Review: Wise Business Account Singapore

Published on
December 18, 2023
Written by
Daniel Ling
Reviewed by
Episode #
Review: Wise Business Account Singapore
Explore the Wise Business Account for Singapore: A comprehensive review on features, fees, and comparisons with Aspire. Learn more
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If you are a business that regularly works with international suppliers and global markets, you might be familiar with Wise for Business. In this review, we will walk through everything you need to know about opening and owning a Wise Business account, including how to make global payments, main features, and rates. We’ll also compare Wise with an alternative option—the Aspire business account. So that you can choose the right business account based on your business needs. 

What is the Wise Business Account?

Wise is a UK-based fintech, which offers multi-currency accounts for both personal and corporate clients, allowing them to receive, hold and send international payments. Wise specializes in facilitating international transactions for businesses engaged in cross-border commerce.

While not a bank in itself, Wise is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and ensures the security of customer funds through major banking institutions.

Key Features

  • Multi-currency accounts in USD, SGD, and 7+ other currencies.
  • Best FX rates: up to 3x cheaper than banks, to 70+ countries.
  • Issue debit cards for your employees
  • Make batch payments
  • Withdraw money from platforms like Shopify, Stripe, and more. 

Overview of the Wise Business Account

Multi-currency business account 

A Wise Business account enables businesses to transact locally within Singapore and internationally to over 70 countries. The platform capitalizes on mid-market exchange rates, which are often significantly cheaper than those offered by traditional banks. Notably, each transaction comes with a transparent fee breakdown, ensuring cost visibility.

You’ll also get to send tracking links to recipients whenever you make a transfer, which makes it easy to monitor transaction progress. 

On top of making international payments, you’ll be able to receive local bank details for 9 currencies: SGD, USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, CAD, HUF, and TRY. This lets you receive third-party payments from 30+ countries, and get paid through platforms like Shopify, Stripe, Adyen, and Amazon. Additionally, you will also be able to withdraw cash from your account via an ATM. 

You can make bulk payments to up to 1000 people at real-time exchange rates, which is helpful for businesses that need to facilitate a large number of payouts to their customers, freelancers, employees, investors, or suppliers around the world.

Debit card

With a Wise Account, you will be able to issue debit cards to your team for tracking employee spending. You can set spend limits, freeze cards for greater control, and will receive real-time notifications on purchases. This lets you easily track business expenses in your Wise app. 

Wise offers one free card per business account in Singapore. If your business needs additional employee cards, Wise charges $4 for each extra card. As such, this may be inconvenient for companies that issue multiple cards for various employees on a regular basis.

Accounting Integrations 

Wise has direct accounting integrations to Xero, QuickBooks, and FreeAgent accounting platforms.

Wise Business Account fees and charges you should look out for

Wise takes pride in its transparent approach: No subscriptions, no monthly fees. You'll consistently have a clear view of the fee before each transaction, ensuring you only pay for the services you actually use.

Here are some fees you should take note of. 

How to set up a Wise Business Account

Opening a Wise Business account is very simple, and any Singapore-incorporated business can do so completely online or via the Wise app. 

To register, companies must provide the following information.

  • Company’s name and ACRA (or UEN) registration number.
  • Brief description of the business and purpose of using Wise
  • Company website
  • Information of all company directors and shareholders that own more than 25% of the business:
  • Full name, date of birth, and country of residence
  • If one of the shareholders is another business; then Wise will also need their company registry document as proof that they are owners of that business

How long does it take to set up a Wise Business Account?

While still quicker than traditional banks, opening a business account with Wise can take up to 10 working days to set up, which is still longer than other fintech providers.

Who should open a Wise Business Account?

Wise offers a good multi-currency account solution for businesses that are looking for an account primarily to serve their FX needs. This serves as a useful secondary account for businesses that transact regularly in many currencies. 

However, if a business needs a complete solution to handle all its local operations, the Wise Business Account might not be the best fit.

