digital bank singapore

Your Guide to the 10 Best Digital Banks in Singapore

Digital banks have been increasing in Singapore since June 2019. This is after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) began issuing wholesale and full digital banking licenses to financial institutions.

Wholesale digital bank licenses allow new digital banks to serve small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporates. Meanwhile, full digital bank licenses enable them to serve retail clients.

The first four winners to receive the licenses from the Monetary Authority of Singapore were Sea Group, Ant Group, Greenland Financial Holdings, and Singtel & Grab.

Digital banks are pleasantly convenient. They operate fully online. They work like brick-and-mortar banks, only with the extra perks of offering more competitive rates and having no physical branches. This allows clients to access them from their smart devices and make mobile payments wherever there’s an internet connection.

The growing popularity of the four winners above has resulted in fraudsters introducing fake new entrants. Luckily, the post below highlights some of the best digital-only banks worth opening an account with and checking out.

See Also: Compare and Choose Best SME Business Loan in Singapore and Best SME Business Loan Interest Rates Comparison Guide

10 Best Digital Banks in Singapore

The table below outlines some of the vital details you should know about each of the new digital banks above:

Bank Name Annual Savings Interest Rate Offered List of Other Key Features/ Offerings Best For

Aspire

12.00% to 16.00% p.a
  • Zero minimum deposit
  • Zero monthly charges
  • Quick mobile payments locally and internationally
  • Online transactions and application
  • Integrates with third-party enterprise software

SMEs

Revolut Standard

1.2%
  • Instant balance top-up
  • Make international mobile payments
  • Request mobile payments or pay friends
  • Rewards
  • 24/7 client service

Individuals who are always travelling

Neteller

1.50%
  • Safe and secure online payments
  • Cryptocurrency trade
  • Widely accepted
  • International cash transfer
  • Rewards

SMEs

InstaReM

3.7% to 6%
  • InstaPoints Reward Program
  • Low transfer charges
  • Activity Listing
  • Quick Send
  • Multicurrency accounts for establishments
  • Individuals
  • Corporates
  • SMEs

Wise Multicurrency Account

0.50%
  • Multiple language support
  • Affordable foreign transfers
  • Use your card in over 100 countries
  • Multiple currencies in your account
  • Make convenient transactions in Singapore and abroad

Retail customers who transfer small amounts frequently

BigPay

0.05% to 4.38%
  • Integrated expense manager
  • AirAsia privileges
  • Global ATM withdrawals
  • Referral rewards
  • Convenient top-up

Any Singaporean national aged 18 and over

YouTrip

0%
  • You can also utilize it as an EZ-Link card
  • Free to use
  • Monthly rewards
  • You can hold up to ten various currencies in it
  • Instant notifications

Anyone, from people without a fixed income to students

Sleek

Up to 2.5%
  • Seamless and automated accounts
  • Fast processing time
  • International and local transfers
  • Zero initial deposit necessary
  • 100% online application

SMEs and start-ups in and out of Singapore

Wirex Standard

Up to 16%
  • Worldwide recognition
  • Gain crypto rewards
  • Free ATM withdrawals
  • Spend, hold, and purchase cryptocurrency
  • Make international mobile payments

SMEs

Canvas Prepaid Visa Card and App

1.58%
  • Widely accepted
  • Complete control
  • Convenient household finance handling
  • Track expenses
  • Free trial

Families, consumers, and all types of businesses

 

1. Aspire – Best for SMEs

Established in 2018 by Giovanni Casinelli (CTO) and Andrea Baronchelli (CEO), Aspire is a bank based in Singapore. It is one of the new entrants that strives to offer quality banking services to SMEs with its technology-led financial tools.

It provides several items across card, debit, and credit at the moment.

Key Features

Some of its main characteristics are:

  • No minimum deposit- it doesn’t require you to place a minimum amount of cash in it for you to open an account with it or maintain deposit accounts.
  • No monthly charges- it’s one of the new digital banks that doesn’t have a deposit cap and charge you to keep your money in it every month.
  • Fast mobile payments locally and internationally- it’s one of the convenient virtual banks that enable you to send money home and away in minutes!
  • Online transactions and applications – enjoy seamless banking services and applications anytime and anywhere with an internet connection from Aspire.
  • Integrates with third-party enterprise software- you don’t have to check your accounting books, bank statements, and invoices manually. It’s one of the mobile applications that merge with software such as NetSuite, Lazada, and Google Pay to maximize online banking efficiency.

