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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Buying Crypto in Singapore, A Complete Guide on Transferring USD to

NOTE: Silvergate Bank has ceased clearing USD for Binance w.e.f 11th Jun 2021. This post will be updated when there is a new USD Clearing bank.

A quick foreword: This is not financial advise. I am not a financial advisor, Cryptocurrency is a very volatile asset class.

Step 1) Setup an account with If you haven't already signed-up, you may use the link (Enjoy 10% off your commissions)

Basically you will need to provide some details about yourself (e.g NRIC, etc). This is the standard KYC - Know Your Customer process for most financial services. 

If you have done this step, then please proceed...

Step 2) Deposit fiat (USD or SGD) into my account

There is a few options that Binance provides for us Singaporeans to convert our fiat to BUSD (Token form of USD) - used for our purchases.

  • P2P Trading
  • Credit/Debit Card
  • SWIFT Transfer (USD)

In my experience using the SWIFT (Telegraphic Transfer) is the most economical option to deposit your fiat.

A quick explanation on the cons of the other 2. 

P2P Trading basically involves you and another entity exchanging a digital currency (e.g USDT,BUSD, BTC) for fiat. 

Depending on the rates the seller offers, you would then agree and transact outside of Binance. It is generally safe (if you transact with reputable sellers). But once again, the spread is not exactly great.

Credit/Debit Card is by far the worse option to use, as it incurs a 3% cross border charge and in some cases (as it is considered as a form of cash advance, you will see a 6% fee). 

Verdict: Skip these two options.

So lets move on to SWIFT Transfer:

If you have a DBS (or any local bank) account, you will have the option to remit cash. DBS has 0 remittance fees and offer decent USD->SGD exchange rates - hence it will be my choice for the TT.

1) Access the 'Wallet'->'Fiat and Spot' hamburger menu

2) Click "Deposit" at the top right corner

3) Populate the deposit details and desired amount

  • Select "USD"
  • Use (SWIFT)
  • Enter the Amount (in USD)

4) Click "Confirm"

You will be prompted with a message similar to the mock-up below. It basically informs you that your account name (from the bank you are sending the swift) has to be the same as the NRIC (Remember the KYC process you completed during the account opening)

Click Confirm  - You will see the details of the swift transfer we are required to make. We are half-way there. 

Take note of your "Reference Code"; we will need this later when we do the payment instructions.

5) Log-in to your DBS Account iBanking (desktop):

Select Transfer -> "DBS Remit and Overseas Transfer"

6) Click 'New Recipient'

Fill the form as follows:

        1. Select Country: "United States"
        2. Recipient's full name (Refer to the Binance swift instruction - Beneficiary Account Name)

        3. Select "Other Banks" - Copy and paste the SWIFT code click 'Find SWIFT Code'

        4. Copy the address lines 1,2 and Account numbers from the Binance payment page into our recipient details.

7) <Important> Fill the Payment Details for Recipient with your Binance Reference Code.

8) Verify and Submit

Congratulations if you have made it so far, you have just successfully initiated a transfer of fiat into your account. 

If you had done this on a working day, it typically (based on experience) takes less than 8-10 hours for the funds to show up in your Binance account. However do not worry if it doesn't show up within the same day. As Binance states that it may take between 2-4 business days to clear from Silvergate bank.

The amount transferred in USD, will appear as BUSD on Binance. This is the stable coin version of the USD and has a 1:1 exchange with the Fiat USD. 

How long does the transfer take?
The transfer typically takes 1 working day to clear. First time transfers may take longer. But based on experience it usually clears within 8-12 hours.
Do note that the transfer will be sent by DBS in Singapore working hours and processed by Silvergate Bank during US working hours.

What happens if I forget to include my reference code?
Do not worry, remittances have a tracking number and DBS will contact you to resolve the error. Note that this might take some time as Silvergate has to manually trace the origin and would likely contact DBS. There may also but certain charges involved but your monies are safe. Alternatively, you could also raise an appeal in Binance for them to investigate.

Monday, February 26, 2018

UOB One Vs OCBC 360

Can't decide on which savings account is best for maximizing your interests ?

This calculator will help you to decide whether the OCBC360 account or UOB One account (including credit card rebates) is better for you.

Fill in the following questions and press "Calculate!" to see the results.


Q1. Are you able to credit at least $2,000 of your salary to the bank account?
Yes No

Q2. Are you able to pay 3 bills thru GIRO (or online payment) every month?
Yes No
Total GIRO Amount: SGD

Q3. How much do you spend on your credit card every month?
- Online Spending: SGD
- Any Other Spending: SGD

Q4. How much are you able to invest or insure ?

Q5. How much money do you keep in the bank account?


Savings Interest SGD SGD
Credit Card Rebate SGD SGD
Total Interest & Rebate SGD SGD
Effective Interest Rate %
Credit Card Rebate %

The better account for you is
Additional annual interest & rebate is SGD


For more info on each of the accounts, use the links below:



The information is accurate as at 28-Feb-2018.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Shoetree Project - A Review of Quality Shoe Care Products in Singapore

Quality dress shoes are expensive, but they can last decades - especially if they are cared for properly. I used to think nothing about the maintenance of my shoes, until i started buying leather shoes that cost more than a few hundred - shoes that would be too expensive to throw away.

