Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

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2lz2p
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Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by 2lz2p »

I am posting this as an alert for those that use 65k per month transfers to qualify for their retirement extensions and rely on Wise transfers to their Bangkok Bank account using the "Long Stay" in Thailand purpose as their reason for transfer.

There is a thread on AseanNow regarding very recent problems for those that transfer funds by using the "Long Stay in Thailand" reason for the transfer as it did not result in the funds going direct to their Bangkok Bank accounts, but rather being routed through Kasikorn Bank, thus showing up in their Bangkok Bank as a domestic transfer rather than international.

I made my usual first of the month transfer thru Wise using the "Long Stay" reason receiving the money on 4 October with no problem, it went to my Bangkok Bank account, I rec'd my usual text message, and it was coded in my account as "FTT".

After seeing the posts on AseanNow, I sent another transfer using Wise. The information on the transfer was as usual EXCEPT it said it would arrive at 5pm the next day instead of the usual 2pm.

When I received my email notification from Wise on 11 October, the linked receipt showed the transfer was to my Bangkok Bank account via Kasikorn Bank and that it would arrive at 5pm. At 5pm, I did not receive my usual text message stating I had an international transfer. I went online to my Bangkok Bank account and it showed the deposit was made but without the FTT code (a domestic transfer).

I have sent an inquiry to Wise this morning on why it happened and if it will be corrected and received a reply that I should receive a response in about 24 hours.

Fortunately, this occurred early enough in the month that I can seek alternate means to transfer funds for November if it appears the problem will not be corrected by Wise.

There is a way for US bank account holders to send through Bangkok Bank's NY Branch (not an ACH transfer) that involves using a paper check sent to the NY Branch by postal mail. A slower process which I may use if the problem with Wise continues. Of course there are other methods such as wire transfers using SWIFT code, etc.

AseanNow thread: https://aseannow.com/topic/1234763-wise ... gkok-bank/

Bangkok Bank https://www.bangkokbank.com/en/Personal ... Remittance

PCEC page: https://pcec.club/BangkokBankNY

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Jun
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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by Jun »

Theoretically, Wise don't actually transfer your money abroad during the transaction.
They pay a sum into a Wise account in the origin country and make a separate payment from a Wise account in the destination country.

That's one way they keep costs down, particularly for other country pairs where there is a relatively balanced two way flow of money.
That also means, when receiving money to my UK account, my bank does not levy it's usual obscene charge for receiving funds from overseas, as it is a domestic transfer. Same with Singapore, no charge for receiving foreign currency.
I don't actually know if Kasikorn charge for receiving foreign currency as I've only ever funded it via cash or Transferwise.

So I'm slightly surprised that Wise transfers showed up as foreign transfers in the first place.

Fortunately, since the business is still run by the founder, your chances of getting a sensible answer to queries are better than average. Whether it's the answer you need is another matter.

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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by Gaybutton »

I hope this doesn't mean everybody has to go back to 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account.

Maybe the thing to do is go to immigration long before your visa is going to expire, show and explain what is going on, and ask them what to do so you don't have to lose your visa.

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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by 2lz2p »

After a few emails with their help desk and assurance that my Wise account had been "tagged" to send funds through Bangkok Bank, I tried a small transfer in late October which went through Kasikorn Bank. Another contact with Help desk and another assurance my account was "tagged" I sent my usual 65k+ transfer on 1 November, which also went through Kasikorn Bank; thus being shown by Bangkok Bank as being a domestic transfer.

My Chase bank offers an online transfer they call "Global Transfer" with only a US$5 fee but funds have to be converted by Chase Bank before making the transfer. When this service was first announced, I did a comparison of sending US$2,500 by Chase Global and Transferwise (now Wise). Chase in essence had hidden fee in that they used a very bad exchange rate (typical of most banks when they do the conversion). Even with Wise's fees, they would have still deposited about 2,000 baht more than Chase's Global transfer.

For that reason, I decided to try Bangkok Bank's NY Branch "Foreign Remittance Service", making some inquiries on the process with the NY Branch even though I knew it would take much longer for the transfer to arrive, but it would at least be coded FTT (foreign transfer) by Bangkok Bank when they deposited into my account.

