24/7 forex conversions at DBS by third quarter

Users of the DBS Multi-Currency Account (MCA) will be able to carry out round-the-clock exchanges in 12 major currencies by the third quarter this year.

Customers can exchange currencies now via online or mobile banking only during office hours.

DBS launched the account in January. It allows account holders to store their money in up to 12 major currencies, such as the US dollar, Japanese yen and Hong Kong dollar, by performing currency conversions themselves via DBS' Internet or mobile banking platforms.

They can then use their DBS Visa debit card, if it is linked to the MCA as its primary account, to make overseas transactions in the local currency, without incurring the usual additional charges like conversion and bank fees.

DBS MCA's foreign currency transaction volumes had increased by about 30 per cent in February from January, the bank said yesterday.

The number of DBS Visa debit card holders here has risen by about 8 per cent since the start of the year to 860,000 and last month, the bank saw an 18 per cent surge in DBS Visa cards linked to the DBS MCA, as compared to the start of the year, it added.

The introduction of the 24/7 foreign currency exchange capability is expected to accelerate take-up of the scheme as more customers will be able to access foreign currency exchange services at competitive rates via their DBS iBanking or mBanking platforms, it said.

"This February, we registered an astonishing 43 per cent increase in foreign currency spending from customers on the DBS MCA and DBS Visa debit card scheme, compared to previous average monthly spends," said Mr Jeremy Soo, DBS' head of consumer banking group (Singapore).

"The introduction of our 24/7 foreign exchange capability provides a complete foreign currency payment solution. It's a paradigm shift for customers - they can now exchange in 12 key currencies anytime and anywhere without needing to visit money changers, and pay in foreign currency without additional charges."

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2017, with the headline '24/7 forex conversions at DBS by third quarter'. Print Edition | Subscribe