Instarem Vs Wise – 7 Must Knows

About Author: Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2014, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international money transfers and payments through banks. Once I discovered how to manage my own international currencies much better, I became driven to help others improve their transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are many excellent options. See My Full Bio.

Instarem Vs Wise

Wise and Instarem are two trusted companies with great Trustpilot ratings. Wise scores 4.2/5 from 196k+ reviews, while Instarem scores 4.3/5 rating from 8k+ reviews. Both services offer fair and transparent international money transfers, but, Wise wins in terms of coverage and cool features.

Both are leaders when it comes to low fees (generally 0.25% to 1% – compared to up to 10%), but there can be big differences between the two depending on the amount and currencies.

Let’s get stuck into it!

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

Quick Comparison

Fortunately, both are transparent on fees before you sign up.

The best way to compare:

Use the calculator for Wise (opens new tab)  and compare it with the calculator on Instarem (opens new tab).

Instarem and Wise also solve a lot of problems for international businesses and individuals who handle multiple currencies.

Wise for example has their ridiculously handy Multi Currency Account (review), which then enables you to get a Wise Debit Card (review) which can be a game changer for international individuals, freelancers and businesses.

Meanwhile Instarem has an integrated solution for business.


Instarem Likes:

  • Available for personal and business
  • Transfers to 55+ countries
  • Low fees
  • Local receiving accounts in 6 currencies

Instarem Dislikes:

  • Bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers only (no cash)
  • Some potential extra fees (not as transparent as Wise)
  • Can’t send money from New Zealand or Middle East


Wise Likes:

  • Available for personal and business
  • Supports transfers to 70+ countries
  • Low fees with excellent transparency
  • Transfers at the mid-market rate
  • Multi-currency account and debit card for personal and business
  • Local receiving accounts in 10 currencies

Wise Dislikes:

  • Bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers only (no cash)

1. Real Fees & Hidden Costs


  • Transparent fees – see the exact fee breakdown
  • Fixed transfer fees are very low and range between 0.25%-1% of the amount. These fees depend on the origin country and the amount.
  • No option fund to transfers with a credit card in the US, which rules out credit card fees. However ACH transfer fees may be applicable.
  • For other locations, hidden fees like credit card charges, or sending and receiving bank fees may be applicable.


  • you will see the exact amount the receiver will get on the homepage before you even sign up
  • Low service fee, which depends on the currency and amount (starting from 0.35% of the amount, unlike 3-5% charged by banks).
  • Removes hidden fees like sending and receiving fees by having local bank accounts in supported areas
  • Credit or debit card charges are applicable for card-funded transfers (3% of the amount)

Winner: Wise

Both Instarem and Wise are transparent about what they charge and show a complete breakdown of the fees before anyone even signs up. They also offer transfers at the mid-market rate, which is rare.

However, Wise goes a step further. For example, Wise pass on more savings to their users by having a wide network of local bank accounts in as many countries as possible, which eliminates the potentially expensive receiving bank fees (typically between $15-$50).

2. Both Safe?


  • Onboarding procedure is streamlined to sift out dubious profiles and validate genuine applicants – robust KYC process
  • Strong fraud detection: Employs a wide range of tracking tools that monitor suspicious behavior, such as irregular spikes in activity, usage of new email accounts or phone number for signups, unusual cross-border transactions, changing purchase patterns, etc.
  • End-to-end data encryption system to keep your money and information safe


  • To adhere to the regulatory laws of these authorities, Wise keeps their operating funds separate from your money (which is kept in JP Morgan or Barclays, depending on your location)
  • Dedicated fraud detection team
  • Regularly audited by various financial and IT authorities
  • Get real-time notifications for account activities
  • Their website has an authentic and valid SSL certificate and their app uses two-factor authentication to keep your money and personal information safe

You might like: Is Wise Safe?

Winner: Both

Both appear to be as safe and secure as we can tell.

Ultimately, their businesses rely on the security of your funds and multiple regulators also helps boost confidence.

3. Ease of Use


  • Mobile apps on Apple and Android score 3.8 and 3.9 respectively
  • Set up transfers 24×7 on website and app
  • Businesses get custom reports, advanced payment tracking and spend management capability


  • Mobile apps on Apple and Android score 4.7 and 4.3 respectively
  • Desktop experience is seemless
  • Track rates, manage your multi currency account, set up transfers 24×7 from the website and app

You might like: How Wise Works

Winner: Wise

Both Instarem and Wise operate similarly when it comes to money transfers.

When it comes to user experience Wise is a winner in both App stores and on destop.

4. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)


Instarem is rated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot with over 6000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”


  • Quick and easy transfers
  • Competitive rates
  • Easy-to-use platform

“Have been using Instarem for a while to send money overseas. It is easy to use and has an app as well for making transfers on the move which is always handy. The money gets transferred quickly within the same day. they also offer competitive rates as well which is always good.

Overall would recommend Instarem for those looking to transfer money overseas regularly or frequently.”

– RG on Trustpilot

“The steps for transferring and the UI are pretty awesome. On top of that you get best rate.”

