Xoom VS TransferWise

8 Must Knows Before You Sign Up

TransferWise VS XoomSummary

  • Xoom can be useful for smaller transfers ($1000 USD and below) especially where cash is needed.
  • How recipients receive money is very different between the two (this may be the decider)
  • Xoom only does personal transfers (TransferWise does business as well)

But wait there is more. 🙂

In some cases we think there are others you should consider and we will let you know about them.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which can save you money! For more information, see my disclosures here.

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The Big Differences

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Methods
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

The Big Differences

Xoom (review) and TransferWise (review) are worlds apart in many ways with some crossover. Before we dig into the nitty gritty, here are some big differences to save you a whole lot of time.

Personal VS Business Transfers

TransferWise offers both personal and business transfers while Xoom only focuses on personal remittance.

When it comes to business TransferWise takes international money to the next level starting with showing you the fees up front on their calculator and comparing with other services. Offering dedicated accounts that help you invoice easily (integrate with Xero), ability to hold multiple currencies, get paid like a local, or pay your overseas contractors and suppliers. You also get a multicurrency wallet and a MasterCard prepaid debit card for business expenses.

Costs and Fees

TransferWise keeps their fees low by using the interbank rate (explained) and by being very transparent about the fee they charge.

Xoom also charges a fee, but in addition to this they also have a margin built into their exchange rate.

This can increase the cost of your transfer. The key is to be aware of it and factor it into the total fees.

Western Union VS ZoomWhile Xoom is rarely the most affordable option, a whole lot of additional convenience can be gained like how your recipient gets paid.

Skip to “Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)below to learn more.

You might also like “Western Union Review” and “Xoom VS Western Union

How Your Recipient Gets Paid

Your recipient must have a bank account if you’re sending money with TransferWise.

Xoom, on the other hand, offers other options like cash payments, bill payments, and mobile wallet transfers.

Xoom Pros

TransferWise Pros

  • Xoom is a PayPal company they’re regulated in the (USA) FINCEN by both Federal and State Government institutions. Xoom is also registered with the SEC.
  • Top ranked customer service
  • Fast and secure international transfers to over 130 countries
  • Supports cash transfers and bill payments
  • Great online interface and easy to use
  • Quick transfers when funded with debit and credit cards
  • Keeps you updated on transfers
  • Low cost and transparent fees
  • Top ranked customer service
  • Variety of ways to fund your transfer (See “Ways to Send Money” below)
  • Multicurrency wallet with TransferWise Borderless
  • MasterCard prepaid debit card (with free ATM withdrawals up to $200 and available in UK, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand)
  • Both Personal and Business transfers
  • Regulated with FINCEN (USA), FCA (UK), Belgium (EEA), India, Japan, Malaysia, ASIC (Aus), FINTRAC (Can), Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.
  • Available in 59 countries and supports transfers to 60+ countries (including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Middle East)
  • Keeps you updated on transfers

 

Xoom Cons

TransferWise Cons

  • Personal transfers only
  • Complicated fee structure
  • Fees can be relatively expensive
  • Sending limits by user Level and country
  • No multicurrency wallet
  • No MasterCard debit card
  • Not available in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia
  • Fewer receiving countries
  • No cash payouts

Both Xoom and TransferWise are great for smaller transfers ($500 USD and below). But if you’re keen to save big on those large and extra-large transfers (Over $10,000 USD), we recommend services that reduced the percentage fees they charge as amounts increase.

1. Who Can Get One

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe (Eurozone and non Eurozone countries) and helps you transfer funds to 130 countries worldwide.TransferWise is available in 59 countries and lets you send money to 60 countries.

But you can only get the TransferWise Borderless card in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and US.

 

Winner: Tie

Xoom has a larger base of receiving countries but they don’t support registrations from residents of Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Asia, or Africa.

TransferWise has a relatively smaller based of receiving countries but they do have a great footprint in Asia, Middle East, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

But if you’re a frequent traveller, TransferWise is a great option to send money on the go or get paid like a local (you get bank details in major currencies like USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD with TransferWise Borderless).

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees)

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom’s transfer fees vary based on how you fund your transfer, the target currency, the amount, and the payout method.

The transfer fees include a transaction fee and a mark-up on the exchange rate (varies according to market fluctuations).

If you use a credit card or credit, you’ll pay additional fees.

For example, it costs about $30.49 USD in fees for sending $1,000 USD from the US to major destinations.

However, the fees are lower when you fund your transfer with a bank transfer and opt for cash pick up.

In the same example it is $4.99 for $1,000 USD.

Xoom also charges a transaction fee when you pay your bills (typically $2.99/ CAD 2.99/ GBP 2.99/ EUR 2.99).

TransferWise’s fees depend on the currency you’re transferring, the amount, and the method of funding your account.

TransferWise charges a percentage fee (of the transfer amount) and lets you move money at mid-market rate.

TransferWise’s fees ranges between 0.6-2% of the transfer amount, which is very competitive.

TransferWise also charges additional fees if you use a card which range from 0.69% to 4.33% if you use an American credit card.

 

Winner: TransferWise

Hidden Fees

Review of TransferWiseTransferWise’s transparent fee structure is the biggest reason why they’re so popular.

TransferWise keeps their costs low and transparent by charging only a % of the transfer amount. You can see the total amount your recipient will get before you initiate a transfer on the money transfer widget.

Since TransferWise has local bank accounts worldwide, they also keep 3rd party the fees low if not zero.

On the the other hand, while you can check the fees before hitting “Send ” on Xoom’s fee calculator, it’s not obvious what their total fees are. This is because their total fees include a mark-up on the exchange rate.

Also if you opt for a bank transfer to fund your remittance, banks can also charge fees. It is unclear if Xoom have local bank accounts in the areas they service.

Basically, if you can transfer bank to bank – the fees can be significantly less with TransferWise.

3. Currencies

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom supports both major currencies as well as a large number of exotic currencies for international transfers.

Overall, they support about 100+ currencies for the 130 receiving countries they support.

TransferWise supports over 40 currencies for local and international transfers, including major and exotic currencies.

Check out the full list here.

If you sign up for TransferWise Borderless, you can hold and manage 50 currencies. You can also transfer money and get paid like a local (especially with the local bank details in USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD).

Check the full list of currencies supported by TransferWise Borderless here.

 

Winner: Xoom

With a wider base of receiving countries and supported currencies, Xoom wins this round hands down.

4. Ways to Send Money

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom supports bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards to fund your transfer.TransferWise supports

  • Bank transfers
  • Credit cards and debit cards
  • Location-specific methods like SOFORT, iDEAL, Klarna, etc.

Before setting up a transfer, check out the currency specific guides here.

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise offers a wider variety of funding options depending on your location. Bank and card transfers are available everywhere, but other location-specific funding options are a great add on.

5. Payout Method

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom supports:

  • Bank-to-bank transfers
  • Card-to-bank transfers
  • Mobile top ups
  • Bill payments (for friends and family in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Vietnam)
  • Cash payouts
TransferWise only supports bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers for international and local payments.

 

Review of WorldRemitWinner: Xoom

Xoom supports cash payouts and easy utility bill payments in supported countries. So if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account, Xoom is a great option for your international transfers.

You might also like to compare Xoom with WorldRemit (review).

6. Transfer Speed

Xoom

TransferWise

How fast your money arrives depends on the payout method, the recipient country as well as the transfer amount.

Usually, transfers funded with credit or debit cards are received within minutes. However, large transfers ($10,000 USD and above), transfers funded by bank accounts (and sent to bank accounts), and transfers in exotic currencies usually take 3-5 days.

The great thing about Xoom is they keep you updated with regular text messages and email notifications about the status of your transfer.

TransferWise’s speed depends on two things: how you fund your transfer and your chosen currency.

Transfers funded with a credit or debit card are processed within a few hours (sometimes minutes).

In most cases, TransferWise tries to process your transfers on the same day. But sometimes it can take 2-5 days.

 

Winner: Tie

Neither Xoom or TransferWise offer instant transfers, and there isn’t a noticeable difference in transfer speed between them. In our experience, sending money with both has been easy and fast.

Speed of transfers is usually related to the time it takes for third parties like banks to dot all their I’s and cross all their T’s.

Generally, it’s always a good idea to consider banking hours and upcoming public holidays.

If you need instant transfers, PayPal or Western Union maybe your best bets.

7. Reviews (Incl. negative reviews)

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 21,000 reviews.

88% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience, while 4% had a “Good” experience transferring money with Xoom.

They loved the prompt service and the easy-to-use online and app UI.

However, 5% of the reviewers had a “bad” experience and we were keen to find out why.

We learnt that the main causes of those “1-star reviews” were:

  1. Poor exchange rate (Xoom isn’t the most affordable money transfer service and you will end up paying a premium for perks such as cash payouts and fast card-to-bank transfers).
  2. Transfer delays (Usually, Xoom is quite fast, but it’s always a good idea to work with a buffer considering banking hours and upcoming holidays).
  3. Blocked transfers (Xoom may put your transfer on hold if you go above your sending limits or attempt to send a business transfer from your account.)

Check out our full review of Xoom.

TransferWise is also rated 4.7/5 on Trustpilot with over 92,000 reviews.

86% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience and 8% had a “Good” experience with TransferWise

Most people love their transparent fee structure and easy-to-use interface.

However, 3% of users had a “bad” experience with the service.

Here’s why:

  1. Transfer delays (TransferWise tries to process your funds on the same day and the delays are usually due to hold ups at the bank’s end)
  2. Unexpected account suspensions (As a regulated service, TransferWise often audits the transfers to prevent theft or fraud. They may also put a transfer on hold if you send a personal transfer from a business account or vice versa.)

But the good news is TransferWise’s customer service team is known to rise to occasion and solve their users’ problems as soon as possible.

Check out our full reviews of TransferWise and TransferWise Borderless.

 

Winner: Tie

Both Xoom and TransferWise are solid performers when it comes to their reviews.

Both suffer from a relatively small number of negative reviews mostly from delays in the transfers and even suspended accounts both of which occur industry wide.

However, one of Xooms key complaints is their poor exchange rate which comes from people who bother to notice.

This combined with the particularly proactive customer service from TransferWise scores a few more points in our book.

8. Customer Service and Support

Xoom

TransferWise

Xoom offers multilingual phone and email support in English, Spanish, Filipino, French, and Arabic (timings may vary).

While they don’t have live chat, they do have a fairly comprehensive Help section on their website.

However, their customer service team can be slow to respond during emergencies.

TransferWise is known for their excellent customer service.Their team is easy to reach via phone, chat or email and are always happy to go the extra mile to help users out in a crisis.

They also have an extensive Help section.

 

Winner: TransferWise

Xoom offers multilingual support, but TransferWise shines with their prompt and helpful customer service. This is always reassuring when your money is on the line.

Verdict

3 Ties, 3 TransferWise Wins and 2 Xoom Wins, they are pretty close but as we have seen very different when you look at each part of the service.

Xoom offers more options and these come with a price.

Generally Xoom is rarely the most affordable option as total fees can add up compared to 0.6-2% for TransferWise.

TransferWise also has helpful add-ons such as a multicurrency wallet and prepaid MasterCard debit card (with TransferWise Borderless). Oh and, you can process both personal and business transfers on TransferWise.

So which service is right for you?

Essentially, Xoom is a good option if you’re looking for cash payouts below $1000. If can pay into a bank account TransferWise is most likely better.

Happy Transfers!

Xoom VS Western Union

8 Must Knows Before You Sign Up

Western Union VS ZoomOn one hand you have the oldest currency transfer company in the world – Western Union, established in 1851 and inevitably top of mind when you think “I need a fast, reliable, flexible option to send money across the world.”

On the other, you have Xoom – a new age giant with PayPal’s reputation and weight behind it.

At a glance, it may seem like they offer the same thing.

But when you dig deeper, there are important differences.

Good news!

We’ve done the research to make it easy for you.

Here we’ll show how Xoom and Western Union stack up against each other in 8 important categories.

To help, we award a Winner in each of the categories, so you can see what works best for you. (Look for the “Winner” in each category and don’t miss our verdict (below))

But wait there is more. 🥩 🔪

In some cases Xoom and Western Union may not be best for you and we suggest some alternative options.

Let’s dive in.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

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3 Big Differences

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Transfer Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Methods
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

3 Big Differences

Before we get stuck into the 8 categories, it can help a lot to know the big differences between Xoom (review) and Western Union.

1. Type of payments

Xoom only offers personal remittance options.

That is, you can only send money to and pay bills for your friends and family. They have a bunch of checks and balances in place to verify that funds are indeed being transferred for personal purposes to remain in their scope of service.

Western Union, on the other hand, offers both personal and business transfers.

They have a wide network of agent locations across the world and this makes it easy for them to support both smaller and larger transfers for personal or business purposes.

2. How you send money

Xoom is for folks who are comfortable handling all aspects online. They have a great online interface and an easy-to-use app that lets you check their fees, set up transfers, and stay updated on the status of your transfer.

Western Union lets you set up transfers online, in cash at agent locations, via their app, or on a phone call.

Essentially Western Union has got your back whether you’re comfortable setting up everything online or need to speak to a human during the process.

3. Helpful extras

Xoom’s extra services include bill payments for your family and friends.

Apart from bill payments and business transfers, Western Union also offers a prepaid debit card (the Netspend card – powered by MasterCard or Visa, depending on the country).

Xoom Pros

Western Union Pros

  • A PayPal company
  • Available in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe
  • Supports transfers to 130 countries worldwide
  • Easy-to-use online interface and app
  • Cash payouts, bill payments, and mobile top ups
  • Fast transfers when funded with a credit or debit card
  • Transfer notifications
  • Registration from 70 countries and transfers to 200+ countries (Including US, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Middle East)
  • Supports cash payouts, bill payments, and mobile wallet transfers
  • Set up a transfer online, at a physical agent location, or via a phone call
  • Flexible transfer speeds
  • Prepaid debit card
  • Personal and business transfers

 

Xoom Cons

Western Union Cons

  • Relatively expensive service
  • Not available in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Middle East
  • Complicated fee structure
  • Personal transfers only
  • Sending limits based on usage level and country
  • No debit card
  • No support at physical locations
  • Relatively expensive service
  • Complicated fee structure
  • Poor reviews

Both services are relatively expensive compared with most money transfer services which focus on transfers to bank accounts.

There are also services like WorldRemit (review) that allow cash pickups which are cost effective and excellent.

While Western Union is available in almost every country worldwide, their “Bad” reviews (uncovered below) are far more significant compared to Xoom. 

If you are planning on sending smaller amounts of a few hundred dollars quite regularly, don’t miss our discussion comparison of remitters which also includes like Skrill, Remitly and Moneygram.

1. Who Can Get One

Xoom

Western Union

You can sign up for Xoom from the US, Canada, UK, and Europe (Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries) and transfer money to 130 countries worldwide.Western Union accepts registrations from over 70 countries and lets you send money to 200 countries around the world.

Wondering if they support sign ups or have agent offices in your location? Hop over to their website, scroll down to the footer, and search for it in the drop down list.

Quick note:

The availability of their Netspend prepaid card may be limited to the US, some Latin American countries, and Europe.

Winner: Western Union

While Xoom has a wide base of receiving countries, the supported sender countries are limited.

Western Union has both – a wide base of both sender and receiving countries, including over 500,000 agent locations and pick up points.

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees)

Xoom

Western Union

Xoom’s transfer fees vary based on

  • The transfer amount
  • The pay out method
  • The target currency
  • How you fund your transfer

Their transfer fees include a transaction fee plus a mark-up on the exchange rate (which is not so easy to figure out, but can be figured out as we show here).

For the transparent part of the fee, typically you’ll pay about USD 30 in fees for sending USD 1,000 from the US to common destinations (card-to-bank transfer).

You’ll definitely pay a lower amount – about $4.99 USD – if you fund your transfer with a bank transfer.

And a quick heads up:

Xoom also charges a transaction fee when you pay your bills abroad (fees are typically USD 2.99/ CAD 2.99/ GBP 2.99/ EUR 2.99).