The Wise Alternative: Aspire

Aspire is a fintech company, headquartered in Singapore with a presence throughout Asia. It’s backed by world-class venture capitalists, including Lightspeed, Sequoia, Tencent, and Paypal Ventures, just to name a few. 

Aspire's All-in-one Finance OS streamlines the way business owners and finance teams handle crucial financial operations. A notable distinction between Wise and Aspire lies in Aspire's broader array of features designed to facilitate local operations. This encompasses a wider range of local payment options and support for CPF, Salary via GIRO, and corporate tax payments, areas where Wise falls short.

In addition, Aspire’s free local transfers make it ideal for businesses that make frequent local payments to suppliers, vendors, employees, and more. 

Aspire has also partnered with Wise to offer leading SGD FX rates. This means with Aspire, you can enjoy Wise's attractive FX rates (same fees on both platforms) within the convenience of Aspire’s all-in-one business account. 

Aspire also offers more comprehensive capabilities for managing spend, such as more granular spending controls, claims, expense management capabilities, and wider accounting integrations.

Here is a summary of some key differences compared to Wise:

Business Account

  • Faster account opening within 1 business day
  • Zero fees to open your account
  • Free local transfers to and from your SGD, IDR, GBP, EUR and USD accounts
  • Free transfers via your USD account to SGD, AUD, CAD, CZK, DKK,EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF,IDR, INR, MXN, MYR, NOK ,PHP, PLN, RON, SEK, USD
  • Supports PayNow for CPF, and corporate tax payments 
  • Supports salary payment via GIRO
  • Does not support cash withdrawals or cheques

Corporate cards

  • Issue unlimited virtual cards to employees instantly
  • More granular card controls and customizations
  • Save on business expenses with unlimited 1% cashback with your Aspire Card

Software and integration

  • More advanced accounting integrations to Xero, Quickbooks, Netsuite and more.
  • Offers integrated receivable, expense, and payable management functionalities 
ACCOUNT
Time to open account1 business dayUp to 10 working days
100% online account opening
Account feesFree$54 one-time fee
Safeguarding of funds100% safeguarded
in SG Tier-1 Bank100% safeguarded
in SG Tier-1 Bank
SGD ACCOUNT
Receive via PayNow
Send via PayNow
Pay CPF
Pay Salaries via GIRO
Local SGD transfersFree0.67 SGD Fixed Fee + Variable fee
FX rates & feesBest rates, up to 3x cheaper than banksBest rates, up to 3x cheaper than banks
Multi-currency Account
Free local/domestic transfers
FX rates & feesBest rates, up to 3x cheaper than banks, 0 feesBest rates, up to 3x cheaper than banks, +0.44% fee
CARDS
Virtual CardsUnlimited
‍‍No fees
1 free per account
S$4/employee for additional cards
Card CashbackUnlimited 1% Cashback on digital marketing & SaaS
Receivable management
Universal Invoice Collection
Automatic Invoice Reconciliation
Payment Links
OTHERS
Bulk Payments
Live Support
Integrated Expense & Payable Mgmt

Conclusion

The Wise Business account is a good choice for global businesses that need to send and receive international payments frequently in a number of currencies. With the lowest FX rates in the market, a Wise Business account can drastically reduce the cost of your international payments. It is no surprise that it has become a popular choice among businesses in Singapore. 

If you're after a more comprehensive corporate account to seamlessly manage day-to-day operations, you should explore options tailored to those needs.

Ultimately, the choice between Wise and Aspire is based on your business's unique financial requirements.  While Wise shines in its coverage of global currencies, Aspire's emphasis on local operations and comprehensive financial management make it a powerful contender for businesses seeking an all-in-one solution. Armed with these insights, you can confidently choose the right business account for your financial success.

‍Open an account with Aspire today.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Ling is a seasoned writer specialising in business finance, market trends, and industry best practices. Daniel has led thought leadership initiatives at Meta and other reputable companies for more than a decade. Daniel leverages his consumer insights and a data-driven approach to help businesses grow.
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Aspire is the all-in-one finance operating system for businesses. Our mission is to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs with the financial tools they need to realise their company’s full potential.
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