Bank of China (SG) money transfer: Fees and exchange rates 2022

International Transfer with Bank of China (SG)

If you’re planning on sending or receiving a cross-border payment with Bank of China in Singapore, you’ll want to know the relevant Bank of China international transfer fees, and your payment options. This guide covers all you need to know including the Bank of China (SG) international transfer exchange rate, process and delivery times. 

Bank of China might be one of the biggest banks in the world, but for international transfers it’s not necessarily your best option. Specialist providers like Wise and OFX might be able to process your payment faster, and for a lower overall fee. We’ll dive into that in just a moment.

Learn more

Bank of China (SG) international money transfer comparison

When you make a Bank of China international money transfer there are several different fees you’ll need to know about:

  • Transfer fee and cable charges - these fees cover the costs of processing the transfer

  • Exchange rate markup - this can be the highest fee, but it’s often hard to see

  • Agent bank fees - incurred when your transfer is processed through the SWIFT network

There’s always a cost to processing international payments - but to show how Bank of China (SG) measures up against other options available to you, let’s look at an example. Here’s what you’d pay if you were sending a standard transfer of 1,000 SGD online to someone based in the UK, to be received in pounds, with Bank of China and a few specialist services.

ProviderTotal costTransfer time
Bank of China (SG)10 SGD transfer fee + 30 SGD cable charge + exchange rate markup + agent bank charges as applicablePayments processed through the SWIFT network typically take 3-5 working days
Wise

4.88 SGD - payments use the mid-market exchange rate

80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
OFX

No transfer fee - a markup is added to the exchange rate applied

1 - 2 business days
PayPal6.99 SGD + exchange rate markupInstant

Bank of China (SG) processes international transfers through the SWIFT network, which involves passing your payment through several agent banks to get the money to the right place. This incurs extra charges on top of the headline fee - and you’ll also need to pay an extra charge in the form of an exchange rate markup.

Exchange rate markups are commonly used by banks - but they push up costs, and make it harder to know what you’re really paying for your transfer. It’s common to find a markup of about 3% added into the exchange rate offered for an international payment, which quickly adds up when you’re sending a higher amount. 

Alternative providers like Wise and OFX can often provide lower fees and a better exchange rate compared to regular banks, with a 24/7 service on your computer or smartphone. 

Send money with Wise
Send money with OFX

Bank of China (SG) international transfer fees

Here are the Bank of China Singapore international transfer fees for standard telegraphic transfers. Aside from this service, Bank of China can also offer demand drafts (D/D) - a physical credit note which you can then send to your recipient to redeem at a bank near to them.

Transfer typeBank of China (SG) international transfer fee 
Standard telegraphic transfer from SGD account

0.125% transfer fee (minimum 10 SGD, maximum 100 SGD) + exchange rate markup


Cable charges: 20 SGD for payment to mainland China, 30 SGD per transaction elsewhere


Additional agent bank charges may apply.

Standard telegraphic transfer from foreign currency account

0.125% transfer fee (minimum 18 SGD, maximum 1,000 SGD) + exchange rate markup


Cable charges: 20 SGD for payment to mainland China, 30 SGD per transaction elsewhere


Additional agent bank charges may apply.

Receiving an international payment10 SGD 

Bank of China (SG) exchange rate

You can find the Bank of China international transfer exchange rate online, or by visiting a local branch. It’s typical for banks to include a markup or margin in the exchange rate they offer customers, which can be around 3% added onto the mid-market exchange rate. It might sound insignificant, but this extra fee mounts up pretty quickly:

  • Sending 1,000 SGD - the exchange rate markup adds 30 SGD to the total

  • Sending 5,000 SGD - the exchange rate markup adds 150 SGD to the total

  • Sending 50,000 SGD - the exchange rate markup adds 1,500 SGD to the total

It’s useful to note that Bank of China also lists several different exchange rates online, depending on whether you’re sending or receiving a payment, or buying or selling foreign currency in cash. Make sure you check the right rate for the service you require when you’re comparing the available rates.

