Kabayan Remittance review: great way to send money to the Philippines?

Hannes Ausmees

Kabayan Remittance in Lucky Plaza has a great location over on Orchard Road, and specifically focuses on helping you send money from Singapore to the Philippines. And with a quasi-digital presence you can send remittances online once you are signed up. But overall sending money with Kabayan can be more confusing than necessary, and expensive. Read on to learn more about Kabayan and how it works for sending money to the Philippines.

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But if you want a fast, easy and cheap way to send money to the Philippines right from your mobile, check out Wise. With the real exchange rate and just one upfront fee you can send money directly to local Filipino bank accounts with a click of a button.


Sending money abroad in Singapore at Kabayan Lucky Plaza office

The Kabayan Remittance office can be found in Lucky Plaza at 304 Orchard Road - it’s on the second floor in units 32 and 33. You can also contact Kabayan by email at kabayan@singnet.com.sg and get full contact details from the Kabayan website.¹

There are three main ways to send money with Kabayan to the Philippines:

  • Set up an appointment to physically go to the office - required on weekends and public holidays
  • Walk into the Kabayan office at Lucky Plaza
  • Use the online remittance process through the website - only available once your account is verified

As for the receiver side of the transaction in the Philippines, you have 6 options of how your beneficiary receives the funds. You can credit a Filipino bank account directly, or have cash pickups at any of these shops:

  • M-Lhuillier
  • Cebuana Lhuillier
  • Palawan Pawnshop
  • Shoemart or BDO Cash Pick Up
  • LBC Cash Pick Up

How to open a Kabayan account

You can just walk into the Kabayan office and set up a transfer to Philippines on the spot. But before you can send an online remittance to the Philippines through the Kabayan website, you will be required to head over to the physical office on Orchard Road first.

You can just walk right in on Monday-Fridays, but an appointment is needed for the weekends and holidays. Make sure to keep a form of ID with you when you go.

Requesting a remittance appointment

It's possible to book your appointment in advance on Kabayan's website. Helpfully, Kabayan has written the website in both Tagalog and English to make it more accessible to Filipinos. Here’s a rundown of how to set up an appointment with Kabayan online²:

  1. Open the Kabayan desktop site
  2. Select Remittance Appointment from the menu across the top
  3. Pick an appointment time from the available options
  4. Enter your personal details into the online form
  5. Check everything over and submit
  6. You’ll receive an appointment confirmation by email

Kabayan remittance online

Once your account is open you’ll be also able to send payments with Kabayan online, without visiting their office. Here’s how³:

  1. Open the Kabayan website and select Online Remittance
  2. Enter your details - the last 6 characters of your IC or FIN, phone number and email
  3. Select the way you’d like the recipient to get the money - cash pick up or bank account deposit
  4. Enter the amount you want to send
  5. Add the beneficiary details - full name for cash pick up or bank account information for direct deposits
  6. Check over the quote provided and fund the transfer with a bank transfer, PayNow or in cash

Kabayan charges and fees

Kabayan has two types of fees you should expect, one is an upfront service fee and the other is a hidden exchange rate fee.

The upfront fee with Kabayan can vary depending on the amount you’re sending, but is in the region of S$ 4.50 - S$5 per transaction for cash pickups at any of the pickup locations listed above. For bank account crediting, the service fee is S$4.00 per transaction. These can change so double check with Kabayan before you start your transfer.

The second fee is tucked away in the exchange rate you get with Kabayan. Kabayan sets their exchange rates to be lower than the real exchange rate. The real, or the mid market exchange rate is the one you see on Google. By setting an exchange rate that is weaker than the real exchange rate, they are able to make additional profit on every Singapore dollar you convert.

Kabayan transfer limit

The transfer limits for Kabayan depend on how your recipient wants to receive the money. While there is no minimum amount you can send, there are maximum limits. Here they are listed below:

ServiceMaximum Amount to Send in Philippines Peso
M-Lhuillier Cash Pick-upPHP 200,000
Cebuana LhuillierPHP 50,000
Palawan PawnshopPHP 50,000
BDO Cash Pick UpPHP 499,999
LBC Cash Pick UpPHP 50,000
Bank AccountsPHP 499,999

Kabayan customer support

You can reach out to Kabayan customer support by walking into the office on a working day - or choose one of the channels below:

ServiceKabayan customer support details
Phone67329551, 68366326
WhatsApp and Viber81126991

Want an easy way to send money right from your phone to the Philippines? Check our Wise. With an award winning app, you can transfer money directly to bank accounts in the Philippines with one low fee and the real exchange rate, all while heading to work or home.

The true cost of international transfers with Kabayan

If you are in Singapore and you want to transfer money to the Philippines, lets see how much it will actually cost you. For comparison, let’s take a look at Kabayan Remittances from Singapore matched up against Wise for direct bank transfers.

When it comes to doing a Kabayan remittance, the transfer fee is added on top of the amount sent, which is different from how Wise and other providers work where the fee is deducted from the sending amount:

ChargeKabayan RemittanceWise
Amount to sendS$ 1,000S$ 1,000
Transfer FeeS$ 4.00S$ 6.33
Amount paid by senderS$ 1,004S$ 1,000
Amount convertedS$ 1,000S$ 993.67
Exchange Rate to S$ 1PHP 39.80PHP 40.0614
Receive in PhilippinesPHP 39,800.00PHP 39,807.81

As of July 14, 2022

As you can see, just by using Wise your recipient receives more than with Kabayan, even with the transfer fee deducted from the S$ 1,000. While Wise has a higher transfer fee, the exchange rate does not have a mark up like Kabayan. And what that comes down to is more money landing in the bank account in the Philippines.

With WIse you’ll also be able to set up your account online or in the Wise app without needing to visit a physical office for verification - and you’ll be able to transact 24/7 with not appointments required. Easy.

Open your free Wise account today!

A cheap, fast and transparent alternative: Wise


Over 7 million people have chosen Wise for their global money transfers. It is free to sign up for Wise and you can complete the signup process right from your phone without leaving the house. Once you’ve joined, you can send money directly to bank accounts in the Philippines without losing money on exchange rates.

And with Wise, you will be told upfront how long it will take the funds to arrive in the bank account. No guessing games here. So with the real exchange rate, one low fee and the time it will take for the transfer, it is clear why Wise is the smarter, faster and more transparent way to send money globally. Give Wise a try and see how much you can save on your next transfer to the Philippines.


Kabayan offers a convenient cash collection service once you’ve got your account set up - but it’s not necessarily the cheapest way to get your money back to the Philippines. Check out a range of alternatives - including Wise - for easier, faster and cheaper options for sending money to loved ones back home.

Sources used for this article:
  1. Kabayan Remittance
  2. Kabayan appointment booking
  3. Kabayan fees

Sources checked on 21.07.2022

*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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