PUBLICATION




28 July 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Money Transfers in Hong Kong

Want to get the most out of your international money transfers? Read on to reduce your costs and make more informed decisions!

Top 5 Most Popular Currency Pairs

Hong Kong1 Singapore2 Global3

HKD/USD 12.3%

USD/JPY 21.2%

USD/RMB 17.4%

USD/EUR 13.2%

USD/AUD 7.3%

SGD/USD 7.9%

USD/JPY 17.3%

USD/EUR 14.9%

USD/GBP 8.8%

USD/AUD 7.5%

EUR/USD 23%

USD/JPY 17.7%

GBP/USD 9.2%

AUD/USD 5.2%

USD/CAD 4.3%

Top Reasons To Transfer Money

Family and friends abroad

You are a professional working abroad and earning in a foreign currency, but still paying bills and other expenses in local currency back home.

Children's overseas education

Your children are studying overseas and you regularly transfer money to pay for tuition fees and living expenses in a foreign currency.

Overseas property mortgages

You have invested in a holiday home or a small apartment for your child who is studying overseas. You need to pay for the downpayment and monthly mortgage payments.

Types of Money Remittance

Telegraphic Transfers (T/T)

Most people first think of bank T/T when sending money overseas. Bank-to-bank transfers are secure and convenient but they don’t come cheap. As an individual, your very little leverage over the banks’ costly overheads, which translate into high transfer charges and less competitive exchange rates.

Traditional Money Remittance

Traditional money remittance companies have been around for a long time. Leveraging on wholesale rates from the bank, they are able to provide lower transfer charges and better rates. The downside is that they deal mostly with smaller amounts and you won’t be able to transact online.

Online Money Remittance

The new generation of money remittance companies combine competitive wholesale foreign exchange rates and lower transfer charged with the convenience and security of digital platforms. Although fees and features vary among providers, they are subjected to the same regulations and laws for payment services in the country they operate.

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Key Challenges Of Money Transfers

Unfavourable Rates

Exchange rates differ greatly depending on the margin that is added on top of actual mid-market rates.

Hidden Costs

While transfer and receiving fees are generally upfront, additional costs can be hidden in the exchange rate.

Speed of Transfer

Transfer timeframes vary widely from being as fast as instantaneous to being as slow as 7 business days.

How Much Of Your Money Will Actually Be Sent?

Here is a rundown of fees and conversion rates from some of the most popular online money transfer providers based on sending HKD 100,000 to the US.

ONEPIP

There are plenty of options to choose when you plan to transfer money overseas. Apart from favourable exchange rates, find out how much you are charged for commission/transfer fees, and check if they can be waived for larger payments. Take all of these into consideration before choosing one that’s best for you!

Total fees: HKD 100

HKD/USD conversion: USD 12781.144

(Gross)

PayPal

Depending on the destination country, PayPal charges a transfer fee of 0.5-3.3% and a currency conversion fee of 3.5-4%. For HKD 100,000, that amounts to roughly HKD 7,300 in fees and charges! ONEPIP, on the other hand, charges HKD 155 for the same service.

Estimated fees: ~HKD 7,300.5

HKD/USD conversion: USD 12,433.456

(Gross)

Western Union

While Western Union’s Online FX indicates reasonable rates, the convenience of their online portal is only limited to residents of 15 countries, which does not include Hong Kong and other parts of Asia.

Estimated fees (incl. currency conversion): USD 227

HKD/USD conversion: USD 12,7808

(Gross)

TransferWise

TransferWise offers a simple pricing scheme of 0.7% per transfer, but it can quickly become very expensive. A transfer of HKD 100,000 would attract HKD 700 in fees in comparison to ONEPIP’s standardised fee of HKD 100 for transfers out of Hong Kong.

Estimated fees: HKD 7009

HKD/USD conversion: USD 12,475.5510

(Gross)

Bank of China

Remitters will have to bear a minimum charge of HDK 210 for each telegraphic transfer, as well as an additional HKD 160 if you decide to bear the Correspondent Bank Charges. Additional administration fees also apply should you pay for the remittance amount using the Remitter’s BOC Credit Card.

Estimated fees: Minimum HKD 37011

HKD/USD conversion: USD 12,769.7612

(Gross)

HSBC

HSBC charges HKD 65 for telegraphic transfers to non-HSBC banks overseas. This does not include additional charges such as commission of 0.25% of the full amount (minimum HKD 300) plus normal outward remittance charges.

Estimated fees: Minimum HKD 11513

HKD/USD conversion: USD 12,730.2614

(Gross)

So which option should you go with?

The most important things to look out for when transferring money abroad are favourable rates, fast transfer speeds, ease of use and a secure platform. While some providers offer some of these benefits, ONEPIP offers all of them clearly and simply!

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BANK-LEVEL SECURITY

All transactions secured by the most sophisticated end-to-end hardware encryption technology that are used in banks.

BETTER FOREX RATES

The best wholesale forex rates, which are published online.

BETTER FEES

Standardised fees capped at a maximum of HKD 550 and waived for transactions of HKD 380,000+.

Disclaimer: Foreign exchanges are subject to constant fluctuations. Conversion rates and estimated fees are correct at the time of publication.

References

1. The foreign exchange and derivatives markets in Hong Kong, December 2016: www.hkma.gov.hk/media/eng/publication-and-research/quarterly-bulletin/qb201612/fa.pdf

2. Survey of Singapore Foreign Exchange Volume, October 2016: www.sfemc.org/statistics/BOE_FX_form(Oct2016)_with_cover.pdf

3. ETX Capital: www.etxcapital.co.uk/blog/the-most-traded-forex-pairs-in-2016

4. ONEPIP Currency Converter as of 11/8/17: http://www.onepip.net/hk/en/individuals

5. PayPal as of 10/8/17: www.paypal.com/au/webapps/mpp/paypal-fees

6. PayPal Currency Converter, HKD/USD as of 11/8/17: www.paypal.com/au/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_convert-currency-generic

7. Western Union: http://onlinefx.westernunion.com/Fees

8. Western Union Fees Currency Converter as of 11/8/17: http://onlinefx.westernunion.com/

9. TransferWise: www.transferwise.com/pricing

10. TransferWise Currency Converter, HKD/USD as of 11/8/17: www.transferwise.com/au/currency-converter

11. Bank of China (Hong Kong) as of 11/8/17: http://www.bochk.com/en/servicecharge.html - Outward Remittance

12. Bank of China (Hong Kong) Currency Converter as of 11/8/17: https://www.bochk.com/en/home/calculators/currencyconverter.html

13. HSBC: https://www.personal.hsbc.com.hk/1/2/hk/misc/oversea-fee

14. HSBC: https://www.personal.hsbc.com.hk/1/2/hk/investments/mkt-info/fcy/calculator?pwscmd=cmd_init