There’s been talk about more potential air travel bubbles opening up, especially with Covid-19 vaccines progressively being administered to Singaporeans (hurrah!).
At the time of writing, although the Hong Kong air travel bubble is still on hold due to a new wave of infections there, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said that Singapore is continuing to seek new regions to establish travel bubbles with, in addition to Australia, Brunei, China, New Zealand and Vietnam.
Travel bubbles or not, unfettered leisure travel is still out of the question for now (better to be safe than sorry!). This means it’s tough to gather in a big group with your family overseas, in-laws or friends over Chinese New Year; and those of us who are working or studying in a foreign land might not be able to return home for a long-awaited reunion.
Even for our colleagues, domestic helpers and foreign workers, the ache of being apart from family for so long (even if it’s just over the Causeway — so near, yet so far) is really tough to bear.
The good news is, while people can’t really travel, we can still send things like care packages to our loved ones. For ever-practical folk, being able to remit money overseas despite the ongoing pandemic has been the best thing since sliced bread (almost?).
How to decide what platform to use to remit money overseas? 5 considerations
In the past, sending money overseas was a more complicated, long-drawn and costly process. These days, it’s so much simpler, quicker and cheaper. For Singapore-based remitters, it’s even easier. Whether you are a foreigner or Singaporean, as long as you have MyInfo, you can now open a new account with DBS via its digibank app, top up your account and make your remittance.
1. Where can I remit to & in what currency?
Always check if your chosen platform allows you to send money to your specified country(ies) or currency(ies).
What’s the point of using a platform if you can’t send money to your son in Australia but able to send cash to your domestic helper’s family in the Philippines? In that case, you might have to use 2 separate platforms, which just isn’t efficient.
For example, DBS Remit, accessible via your DBS digibank app login screen (click “Overseas Transfer”), allows you to remit to 49 destinations in 17 currencies. These include the United States (USD), Australia (AUD), Hong Kong (HKD), United Kingdom (GBP) and Myanmar (MMK).
And if you are thinking of opening a DBS account, it’s even easier now. All you need is MyInfo and you can open a new account via digibank app, top up your account and make a transfer! And this is for all both Singaporeans and foreigners.
2. Any fees and charges?
As with any platform or service, we should inspect the fine print for hidden fees and charges. If left unchecked, though minimal, these might add up if you need to remit multiple amounts of money. Best case scenario: Look for a platform that offers $0 fees such as DBS Remit.
3. How about the exchange rate?
If you’re familiar with forex fluctuations in your investments, you’ll be sharp-eyed enough to look out for currency conversion rates used when you’re remitting money overseas.
That’s right, you may be paying $0 in fees, but exchange rates that aren’t competitive might see you paying more overall. You should have just gone for that platform that had a fee but much better exchange rates to pay less overall!
One thing good about DBS Remit is that it offers competitive exchange rates, and even a preferential rate if you happen to be remitting over S$50,000 (university/medical fees, investments, business costs or even property all do cost a pretty penny).
4. How quickly will your money get there?
Ah, sometimes amid high fees or lousy exchange rates, this could be the deal breaker. Picture this: A relative, friend or your helper’s family is in urgent need of money, be it for medical bills, to tide through a crisis… or perhaps you need it for your investment.
Always check how long it will take for the transfer to be done. With technology so advanced, why settle for slower transfer when DBS Remit can do same-day transfers.
5. How user-friendly is the platform?
Everything has satisfied your criteria, but all things equal, the true differentiating factor in a fees/capabilities war is the usability of the platform. If it’s clunky, confusing to navigate and you need to jump through many hoops to remit money, that’s needless stress especially if you’re strapped for time.
Especially for irregular remitters, trying to figure out how to use a new platform each time, or going through a tedious setup process can be so harrowing, you’d rather just try to send the physical cash by registered mail.
|Step 1||Select “Overseas Transfer||Sign up / login|
|Step 2||Login to DBS digibank (auto-login available)||Account verification (for first-time users)|
|Step 3||Select recipient||Set up transfer|
|Step 4||Review and make your transfer — done!||Log in to bank account|
|Step 5||Fund the transfer|
|Step 6||Wait for confirmation and transfer to start — done|
I guess I’d still gravitate to the ease and convenience of using DBS Remit. Mainly because I can access it directly from my DBS digibank (no tiring setup/verification of account process), it’s quick and reliable (same-day transfers for the win!), it’s a familiar platform with competitive exchange rates, and carries $0 remittance fees.
Besides, most of us are already DBS digibank users. The helpful Overseas Transfer tile (a recent feature) on your DBS digibank app login screen is a really nifty shortcut too!
Remit money anytime, anywhere via your DBS digibank. Find out more now.