Singapore – Money transfers to Malaysia have always been a sticking point for me. You see, my dad lives and works in Malaysia, and sending money to either one always came with exorbitant bank charges.
These fees were a real pain during my college days – not only was I a broke student, but I was also doubly penalized when my dad went to send me money. $ 20 wire transfer fee just to wire $ 250 for the month? What a scam!
Nowadays there are a lot more options if you want to transfer money from Singapore to Malaysia or vice versa. You can choose from money transfer services like Wise (formerly TransferWise), Singtel Dash, and InstaRem, which give us a welcome break from the exorbitant fees traditionally charged by banks.
This would come in very handy for Malaysian expats who are stuck here in Singapore for work due to Covid-19, and who wish to send money back home to their families.
What money transfer services allow money transfers from Singapore to Malaysia?
Here’s a rundown of the most competitive money transfer services, along with the 3 cheapest bank transfer rates I’ve found.
|Singapore-Malaysia Remittance Service Providers|
|Discount Provider||Costs||Processing time||Number of currencies supported by SGD|
|BigPay||$ 1||One day||ten|
|Wise||From $ 1||One day||70+|
|Singtel Dashboard||$ 2||One day||seven|
|SingX||From $ 2||One day||22|
|eRemit||$ 3||One day||seven|
|InstaRem||$ 3.50||One day||19|
|WorldRemit||$ 4||2 days||70|
|Western Union||Based on dynamic exchange rates||One day||200|
|Singapore-Malaysia bank transfer|
|Bank||Costs||Processing time||Other supported currencies|
|CIMB||Free if the recipient has a CIMB Malaysia account||Snapshot with an account linked to CIMB, otherwise 2 days||Worldwide|
|OCBC||Free until Dec. 31 2021||Up to 4 days||Worldwide|
|DBS / POSB||$ 3||One day||Worldwide|
1. BigPay – the cheapest way to transfer money from Singapore to Malaysia
BigPay is a newcomer to the Singapore market, but its arrival is to be welcomed. No matter how much you send, BigPay will only charge you $ 1 for transfers between Singaporean and Malaysian bank accounts.
If the person you’re sending to is also a BigPay user, transfers are free, but the downside is that they cannot withdraw these funds from their bank account. However, they can use the funds in that account with their BigPay Visa debit card and earn GrosPoints to use for rewards.
READ ALSO : 5 best money transfer services in Singapore
However, there is a limit on how much you can send each day, month, and year – it’s $ 5,000 per day, $ 10,000 per month, and $ 30,000 per year. There is also the MAS regulation which limits the amount that can be held in any e-wallet to $ 5,000 at any one time.
The limit doesn’t really matter if you only send a few hundred to your loved ones each month, and there is the added bonus that BigPay is a localized Malaysian business with same-day or day-to-day transfer to local people. Malaysian banks.
2. Wise (formerly TransferWise) – the easiest and best for large transfers
Despite a dynamic pricing structure for using its money transfer service, Wise – formerly known as TransferWise – is by far the easiest Singapore-Malaysia money transfer service to use.
This is due to Wise’s PayNow integration (which BigPay lacks). You can just enter your PayNow information and start transferring money that way. It’s even easier if you are the recipient, the sender just needs to input your Singapore cell phone number or IC number and you will get it to your bank account!
Wise also offers large payout transactions, you can send up to RM975,000 (S $ 315,000) per transaction. The number of transactions you can make with this amount is at the discretion of Wise – for each large transaction, they will ask you for your bank statements and other documents relating to how you got that money in the first place.
READ ALSO : GrabPay wallet update: you can now make transfers to your bank account. Here is everything you need to know
You also cannot hold a large amount of Singaporean dollars in the Wise e-wallet due to the MAS regulation (only $ 5,000), which puts a damper on those who wish to transfer at a later date to enjoy better prices.
It will also take up to two days for your money to transfer, which is particularly painful for anyone who sends and receives that amount of money.
3. CIMB – ideal for transfers to a Malaysian bank account
Many banks charge exorbitant fees for remittances. But CIMB is on the list because they offer an inexpensive way to transfer money to Malaysia.
You must sign up for the CIMB FastSaver account (which gives you interest rates of 0.3% per annum, a low entry barrier of only $ 1,000 for an initial deposit and no minimum balance to maintain). With this account you can link a Malaysian CIMB account to send funds to Singapore and Malaysia.
Transfers between the two linked accounts are free and instant, but the link takes 3 business days to process.
OCBC also has something similar, but the exchange rates and transfer times are not as competitive as CIMB. OCBC is also not that common in Malaysia – you would be hard-pressed to find OCBC ATMs there as well. So he loses to CIMB, which is one of the biggest banks in Malaysia and has ATMs everywhere.
If you don’t mind taking the extra step of opening a bank account for remittance, CIMB is worth considering. You can open an account easily online.
What to watch out for when choosing a money transfer service
Sending money – sending money to another person abroad – is not a new concept. But as more and more expats are stranded abroad and want to send money to their families, the size of the remittance market is growing year by year.
Previously, you could only pay through a bank or a service like Western Union. But these days there are tons of digital money transfer providers like Wise and BigPay to choose from.
Here are some things to look out for when checking out suppliers.
- Transfer fees: Banks usually charge at least $ 10 per transfer, they only make ent $ when sending large sums of money. With players like BigPay and Wise charging as little as $ 1 per transfer, there isn’t much to pay that much more for the same service.
- Exchange Rates: Although some providers advertise low transfer fees, their exchange rates may not be favorable. It’s another hair to cut, but it’s worth spending a few minutes checking the rates before sending.
- Processing time: some providers – especially banks – take three days or more for the money to be transferred and reflected in the recipient’s bank account. This long wait can be nerve-racking.
- Risk of fraud: With so many new providers entering the market, trying a new service can be risky. Who knows if your money might just disappear into thin air during the transfer?
Digital remittance service providers have stepped up their efforts and solved most of these issues. For Singapore-Malaysia remittances, most of them offer same-day (or at most one-day) service and charge low rates.
However, security remains a concern, especially when it’s not something that customers can easily discern unless they learn the hard way.
READ ALSO : Understanding Balance Transfers: How Much Can You Really Save in Interest?
This article first appeared in MoneySmart.