Western Union’s fees vary according to

  • Your chosen transfer speed
  • The target currency
  • The funding method

Western Union’s transfer fees also vary according to market fluctuations and the rates displayed on their website.

Here’s the fine print:

“Western Union will calculate its exchange rates on the basis of the interbank rates available in the market, plus a margin.”

Typically, you’ll pay a maximum of 6% mark up on the exchange rate + a transfer fee based on the transfer method, pay out method, and the transfer speed.

For example, your transfers will be more expensive if you fund the transfer with a credit and opt for the Money in Minutes plan.

Learn more about their fee break up for instant transfers here.

Western Union Netspend card fees

The Western Union debit card also comes with a bunch of fees including monthly fees, ATM withdrawal fees, inactivity fees, etc.

 

Winner: Tie

Both Xoom and Western Union have complex fee structures but you have a lot of flexibility in the way you fund the transfer and the way money is received.

Trying to figure out the exact fees you are being charged is quite difficult especially considering the biggest fee is often the margin built into the exchange rate which you need to calculate to get a full break down of of all the fees.

Even then, there may be other fees.

Additional (sometime hidden) fees

Additional fees that can drive up the cost of transferring money with Xoom and Western Union include a cash advance charged by your credit card company and fees charged by banks at either end for (bank-to-bank transfers).

And if you’re opting for Western Union, some agent locations may also charge pick up or set up fees.

Bottom line?

Xoom and Western Union are rarely the cheapest options for moving money internationally. But it can be worth paying a premium for the flexibility they offer.

However for transfers less than $7000 USD if you’d like to save big on transfers and instant transfers aren’t high on your list, we recommend going with TransferWise (review) who are known for their low, very transparent fee structure. If you need cash to arrive check out WorldRemit (review).

You might also like our comparison of TransferWise VS Western Union

3. Currencies

Xoom

Western Union

Xoom supports a large number of major as well as minor currencies for international transfers.

Overall, they support about 100+ currencies for the 130 receiving countries.

Western Union supports 130+ currencies for their 200+ receiving countries,

However, not all the sender countries support all the 130+ currencies (but you can easily check supported currencies for your country on Western Union’s location-specific domain).

 

Winner: Western Union

Western Union wins this round with a larger selection of supported currencies.

4. Ways to Send Money

Xoom

Western Union

You can fund your Xoom transfer with

  • bank transfers
  • debit cards
  • credit cards

But you can’t use your PayPal balance to set up your transfers or bill payments abroad.

Western Union’s funding methods vary according to the sender’s currency and the selected currency corridor.

Usually, you can fund your transfer with

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank account
  • Cash (in-store)
  • Wire transfer

 

Winner: Western Union

Western Union has a slight edge here with cash inputs for setting up transfers (but it can make a world of difference to some folks).

5. Payout Method

Xoom

Western Union

Xoom supports:

  • Bank-to-bank transfers
  • Card-to-bank transfers
  • Mobile top ups
  • Bill payments (for family and friends in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Vietnam)
  • Cash payouts
Western Union supports:

  • Bank-to-bank transfers
  • Card-to-bank transfers
  • Cash pick ups (at 500,000 Western Union agent locations across the world)
  • Bill payments
  • Mobile Wallet Payments
  • Prepaid card top ups

 

Winner: Tie

Xoom and Western Union are head-to-head here with all the different payout methods. So if you’re looking for a lot of flexibility for your transfers, you can’t go wrong with either service.

6. Transfer Speed

Xoom

Western Union

Transfer speed on Xoom depends on the payout method, the transfer amount, and your recipient’s location.

Typically transfers funded with credit or debit cards arrive within minutes.

But larger transfers ($10000 USD and above), transfers in exotic currencies, and bank-to-bank transfers take longer (3-5 days).

Western Union offers three plans for your transfers that determines the transfer speed:

  • In Minutes
  • Next Day
  • Three Day

The fastest option is “In Minutes,” which allows your recipient to collect the cash from an agent location within 10 minutes (must be funded with a credit card; typically more expensive due to the attached cash advance fee and the fee charged by the agent).

Bank-to-bank transfers are the cheapest but they also take longer (3-5 days).

There are also sending limits for each service:

In Minutes & Three Day – $2500

Next Day – $500

 

Winner: Western Union

Western Union offers a lot of flexibility so you can choose your transfer speed based on your needs.

While Xoom’s card-to-bank transfers also usually arrive in minutes, this can vary based on the currency corridor and amount.

So if you need specific and assured timelines for your transfers, Western Union is a great option.

And though the “In Minutes” service is usually more expensive, it’s well worth paying a premium during emergencies.

7. Reviews (Incl. negative reviews)

Xoom

Western Union

Xoom is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 21,000 reviews.

88% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience, while 4% had a “Good” experience transferring money with Xoom.

The reviewers raved about the prompt service and the simply online interface.

However, 5% of the reviewers had a “Bad” experience and here’s what we uncovered:

a. They were unhappy about the exchange rate: Xoom’s transfer fee is based on a lot of variables and they also charge a mark up on the exchange rate. But they also offer a lot of pay out methods and thus charge a premium.

b. Transfer delays were another cause for concern: Your transfer can arrive in minutes if you fund it with a credit card and if you’re exchanging a major currency. But it’s always a good idea to set your expectations based on the currency corridor, banking hours and upcoming holidays.

c. Blocked transfers were another big cause for dissatisfaction – Going over the sending limits or attempting to send a business transfer from your Xoom account can result in a hold up.

Check out our full review of Xoom.

Western Union is rated 3.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 17,000 reviews.

65% of reviewers had an “Excellent” experience and 19% had a “Good” experience.

Most of the reviewers loved their quick service and the support for setting up transfers.

However, 10% of the users had a “Bad” experience with Western Union.

Here’s the low down on the top causes of user dissatisfaction:

a. Transfer delays: These can be avoided by choosing the right service when you set your transfer. It’s also a good idea to factor in things like the currency corridor and upcoming holidays

b. Transfers on hold: Western Union regularly audits transfers to prevent scams, money laundering, and other illegal activities. Usually these are resolved pretty quickly (keep all important documentation like bank statements handy though).

c. Customer Service: Some users found it difficult to reach Western Union’s customer service, which can be concerning. But it’s reassuring that you can walk to your nearest agent office to sort things out.

 

Winner: Xoom

Both Xoom and Western Union offer a lot of flexibility for your international transfers by supporting a wide base of receiving countries, 100+ currencies, and a variety of payout methods.

However, Xoom has risen to the occasion and stepped up their customer service game, which has led to better user reviews on Trustpilot.

8. Customer Service and Support

Xoom

Western Union

Here’s how you can reach Xoom’s customer service team:

  • By phone (they offer multilingual phone support in English, Spanish, Filipino, French, and Arabic – timings may vary)
  • Via email (also multi-lingual support)

They don’t have a live chat option, but they do an extensive Help section on their website.

You can reach Western Union via

  • Via Email
  • On the phone
  • At a physical location for multilingual support

This is great for folks who’d rather not handle all aspects of money transfer online.

On the flip side, their customer service team can be slow to respond at times.

 

Winner: Xoom

Both services offer multi-lingual support, which is really helpful.

In some cases, while Western Union can be reached at a physical location, Xoom’s customer service is easier to get hold of.

Verdict

With 3 wins for Western Union, 2 wins for Xoom, and 3 ties, you can be rest assured that both are potential options for moving your money.

But let’s make it easier for you.

Xoom’s edge: strong presence in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe with the convenience to set up and track your personal transfers online. If you need multi-lingual support, they’ve got your back. And, they support a variety of payout methods.

Western Union’s edge: supports sign ups from pretty much anywhere in the world, dedicated accounts for personal and business transfers, flexible transfer speeds and ways to receive money.

So which service is best for you?

We’d suggest you weigh your options based on your specific requirements: long term and short term needs (personal transfers only or business transfers as well), location, and target currency corridor.

Also consider that they have some great competitors (above) that should be considered if low, transparent fees are important to you.

Happy Transfers!

Venmo International Transfers

5 Best Alternatives

Venmo is great for local transfers in the US.

Alternatives to Venmo for International TransfersBut there’s one massive drawback – you can’t use Venmo for international transfers.

So what are the options?

Thankfully there are several workarounds that don’t involve painfully expensive and sometimes hidden bank fees.

Here are 5 great services you can turn to, depending on where you want to send money, the amount, and your preferred payout methods.

TransferWise for example enables you to do many of the same things Venmo does, but also makes international transfers cheap, fast and even fun. We will cover the details but if TransferWise doesn’t meet your needs, there are four others including WorldRemit, Remitly, OFX, and XE that should be perfect.

More on that in a bit.

First, let’s get clear on what you can and can’t do.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and potential savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

  1. What is Venmo?
  2. Venmo Costs & Fees
  3. Does Venmo Work Internationally?
  4. Can You Use Venmo While Overseas?
  5. Venmo Alternatives
    1. TransferWise
    2. WorldRemit
    3. Remitly
    4. XE
    5. OFX
  6. Venmo Alternatives Snapshot
  7. Verdict

1. What is Venmo?

Venmo is a payment service owned by PayPal with the exclusive intent of making mobile payments fast, easy, and affordable in the US.

With Venmo you can:

  • Send money to friends and family in the US using their phone number or email. They’ll get instant access to the funds if they have a Venmo account. If they don’t have an account, they can just create one in a few minutes. You can also sync your Facebook or phone contacts to find your payee. It’s that easy.
  • Pay for goods and services on apps that have approved Venmo as a payment merchant (there are plenty of those)
  • Easily split and settle up expenses with friends and family in the app
  • Track all your payments in the app
  • Make payments with your bank account, credit card, or debit card.
  • Apply for a Venmo MasterCard, which is widely accepted in stores in the US

2. Venmo Costs & Fees

How much does Venmo really cost?

The good news is Venmo doesn’t charge you for most of its services.

  • You won’t pay any fees for registering and holding an account
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • There are no charges for receiving payments in your Venmo account
  • No charges for online payments
  • Sending money from a linked bank account, debit card or your Venmo balance is free
  • In-network ATM withdrawals with your Venmo MasterCard are free

But there are some fees:

  • Out-of-network ATM withdrawals will cost you $2.50 per withdrawal
  • Funding a transfer with your credit card will cost you 3% of the transfer amount
  • Venmo Exchange Rate? Unfortunately there isn’t even an expensive option, because you can’t do it.
  • However you might be able to use Venmo while overseas…

3. Does Venmo Work Internationally?

Officially Venmo says that its service is “only available in the United States and only compatible with US based bank accounts and phone numbers. You must also be able to send and receive SMS/text messages from short codes.”

So the official line is clear, Venmo is “only available in the US”. However of course your US phone and US bank account can all be accessed while overseas.

This means in theory Venmo can be used while overseas and there are numerous posts online (like on reddit for Europe, Canada and the UK) that verify this is the case, but some suggest you might need to use a VPN.

Despite there being potential workarounds, Venmo is not a recommended option for international transfers. There are lots of fantastic service options available that more than fill the gap and could be cheaper and more convenient.

All the ones we suggest work well in the US as well!

4. Can You Send Money with Venmo to People Overseas?

If only Venmo had a foreign transaction fee. Since Venmo only works with US bank accounts and phone numbers if you need to send money to a family member to Canada or a friend who’s in Europe long term, Venmo is not the way to go as they will likely have bank accounts and cell phones in those countries.

What are the alternatives then?

Let’s dive in.

5. Venmo Alternatives

Don’t miss the Alternatives Snapshot table below.

5.1 TransferWise

TransferWise is a great Venmo alternative because in addition to international transfers some of their other services are pretty awesome too.

The important bit;

TransferWise makes bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers easy and affordable at interbank rates and they show you upfront exactly what you will pay in fees and you can even see how they compare with others. They specialise particularly in sending, receiving or spending money abroad and are on a mission to make it as cheap, convenient and fair as possible.

Visit TransferWise Widget and Compare

Availability: They are available from 59 countries (including US, UK, and Canada) and support transfers to 60+ countries in 40+ currencies.

Strengths: Low and transparent fees, easy online interface, great customer service, specialised in international money transfers

Fees: We love TransferWise for their transparent fee structure. Typically, TransferWise’s fees depend on how you fund your transfer (bank transfer or credit or debit card), the amount you’re sending, and the target currency.

Usually, their fees are between 0.4-1% of the transfer amount, which is extremely competitive compared to banks (who charge 3-5% of a transfer). Another great thing about TransferWise is that you’ll always be getting the best exchange rate with them. They never add a markup to the exchange rate which other providers typically do and believe in radical transparency.

TransferWise has created an alternative to the network that banks use to send money internationally, which allows it to minimise fees when sending money all aver the world.

TransferWise also offers a multi-currency account and a prepaid MasterCard (accepted pretty much anywhere globally and great for online purchases) You also get international bank details in major currencies like USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, SGD, and NZD which makes getting paid or accepting money in those currencies as if you had bank accounts in those countries. This means you can receive payments in those currencies for free and you avoid bad exchange rates.

If this all sounds pretty great check out our full review of the TransferWise Transfer Service.

5.2 WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a Venmo alternative for international transfers if your recipient doesn’t have a local bank account. With WorldRemit, you can send cash, initiate mobile wallet transfers, and even top up your recipient’s prepaid mobile with their Air time service.

Availability: WorldRemit is available in 44 countries, including the US, UK, and Canada and support transfers to 150 countries worldwide.

Strengths: Wide selection of receiving countries and many payout methods.

Fees: WorldRemit’s fees depend on the target currency, payout method, how you fund your transfer, and the transfer amount.

WorldRemit’s exchange fees depend on market fluctuations (so not at the interbank rate). They charge a margin on the exchange rate and their fees range between USD 3.99 and USD 24.99, depending on the currency and pay out method.

Typically, transfers funded with a credit card are more expensive and banks at either end can also charge fees. But their rates are still great compared to high street banks.

Cash transfers are a bit more expensive. But you can save big on your transfer if your recipient chooses to receive the funds in a local currency.

See our full review of WorldRemit here.

5.3 Remitly

Remitly makes currency transfers fast and affordable for immigrants based in developed countries to their families in developing nations.

With Remitly you can send cash as well as transfer funds to your recipient’s mobile wallet or bank account.

Availability: Remitly is available in 16 developed countries: UK, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden and supports transfers to family members in 50 countries worldwide (personal transfers only).

Strengths: Instant international transfers, focused on personal transfers, many payout methods.

Fees: Remitly’s fees vary based on your sending country, the transfer amount, selected service (Express or Economy – which determines transfer speed), and the target currency.

You can send money instantly to your family members with Remitly’s Express service.
These transfers can only be funded with a credit card and are typically more expensive. But it can be really handy in an emergency.

Their Economy service is more affordable but also slower (3-5 days). You can fund these transfers with a bank transfer or a debit card.

For some receiving countries, Remitly waives their transfer fees if you send more than USD 1,000 via the Economy service. This can turn out to be a great deal if you want to cover personal expenses for your family but don’t really need to funds money urgently.

Remitly limits transfers between the 16 sender countries, so Venmo is still a great option for local transfers in the US. But if you’re looking for international fund transfers in minutes to your family members who are based outside the US, Remitly is a great alternative.

Want more details on how Remitly works? Check out our full review here.

5.4 XE

XE is one of the biggest players in the international money transfer arena, with support for both personal and business transfers to almost every country across the globe.

Availability: XE is available in the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and supports transfers to 170+ countries in 60+ currencies.

Strengths: Supports many receiving countries, enables fee-free transfers (with a caveat) at the mid-market rate, phone support for transfers

Fees: XE makes money by charging a % on the mid market exchange rate (0.3-1.2% of the transfer amount, depending on the currency), and this fee decreases as the amount increases. This makes XE a great option for transferring large amounts (USD 1000 and above) to recipients who have a bank account (XE doesn’t support cash picks or mobile wallet transfers).

Want the low down on how XE works  see our full review here.

5.5 OFX

Looking for a currency transfer service that can help you process those large transfers ($7000 USD and above) from the US?

