Revolut, Wise, YouTrip: A Guide to Multi-Currency E-Wallets in Singapore

November 25, 2023

Embracing Financial Convenience: The Rise of Multi-Currency E-Wallets

In the bustling city of Singapore, multi-currency e-wallets like Revolut, Wise, and YouTrip have revolutionized the way people handle foreign transactions. Their growing popularity, especially among travelers, stems from their ability to offer better exchange rates and reduced fees compared to traditional banking methods.

The Trio of Convenience: Revolut, Wise, and YouTrip

  • Revolut: Launched in Singapore in 2019, Revolut has seen a significant increase in active users. The app allows the holding and conversion of 33 different currencies.
  • Wise: Known for its ability to store up to 40 currencies, Wise facilitates easy and cost-effective currency conversions.
  • YouTrip: Catering to a significant portion of Singaporeans, YouTrip supports 10 currencies within its wallet, with the capability to transact in over 150 currencies.

Key Features and Limitations

All three apps share a common feature: the ability to hold different currencies in one e-wallet. They provide real-time exchange rates and applicable fees before transactions. However, they differ in certain functionalities:

  • Withdrawal Limits and Fees: Each app offers varying amounts of free overseas ATM withdrawals before charging fees.
  • Bank Transfers: While Wise and Revolut allow wallet-to-bank transfers, YouTrip does not.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to MAS regulations, all three apps currently have a wallet limit of S$5,000, set to increase to S$20,000.

How Do They Offer Better Rates?

These e-wallets leverage high transaction volumes and efficient operations to secure favorable exchange rates. They maintain pools of currencies in various countries, reducing the need for costly cross-border money transfers.

  • Revolut's Approach: Emphasizing its mobile-first platform, Revolut minimizes operational costs, passing savings on to users.
  • YouTrip's Strategy: As transaction volumes increase, YouTrip secures better FX rates, which benefits its customers.

Can Banks Keep Up?

Despite their efforts, traditional banks often fall short in competing with these e-wallets in terms of exchange rates and foreign transaction fees. This is partly due to their higher operational costs and diverse business interests.

Cybersecurity and User Risks

While these digital platforms offer convenience, they also present cybersecurity risks. Users are advised to practice cyber hygiene and only store necessary funds in their e-wallets to mitigate risks.

The Future Landscape

As technology continues to advance, traditional moneychangers and banks need to adapt to stay relevant. Meanwhile, multi-currency e-wallets like Revolut, Wise, and YouTrip are likely to continue growing in popularity, offering an efficient, cost-effective way for Singaporeans to manage foreign transactions.

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