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Tips for transferring money overseas from Singapore

Whether you’re sending money to a loved one or you’re paying for something outside Singapore, there are a few things to consider.

How you transfer money overseas will depend on the purpose. Factors like transfer times, fees and peace of mind will help you choose the best option.

Follow these tips to ensure it’s a smooth and safe process.

How to transfer money overseas

The digitisation of transfer services is making it easier and faster to send money overseas.

More than 1.2 million foreigners call Singapore home[@internationalservices-sendingmoneyoutsidesg], and it continues to be an attractive destination for people from around the world to work, study and settle.  

Because of this and the rapid digitisation of transfer services, outward remittance market in Singapore is expected to grow to over USD12.5 billion by 2030[@singapore-remittance-market-outlook]. 

You can send your money through a bank, or a wire transfer company. You may need an account with some providers to transfer money outside of Singapore. There may also be fees for sending or receiving the money so it can be useful to check this before sending any money.  

You can transfer your money using:

  • bank transfer
  • debit card
  • credit card

Other services may offer different methods for transferring money outside Singapore. Take some time to find the right one to suit your circumstances. For example, if you need to transfer money regularly, going through your bank and setting up recurring payments may be a better option for you.

Is it safe to send money overseas from Singapore?

It always pays to be careful when transferring money overseas. Be sure to take some time to find the right international money transfer service so you can feel confident your money is secure and will arrive safely. 

All remittance services are regulated and monitored by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). You can check the license status of transfers services on the MAS Financial Institutions Directory. Remember though: just because the remitter has a license to transfer money, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get good service! 

If you’re sending someone an international payment through HSBC online banking for the first time, we’ll ask you to authorise your payment using your Digital Secure Key. This added level of security verifies your credentials and increases your security against possible fraud.

How to send money between global accounts

If you have bank accounts located in different countries and regions, you may need to transfer money between them, either regularly or just occasionally. There may be a fee for doing this with some providers.

If you're banking with HSBC, there are a few ways you can send money overseas.

HSBC Global Money Transfers

Global Money Transfers lets you make international transfers using the HSBC Everyday Global Account on your HSBC Singapore app. While this service is free through HSBC, other banks may charge a fee.

HSBC Global View and Global Transfers

With Global View and Global Transfers, you can transfer money between globally linked accounts without a fee. You’ll also be able to see your eligible international accounts in one place and set up reoccurring payments, if needed. The service is available to all HSBC customers on the HSBC Singapore app and HSBC Online Banking.

5 tips for transferring money overseas

1. Choose a service that fits all your needs

If you know you're going to be sending money outside Singapore to several different countries, it may be convenient to use one service that covers all of them.

For example, HSBC's worldwide money transfer enables you to send money to over 200 countries and regions. You can now also use the HSBC Singapore Mobile Banking app to send money to existing payees.

2. Check exchange rates and fees

Exchange rates can go up and down quickly, so check the information you’re shown on websites is up-to-date. It’s important you input the exact amount you're looking to send as this may affect the rate you're offered. Some services even allow you to set your own target FX rate, to be converted automatically when the target is reached. 

The FX Order Watch service is available to all HSBC customers who have foreign currency accounts.

Money transfer service charges can vary. It’s a good idea to check if there are any fees or charges for sending, or receiving, the money. 

3. Verify the transfer service

Choose your remitter carefully. An exchange rate that seems too good to be true just might be. If in doubt, check whether they're licensed with MAS using the Financial Institutions Directory. HSBC, like all banks and financial institutions in Singapore, is authorised and regulated by MAS.

You should receive a proper receipt of the transaction that includes the exchange rate, date of transfer and any commission.

4. Learn the transfer jargon

There may be some terms you’re not familiar with when it comes to sending money overseas from Singapore, such as SWIFT Bank Identification Code (BIC). Getting to know these terms and what they mean may help make sending money outside Singapore easier. 

Banking with HSBC? You can find our SWIFT codes here for inward remittances or to make overseas payments.

5. Plan your regular and future payments

If you're going to be sending money outside Singapore regularly to the same person, you could consider setting up a recurring payment. 

You may also be able to set up future payments so you don’t forget to make a one-off payment you know is coming up.

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