OFX lets you set up these large transfers online (bank to bank transfers only) and also provides phone support, which we find extremely reassuring. After all, when a substantial amount is on the line, it’s always nice to be able to speak to a human instead of jumping through digital hoops.

Availability: OFX is available in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and HongKong and supports transfers to 190 countries in 55 currencies.

Strengths: Great for large transfers, offers phone support.

Fees: OFX sometimes charges a flat 15% fee + a margin on the exchange rate for all transfers below $10,000. Plus, they have local bank accounts in over 115 countries and can help you avoid the extra fees banks may end up charging.
OFX may charge a fixed fee of $15, however if you click here you can avoid these fees all together.

Need more details before setting up your transfer with OFX and get the $15 fee removed, check out our full review here.

6. Venmo Alternatives Snapshot

Venmo AlternativeBest forLimitations
TransferWise – Check out their full review

Best Money Transfer Company Below $7000
One of the best and most affordable services for international bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers for low amounts ($7000 USD and below). Our top pick.No instant transfers, no cash pick ups
WorldRemit – Check out their full reviewAffordable transfers to 150+ countries from the US. Cash pick ups and mobile wallet transfers supported.No instant transfers
Remitly – Check out their full review Instant international transfers from 16 sender countries to 50+ countries worldwide. Cash pick up and mobile wallet transfers supported.Personal transfers only
XE – Check out their full reviewGreat for transfers from the $1000 US and above. Provides phone support for transfers.Bank-to-bank transfers only
OFX – Check out their full review

Best Money Transfers Above $7000
Excellent option for sending USD $7000 USD and above. Great phone support for transfers.Bank-to-bank transfers only

7. Verdict

Venmo is a no-brainer for transferring funds to friends and family if you’re in the US.

If you are travelling and have a Venmo account, it is probably not a good way to do as we discovered above.

But if you need to send money home, pay for things or even transfer funds to yourself internationally, you can’t go wrong with TransferWise especially amounts below $7000 USD. And if you’re a digital nomad, expat or frequent traveller, you’ll love the optional extras that come with TransferWise Borderless.

Want to send cash instead of a bank transfer? WorldRemit and Remitly (instant personal transfers only) are great alternatives.

And if you’re looking for some extra support and savings for those large transfers (amounts above $7000 USD), we suggest OFX or XE.

Happy Transfers!

Top 8 TransferWise Alternatives

Can You Do Better? – Costs, Services and Much More

TransferWise is no doubt one of the best money transfer services out there.

Alternative Competitors for TransferWiseSummary

  • Great rates, excellent customer service, transparency on fees
  • May not always be the right choice for you

What could you be missing out on? 🤔

And who can you turn to when TransferWise doesn’t line up with your specific needs? 👍

Let’s find out.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.

  1. 7 Ways TransferWise Works
  2. 8 Ways They Might Not Work (plus who might be better!)
  3. TransferWise Alternatives
    1. TransferWise vs TorFX
    2. TransferWise vs OFX
    3. TransferWise vs XE
    4. TransferWise vs WorldRemit
    5. TransferWise vs CurrencyFair
    6. TransferWise vs Remitly
    7. TransferWise vs N26
    8. TransferWise vs PayPal
  4. TransferWise Alternatives Snapshot
  5. Verdict

1. 7 Ways TransferWise Works

Before uncovering other services which may be better it is important to establish what is great about TransferWise.

TransferWise is known for their low and transparent (bank-beating) rates.

And here’s the kicker: You can see exactly the fees you will pay and how much money will arrive using this widget (opens new tab).

You can also compare with other services at the same time.

As you will see, they let you transfer money at the interbank rate which they call the “real rate” without charging a margin on the exchange rate.

So how do they make money?

By charging a variable % of the transfer amount, which they show.

As we said in our full review;

far cheaper than banks and insanely transparent starting with the real exchange rate and then showing the fees up front. They are particularly good at smaller transfers …

But wait – before we get stuck into transfers for many people the Borderless account is a potential game changer that you might want to know about.

The optional Borderless Account (review) enables a multi-currency account to hold and manage money in 40+ currencies, a prepaid MasterCard debit card (that’s great for online payments as well as while travelling) with international bank details in most major currencies (for example, GBP, USD, CAD, AUD, NZD, and EUR).

For now let’s stay focused on money transfers.

When is TransferWise right for you?

1.1 You’re comfortable handling all aspects of money transfer online: TransferWise is an online only service that lets you make card-to-bank and bank-to-bank transfers.

1.2 You want to send small amounts: Since TransferWise charges a % of the transfer amount in transfer fees, they are great for transferring smaller amounts.

Below $7000 USD / 4000 GBP /  9500 AUD/CAD / 5000 EUR is considered a small amount.

1.3 Your recipient has a bank account: Want to send money directly to your recipient’s bank account? TransferWise is a great option.

1.4 You don’t want any hidden fees: TransferWise maintains local bank accounts in all the areas it supports. This means your very unlikely to face any unexpected fees from banks at either end (while funding your transfer or when the transfer amount reaches your recipient’s bank account).

1.5 You need a multi-currency wallet: If you frequently move money for personal or business reasons, a multi-currency wallet is a great perk enabling you to switch between currencies with very low fees. Once you transfer funds to your wallet, you can easily lock in a favourable exchange rate and initiate a transfer.

1.6 You want a prepaid MasterCard debit card (no to low fees) for travelling and paying for goods online: The prepaid MasterCard debit card is issued free with TransferWise Borderless. There are no annual fees or minimum balance requirements. Plus, you get free ATM withdrawals of £200/month worldwide (with a 2% fee applicable after the limit). Currency conversion fees apply when you pay in a foreign currency online or withdraw money from an ATM abroad and a small fee is may be charged (wiki) to get the card in some countries.

1.7 You want international bank details in major currencies: With TransferWise Borderless, you get international bank details in GBP, USD, CAD, AUD, NZD, and EUR. This means you can get paid in these currencies without being charged a currency conversion fee. This is particularly helpful if you’re a frequent traveller or a digital nomad.

TransferWise (review) is available in 59 countries and lets you transfer money to 60+ countries worldwide, which covers all major and most lesser known currencies.

If you want to check how you can use them – check out their pretty handy currency guides.

2. 8 Ways They Might Not Work

2.1 You need phone support for signing up or setting up your transfer: Plenty of people aren’t comfortable handling all aspects of money transfer online. If you need to speak to a human while setting up your account and the transfer, check out TorFX instead (See “TransferWise vs. TorFX” below). TorFX is big in UK, Europe and Asia (inc Australia, New Zealand) but not available in North America, however the next one is and also has telephone support.

2.2 You want to send large amounts: TransferWise’s whole business was originally designed around smaller transfers and part of this came a fee structure and online platform focused on this. However for large amounts, OFX is our recommended preferred option. (See “TransferWise vs OFX” below).

2.3 You need a wider selection of receiving countries: TransferWise supports currency transfers between most major countries (59 sender countries and 60+ receiving countries). But if yours is not listed and you need more options, XE supports over 170 receiving countries (See “TransferWise vs XE” below).

2.4 You want to send cash or top up a mobile wallet: TransferWise supports card-to-bank and bank-to-bank transfers. If you need more payout methods, WorldRemit may be better for you. (See “TransferWise vs WorldRemit” below).

2.5 You want the most affordable rates: TransferWise is one of the most affordable currency transfer services out there, with rates up to 8x cheaper than banks. But sometimes, CurrencyFair can get you even better rates. (See “TransferWise vs CurrencyFair” below).

2.6 You want instant transfers to friends and family only: Currently, TransferWise doesn’t support instant money transfers. If you want to send money to your family members urgently, Remitly is a great option (See “TransferWise vs Remitly” below).

2.7 You’re based in the Eurozone and need an alternative prepaid card: The MasterCard prepaid card issued with TransferWise Borderless is a great option for frequent travellers and digital nomads. But if you’re based in the Eurozone (wiki), you should check out N26’s prepaid debit card (See “TransferWise vs N26” below).

2.8 You want to send money without revealing your bank details: If you don’t want to reveal your bank details to your recipient, PayPal is a great tried and tested alternative. (See “TransferWise vs PayPal” below)

3. TransferWise Alternatives

Prefer a quick overview? Skip to “TransferWise Alternatives Snapshot” below.

1. TransferWise VS TorFX

TransferWise

TorFX

TransferWise is an online only service.

Despite this, they are known for their great customer support and they have a comprehensive FAQs section (with country-specific guides) to help you with your transfer.

But TransferWise doesn’t provide phone support for getting signed up or setting up transfers which may be a deal breaker for some.

TorFX is a great option for larger transfers if if you like having industry leading telephone support.

They have two distinct offices to help based on where you are located.

TorFX (Asia)

TorFX (UK and Europe)

Once you sign up for your account, you can get phone support or email support for setting up your transfer.

You will also be assigned to a Personal Account Manager who can guide you.

Alternatively you can also initiate transfers online or via the TorFX app.

Check out our full TorFX review here.

2. TransferWise VS OFX

TransferWise

OFX

TransferWise’s fees depends on the amount you’re transferring, payment method, and the target currency.

TransferWise charges a percentage (0.4 – 1%) of the transfer amount as transfer fees.

These very competitive fees combined with their excellent online experience make them a sure choice for smaller transfers ($7,000 USD and below).

OFX VS TransferWise

OFX charges a flat $15 fee for transfers below $10,000 + a margin on the exchange rate.

However you can get that $15 fee waived for ever here, which makes them economical for both large and small transfers.

As for the margin on the exchange rate, as amounts increase the percentage fees charged actually decreases. (They start at about 2% and it goes down to 0.4%)

This fee structure combined with their online and telephone support makes for an excellent balance between fees charged and customer service needed.

For larger amounts, having the ability to lock in transfers online easily but then have telephone support to ensure the transaction runs smoothly makes them a winner for larger amounts.

 

Check out our full review of OFX and learn more about TransferWise vs OFX.

3. TransferWise vs XE

TransferWise

XE

TransferWise supports registration from 50+ countries (overall they have a great presence in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, and Asia) and they support transfers to 60+ countries.

TransferWise supports transfers in 40+ currencies.

When you sign up for TransferWise Borderless, you get access to a few more currencies for local and international transfers. However, the Borderless prepaid card is only available in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and US.

XE is a an excellent service for Europe, UK, US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand.

XE supports transfers in 60+ currencies to over 170 countries worldwide.

While the supported receiving countries may vary depending on your location, their coverage is pretty impressive.

They also have English, Spanish and French telephone support.

XE Money Transfers VS TransferWise

 

Check out our full review of XE and learn more about TransferWise vs XE.

4. TransferWise vs WorldRemit

TransferWise

WorldRemit

With TransferWise, you can make affordable card-to-bank and bank-to-bank transfers. This is great if your recipient has a bank account or you just want to send money to yourself.

WorldRemit VS TransferWise

Other than bank-to-bank transfers, WorldRemit also supports cash pick ups, mobile wallet transfers, air-time phone top ups, and door-to-door delivery (only in Vietnam).

This is helpful when your recipient doesn’t have a local bank account.

WorldRemit is also available in 44 countries and supports transfers to 150 countries worldwide.

 

 

 

Check out our full review of WorldRemit and see how TransferWise stacks up against WorldRemit in other categories here – TransferWise vs WorldRemit.

5. TransferWise vs CurrencyFair

TransferWise

CurrencyFair

TransferWise charges 0.4% – 1% of the transfer amount (depending on the currency) as transfer fees and doesn’t have an exchange rate mark up.

Plus, they have bank details in all the areas they support, so there are no unexpected deductions from banks at either end.

This makes TransferWise one of the most affordable money transfer services out there.

CurrencyFair VS TransferWise

With CurrencyFair, you can send money in two ways:

  • By swapping currency in their P2P marketplace
  • Direct bank-to-bank transfers

CurrencyFair’s fees depend on the transfer method and they charge a fixed fee (€3 or equivalent) + a % of the transfer amount.

Sign up using this link you get your First 10 Transfers Fee Free (opens a new tab).

When you swap currencies in their P2P marketplace, you can potentially secure a transfer below the interbank rate.

Moreover, CurrencyFair’s percentage  fees are also much lower than TransferWise’s fees

  • 0.4% – 0.6% of the transfer amount when CurrencyFair steps in to complete the transfer
  • 0.25% – 0.3% of the transfer amount when you opt for P2P.

Plus, they have local bank accounts in the majority of the supported areas (except New Zealand and Canada). This makes them the most affordable option in most cases.

 

 

CurrencyFair also supports registrations from and transfers to many island countries (for example, Anguilla, Aruba, Greenland, etc.), unlike TransferWise which services mostly popular currency transfer corridors.

See our full review of CurrencyFair and learn more about TransferWise vs. CurrencyFair.

6. TransferWise vs Remitly

TransferWise

Remitly

TransferWise tries to process most of their transfers within the same day. But in some cases, it may take 2 – 5 days for the money to reach your recipient.

The reality of this is that the banks at either end often take the majority of the time needed.

TransferWsie VS Remitly Review

Remitly lets you transfer money instantly to your family.

They offer two options of sending money:

Express – where your family can receive the funds in minutes. This is a more expensive option, but in case of emergencies you might be happy to pay a premium.

You can fund Express transactions with a credit or debit card.

Economy – This is a more affordable albeit slower option. You can fund these transfers with a bank transfer.

You can see what you will pay (desktop) or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.

 

Remitly supports bank-to-bank transfers, cash pickups, and mobile wallet transfers.

But here a few things to consider:

  • Remitly exists with a unique vision – to make money transfer easy, fast, and affordable for immigrants based in developed countries.That’s why they support registrations from 16 sender countries and transfers to 50 recipient countries. And, they don’t support transfers between these 16 sender countries. (The sender countries include: UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden)
  • You can only initiate personal transfers with Remitly (examples of personal transfers include utility bills, rent, medical expenses, or travel expenses).

See our full review of Remitly and learn more about Remitly vs TransferWise.

7. TransferWise vs. N26

TransferWise

N26

  • The prepaid MasterCard issued with TransferWise Borderless is available in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and US
  • There are no annual fees and no minimum balance
  • Enjoy free ATM withdrawals up to £200/month (2% convenience fee applicable after the limit). Currency exchange fees may apply.
  • Safe and secure online transactions (FX fees applicable)
  • Accepted pretty much anywhere in the world (200+ countries)
  • Contactless payments with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Available in the UK, US, and Eurozone
  • Free ATM withdrawals in euros for free option (Eurozone card holders)
  • Free ATM withdrawals worldwide for paid plans (1.7% on withdrawals for the free option)
  • Paid plans (N26 You and N26 Metal) bundle in better perks
  • Safe and secure online transactions (FX rates apply for currencies other than GBP or EUR)
  • Accepted anywhere in the world (where MasterCard payments are allowed)
  • Integrates with Apple Pay and Google Pay for contactless payments

 

The N26 card is not just a prepaid travel card. It’s a MasterCard debit card linked to a full-service bank account. Yep – N26 is a licensed (in Europe) digital bank and a great alternative to traditional banking for individuals and digital nomads who travel frequently or do business in multiple currencies.

Unlike N26, TransferWise Borderless is not a licensed bank and only has some banking features (such as holding multiple currencies in the multi-currency account and transferring money locally and internationally).

See our full reviews of TransferWise Borderless and N26.

8. TransferWise VS PayPal

TransferWise

PayPal

TransferWise supports bank-to-bank payments and card-to-bank payments. In either case, you’ll need banking details of your recipient.

TransferWise also has business services which are set to rival PayPal.

One of the biggest advantages of PayPal is the ability to send money to folks without knowing their bank details or revealing yours (you can simply send money to the email address associated with your recipient’s PayPal account).

You can also integrate PayPal into your payment gateway if you have an e-commerce store.

That said, all this convenience does come at a cost.

 

Overall, PayPal is a great alternative for sending money to someone without revealing your bank details or asking for your recipient’s details. However, the PayPal’s fees are quite hefty (6-8% of the transfer amount) compared to other players in the market and sometimes even high street banks (who charge 3-5% of the amount).

Check out our full reviews of TransferWise and PayPal.