I emailed my application to them on 1 November. Today, a little after 2pm, I rec'd a text message from Bangkok Bank advising that they had deposited an Int'l transfer of 74,569.60 baht less 200 baht fee in my account. The exchange rate appears to be 33.3 baht per US$ ($2,250 less $10 fee charged by NY Branch - the same graduated fee schedule they used for the domestic ACH transfers when that was still possible).

It is a slower process because it involves the use "snail" mail for a paper check payable to the NY Branch to arrive and they wait till the check clears before sending the transfer. The conversion rate used by the NY Branch appears to be the same as would be used by for US$ if converted here in Thailand by Bangkok Bank.

For information, visit: https://www.bangkokbank.com/en/Personal ... Remittance

For inquiries and more information, E-mail: [email protected].


For those that may be interested, this is the process I followed:

Prepare and Email Application (https://www.bangkokbank.com/en/Personal ... 85b97.ashx):

Prepared the pdf Application form, printed it out, signed it, and then scanned it along with identity page from passport into a pdf file. Attached the pdf file to an email to: [email protected].


Funding the transfer - the slow part:

I went to my online banking for my Chase account, set up the NY Branch as the payee:
Payee: Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited, New York Branch

Mailing address:
Bangkok BankPublic Company Limited
29 Broadway, 19 FL
New York, New York 10006
I then ordered a paper check be sent in the amount of $2,250. The confirmation noting it should arrive by 8 November.

Note: The instructions on page 2 of the Application indicate a cashier's check or postal money order is needed - personal checks are not accepted. Based on my inquiry, the NY Branch said that a check issued by my bank using online banking WAS acceptable. The only limit is if you use a US Postal money order in lieu of a check which is US$2,500 (unlikely for Expats here to use, but if having someone in US to send money, it could be used in lieu of a cashier's check).

Original Application sent by Thai Post:

I enclosed the original signed application in an envelope addressed to the Bangkok Bank NY Branch's Foreign Remittance Service Dept. I mailed it on 2 November (in the past, my mail to USA address took about 10 days). Note: as I understand it, for first transfer, they do not wait for the original to send the transfer, but if not sent, they will not do another later transfer.
--------------------------
For me, the wait is not a problem, but not having the FTT code for my 65k+ per month is. I will be using this method in the future for my 65k+, but will use Wise if transfer additional funds to meet my needs during the month.

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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by Jun »

If the 65,000 baht transfers cost 2000 extra, then that's a total of 24,000 baht per year.

If you put 800,000 in a bank account, then you have avoided 24,000 in costs, which can be viewed as equivalent to an interest rate of 3%. Tax free.

AFAIK, there are very few cases in 2021 where one can get 3% interest with so little risk. Of course, over the long term stock market investments can do far better, but with much more risk.
I appreciate that putting 800,000 in an account is not for everyone, for reasons which would be none of my damn business. However, I would think it makes sense in many cases.

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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:31 pm
If you put 800,000 in a bank account, then you have avoided 24,000 in costs, which can be viewed as equivalent to an interest rate of 3%. Tax free.
I never thought of it that way.

What upsets me about it is that there is not much choice other than to leave it there untouched. I understand the part about being able to pull some of it out provided you replace the money in time, but in my case if I pull any of it out, it would be because I have to, not because I wish to, and I might not be able to replace it fast enough.

24,000 baht all at once would bother me, but I would hardly notice it from the standpoint of 2000 baht per month.

Part of the way I figure it is, at least so far, it is not hurting me to leave the 800,000 just sitting there. At my stage of the game I can't think of much of anything I want to buy. If it's something I want, I probably already have it.


"What the hell can he buy in New Jersey anyway?"
- Walter Matthau (Willy Clark), 'The Sunshine Boys'

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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by windwalker »

2lz2p wrote:
Thu Nov 11, 2021 4:43 pm

Note: The instructions on page 2 of the Application indicate a cashier's check or postal money order is needed - personal checks are not accepted. Based on my inquiry, the NY Branch said that a check issued by my bank using online banking WAS acceptable. The only limit is if you use a US Postal money order in lieu of a check which is US$2,500 (unlikely for Expats here to use, but if having someone in US to send money, it could be used in lieu of a cashier's check).
As I understand, an international postal money order (USPS) is limited to $700 per order. In which case it would take 4 money orders to do it this way.

