Published on
January 27, 2022

Fintech vs Banks in Singapore: Which One Is Better For International Payments?

min read

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between Wallex, our Fintech platform, and traditional banks in Singapore. Here are the factors to consider when choosing between a FinTech platform or Bank. Let’s dive in.

FX Rates and Currencies

Banks use their own FX rates that are usually higher than the real mid-market rates, meaning your business will end up paying more when transferring through a bank. On the other hand, Wallex strives to offer the most competitive mid-market rate.

Through banks, FX rates fluctuate constantly, making it stressful to find the most opportune time to make a payment. Wallex, on the other hand, can lock in the best mid-market rates for up to 24 hours with your Wallex business account. This prevents you from losing unnecessary costs during fluctuations.

While local banks typically support between 10 and 20 currencies, Wallex offers up to 46 currencies to make payments in.


Banks tend to also have a transfer limit per round, which further incurs more costs if you would like to make a full payment beyond the limit. Wallex does not have a transfer limit, so you can make significant savings.

Banks are known to incur other fees, such as monthly administration fee, annual maintenance fee and even a fall below fee if you do not maintain the minimum amount. Some banks in Singapore charge as much as $10-$50 a month and that accumulates. Don't fret, Wallex neither charges for maintenance and administration nor requires a minimum amount in your account. So there is one less maintenance expense to worry about.


Banks can be a bureaucratic nightmare. When setting up an account, you are required to prepare documentation and paperwork as well as physically visit the bank to do so.

Making cross-border transfers with Wallex is simple and convenient. Gone are the days of queuing up for hours at the bank - having a fully online platform allows you to make transfers wherever you are, at any time.

We believe transfers should be a seamless process for all businesses, so we’ve made it a point to make our account setup and payment approvals quick and easy-to-use.


Banks use SWIFT to transfer money from country to country. SWIFT is a payment network that allows businesses as well as individuals to receive or make payments even if the other party in the transaction uses a different bank¹. Each member institution of the network is given a unique ID code which helps banks communicate with each other to facilitate transactions. It’s important to note that SWIFT does not actually send money, it’s just a method of communication. Banks play the role of intermediaries through which funds are routed, so transfers can take as long as 2-4 days. This is the preferred option for transferring large amounts of money. Wallex supports transfers via the SWIFT network².

Wallex also offers the option for Local Transfers, where our platform connects businesses to a network of payment partners around the world, eliminating the need for middlemen. The result is simple: enjoy quicker processing times and avoid spending on several intermediary fees. By comparison, payments can be completed within the same day or in 2 days at most.

Dedicated Account Manager

With most local banks, little expertise and support is offered to help you in managing your finances and transaction-related matters. You often have to wait a long while before getting hold of a representative.

At Wallex, we provide a dedicated Account Manager to you from the start. You can constantly rely on the same representation to support your needs.

With our focus on customer service, we also offer the MT103 to be downloadable for free.

Bulk Payments

Making payments in bulk with local banks is either extremely difficult or not possible at all. With our platform, make multiple payments in one go and avoid the trouble of having to split single transactions into multiple processes.

² Wallex enables customers to perform SWIFT transfers via our network of banking partners.

Would you like to give Wallex a try? Create your free account here:

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