How To Open An Account

Signing up for Aspire bank accounts is pretty simple:

1. Enter the director’s information
2. Fill in your business details
3. Confirm your identity with MyInfo or a selfie

Note: You need to provide Aspire with your mobile and email, your ID number and name, a live selfie, a photo of your ID or passport, your enterprise name, and your website’s address or a description of your business.

2. Revolute Standard – Best for people always travelling

Revolute is a user-friendly digital banking application similar to Greenland Financial Holdings. It was founded in 2015 and enables you to spend cash worldwide at a minimum charge. It has three tiers; Standard, Premium account, and Metal, with Standard being the lowest.

Key Features

They include:

  • Instant balance top-up- reload money from your bank account to your Revolut account quickly.
  • Make international payments- transfer cash to over 100 nations at the interbank exchange rate.
  • Request payments or pay friends- request payments or offer simple credit to your buddies with the tap of your screen.
  • Rewards- enjoy discounts and customized cashback when you spend at the bank’s partner merchants, e.g., Zalora and Amazon.
  • 24/7 customer service- interact with friendly and experienced human customer care agents on the application no matter the day or time.

How To Open An Account

Follow these three steps, and you’ll be good to go:

1. Visit the website.
2. Provide your phone number.
3. Download the application and provide the required information to verify and activate the account.

3. Neteller – Best for SMEs

Neteller is a digital wholesale bank that was established in 1996. It’s one of the mobile applications that make buying products online safer by minimizing the number of personal details you provide.

Key Features

Here are its most attractive features:

  • Safe and secure online payments- you don’t always have to submit your bank details when you use Neteller as your choice for online purchases.
  • Cryptocurrency trade- Neteller allows you to trade any of its 28 fiat currencies for Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin, 0x, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, etc.
  • Widely accepted- countless online merchants accept it as a valid means of payment.
  • International cash transfer- Neteller lets you send money worldwide to nearly two hundred countries in 28 currencies.
  • Rewards- you qualify to enjoy loads of exciting prizes (if you’re not in Singapore) at chosen cryptocurrency, forex, and online gambling retailers.

How To Open An Account

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Download the app on your smartphone.
2. Fill in the required information in the offered spaces. You’ll be required to submit personal data like a Utility Bill and an IC or Passport.
3. Deposit money into the accounts via other payment processors, credit cards, or bank transfers immediately after it’s activated. Activation takes a day or less.
4. Pay for online services, shop, transfer money, receive money, take your pick.

4. InstaReM – Best for individuals, corporates, and SMEs.

InstaReM is a digital wholesale bank like Greenland Financial Holdings. It offers a full suite of banking services. It’s one of the new entrants based in Singapore and offers services to markets including South East Asia, the Americas, and Europe.

Key Features

It offers a full suite of exciting offers, including:

  • InstaPoints Reward Program- you gain points whenever you transact on the bank’s platform. You can then redeem these points in discount form to reduce your transaction costs.
  • Low transfer charges- the digital banking application charges impressively low percentage fees, between 0.25 percent and 1 percent.
  • Activity Listing- can’t remember whom you’ve sent money to? This cool feature has got you sorted. The digital banking application allows you to quickly access and view your transaction history.
  • QuickSend- as the name hints, this application enables you to send money to those you frequently pay.
  • Multicurrency accounts for establishments- you can hold, send, and get multiple currencies with it. And that’s not all. The digital banking application consolidates everything into a single account number.

How To Open An Account

The application offers several registration processes: Businesses and Individuals.

For Businesses:

1. Enter your phone number, email, country of registration, and registered business name in the signup form available.
2. Enter your income source, name, employment status, address, and phone number in the second form. Expect a verification code to confirm your digits.
3. Upload your official documents in soft copy format in the following form. Ensure the files match your details.
4. Wait for verification. It takes at least a day.
5. Success! You’re in!

