Jan 23rd - TW has hit a problem with new Payment Services Act from MAS; they are not subject to hard limit of S$5k per day and will forcibly transfer out money to external account to meet that requirement. All remittances now subject to S$30k annual limit.
Basically they have hit problem with their combining of remittance service (which can need high values on one off basis) with the stored value card (which may need balance/transaction limits for safety).
Probably should have managed product strategy better to avoid the clash of purposes between two offerings.
Nov 20th - Dropped from 5 stars to 3 stars due to change in limit of account.
Transferwise seems to be not managing growth properly.
Early (Oct 10) they put in a limit of S$50k for the borderless account. Large enough for day to day and one off large transfers. Only a little more than month later they now have a limit of S$10k (too many customers with large balances meaning their total holdings exceeds MAS limits).
At this level; users with large one off transactions will need more extra handling.
1. Got email about rollout of debit mastercard in SG start of the month. Took slightly more than 1.5 weeks from acceptance to participate to getting physical card.
2. Inward funding a little slow as no (fee free) credit card topup (as is the case for YouTrip or Revolut). Can do paynow/bank transfer (TAT varies, had topups recognized in 3 minutes but other times, took about ~30 minutes to recognize) or debit/credit card topup which is recognized instantly but with a noticeable fee (2.65/2.8% of amount).
On moving funds outward side, Transferwise integrates with local funds transfer/settlement systems where possible (eg for AU, use BSB codes but for UK, use Sort Code to identify banks). The benefit is that transfers are basically as fast as domestic transfers. For example, for SGD, TW disimburse funds using the domestic "FAST" transfer system for outward payments and funds are available essentially instantly after transaction instruction is given.
For major currencies (USD/EUR/GBP), TW does fallback to SWIFT for those with specialized needs where the local payments system does not support (eg remittance of USD to an account in Singapore).
In particular, an interesting use case discussed in the recent meet up was taking advantage of TW's good FX rates without the overseas remittance, so sending SGD from local bank account multi-currency account, coverting to USD and then sending the USD back to the local MCA and thereby avoiding the heavy markups local banks charge on currency changes. Definitely something to look into if you are doing investment in foreign currencies. Do note for foreign currency deposits there may be a SWIFT fee charged by your receiving bank.
2a. Also nice feature for those who are topping up for EUR/USD/AUD/GBP - there is "virtual" local bank account details; so you can top up via a funds transfer from other bank accounts.
For those planning business and investments activities, its helpful that the account is in your own name and TW allows downloads of statements as proof if needed (important as there may be restrictions on transfers between third party accounts as a anti-money laundering measure for certain transactions).
3. Usage is fine for local purchases and I have yet to do overseas transaction
4. Note cannot use for ATM here so no withdrawals and haven't managed to find one that supports PIN change.
5. Did a comparison of FX rates (after fees) on a moderate sized nominal amount, converting 9k AUD to SGD. Transferwise rate was middle of the pack and approx 45 basis points away from the best provider (Revolut - but note their service has limits so may not scale to larger amounts) and fairly similar to Currency Fair, another institution based out of UK.
6. Did have difficulties navigating the app/website and was looking to get help/support and found that while TW offer quite an extensive FAQ/help-guide, if you do have a need to speak to a live person, then you get a phone number to call... IN THE UK (!) So a little bit of a downer, can't really get live support without an international phone call (contrast with Revolut, same for a call but they do have live chat)
7. Also, as part of the Transferwise meetup session (props to Seedly for organizing!), had the pleasure of open Q&A with the TW overseas staff from Product Marketing and Operations who shared some insights on Transferwise's intentions going forward.
Right now, Transferwise and Revolut are both hot FinTech names that have made a splash by rolling out similar products in SG. However, TW is focused on "helping people move their money and spending it", so the firm is putting most energy into about making the core remittance function (moving) and debit card function (spending) as customer friendly and economical as possible.
This is in contrast to Revolut where having started with remittances, they are now moving into deposit accounts and other areas (stock trading, cyptocurrencies (!?!)). So while their capabilities may not be best in class (eg TAT on funds transfers is quite poor), they can do a bit of everything.
Overall, looks like Transferwise doing a good job on their stated intention and the core functions do work well and solid product on top of their existing currency transfer offering.
23 Jan - update on MAS requirements
5 Nov - para 2- updated debit/credit card topup fee for new charge level - its quite high!
29 Oct - para 6 - Added details about help channel - no local live contact accessible locally
17 Oct - para 2, 7 - Added in detail about local clearing, virtual accounts and other pieces from meet up on 15th.
10 Oct - para 5 - Added info about comparison with Revolut/Currencyfair. tldr - its the middle of pack
8 Oct - para 2 - Added info about TAT for transfer out - its fast!
7 Oct - para 2 - Adding info about local bank account details