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Receiving money from overseas

Everything you need to know about receiving money from abroad.

There may be times in your life when you will be receiving money from overseas. Be it from friends or family, or maybe you are an expat living abroad. With the right tools at your disposal, you can find the best deal and have quick access to your funds when you receive a money transfer from overseas.

What is the best way to receive money from overseas?

The best way to receive money from overseas depends on your specific situation. For many, receiving the money to their bank through an international wire transfer is the most convenient – even if it can be expensive. However, you will find it is often cheaper to use a money transfer service instead. These types of companies specialise in sending money overseas, and offer lower fees and stronger exchange rates than banks.

We’ve listed the best ways to receive money from overseas – going from cheapest to most expensive:

  1. International money transfer service. Specialised money transfer companies are one of the cheapest options when it comes to receiving money from abroad. Use our comparison table to find a money transfer company that suits your needs before you receive your transfer.
  2. Money order. Sometimes called a bank draft, an international money order is an inexpensive but slow way to receive money from overseas.
  3. Mobile wallet. Having money delivered to a mobile wallet isn’t a popular option, but it is convenient if it’s available.
  4. Cash delivery. Consider having your money sent to a local money transfer agent location as a cash pickup. Some services will even deliver it straight to your home.
  5. International wire transfer. International wire transfers through a bank often get charged fees on both ends of the transaction, so tend to work out as an expensive option.

Compare international money transfer companies to receive money from abroad

As typically one of the cheapest options when it comes to receiving money from abroad, you can save yourself more money by comparing money transfer services.

Use our comparison table to see how much money you could receive through different money transfer companies and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
SGD 0 Same day SGD 4.99 0.721 USD
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
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1 day SGD 0.00 0.726 USD
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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SGD 250 1 day SGD 0.00 0.726 USD
Send guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send has fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
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SGD 1 1 - 2 days SGD 45.00 0.729 USD
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
SGD 5 1 - 2 days SGD 3.00 0.725 USD
Special offer: New customers get unlimited fee-free transfers for their first 3 months. T&Cs apply.
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
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SGD 1 1 day SGD 43.00 0.729 USD
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to S$3000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
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SGD 200 Within an hour SGD 50.00 0.723 USD
Use code Use code FINDER to access the S$500 discount. to access the $250 discount.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

How does receiving money from overseas work?

The process may differ depending on the service provider used to send the funds. With some money transfer services, you need to request the transaction reference number from the sender and present the number along with your identification documents. You may also be required to fill out a receive form to access your funds.

With online transfers, the funds are deposited into your account, after which you can withdraw them. You can also receive funds through a prepaid card or mobile wallet.

Bank information needed to receive money

Keep in mind, in order to receive money from overseas, you’ll need to provide specific bank details, including:

  • Bank account number
  • BIC/Swift Code — you can this from your bank
  • Branch code
  • Full name
  • Street address

Do I need to pay fees if I’m receiving money from overseas?

While most fees are incurred by the sender, your bank may charge a fee for processing and depositing the money you have received from overseas.

It is also worth keeping in mind you could be required to pay intermediary fees. Intermediary banks act as the ‘middleman’ through which money passes when transferring between two financial institutions. As a result they take a small fee from the funds being transferred. This is separate to the fees charged by banks or money transfer services.

How do exchange rates and margins affect the amount I receive?

The amount you receive in the end may be less than expected if the sender doesn’t pay the currency exchange rate at the beginning of the transaction.

Most banks and money transfer providers will quote an exchange rate that’s higher than the mid-market rate, otherwise known as the midpoint between the buy and sell prices. This markup is also known as a margin, which is how these companies make profit.

The exchange rate margin is often the reason why there is a difference between the amount that is sent and the amount that is received. Small differences can put a big dent in the end amount, especially when receiving larger amounts of money.

What type of money transfer should I use to receive money?

Money transfers come in many varieties, all of which can be used to receive money from overseas. Here are some of your options:

  • Online transfer. You can use online payment services to transfer and receive funds. The funds are converted into the recipient’s currency.
  • Money transfer. Money transfer companies that offer cash pickup are an easy way to receive money. Just double check that there’s an agent location near you before agreeing to receive a cash transfer.
  • Prepaid card. You can access your funds through an ATM when using a prepaid card to receive money.
  • Mobile wallet. Receive and send funds directly from your smartphone when using a mobile wallet.

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