For Individuals:

1. Fill in your location and email address in the provided form. Select a password that abides by their guidelines.
2. Enter your income source, name, employment status, date of birth, and phone number in the following form. You’ll get a verification code to verify your number.
3. Verify your identity by entering details of your bank statement, driver’s license, or recent utility bill.
4. Await confirmation.
5. If all goes well, you’ll have successfully signed up.

financial investment concept graph rising

5. Wise Multicurrency Account – For retail customers who frequently transfer small amounts

Previously known as Transferwise, Wise is a digital bank account founded in January 2011. It helps you handle your finances in multiple countries and currencies.

Key Features

Here are its top characteristics that you’ll love:

  • Multiple language support- expect the best customer support and financial services in over fifty languages.
  • Affordable foreign transfers- send money to at least a hundred countries with a transfer rate that’s seven times cheaper than that of brick-and-mortar banks.
  • Use your card in over 100 countries- the digital banking application changes the money into the local currency using the actual exchange rate.
  • Multiple currencies in your account- the digital banking application enables you to offer simple credit and hold and convert over 70 currencies in your account.
  • Make convenient transactions in Singapore and abroad- spend your money locally and internationally with ease and style using Google Pay and Apple Pay.

How To Open An Account

The process is as simple as using the virtual account itself:

1. Go to the website and sign in via Apple, Google, or Facebook. Or, provide your email address and tap ‘Next.’
2. Select your account type, between Business and Personal.
3. Choose the country you currently live in. This is super important as the digital banking application might need to confirm your address later.
4. Share your phone number and send the verification code they’ll send you shortly after.
5. Select a strong password. You’ll be asked to scan a copy of your ID document. The digital banking application takes roughly two days to confirm the details.
6. Upon verification, order your debit card and enter money for the first time into your account.

6. BigPay – Best for people always out-and-about and on-the-go

BigPay is a Singapore-based digital wholesale bank. It includes a physical Visa card and an e-wallet application, enabling you to spend all over the world at minimal charges.

Key Features

They are:

  • Integrated expense manager- the platform allows you to keep an eye on your spending using analytics since transactions will be grouped by country, type of transaction, by merchant and other non-retail segments.
  • AirAsia Privileges- you get to enjoy some delicious perks like exclusive access to AirAsia sales and a processing charge waiver when you buy AirAsia flights. 
  • Global ATM withdrawals- you can withdraw up to S$2,000 daily from all overseas Cirrus ATMs, Visa, or Maestro.
  • Referral rewards- get your friends to sign up for the platform with your unique referral code and earn S$5 for each!
  • Convenient top-up- reload your value anytime you choose with your local debit or credit card.

How To Open An Account

You’re four steps away from enjoying one of Singapore’s best digital banks:

1. Download the app.
2. Fill in your details (name, date of birth, etc.) and take a picture of your NRIC and a selfie.
3. Top up S$20 once your account is verified.
4. Wait for at least a day for your card to arrive.

7. YouTrip – Best for students and young depositors

YouTrip is Singapore’s first multi-currency wallet. It was established in 2018 and resulted from a collaboration between You Technologies Group, EZ-link, and Mastercard.

Key Features

They are:

  • You can also utilize it as an EZ-Link card- you can use the card for public transport in Singapore and at least twenty other cities, including New York and Kuala Lumpur.
  • Free to use- customers don’t need any minimum balance or card fees to maintain it.
  • Monthly rewards- get different rewards every month whenever you use your YouTrip card.
  • You can hold up to ten various currencies in it- you can make an exchange between these currencies and monitor their exchange rates in YouTrip.
  • Instant notifications- you get a message on your mobile whenever a transaction is made.

How To Open An Account

All you need to do is:

1. Click on ‘SIGN UP For FREE’
2. Present your documents- an ID for foreigners living in Singapore and an NRIC for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.
3. Take back and front pics of your NRIC (PRs and Singaporeans) and present them. Submit proof of address and a copy of your ID if you’re a foreigner staying in Singapore.
4. Enter the name you’d like to appear on the card.
5. Fill in your residential address and personal details.
6. Wait for your card for 1-2 working days.