– Venkata on Trustpilot

“The money was credited to my overseas bank account within 2 minutes which was best and without any hassles. Also, their customer service team is very responsive in case you have any queries.”

– Ankur on Trustpilot


  • Accounts Frozen

Many users are dissatisfied with transactions that are suddenly canceled or paused as well as the longer cycle of approving some transfers.

This is as a result of regular checks conducted by Instarem to adhere to anti-fraud and anti-money-laundering policies as a licensed service provider.


Wise is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 140,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”


  • Very affordable rates
  • Fast transfers
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Great tools for traveling (the MasterCard)

“I have used Wise for about 3 years …

The exchange rates are competitive and also the transfer … is generally 5-10 mins.”

– Mr. Mark Bradley on Trustpilot

“Been with TransferWise (Wise) for a while now. Initially as have a daughter in New Zealand and used it for transferring money to her. More lately have a Wise card and use it on trips to Europe – just so good and basically like having a Euro current account. Works brilliantly whether just getting cash at ATMs or contactless payment. Looked at several options and have never found any other that offers better value and the process and app is so easy. No complaints at all.”

– Paul Dobbins on Trustpilot


  • Accounts Frozen

Wise can and sometimes does deactivate accounts with money inside or during transfers.

No doubt this is related to meeting regulations, but can understandably be very upsetting and frustrating.

Truth is, this is a challenge faced by all money transfer services and you will almost always get your money back.

Winner: Both

Both Instarem and Wise score highly on Trustpilot for their speed, efficiency, low fees and excellent customer services.

They are also two of the most transparent services in the industry who not only aim to keep the costs low but keep their customers informed every step of the way.

Frozen accounts can be seen as a positive. Usually is simply means a delay in your money arriving due to regulations which also protect you.

5. Transfer Speeds


  • Takes a few hours to one business day for currencies like GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, etc. Asian transfers can be very fast.
  • Exotic currencies and transfers funded by bank transfers may take 1-5 days


  • Transfers in popular currencies like the USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD etc. are often completed in a few hours. – especially if the transfers are funded with a credit card (more expensive)
  • Transfers funded by bank accounts can take 1-5 days

Winner: Wise

Both Instarem and Wise are very fast when it comes to transfer speeds.

Both companies indicate some transfers can take many days (and they can) the reality is that for many common currencies transfers are practically instantaneous.

To help with speed both companies have to integrate with local banks so that they can make transfers fast as possible.

Generally Wise has connected with more banks worldwide and also makes it possible for the the sender to select a transfer speed. However, Instarem may be better for Asian countries as it is based in Singapore.

6. Customer Service and Support


  • 24×7 email and chat support
  • Extensive FAQs
  • Responsive customer service


  • Live chat and email focus
  • Extensive FAQs
  • Responsive customer service

Winner: Both

Both services keep your fees low by efficiently handing customer services. This is most often done through email and chat.

Phone support is costly for any business and both services try to avoid it.

Need to transfer more than $7000 USD?

It seems clear to us that the services which are best for larger transfers have readily available telephone support.

This can be important as sending or receiving banks usually have may be funding limits. This can mean holdups and this is where we have found 24/7 support (ideally telephone) to be extremely helpful.

Also fees for services that handle large amounts tend to reduce in percentage terms as the amounts increase.

7. Cool Extras


  • Instapoints means you can save extra money on transfers made frequently (or larger amounts)
  • Business accounts:
    • Users can get paid in currencies like USD, SGD, GBP, EUR, HKD and AUD with local receiving accounts at no extra cost
    • Custom reports, advanced payment tracking and spend management data to manage your international money


  • Multi Currency account for individuals and businesses
  • Hold, manage, and convert between 50+ currencies
  • Get local bank details in 10 currencies to pay and get paid like a local. USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, SGD, TRY, RON and HUF
  • MasterCard debit card for online transactions as well as ATM withdrawals
  • Business account offers bulk payments and integrates

Winner: Wise

Wise offers multi currency accounts to individuals and businesses. The personal option is great for frequent travelers and digital nomads, while the business option can be used by freelancers, growing global businesses, as well as online sellers.

Wise wins this round because of their well rounded approach to both money transfers and multi-currency accounts.

Instarem’s global receiving accounts are very helpful for growing global businesses, however, there are likely better options for a comprehensive solution.

You might like Wise Vs Revolut if you are running a business and looking for an end-to-end solution for international business.


Let’s make this simple.

If you are an individual with international money needs, Wise is likely to be the best choice based on it being an excellent money transfer service and additional cool extras (above).

If you are in India or Asia Instarem is particularly good for small money transfer. For business, Instarem may have better payment options or reporting.

Before you get too carried away with details, it is good to check the fees based on your amount and countries.

Use the calculator on Wise (opens new tab)  and compare it with the calculator on Instarem (opens new tab).

Neither options is best for money transfers over $7000 USD (£4500 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD AUD) where we recommend services that have 24/7 phone support like OFX which also offers to remove the $15 fee if applicable here.

So which option is ideal for you ultimately comes down to your specific needs.

Happy Money!

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