8 free calling and chat apps for expats in Asia

Expat life
18 May 2023
7 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

We’ve all dealt with this problem long before the days of dial-up internet, when what seemed like an eternity was spent sending letters or even using morse code to keep in touch with our loved ones. It was straining on both wallets and patience!  

But these days, thanks to advancements in technology, there’s no excuse when it comes to staying in touch, that expensive overseas call need no longer be a point of dread. With modern free calling and chat apps available to expats, it’s easier than ever to keep up with the people you hold closest.  

To make sure you’re maximising your tech capabilities for communication we’ve compiled a list of call and chat apps for you to try out.  


Remember the dreaded days where you’d butcher your phone bills as soon as you exceeded your message limit? That’s how WhatsApp took off. Launched with much more sophisticated features than plain old text messaging, the app has come a long way in recent years.  

From sharing photos and music to even making voice calls, there’s plenty you can do with it! And that end-to-end encryption feature makes sure all your private moments stay safe and sound.  

Someone really was doing their homework – with over 2 billion users across 180 countries, it’s clear that WhatsApp’s success speaks for itself! Now here’s something fun – did you know the name is actually derived from the phrase “What’s Up?” Talk about an ‘Aha!’ moment! 


Skype truly is the answer to those who have friends and family all over the world, or just don’t want to worry about racking up phone bills for business negotiations! With a simple download, you can connect with anyone and everyone instantly – plus it’s free! You can upgrade to a subscription if you’re trying to do something special like call a phone number or send an SMS. 

Now if some of those annoying relatives are giving you trouble, whip out Skype and put them on mute *wink wink* . You deserve a hassle-free connection and Skype makes it very easy for you to get that – go ahead and give it a try! 


Viber is the perfect tool to keep up with your loved ones, no matter where they live! It’s like a digital hug! All those long conversations and nightly check-ins you wish you could have without busting your budget are now met with Viber.  

Keep reading recipe tips late into the night, or ask for advice when needed – all while keeping your chats private and secure. Good news – if someone you want to catch up with isn’t on Viber, no problem! You can also make international calls to cell phones and landlines in any corner of the world with a Viber Out subscription. Now say hi to friends and family around the globe with no stress on your wallet! 

Google Hangout 

Google Hangouts is a megaphone for your blasting needs! With it, you can call, phone, text and speak to anyone in the world (or just down the street). Send a message or conduct a business meeting with ease. It’s all in one package – better than buying your veggies at the farmer’s market!  

Google Talk, Hangouts and even parts of Google Voice have been integrated into one platform that fits right in your pocket. Reaching out is easier than ever; just insert a name or email address into their contact list and shout your message to the world – no need to holler from mountain tops! Not only voice calls can be made but google credit may also be needed with some of these more outlandish requests.  

All this communication tech and convenience housed under one roof? That’s a veritable Tower of Babel if I do say so myself! 

Facebook Messenger 

It’s no surprise that elderly folks are spending most of their time on Facebook these days, so why bother trying to teach them how to use the newest apps when Messenger can do it all? With just one app, your Grandma or Grandpa can connect with you on whatever device they prefer, from Facebook and Instagram chats to Portal or Oculus (if they’re feeling adventurous). Don’t worry about having to update as many applications – Messenger is all you need! 


Do your conversations get boring sometimes? Break up the dullness with some high-speed texting via Telegram. With its incredible features, you and your friends can now stay connected all around the clock.  

Need to discuss something important with a whole group of people? No need to worry – create groups with up to 200,000 members and feel like a king! With special tools for admins, it’s just what you need for that break-your-friend group chat.  

Also, no more stressing over device storage when sharing media – they’ve got perfect file sharing options! And let’s not forget their photo editor which will make your pics come alive. On top of that, there are tons of fun stickers so you’ll never run out of ways to express yourself – after all, wasn’t our generation raised on emojis? Get ready for an exciting ride with Telegram! 


With Signal, your private messages and media won’t fall into the wrong hands – perfect for highly sensitive conversations! Whether it’s a serious political update or a funny picture of your cat, they’ve got you covered with top-level encryption. 

You’ll also find some incredible privacy tools that even James Bond would be envious of – face fuzzing to protect your identity and setting messages to self-destruct if you need an extra level of security.  

Plus, their strict verification system ensures that those naughty messages stay exactly between you and your friends – not in the hands of snooping government agents. It’s time to stop worrying about text privacy so you can enjoy all the fun conversation starters with your family and pals! 


WeChat is an app from the future! Thanks to its rapidly expanding list of features, it has become the one-stop-shop for anything related to the daily routine of a Chinese person. Forget about buying stamps or calling up your family; now all you need is WeChat! Already boasting options for payments, mini programs and Moments (kinda like tweets, but way cooler), it’s no wonder people have nicknamed it the Super App.  

Using WeChat feels like hopping into a DeLorean and zooming towards levels of convenience we never thought were possible – not only does it make our lives immensely easier, but WeChat also supports users from around 200 countries and regions, so people from all over can take advantage of its wonderful features. 

Before you go… 

Don’t forget that free chat and phone apps are the perfect tools to help make your expat experience a breeze. Now, if you’re already there, we have another way to smooth things out even more – Instarem!  

Let’s face it, transferring money overseas the traditional banking way is kinda like when your car breaks down, but you don’t want to get it professionally fixed – what a hassle, right? That’s why Instarem should be your go-to for all international money transfers.  

We’ll save you from any unnecessary headaches with our easy-to-use app,  low fees and competitive FX rates. So wherever you are in the world , and whatever your needs, download the apporsign up on the web and see how easy it is to send money with Instarem. 

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned. 


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About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.

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