OCBC overseas transfer: Fees and exchange rates 2023
International Transfer with OCBC
OCBC is a hugely popular bank in Singapore, offering customers a broad range of account types and products. If you bank with OCBC and have to send money overseas, you’ll need to know the OCBC international transfer fees, and the OCBC international transfer exchange rate that’ll apply. This guide has you covered, with all you need to know about sending money abroad with OCBC.
OCBC is the second largest bank in Southeast Asia - but that doesn’t mean it’s your best choice when it comes to international transfers. Specialist providers like Wise and OFX might be able to process your payment faster, and for a lower overall fee. Read on.
OCBC international money transfer comparison
There are several different charges involved in making an OCBC international money transfer:
Transfer fee and cable charges - paid to the bank, to cover the costs of processing the transfer
Exchange rate markup - percentage charge added onto the exchange rate applied to convert your funds
Agent bank fees - incurred when your transfer is processed through the SWIFT network
To give an idea of how OCBC compares with other payment services, 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 OCBC and a few specialist services.
|Provider||Total cost||Transfer time|
|OCBC||1/8% of the SGD equivalent of remittance amount + 20 SGD cable charge + exchange rate markup + agent bank charges as applicable||Payments processed through the SWIFT network typically take 3-5 working days|
4.88 SGD - payments use the mid-market exchange rate
|80% of payments arrive in 24 hours|
No transfer fee - a markup is added to the exchange rate applied
|1 - 2 business days|
|PayPal||6.99 SGD + exchange rate markup||Instant|
OCBC international transfer fees include a couple of tricky fees which are hard to spot or predict. One is an exchange rate markup, which is a charge rolled up into the rate applied to switch your payment from SGD to the recipient’s preferred currency. The other is agent bank fees, which are applied by intermediary banks involved in processing the transfer. These charges can’t always be known in advance which can mean your recipient gets less than you were expecting in the end.
We’ll look into these charges one by one in a moment. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that modern services like Wise and OFX usually offer lower fees and a better exchange rate compared to regular banks. Providers like these also offer fast delivery times and are easy to use on your computer or mobile device.
OCBC international transfer fees
Here are the OCBC international transfer fees for standard telegraphic transfers. OCBC does also offer promotional rates and fees online from time to time, based on the currency being sent - check if you’re eligible for a lower fee before you make your payment.
|Transfer type||OCBC international transfer fee|
|Standard telegraphic transfer from SGD account|
Cable charges: 20 SGD per transaction
1/8% of the SGD equivalent of remittance amount
Additional agent bank charges may apply.
|Receiving an international payment||10 SGD|
OCBC exchange rate
When traditional banks like OCBC calculate the retail exchange rates they offer to customers, they’ll often add a markup or margin to the mid-market rate you’ll find on Google. This markup can often be about 3%, increasing the costs of sending your international payment without you necessarily knowing it:
Sending 1,000 SGD - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 30 SGD to the total
Sending 5,000 SGD - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 150 SGD to the total
Sending 50,000 SGD - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 1,500 SGD to the total
Get the OCBC international transfer exchange rate by logging into your online banking or calling into a branch, and compare it against the mid-market rate you can get on Google, to see the markup.
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:
OCBC: 1/8% of the SGD equivalent of remittance amount + 20 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
OCBC additional fees
When you send an international payment with OCBC you may find you’re charged agent bank fees. These are not paid to OCBC, but to other intermediary banks involved in processing your payment.
Agent bank fees are incurred when transfers are processed using the SWIFT network. In this system, several banks might be involved in a single payment, with agent banks deducting a service fee as they pass the transfer on to the recipient’s bank. It’s not always possible to know in advance how much you’ll pay in agent fees, which can make it hard to predict exactly how much your recipient will end up with in the end.
How long does a OCBC international money transfer take
OCBC international telegraphic transfers are likely to take 3 - 5 days to be processed, depending on the currency being sent and the destination country.
Here’s a reminder of the delivery times for international transfers from OCBC and a few other providers:
OCBC: 3 - 5 working days
Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
OFX: 1 - 2 business days
Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with OCBC
Send payments online or in branch
Reliable and familiar service
Preferential rates and fees available online from time to time
Exchange rates include a markup
Agent bank fees push up overall costs
Delivery times may not be the best available
OCBC offers several different ways to make international transfers, including an online and mobile service, and face to face in branch support. However, payments can work out to be more expensive - and slower - compared with specialist alternatives like Wise and OFX. Compare a few options before you set up your international transfer.
How to make an international transfer with OCBC
The easiest way to arrange OCBC international money transfers is via their online and mobile banking service. You may also find you can benefit from a reduced fee and better exchange rate this way. Here are the basic steps to take:
Log into your online banking on the OCBC website or app
Tap Transfer and Overseas account
Select the currency and enter the amount you want to send
Check the rates and fees
Select the recipient from your payee list
Confirm to complete the transfer
What information do you need to make an international transfer with OCBC?
Before you can make an OCBC international transfer online you’ll need to set up the recipient as a payee. To do this you’ll need your digital banking hardware token/OneToken and the following information:
Recipient’s full name and address
Bank SWIFT code
Transfer limits and available countries
OCBC payments can be sent to most countries in the world, with preferential rates and fees available on a select group of 18 currencies. Transfer limits may vary based on your account type.
Receiving money from abroad with OCBC
To receive a payment to your OCBC account you’ll need to give the sender the following information:
Your name as shown on your OCBC account
Bank name: Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited Singapore
OCBC SWIFT Code
There’s a 10 SGD fee for receiving a payment from overseas into your OCBC account.
OCBC SWIFT code
SWIFT codes are unique identifiers assigned to banks around the world, and used to make sure international payments are routed correctly. You’ll need to give the person sending you a payment the correct SWIFT code for the payment type to make sure your transfer arrives quickly and safely:
OCBC SWIFT/BIC code for FAST and GIRO payments: OCBCSGSGXXX
OCBC SWIFT/BIC code for MEPS payments - OCBCSGSG
While turning to your normal bank to make an international transfer might seem like the obvious choice, it’s not always the best option. Specialist services like Wise and OFX can often offer a faster transfer, with lower costs and a better exchange rate. That makes it well worth doing a bit of research before you decide which provider is best for your next international payment - compare a few to make sure you get the best available deal.
OCBC international transfer fees include a transfer charge of 1/8% of the SGD equivalent of the remittance amount, 20 SGD cable charge, an exchange rate markup and agent bank charges as applicable
OCBC payments are processed using the SWIFT network, and are likely to take 3 - 5 business days to arrive.
Transfer money internationally with OCBC in a branch, online or with the OCBC mobile banking service.