4. TransferWise Alternatives – Snapshot

ServiceDifferentiator
Great phone supportTorFXOnce you sign up for your account, you can get phone support or email support for setting up your transfer.

You will also be assigned to a Personal Account Manager who can guide you through every aspect of the transfer.

Sending large amountsOFXOFX mix of online and telephone support combined with great fee fee structure makes them  a great option.
More options for receiving countriesXEXE supports transfers in 60+ currencies to over 170 countries worldwide.
More payout methodsWorldRemitWorldRemit supports cash picks, mobile wallet transfers, air-time phone top ups, and door-to-door delivery.
Better ratesCurrencyFairEnable transfers at exchange rates below the interbank rate with their P2P option.
Instant personal transfersRemitlySend money instantly to your family with Remitly’s Express option.
Alternative to the TransferWise Borderless Prepaid CardN26Get a MasterCard debit card linked to a full-service current account. You can receive your salary in the account, set up direct debits, and the card is also great for travelling.
Send money without revealing bank detailsPayPalYou can send money to a recipient’s email address associated with their PayPal account.

 

5. Verdict

Best Money Transfer Company Below $7000For the majority of people TransferWise is awesome and that is why we have voted it the best money transfer company for amounts below $7000 USD.

But don’t just take our word for it.

TransferWise is rated 4.6/5 on TrustPilot and even when we analyzed the negative reviews, we found that keeping the amounts below $7000 will avoid almost any potential issues.

But there are many moving parts while transferring money. And, while most services try to be comprehensive and all inclusive, it’s not always possible.

That’s why it’s important to stay in the know about each service’s strengths so you can choose the right one that speaks to your needs.

The reality is that it may make sense to use more than one service.

Happy Transfers!

TransferWise VS CurrencyFair

8 Must Knows Before You Sign Up

CurrencyFair VS TransferWiseSummary

  • Both are very low cost
  • Fundamentally differ in the way they move money, which will suit different needs better
  • Both excellent for smaller transfers, but we recommend others for larger transfers

Let’s see how they stack up. 🤔

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which can save you money! For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

The Big Differences

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Methods
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

The Big Differences

CurrencyFair and TransferWise are leading the way for smaller transfers (below $7000 USD). CurrencyFair keep fees low with its P2P (peer to peer) platform giving unrivalled control over the exchange rate while TransferWise is a leader in transparency on fees and excellent service online.

Above $7000 USD / 4000 GBP /  9500 AUD/CAD / 5000 EUR is considered a large amount and for these a provider that is designed for larger amounts is a better option. (See fees)

These fundamental differences can be explained by how they work.

How CurrencyFair Works

While most money transfer companies are happy providing a much better service that is just a fraction of the cost, CurrencyFair takes the world one step further to money nirvana.

CurrencyFair offer two low-cost ways of sending money – exchanging your currency in their P2P marketplace or processing the transaction directly when there are no peers in the pipeline. Either way, you save a bunch but using the P2P marketplace to essentially swap money safely with others. The experience is both empowering and potentially the cheapest way you will find.

It also helps that they offer Transumo users get the first 10 transfers free.

CurrencyFair (review) accepts registrations from an incredible 62 countries worldwide and lets you send money to 153 countries (See Costs and Fees” below).

How TransferWise Works

TransferWise is focused on transfers through their excellent online platform with telephone support for troubleshooting.

While they don’t offer “free transfers” they are also very transparent on fees –   So you can see exactly what you will pay using their widget here.

Guaranteed rates enable you to lock in a transfer for 24 – 48 hrs while you fund the transaction.

TransferWise also has some distinct value add with its offers a multi-currency wallet, prepaid Mastercard debit card and optional Borderless account (review). This gives you a bit more flexibility to hold, transfer, and receive money like a local providing international bank details in major currencies such as USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD.

Fees

Both TransferWise and CurrencyFair are very competitive on fees.

Both say they are “8x cheaper than banks”, but it does vary between different currencies and different amounts.

In our testing (and real life use) we found that both TransferWise and CurrencyFair are a indeed just a fraction of the costs and 8x cheaper can be achieved.

CurrencyFair can have an edge on TransferWise with its P2P marketplace but you have to consider that in order to execute on these rates the money needs to be funded in your CurrencyFair account.

TransferWise on the other hand guarantees the transaction rates they offer, and so while they might be just slightly more expensive your money can stay in your bank account until you have the transaction locked in.

Above $7000 USD we recommend OFX (review) because of their international customer support network and fee structure which diminishes as amounts increase. Alternately TorFX (review) gets excellent reviews and is recommended if you want the ultimate in telephone support from sign up to transactions.

CurrencyFair Pros

TransferWise Pros

  • Licensed and registered service under the European Communities (Payments Services) Regulations 2009 (Eur) through Ireland. Also regulated with ASIC (Aus).
  • Available in 62 countries and supports transfers to 153 countries
  • Two ways of sending money – P2P transfers and bank-to-bank
  • P2P transfers can get you exchange rates below the mid-market rate, making your transfer very affordable (See “Costs and Fees” below)
  • Extremely competitive fees for sending small amounts
  • Offers business accounts
  • Bank details in most countries
  • Multi-currency wallet for holding money
  • Licensed and regulated service with FINCEN (USA), FCA (UK), Belgium (EEA), India, Japan, Malaysia, ASIC (Aus), FINTRAC (Can), Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.
  • Available in 59 countries and supports transfers to 60+ countries (available in the US)
  • Affordable transfers at the mid-market rate (See “Costs and Fees” below)
  • Transparent fees with no margin on the exchange rate
  • Bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers
  • Bank details in all supported countries to keep transfer costs low
  • Can fund transfers with credit and debit cards in most countries
  • Multi-currency wallet (with TransferWise Borderless (review)
  • MasterCard prepaid debit card (free ATM withdrawals up to $200 and available in UK, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand)
  • Excellent customer service

 

CurrencyFair Cons

TransferWise Cons

  • No cash pick up or mobile wallet transfers
  • Customer service is difficult to reach
  • Not available in the US
  • No local banks in New Zealand and Canada which may attract additional fees (See “Costs and Fees” below)
  • Fewer receiving countries
  • No cash pick up or mobile wallet transfers

 

1. Who Can Get One?

CurrencyFair

TransferWise

CurrencyFair is available in 62 countries and supports transfers to 153 countries.

However, they’re not available in the US.

You can sign up for TransferWise in 69 countries and send money to 60 countries worldwide.

They have a good presence in almost all continents and are available in the US.

 

Winner: CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair supports more countries for international transfers, including registrations from and transfers to island countries (Anguilla, Aruba, Greenland, etc.). However, they are not available in the US yet, which can be a major drawback for some users.

Overall, if you’re located in Europe, UK, and Australia and looking for low cost transfers to both major and remote regions, CurrencyFair is a great option.

TransferWise doesn’t support as many receiving countries. But they do have a well-distributed footprint in Asia, Africa and South Americas and support registrations from the US.

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)

CurrencyFair

TransferWise

CurrencyFair lets you send money in two ways – by matching your exchange rate with another user in the P2P market place or sending it directly if you don’t want to wait.

Their fees depend on the transfer method and they charge a % of the amount + a fixed fee (usually €3 or equivalent).

Usually the % fees are higher when CurrencyFair steps in to complete the transfer (0.4% to 0.6% of the amount exchanged, depending on the currency pair).

But if you can wait, swapping with a peer can often get you an incredible exchange rate (near the interbank rate) and lower transfer fees (0.25% or 0.3%, depending on the currency pair).

You can also get the first 10 transfers free.

TransferWise’s fees depend on the amount, how you fund your transfer, and the target currency.

TransferWise is known for their transparent rates and affordable transfers at the inter-bank rate.

Typically, you’ll pay between 0.4-1% of the transfer amount, which is extremely competitive compared to banks (who charge 3-5% of a transfer).

Plus, they have bank details in all the supported countries, which means you’ll never face unexpected deductions (either for transferring money from your bank account to TransferWise or when your recipient gets the amount transferred to theirs).

Compare TransferWise and see exactly what you will pay using their widget.


Winner:
Tie

CurrencyFair is usually the most affordable option in most cases.

But CurrencyFair doesn’t operate local bank accounts in Canada or New Zealand, and a few other countries it supports registrations from.

So, while you can use the service in these countries and their fees may be lower the fees banks charge can drive up the total cost of the transfer. For smaller amounts these fees can be significant.

TransferWise also has local bank accounts in all the areas it services. This means you’ll see the exact amount you’ll pay and the amount your recipient will get on the currency convertor widget on their homepage before you initiate the transfer.

So which service is best for you? It really depends on where you’re from and which currency you want to exchange.

Once you get that down, you can’t go wrong with either service.

3. Currencies

CurrencyFair

TransferWise

CurrencyFair supports 21 currencies for local and international transfers and 17 currencies for receiving money.

Overall, CurrencyFair supports 38 currencies for sending and receiving money.

Check out the full list of supported currencies here.

TransferWise lets you set up international transfers in 20 currencies and local transfers in 30 currencies.

Overall, Transferwise supports 50 currencies for local and international transfers.

Check out the full list here.

If you sign up for TransferWise Borderless (review), you have access to a few more currencies for setting up transfers or if you want to get paid like a local.

Plus, with TransferWise Borderless, you get international bank details in major currencies like USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, and CAD.

Check the full list of currencies supported by TransferWise Borderless here.

 

Winner: TransferWise

While CurrencyFair has a larger base of receiving countries (153), they support fewer currencies for transfers.

That’s why TransferWise is the clear winner here, especially if you count the extra flexibility of the Borderless account.

4. Ways to Send Money

CurrencyFair

TransferWise

  • On CurrencyFair, you can fund your transfers with:
    • Debit cards
    • Bank transfers
  • After you fund your transfer, you can either opt for a P2P transfer or CurrencyFair can step in and send it directly to your recipient’s bank account.
You can fund your transfers on TransferWise with:

  • Credit and Debit cards (most countries)
  • Bank transfers
  • Location-specific methods like SOFORT, iDEAL, etc.

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise offers a lot more flexibility for funding your transfers, including debit and credit card support for most countries as well as some location-specific funding methods.

5. Payout Methods

CurrencyFair

TransferWise

  • CurrencyFair supports card-to-bank transfers
  • Check the full list of countries that support Express deposits with debit cards here.
  • They also support bank-to-bank transfers only.
  • TransferWise supports card-to-bank transfers for a number of currencies, including USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, CAD, SGD, etc.
  • TransferWise supports bank-to-bank transfers from all the supported sender countries

 

Winner: Tie

Both CurrencyFair and TransferWise support card-to-bank and bank-to-bank transfers from a number of sender countries.

So if your recipient has a bank account, you can’t go wrong with either service.

However, if quick access to cash is needed (as an expat or while travelling or send money to family), check out WorldRemit (review).

6. Transfer Speed

CurrencyFair

TransferWise

2-5 days

Here’s how transfer speed looks like on CurrencyFair:

  • Debit cards – Processed immediately and transfers are completed in 1-2 business days
  • Bank transfers: 2-5 business days
2-5 days

Here’s how transfer speed looks like on TransferWise:

  • Debit or Credit cards – Processed immediately and transfers are usually completed on the same day
  • Bank-to-bank transfers: 2-5 business days

 

Winner: TransferWise

On paper there’s very little difference between the transfer speeds of both the services, but here’s why we’ve picked TransferWise.

If you choose the P2P method on CurrencyFair, currency conversion can take a couple of days (instead of being processed usually on the same day).

That said, your transfers are processed quicker on both services if you fund it with a card (card-to-bank).

If speed is a priority neither TransferWise or CurrencyFair offer instant transfers like WesternUnion or WorldRemit (review) can. But speed often does come at a cost.

7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)

CurrencyFair

TransferWise

CurrencyFair is rated 4.7/5 on TrustPilot with over 4000 reviews. 84% found their service “Excellent” while 10% rated it “Great.”

But we were also concerned why 3% of their users had a “Bad” experience with the service.

After trawling through the negative reviews, we found that the top issues were frozen accounts and poor customer service.

As a regulated financial services provider, CurrencyFair needs to audit transfers for compliance and to prevent theft, fraud, and money laundering activities.

So frozen accounts – though disheartening – is quite common in the money transfer industry.

Check out our full review of CurrencyFair here.

TransferWise is rated 4.6/5 on TrustPilot with over 86,000 reviews.

86% of their users had an “Excellent” experience and 8% had a “Great” experience.

The 3% who had a “Bad” experience reported transfer delays and frozen accounts as the top causes of dissatisfaction.

Transfer delays can be avoided by understanding how long TransferWise actually takes to transfer your money, depending on the funding method or target currency.

Frozen accounts, on the other hand, are those that are under review by TransferWise (also a regulated financial services provider).

But the good news is TransferWise is always proactive and steps up to help their customers whenever they are in a jam.

Check out our full review of TransferWise and TransferWise Borderless.

 

Winner: TransferWise

Both CurrencyFair and TransferWise are excellent money transfer services in most cases. But when it comes to resolving customer issues, TransferWise has a reputation of saving the day with their fast response time.

For online-only services like these two, this can make a huge difference.

8. Customer Service and Support

CurrencyFair

TransferWise

CurrencyFair’s customer service team can be reached via live chat, email, or phone. They also have helpful guides on their website.

But while their email response time is pretty fast (2 hours on average), their customer support team can be hard to reach by phone (you may have to wait for up to 12 hours for a call back).

TransferWise offers excellent support to their users via phone, email, and live chat (depends on their workload). They also have an extensive Help section on their website.

Moreover, their customer service team is known for being fast and helpful when users hit a transfer snag.

 

Winner: TransferWise

Neither CurrencyFair not TransferWise have physical presence in the countries they operate to help folks with their transfers.

That’s why it’s so important to have a robust customer service team to reassure users. TransferWise seems to have nailed keep customer service high with costs low.

Verdict

With 4 wins for TransferWise, 1 for CurrencyFair, and 2 ties, it would be easy to say TransferWise is the winner.

But as we have shown, they are quite different and for some CurrencyFair will be the winner.

That said, I will try to make this easy!

If you’re looking for currency transfers between popular corridors, need international bank details in major currencies, and perhaps think a prepaid MasterCard is a great add on, TransferWise is a fantastic choice.

With TransferWise you can see what you will pay before you sign up using their widget and comparison tool and the currency/country guides make it easy to see if and how you can use them.

On the other hand, CurrencyFair provides a unique option with extremely low fees. For some, their P2P platform which provides more control and the best exchange rates in the industry is an excellent reason to use them. Also getting the first 10 transfers free will makes them hard to resist a trial run at the very least.

So which service is right for you?

It ultimately comes down to your unique long-term and short-term needs.

TransferWise VS OFX

8 Must Knows Before You Sign Up

It is true, OFX and TransferWise are both great options for transferring money overseas.

OFX VS TransferWiseTheir strengths include inexpensive transfers and top ranked customer service – two very important aspects of the money transfer process.

But can you swap out one for the other? 🤔

We don’t think so.

That’s because while they do have some common features, there are some important elements that set them far apart.

In the next few minutes, you will find which one will stand out over the other for your specific needs.

Let’s get stuck into it! 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which can save you money! For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

The Big Differences

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Methods
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

Below these amounts is a small amount for money transfer companies.

The Big Differences

TransferWise and OFX are far cheaper than banks but stand apart. Below $7000 USD, TransferWise is hard to beat for it’s transparency and excellent service online. Above $7000 USD and OFX comes into its own with diminishing fees and a combination of online and telephone support.

Above $7000 USD / 4000 GBP /  9500 AUD/CAD / 5000 EUR is considered a large amount.

These fundamental differences can be explained by how they work.

How OFX Works

OFX enables you to send money bank-to-bank by phone or online through desktop or mobile. If you do it by phone (24/7) you will find a “dealer” who you will find is effective at answering any questions you have and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Alternately most people do it all online and in this case you will find a simple but effective platform. Most the time you won’t test OFX’s abilities and that is a good thing.

However, especially with large amounts, occasionally extra help is needed, mostly because of the banks involved and suddenly those friendly dealers become the reason why we recommend OFX highly for larger amounts.

