Best Online Banks in Singapore
Most of the world has started using online banking in the past few years, and South East Asia is no different. There are now new financial institutions that use digital platforms to offer new ways to bank and challenge the status quo of traditional institutions.
These online banks do everything online and don’t have any physical branches. Instead, they have 24/7 customer service and automated systems that do what the branches used to do. In many parts of the world, the popularity of these “challenger banks” has forced traditional banks to make their own financial products available online.
Best online Banks in Singapore
But you might be wondering what digital banking is like in Singapore, and how it compares to the services that traditional banks have already set up.
We found a list of the best online banks in Singapore by looking into dozens of mobile challenger banks in Asia and around the world. We’ll start by looking at the best online banks in Singapore, in each category, then move on to the best digital banks overall.
Even though some of South East Asia’s digital banking services are run by companies that aren’t in the finance business, they all have a digital banking license. But in many places in South East Asia, such licenses are still new, and the first digital banking licenses have only just been given out.
Digital banks offer a completely new kind of financial service that is so different from what banks have always done that traditional banks have had a hard time keeping up.
Most of the following challenger banks also have their own reviews on our website, which you can read if you want to.
Best online Banks in Singapore
Best digital bank for business accounts in both Singapore
Aspire’s main goal is to make getting money for a business quick and easy.
So, instead of stacks of paperwork, SME owners just fill out online forms and get a response the same day. Most of the application and review processes are done automatically by their in-house assessment engine, but the final decision about whether or not to accept an application is still made by a person.
Aspire is a good business account for any small or medium company in Singapore. There are no monthly fees, cashbacks, valuable rewards, unlimited virtual cards for you and your team, and integrations with accounting tools that make invoicing and tracking expenses easy.
Best online bank for freelancers
You need to add Wise to your set of tools for freelancing. A simple Wise application is just a few clicks away if you don’t like leaving your hard-earned money on the table for the big banks to take. Their fees are easy to understand and won’t leave you guessing.
Wise is best known for exchanging currencies and transferring money. They help you avoid sneaky fees and fees that aren’t fair when you do business abroad.
Wise lets you keep almost all of the money you get paid for hard work like writing, coding, video editing, etc. There’s no reason to give money to banks. They already have enough money.
If that wasn’t enough, you can use a debit card in the currency of the country you’re buying from to spend this money online or in stores. This saves you money on conversion fees.
Best digital bank for metal cards
The Metal Account costs S$19.99/m, and there is no charge for express delivery.
You can get your sleek Revolut Metal Card in 5 different colors, all of which look great but aren’t too loud. They are contactless, of course, and the Metal account as a whole has a lot of features.
You get access to 5 Junior accounts, cashback on payments made with metal cards, purchase protection of up to £10,000 per year, ticket protection, return protection, an unlimited number of disposable virtual cards, and a daily interest rate of up to 0.65% AER on savings.
Other benefits of Revolut Metal include the ability to spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate, exchange in 28+ fiat currencies with no monthly limit, make fee-free ATM withdrawals up to S$1050 per month, overseas medical insurance and delayed baggage and flight insurance, free lounge passes for you and up to 3 friends if your flight is delayed for an hour or more, and many more.
Best online bank for international money transfers
The Wise Borderless or Multi-currency account is a global electronic money account that lets users send, receive, and hold money in 55 different currencies. Even though it doesn’t have many of the features of a normal bank account, it gives users information about local bank accounts without requiring a local address.
It might be good for businesses, people who travel a lot, and people who live abroad.
With its easy money transfers, Wise has been taking down old banking systems for more than 10 years. Both Taavet and Kristo, the company’s founders, are from Estonia. They decided that they had paid enough fees to big banks to send and exchange money.
Now, more than 10 million people use Wise to move more than £4.5 billion every month. By avoiding banks and using Wise instead, they save £3 million in bank fees every day.
Best online banks in Singapore
- Started in 2018
- Andrea Baronchelli (CEO) and Giovanni Casinelli (CTO) are the two people who started the company.
- Business accounts
- Available in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam
- Account for a digital business
- You can open an account in 5 minutes.
- Pay in more than 50 different currencies
- Mid-market exchange rate
- Connect to your accounting software
- You can connect with Stripe, PayPal, Shopify, Lazada, and Shopee.
- Lines of credit and term loans
It’s easy to open an Aspire business account online, and there are no minimum deposits, annual fees, or local transaction fees. All other fees are also clear. Aspire is a great little helper for SMEs because of its incorporation service and fast credit lines, among other things.
Aspire lets you connect to third-party apps that make your life easier. The Aspire app can be linked to your accounting software so that you don’t have to manually match transactions.
