Understanding money-changing

money changing

25 Oct 2018 | 2 min. read

A money changer lets you buy and sell foreign currency notes. Find out who you should deal with and what to watch out for.

Key takeaways

  • Always deal only with licensed money changers. You can check the list maintained by MAS.
  • Confirm the exchange rate before you transact, and count and check your notes before you leave.
  • Report any cases of fraud to the police.

What is money-changing?

Money-changing involves the buying and selling of physical foreign currency notes. Exchange rates may vary across different money changers.

Who you should deal with

If you need to buy or sell foreign currency notes, make sure you approach a bank or a licensed money changer. Check the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)'s list of licensed money changers.

In Singapore, it is against the law to carry on a business of providing money-changing services without a valid licence from the MAS. You should not engage the services of unlicensed persons.

Report any unlicensed money-changing activity

If you suspect that an individual or a company is carrying on a business of providing money-changing services, or advertising its business of providing money-changing services without a valid licence, you may:

  • Lodge a police report at the nearest police station or online
  • Write to the Commercial Affairs Department at:
    391 New Bridge Road #06-701
    Police Cantonment Complex Block D
    Singapore 088762

Tips

  • Choose your money changer carefully. Be wary of special rates that appear too good to be true.
  • Choose money changers that have installed adequate security systems (e.g. CCTV) to provide a secure and safe environment for you to exchange your currencies.
  • Bring your personal identification documents for verification purposes when changing money   
  • Confirm the exchange rates before proceeding with the transaction.
  • Count and check your notes before you leave. Keeping and/or passing counterfeit notes to others are offences under the Penal Code. If you come across or have counterfeit notes, you should report and surrender these notes to the police.
  • Get a proper receipt as proof of transaction in case of dispute, even if the amount involved is small. The receipt should contain the money changer’s business particulars and the transaction details.
  • Licensing does not guarantee the performance and conduct of money changers. Cases involving fraud should be reported to the police.

See also: Unlicensed money changers and remittance agents 

Last updated on 28 Jan 2020