7 Things You Should Know Before You Sign Up
Today I am going to show you if InstaReM is the right choice for your needs!
But that may not be the best bit
No one money transfer service is the “best” for everyone and I am going to show you the circumstances where others may be better.
Not your average review. 🙂
We scoured over 1000 reviews (especially the negative ones) to uncover what you really need to know so you can make the best decision for your money.
- Transparent fees – helpful for knowing exactly how much you’ll pay before initiating a transfer
- Strong focus on specialized services for small businesses
- Support credit cards for funding transfers
- No cash option for receiver (recipients must have a bank account)
Full Disclosure: While we aim to show you the good and the bad in each review so you can make the best choice, there are links contained in this page which are affiliate links (and while not costing you anything) do earn us a commission. We often also get the opportunity to provide you with discounts and offers as part of using the link. If you use these links thank you for supporting our mission to making money transfers better (and cheaper 🙂 )!
Instarem (short for “Instant Remittance”) is an up and coming money transfer platform known for their radically transparent fee structure and super competitive mid-market FX rates that are updated real-time (which they reliably source from Reuters).
Instarem has a helpful calculator (opens new tab) so you san see the exchange rate and fees for your transfer.
On paper, they charge a small upfront fee for each transaction (between 0.5% to 1% depending on the country and currency), unlike banks, who can be significantly more costly.
This has made them a leader when it comes to sending money to India from UK and other countries.
But not perfect.
In practice, for amounts less than a few thousand dollars or greater than $10,000 we found other services may be preferable as we will show.
Do not miss our Bottom Line.
7 Things You Should Know
- The rates, fees, and other costs
- Signing up and Setting up transfers
- How InstaReM works for Individuals and Businesses (and when it doesn’t)
- Can things go wrong? Here are some insights from top reviews on TrustPilot.
- Safety and Security
Typically, their rates vary between 0.25% to 1% depending on the currency and corridor which is very competitive.
To their credit InstaReM has competitive, real-time FX rates and low, transparent fees per transaction.
Here’s how you can check exactly how much you’ll be paying in fees and how much will be transferred to the recipient’s bank account.
Click here for InstaReM. You will love the way the site works – you’ll easily locate the rate calculator in the first section of their landing page.
To start calculating, make sure that the “Transfer” tab of the calculator is active and select the currency pairs. Next, add the amount you want to send in your currency under “You send.”
After you enter the amount, the calculator gives you the exact value of the expected amount by
- first deducting the InstaReM fee (which depends on your location) from the amount you want to send and then
- converting the balance against the most recent mid-market FX rate
Not directly, but bank fees may apply at both the sender and the receiver ends. These fees can range between $25 to $50.
You may think that there is nothing a money transfer service can do about these fees, but in fact they can by having local bank accounts in the countries at both ends which often makes these fees zero.
For smaller amounts (less than a few thousand dollars) these fees can have a significant impact on the amount that arrives if you include the fees the banks charge.
The alternative is services that do maintain bank accounts however the downside is that the do tend add on a margin to the exchange rate.
Signing up for InstaReM and initiating transfers is pretty easy!
In this section we’ll give you the low-down on how to register on InstaReM, tips on getting your profile approved FAST, and how to set up and track your transfers.
Currently, InstaReM supports registration in Australia, US, UK, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. When your account gets approved after the identity verification process, you can easily transfer money to the following countries.
Send to These Countries:
Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
USA, Canada, Mexico
Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru
Australia, New Zealand
Learn more about the specifics of sending currencies that InstaReM supports here.
Now that you have a fair idea of InstaReM’s coverage, let’s move on to the actual registration bit.
(Quick tip: Keep your address proof, income proof, and bank statements handy. If you’re creating a Business account, keep those business registration documents and financial statements close.)
2.1 Signing up
There are two options to register: Individual or Business. Select the one applicable to you and proceed with the sign up process. (You can also opt for a one-click social sign up).
- The initial sign up form will simply require your email and location. You’ll be asked to choose a password that complies with their guidelines.
- The initial sign up form will require your email, registered business name, country of registration, and phone number. Remember to choose a compliant and strong password (that you won’t easily forget)!
2.2 Mobile verification
- Enter your name, address, date of birth, phone number, employment status, and income source in the second form. At this stage you’ll be sent a mobile verification code to verify your phone number.
