Pro-international banks, max monthly international transfers and expat financial advisors

joi

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Apr 17, 2021
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Hi all,
I have a couple financial questions, I'm hoping to get advice on:
  1. Because I do not have an Indonesian phone number (I use a US number that works wherever I travel and is connected to all my accounts), I cannot access the Mandiri banking app, nor their online banking which require a local phone number. When I did carry a spare Indo phone only for my Mandiri account, I couldn't do any banking when travelling abroad which was also frustrating. Are there banks in Indonesia you would recommend that will allow me to use my US phone number to log onto their mobile app and online banking?
  2. I earn rupiah but still hold a mortgage and various investments in the US. Mandiri will only allow me to transfer out the equivalent of a maximum $25,000 to the US once per month. This is hard because it often means I can't take advantage of good exchange rates in the moment, and when the one month waiting period is over, I often need to wait for the exchange rate to become favourable. I've seen posts that say an individual is allowed to transfer out a max of $100k and ones that say $25k - which is right? If I wanted to transfer out more than $25k during a favorable exchange rate time, how best can I do this?
  3. Do you have any recommendations for an Expat financial advisors/planners?
Thank you so much for your guidance here.
Best wishes,
Joi
 

snpark

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Buy a prepaid SIM and any old 2nd hand phone
App would work anywhere in the world. Can't see why the SIM would make a difference.

Don't bank with Mandiri

BCA for domestic
HSBC for international. Open a $ and a rupiah and you can switch between as much as often as you like. And Hsbc $ international pretty sure no limit but certainly wouldn't be a problem to transfer $100k in or out monthly

Also less like to encounter drama using Hsbc for international transfer instead of a domestic bank

I'm in finance but not for personal but that's my advice and what I use
 

joi

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Thanks SNPark, helpful.

The challenge is that in order to use an Indonesia banking app it sends a local SMS that doesn't work when abroad. I'm hoping to find a banking solution that doesn't require me to have a second phone, only for this reason. If there are no local options, it might unfortunately be the only solution.
 

gemima

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Thanks SNPark, helpful.

The challenge is that in order to use an Indonesia banking app it sends a local SMS that doesn't work when abroad. I'm hoping to find a banking solution that doesn't require me to have a second phone, only for this reason. If there are no local options, it might unfortunately be the only solution.
My "local" indo phone works internationally - what network are you on? Even without roaming my sms still come through with XL when I'm abroad.
 

centurion

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You can use Mandiri online banking with certification tokens. No SMS needed.

For transferring more than 25.000 USD you would have to have an underlying transaction. Mortgage payment should be considered a valid underlying transaction. In BI regulation, foreign debt, in case that you are an Indonesian tax resident, and the debt is from offshore, is considered as a valid reason for purchasing above the 25.000 USD threshold per month.
 
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snpark

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Yes mine also works internationally

Sorry I don't understand the problem? It's an indonesian number. It works internationally

Maybe it's your phone settings?
Very strange
 

joi

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Thanks all. When abroad, and I want to access my Mandiri account I could try to go to the online site or to the app on an Indonesian phone (i.e., the app is not available for a non-Indonesia phone number). In either case, as a security protocol, it sends a message to the Indonesian phone with a security code needed to log on online or in the app. When I'm abroad, the security code SMS is never delivered and I'm effectively locked out of both my mobile app and the online bank access. I use these SMS security number tokens regularly with other accounts with my US SIM and rarely have this issue. I just assumed it was because the SMS sent from an Indonesia phone didn't work when abroad - interesting that I seem to be the only one having this challenge. My hope was to find a different Indonesian bank that allowed me to download their banking app and connect it to my US +1 number but it doesn't seem like this is possible?

@centuruan - how are the certification tokens delivered? With email or via SMS? I can go into the Mandiri branch tomorrow and try to see if they can help me receive the certification tokens via email if that's an option - but I really just want if at all possible to have one phone, and have all my apps in one place.

@centurion you say the max to transfer is $25k, and @snpark you say you believe $100k is possible with HSBC. It would be so helpful to get clarity here. When I've asked at Mandiri bank they make it sound impossible even with a mortgage note, etc.
Has anyone used TopRemit? https://topremit.com/en/. It seems to let you transfer up to $100k and is backed by Bank Indonesia but this is so different from TransferWise limits, etc.

