managers in each country. They are licensed in both the UK and Singapore.

 

Sending Money Home

Western Union, for example, are the ideal choice for sending small amounts internationally, like gift money for friends or relatives. Other companies may waive transfer fees if you are sending a large amount. Discussing your specific needs with a money transfer specialist is critical to getting the right deal for you.

 

Our Verdict: You can achieve a spread of 1% or perhaps lower if you use the right exchange specialist such as OFX or TorFX.  You an also ensure you get the lowest fees and create an ongoing strategy.

 

Studying Overseas

Payment for tuition can be a big expense. You need to pay tuition fees regularly but there are also multiple other expenses associated with studying. For the tuition fees and other larger payments you need to ensure that you shop around for the best exchange rates. For smaller transfers, make sure you keep a careful eye on the fee that is being charged.

 

Our Verdict: Transferwise. This is a fairly new but up and coming company based in the UK. It is perfect for students and the parents of students who need to pay study bills.

Tools to Help you Send Money to Singapore

 

The Costs of Sending Money to or from Singapore

Attempting to figure out the complete cost of a money transfer can be difficult. It all depends on the transfer method and the fees involved; the margins aren’t always clear. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the most common charges you’ll face when sending money from one account to another.

 

  1. The Transfer Fee – This is also called a Telegraphic Transfer (TT), a Wire Transfer or a Remittance Fee.
  2. Exchange Rate Margin – The difference between the rate you are getting and the wholesale rate you see on xe.com.
  3. Correspondent Bank Fees – The fees that your bank charges for guaranteeing your transfer gets to the right account. It is taken out when the funds arrive in the recipients account, it’s always very difficult to estimate it and impossible to reverse.
  4. Receiving Bank Fee – If you’re transferring foreign currency into an overseas bank then that bank will charge you a fee for doing so. In this instance, if you send British pounds to a Singapore bank then the Singapore bank will charge you.

 

What are the options?

 

Bank

Banks in the UK have more competitive fees and better exchange rates than most other banks around the world as there is much more competition for this kind of service in the UK. Using a bank is the fastest way to get money between accounts.

 

PayPal

If you’re sending less than £1,000, this is a great option. The fees will be similar to those you’ll find at a bank but the exchange rate will be better. If the person you are sending money to also has a PayPal account then the process is even more convenient.

 

Money Transfer Company

Money transfer companies such as HiFX and OFX are definitely the cheapest option if you are sending anything over £1,000. They offer low or no fees and the exchange rates are better. It can take a little longer to make the transfer which is a disadvantage. You’ll initially have to set up an account with them. This process take up to as little as ten minutes or as long as two days. It all depends on the company and what they need to know. When you eventually make the transfer it can also take one day longer than a bank.

 

How to use a Money Transfer Company (instead of a Bank)

Transferring money in this way is similar to using a bank but with a few distinct differences. Here are the basic online steps.

 

Setting things up (one off)

  • Log in to their website and enter the details required. Make sure you have a valid ID available.
  • Wait for account approval, you’ll then receive a login and a password.
  • Ensure you have the banking details of where you are sending the money and enter them. The receiver is usually known as the ‘Recipient’ or ‘Beneficiary’.

 

Transferring the Money

  • Advise the amount you want to send and get a quote.
  • Reconfirm the details, accept the exchange rate offered to you and confirm the amount in sterling.
  • You will receive a confirmation of the deal. You will pay them in sterling before the amount is sent to Singapore.

 

Information You’ll Need Before Making Your Transfer

When sending funds overseas you will need the following information about the account you are sending to.

  1. Account name of the recipient
  2. Their address
  3. The SWIFT code of the bank

 

Note:

Singapore banks are particularly fussy about details. A single digit or mistake in the address can cost a lot of time and effort.

 

Swift Codes:

Here are a list of SWIFT codes for the larger Singapore banks.

 

 

How Long Does it Take to Send Money to Singapore?

If you’re looking for speed then HSBC, Western Union and PayPal are your best options. Transfers take a matter of minutes. If you’re sending money to a bank account using a bank then the process will take 1-2 days. If you’re using a money transfer specialist that could increase to 2-3 days.

Related: How Long Does It Take To Transfer Money Overseas?

 

Is There a Minimum Transfer Amount?

Banks and PayPal do not have a minimum limit but some money transfer specialists do. Before using them make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.

 

Case Study

Mark has lived and worked in Singapore for three years as part of an exchange agreement with his company based in London. His rent and living expenses were paid for by his company but he was paid in Singapore dollars monthly into a Singapore bank account. He would now like to transfer these funds at the cheapest possible rate.

 

As the amount is well over £1,000 he employs the services of a money transfer specialist, OFX, to ensure the transfer goes smoothly, with the minimum amount of fees and the optimum exchange rate. OFX takes longer than a bank but Mark isn’t travelling for a few days so this will not be a problem.

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