- The second form requires you to enter your name, address, phone number, employment status, and income source. At this stage you’ll be sent a mobile verification code to verify your phone number.
While this may seem obvious, make sure your personal or business details match your official documents (which you’ll be required to upload as a soft copy in the next form). This goes a long way to avoid hold ups in the profile approval process!
2.3 Document verification
- We hope you kept all your Ids handy, because this is where they come in! You can either verify your identity by entering the details of your driver’s license, a recent utility bill or your bank statement.
If all the details entered are correct, your account should be validated within 24 hours.
2.4 Setting up the transfer
- To initiate a transfer, first enter the bank details of your recipient (Quick tip: Make sure you check the Help Section of the website to know whether the individual or service you’re sending money to appears on InstaReM’s country-specific approved list. This will make the standard internal review process go much quicker.)
- Next, choose how you’ll pay for your transfer and your currency exchange. InstaReM lets you fund your transfer through bank transfers (direct debit) and wire transfers in most of the regulated countries. If you’re in Australia and transferring funds within the country, opt for POLi for the quickest turnaround time. You can also send money to InstaReM by adding your relevant debit card details (EU residents), through ACH Pull (US residents), or via FPX (Malaysian residents).
2.5 Tracking your transfer
Every transaction generates a unique Transaction ID Number that’s seminal in the payment confirmation process. After you fund the transfer, it generally takes a couple of days to be credited to your recipient’s bank account.
What else should you know
- Keep in mind the minimum and maximum ceilings when you transfer funds globally through InstaReM. For example, users in Australia can only transfer AUD 2,500 in their first transaction. Learn more about the upper and lower limits before setting up your transfer.
- InstaReM has a pretty cool loyalty program. You can earn InstaPoints (that can be redeemed for specific transactions) by signing up for InstaReM, completing your profile quickly and referring others to the platform.
3.1 For Individuals
InstaReM is pretty straight forward and fuss-free for both individuals and businesses. After your documents are approved and you get your foot through the door, keep the following things in mind to ensure a speedy transfer:
- While InstaReM isn’t aboard the forward-contract bandwagon yet, exchange rates provided to you at the time of setting up a transfer can be locked for 24 hours. But if you don’t fund your transfer within the next 72 hours, the transfer will be cancelled and you may have to start from scratch.
- Make sure you’re transferring funds to approved recipients. You can pay for medical treatments, visa fees, overseas education, as well as utility bills in your home country through InstaReM.
- While the platforms mid-market FX rates are updated live,
Lastly, InstaReM holds their pending funds in a separate client money account instead of merging them with InstaReM’s operating funds, which ensures your money is never lost in transit.
3.2 For Businesses
InstaReM is a great way for businesses to manage high-volume, multi-currency payments. Essentially, it helps businesses automate bulk payments on their MassPay platform, which can include both vendor payments as well as standard business expenses.
Corporates and SMEs can set up multi-currency payouts for multiple beneficiaries (up to 20) and expect an estimated 80% reduction in international money transfer expenses.
3.3 When it doesn’t work
In our experience, InstaReM has proven to be a speedy and reliable service for almost all transfers.
However, it may not be ideal for you if:
- You need to make large transfers on priority
- Often add multiple payees
- Wish to avoid the fees banks can charge at either end.
Since each transfer is internally reviewed by InstaReM, a pre-approved corridor, standard amounts, and regular payees are sure to prevent hold ups at their end.
What else should you know?
- If you set up multiple transfers of the same amount but only make a single deposit, it will be associated with the first transfer request you submit.
- Transferring money through InstaREM via ACH Pull from the US comes with its own set of rules.
Here are some insights from top reviews on TrustPilot
For a relatively new service (launched in 2015 and scaling super-fast), InstaReM has amazing reviews on TrustPilot, where they score 4.5/5 (Great) with over 7000 reviews.
According to some of the Top Reviews on TrustPilot, InstaREM is the preferred fund transfer platform because of their competitive FX rates.
Here’s what some of the reviewers are saying:
“Very simple steps and easy to transfer money on the go. Good ex-rate compared to other money changers and banks.”
“I started using InstaReM a few months ago and I’ve completely stopped using my bank for overseas transfers because of the higher costs. Overall, InstaReM is a great service at very affordable rates.”
Folks are also praising InstaReM for their prompt customer service and great UI and “Excellent Service”.
