Navigating the Best Ways to Make Money Transfers to Singapore

What will this guide cover?

learn how to transfer money to SingaporeMaking money transfers to Singapore can be complex, but this guide will help. Singapore is becoming one of the main business and tourist attractions in Asia. Because if this it’s no wonder that there is an ever-increasing amount of trade and transfers happening between New Zealand and Singapore. If you’re living in New Zealand and need to send money to Singapore, either personally or professionally, then there is a whole host of choices for you. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a simple version the options we think are best in terms of convenience, ease and value.

For a quick comparison table of exchange rates and fees, click here.

This guide will cover reasons why you might be sending money and the different ways you can. It will also look at your general options in transferring money to Singapore:

  • Personal transfer – sending money to family or friends in Singapore
  • Business transfer
  • Buying or selling a property in Singapore
  • Studying Overseas
  • General costs of sending money to Singapore
  • Your options to send money to Singapore
  • Information you’ll need for the transfer
  • General information

Personal transfer from New Zealand to Singapore

You can set up a personal transfer from New Zealand to Singapore through a number of methods:

Bank:

Not many banks will support SGD but will always be able to transfer your money in US dollars. They will, however, charge you a high international transfer fee, as well as an uncompetitive exchange rate, but it is an option.

Money transfer companies:

These companies will offer you a better exchange rate and lower fees. Here are some providers that will help you with sending money from New Zealand to Singapore are:

All companies have similarities and offer competitive rates, but our recommendation is HiFX for great exchange rates between NZD to SGD.

Business transfer from New Zealand to Singapore

If your business is sending money between New Zealand and Singapore, there are two critical things you must consider when finding the best option:

  1.  The exchange rate margin: This is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate (www.xe.com) and the rate you will get.
  2. Business products they offer such as forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders.

You can use any of the above listed money transfer companies if you wish. Our choice for business transfers to Singapore are HiFX– their exchange rates and zero fee structure will allow you to maximise your overseas receipts or payments. They also offer Foreign Currency Accounts; helpful if you would like to hold the funds a foreign currency and exchange them at a favourable time.

Buying or selling property in Singapore

You might be looking to buy or sell property in Singapore need to send the money back to New Zealand. If this is the case we recommend that you look for a provider that has a strong presence in both countries. This will give you local support either side, as well as the flexibility you may need leading up to the settlement.

Our choice would be OFX for property settlement transfers, as you (the customer) are assigned a local account manager that will be licensed in New Zealand and Singapore, and will be able to guide you through the steps.

If would like more information about selling overseas property, you can refer to our article here. Alternatively, if you’re buying overseas property, more information can be found, here.

Studying overseas

As much as we would like them to, tuition fees aren’t getting any cheaper. Annual payments to universities, along with all other expenses, can really add up, particularly abroad. As these payments can be large, you need to know the best method of payment before moving your funds.

  •  For larger payments, you should be keeping a keen eye on the exchange rate you’re getting as this will largely affect the amount of money you will get in the foreign currency at the end.
  • For smaller payments, you should keep an eye on the transfer fees.

There are many methods of transferring funds abroad, but we would suggest the newly emerging (and very savvy) app, Transferwise. It is a rapidly growing UK-based company with an excellent app. The apps allows for bill-paying and makes all other monotonous payments super easy!

General costs for sending money to Singapore

Time to put together the fees. Calculating the costs can be difficult, as nearly all fees, charges and exchange rates are dependent on how much are you sending, method of sending and method of receiving. The most common fees are as follows:

  1. A transfer fee
  2. Exchange rate margin: the different you will pay between the wholesale exchange rate on xe.com and the rate you will actually get
  3. Bank fees: The fees that you bank will charge for sending the money to the correct account overseas.
  4. Receiving bank fees: The fees the receiving bank will charge you for converting into the correct currency.

Your options to send money to Singapore

There are various methods of sending money to Singapore:

Via your bank

Using your bank is an easy and quick way to transfer fees and can normally send the money successfully within 3-5 business days depending on your bank. Generally, banks will have uncompetitive exchange rates which make them unattractive if you’re sending large amounts of money abroad. Check with your bank and research the fees and exchange rates based on the amount you plan to
send over.

Paypal

Paypal is a convenient and highly popular way of transferring money abroad, and by far the quickest with transfers being completed within minutes (dependent on the type of transfer). It is great for smaller amounts (under $1000NZD) as although the exchange rate is equal to those of banks, the fees are slightly less. It’s particularly handy if you are paying from your own Paypal account directly into another Paypal account.

A money transfer company.

There are an overwhelming amount of money transfer companies out there – some older but trustworthy, and others newly emerging in the technological, app-age. In general, these companies are your best option when transferring larger amounts of money (anything between $1000 – $1,000,000NZD). Different companies will have various minimum and maximums set, and the transfer itself will usually take around 1 business day longer than banks or Paypal.You will need to create an account with the company before sending the money – you can do this online:

  • Register your details on the website – you will likely need I.D handy
  • Account needs to then be approved, and you’ll get your login details
  • Enter the bank details of where you are sending the money i.e. the ‘Beneficiary’ or ‘Recipient’
  • You will get a quote based on the fees and exchange rate for sending the money
  • If you are happy, confirm the details including the given rate.

Information You’ll Need for money transfers to Singapore

You’ll need the details of the bank account you are sending the money to i.e. the Beneficiary or Recipient details.

These details will be:

  • Account name of your Recipient
  • Their address
  • SWIFT code

Swift codes for the biggest banks in Singapore:

DBS Bank: DBSSSGSG
United Overseas Bank: UOVBSGSG
OCBC Bank: OCBCSGSG
Standard Chartered Bank: SCBLSGSG

General Information

There are pros and cons to every method of payment you choose. Paypal and money transfer companies like Western Union (who offer cash pick-up) are your fastest options, with transfers being completed within minutes. Paypal will not offer a competitive exchange rate, like Western Union, but it is arguably a lot more convenient. Banks will take 1-2 business days and other money transfers companies will take roughly 2-3 business days.

Do check the details of your chosen method, as all will have their own restrictions, fees and charges. Banks and Paypal will not have a minimum amount, but most money transfer companies will so do check before you send.

Case Study

case study for money transfers to SingaporeHannah is from Christchurch where she runs a successful juice bar. She is looking to expand further in the next two years but recently opened up her second branch in Singapore. Before the official opening, Hannah realised the importance of finding a simple but affordable way of transferring her NZD-SGD to fund her second branch. The exchange rate offered by her New Zealand bank meant that, due to the regularity and size of the payments, she would be losing a lot of her money in the long run.

After researching, Hannah liked the idea of using the ‘forward contracts’ offered by HiFX, a global international money transfer company. She now completes her regular payments with ease to Singapore with a fixed exchange rate offered by HiFX, knowing all her hard-earned money isn’t going to waste.

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