All this valuable human support however can come at a cost for smaller transactions and while they reduce the percentage they charge in fees as the amounts grow (see below) the $15 fixed fee is designed to cover some of the costs for smaller amounts.

This $15 though can be removed here forever on all transactions!

More about how these dealers can help is found in Customer Service and Support (below).

How TransferWise Works

TransferWise is focused on bank-to-bank transfers through their excellent online platform with telephone support for troubleshooting. Ridiculous transparency on their low fees where you can see exactly what you will pay using their widget here before you set up a transfer, in combination with great customer service makes them a highly recommended for smaller amounts.

They also have a modern and seamless online experience which makes everything from sign-up to transfers including regular email notifications a joy to use.

Fees

Both TransferWise and OFX are very competitive on fees. TransferWise says it is up to 8x cheaper than banks, but it does vary between different currencies and different amounts.

In our testing (and real life use) we found that both TransferWise and OFX are a indeed just a fraction of the costs.

TransferWise has an edge on OFX for smaller amounts where OFX charges a little more, but for larger amounts OFX comes into it own as they reduce the percentage they charge in fees as amounts increase. Above $7000 USD we recommend OFX because of their international customer support network.

Other Cool Stuff

TransferWise also offers a multi-currency wallet and a prepaid Mastercard debit card when you sign up for TransferWise Borderless (review). This gives you a bit more flexibility to hold, transfer, and receive money like a local.

Plus, with a Borderless account, you also get international bank details in major currencies such as USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD.

OFX Pros

TransferWise Pros

  • Licensed and regulated service with ASIC (Aus), FINTRAC (Can), FINCEN (USA), FCA (UK), Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.
  • Available in Australia, New Zealand, UK, US, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong
  • Offers phone support for transfers (Available 24x7)
  • Has physical presence in all the sender countries, which is very helpful for larger amounts
  • No minimum or maximum limits on currency transfer (daily or monthly)
  • Has bank details in most supported regions, which means you won’t pay unexpected bank fees (See “Costs and Fees” below)
  • Offers business accounts
  • Licensed and regulated service in all the same countries as OFX plus Belgium and the European Economic Area (EEA), India, Japan, Malaysia and UAE.
  • Available in 59 countries and supports transfers to 60+ countries (See “Who can get one?” below)
  • Low fees and transparent fee structure (See “Cost and fees” below)
  • Many ways to fund your account (See “Ways to Send Money” below)
  • Great option if you’re comfortable handling everything online
  • No unexpected bank fees as they have bank accounts in all supported regions (See “Costs and Fees” below)
  • Multi currency account
  • Mastercard debit card with TransferWise Borderless for online payments and travelling (card available in UK, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand)
  • Great customer service
  • Offers business accounts

 

OFX Cons

TransferWise Cons

  • Only bank to bank transfers
  • Doesn’t offer a multi-currency wallet
  • Smaller transfers can be slightly more expensive
  • Only bank to bank transfers (although they do have debit and visa card options for a fee)
  • No physical presence
  • No phone support for setting up transfers
  • Larger transfers can be slightly more expensive

 

We have slightly different recommendations to this video as you will see, but it does provide great overall information. Both companies are also regulated and operate throughout the world including the US, Canada, UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

1. Who Can Get One?

OFX

TransferWise

OFX is available in Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong and they let you transfer money to 190 countries worldwide.You can sign up for TransferWise in 69 countries and send money to 60 countries worldwide.

However, the TransferWise Borderless card is only available in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and USA.

 

Winner: Tie

TransferWise is widely available (more sender countries) while OFX supports more receiver countries.

So which among the two is right for you?

It comes down to where you’re located, where you want to send money, and how much money you want to send (The next section will make it clearer for you).

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)

OFX

TransferWise

If you don’t use this or one of the links on this page, OFX may charge a flat $15 fee on all transfers below USD 10,000 + a margin on the exchange rate.

In fact, their margin on the exchange rate decreases as the amount goes up and they charge no transfer fees for transfers above $10,000.

OFX has no maximum limits (daily or monthly) for transferring money locally or internationally.

This makes OFX ideal for moving large amounts especially when you consider the added phone support which can make transactions run far more smoothly.

TransferWise’s fees depends on the transfer amount, target currency, and how you fund your account.

Typically, TransferWise charges a small percentage (0.4 to 1%) of the amount and helps you initiate transfers at the mid market rate.

TransferWise doesn’t charge a margin on the exchange rate, which makes them ideal for smaller transfers ($7,000 USD and below).

 

Winner: Tie (depends on your needs)

TransferWise is the most affordable option of the two in most cases if you transfer smaller amounts. With no minimum amount and very low transparent fees.

On the other hand, while OFX can transfer smaller amounts (minimum $1000) much cheaper than a bank, it is designed for sending large amounts ($7,000 USD and above) with no transfer fees over $10,000 and diminishing margins on the exchange rate as amounts grow.

Hidden Fees

Some money transfer companies are not great at helping you to avoid some rather steep and often unexpected fees that the banks at either end of the transaction can charge.

However, one of the reasons we recommend both TransferWise and OFX is because they are dedicated to having local bank accounts in all the areas they service. This means they can often reduce these fees to zero or very low.

Transfers funded by a credit card on TransferWise do cost a bit more, but these fees are built into the total fees charged by the service. In fact, you’ll see the total amount your recipient will get before you initiate the transfer.

Transferwise V Currencyfair

Overall, both services strive to be awesome in every way and fees is no exception.

You might also like TransferWise VS CurrencyFair if smaller transfers are all you are planning to do and you want the absolute lowest cost service.

3. Currencies

OFX

TransferWise

OFX supports transfers to 190 countries worldwide in 50+ currencies.TransferWise supports 20 currencies for international transfers and 30 currencies for local transfers.

Check out the full list here.

But with TransferWise Borderless, you can expand your reach for local and international transfers.

Check the full list of currencies supported by TransferWise Borderless here.

 

Winner: OFX

Both OFX and TransferWise are at par here, with minor differences.

But OFX does support more receiver countries, which makes it a winner in this category.

4. Ways to Send Money

OFX

Transferwise

OFX supports

  • Direct debits from banks (preferred and most available method)
  • Debit Card
  • Wire Transfers
  • Some location-specific methods such as BPAY
TransferWise supports

  • Credit cards and debit cards
  • Direct debits from banks
  • SWIFT Payments
  • Location-specific methods like SOFORT and iDEAL

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise offers a lot of flexibility for funding your transfers.

While funding with a card can be more expensive on TransferWise (compared to a bank direct debit), they manage to keep the fees low by not charging a margin on the exchange rate.

5. Payout Methods

OFX

TransferWise

OFX supports bank to bank transfers only.TransferWise also supports bank to bank transfers only, but the do allow you to fund transfers using a credit or debit card (for a fee).

 

Winner: Tie

Review of WorldRemit

If your recipient has a bank account, you can’t go wrong with either OFX or TransferWise.

But if you’re looking for cash pickup and other payout methods, check out WorldRemit (review).

6. Transfer Speed

OFX

TransferWise

3-5 days2-5 days

 

Winner: Tie

Both OFX and TransferWise are strong performers when it comes to bank-to-bank transfers.

TransferWise however does allow you to use a credit or debit card to fund the transaction, which while coming at an additional cost, does mean you can save a day or two.

The reality of bank-to-bank transfers is that the time taken by the banks at either end is far more significant than the time it usually takes to convert your money.

In both cases they usually will not be holding your money for more than a day.

For example, TransferWise says, “Every currency and country is different. Converting your money can take a maximum of 2 working days, but it’s very rare that it takes this long.”

In our experience, both take a day or less (often just hours) to make the exchange which is no doubt helped by the significant volumes they both do in major currencies. For smaller currencies/countries you may find they need a little more time is needed.

Neither OFX nor TransferWise offer instant transfers like WesternUnion or WorldRemit (review).

You might also like TransferWise VS PayPal to see how PayPal compares.

7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)

OFX

TransferWise

OFX is rated 4.2/5 on TrustPilot with 3,500+ reviews.

80% had an “Excellent” experience and 10% had a “Good” experience with them.

Their users loved the fast and efficient service as well as the excellent phone support provided by their customer service team.

But 6% of their users also had a “bad,” experience and we were keen to find out why.

On digging deep, we found that the top causes of dissatisfaction were delayed or slow transfers and unexpected account blocks.

Usually, transfers are slow if you’re converting and sending in regulated currencies (such as Chinese Yuan, South African Rand, or Korean Won, etc.), if you’re sending money over a weekend, or there are any missing details.

And, as a regulated financial services provider, OFX conducts regular audits to make sure the transfers are processed in line with their scope of service. This means your transfer can be blocked if you’re initiating a business transfer from a personal account or vice versa.

Check out our full review of OFX here.

TransferWise is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 86,000 reviews.

86% of their users had an “Excellent” experience and 8% had a “Good” experience with them.

TransferWise users love their transparent fee structure, affordable rates, and easy-to-use online interface.

However, 3% of users had a “bad” experience with them, which were due to transfer delays and unexpected account suspensions.

TransferWise tries to process your transfer requests as soon as possible, and usually the hold ups are caused by the banks at either end, who also need to audit the transfers.

As for account suspensions, TransferWise needs to check for compliance with local and international transfer policies, as a regulated financial services provider.

But the good news is they aim to resolve these issues as quickly as possible to make sure your money reaches your recipient without unnecessary delays.

Check out our full reviews of TransferWise and TransferWise Borderless.

 

Winner: Tie

Here is what really matters.

Relative to their competitors, both OFX and TransferWise are both great examples of keeping issues to a minimum and having a customer-centric approach to solving problems.

While regulation is mostly a good thing, it can cause unexpected delays, but this is the same with any money transfer service. The key here is you don’t have to worry if you hit a bump in the road.

8. Customer Service and Support

OFX

TransferWise

OFX can be reached by email or via their location-specific phone numbers (available 24x7).

They are particularly known for providing excellent support over the phone, whether you need to set up a transfer or if you need any other information related to your transfer.

They also have a fairly extensive FAQs section on their website.

TransferWise’s customer service team can be reach via phone, email, or live chat (depending on their workload).While they don’t offer phone support to set up transfers, their Help section has country-specific guides that can answer all your questions.

Their customer service team also has a reputation of going out of their way to help users out if they ever face a bottle neck.

 

Winner: OFX

While both services are known for excellent customer service, OFX has the leg up here for providing phone support to their users while setting up transfers.

This can be particularly useful to folks who don’t want to handle everything online. It also means for larger transfers they are our top pick because dealing with a real human often ensures smooth transfers.

On the other hand, we recommend TransferWise for smaller transfers because it keeps its costs lower and online platform is usually more efficient for smaller transfers.

If you want to do everything by telephone however TorFX (review) is well worth a look.

Verdict

With 6 ties, 1 win for OFX, and 1 for TransferWise, it’s safe to say that both are stellar currency transfer providers. Truthfully you will be hard pressed to beat either of these.

But there can be only one winner!

And there is, but it comes down to the amount you want to send.

In short, OFX provides the confidence needed (see reviews above) for large transfers but the online platform of TransferWise and it’s wonderful transparency on fees and notifications makes them a joy to use otherwise.

Use OFX (less the $15 fee)  for amounts above $7000 USD / 4000 GBP /  9500 AUD/CAD / 5000 EUR or compare the fees for TransferWise below $7000 USD.

Fees are also an important factor of course.

OFX helps you save big on larger transfers ($10,000 USD and above) while TransferWise is ideal for you if you need to frequently send smaller amounts ($7,000 USD and below).

TransferWise also has the added advantage of setting you up with a multi-currency wallet and a pre-paid MasterCard debit card when you sign up for TransferWise Borderless (a no brainer if you’re an expat, long term traveller, or have do business overseas).

So which service is best for you ultimately comes down to your specific needs.

In reality, you might want to open an account with both and simply use the service right for the amount you want to send.

That is what we do.

Happy Transfers!

WesternUnion VS TransferWise

9 Things You Need to Know – Only One Greatest!

WesternUnion and TransferWise are money transfer heavyweights.

WesternUnion V TransferWiseThis is Old VS New, like new age Muhammad Ali VS Manny Pacquiao.

WesternUnion is the original great who has evolved and TransferWise is the much younger and potentially much better service.

Or is it?

In the next few minutes, the important thing is you will know which one is best for you!

On the surface both are greats: including wide availability, fast currency transfers, and helpful extras that make managing your money transfers easier.

But that is not all. 🙂

In this article, we uncover all the important aspects of money transfers so you can see how these two services stack up in each of 9 categories.

To help, we award a winner in each of 9 important categories, so you can see what works best for you. (Look for the “Winner” in each category and don’t miss our verdict (below))

Let’s dive in.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

The Big Difference

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Transfer Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Cards & Fees
  5. Ways to Send Money
  6. Payout Methods
  7. Transfer Speed
  8. Customer Service and Support
  9. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)

Verdict

In the video, they looked at XE (review) and OFX (review) which we also like but for different reasons. OFX for example is better for larger amounts and XE is multilingual and has fantastic support in the USA, Canada, UK and Australia.

The Big Difference

Both WesternUnion and TransferWise are focused on international transfers with some very useful additions like prepaid Mastercards and fast transfer options. TransferWise is focused on online, inexpensive and insanely transparent fees to banks while WesternUnion enables extreme flexibility for funding transactions and cash pickup.

You can see the total fees for TransferWise (new tab) without even signing up.

Incredibly, WesternUnion (wiki history) was established in 1851 as a telegram company, but has transformed into a modern trusted currency exchange and international money transfer company.

They are available in 70 countries and support transfers to 200 countries worldwide with a wide variety of funding and payout methods.

With WesternUnion, you can transfer money online, via an app, at an agent location, or via a phone call. These flexible options attract folks who are not comfortable (or can’t) do business online.

WesternUnion does offers some helpful extras such as their “Netspend” PrePaid Card (powered by MasterCard or Visa, depending on the country), and even bill payment.

In many ways, WesternUnion has had to evolve fast to keep up with companies like TransferWise while sticking to their strengths like physical agents.

TransferWise (review) was founded in 2010 and have quickly climbed the ranks to become a leader for very good reason.

They offer local and international money transfers with a generally far lower, transparent fee structure backed by excellent customer service which  keeps their customers coming back.

TransferWise is available in 50+ countries and offers currency transfers to 60+ countries worldwide (bank to bank transfers).

TransferWise has also designed a complementary service – TransferWise Borderless (review) – which equips users with a multi-currency account and local bank details to accept, hold and exchange major currencies like USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and NZD. The Borderless account can be a game changer for some people making it easy to send and receive money like a local without restrictive currency conversion fees.

When you sign up for the Borderless account, you also get a MasterCard debit card that’s great to travel with.

WesternUnion Pros

TransferWise Pros

  • Licensed and registered service
  • Available in 70 countries and supports transfers to 200 countries in 130 currencies
  • Supports cash picks and mobile wallet transfers
  • Can set up a transfer at a physical location or via a phone call
  • Offers different transfer speeds – including instant transfers (See “Transfer Speed” below)
  • Offers a prepaid debit card powered by MasterCard or Visa (depending on the country)
  • Offers dedicated business accounts
  • Licensed and registered service
  • Available in 59 countries and supports transfers to 60+ countries
  • Low fees and transparent fee structure (See “Cost and fees” below)
  • Transfers at the mid-market rate
  • Many ways to fund your account (Check out “ Ways to Send Money” below”)
  • Ideal for sending small amounts
  • Easy online interface for setting up transfers
  • Multi-currency account
  • Offers business accounts
  • Mastercard debit card with TransferWise Borderless for online payments and travelling (available in UK, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand)

 

WesternUnion Cons

TransferWise Cons

  • Complex fee structure (See “Costs and Fees” below)
  • Lots of fees attached to the prepaid card (See “Cards and fees” below)
  • Doesn’t offer a multicurrency wallet
  • Available in fewer locations
  • Supports fewer currencies
  • Doesn’t offer instant transfers
  • Only supports bank to bank transfers
  • No cash pick up or mobile wallet transfer

 

1. Who Can Get One?

WesternUnion

TransferWise

You can sign up for WesternUnion from pretty much anywhere in the world.