Here’s a reminder of the total costs - including exchange rate markups - from the providers we looked at earlier. This is what you’ll pay with each if you set up your payment online and send 1,000 SGD to a GBP denominated account:

  • Bank of China (SG): 10 SGD transfer fee + 30 SGD cable charge + exchange rate markup + agent bank charges as applicable

  • Wise: 4.88 SGD

  • OFX: No transfer fee, but exchange rate markup applies

  • PayPal: 6.99 SGD + exchange rate markup

Send money using the mid-market exchange rate

Bank of China additional fees

Bank of China (SG) warns customers about a couple of extra possible fees, including agent bank charges. These arise when payments are sent to banks which are not already connected to Bank of China, and processed through the SWIFT network. To get your money to where it needs to be, the payment is routed through 1 - 3 agent or correspondent banks. These intermediaries can charge service fees as they process the transfer, which are deducted from the amount sent. That might mean your recipient gets less than expected in the end.

SWIFT fees are tricky, not only because they push up overall costs, but also because they’re hard to predict. However, while it’s favoured by traditional banks, not all payment providers use the SWIFT network. Check out Wise as a good option which avoids SWIFT by using its own payment network, for example.

How long does a Bank of China international money transfer take

Bank of China states that international telegraphic transfers will usually arrive in their destinations in a few days. SWIFT payments can commonly take 3 - 5 days to be processed, depending on the currency being sent and the banks involved.

Here’s a reminder of the delivery times for international transfers from Bank of China (SG) and a few other providers:

  • Bank of China: 3 - 5 working days

  • Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours

  • OFX: 1 - 2 business days

  • PayPal: instant

Send fast payments with Wise
Send money with OFX

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with Bank of China Singapore

Pros:

  • Reliable and familiar service

  • Send money by telegraphic transfer or request a demand draft

  • Special exchange rates and fees for CNY transfers to mainland China

Cons:

  • Overall costs and delivery times are not market beating

  • Exchange rates include a markup

  • SWIFT fees can be unpredictable

Overall, Bank of China’s international payment service may be somewhat limited and expensive compared to modern alternatives. Compare the options and costs with a few specialist online and mobile services before you decide how to process your payment.

How to make an international transfer with Bank of China (Singapore)

You can make your Bank of China international money transfer in a branch, or choose their online and mobile banking option:

  • Log into your online banking on the Bank of China website or app

  • Navigate to the payment area

  • Follow the prompts to add the currency and amount you want to send

  • Check the rates and fees

  • Enter your recipient’s details

  • Confirm to complete the transfer

What information do you need to make an international transfer with Bank of China (Singapore)?

To make sure your Bank of China international transfer is processed safely, you’ll need to gather the following information from the recipient:

  • Recipient’s full name

  • Bank name and address

  • Account number

  • Bank SWIFT code

Transfer limits and available countries

Bank of China (Singapore) publishes the exchange rates available for telegraphic transfers sent in 10 major global currencies. The amount you can send will depend on your specific account type - check in branch or on your online banking service to see how Bank of China international transfer limits may impact your payment.

Receiving money from abroad with Bank of China Singapore

To receive a payment to your Bank of China (SG) account you’ll need to give the sender the following information:

  • Your name

  • Account number

  • Name of beneficiary bank: Bank of China

  • Address of beneficiary bank: 4 Battery Road, Bank of China Building, Singapore 049908

  • Bank of China Singapore SWIFT Code

There’s a 10 SGD fee for receiving a payment from overseas into your Bank of China (Singapore) account.

Bank of China Singapore SWIFT code

If you’re expecting a payment to your Bank of China account in Singapore it’s important to give the sender your SWIFT code to make sure the transfer arrives quickly and safely. SWIFT codes are unique identifiers assigned to banks around the world to facilitate international payments:

  • The Bank of China (SG) SWIFT code is: BKCHSGSG

Conclusion

If you’ve got an account with Bank of China in Singapore, and you need to make an international transfer, it might seem like turning to your bank is the obvious option. However, sending money abroad with a traditional bank can work out to be slower and more expensive than picking a specialist international transfer provider. Compare a few options against the costs and delivery time available from Bank of China before you get started.

Send money with Wise
Send money with OFX

FAQ

How much does a Bank of China (SG) international transfer cost?

Bank of China Singapore international transfers have a 0.125% transfer fee (minimum 10 SGD, maximum 100 SGD), plus an exchange rate markup, and 20 - 30 SGD cable charges. Additional agent bank charges may apply.

How long does a Bank of China Singapore international money transfer take?

Bank of China payments are processed using the SWIFT network, and can take 3 - 5 business days to arrive.

How to transfer money internationally with Bank of China Singapore?

Transfer money internationally with Bank of China by visiting a branch, or using the online and mobile banking service.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated 18 July 2022