Over 15 million individuals and businesses use Wise for local and international remittances. The UK fintech company, which started as TransferWise in 2011, now performs over £9 billion in monthly remittances in some 70 countries. Singapore is among the Asian countries to enjoy the full services of this payment solution, including the option of spending with the debit MasterCard issued by the company.
As a business owner in Singapore, you have probably received a link to open a Wise account for your company at the time of its incorporation. Perhaps you don’t know what benefits or setbacks this financial establishment portends and wonder if it’s a wise option to explore. Don’t worry. By the time you are done reading this piece, you will be able to frankly answer the question of whether to open a Wise account for your business in Singapore.
What is Wise?
If you’ve heard about Payoneer, PayPal, or Skrill, Wise belongs to this category too. It is a global financial company that allows individuals and companies to send and receive payments worldwide. While it is not a traditional bank, it offers services that make it resemble one.
With Wise, a foreigner can open a virtual account in another country’s currency and receive payments into such accounts as locals will do. For instance, a business owner or freelancer in Africa can open a USD or SGD account and receive payments from locals into these accounts with the account details supplied to them by Wise.
What Are The Differences Between Wise And Traditional Banks?
Unlike traditional banks, Wise is an Electronic Money establishment and doesn’t have branch offices as standard banks do.
Besides this, the other differences between the two include the following:
- You cannot obtain an overdraft or loan from Wise. But with traditional banks, this is pretty much possible.
- You won’t earn any interest for your funds in its custody.
- You cannot make cash deposits into your Wise account as you would in a traditional bank.
- The account details you get from Wise are virtual and function more like addresses for your incoming and outbound funds.
- They do not represent real account numbers, although they function as one.
- All registrations and transactions on Wise are online, a further confirmation of its digital nature.
- Application documents are less stringent than those of traditional banks, and so is the timeframe.
What Are The Benefits Of Opening A Wise Business Account In Singapore?
Opening a corporate bank account is required for any business. The long queues at traditional banks in Singapore are making many business owners turn to digital banks or wallets like Wise. Considering that all application processes are online, you don’t have to wait for another business to start your account. Wise does offer some benefits that are absent or scarce in regular banks, some of which include:
Real Mid-Market Exchange Rate
The common challenge with most traditional institutions regarding currency exchange is getting the exact exchange rates. Banks often offer lower rates, thereby making businesses and individuals pay more for international money transfers.
Wise, however, solves this problem by offering currency conversion at the prevailing exchange rates on other independent exchange websites like Google and others. Your business doesn’t have to lose again when it pays its foreign clients or workers through this means.
Low Transaction Fees
Whether you pay locally or internationally with Wise, this financial institution offers one of the lowest transaction fees globally. Compared to other electronic money institutions like PayPal, Wise’s fees are approximately 14 times cheaper. You can send and receive international payments at very competitive fees with Wise.
Bulk Payments For Workers
As a business with payment responsibilities for workers, Wise provides an easy way to settle your employees’ monthly pay. You can pay in bulk by entering the amount due for each worker and the payment day. Once your balance is sufficient to cover these payments, the system will automatically settle your workers’ salaries on the due dates.
Almost all international and domestic money transfers through Wise get to their recipients within 24 hours. At least 40% of such gets delivered instantly, far faster than what most traditional banks offer. So, if you want a cross-border payment provider that delivers very fast, Wise is a viable option to consider.
Access To Multiple Balances
With a Wise Business account, you can hold money in different currencies and inter-convert among the same effortlessly. You can get a local business account number in a few selected currencies and hold balances in several others. No regular bank makes this as easy or even as possible as Wise does.
Accounting Software Reconciliation
Wise’s API allows you to seamlessly integrate QuickBooks, Xero, and other Accounting software for automatic reconciliation. This implies that whatever transactions you carry out on Wise automatically reflect on your Accounting tools, saving you the time that would have gone into manually entering the information.
How Safe Is Your Money With Wise?
Wise is a highly regulated electronic money establishment, both in the UK, where it first emerged and also in other parts of the world. In the UK and Europe, for instance, it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which stipulates the framework of operations it must follow.
Similarly, in Singapore, Wise is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The regulators ensure that this electronic money institution follows globally and locally acceptable standards and serves its customers well. Besides, the company has to keep customers’ money separate from their own in reputable financial institutions.
Some banks Wise uses to keep their customers’ funds include Barclays and JP Morgan. As such, even if it goes bankrupt or no longer wishes to continue with its operations, customers will be able to get all their money back. The digital bank also uses super-safe HTTPS encryption to ensure that hackers cannot gain access to its website and compromise people’s financial information.
How To Open A Wise Business Account In Singapore
With your ID and business documents available for upload, you can open a Wise Business account in a few minutes. Once you have logged in to the Wise website, sign up and supply the information requested and choose SGD or other preferred currencies as your primary account.
You will have to pay a once-off £45 fee, or its prevailing SGD equivalent, to complete the setup. You can make this payment via your SGD debit card and wait a few hours to receive your business account details. Wise offers account numbers and IBANS in eight other currencies, while you can convert among eighty others worldwide.
Should You Open A Wise Business Account in Singapore?
If your business requires paying clients and suppliers abroad, you should open a Wise Business account. The transfer fee is arguably the cheapest among similar institutions, and you can be sure your money is safe with them. Besides, international payments go through in less than 48 hours, compared to regular banks, which can take days.
If you have incorporated a business in Singapore and looking to open you corporate account, wise could be your answer. It’s easy to open an account with them as well as transact in any part of the world. You should definitely give it a try.