The Bank of Korea and the Financial Services Commission announced that real-time remittances are available between Korea and Vietnam from Dec. 15. The service will be provided by KB Kookmin Bank, Korea Exchange Bank, Woori Bank, NH Nonghyup Bank, Hana Bank, Jeonbuk Bank, and Jeju Bank.
The new service takes the place of SWIFT, which can be used in most banks around the world, but takes a couple of days until remittance receipt. SWIFT is also prone to remittance failures caused by mistyping information, and it is not easy to check whether or not the remittance is received. Wire transfer service providers such as Western Union and Money Gram provide real-time services, but the fees are high, and real-time remittance checks are not available in most cases.
However, the new service that uses a cross-border payment and settlement system network allows real-time remittance checks and imposes lower fees. Specifically, the fee for sending US$3,000 to Vietnam is 46,000 won (US$41.85) via SWIFT, 84,000 won (US$76.39) for wire transfers, but only 36,000 won (US$32.65) maximum for the new service.
Only U.S. dollar remittances are available for now, and the maximum amount of a single remittance is US$5,000. The financial authorities are planning to raise the limit while applying the system to other currencies such as Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, and those of Asia Payment Network (APN) countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Australia.