My quest for opening a bank account in Singapore:
- DBS: wanted utility bill < 3 months old of my residence in Belgium (which I didn’t have — most of the stuff is on my company’s name). Payslips and other bank documents didn’t count. Also 2hrs queue.
— (at this point I signed a tenancy agreement and had my own address/place/crib in Singapore) —
- UOB: Required a physical Singpass (which you only get after you started working and your employer submitted your IPA).
- Citi: IPA was enough, but tenancy agreement wasn’t enough; they need the “stamp duty” proof. Also doesn’t provide NETS. Getting a online banking token has to be “requested”, and getting cards (and thus access) takes ~2 weeks
- Went back to DBS with my tenancy agreement and IPA: opened bank account, got access to online banking, everything up and running in about 30 minutes. Downside of DBS Android app: seems to drain battery (requesting GPS high accuracy all the time for some reason; uninstalled for now as I’m not in Singapore until end of this month). Bank cards (did I mention I received them directly?) comes with Visa payWave. It’s a Platinum (not sure why I received this — seems standard as they didn’t ask — don’t think they noticed my other credit cards were Platinum too) Visa debet card.
It’s also worth noting I didn’t receive my DBS text messages with my OTP in Belgium (Belgian number) while it worked in Singapore (same number). I assumed routing issues or my provider (Proximus) blocking their gateway. I tweeted them about the issue, they called me, tested alternate SMS routes while I was on the phone (“I sent several test messages, which one did you receive”) and they waited on the phone until I managed to do whatever I was trying to do and made sure I got the OTP via text message this time. Great customer service!
With FlatTurtle we have people working for us via a Singaporean company, outsourcing. So I already transfer money every month to Singapore with BNP Paribas Fortis (~€40 fee), but for my rent deposit I wanted to try something new: enter TranserWise. Works really well and fast, and needless to say, the fees are much lower (more than half).
While I’m at it, I’m also using a Revolut credit card when abroad and not dealing with euro’s. I use this card all the time when travelling (now that I have a local card in SG I won’t need it in SG anymore, obviously).