It also links your Aspire card to mobile payments like Google Pay and Apple Pay, and you can get payments from e-commerce and payment platforms like PayPal, Lazada, Shopee, Shopify, and of course, Stripe, directly into your account.
- Started in 2015
- Founders: Nikolay Storonsky (CEO) and Vlad Yatsenko
- Business accounts and personal accounts (spending, saving, junior, and crypto)
- Available in Singapore and Japan
- Coming soon to HK
- Budget & Analytics
- Get paid early
- Crypto trading
- Savings Vaults
- Up to 4.64% interest rate
Revolut is a “challenger bank” that changed the way banks work all over the world. It has grown to every part of the world and is finally making money.
Revolut Singapore is not a bank, but a payment institution that is regulated by the government. You can exchange money in almost any currency with the mobile app. Also, Revolut Singapore gives you a lot of ways to save money when you buy or sell foreign currency.
We think that Revolut Singapore is one of the best places to learn about and use for banking.
In 2018, Revolut opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore, and its services have been available since October 2019. As a business, Revolut has 15 million people with personal accounts, 500,000 people with business accounts, and over 28 different currencies in its app.
- Founded: 2018
- Founders: Bertrand Théaud (CEO)
- Partner institution: Velotrade Management Limited
- Business accounts
- Single and multi-currency accounts
- Foreign exchange for small and medium-sized businesses
- No cost to open an account
- No minimum deposit
- No limits on account balances
- Low exchange rate fees
- Multilingual client support
Statrys has two types of accounts that are geared toward small and medium-sized businesses:
- Multiple-currency account (88HKD/month)
- One account for one currency (148HKD per month)
If your company is based in one of the following places, you can apply online:
Hong Kong, Singapore, The British Virgin Islands and more to come soon.
There are no fees to open an account, no minimum deposits, and no limits on the account balance. You can send, receive, and hold eleven currencies: HKD, USD, RMB, EUR, GBP, SGD, CAD, CHF, JPY, NZD, and AUD.
- Started in 2011
- Founders: Kristo Kaarmann (CEO) and Taavet Hinrikus (CEO)
- Partner bank: Community Federal Savings Bank
- Accounts for individuals and businesses, money transfers
- Online account for free
- International bank details
- You can send money to more than 70 countries, and the fees are always low and clear.
- Use your card to buy things with local money.
- Get your salary, pension, and other payments.
- Pay the real rate of exchange
- You can pay online safely and get instant updates.
- You can use your card in more than 200 countries and get cash at 2.3 million ATMs.
- Since its start in London in 2011, Wise has worked to make international money transfers cheaper and more clear.
Wise has quickly become a top choice for both personal and business international bank transfers. Compared to high street banks and other online payment providers, Wise has very low fees, and when converting currencies, it uses the real exchange rate.
When you open a Wise account, you get information about nine local accounts, including one for the Singapore dollar. You get a Bank code, a Bank name, and an Account number that others can use to send you money.
- Started in 2016
- Founders: Arthur Mak, Caecilia Chu (CEO)
- Partner bank: Community Federal Savings Bank
- Money transfers and personal accounts
- Singapore’s first wallet with more than one currency
- The Thailand Prepaid Mastercard has no hidden fees.
- Hold up to $5,000
- Instant exchange for 10 currencies
YouTrip is made up of people from Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand who have worked for top tech companies and some of the world’s best financial institutions.
YouTrip is a mobile wallet from Singapore that doesn’t charge any fees and is aimed at travelers. You can use more than 150 different currencies around the world at the “best exchange rates” and without having to worry about fees.
You can also exchange ten specific currencies in the app and lock in a good rate. You can add money to your YouTrip account right away with any credit or debit card in Singapore, and you can keep up to S$5,000 in a safe mobile wallet.
Benefits of online banks in Singapore
Online banks go by many different names, such as mobile banks, neobanks, challenger banks, digital banks, and others.
Most of the benefits of digital banking come from the fact that digital banks’ main goal is to fix problems in the traditional banking industry. One problem is that low-income or high-risk customers haven’t been able to use banks in the past.
The application process has changed because of digital banks. It is now much faster, requires less or no paperwork, and can be done entirely online. Most of the time, you have to download an app, enter some personal information, and confirm your identity.
Your application is approved and your account is open within minutes. This is a much easier and more convenient way to do things than the old way.
Let’s look at what the best online banks have to offer.
Low to no fees
Customers of traditional banks often have to pay fees, which can cost them hundreds of dollars each year.
The best online banks in Singapore, on the other hand, don’t have the rules, costs, and out-of-date infrastructures of traditional banks. This means they can offer almost fee-free services and often market themselves as banks with no hidden fees.
This also means that digital banks can often give better interest rates on savings.
