How to Wire Money in Singapore

A wire transfer is a transaction and electronic payment which allows businesses to transfer money online between bank accounts. There are multiple ways to make this transfer and it will depend on the situation and the accounts used to decide which transfer method works best.

Wire transfers are commonly used by businesses to transfer funds between either local or international banks to pay remote freelancers, bills, supplier invoices and other vendors.

When choosing a wire transfer service, always keep in mind that the amount being transferred leaves your bank account immediately upon sending. Meanwhile, you may be charged a transfer fee which you should take note of before making a transfer.

What are the different types of wire transfers?

Wire transfers can be divided into several types – whether domestic or international, through a traditional bank network or a money transfer service. Understanding the differences between the types of wire transfers available can allow your business to make the best choice in transferring money at minimum cost.

Traditional bank networks

With bank-to-bank wire transfers, money is transferred between multiple banks within a network using SWIFT. Each party involved in this scenario (sender and receiver) pays a fee. On top of the originating bank, correspondent banks also charge their own fees.

Money transfer service

Money transfer services such as MoneyGram and Western Union involve fees for only one party (the sender). The receiver does not have to pay any fee. These payments are handled by transfer providers who take a cut of the transferred amount.
These traditional methods provide secure fund transfers. However, the time spent filing the necessary documents can be a huge dent in your business’s productivity. This is on top of wire transfer fees which can be costly and add up quickly.

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How to wire money the traditional way

1. Choose the company you will use to wire money
There are two routes to go when considering making a wire transfer – either through a traditional bank or credit union, or through money transfer services such as Western Union and Moneygram.

Which one you choose will depend on the amount of money you need to transfer, how much you are willing to spend on transfer fees, and whether you would prefer to make that transfer online.

This step is perhaps the most important in a wire transfer and you need to be wary of unlicensed money transfer services which can charge exorbitant hidden additional fees.
In Singapore, it is illegal to carry on a business providing a money transfer service without a MAS license. Avoid unlicensed money transfer services at all costs as they are unregulated, meaning you are very likely to be overcharged and fall prey to scams.

2. Calculate the fees charged for a wire transfer
It’s crucial to check on any fees you’ll need to pay for a wire transfer before sending any money. While fees may be cheaper at traditional banks or credit unions, it’s still very important to ask about all of them up front to avoid any nasty surprises.

In Singapore, international wire transfers or remittances typically cost approximately S$20, with exceptions.

3. List the details needed for a wire transfer
In order to send a wire transfer, be sure you prepare the following information for the paperwork:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Recipient’s bank name
  • Recipient’s bank account information
  • Recipient’s bank identifier code or routing number
  • Recipient’s home/business address
  • Your bank account number
  • Your phone number

If you plan on wiring money at a physical branch, be sure to call your bank or wire transfer service ahead of time to ensure that you have any additional information needed on hand before the visit.

4. Complete the paperwork required
Be sure to carefully fill out the paperwork needed for a wire transfer. If needed, double-check with your provider on the process, and make sure to insert your recipient’s correct account number. This is crucial so that your wire transfer is successful and so that you don’t run into any roadblocks later on.

Unlike bank transfers, wire transfers are notoriously difficult to reverse should you send the money to the wrong account.

5. Keep your receipt for tracking the transfer
Ensuring you keep all your receipts for transfers guarantees that you can verify what went wrong should a payment not reach your recipient’s account. Be sure to be meticulous about keeping all receipts with wire transaction numbers and find the best way to organize them for easy tracking.

With a wire transfer, it’s especially important that you keep a receipt as your funds leave your account immediately upon sending it before your recipient actually receives it. This makes it all the more important to have a record of the transaction should something go wrong with the transfer.

Alternative methods to wire transfers

Bank transfer

Bank transfers or online banking are generally more secure methods to transfer money to another account. However, wire transfers are generally faster, which is why fees for them are higher compared to bank transfers.

Telegraphic Transfer

Telegraphic transfers (TT), also known as telex transfers, are typically used for large, overseas transactions. It is similar to a wire transfer in the fact that it is an electronic fund transfer (EFT). Compared to wire transfers, TTs can be more expensive due to the multiple foreign currencies involved and banks applying potentially unfavourable exchange rates.

Processing fees are also potentially higher as every bank – the sender’s, recipient’s and intermediary’s – takes a percentage. Also, there are no standard fees set and any financial institution is free to charge more or less. They can also be relatively quick taking on average 1 to 4 business days.

Payments software

Paying bills with payments software cuts out the costs of intermediary banks and high processing fees immediately. Instead of toggling between websites to find the money transfer service with the cheapest international rates, payment platforms like Spenmo offer your business a 0% markup FX rate. This means you don’t have to worry about fluctuating exchange rates and arbitrary hike-ups.

How businesses can benefit from using Spenmo’s payments software to pay bills

  • With Spenmo’s software, save on costs with Google mid-market FX rates. Say goodbye to arbitrary exchange rate hike-ups by intermediaries
  • Track the status and delivery of payments in real-time with Spenmo’s comprehensive dashboard
  • With automated mass payouts, send bills in bulk as if you were sending an email, whether it’s a single bill or thousands of them, our system scans the bill(s) and carries out payment accordingly
  • Seamlessly sync expenses into your accounting software and allow work to be reduced by 90%. Simply email your bills to Spenmo (we take care of the payment), and sync Spenmo to your accounting software platforms such as Xero

Spenmo is your all-in-one platform for bill payments

Track the status of all your payments in a single dashboard for greater visibility with Spenmo’s expense management platform. Eliminate the worry of fluctuating money transfer fees when paying your vendors.

Avail of the lowest cross-border rates at Spenmo. Click here to try.

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