Currently they support registrations from 100+ countries and let you send money to 200 countries around the world.

The quickest way to find out whether they’re available in your country is to hop over to their website, scroll down to the footer, and search for it in the drop down list.

However, availability of their prepaid card may be limited to the US, some countries in South America, and Europe.

You can register for TransferWise in 59 countries and send money to 60+ countries worldwide.

However, the Borderless card is only available in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and US.

 

Winner: WesternUnion

WesternUnion is the oldest currency transfer company and has a wide reach. They not only have an established presence online but they’re also available in 500,000 physical locations (agent offices, pick up points, etc.) around the world.

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)

WesternUnion

TransferWise

WesternUnion’s fees vary according to the funding method, transfer speed, and target currency.

Also, WesternUnion mentions the following on their website about exchange rates

“…the exchange rates shown on the website are estimates” and the actual exchange rate will be pulled during the time of the transfer.

WesternUnion will calculate its exchange rates on the basis of the interbank rates available in the market, plus a margin.”

For international transfers, expect to pay a maximum markup of 6% on the exchange rate + other fees based on how you fund the transfer, the transfer speed, and the payout method.

Your fees will also depend on the money transfer corridor.

For example, fees for sending money from US to India is much cheaper than sending money from the EEA to the US.

Typically, your transfers will be expensive if you fund the transfer with a credit and opt for the Money in Minutes plan.

Check out their fee table for instant transfers here.

TransferWise’s fees depend on the amount, target currency, and how you fund your transfer.

They charge a percentage fee and lets you transfer money at the interbank or mid-market rate (no mark up on the exchange rate)

Their fees range between 0.6-1% of the transfer amount, with the fees going down after USD 10,000 or equivalent. This makes TransferWise ideal for smaller transactions.

Plus, their rates are quite competitive compared to banks (charging 3-5% of a transfer) and other currency transfer services (0.5%-1.8%, depending on the currency and amount).

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise is known for their low and transparent fee structure which you can see using their widget. You’ll know the exact amount you’ll pay and your recipient will get on the currency conversion widget on their home page.

Hidden fees

As we saw, with the margin on the exchange rate and fees varying according to transfer speed, payout method, and currency corridor, WesternUnion is rarely the cheapest option for international transfers.

Plus, if you’re funding your transfer from a bank account and the recipient opts to receive in their bank account, banks at either end may charge fees.

On TransferWise, you’ll never face these additional deductions because they have bank details in all the areas they support.

3. Currencies

WesternUnion

TransferWise

WesternUnion supports transfers in 130 currencies to 200+ currencies.

However, not all the sender countries support all 130+ currencies.

But you can always check out the currencies available for transfer on a location-specific domain of their website.

TransferWise lets you process international transfers in 20 currencies and local transfers in 30 other currencies (for example, Chinese Yen, Argentine Peso, Bangladeshi taka etc.).

Check out the full list here.

Signing up for TransferWise Borderless gives you access to a few more currencies for local and international transfers.

 

Winner: WesternUnion

Although TransferWise covers most major and some regulated currencies, WesternUnion’s supported currency base is much larger.

4. Cards and Fees

WesternUnion

TransferWise

WesternUnion offers different types of prepaid cards in different regions.

For example, their prepaid MasterCard in Brazil is a multicurrency card while the more popular WesternUnion® Netspend® Prepaid Mastercard® (available in the US) has other perks like

  • Funding local and international transfers
  • Receiving your salary
  • Receiving government benefits
  • Setting up direct debits for bill payments

But one major drawback of the card is that its riddled with fees:

  • You can pay a convenience fee per transaction on the “Pay-as-you-go” Plan or opt for a monthly fee of $9.95
  • Pay $2.50 for each ATM withdrawal at home (plus a 4% forex fee if you’re travelling)
  • Account inactivity fee of $5.95

Check out all the fees here.

The TransferWise Borderless Mastercard prepaid comes free with their Borderless Account.

The Borderless card is available in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

There are no minimum balance or account inactivity fees and it can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

But it’s not completely fee free:

  • You can use the card to withdraw money from ATMs for free up to $250 per month (a 2% fee is applicable over that limit).
  • ATM withdrawals abroad, payments for goods and services abroad, and paying in a foreign currency online attract a small currency conversion fee (0.35%-2.85%, depending on the currency)

 

Winner: TransferWise

The TransferWise card (review) is widely available and the features are standardized for all regions.

While you can’t receive your salary directly on the card or set up direct debits, the simplicity of use makes it a nice add on for your TransferWise account (especially if you’re frequent traveller or a digital nomad).

Plus, there are no monthly fees, account inactivity fees and a slew of other charges to worry about.

5. Ways to Send Money

WesternUnion

TransferWise

WesternUnion’s funding methods depend on the sender currency and the currency corridor.

Typically, you can fund your transfer with

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank account
  • Cash (in-store)
  • Wire transfer
Your funding method will depend on the sender country and the target currency.

TransferWise supports

  • Credit and debit cards (in most countries)
  • bank transfers (in most countries)
  • SWIFT payments
  • SOFORT
  • iDEAL.

Before setting up a transfer, it’s always a good idea to check out the very handy currency specific guides for pros and cons of each method.

 

Winner: Tie

Both WesternUnion and TransferWise offer a lot of flexibility for funding your transfer, so you can’t go wrong with either.

6. Payout Methods

WesternUnion

TransferWise

WesternUnion supports a lot of payout methods:

  • Bank transfers
  • Cash pick ups (at 500,000 WesternUnion agent locations across the world)
  • Bill payments
  • Mobile Wallet Payments
  • Prepaid cards
TransferWise only supports bank to bank or card to bank transfers.

 

Winner: WesternUnion

TransferWise is a great option if your recipient has a bank account.

However, if your recipient doesn’t have a local bank account (for example, if they are an expat or a frequent traveller), WesternUnion can save the day.

7. Transfer Speed

WesternUnion

TransferWise

WesternUnion offers a lot of flexibility to choose how fast you want your funds to go through:

  • In Minutes
  • Three Day
  • Next Day

The fastest option is “In Minutes” with near instant transfers. You can fund these with a credit card and your recipient has the option to collect it from a WesternUnion agent location within 10 minutes.

But these transfers are typically more expensive since your credit card company may charge a cash advance fee and the agent can also charge a convenience fee for receiving cash.

The most affordable option is to fund your transfer from a bank account. But this usually takes 3-5 days as WesternUnion first verifies that the account is indeed registered in your name.

Also note that each transfer speed has a sending limit per transfer:

In Minutes & Three Day – $2,500

Next Day – $500

TransferWise tries to process all their transfers within the same day.

The reality of money transfers bank to bank is that the banks at either end account for most of the time taken.

TransferWise however does have a trick up its sleeve and allows you to speed things up through funding the transfer with a card.

This (like WesternUnion) does speed things up quite significantly as the funds arrive at TransferWise practically instantaneously.

Like WesternUnion this additional speed comes at a cost, although this cost is lower with TransferWise.

 

Winner: WesternUnion

WesternUnion offers a lot of options to choose a transfer speed, depending on your specific needs.

In case of an emergency, you can always send money to friends and family in minutes. The premium for that is well worth it.

But if you can wait a couple of days and your recipient doesn’t necessarily need cash pick up, we recommend opting for TransferWise instead of a bank transfer through WesternUnion.

8. Customer Support

WesternUnion

TransferWise

You can contact WesternUnion via email, on the phone, or at a physical location for multilingual support.

This is great for folks who are wary of handling all aspects of money transfer online.

WesternUnion has also launched country-specific digital locations (in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Oman) to help users set up transfers from home with phone and video call assistance.

TransferWise’s customer support team can be reached via email, phone, and live chat (this depends on their workload).

They also have a comprehensive “Help” section with country-specific guides and responses to other common questions users may have about their service.

 

Winner: Tie

WesternUnion is known for being super helpful if you need support while setting up a transfer.

However, they can be a little hard to reach on the phone if there’s a transfer hold up with your transfer. In such cases, you can always walk into your nearby agent office for clarifications (keep your tracking number handy).

While TransferWise doesn’t have agent offices in physical locations, they have an extensive FAQs section. Plus, their customer service team is super helpful if you’re ever in a jam.

9. Review (Incl. Negative Reviews)

WesternUnion

TransferWise

WesternUnion is rated 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 17,000 reviews.

65% of their users had an “Excellent” experience and 19% had a “Good” experience. Most of their users love their quick service and the support when setting up transfers.

However, 10% of the users had a “Bad” experience with WesternUnion, which had us concerned.

On digging deep, we found that the top causes of dissatisfaction were delayed transfers, paused transfers, and poor customer service.

First, transfer delays can be avoided by choosing the right transfer speed when you set it up.

Second, some transfers were put on hold because WesternUnion regularly audits transfers to prevent scams, money laundering, and other illegal activities.

In most cases, the funds were released as soon as the investigation was over. In others, WesternUnion asked the users to share additional documentation to support the transfer.

TransferWise is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 86,000 reviews.

86% of TransferWise users had an “excellent” experience and 8% had a “good” experience with them.

Users their transparent fee structure and easy-to-use interface.

But 3% of users had a “Bad” experience with the service, which we narrowed down to transfer delays and unexpected account suspensions.

Like WesternUnion, TransferWise is also required to regularly audit their transfers as a licensed and registered service provider.

But the good news is most issues were quickly resolved by their customer service team.

Check out our full reviews of TransferWise and TransferWise Borderless.

 

Winner: TransferWise

With 10% of users having a bad experience on WesternUnion and 3% for TransferWise we have to give this to TransferWise.

Verdict

TransferWise if it can do what you want.

With 3 wins for WesternUnion, 3 wins for TransferWise, and 3 ties, it’s safe to say that both WesternUnion and TransferWise have their advantages.

If cash pickups and instant transfers are not a requirement, you stand to save big on fees and have a great experience with TransferWise.

However WesternUnion with it’s large base of sender and receiver countries, super flexible funding and payout methods (above) may make them the right choice for you. If you’re OK with paying a premium for all that, you can’t go wrong with WesternUnion.

However if low costs and cash pickup are needed, you may also want to check out WorldRemit (review) which is a combination of TransferWise smarts and WesterUnion flexibility.

So which service is best for you? It ultimately comes down to your unique needs and preferences.

Happy Transfers!

Remitly vs TransferWise

8 Things You Need to Know – Only One Winner!

TransferWsie VS Remitly ReviewBoth Remitly and TransferWise are great options for transferring money internationally.

Their strengths include low cost and fast money transfers to many countries worldwide.

However, they are quite different and which option is best for YOU will depend on your specific needs and what they provide.

But wait there’s more 🙂

To help, we award a winner in each of 8 important categories, so you can see what works best for you. (Look for the “Winner” in each category and don’t miss our verdict)

Possibly more importantly sometimes neither is best and we will steer you in the right direction if this is the case!

Let’s dive in!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

The Big Difference

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Methods
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

The Big Differences

Well done on comparing these two!

At a glance, it may seem like Remitly and TransferWise offer the same services: international money transfer at really low costs.

Both are excellent when it comes to taking away business from the banks by making it far cheaper and much more user friendly. TransferWise is fabulously transparent on it’s fees and focuses on inexpensive bank-to-bank transfers while Remitly is all about helping immigrants send money home where cash or prepaid mobile top ups can be important.

More on their fundamental differences in a moment!

Don’t miss: “Where Neither is Best” section below.

Designed for immigrants, Remitly is available in 16 developed countries and supports transfers to 50 countries worldwide. You can sign up for Remitly ONLY from the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden. With Remitly you can see what you will pay (desktop) or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.

Remitly support personal transfers back home to family and friends, unlike TransferWise, who also offers dedicated business accounts.

TransferWise is far more flexible: allowing users to sign up from 59 countries and send money to 60+ countries worldwide. For TransferWise you can see exactly what you will pay in fees with this widget.

If you can still use either more, in-depth comparisons are needed starting with their Pros and Cons.

Also pay particular attention to their fees as they show them quite differently.

Where Neither is Best

Money transfers above $7000 USD/ 4500 GBP other services tend to be even cheaper and have better important customer service for larger amounts. OFX (review) (Worldwide) and TorFX (review) (Australasia & Europe) reduce the fees in percentage terms as the amounts rise.

To decide between the two: OFX balances online with telephone support while TorFX focuses on telephone service mostly.

Remitly Pros

TransferWise Pros

  • Licensed and regulated service
  • Focused on helping immigrants in developed countries send money home fast and at affordable rates
  • Available in 16 countries and allows transfers to 50+ countries
  • Offers two money transfer options: Express and Economy
  • Can send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets, cash pick up locations
  • Has a 100% satisfaction guarantee clause where they refund the fixed fees if your transfer doesn’t reach on time (See “Costs and fees” below)
  • Many ways to fund your transfer (See “ Ways to Send Money” below)
  • Sending large sums (above $1000) is cheaper
  • Easy tracking for both senders and recipients
  • Licensed and regulated service
  • Wide availability – Available in 59 countries and supports transfers to 60+ countries
  • Low fees and transparent fee structure (See “Cost and fees” below)
  • Transfers at the mid-market rate
  • Many ways to fund your account (See “See “ Ways to Send Money” below”)
  • Ideal for sending small amounts
  • Multi currency account
  • Offers business accounts
  • Mastercard debit card with TransferWise Borderless (review) for online payments and travelling (available in UK, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand)

 

Remitly Cons

TransferWise Cons

  • Personal transfers to immediate family only (doesn’t allow business transfers)
  • Complex fee structure (See “Costs and fees” below)
  • Doesn’t support transfers between the 16 sender countries
  • Doesn’t offer instant transfers
  • Only supports bank to bank transfers (or card to bank)
  • No cash pick up or mobile wallet transfer

 

1. Who Can Get One?

Remitly

TransferWise

Remitly supports transfers from 16 sender countries developed countries to 50 developing countries across the world. However, they don’t allow transfers between the 16 sender countries including UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden.

Remitly only support transfers to family members (and in rare cases to friends) to cover personal expenses like utility bills, rent, medical expenses, or travel expenses.

Remitly has sender-country-specific landing pages – it may be a good idea to check them out to see whether your receiving country is supported from a particular sender country.

Sometimes you may be asked to submit additional documentation to prove your association or purpose of transferring funds.

TransferWise is available in 59 countries and lets you send money to 60 countries world wide.

But the TransferWise Borderless card is only available in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the US.

With TransferWise, you can initiate both personal and business transactions, provided the areas and currencies are supported by them.

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise is widely available and supports more sender and receiving countries than Remitly. Moreover, they allow both personal and business transfers (dedicated business accounts available).

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)

Remitly

TransferWise

Remitly charges a flat fee and a margin on the exchange rate (which varies according to market fluctuations).

Remitly’s fees depend on a number of factors, such as sending country, transfer amount, selected service (Express or Economy), and the target currency.

Express:
The Express service is the quickest way to send money home to your family as the funds arrive in minutes or at least within a few hours. These transactions need to be funded with a debit or credit card and are usually more expensive. That’s because your card provider will charge a convenience fee, which is not included in Remitly’s total fees.

Economy:
Economy transfers are funded with a bank transfer and the funds usually arrive in 3-5 days. Economy transfers are great if your transfer is not urgent and you want to save on large transfers (Remitly waives its flat fee for transfers over USD 1000 in some countries).

Some other things to keep in mind are:

  • Fees are lower if the recipient has opted to receive the funds in a local currency and if you’re sending a large amount.
  • Daily and monthly limits may apply. However, you can increase your sending limit by contacting Remitly’s customer support.
On TransferWise, the total fee you’ll pay depends on the currency you’re transferring, the amount, and how you fund the transfer.

TransferWise charges a percentage fee and lets you transfer money at the inter bank (wiki) or mid-market rate.

TransferWise’s fees range between 0.6-1% of the transfer amount, with the fees going down after USD 10,000 or equivalent. This means, smaller transfers – usually USD 100 or less are ideal.

