As you head down to a money changer outlet, there are a few things you should take note of, besides just getting the best foreign exchange rates. Here are some things to remember when you are exchanging your money at the money changer outlet.
#1 Ensure that your money changer is licensed
Before you proceed with the transaction, make sure that the money exchange is licensed. Authorised money changers in Singapore are only permitted to operate their services with a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and they should display their license prominently in their outlets. If you are unsure, you may look for the money changer in the list of licensed money changers on the MAS site.
#2 Bring along your personal identification documents
Do not be alarmed if you are prompted by the money changer to show proof of personal identification. This is for verification and recording purposes, especially when you are exchanging above SGD$5,000 (in Singapore). This “Know-Your-Customers” procedure, adopted by money changers are put in place to protect themselves and prevent identity theft, financial fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing. If you are travelling in other country, the amount for record-keeping may vary, since different countries have different compliance requirements. Hence it would be better if you look up for the amount, or you may make a wasted trip down to a money changer.
For a safe and secure transaction, look around for installed security systems, like CCTVs, or the presence of security personnels. You do not want to be a target of theft and robbery, after you are spotted exchanging for a huge wad of cash.
#4 Ask for a receipt
Ensure that you receive a receipt after the transaction, in case of dispute or uncertainties (such as a tear in the bill), even if the amount is small. The receipt should contain details about the money exchanger’s particulars and transaction details.
#5 Exercise caution and be wary of frauds
A money changer’s license does not specifically guarantee their performance or credibility. Always agree on exchanging the full amount, instead of amount in instalments, if the money changer claims that he ran out of currency to exchange during the transaction, look for another outlet instead of agreeing to proceed with an instalment-based transaction, even if he promises better rates.
Once you receive the amount, check your notes before you leave. Should you find yourself with counterfeit notes, surrender and report the money changer to the police.
Lastly, do not join any form of “Forex involvement schemes” and report any suspicious activity to the police.
Ensure that you have a safe and smooth transaction by following these safety tips. Avoid risks when you exchange foreign currency, so you can travel in peace.
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