TransferWise announces new debit card for Singapore

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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely… Read more
  • The new card will be compatible with 40 different currencies and will use Google’s exchange rate rather than the market rate
  • Large fee-free withdrawal allowance set to be afforded to customers – as firm pledges to go as low as possible with future rates
  • “The TransferWise card is here to solve a real problem which costs Singaporeans over one billion dollars in hard-earned money every year”, said TransferWise spokesperson

International money transfer firm TransferWise has announced the release of a new debit card designed to take the stress out of cash transfer while travelling.

The new card, which will be made available to customers in Singapore as of today, Tuesday 15th October, will be the first of its kind which the firm has released in Asia.

It has already released similar cards in various other destinations such as Europe and the UK.

The new card will work in the same way as a MasterCard debit card.

However, the key difference will be the way in which it determines its exchange rate.

It will be the first Asian card to use the exchange rate which appears at the time of transaction on Google, rather than using the market average in Singapore – which is much higher, and which currently rests at around six times the one found on Google.

More than 40 currencies can be used in conjunction with the card.

The first $350 worth of withdrawals will be free of charge.

According to statements from the firm, the new system will solve the problem of a lack of “affordable, transparent” options.

“Singaporeans are avid travellers, but banks have not provided an affordable, transparent card option for spending abroad, either to individuals or businesses”, said Surendra Chaplot, TransferWise’s head of APAC card product. 

“The TransferWise card is here to solve a real problem which costs Singaporeans over one billion dollars in hard-earned money every year.”

The firm’s head of APAC and Middle East expansion, Venkatesh Saha, added: “TransferWise’s mission is money without borders — instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free”.

Could free, or almost free, money transfer really be on the way for Singapore, Asia and indeed the wider world?

This release from TransferWise indicates that a strategic goal for the firm is to reduce costs as far as zero – and if they succeed, they’re sure to enhance their share of the market even further than they have already managed to do through other innovations.

Venkatesh Saha also said: “Even though our Singapore card is six times cheaper than the market average, we will stay focused on further reducing our conversation rates to as close as zero as possible.

In a world where money transfer is so expensive, any firm which can pull off this laudable yet difficult aim is likely to become a market leader in a matter of months.

To learn more about what firms such as TransferWise are doing to improve cross border payments, check out our magazine pages for the latest updates.


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