The remittance industry has been an integral part of Singapore’s Financial Sector for decades
Remittance services provide an individual or a business with the means to transfer funds to a recipient with or without a bank account. These transactions typically have been over the counter using cash but digital platforms are fast becoming a popular method.
Remittance businesses have fast grown and with the adoption of financial technology offer the same or even better services and range of products than banks. As seen lately, startup fintechs have used technology to innovate international payment methods which can be more convenient.
Financial Directory of the MAS.
Much faster, cheaper and with a sophisticated network remittance businesses serve the interests of locals and foreigners in Singapore. Flat fees & competitive exchange rates also give preference of using a remittance service over a bank.
With the introduction of Payments Services Act, much focus have been given to the security of consumers funds. Such enforcements have indeed raised the standards in protecting funds till it reaches its destination. Overall, technology has indeed favoured the traditional industry to compete with the big banks and give a run for their money.
Foreign Workers are the foundation of Singapore’s labour force.
A good proportion of Singapore’s labour force work in the construction industry. The sector contains large number of workers mainly from India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar & China. These are skilled workers in construction and usually stay in dormitories.
With a good proportion of their wages needed to be sent home back to their loved ones, they are the target of many remittance businesses. A number of remittance agents operate out of these dorms particularly where there is a large population of workers making it easy for them transfer money without having to leave to elsewhere.
There are also remittance kiosks and mobile & web applications developed specially for their use.
Singapore families employ domestic helpers to assist them with their household chores.
There are large sizable community of domestic helpers from Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar and India.
There are approximately on average 240,000 domestic workers in Singapore. Domestic helpers usually are breadwinners for their families back in their country.
Usually many of these helpers send a large proportion of their salary back home. Looking for cheap or no fees and competitive exchange rates, they flock to remittance agents at popular malls such as City Plaza, Lucky Plaza & Peninsula Plaza.
Being a global business and financial centre, Singapore often attracts talents to live and work here. With over 100,000 expats, they take the managerial positions in corporates and other MNCs based here.
With family and other personal commitments, these expats have to remit money home. As the amount for remittance can be large and regular, expats tend to use the banks or the larger and well known remittance companies.
Nowadays many are attracted to the convenience of electronic remittance.
Many local SMEs tend to save on operational and administrative costs. That is why we see many such businesses using remittance services provided by money transfer companies.
A bulk of these are payments are actually payments for overseas suppliers who usually provide these firms with goods or services.
Some of these companies also use remittance services for incoming payments usually from their buyers.
When using remittance companies, local businesses usually cut alot of costs by getting competitive Fx rates & minimum or zero charges.