The Growing Acceptance of Multi-Currency Wallets in Singapore; Which One Is the Best?
Traveling is part of life for hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. It could be locally or internationally, either for holiday, business, adventure or work. However, with the outbreak and the rapid spread of COVID – 19, all almost every country has imposed a level of lockdown hence travel bans.
That aside, traveling or business transaction comes with the exchange of currency both foreign and local. On the other hand, with the availability of digital remittance, more and more people are developing a love for digital money; which is nonetheless, safe and easier to carry thanks to the multi-currency wallet. After all who wants to carry around bundles of notes of money?
The dramatic development of multi-currency offerings
With the presence of technology, financial management should no longer be a challenging task. Nonetheless, according to a report prepared last year by Bain & Co, Temasek and Google, there is a rapid evolvement of e-wallets today.
More people are choosing to use multi-currency offerings and payments. Besides, banks have continued to hike foreign transaction charges, a move that has also fueled the use of multi-currency products. Take for example a freelancer who is paid in different currencies and they need to send money home regularly! The e-wallet will be convenient.
Singapore is one of the many countries, which seems to have adopted fully multi-currency wallets. The Island country welcomes frequent travelers and international shoppers every year who prefer shopping on e-commerce platforms.
Evaluating the use of multi-currency accounts in Singapore 2020, payments director at PwC’s strategy consulting arm, Shirish Jain noted, “Customers are becoming increasingly aware of these newer options that are simpler, faster, transparent, and at a lower cost compared to traditional means.”
Regardless of where we live, at one time or another, we may need access to foreign currencies. Nonetheless explore some of the most widely held multi-currency accounts, cards or e-wallets in Singapore as well as what they offer: –
It is one of the common players in the market because: –
- It holds more than 40 currencies; Australian Dollar (AUD), Australian Dollar (AUD), Singapore Dollar (SGD), British Pound (GBP), and Canadian Dollar (CAD) among many others. Surprisingly it is the only one that can store the Malaysian Ringgit, the common currency used by travelers to Malaysia.
- Users have access to more than 150 currencies globally for expenditure. They are available offline and online and do not incur any extra foreign transaction fees.
- The users can get international bank details about currencies at no cost and the account does not require a minimum balance, monthly or opening fees.
UOB Mighty FX
The card offers multi-currency solutions which include: –
- Linkage to various UOB SGD base accounts such as Wealth Premium Account, KrisFlyer UOB Account, iAccount, One Account, and Privilege Account.
- Storage of about 10 currencies including Chinese Renminbi (RMB), New Zealand Dollar (NZD) and Japanese Yen (JPY) and many others.
- Worldwide use because it has the support of Mastercard.
- It does have the requirement of a minimum fee for maintenance but it has an annual fee of $18. However, this only comes after the first three years.
It is the newest player in Singapore’s multi-currency wallet market and comes with three tiers; Metal for $19.99/mth, Standard and premium east costing $9.99/mth. Its benefits include: –
- Being able to spend more than 150 different foreign currencies, which can be used online and offline.
- Foreign currency transfers or remittance though at the rate of foreign currency transfers or remittance. Hence users are strongly recommended to be cautious about the monthly foreign exchange limit of $9,000.
- The first cash withdrawal of $350 a month from ATMs overseas does not have any charges. Nonetheless, to delight in transactions of a higher amount without charges, you ought to subscribe to a higher – tiered card.
- Instant alerts for transactions and the ability to switch off functions you do not need in your card.
- Premium and Metal customers have an added advantage of a “Disposable Virtual Card” usable only once hence it is convenient for online transactions on sites you are not sure about.
DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA)
It is also one of the newest digital solutions in Singapore.
- Users can save up to 13 currencies and has access to the RMB often used by those traveling to China.
- Customers can make free transactions and same-day online transfers to various countries such as the UK, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Indonesia, China, and other Eurozone countries. Additionally, the account offers preferential conversion rates in foreign currency to any transfer of more than $50,000.
- The account has brokerage services from the same bank including DBS MCA.
It is among the oldest multi-currency mobile wallets in Singapore and was launched in 2018 by You Technologies Group. The account: –
- Has a mobile application, which gives the user storage and exchange of about 10 selected currencies.
- Offers free contactless Mastercard for online or offline use and in more than 150 foreign currencies. All these do not attract any transaction fees.
- Provides overseas cash withdrawal service at wholesale exchange rates though with a $5 withdrawal fee.
- Has a handy function on the mobile app for instant locking of the card in case of a fraudulent transaction.
The key to the discovery of the right multi-currency account
Different people have different needs, hence it is important to clearly understand the offers in different features, which will be at your convenience. Many accounts and cards are known to have hidden fees. For example, did you know a majority of banks will charge very little or nothing at all as monthly fees yet they will have an added price increase to the exchange rate they use?
No one will ever tell you this, thus you end up spending more on international payment. That said, it is strongly recommended that you carry out a bit of research before settling on any account. It will pay off in the long run and you will not have to feel deceived when you finally settle on what you want.