3 Savvy Ways of Sending Money to Family Overseas

Sending Money to Family OverseasIf you are sending money to family overseas from Singapore, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the factors you need to consider. Learn about the various ways to send money to friends and family overseas, and decide which way is best for you and your circumstances.

What will we cover in this article?

We will all likely discover a time when one of our loved ones becomes in need of our help, and at times, this help will be financial. However, when they are not in the same country as you, then helping them out financially can be a somewhat overwhelming process if you don’t know where to go.

We’ve put together a short article to help you decide. In this article, we will explore the different ways to pay money overseas:

  • Credit or Debit card
  • Paying into a bank account using a Singaporean bank
  • Using dedicated currency providers

Using a credit or debit card

You can use your credit or debit card to send money to family overseas, but, usually this incurs higher costs along with a higher exchange rate. There are companies that will provide a service to allow you do this of course, as listed below:


Their minimum online transfer is $250SGD.

Western Union

No minimum.


No minimum. They accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Because they use percentages rather than fees, it can be costly. Paypal is great if you are transferring $200SGD or less, and is a lot faster and convenient that a lot of other companies. Do look at the fees and charges before completing a transaction.

Cash Pick-up

Not to worry! Some people don’t have bank accounts, and sometimes there are occasions where friends or family members can’t access their accounts from where they are. MoneyGram and Western Union both offer the ability to pick up the cash sent via them at over 350,000 locations worldwide.

Paying into a bank account using a Singaporean bank

Each bank has different charges to send money abroad. Using your bank account might provide ease and convenience, but it is one of the more expensive ways to send funds overseas. Some of the big banks in Singpore are as follows:


You need to be registered via your Internet banking to be able to transfer money overseas, so check this first.

POSB Bank do charge fees, and there may be fees charged by your recipients bank. Keep this in mind before you use them, but the service is available.


Type of Transfer Telex Fee Handling Fee Amendment Fee
Internet Banking or Direct Online $20SGD $5SGD for debiting amount equal to or below $5,000SGD; $10SGD for debiting amount equal to or below $25,000SGD and $35SGD for all other amounts. $30SGD
Phone or Branch $20SGD 1/8% of S$ equivalent of remittance amount (min. S$10, max S$120) $30SGD

DBS Bank

You can make transfers with DBS Bank over the phone, in store or via internet banking. They boast competitive rates for their existing customers, however, there are fees involved.


Type of Transfer Telex Fee Amendment Fee
Internet Banking or Direct Online $20SGD $30SGD
Branch $20SGD $30SGD


OCBC allow you to make international transfers in store, and online. It is cheaper to do so online, and the fees they charge differ depending on the amount you’re sending.

The fees:

Type of Transfer Commission Fee Cable  Fee Amendment fee
Internet Banking or Direct Online $5-$35SGD $20SGD May apply
Branch $30-$120SGD $20SGD May apply


  • TIP: Note that some countries vary in what you need to include with your international payment. While Canada and the USA use your recipients account number rather than an IBAN (International Bank Account Number) code, the United Kingdom requires an IBAN code that you will need to acquire from the bank you’re sending the funds to.

Using Dedicated Currency Providers to Send Money to Family Overseas

Currency providers act as an intermediary between you and your recipient. Like your banks or other companies, you take into consideration the additional costs: transaction fee and exchange rate. You will however likely get the best exchange rate going through these providers and the fees are considerably less than companies such as MoneyGram, and your banks.

Like your bank, you will need to set up an account if you wish to transfer money through them. You would be given an exchange rate live from that day, and would need the recipient’s bank details. Once confirmed, you’re good to go.

Some companies that offer this are:

Need some help?

If you want to talk to someone about your situation, call us on 1800 004 930.

We also offer free personalised advice via phone, email or even face-to-face if it all seems a bit overwhelming. Get in contact to arrange a chat with one of our local consultants, you’ll be surprised by what’s out there.

So whether you’re an importer paying a supplier in a foreign currency, an expat sending money home, or a holidaymaker looking for the best deal on Travel Money, avoid the hassle of shopping around and get in touch today.

Case Study

After Fred’s sister moves to London to complete her Master’s degree, Fred spots the opportunity to buy her old laptop from her. She gives Fred a sibling-special deal and asks for Fred to simply send her $150SGD to her for it – this will help fund a few beers at the local pub for a few nights at least! Fred agrees and decides to do it through his bank. As he banks with POSB Bank, and he’s already registered for Internet Banking, Fred completes the transaction quickly and easily. He can let his sister know it will be with her within 1-2 business days.

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