Online international payment platforms turn your smartphone into a 24/7 remittance service. About one-eighth of the global population either sends or receives money across borders. These remittances are an absolute lifeline for families of migrants back home, especially in times of need. Therefore, it’s crucial that an app or an online platform providing these vital financial services is simple to use, affordable, and fast. Here are the best examples of international money transfer portals.
The service allows sending money from 20 countries (Europe, US, Canada, Australia and Singapore) to practically every corner of the world. Depending on the destination, recipients can have their funds deposited directly into their bank accounts, sent to a cash pickup location, deposited into a mobile wallet, or delivered to their homes. They also don’t need to create a Remitly account to receive money. Recipients in China can even get the transfer through the popular WeChat. The available payment methods include debit, credit and prepaid cards, bank accounts, bank transfers, Klarna, iDeal, Passbook, and manual transfers (sometimes called SEPA credit transfers). Your options as a sender depend on the region you live in.
Remitly stands out among its competitors with comparably low transfer fees, and high delivery speed. At the same time, the service does add a margin of between 0.5% to 3.0% above the mid-market exchange rate depending on the currency pair.
The remittance service has two transfer options: Economy and Express. The Economy option is slower, taking 3-5 days to deliver a transfer. It is predictably cheaper and can incur zero fees in some cases. Express transfers usually take minutes to arrive. They are also more expensive to send. Money transfers are easily tracked and guaranteed to arrive on time (otherwise, you’ll get your fee back). Remitly app is highly rated on TrustPilot too (4.1 out of 5).
WorldRemit is truly a global service with over 60 sending locations, 130 recipient countries and more than 70 different currencies available. The delivery terms are also extremely quick: 95% of WorldRemit cash pickup transfers are available to collect in 3 minutes, while 90% of bank transfers with the service are completed the same day.
Recipients can get their transfer delivered for cash pickup, mobile money, bank transfer, or airtime top-up. The sender can pay by bank account transfer, using Australia Post’s POLi, Interact, Klarna (Sofort), iDeal, Trustly, Mobile Money, by debit or credit card, prepaid card, as well as by Apple Pay. However, Google Pay is no longer accepted.
The foreign exchange rate used by WorldRemit depends on the amount you are sending, and the delivery method you choose. As a rule, the exchange rate is less favorable for lower money amounts. A profit margin for WorldRemit is typically between 1.5% and 4.5%. The transfer fees are quite low, mostly in the range $1 to $6 per transaction. The service has both a website and an app. The majority of WorldRemit reviews are positive, with the company scoring 4.1 out of 5 stars on average.
Wise is famous for transparency, as it doesn’t charge an exchange-rate markup on its transfers, being as close to the mid-market rate as it can be. Other advantages of Wise include ease-of-use, low fees, and great customer service. The Wise website is straightforward and clear. The homepage has a cost calculator that makes it easy to see fees and rates. Besides, the fixed transfer cost to many countries is a combination of a flat amount around $1 and less than 1% of the transfer amount. For larger and frequent transfers (e.g. over 100 000 GBP per month), some discounts may apply.
Quick delivery is possible for transfers using a debit or credit card. However, transfers funded with bank accounts can take over a week (3-4 business days on average). Yet, they are usually the cheapest funding option. Credit card payments are among the most expensive to process. Other payment methods include direct bank account transfer, SWIFT, Apple Pay,
You can use money in your multi-currency account to send to any of the 80 countries available on Wise. More than 50 currencies are supported. The platform has a great overall score of 4.6 out of 5 on TrustPilot.
This service has a wide reach being owned by PayPal. Namely, over 160 countries are available for remittances. Most transfers take place within minutes. Recipients can get money delivered to their doorstep, pick up cash at partner locations, or have it deposited directly to their bank account (options vary by country). You can pay using your bank account, debit card, or credit card.
Besides the international transfers, Xoom offers additional services such as directly paying utility bills abroad and reloading mobile phones. This may facilitate the lives of many families depending on remittances as they can spare time and money needed to receive the transfer and use it to pay bills.
Xoom charges a fee of $4.99 or less for transfers using bank accounts to most destinations. When using a credit card to pay for a Xoom service, your card provider may charge a cash advance fee in addition to the transaction fee. Its exchange rate includes a currency conversion markup somewhere between 4-6%.
Xe provides payment services both to individuals and businesses. The latter may avail currency risk-management solutions, send and receive money via spot transfers, forward contracts, and market orders. Businesses can also set up mass international payments and integrate XE with important business tools. All Xe customers can make global payments, send money to family, pay international businesses and buy foreign real estate.
You can register if you live in the 22 supported countries including the US, Canada, New Zealand, and some European states. The recipient may be located in 100+ different corners of the world.
XE’s highly-rated mobile app (available for both Android and iOs users) has a nice feature enabling you to set rate alerts and get the best exchange rate for your international transfers. The drawback is that the cash pickup option is only available on the Xe app, but not via its online portal.
Xe has a bit of a confusing fee structure encouraging larger transfers. Thus, if you send less than $500 to a foreign bank account, you’ll pay $3 as a transaction fee. If the amount is greater than the set minimum (varies by region), the fee doesn’t apply. Money transfers sent with the cash pickup service are subject to different fee rates. Interac (e-Transfer) is typically a free service, though it depends on the bank you use.
This Australian international money transfer service has plenty of useful solutions to offer. For example, there’s an ability to automate your transfers over up to 12 months. You can even set up a fixed payment plan, which locks in the exchange rate so that it remains the same for each of your transfers throughout the plan. This can help you to pay for an overseas mortgage, pay Australian taxes from abroad, receive your pension abroad, repatriate a foreign salary, or pay for overseas tuition.
Besides, OFX is not a simple remittance service but a functional FX marketplace with forward contracts, limit and stop-loss orders, daily market updates, risk management tools, and solutions for business customers.
OFX offers competitive exchange rates, and it doesn’t charge transfer fees, regardless of the sending amount. Occasionally, third-party banks may deduct a fee from your transfer before paying the recipient. The markup may range between 0.4% and 1.5%, depending on the currencies and locations.
Depending on the sender’s country and the currency that the sender is using, funds will normally be deposited into the recipient’s bank account within 1 – 2 working days. Once OFX receives your funds, 80% of all major currency transfers are processed in 24 hours. Payments can be done by BPAY, Electronic Funds Transfer and Direct Debit.
World First offers B2B international money transfers. Receiving accounts can be opened in the UK, USA, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Clients can transact in more than 180 currencies. The company offers same-day availability on 97% of currency pairs actively traded through its online platform.
Transfer fees range between $10 and $30 depending on the amount being transferred. Private clients transacting $100,000 and above do not pay any transfer fees. Exchange rates are realtime and priced about 2% above the mid-market rate.
There are no minimum limits for transactions. An exchange rate can be locked for a date up to three years in the future (with a forward contract). If you need to make an international payment with very little notice, a spot contract is a solution. Firm orders can also be executed at a rate of your choosing. Payments can be arranged online or over the phone with your relationship manager. The rating of the service is 4.5 out of 5.