Grab Remittance: Your full guide

Aman Saxena

Grab is becoming the go-to app for daily needs from food and cabs, and now also for remittances. If you are in Singapore, you can send money to GrabWallets in the Philippines right from the Grab app on your mobile. Read on to learn more about how you could start sending money from your phone, but remember it's only for the Philippines at the moment and recipients that have the Grab app, on top of that.

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Send money abroad with Grab

If you have the Grab app, you can send money to other Grab users in the Philippines as a remittance. To begin the process, make sure that you and your recipient in the Philippines both have done the Know Your Customer (KYC) and have verified accounts on Grab.

Next, make sure you have the money that you want to send in your GrabPay wallet. You can top it up right in the app with your debit card or PayNow. But there are limits to how much you can send, which is outlined later in the article.

Now to send a transfer, just hit Payment and then Transfer Now on your screen. You can put in your recipient's phone number or choose their name from your contact book. Of course make sure that their GrabPay wallet is linked to that same number. Then input the amount you want to send, review the details including how much exactly your recipient will receive and submit the remittance by hitting ‘Confirm’.

Once your recipient in the Philippines receives the money, they can either keep it in their Grab wallet to spend through Grab or they can move it over into their bank account locally. If they have a BDO bank account, the move from Grab to their bank account can usually be completed within 3 hours. But if you use a different bank, the money can be there in your bank account the same day if the transfer is done before 11am. If it is done after 11am, the account will be credited the next business day.¹

How to open a Grab account

But what if you or the person you want to send money to in the Philippines don’t have a GrabPay wallet? You will need to open a Grab account and luckily you can do that right from your mobile.

Just download the Grab app and you can begin the process to register with your SIngPass ID. Once you enter in the information with your SingPass, your identity and account will be verified in 24-72 hours.

If you don’t have SingPass, you can also fill out the signup form manually. You will still need to verify your identity by uploading a valid photo ID. The process to verify your identity will take a little more time than the 1-3 days above.²

Grab remittance charges and fees

So if you have GrabPay you won’t be charged a transfer fee to send money to the GrabPay wallet in the Philippines. But you will be given a Singapore Dollar to Philippines Peso exchange rate that is set by Grab itself. It will be different from the real exchange rate, which is the rate you see on Google. And in that difference between their rate and the real exchange rate, Grab is able to slip in a hidden fee by taking a small cut of every Singapore dollar converted to pesos.³

Grab transfer limit

In addition to only being able to send to Grab wallets in the Philippines, you are also limited by how much you can send. Grab only allows for a maximum of S$ 999 per remittance. So if you need to send more than that to the Philippines or globally, you can take a look at Wise which allows for larger transactions.

Grab is also limited by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to only allow customers to have an annual spend limit of S$ 30,000 in your GrabPay Wallet. You can send money as much as you like but you do have to ensure it falls below the remittance and the GrabPay wallet limit.⁴

Time it takes with Grab

Grab makes it easy to send money with the wallet to wallet transfer so the money usually shows up either instantly or within a few minutes of sending.

Your recipient in the Philippines can then decide if they want to keep the money in Grab or move it over to their bank account.⁵

Grab customer support

The easiest way to get a hold of Grab’s customer support is to go into the app and click on Help Centre. You can find the help you need or answer you are looking for within the Help Centre itself. And if not, you can scroll down to the Call Us button to speak to someone at Grab.

You can send money directly to local bank accounts in the Philippines when you use Wise. Wise lets you send money straight to your recipient's local bank account without the hassle of going through another wallet. Wise is the more convenient option to send money where it needs to go.

The true cost of international transfers with Grab

With a S$0 transfer fee, Grab can look like a great option for sending money. But there are some points to keep in mind before you begin. First is that Grab has not come out with the option to send remittances to other countries from Singapore yet. Which means that if you ever do want to pay or send money anywhere else in the world you will need a different provider.

Second, your recipient is required to get a Grab wallet too to accept money from you through the app. This can be an inconvenience to whoever you are sending money to as they will then need to transfer money to their bank accounts. These additional steps can be difficult especially for older family members back home. It is also an additional step in the process of sending money versus providers like Wise where you can send money directly to their FIlipino bank account.

Last but not least, is the exchange rate. With Grab, you have to transfer Singapore dollars to Philippines Peso using the exchange rate they set. That rate is not the real exchange rate and often has a hidden fee tucked away in it. That means more money out of your pocket for less money in pesos. If you want a global money transfer provider that gives you the real exchange rate every time, you have to check out Wise

Open your free Wise account now

A cheap, fast and transparent alternative: Wise

You can have one fast and easy-to-use app on your mobile for money transfers to over 150 countries with Wise. Why only limit yourself to one country, when you can send, pay and spend money wherever you need it to go.

Wise lets you send money directly to local bank accounts and not by wallet-to-wallet transfers. So your recipient can just sit back and relax while the funds arrive in their account.

And if you are looking at costs, Wise is free to set up and will only charge you one low upfront fee on your transfer. You will always get the real exchange rate with Wise, so you won't lose any money on marked up exchange rates. Give Wise a try and see how much you can save on your next transfer.

Sources used for this article:

  1. Sending money with Grab
  2. Open an account
  3. Charges & fees
  4. Transfer Limits
  5. Transfer Time

All sources checked as of 7 August, 2020

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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