This was when i started to wonder how i could properly maintain and extend their lifespan, effectively stretching that dollar on the 'investment'.

That’s where shoe trees and proper leather polishing/nourishing products come in. Some men look at these wooden shoe inserts as an unnecessarily expensive purchase, but shoe trees are crucial to keeping shoes in amazing shape as they age.

Here's why.


Our feet sweat throughout the day, and the leather and lining of our shoes absorb all that moisture. This can cause the lining to rot, your shoes to smell, and the leather to crack over time, thereby ruining your expensive footwear.

A shoe tree holds a shoe in its proper shape so it dries out correctly, and keeps the leather from cracking by wicking away moisture. The absorbent wood also helps dry out the lining of shoes so that they don’t rot from the inside out.

Long story short: Shoe trees are a whole lot cheaper than a new pair of nice shoes, and will keep your current pair in excellent condition for years.

I would highly recommend spending on a good pair of shoe trees if your shoes cost more than $200. Quality shoe trees will have ventilation slots at the toe to help dissipate moisture, a longer, crafted heel, and contain more wood for better drying and odor control. They will also ensure the closest possible fit between the shoe and tree. This is necessary to maintain the shape of the shoe as well as to absorb moisture.

(Pro tip: When the smell of the cedar starts to fade, you can lightly sand the shoe tree to bring it back.)


This is the most common question about shoe trees and products, especially when everything is so expensive in Singapore. I remember back in 2007 when i started sourcing for cedar shoe trees, they were really hard to find and the ones i found would cost $70-100 per pair.

The folks at Shoetree Project seem to have realised this gap and have sent me some of their products to review. They are the Cedar Shoe Tree in Sz 39, Saphir Pommadier Cream Shoe Polish and the Japanese Oakwood Shoe Horn.

Firstly, Saphir makes excellent quality shoe care products and i highly recommend the Renovateur and the Pommadier Cream for your shoes. literally sells them at cost and provides free delivery! 😍

Next up, the Cedar Shoe Tree. I was pleasantly surprised by the unmistakable smell of quality Cedarwood and even more impressed by the sizing and fit. The sz 39 *(please check out their size charts) fit like a glove on my Loake shoes. The spring loaded mechanism on the exterior side ensured that the shoe retains its shape - an important aspect of a quality shoe tree. Aesthetically, the brass knobs on the top of the shoe tree adds a nice touch to your shoes when it does its job of wicking the moisture whilst sitting in your cabinet.

Last by definitely not least is the Japanese Oak shoe horn. I personally like to sit on my ottoman to wear my dress shoe but this shoe horn would be a great addition for those who wear slip-ons, loafers and moccasins.


It would be ideal to have a shoe tree in every nice (expensive) pair of shoes you own, but it’s not absolutely necessary as long as you rotate your shoes and shoe trees throughout the week. 

But if you’re a huge fan of all your shoes or have a vast collection of expensive footwear, then buy a shoe tree for every single pair. At the $35 price point, there is practically nothing else i can recommend. If you haven't got one, i would highly recommend you try the ones by - your feet, wallet and shoes will thank you for it! 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Borderlinx - How to Ship UK Purchases to Singapore

Sugar Spice Everything Borderlinx

Shopping on the UK websites provide great value with the recent weakness of the GBP. However, there are some sites that do not accept international credit cards nor ship to destinations outside the UK.

I wanted to get a pair of Adidas NMD sneakers for my wife but there was no stock available in Singapore. I discovered that UK Footlocker still held stock of the shoe in her size. So i went about trying to find ways to buy from a UK site that did not accept Singapore credit cards, nor ship directly to Singapore.

This is where i chanced upon the Borderlinx concierge service. In essence, it provides a 'personal shopper' service for a 5% fee (off the total value of goods). In addition, Borderlinx provides shipping service back to Singapore.

So if you need to buy something from the UK in a similar fashion, you have the option to use the Borderlinx Concierge service.

Lets talk about how we can proceed with the orders before i give you a summary of my personal experience.

Sign Up for a Borderlinx account

Register an account with Borderlinx and setup your home address.

Create a Concierge Order

Access your account, select "Make a concierge order" and click "Place a new order".

Borderlinx Concierge
Fill in the details (Example Screenshot below)

Borderlinx Concierge - Add fields

Save the item and you will be brought to the order payment page.

Make the payment

Payment has to be made before the product will be purchased by Borderlinx. Typically you will use a Credit Card. Do note that you will incurr the usual cross-border and currency rate (GBP vs SGD) on your credit card. 

In addition, there is a 'contingency' charge. This fee is 'blocked' on your credit card just in case there is a slight price difference from the input price of the product. As its name suggest, you will not be charged unless there is a difference (increase in price).
Borderlinx Concierge - Order Details

Payment for shipping to Singapore

When the product is purchased by Borderlinx, you will see an update on your concierge order status that says "Status: Order placed and accepted by merchant". Once this step is completed, the merchant will ship your order to the Borderlinx warehouse.