Their rates are quite competitive compared to banks (charging 3-5% of a transfer) and other currency transfer services (0.5%-1.8%, depending on the currency and amount).

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise lets you move funds with a low and transparent fee structure at the mid-market rate. You will see the total fee you’ll pay before you initiate a transfer, so there are no surprises.

Hidden fees

Transfers funded with credit cards on Remitly attract additional charges. Moreover, when you choose the Economy plan, banks at either end may charge fees.

There are no hidden fees on TransferWise. Although transfers funded from a bank account may cost more, you’ll see the total amount you’ll pay before you hit “Send.” Plus, TransferWise has bank details in all the countries it supports, so there are no unexpected deductions.

3. Currencies

Remitly

TransferWise

Remitly supports international transfers in 40+ currencies and lets you send money to 50 countries worldwide.Check the full list of supported receiving countries here.With TransferWise, you can initiate international transfers in 20 currencies local transfers in 30 other currencies (for example, Chinese Yen, Argentine Peso, Bangladeshi taka etc.).

Overall, TransferWise supports 50 currencies for local and international transfers.

Check out the full list here.

If required TransferWise Borderless supports a few more currencies for local and international transfers.

 

Winner: Tie

Both Remitly and TransferWise support 40+ currencies to be sent to 50+ countries, which covers most of the major as well as some regulated currencies.

4. Ways to Send Money

Remitly

TransferWise

Funding methods on Remitly depends on the sender country.

On Remitly, you can fund your transfer by

  • Credit and debit cards (in most countries)
  • Bank transfers (in most countries)
  • Klarna
  • iDeal
  • Faster Payments Service

But of course, it’s always a great idea to check out the country specific guides before initiating a transfer.

On TransferWise, the funding method depends on the sender country and the target currency.TransferWise supports

  • Credit and debit cards (in most countries)
  • bank transfers (in most countries)
  • SWIFT payments
  • SOFORT
  • iDEAL.

Before initiating a transfer, check out the currency specific guides here for pros and cons of each method.

 

Winner: Tie

Both TransferWise and Remitly support the most common (credit card, debit card, bank transfers) as well as some location-specific methods to fund your transfer for maximum flexibility.

5. Payout Methods

Remitly

TransferWise

With Remitly, you can send money to

  • Your recipient’s bank account
  • A supported mobile wallet
  • A cash pick up point
  • Your recipient’s home (if they live in Vietnam)
TransferWise only supports bank to bank transfers.

 

Winner: Remitly

Remitly wins this round hands down with the wide variety of payment methods. If you’re located in one of the 16 sender countries supported by Remitly and want to send money to the 50+ receiving countries serviced by them, Remitly is a no brainer.

6. Transfer Speed

Remitly

TransferWise

Remitly’s transfer speed depends on the service you choose (Economy or Express), how you fund your transfer, and the receiving currency.

You can send money to your family instantly, or at least within minutes, with the Express service (transfers to be funded with a credit or debit card).

Economy transfers (funded with a bank transfer – banks at either end may charge fees) take about 3-5 days.

Remitly also has a tracking option for both senders and recipients. Plus, they refund the flat fee (not the margin on the exchange rate) if your transfer doesn’t arrive on time.

TransferWise’s speed depends on how you fund your transfer and the target currency.

Generally transfers funded with a credit or debit card are processed within a few hours (sometimes minutes) while transfers funded from a bank account can take 2-4 days. In most cases, TransferWise tries to process transfers on the same day.

 

Winner: Remitly

Remitly has an instant transfer option with a 100% satisfaction guarantee clause if you need to send large funds urgently to your family. And, Remitly’s Economy plan can save you a lot of money if you can wait a couple of days.

If large and urgent transfers are not a priority, TransferWise can help you win the day and save some money on both personal and business transfers.

7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)

Remitly

TransferWise

Remitly scores 4.7/5 on Trustpilot with over 20000 reviews.

Their users love the fast service and the transparent tracking feature.

86% of Remitly users had an “Excellent” experience while 6% had a “Good” experience.

But 5% of users had a “bad” experience, which we can’t ignore.

We narrowed the top issues down to unexpected account lock downs and transfer delays. Some of them were also dissatisfied with Remitly’s customer service and when they were asked to share additional documents to support the transfer.

You can avoid account lock downs and delays by getting clear on Remitly’s scope of service, but Remitly needs to improve how their customer service team responds to exigencies.

Check out our full review of Remitly here.

TransferWise scores 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 86,000 reviews.86% of TransferWise users had an “excellent” experience and 8% had a “good” experience with them.

Most users love their transparent fee structure, affordable rates, and easy-to-use interface.

However, 3% of users had a “bad” experience with the service.

We uncovered that the top causes of dissatisfaction were transfer delays and unexpected account suspensions.

But we also noticed that TransferWise is fairly responsive on Trustpilot and most issues were quickly resolved by their customer service team.

Check out our full reviews of TransferWise and TransferWise Borderless.

 

Winner: Tie

Both Remitly and TransferWise are excellent service providers who make international transfers fast, easy, and cheap for their users.

In most cases, the expectation mismatch can be avoided by being clear on their scope of service. And, we’re confident you’re unlikely to face any such issues if you’ve come this far in this article.

8. Customer Service and Support

Remitly

TransferWise

Remitly offers support over phone, email, and live chat.

They also have a helpful FAQs section and country-specific guides to help you with your transfers.

However, some users said the Remitly’s customer support could only offer general advice when approached in an emergency.

TransferWise offers great support to their users via phone, email, and live chat.

They also have an extensive FAQs section that answers almost any question that may pop up before you initiate a transfer.

Moreover, their customer service team has a reputation of being fast and helpful when users approach them in an emergency.

 

Winner: TransferWise

While both services can be reached in a number of ways, TransferWise has been known to be super responsive when their customers reach out to them during an emergency. This goes a long way to reassure confused users and earn back their trust.

Verdict

TransferWise!

If you could use either TransferWise is our recommendation (especially when you can use this widget), but Remitly may be your best choice if you need cash pick up or faster transfers.

For Remitly you can see what you will pay (desktop) or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.

Looking at the scorecard: Remitly has 2 wins, TransferWise has 3, and they are tied in 4 categories. It’s safe to say both TransferWise and Remitly can hold their own when it comes to international money transfers. But the way negative reviews are handled (above) speaks loudly.

Slightly slower bank-to-bank or card-to-bank transfers and superior transparency on fees (and Remity is pretty good) makes TransferWise a deal maker. TransferWise also scores highly because of the optional Borderless account and prepaid Mastercard.

But Remitly’s one-of-a-kind mission of making currency transfers fast, easy, and affordable makes them uniquely awesome for immigrants.

TransferWise, on the other hand, is a well rounded service for smaller transfers for pretty much everyone. They have a transparent fee structure, are available in most countries, and good for both personal and business transfers.

So which service is best for you?

It all comes down to your unique needs – such as location, supported currencies, and type of transaction you want to process on a regular basis.

Happy Transfers!

TransferWise vs XE

8 Things You Must Know Only One Winner

TransferWise and XE are trailblazers for international money transfers.

XE Money Transfers VS TransferWiseTheir strengths include easy and low-cost money transfer to pretty much anywhere in the world.

But here’s the thing: WorldRemit and Remitly despite the similarities are clearly better than the other in the eight all important categories we identified.

The best option for YOU will depend on your specific needs.

Here is a time saver!

To help, at the end of each section we award a winner in each of 8 important categories. (See Winner)

Even better 🙂

These are not the best options in every situation and we will suggest alternatives where it makes sense!

Let’s get stuck into it.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Both TransferWise and XE offer exclusive accounts for business transfers. But for this article we’re only considering the personal accounts.

Jump Links

The Big Differences

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Methods
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

The Big Differences

It may seem like TransferWise and XE money transfers are fundamentally similar services – international money transfer at affordable rates.

But there are many moving parts when you transfer money overseas (for example – how you fund your account, where you’re located, which currency you’re transferring, the payout method, etc. ) and how a service provider is structured to handle these makes a huge difference in actual amounts transferred as well as the transfer experience.

We make it simple!

In a nutshell: Both are first rate – especially in the customer service department and keeping fees low. TransferWise is super transparent on fees, has more funding methods and an extensive local bank account network. Meanwhile XE handles 170 currencies with English, Spanish and French telephone support.

Also don’t miss: “Where Neither is Best” below in this section (especially when it comes to larger transfers).

With TransferWise one reason we awarded it the best “Money Transfer Company for amounts under $7000 USD/ £4500 GBP/ ” is it’s ridiculous transparency on fees (click to see) you can see up front before you transact.

XE money transfers meanwhile enables you to set up transfers to over 170 countries in 60+ currencies so for travellers or digital nomads it may be a better choice.

TransferWise does however have the game changing Borderless account (review) which gives you things like a pre-paid visa card and the ability to be paid in different currencies using local bank account details. With TransferWise you can also send money from 59 countries to 60+ countries worldwide.

Cut to the chase with our XE (review), or TransferWise (review) if you think you already have a winner but want to see what we really think!

Still not 100% – no worries, you will be soon!

Where Neither is Best

Money transfers above $7000 USD/ £4500 GBP/ €4500 EUR other services tend to reduce fees in percentage terms as amounts rise and most importantly have excellent customer service for larger amounts. OFX (review) (Worldwide) and TorFX (review) (Australasia & Europe) reduce the fees in percentage terms as the amounts rise.

To decide between the two: OFX balances online with telephone support while TorFX focuses on telephone service mostly.

TransferWise Pros

XE Pros

  • Licenced/regulated service (Australia, Europe, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, US and UAE)
  • Sign up from 59 countries and send money in 40+ currencies to 60 countries world wide
  • Low fees and transparent fee structure (See “Costs & Fees” below)
  • Transfers at the mid market exchange rate
  • Can fund transfers with bank transaction, debit card, credit card
  • Offers both personal and business accounts
  • Rate alerts available via email
  • Multi-currency account (available with Borderless)
  • Mastercard debit card with TransferWise Borderless (account) for online payments and travelling (available in UK, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand)
  • Licenced/regulated service (Australia, Europe, Canada, NZ, UK (under HiFX) and US)
  • Wide coverage – transfers to 170 countries in 60+ currencies
  • Transfers at the mid-market rate with no transfer fee
  • Offers phone support for transfers (in English, French, and Spanish)
  • Offers both personal and business accounts
  • You can get rate alerts via email to make sure you can transfer money at your preferred rate

 

TransferWise Cons

XE Cons

  • Fund transfers supported to fewer countries compared to XE (60+)
  • No phone support during transfers
  • Cash-on-delivery or mobile wallet transfers not supported
  • Services limited to currency transfer
  • Banks at either end may charge fees
  • No cash-on-delivery or mobile wallet transfers
  • Can’t fund transfers with credit or debit card (bank transfers only)

 

1. Who Can Get One?

TransferWise

XE

TransferWise is available in 59 countries and lets you send money to 60 countriesIf you travel frequently or need local bank details in a foreign currency, you can get the TransferWise Borderless card in the UK, Europe, Australia, NewZealand, and US.XE is most popular in Europe, but it’s also available in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand.XE offers money transfers to 170 countries world wide.

 

Winner: Tie

TransferWise is available in many regions that XE is not, but their sending regions are limited compared to XE.

And, while you can’t sign up for XE in many countries that TransferWise services, XE supports money transfers to many sending countries that TransferWise doesn’t cover.

So, in this case, it all comes down to where you’re located and where you want to send money.

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)

TransferWise

XE

The total fee on TransferWise depends on the currency you’re transferring, the amount, and the method of funding your transfer. Typically TransferWise charges a percentage fee and lets you transfer money at the interbank or mid-market rate.

TransferWise fees range between 0.6-1% of the transfer amount, with the fees going down after USD 10,000 or equivalent.

XE doesn’t charge a transfer fee, but they do charge a margin on the interbank exchange rate, which is about 0.3-1.2% of the transfer amount.But wait, there’s more.

XE’s transactions are processed through the SWIFT network. This means, in most cases banks at either end charge a fee when you fund the transaction with a bank transfer as well as when the money is deposited in the receiver’s bank account.

This inevitably drives up the cost of the transfer and reduces the amount your recipient gets.

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise has a low, transparent fee structure so you exactly know what fees you’ll pay and the amount your recipient will get. The currency convertor widget on their homepage gives you an exact break down of the total fees. Plus they have local bank details in all the areas they operate you never have to worry about unexpected deductions.

Hidden fees

There are no hidden fees on TransferWise. Although card transfers may cost more than bank transfers, the total fee is displayed before you initiate a transfer.

While XE doesn’t technically charge a transfer fee, the margin on the exchange rate and bank fees at either end often drive up the cost of the transfer. Most users overlook this little detail and end up being disappointed.

But hey, if you want to make the most of what each service offers, here’s our advice:

TransferWise’s low and transparent fee structure makes it cheaper for smaller transfers (less than USD 100) while XE’s service may be ideal for larger transfers (above USD 1000) as their margin reduces when the transfer amount goes up.

3. Currencies

TransferWise

XE

With TransferWise, you can send money internationally in 20 currencies (includes most major currencies like USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, etc) and initiate local transfers in 30 other currencies (for example, Chinese Yen, Argentine Peso, Bangladeshi taka etc.).Check out the full list here.

Want local bank details in GBP, USD, EUR, AUD, etc, as well as hold and manage 50 currencies? If you sign up for TransferWise Borderless (account), you get all these perks. You can also transfer money and get paid like a local in your chosen currencies.

XE supports international and local transfers in 60+ currencies.The most popular currencies traded on XE are USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, INR, JPY, MYR (Malaysian Ringgit), SGD (Singapore Dollar), and CNY (Chinese Yuan).

 

Winner: XE

XE seems to be the hands down winner here with transfers to 170 countries in 60+ currencies. Even regulated currencies like CNY, which TransferWise only supports for local transfers, can be easily exchanged with XE.

TransferWise borderless solves this issue to an extent, especially if you’re a digital nomad or travel frequently.

4. Ways to Send Money

TransferWise

XE

On TransferWise, the available funding methods depend on where you’re located and the currency you’re transferring.In most cases, you can fund your transfer with a credit card, debit card, bank transfer, or SWIFT payments, or other location-specific methods like SOFORT or iDEAL.

Check out the very helpful currency specific guides before setting up a transfer.

On XE, you can only fund your transfer with a bank transfer, which can be quite limiting. But you do get phone support when initiating a transfer.

 

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise supports many ways to fund a transfer, which offers a lot of flexibility to their users. Funding methods also affect the transfer speed (See “Transfer Speed” below) and the total transfer fee (as discussed above in “Costs and fees”).

5. Payout Methods

TransferWise

XE

TransferWise only supports transfers to bank accounts.XE also only supports transfers to bank accounts.

 

Winner: Tie

If your recipient has a bank account, you can’t go wrong with either TransferWise or XE.

Alternatives

But if you’re looking for other perks like cash pick up or mobile wallet transfers, check out WorldRemit (link to review) or Remitly (link to review).

6. Transfer Speed

TransferWise

XE

On TransferWise, the transfer speed depends on how you fund your transfer and your chosen currency.Transfers funded with a credit or debit card are generally processed within a few hours (sometimes even minutes). But these transfers can are also more expensive with the added card fees charged by your provider (built into TransferWise fees).

Transfers funded by a bank debit take about 2-4 days to arrive.

XE tries to process their transfers on the the same day, if you’re transferring a major currency. But in most cases transfers usually take 2-4 days to arrive.

 

Winner: Tie

Both TransferWise and XE try to process their payments fast, usually on the same day. Although TransferWise has a near-instant payment option when transfers are funded with a credit card, the higher costs (credit card charges) can discourage users from choosing this option.

7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)

TransferWise

XE

TransferWise has over 86,0000 on Trustpilot and is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot.

86% of users had an “excellent” experience and 8% had a “good” experience while transferring money with TransferWise.

Users love their competitive rates, simple fee structure, and the stellar user experience of setting up a transfer, from start to finish.

But here’s the thing: 3% of users had a “bad” experience with the service, and we were keen to uncover why.