Thanks and sorry for the long message!
 

snpark

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www.hsbc.co.id

And never use a 3rd party banking app

Just use a normal bank directly

Wasn't transferwise recently hacked?
 

centurion

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Thanks all. When abroad, and I want to access my Mandiri account I could try to go to the online site or to the app on an Indonesian phone (i.e., the app is not available for a non-Indonesia phone number). In either case, as a security protocol, it sends a message to the Indonesian phone with a security code needed to log on online or in the app. When I'm abroad, the security code SMS is never delivered and I'm effectively locked out of both my mobile app and the online bank access. I use these SMS security number tokens regularly with other accounts with my US SIM and rarely have this issue. I just assumed it was because the SMS sent from an Indonesia phone didn't work when abroad - interesting that I seem to be the only one having this challenge. My hope was to find a different Indonesian bank that allowed me to download their banking app and connect it to my US +1 number but it doesn't seem like this is possible?

@centuruan - how are the certification tokens delivered? With email or via SMS? I can go into the Mandiri branch tomorrow and try to see if they can help me receive the certification tokens via email if that's an option - but I really just want if at all possible to have one phone, and have all my apps in one place.

@centurion you say the max to transfer is $25k, and @snpark you say you believe $100k is possible with HSBC. It would be so helpful to get clarity here. When I've asked at Mandiri bank they make it sound impossible even with a mortgage note, etc.
Has anyone used TopRemit? https://topremit.com/en/. It seems to let you transfer up to $100k and is backed by Bank Indonesia but this is so different from TransferWise limits, etc.

Thanks and sorry for the long message!
BCA has US-made vasco tokens for authorization of transactions, both business and personal. For Mandiri I use the same type of tokens for business banking, you can ask do they have for personal banking. By this you avoid SMS. The photo is attached.

According to BI regulation maximum is 25.000 USD without an underlying transaction document. Before it was 100.000 USD. Suggest speaking with some higher in the hierarchy in the branch or the bank. If you have an Indonesian tax number you qualify for the exemption, as payment of foreign debt is excluded from the limit.

 

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R Cameron

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Wasn't transferwise recently hacked?
No, or if you have seen evidence of such please post.

If you are referring to the post a week ago on the forum, the poster gave access to their computer to a scammer pretending to be Transferwise. The scammer identified them as a target because they posted publicly on Transferwise's Facebook page asking for help.
 

snpark

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Yes that was it
Not TW directly then but still related

And yes those tokens are great
Regarding sms (like the BCA visa pin number for online) that doesn't work as a SMS its a direct pop up where they send you a 6 digit pin if you do online trans

I think maybe the OP just needs to adjust phone settings for roaming ? The sms is free to receive anyway
 

gemima

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but I really just want if at all possible to have one phone, and have all my apps in one place.
Have you heard of dual sim phones? - I have both my Irish and indo number in 1 phone and it allows me to use my Irish number with my Irish linked accounts and the indo number with the indo ones. It's the best solution for me.
 

HappyMan

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No, or if you have seen evidence of such please post.

If you are referring to the post a week ago on the forum, the poster gave access to their computer to a scammer pretending to be Transferwise. The scammer identified them as a target because they posted publicly on Transferwise's Facebook page asking for help.
Strange. I also thought I had heard a report that mentioned them being hacked, and I even remember it being a huge number of users, but no passwords, just e-mail addresses and the like. Searching my podcast feeds and googling for it, I find nothing. It is such strange feeling to recall something that demonstrably did not happen.
 

waarmstrong

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I have not been able to use my Mandiri token to access my account from the USA for a year or so. I was told at my Mandiri branch, the last time we were in Indonesia the summer of 2019, that they were moving to the system using the Indonesian phone app, but the tokens would continue to be supported. The Mandiri token stopped working as the means to access the accounts from the USA about the time the country was closed due to the pandemic. Fortunately, most of the recurring changes paid from the account such as PLN were set up for auto-pay. We simply let the charges drain the account and then switched all our long distance financial activity to our Panin Bank Indonesia account for which we still have a working token that is not dependent on a phone number. Hopefully it will continue to work until we can again get a visa to visit and get the Mandiri account formally closed.
 

Nimbus

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Have you heard of dual sim phones? - I have both my Irish and indo number in 1 phone and it allows me to use my Irish number with my Irish linked accounts and the indo number with the indo ones. It's the best solution for me.
All iPhones since XS is capable of dual SIM; one ESIM and one physical SIM card.
 

joi

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Thanks all. Incredibly helpful. I'm very thankful for this forum.
I have opened up an HSBC account and now have access to an HSBC app that works beautifully from my phone. I also have a physical token generator which is great, and have moved most of my funds out of Mandiri.

@centurion thanks for the advice on qualifying for the BI regulation maximum. I do have an Indonesia tax number and US mortgage so hoping this should work. I've asked HSBC to look into this.
 

snpark

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Good. Yes the Hsbc app is pretty good. Like I said there is a semi secret online instant access account that pays u 3% as opposed to the normal account that pays zero. Suggest u keep ur bulk liquid daily cash there and then 1 or times a month as needed just transfer across a small lump for bills etc (you get 2 free w/d a month)
 

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