When your purchases reach Borderlinx, you will then need to make a final payment, for shipping to Singapore. The cost of shipping will depend on the weight of your purchase. For my case, it is as shown below (3.78kg):

Borderlinx Concierge - Order Summary

Borderlinx Concierge - Weight of Shoes

As you can see, i was charged GBP $36.16 for a shipped weight of 3.78 kg.

Once the shipping costs are paid, Borderlinx will proceed to ship the purchase to Singapore, via DHL - to your desired home address. 

You can track the shipment history in your concierge menu -> "My Account" -> "Shipment History". 
Borderlinx Concierge - Shipment History


I paid a total of GBP 139.99 + GBP 36.16 (Shipping). This translates to about S$315 at the currency rate i paid on my credit card. These shoes retail for about S$299 in Adidas Singapore, assuming you are willing to brave the long queues at the retail store and lucky enough to get one in your size.

The total time taken from entry of the concierge order to purchase of the shoes from UK Footlocker is 3 business days. Shipping via DHL by Borderlinx was fast and it took about 2-3 days before it was delivered to my doorstep in Singapore. Package was well packed and arrived in immaculate condition.

My overall experience with Borderlinx was pleasant but i was slightly disappointed at the high costs of shipping, which translate to about GBP 4.5 per 500g. Thankfully the favorable exchange rates helped to reduce my total costs. Most importantly, my wife loved the pair of shoes! :)

Note: This is not a sponsored post

Monday, November 28, 2016

Taobao - The Complete 4PX, NinjaVan, DPex, Prouter Guide (Updated)

I wrote a post about "The Complete 4PX Guide" when Taobao first became popular in Singapore back in 2014.

It has since been 2 years and after several changes to the interfaces and links, i would like to give an 'update' to this guide to help you with your shopping. This update will be applicable to any of the Taobao Official Freight Forwarders - 4PX, Prouter, NinjaVan and DPex.

I am assuming that you have already read the Taobao Account Creation guide and have an account ready. So i will go straight to the main highlights of using a Taobao appointed official freight forwarder.

So let's proceed.

Setup Your Singapore Address

This step is pretty important for home deliveries. 4PX has a tie-up with Singpost for POPStation deliveries. But nevertheless, it is important to input the right address to ensure your goodies will reach you!

  • Select "账号管理" (Account Management)

Taobao Setup - Manage Account
  • Select "收货地址" (Delivery Address)
Taobao Setup - Manage Address
  • Add your home (Singapore) address.
Taobao Setup - Add Address

Let's Add Something to Our Cart

I am going to buy some caps for my son, so let's add them to our Shopping Cart.

Taobao - Add to Cart

Check Out

Select the items and click the "结算" button at the bottom. You will see the following screen.
Taobao Global Consolidate and Shipping

As you can see, the rates are clearly displayed for each of the Taobao Official Freight Forwarders. For our example, we will use 4PX to deliver our purchases.

(Rates Accurate As of 23-Nov-16)
  • DPEX
    • ¥30 for first KG ( ¥10 per subsequent 0.5kg)
  • 4PX
    • ¥33 for first KG ( ¥10 per subsequent 0.5kg)
    • ¥26 for first KG ( ¥9 per subsequent  0.5kg)
  • PRouter
    • ¥27 for first KG ( ¥10 per subsequent 0.5kg)

Click on "确认" (Accept).

Pay via Alipay

Pay for your purchases via Alipay. As you can see from the screenshot, there is a credit card fee that you will have to bear (approximately 3% of your entire order). 

Pay via Alipay

Once the payment is made, the seller(s) will proceed to ship the items to the 4PX (Or your designated freight forwarder) warehouse for consolidation.

Check The Flow of Goods

You can proceed to check the statuses of your purchase from the menu "淘宝集运". 

Freight Forwarders

4PX Flow of Goods

You will be able to track your purchases, as well as view the corresponding costs of shipping it to Singapore. When all the items have arrived at the freight forwarder's warehouse, you can proceed to consolidate and pay. 

Consolidate and Pay for Shipping

You will be notified by SMS when you packages arrive at the 4PX warehouse.


4PX SMS for Arrival
Login to Taobao to select the purchases to be grouped. (Check the "订单" checkbox on each item).

Consolidate and Pay

Click "运费结算", which means "pay for shipping".

Note: This step is where you select "Home Delivery" or "Self-Collection" (POPStation).

4PX Home Deliver or Popstation

Once you have completed this final payment step, the freight forwarder will proceed to pack and ship your items to your home in Singapore (or POPStation, if you have selected the Self-Collection method)! 

Sit back, enjoy a cup of tea and wait for your package(s) to arrive! 

Update: Very impressed with the speed of their service - Received the SMS from Singpost about delivery of the package after 3 working days. All in 4PX consolidate and pay to delivery took about 5 days (2 days over the weekend).

Here's a picture of what arrived - nicely packed and sealed, delivered by SingPost.

4PX Home Delivery

Happy shopping!!!