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Digital Remittances surge in Singapore, with 86% of residents sending money annually, Visa study shows

By Puja Sharma

July 10, 2024

  • B2B remittances
  • China
  • Cross Border Money Transfer
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saving apps, finance app, investment management, Fintech app, payments, technology, financial stability, personal finance app, debit card, Nigeria apps, Personal finance Nigeria, Fintech NigeriaVisa Money Travels Digital Remittances Report: Close to nine in 10 Singapore residents send remittances at least once a year

Visa, a digital payments platform, has released the results of its Money Travels: 2024 Digital Remittances Adoption Report, with 86% of Singapore residents sending or receiving money at least once a year, and digital apps is their preferred remittance method.

The Money Travels: 2024 Digital Remittances Adoption Report examines how consumers send money abroad, diving into the rates, methods, and reasons for sending and receiving payments across 20 markets globally. The survey included 2500 Singapore respondents.

In Asia Pacific, Visa saw a two-fold increase in digital remittances over the last two years, highlighting the accelerated pace and clients’ demand at which remittance flows are increasing in the region. Singapore is one of the three markets for Asia Pacific in terms of frequency of sending remittances, behind China (99%) and on par with India.

In terms of value of remittances, half (51%) of Singapore residents have sent S$1,500 or more to another country in 2023. Singapore is also one of the top markets when it comes to intention on sending more or the same amount of money abroad. Two-thirds (66%) of Singapore remittance users plan on sending more or the same amount of money abroad, behind China (91%) and India (74%).

The top three destinations receiving remittances from Singapore are Mainland China (18%), Australia (13%) and Canada (11%). Other popular destinations for sending remittances in the region are Malaysia (11%) and Japan (9%).

Regular remittances (31%), unexpected need (26%), and investments (26%) are the top drivers for sending money overseas.  The top three reasons given for receiving remittances are own accounts/investments (38%); special occasions (33%) and holidays (27%).

Across the region, digital apps were universally lauded for superior user experiences underscored by accessibility. Markets such as India, the Philippines, and Singapore exceeded global averages (67%), for digital app preference.

Over two-thirds (69%) of Singapore respondents prefer digital apps to send money, and four in 10 respondents plan to use apps to send money more often.

Security continues to be a key differentiator for payment methods, with digital methods cited as the most secure method for both sending and receiving. Sending money by cheque or cash was perceived as the least secure, especially when sent by mail or courier.

“Remittances are particularly prevalent in Singapore, due to our position as a regional hub. Our large foreign workforce and the diverse financial transactions characteristic of our market also support the growth of international money movement from Singapore,” said Adeline Kim, Country Manager of Singapore and Brunei.  

“We’re seeing some interesting trends when it comes to money movement on the remittance front. Besides the foreign workforce sending back money to their families, we are also seeing growth in the creator economy, where money is paid from social platforms to content creators. At Visa, we harness our extensive transaction data to drive innovations that cater specifically to the needs in the money movement industry. Our primary goal is streamline and secure the remittance process, be it topping up a digital wallet, sending money to loved ones or money transfers for business purposes.”

Visa works in collaboration with global remitters such as Brightwell, Thunes, Remitly, Western Union and Asia United Bank (AUB) to help enable efficient money movement through digitised remittances, leveraging our Visa Direct solution.

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