Friday, 25 August 2017

DBS Multi-Currency Account

From the previous post about my Japan internship opportunity.

I've since started with the planning, budgeting for this trip and has also been working even more often to save up for the trip. As I will be there for a prolonged period, I will need to have a better plan and management over my resources when I'm there.

Apart from your travel documents and clothing, one important thing to bring along is definitely cash.

As I will be there for approximately 3 months, it will not be exactly feasible for me to bring a big sum of money over for my living expenses. In any event whereby I drop the money along the way or any accidents occur, I'll be having a headache there. As such, I have been looking through the net about the other alternatives over bringing a big sum of living expenses there, which brings me to DBS Multi-Currency Account.

Using the DBS eMCA account, we'll be able to buy foreign currencies at our preferred rates. However do take note that if you're buying directly from the bank, you'll be subjected to the spreads.
Buying of foreign currency can be done through iBanking

Steps to buying your foreign currency online via iBanking:
1. Login to iBanking, select the tab on 'Transfer'
2. Under the transfer tab, select 'To my account'
3. From : DBS eMCA account, Currency: SGD (the currency here refers to the currency you'll be using to purchase your foreign currency)
4. To: DBS eMCA account, right below, select the currency you would want to buy.
5. Under transfer currency: select the currency you're using to purchase your foreign currency
6. Key in the amount you'll like to buy
7. Select on whether you want to transfer it immediately

If you happen to have the foreign currency you want on hand or you've changed it at any money changer outside, you're also able to deposit/withdraw the cash from your DBS eMCA account through their branches, with a fee of S$10 per deposits/withdrawal.

I personally will feel that the money changer outside provides a better rate. The best rates can be found through here. After which, go to any branches to deposit your foreign currency into your DBS eMCA account.  Ensure that the spread is not going be a big percentage to what you're going to deposit. Subsequently, you'll be able to withdraw/spend from the country you're visiting without any worries. In any event whereby you do not have sufficient funds in your foreign currency wallet, you're able to transfer it from your bank account over to the MCA account and purchase your foreign currency.

However, to save on the fuss, you could just buy the currency online and make your withdrawal there when you need it. The spread is about 1.2%. 

The currency you've bought will be deposited into the various currencies wallet.
Eg. Japanese Yen wallet for deposits/withdrawal of JPY.

Withdrawal can be made in Japan from any ATM with the Plus sign. The amount you've withdrawn will then be directly deducted from your Japanese Yen wallet.
The ATM withdrawal fees for each withdrawal is 350Yen (about S$4.36) in Japan.

Using the DBS Visa debit card, you're also able to make purchases there by which the amount will also be directly debited from the respective currency wallets.  

This is cheaper than the usual charges imposed by Master/Visa (2.5%) when you carry out cross-borders transaction.

Therefore, I feel that for frequent travelers or anyone that is visiting a certain country for a prolonged period or even anyone who is feels unsafe to carry a thick stack of cash everywhere you go, this account should be of a good help.

The account can also be created in minutes if you're an existing POSB/DBS member via iBanking

I've just tried out the account by "buying" 10,000 Yen at S$125.53.

Current rate of Yen to SGD @ 100 : 1.242
Therefore, I've "paid" S$1.33 (about 1.07%) to try it out:)

Their Foreign Currencies rate can be seen here.
More information about the DBS Multi-Currency Account can be found here.

This is not a sponsored post.


  1. I have one and know that fee charged for foreign currency deposit/withdrawal is higher than the $10 you quoted. It may be the minimum. I think the fee is 1-1.5% of the transacted amount. You may want to confirm with the bank.

    1. Hi Wong,

      I've yet to make any physical foreign currency deposit/withdrawal through their branches in SG yet.

      However if that's the case, it will be best to bring a portion of money there and use their platform to "buy" Yen when my funds I have on hand is exhausted. I feel that it might be safer as compared to bringing 3 months worth of expenses there.

      Thanks for the information :)
      Will check out with DBS.