In Singapore, there are several multi-currency accounts and wallets that we can use to pay for our foreign currency expenses while on an overseas trip or when we shop online.
The benefit of these multi-currency accounts is that they usually offer better and/or more transparent exchange rates and do not charge a transaction fee. This can make a big difference compared to using our credit cards to pay for the same purchase. Note that even if there is an option to pay in Singapore dollars with our credit cards, we still incur the same hefty charges or even more!
Multi-currency accounts have come in very handy during my personal trips overseas, to Europe and to the US, and even when I worked from anywhere in Langkawi, Malaysia.
Read Also: YouTrip; Revolut; Transferwise; DBS MCA And UOB Mighty FX: Complete Guide To Multi-Currency Accounts And Wallets In Singapore
Exchange And Hold Foreign Currencies, And Send And Receive Foreign Currencies
The majority of multi-currency accounts enable us to exchange money from the comfort of our home, typically at a favourable rate, and allow us to hold the funds in our e-wallet. That’s great.
However, not all of them also give us the benefit of sending and receiving foreign currencies, to accounts locally or overseas.
One of the multi-currency accounts that allows us to send foreign currencies to overseas accounts is Wise (formerly Transferwise). In fact, we can hold more than 50 foreign currencies, including the Singapore Dollar and other very common ones such as the British Pound, Australian Dollar, Chinese Yuan, Hong Kong Dollar, Indonesian Rupiah, Indian Rupee, Malaysian Ringgit, Philippine Peso, Thai Baht and the US Dollar.
Sending Money To Indonesia For My Foreign Domestic Worker
Seeing that I could send money to bank accounts in Indonesia and Philippines, I decided to use Wise to help my foreign domestic worker send money to her family in Indonesia.
One of the main attractions of using this method was that I can make the exchange and payment on the spot. I could also help her send it as and when she requires to send money back without having to wait for an off day or take time out to make the transaction. For my foreign domestic worker, she also enjoys the convenience of not have to go to queue up at a financial institution or remittance store to send money to her family. She also gets some transparency in the foreign currency exchange rate and amount sent.
Read Also: Complete Guide To Buying Maid Insurance In Singapore
Step-By-Step Guide Using Wise To Send Money To Indonesia
As this was the first time I was sending money for our foreign domestic worker, I had to create a new Wise account. This was a very simple process that took under five minutes.
Step 1: The first thing I had to do is simply choose the option to “Send money” on the top.
Step 2: After that, I’m immediately asked how much I would like to transfer and in which currencies. Of course, I chose to send Singapore Dollars (SGD) and for the recipient to receive Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).
The total fees I would incur is also displayed transparently, along with the currency conversion rate.
I did a quick check on Google just to be sure, and found that the currency conversion rate was less than 1% off the “Google rate”. Looked fair.
Step 3: I needed to let them know who I want to send the money to.
After clicking on the “Someone Else” option, I was asked to provide the banking details of the person I wanted to send the money to.
Step 4: I assume is a one-time procedure where I had to verify my personal particulars as I hadn’t sent money overseas before. I did this very conveniently within two whole minutes via MyInfo, which is a service designed by the Singapore government to help manage our personal data.
No need to get alarmed if you are sent to a different website, you just need to login using our SingPass to approve the use of your personal data.
A list of the information that TransferWise is requesting pops up.
Lastly, I have to verify that my information is accurate. To protect my personal data, you will notice the blacked-out portions in some of the screenshots.
Step 5: I wasn’t sure which option to choose for this, but ended up with “Sending money regularly to my family”. In hindsight, maybe this wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made as it wasn’t my family I was sending money to.
Strangely, to me as least, I was asked for the reason for my transfer, which I thought I had given earlier. Looking back at the screenshots I took for this article, I realise I may have misread the earlier question. No harm done?
I clicked “Other” this time.
Step 6: Review that you’re sending your funds to the correct person and bank account.
Step 7: As I don’t have any balances in my Wise account, I had to pay for the transaction. I chose to pay via PayNow, seeing that it was the cheapest option.
You will then be given information on how to make the payment. I logged into my bank account and made the payment within a few minutes. In future, I could simply keep a balance in my Wise account to skip this step.
Finally, I am brought to a page telling me that the payment will be made within six hours. I let my foreign domestic worker know, and tell her to let me know if her family does not get the money by the next day.
Hassle-Free Way To Send Money Overseas
The next day, the funds were indeed transferred into the account in Indonesia. The funds was also processed much quicker than the 11 hours they estimated it might take.
The whole process is done in about the same time as transferring money to someone in Singapore. As it was my first time, I had to open a Wise account as well as verify my personal particulars and pay for the transaction using PayNow.
Wise also enables us to store and send money currencies of our neighbouring countries, so that’s a big plus. If I were to do it the next time, it would very likely be even faster.
Read Also: Step-By-Step Guide to Getting And Using A YouTrip Card For Your Next Holiday Or Shopping Online
This article was first published on 18 June 2020 and updated with new information.
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