Why it’s safe to send and hold money with Wise in Singapore (formerly TransferWise)

Hannes Ausmees

If you’re looking for a low cost way to hold foreign currencies, get paid from abroad, send international transfers and spend overseas with a linked international debit card you may have come across Wise (formerly TransferWise).

Wise is a financial technology company offering cross border payments and multi-currency accounts, with 13 million+ customers globally. But the most important question is probably: is Wise safe?

This guide covers all you need to know including:

  • What is Wise?
  • Are Wise transfers safe?
  • Is Wise safe for large amounts?

Is Wise safe to use in Singapore?

Let’s start with the key question: is TransferWise safe to use here in Singapore?

The good news is that Wise is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)¹, making it a safe provider to choose to send payments and hold an account balance. In fact, because Wise operates in many countries and regions around the world, it’s overseen by a broad range of other authorities similar to MAS, including the FCA in the UK and FinCEN in the US.

As well as following all legal requirements to keep customers and their money safe, Wise also uses industry level automatic and manual approaches to account security²:

  • All accounts are thoroughly verified before use
  • 2-factor log in processes are used for added security
  • You can review transactions and manage your linked Wise Card in the app
  • All customer funds are safeguarded in established financial institutions
  • Wise has anti fraud technology and teams working 24/7 to spot and stop account fraud

Is Wise (TransferWise) a bank?

Wise isn’t a bank. In Singapore, Wise is regulated as a Major Payment Institution and also has a Capital Market Services Licence. It’s licensed by MAS like most financial service providers and banks are, and has to comply with many of the same rules.

How does Wise keep my money safe?

Wise takes a number of steps to keep customers’ money safe - including safeguarding customer funds³. This means that any balance you hold in a Wise Account is deposited into a safeguarding institution, where it’s held separately from Wise’s own working capital.

Point 7.3 in Wise’s Singapore customer agreement provides more information:

“We use safeguarding to protect your money. As required by the PSA, Wise keeps your money in established financial institutions. Your money is deposited in SGD (or in SGD equivalent) into one or both of the dedicated and segregated accounts held by us with each of DBS Bank Ltd (DBS) and the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC Bank) as our safeguarding institutions…”

Holding customer funds separately means your money will never be used for the day to day running of the Wise business, so you can withdraw or spend it whenever you like.

Safeguarded funds are also not accessible to third parties. This means that even in the unlikely event that Wise was to run into financial difficulties and become insolvent, your money wouldn’t be used to wind up the business or pay back any creditors.

Is Wise (TransferWise) safe for large amounts?

Yes. Wise is trusted by individuals and businesses to send transfers all over the world - from splitting the bill for coffee with a friend, to paying a deposit on a new home, or making a high value business payment. Learn more about sending large amounts with Wise.

If you’re making a payment from Singapore dollars, you can usually send up to 1 million SGD per transfer, with a maximum of 16,000 SGD if you’re paying with a card⁴.

If you’re regularly sending large amounts you may also be able to benefit from preferential fees which lower the costs. Discounts are automatically applied and start once you send the equivalent of 100,000 GBP or more in a month⁵. Depending on fluctuations in the market, that could mean lower fees from payments worth about 165,000 SGD. And of course you’ll still benefit from the mid-market exchange rate every time - usually the fairest rate available.

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: Only Pay for What You Use for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.


Wise is a safe option for sending international payments and holding a balance in any of the 50+ supported currencies. Like your bank, Wise is licensed by MAS and operates in accordance with local and global financial regulation to keep your money safe. The main difference you’re likely to see with Wise is that the exchange rates you get are typically better than those offered by your bank, with low overall transaction fees and an easy user experience.

If you’re looking to send money overseas with the mid-market exchange rate and no hidden fees, or if you need a better way to pay and get paid from overseas, check out Wise. You’ll be able to open a Wise Account online or in the Wise app to hold 50+ currencies with no minimum balance and no ongoing fees, and get a linked international debit card for spending in 170+ countries plus local bank details to get paid from 30+ countries.

Wise sign up


  1. Wise help - How is Wise regulated?
  2. Wise help - Is Wise safe?
  3. Wise help - Is it safe to keep money in my Wise account?
  4. Wise - guide to SGD transfers
  5. Wise - large transfers

Sources checked on 07/12/2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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