8. Sleek – Best for SMEs and start-ups in and out of Singapore

Sleek is a secure and compliant digital wholesale bank started in 2017. It provides a business with a smooth online receipt, no deposit cap, and transfer of money.

Key Features

It boasts some awesome features like:

  • Seamless and automated accounts- these accounts are efficient and reliable.
  • Fast processing time- it’s one of the digital banks that processes received and sent money in seconds. 
  • International and local transfers- send money within and without Singapore at affordable costs.
  • Zero initial deposit necessary- you don’t have to put any money in it to maintain deposit accounts after opening your savings accounts.
  • 100% online application- you perform the entire application process online, allowing you to take the shortest time possible.

How To Open An Account

You can do so with three simple steps:

1. Download the app or visit the bank’s website.
2. Fill in your details and answer several questions.
3. Wait as the new digital bank processes your information. You can send and access money once you’ve set up your account.

9. Wirex Standard – Best for SMEs

Wirex is a borderless new digital payment platform that was established in London in 2014. Standard is one of its tiers, as well as Premium account and Elite.

Key Features

Its main characteristics are:

  • Worldwide recognition- customers can use it wherever Visa is accepted over the 10 million merchants globally.
  • Gain crypto rewards- generate at least 2 percent in WXT (Wirex Token) on all your in-store buys.
  • Free ATM withdrawals- the new digital platform enables customers to take out up to S$200 monthly for free from overseas ATMs.
  • Spend, hold, and purchase cryptocurrency- Wirex crypto allows customers to spend, exchange, and hold in eight cryptocurrencies, including Stellar Lumens, Litecoin, Ether, and Nano.
  • Make international payments- customers can transfer money to anyone worldwide through the digital application. An extra incentive is they transfer money at the interbank exchange rate.

How To Open An Account

Opening an account with Wirex takes at least five minutes and involves:

1. Downloading the Wirex application at App Store or Google Play.
2. Opening the platform and tap ‘Register.’
3. Filling in your email address and full name, and create a strong password.
4. Receiving an email with the activation link and following that link.
5. Going back to the application and tapping ‘Continue.’
6. Verifying your phone number.
7. Receiving the 7-digit code that’ll be sent to you and entering it.

hand with card laptop

10. Canvas Prepaid Visa Card and App – Best for families and all-around needs

Canvas is a digital banking solution that provides a family finance and digital pocket money application, plus a prepaid Visa card. It was started in 2014 by fintech entrepreneur Ravi Patel.

Key Features

It has more features, but here are some of the cool ones you should look out for:

  • Widely accepted- the digital card is accepted at all Visa-enabled online and retail merchants.
  • Complete control- customers can monitor their household expenses with it and watch their children’s expenses from the screen and create a savings account if necessary.
  • Convenient household finance handling- offer your domestic helper and kids allowances directly on the digital credit card.
  • Track expenses- aside from letting you monitor expenses, the digital application also notifies you of any expenditure in real-time.
  • 30-day free trial- want to try the application, but you’re unsure if it’s what you need? The one-month free trial feature allows you to give the digital app a test try and pay later once satisfied.

How To Open An Account

Here’s how you do it:

1. Register for an account and make your profile.
2. Choose the number of digital cards you want and provide your cardholder information.
3. Save your payment details- you’ll need them if you wish to proceed after the free trial.
4. You’ll get the digital cards in less than two weeks. If you’re ordering the cards for someone else, please ensure they have the app on their phones.
5. Complete the one-click activation within the digital app once you get the card(s).

Digital banks are the now and future of seamless banking services. However, please note that not all the banks are reliable. You can count on our options above as they have some of the best security features and insurance products, most competitive rates on the market, and are compliant with regulatory requirements. Try these digital players if you haven’t already, and experience financial services on a new level.

 

Final Word

With the options that abound, finding the digital bank for you can be overwhelming. However, you’re bound to find something that suits your needs by looking at the services and benefits that they offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Digital banks are convenient. They have no physical branches and offer better financial services than brick-and-mortar banks in Singapore.
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) contributed to the spread of digital banks in Singapore by issuing banking licenses.
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore offered two main digital licenses to Singaporean new banks: Wholesale bank licenses and full digital banking licenses.

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