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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 8:07 pm
What upsets me about it is that there is not much choice other than to leave it there untouched. I understand the part about being able to pull some of it out provided you replace the money in time, but in my case if I pull any of it out, it would be because I have to, not because I wish to, and I might not be able to replace it fast enough.
I agree. An average bank balance requirement would make far more sense, but as far as I know, banks don't provide such calculations and any excel downloads can easily be fiddled. So it could be difficult to implement.
Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 8:07 pm
24,000 baht all at once would bother me, but I would hardly notice it from the standpoint of 2000 baht per month.
I take considerable care to avoid recurring costs.
There are whole industries where companies try to get monthly fees out of customers, which mount up. Instead of paying Microsoft a one off £80 for Office, then running it for 10 years, they try to charge £5 per month for Office 365, which works out at £600 over 10 years. I resist this & buy a one off license every 8~10 years.
Worst of all is investment products, where a bad choice might be charging you 1% for the platform, then another 1.5% in fees for the funds. Every year. Save for 30 years like this and half your money has gone in fees (approximately).

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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by 2lz2p »

Jun wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:31 pm
If the 65,000 baht transfers cost 2000 extra, then that's a total of 24,000 baht per year.

If you put 800,000 in a bank account, then you have avoided 24,000 in costs, which can be viewed as equivalent to an interest rate of 3%. Tax free.

AFAIK, there are very few cases in 2021 where one can get 3% interest with so little risk. Of course, over the long term stock market investments can do far better, but with much more risk.
I appreciate that putting 800,000 in an account is not for everyone, for reasons which would be none of my damn business. However, I would think it makes sense in many cases.
I am not sure where the 2,000 baht per month comes from. Using the Bangkok Bank NY Foreign Remittance Service cost me about 530 baht not 2,000 baht - thus one year would be 6,360 baht.

The fee charged by the NY branch for transfers of US$2,000 to US$50,000 is US$10 or around 330 baht(the US$10 fee is the same they charged for domestic ACH transfers which myself and many others used until they had to accept only Int'l ACH transfers - a method which most US banks do not provide for retail customers thus eliminating using the ACH system).

Bangkok Bank in Thailand charges a fee of .0025 of the transfer with a minimum of 200 baht and a maximum of 500 baht. In my case, for the transfer of US$2,250 it was 200 baht. So the two fees totaled about 530 baht.

I plan to continue to use the Bangkok Bank NY Branch Foreign Remittance Service each month even though it takes around 11 or so days to receive the funds. The deposit does receive the FTT code by Bangkok Bank. Thus, I can obtain the letter from Bangkok Bank listing all my foreign deposits of at least 65k each month for the preceding 12 months when I go for renewal of my annual extension for retirement.

Using the 800k baht on deposit or the 65k monthly income (transfer) is a matter of choice for the individual depending on their own circumstances or preferences. I posted the information re Bangkok Bank NY Foreign Remittance Service for those that use the 65k monthly income method and can no longer get an Embassy income letter (USA, UK, & Australia) to consider if they do not have another means that will provide proof that they have transferred at least 65k each month into their Thai bank account.

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Re: Problems with Wise transfers to Bangkok Bank

Post by Jun »

2lz2p wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:20 am
I am not sure where the 2,000 baht per month comes from. Using the Bangkok Bank NY Foreign Remittance Service cost me about 530 baht not 2,000 baht - thus one year would be 6,360 baht.

The fee charged by the NY branch for transfers of US$2,000 to US$50,000 is US$10 or around 330 baht(the US$10 fee is the same they charged for domestic ACH transfers which myself and many others used until they had to accept only Int'l ACH transfers - a method which most US banks do not provide for retail customers thus eliminating using the ACH system).
To get a total cost of the transaction, you also need to include any loss on the exchange rate to the charges levied by the banks. Compared v the mid-market rate on XE.
The greedy British banks charge about 3%.
The US example quoted earlier seems to be in the same ballpark.

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