While it might be tough to return physically to our home countries just now, thankfully there’s a quick and easy currency exchange service in Hong Kong to help us get our money there. We find out more about a new app that offers an easy way to transfer money all over the world.
There are plenty of reasons why an expat in Hong Kong might find themselves needing to transfer money overseas. You might have to pay for a child’s boarding school fees abroad, for example. Or perhaps you’re keen to exchange HK earnings into your home currency when the exchange rates are favourable. Then, of course, there’s online shopping; with summer and school holidays here, you may be especially eager to tap into the global marketplace – that favourite dress you’ve seen in a Bali boutique, perhaps!
A rise in digital money transfers
COVID-19 has thrown up a raft of additional reasons, too. There are those who’ll be eager to help out family members who are isolated on account of travel restrictions or who may be battling some health related issues. Others might be relocating from Hong Kong entirely – they’ll need to send back any savings (from the sale of a home here, for instance) in order to set up a new life.
“I would say that in the midst of a pandemic, the customer experience side of transferring money overseas is more important than ever,” says Australian expat Jane Wright. “I want to be able to handle my remittance needs with ease.”
Trust is another important factor. “When I’m sending money abroad, I look for a credible and reliable brand because security is so important,” says Jane. “I think that banks have traditionally been seen as very trustworthy in this way; but the downside is that they usually offer less competitive exchange rates. And often the services you might be able to get from a relationship manager at a bank are offered to VIPs only.”
An easy app option
These factors drove the team at money service provider KVB Group to come up with an alternative. It was clear to them that a user-friendly app, with accompanying professional services, would be very useful for anyone needing to do money transfers.
The product they developed is GCFX, an app that offers easy transfers all over the world.
How does it work? The first step is to download the app and sign up with an email address and password. Same-day set-up of your account is simple, too; you just need a few relevant documents – GCFX uses a digital non-face-to-face (eKYC) process with facial recognition features for this. Then you’re good to go. After checking rates on the app and placing a transfer request (all major currencies are supported), it’s just a matter of depositing money into the recipient’s account using one of GCFX’s multiple options for sending and receiving: this can be via a bank deposit, an FPS transfer, POLiPay (for those in Australia or New Zealand), Alipay and Union Pay (for those in mainland China).
No hidden charges
And that’s it! There’s no minimum amount; plus, the exchange rates are competitive and the fees are transparent, with no hidden charges. Things like bank charges and GCFX’s competitive exchange rates are clearly displayed by the app before you confirm the deal.
Finally, if you do happen to be leaving Hong Kong (we’ll be sorry to see you go!), KVB can help families and businesses move their assets securely, and across borders seamlessly.
KVB Group was established in Auckland 20 years ago; it is globally licensed and regulated, with offices in Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The GCFX app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store. Find out more at gcfx.kvbgc.com.
In Hong Kong, the services of foreign exchange and remittance is provided by KVB Trading (Hong Kong) Limited (MSO License: 13-03-01142)
This article first appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.