Higher interest rates
It is a known fact that big banks will give you terrible interest rates, if they give you any at all. How do you feel about 0.05%? The best online banks in Singapore can offer higher interest rates on savings accounts to their customers because they don’t have to pay for things like retail space and bank cashiers.
Some of the time, you can even get interest on the money in your checking account.
Simple to use
Is going to the bank the worst thing that can happen? I thought it was as important as going to the dentist. Thanks to the best online banks in Singapore, you can open an account without having to drive to the bank and pay for gas and parking.
You can start banking as soon as you fill out the online form, upload your ID, and take a selfie.
Not only is it easy to open a bank account online, but there are other things that are also helpful. You can apply for a mortgage and do just about everything else that has to do with your money from your couch. Start by opening your banking app and finding the menu. The best online banks in Singapore will be very convenient to use.
Budgeting and analytics
Many online banking apps have a budgeting and analytics system that is more or less advanced, as well as reports that show you everything you’ve spent and saved. Find out which kinds of spending are taking money out of your account and change the way you spend.
If you turn on the autosaving feature in the app, your transactions will round up to the nearest dollar, and the change will be put into a savings account.
You don’t need a credit card anymore because some mobile-only banks give cashback on everyday purchases. It was about time that you got something in return. Now, you can even get cash-back rewards in cryptocurrency.
The automated tools and features that virtual banks offer to help customers make the most of their money are also a benefit of their services.
Customers can stay as up-to-date as possible on their spending with real-time notifications, and monthly spending reports help them see where they could be spending less or saving more. They also have ways to put money away in different areas and round-up features that put spare change into savings.
One of the best things about digital banks is that they are growing quickly and always adding new features to make banking easier and more useful for their customers.
Drawbacks of online banking
Digital banking isn’t perfect, and most independent fintech companies were only started less than 5 years ago (some only a couple of years ago). So, there are still a few kinks to work out.
Let’s look at some of the problems with digital banks in Southeast Asia, though.
This is likely the biggest problem that small banks have over big banks. You have to do all your troubleshooting online because there are no physical branches. This isn’t always the best solution, especially if you have a problem that needs to be fixed quickly and costs a lot of money.
Even though all of the apps have a chat feature, you may have to wait a long time for someone to answer your questions, or you may only be able to talk to a chatbot. Granted, some large banks are also offenders.
Fewer financial products
Some online banks only offer a basic account with a few extra features. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Not everyone uses their bank account for saving, investing, mortgages, loans, and so on. Sometimes, simpler is better.
Fewer options for depositing
This comes down to the fact that there aren’t any real branches. If you have cash on you and want to put it in your bank account, you might run into trouble. Same thing with checks, since you can’t scan a check with your phone at any neobank.
How safe is online banking?
Larger banks have recently given digital banks licenses, which will make customers feel more comfortable and safe when they bank with digital banks. This license usually comes with a guarantee that protects the money that customers put down. Singapore licensed virtual banks are part of the Deposit Protection Scheme, which protects deposits up to a maximum of S$75,000 in Singapore.
Aside from that, digital banks are at the cutting edge of technology, which includes keeping customers safe. Face recognition, fingerprint scanning, or voice recognition is used to verify a customer’s identity when they apply for an account. This shows how digital banks are using the best technology to give customers a safe experience.
It’s also common for digital banking apps to have features that let customers freeze and unfreeze their cards right away. This gives customers peace of mind and convenience if their cards get lost or stolen.
What features do online banks offer that traditional banks don’t?
- Easy and quick to fill out online
- Acceptance in minutes
- Reports and predictions every month
- Customer service inside the app
- Bill splitting
- Features of advanced analytics
- Foreign transactions and ATM withdrawals will cost less or not at all
- No hidden fees
- No boring paperwork is needed.
- Accounts that pay interest, whether they are savings accounts or not
How to start using online banking
The best thing about online banks that only work online is that most online accounts can be opened in 5–10 minutes or even less. Go to the site of your mobile bank and click or tap “Get started.” You can also get the banking app yourself by going to Google Play or Apple’s App store.
To open a personal online banking account, you must be 18 or older and have an NRID or HKID (depending on the country), even if you don’t live there permanently.
Digital banks offer a lot, like low or no fees, free ATM withdrawals, free or cheap transfers, and, most importantly, convenience and ease of use.
Since the HKMA started giving digital banking licenses in 2019, digital banking is likely to grow in places like Macau and the Greater Bay Area. There has also been a lot of talk about how these banking licenses will revitalize banking industry. This is also true for other parts of South East Asia, like Singapore, where digital banks are expected to start offering full services in 2021, after the first licenses are given out in 2020. Until then, they may offer accounts with no fees, ways to save money, and more.
As digital banking is expected to continue to grow in South East Asia, more digital banks are expected to pop up. They will add new tools, features, and products to try to lure customers away from traditional banks.
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