The world of remittance is seeing a lot of action much to the benefit of customers, who are always scouting for quick, easy, secure, and wallet-friendly international money transfer options. Non-bank, digital, or online money transfer companies are taking away customers from banks and specialist remittance operators. However, banks and specialist remittance companies continue to enjoy the loyalty of customers with different remittance needs.
We have listed out popular money transfer options for you, explaining the merits and demerits, so that you can easily pick the one that suits you.
1. Digital/Online Money Transfer Companies:
The digital money transfer market is attracting many new companies who are vying for customers. These companies score over banks on various counts. To begin with, the signing up process is easier, quicker, and mobile friendly. Most customers consider the user interface of a digital money transfer app to be a critical factor in making a choice.
Moreover, digital money transfer companies such as Instarem, SingX, TransferWise, Xendpay, OFX, WorldRemit, and many others claim to offer a quick and convenient method of transferring money through their app at a fraction of the cost compared to banks. The companies save on overhead costs incurred by banks so they can afford to offer competitive exchange rates and lower transaction fees to you.
Instant money transfer, transparent process, better foreign exchange rates, good customer service, cash pickup, offers and deals are the many advantages these companies boast of. They also dole out referral schemes, coupon codes, bonus rewards for every transaction, free first transfer, and many such offers and deals to attract customers.
Instarem claims to provide zero margin mid-market exchange rates sourced directly from Reuters; however, they do charge a nominal fee. The platform also lets you earn points for each transfer that can be redeemed against your transactions.
WorldRemit goes one step further by offering in-app payment solutions such as Android Pay and Apple Pay for international transfer of money. The maximum amount per transaction is S$8,000.
Before you make a choice, watch out for credibility, trustworthiness, reliability, and compliance score of new money transfer digital operators flooding the market. Also, research and compare the remittance companies on websites such as comparremit.com, remitright.com to discover the most suitable money transfer company for your remittance needs. Additionally, there are many independent online review forums that can help you make an informed decision.
If you would rather trust your own bank with your international money transfer needs, we totally get you. Though banks can’t match up to cost-effective remittance services and the hosts of benefits offered by online money transfer firms or remittance specialist providers, they definitely win over customers who look for the most secure, safest way of transferring money abroad.
Nonetheless, several banks offer attractive remittance options. Take, for instance, CIMB Bank’s Singapore to Malaysia online funds transfer. You can seamlessly transfer funds via CIMB’s internet banking platform Clicks (you will be required to make a one-time set up on the platform connecting your CIMB Singapore account to your CIMB Malaysia account).
Not only is this service convenient, but the bank also guarantees the lowest rate of exchange. So, if you find a better SGD to MYR exchange rate from any other bank or remittance specialist with an hour of your funds being transferred via CIMB Clicks, take a screenshot and mail it to [email protected] CIMB will then credit the difference to your account! And the best part is that you won’t be charged any admin fees for your transactions. This offer is valid only until 31 October 2018, so if you are looking to transfer money to Malaysia, now is the time!
Other banks such as DBS offer same day online money transfers to India, Australia, China, UK, USA and many other countries. The bank claims $0 transfer fees to some countries, locked-in exchange rates, and preferred exchange rates for transfer of certain amounts.
Similarly, Citibank Global Transfer offers instant and free international money transfers between local and overseas Citibank accounts.
Banks are your best bets if you are not comfortable transferring your money through other remittance provider platforms. Do check with your bank for deals, and don’t forget to enquire about hidden fees.
3. Remittance Specialists/International Money Transfer Operators such as Western Union, MoneyGram
Western Union once was an unbeatable international money transfer leader. However, it doesn’t enjoy that monopoly anymore. The remittance market is now highly competitive and disrupted. Yet, the distribution network and brand recognition enjoyed by Western Union remains unmatched.
Though both Western Union and MoneyGram offer digital, mobile app money transfers, they continue to have an edge when it comes to remote, small towns and cities in different parts of the world. Both the companies have thousands of agent locations worldwide, especially Western Union.
If the fund’s recipient is not smartphone savvy, doesn’t have a bank account, can’t access the computer, and prefers the old school way of receiving hard cash in hand, then players like Western Union and MoneyGram are sought after. Despite high commission charges, these companies are able to retain certain customers.
Pros and Cons of Remittance Mediums
Money Transfer Mediums
|Digital Money Transfer Companies.
Instarem, SingX, TransferWise, Xendpay, WorldRemit, OFX, Azimo
|Competitive exchange rates compared to banks.
Cheaper transaction fees.
Ease of registration process/account creation.
User-friendly app interface.
Quicker money transfer.
Regular deals, new customer offers, and rewards.
|The market is flooded with the entry of new companies every other day so the credibility of such platforms can be questionable. Watch out for remittance frauds.
You need to have a smartphone or a computer and be comfortable using the digital platform.
In some cases, the recipient of the funds will be charged a small amount at the time of withdrawal.
|Banks||Perceived to be the safest, reliable, secure way of sending money abroad. Trustworthiness is high.
Suitable for those customers who prefer in-person international money transfer transactions in the banks.
|Steep foreign exchange rates.
Hidden fees and commissions.
Some banks may take several days to transfer the money.
Lack of transparency.
Western Union, Money Gram
|Unmatched distribution network even in remote parts of the world.
Enjoys high customer trustworthiness and brand recognition.
|High commission fees.
Vulnerable to frauds, identity thefts.