InstaReM Transfers gives competitive rates and has edge when compared to other services.
“I recommend this!” and “User-friendly interface and fuss free transfer! Would recommend it to anyone!”
Another standout is that Instarem also has a helpful calculator here so you san see the exchange rate and fees for your transfer.
However, there were certain points when InstaReM seems to have dropped the ball.
We went through more than 100 reviews (in May 2019) and tried to be as objective as possible. Interestingly in May 2022, Instarem has improved their review ranks from 4/5 to 4.5/5 which is an exceptional achievement. (Major updates coming soon)
Here are the top trends we noticed in the “Bad” and “Poor” reviews:
- Transfer speed (first-time users, new payees, and large transactions)
- Customer service
Transfer speed (first time users) and dissatisfaction with customer service
Some first-time users were asked for additional documents (for example, bank statements and invoices) after they funded the transaction, which led to a delay in the money being transferred to the recipients. Plus, some delays were caused by the funding options chosen by users (ACH vs bank transfers in the US when ACH was newly introduced). many issues are very similar to all their competitors where the focus seems to be on how quickly they transact once the have you money with little education about the time it takes banks at either end to clear funds.
InstaReM also seems like it could improve in the customer service department. With such low upfront fees, we have to wonder if the cause is directly related to the very low fees.
That said, InstaReM does responded to each comment on TrustPilot by addressing the users’ specific issues.
Banks and financial institutions like InstaReM are required to adhere to regulations of each country and they need to verify the identity and source of every transaction on an ongoing basis to comply with country-specific regulatory requirements. This is completely normal for money transfer services.
Overall, these reviews accounted for 12% of the total reviews. While this is still on the lower side compared to the number of users who’ve walked away with a stellar money transfer experience and continue to be loyal users, InstaReM needs to make their on-boarding experience a little more transparent.
You could go through their Help Section in detail.
However here are some more tips so that you can avoid an unsavoury experience:
- Learn about the kind of transfers you can make
- Ensure complete accuracy of submitted information and documents when you create your profile and fund a transfer
- Also, make sure you track your transfer through your InstaReM dashboard and keep an eye on the spam folder of your email so that you stay on top of any notifications (regarding transfer delays or requirement of additional documents for new payees and large transactions) issued by the platform.
Key Takeaway: InstaReM works great if you send regulated amounts to pre-approved payees. However, a sudden large transaction or adding multiple payees often may raise red flags and lead to potential transfer delays.
According to their website, InstaReM ensures same day transfers in many cases if you fund your transfer through a direct debit or POLi.
Here’s what a TrustPilot reviewer had to say “it is an absolute cakewalk to make international fund transfers on InstaReM. So far, I have made 7 fund transfers in the last 5 months and 6 out of 7 deposits/remittance were credited to the recipient account on the same day.”
In our real-world experience, the speed of the transfer depended on the country, currency, amount being transferred, as well as the method chosen to fund our transfer.
Typically banks at either ends slow down the process far more than InstaReM itself.
If speed is your focus you might also like to discover the fastest ways to send money internationally.
Key Takeaways: Same day transfers to pre-approved payees in the some countries is possible. However mostly because of the banks – bank to bank it may take several business days all said and done.
As a fast-growing global money transfer platform, InstaReM deals with a lot of privileged information round the clock. They take this responsibility very seriously and leave no stone unturned to protect the sensitive information that circulates through their systems.
Apart from robust encryption on their app and website, InstaReM is government regulated in Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and the US.
For example, InstaReM is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Apart from that, InstaReM is also heavily regulated by the Hong Kong Customs Excise Department, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.
InstaReM is a very solid pick for medium size money transfers – at few thousand dollars up to about $10,000.
Instarem has a helpful calculator (opens new tab) so you san see the exchange rate and fees for your transfer.
You could do better for large transactions (over $10,000) because for these amounts customer service becomes much more important especially as dealing with your bank can become less straight forward. OFX is our top pick.
For smaller transactions (below $3000 – $4000), you will find it hard to beat Wise who are similarly transparent BUT also have many local bank accounts worldwide which can be a saving all costs considered. You might like Instarem Vs Wise because they both have important strengths.
Apart from that, InstaReM is a great cost effective service with fast transfers once you go through their approval process.
Whether you choose InstaReM or another recommended money transfer service, you’re sure to save big in the long term when you avoid international transfers through banks.