We discovered that the main causes of dissatisfaction were transfer delays and unexpected account suspensions.

Don’t worry though – TransferWise takes their customers’ issues very seriously and any road blocks are usually sorted out quickly when you get in touch with their customer service team.

Check out our full reviews of TransferWise and TransferWise Borderless.

XE is rated 4.7/5 on Trustpilot with over 36,000 reviews, which is amazing.We noticed that 86% had an excellent experience and 10% had a good experience.

What people loved most was the fast transfers, great rates, and helpful customer service.

However, 2% of users rated the service “one-star,” and we were determined to find out what issues they faced.

After digging deep into hundreds of reviews, we narrowed it down to money transfer delays and unexpected fee deductions.

XE aims to complete transfers within the same day and the hold ups are usually at the receiving bank’s end (for compliance audits).

The unexpected deductions turned out to be the fees charged by the banks at either end – when funding the transaction as well as when they were deposited in the receivers’ account.

While XE does mention it on their website, it would be helpful if they collaborate with the banks and build these deductions into their fees.

Check out our full review of XE here.

 

Winner: TransferWise

Some rare bottlenecks aside, it’s usually a breeze to transfer money with either TransferWise or XE. And unlike most of their competitors, their customer service teams are always helpful if you happen to get stuck at any stage.

We did award TransferWise a winner in this category due to its extensive local bank account network which apart from reducing frustration – lowers the often hidden costs.

8. Customer Service and Support

TransferWise

XE

They offer multilingual phone support, email support, and live chat (live chat may be offline sometimes, depending on their workload).

TransferWise also has a great FAQs section with country-specific guides, which is immensely helpful for digging into the nitty-gritties of a transfer.

You can reach XE on phone or email and their multilingual customer service team would be happy to help you out.XE doesn’t have a live chat feature and their FAQs section could do with an upgrade.

But they’re easy to reach on the phone and always helpful, which is reassuring.

 

Winner: Tie

Both TransferWise and XE are known for providing excellent support to their customers in need.

TransferWise has it all – mail, live chat, phone, and a comprehensive FAQs section. XE, on the other hand, has a helpful customer service team who are quick to assist users over email and phone, which is pretty rare in the industry.

Verdict

TransferWise! Just…

With 5 ties, 2 wins for TransferWise, and 1 win for XE, it’s safe to say that both services are excellent options for international transfers.

TransferWise has a transparent fee structure and is available in most countries. Don’t forget, with TransferWise Borderless (optional), you can get even more currencies to trade and transfer, locally and internationally (as well as a pretty sweet Mastercard debit card that is great for travelling and paying for stuff online).

See the latest for TransferWise and get the fees you pay upfront (Usually works out to less than 1%).

However XE goes further when it comes to worldwide coverage for money transfers. This is backed up by excellent customer service and multilingual support.

At the end of the day, which service is best for you may ultimately comes down to your needs, specifically – where you’re located and which currency pair you want to exchange.

Happy Transfers!

WorldRemit vs Remitly

8 Things You Need to Know – Only One Winner!

WorldRemit and Remitly are both big players for international money transfers.

Remitly VS WorldRemitTheir strengths include fast transfers at bank beating rates to a large number of countries with a variety of payout methods.

But here’s the thing: WorldRemit and Remitly suit different folks better. The best option for YOU will depend on your specific needs and what they provide.

But wait there’s more 🙂

To help, we award a winner in each of 8 important categories. (See Winner)

These are not the best options in every situation and we will suggest alternatives where it makes sense!

Let’s get stuck into it.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Jump Links

The Big Difference

  1. Who Can Get One?
  2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
  3. Supported Currencies
  4. Ways to Send Money
  5. Payout Method
  6. Transfer Speeds
  7. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
  8. Customer Service and Support

Verdict

The Big Differences

At a glance, it may seem like WorldRemit and Remitly offer the same service – fast international money transfers at low cost.

While they offer many of the same services, the big differentiator is the folks they serve.

In a nutshell: Both are leaders when it comes to smaller amounts including bank transfers, mobile wallet transfers and cash pick up. Remitly offers home delivery while WorldRemit offers prepaid mobile top ups. WorldRemit offers slightly better fees and also offers a business option.

Don’t miss: “Where Neither is Best” section below

With WorldRemit in your country you can also get the the first 3 transfers free (using the code ‘3FREE‘ until 30th November 2020).

Meanwhile Remitly has a you can see what you will pay on desktop or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.

WorldRemit (review) is focused on making international money transfers fast, easy and flexible at bank-beating rates for everyone in the 44 sender countries they support. And, they let you transfer money for both personal and business (offers a dedicated business account) purposes to 150 countries.

Remitly (review) you can send money fast and affordably from the following 16 countries – UK, US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden to family and friends in 50 countries.

Where Neither is Best

Money transfers above $7000 USD/ 4500 GBP other services tend to be even cheaper and have better important customer service for larger amounts. OFX (review) (Worldwide) and TorFX (review) (Australasia & Europe) reduce the fees in percentage terms as the amounts rise.

To decide between the two: OFX balances online with telephone support while TorFX focuses on telephone service mostly.

WorldRemit Pros

Remitly Pros

  • Licenced and registered service
  • Large coverage – Available in 44 countries with transfers to 150 countries
  • Can send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets, and cash pick up locations
  • Instant top up for prepaid mobiles with AirTime
  • Offers dedicated account for business transfers
  • Many ways to fund your transfer (See “ Ways to Send Money” below)
  • Low fees for smaller amounts
  • Licensed and registered service
  • Focused on helping immigrants in developed countries send money home fast and at affordable rates
  • Offers two money transfer options: Express and Economy
  • Can send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets, cash pick up locations
  • Offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee where they refund the fees if your transfer doesn’t reach on time (See “Costs and fees” below)
  • Many ways to fund your transfer (See “ Ways to Send Money” below)
  • Sending large sums (above $1000) is cheaper
  • Easy tracking for both senders and recipients

 

WorldRemit Cons

Remitly Cons

  • Complex fee structure (See “Costs and Fees” below)
  • Transfers for large amounts can be expensive
  • Tracking not available for recipients
  • Limits transfers to family (and sometimes friends; only personal transfers supported)
  • Doesn’t offer a business account
  • Complex fee structure (See “Costs and Fees” below)
  • Doesn’t support transfers between the 16 sender countries

 

1. Who Can Get One?

WorldRemit

Remitly

WorldRemit is available in 44 countries and lets you transfer money to 150 countries worldwide.

Both personal and business transfers are possible with WorldRemit.

Remitly allows sending money from 16 developed countries to 50 developing countries across the world.

They only support transfers to family members (and in rare cases to friends) to cover personal expenses like utility bills, rent, medical expenses, or travel expenses.

Sometimes Remitly may ask you for additional documentation to prove your association or purpose for transferring funds to make sure the transfer is in line with their services.

 

Winner: WorldRemit

If you want to send money internationally to cover both personal and business expenses, WorldRemit is the clear winner. They have wide coverage and no limitations on sending money between supported areas.

2. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees)

WorldRemit

Remitly

WorldRemit’s fees depends on the currency, how you choose to fund your transfer, transfer amount, and the payout method.

WorldRemit charges a flat fee for each transfer as well as a margin on the exchange rate (not the interbank rate and can change with market fluctuations). Their fees range between $3.99 and $24.99 (for USD 1000), depending on the currency and payout method.

The good thing is they let you know how much you’ll end up paying in total fees so you can compare before initiating a transfer.

Heads up – WorldRemit’s fees go up with the transfer amount and there may be sending limits.

Like WorldRemit, Remitly also charges a flat fee and a margin on the exchange rate (which varies with market fluctuations).

Remitly’s fees depend on the country you’re sending from, the transfer amount, selected service (Express or Economy), and the target currency.

Express: This is the fastest way to send money to your family because the funds arrive in minutes or at least within a few hours. Express transactions must be funded with a debit or credit card only and are typically more expensive (fees here include Remitly’s fees plus a convenience fee charged by your card provider).

Economy: Economy transfers can be funded with a bank transfer and the funds usually arrive in 3-5 days. Economy transfers are ideal if you want to save big on your transfers on large amounts (Remitly waives its flat fee for transfers over USD 1000 in some countries).

Ideally, fees are lower if the recipient is receiving the money in a local currency and if you’re sending a large amount. Daily and monthly limits may apply, but you can get in touch with Remitly’s customer support if you want to increase your sending limit.

You can also check the fees you’ll pay and the live exchange rate when you go to Remitly’s website and select the source country and the destination country (locking in the exchange is only possible when you register and log in to your account).

 

Winner: Tie

Exchange rates offered by both services are higher than the interbank rate. Rest assured when you add the transfer fees and the margin on the exchange rate, the total cost of transfer turns out to be much lower than the fess charged by high street banks.

Here’s something else to consider: WorldRemit charges lower fees on exchange rate margin but the fixed fees go up as the amount increases. Remitly’s fixed fees can be expensive for smaller amounts, so if you have a similar amount that you want to send each time use the links at the bottom (for a discount) and compare.

It can boil down to your needs, the amount you’re transferring, and where you’re located.

Hidden fees

Both WorldRemit and Remitly charge additional fees if the transfer is funded with a credit or debit card. Plus banks at either end can charge processing fees when your remittance is funded by a bank transfer and you’re transferring money to a recipient’s bank account.

Some countries can also levy taxes if you’re sending money to a mobile wallet with WorldRemit or Remitly.

3. Currencies

WorldRemit

Remitly

WorldRemit supports international and local transfers in over 100+ currencies to 150 countries across the world.

Check the full list of countries you can send money to here.

Remitly supports international transfers in 40+ currencies and lets you send money to 50 countries worldwide.

 

Winner: WorldRemit

WorldRemit wins this round by sheer numbers. Also, WorldRemit lets you transfer funds to cover both personal and business expenses.

4. Ways to Send Money

WorldRemit

Remitly

You can fund your WorldRemit transfer in the following ways:

Before initiating a transfer, check out the pros and cons of each funding method here.

Funding methods vary depending on the country you’re sending from.Remitly supports

  • Credit and debit cards (in most countries)
  • Bank transfers (in most countries)
  • Klarna
  • iDeal
  • Faster Payments Service

 

Winner: Tie

Both WorldRemit and Remitly offer a number of ways to fund your transfers. Funding with a credit or debit card usually ensures lightning-fast transfers with either service. Bank transfers are relatively less expensive and transfers can take a couple of days.

5. Payout Methods

WorldRemit

Remitly

WorldRemit supports the following payout methods

  • Banks transfers
  • Mobile Wallet transfer
  • Cash pick ups
  • Prepaid mobile top up
  • Door-to-door delivery (only in Vietnam)

The payout method also determines the transfer fees. For example, bank transfers are usually cheaper than cash pick ups and mobile wallet transfers.

Payout methods supported by Remitly are:

  • Banks transfers
  • Mobile Wallet transfer
  • Cash pick ups
  • Prepaid mobile top up
  • Door-to-door delivery (available in dominican Republic and Vietnam)

The payout method usually does not affect the sender’s fees on Remitly.

But in some countries, your recipient may have to pay a fee for cashing out money sent to a mobile wallet (for example, PayMaya in the Philippines charges a fee for cashing out).

 

Winner: Tie

Both services offer a lot of flexibility for receiving money. But just to be sure, always double check the supported methods in your target destination to avoid hold ups.

6. Transfer Speed

WorldRemit

Remitly

WorldRemit’s transfer speed depends on three things: how the transfer is funded, the currency, and the payout method.

  • Transfers funded with credit cards are processed instantly (although the cash advance fee charged your provider can bump up the fees)
  • Cah pick up and prepaid mobile top ups are also instant
  • Bank transfers generally take 2-4 days
  • Transfers with major currencies (like USD, GBP, AUD, etc.) are processed quicker, while regulated currencies like the Chinese Yen may take longer.
Remitly’s transfer speed depends on the following: the service you choose (Economy or Express), how you fund your transfer, and the target currency.

  • The Express service is the fastest way to send money to family members (funds are received within minutes)
  • Economy transfers take about 3-5 days and are significantly cheaper (sometimes there are zero fees for sending money to certain countries). If you want to save on transfer fees and send a large amount back home (USD 1000 and above), you can’t go wrong with Remitly’s Economy plan.

Your recipient can also track the transfer, which minimizes a lot of back and forth.

Remitly also notifies you if your transfer is on hold, under review by their partner in the recipient country, or if you’ve made any changes to your recipient’s details.

Lastly, Remitly refunds the transfer fees (but not the margin on the exchange rate) if your money doesn’t arrive on time.

 

Winner: Remitly

You can send money in minutes with both services, which is awesome.

But with Remitly’s economy plan, you’re likely to save big on large transfers (zero fees for over USD 1000 in some countries) whereas WorldRemits fees increase with the transfer amount. Plus, Remitly’s 100% satisfaction guarantee and active tracking feature make transfers hassle free.

7. Reviews (incl. Negative Reviews)

WorldRemit

Remitly

WorldRemit is rated 4.6/on on Trustpilot with over 25,000 reviews.

82% of their users had an “excellent” experience and 11% had a “good” experience with WorldRemit.

Most people loved the quick transfers and their easy sign up process.

But that’s not the whole story.

We were determined to dig deep into the issues faced by the 4% of users who had a “bad” experience.

Their top concerns were money transfer delays, account suspensions, and poor customer service.

Transfer delays and account suspensions can be avoided by going through their FAQs section and terms of service. But like most digital-only money transfer services, customer service is definitely an area of improvement for WorldRemit.

Check out our full review of WorldRemit here.

Remitly is rated 4.7/5 on Trustpilot with over 20000 reviews.Remitly users love the fast service, inexpensive rates, and the transparent tracking feature.

Overall, 86% of their users had an “Excellent” experience and 6% had a “Good” experience.

But 5% of users had a “bad” experience because they faced account lock downs, transfer delays, and were asked to provide additional documents. Some of them were also dissatisfied with Remitly’s customer service.

You can avoid account lock downs and delays by getting clear on Remitly’s scope of service, but Remitly needs to improve how they respond to customer requests during emergencies.

Check out our full review of Remitly here.

 

Winner: Tie

One-off incidents aside, WorldRemit and Remitly are both excellent service providers.

As registered and licensed providers, WorldRemit and Remitly (as well as their partners such as local banks) need to audit transfers regularly to ensure compliance.

This is common practice in the industry to keep illegal activities in check. Also, we’re confident that after going through this article, you can easily steer clear of potential pitfalls.

8. Customer Service and Support

WorldRemit

Remitly

WorldRemit has country-specific phone numbers if you need human help with a transfer.

If your issue is not urgent, you can email their customer service, who generally respond within 48 hours.

While WorldRemit doesn’t have a live chat, you can head over to their extensive FAQs section for clarifications.

Remitly has live chat, phone support, and email support.

They also have a comprehensive help section with wholesome information about all aspects of their service.

 

Winner: Tie

Both WorldRemit and Remitly have robust Help sections so that their users can have a seamless money transfer experience. However, it would appear their customer service could be more supportive and transparent during distress calls.

Verdict

WorldRemit!

With 2 wins for WorldRemit, 1 for Remitly, and 5 ties, you can be sure that both services will match and (or even exceed) your expectations.

Remitly offers fast and cheap money transfers to immigrants in the 16 developed countries they service. By niching down and limiting their scope to personal transfers only, they’re attracting more people who identify with their vision, which is a great way to stand out in a saturated space.

You can see what you will pay (desktop) or get the App for mobile – iOS or Android.

WorldRemit, on the other hand, stands out by supporting international and local transfers in 100+ currencies to 150 countries around the world. They also offer dedicated business accounts, which compounds the scope of their service.

WorldRemit is also usually a slightly cheaper option, but both are excellent options for against banks and the older often much more expensive options like Western Union and Moneygram.

If WorldRemit is your best choice, you can reduce costs by using this and ‘3FREE until 30th November 2020.

But of course, which one is best for you ultimately depends on your needs and other important considerations like your location, target currency, and transfer amount.

Happy Transfers!