Is it a good option as a money transfer company or do better options exist in the market?
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Often times, especially for expats, it makes sense to invest money in a portable way, as opposed to sending money home to invest.
Day by day, the need of money transfer services increases and every time we become acquainted with new companies, which offer international money transfer services.
The discovery of new companies mainly depends on our location, where we live and work, it depends on the fees and commissions we have to pay for the transfer. Because we are always in search of companies offering convenient conditions such as low fees, more currencies and availability in more countries.
In our blog, you can find dozen of reviews about popular money transfer companies, their pros and cons, where they shine and what their disadvantages are. In every review, we’ve tried to show every detail about the product or service, so the future customers could orientate in their choice.
In this article, we will be focused on another international money transfer supporting company called Remitly, with all the essential information.
When the company’s founders discovered that sending money to the developing world was not as easy as it should be the idea for Remitly came to mind. As a consequence, the service that was launched has gone on to gain eager support from its clients who trust in its vision.
Focusing on common African, Asian, and Latin American currency corridors, Remitly is reducing the cost of sending money back to their friends and families. With a loyal following, some signs of progress are starting to be seen.
Now in a more comprehensive way, Remitly was founded in 2011 by three co-founders: Matthew Oppenheimer, Josh Hug and Shivaas Gulati.
The inspiration for the company, originally named Beamit, was when Matthew worked for Barclays in Kenya and discovered how difficult it was to send money abroad. Since then, the company has focused on low-cost remittance corridors to selected destinations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The service handles more than $ 4 billion in transactions annually and employs approximately 400 people in four international offices.
It has received support from investors such as the World Bank, Bezos Expeditions and Tomorrow Ventures, which have raised a total of $ 200 million to date.
Remitly’s marketing strategy positions the company as a community service enterprise that helps immigrants support their loved ones back home.
Nowadays, Remitly continues to lead the founding team, with Matthew serving as CEO and Josh as chief operating officer.
Suzanne Morgan as CFO supports them with significant experience in senior management positions at Microsoft and Amazon.
Co-founder, Schivass, continues to look for ways to improve Remitly’s product offering as head of new initiatives. Hilton Hewitt completes the executive team as Director of Compliance.
Therefore, the story is short but the way that Remitly team passed is really hard. The level of success they have now is a result of good team and well executed strategy.
But what Remitly presents itself?
Remitly is a web-based provider of money transfers that allows you to quickly send money from the U.S. to over 50 countries.
There is pace where Remitly shines. Competitors with delivery options within minutes appear to have higher fees, but with good rates, Remitly balances velocity.
Ramitly is very focused on easy and fast international money transfers for immigrants to the developed world looking to send money home.
They do a good job of keeping costs low, especially when you consider the convenience, speed, and ability of the recipient to receive cash. The reviews we found show that customers are very satisfied.
Their closest competitors are Western Union and WorldRemit, which we have also reviewed. But that doesn’t make them the best for everyone, for sure many complaints were found while reading the customer reviews.
While you can send both very small and relatively large amounts, the sweet spot for Remitly is when you need money to arrive very quickly and you want options like simple payment and cash withdrawal.
For pickup, they partner with shipping and distribution providers in many countries (banks, cash pickup or delivery services) so that your family can choose multiple ways to receive funds.
With Remitly, you can transfer money from these 16 countries: UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden to over 50 countries.
Remitly is also available in up to 100 currencies, which is another advantage for the company. About the exchange rates and fees we’ll talk later in the article. Now let’s fix some really important pros and cons of Remitly.
- Super fast transfer option
- Two plans to send money: express and economy
- Easy tracking for both senders and recipients
- Various options to receive money, such as bank transfers, pick up points, home delivery, and mobile wallet transfers
- Funds your transfers with a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer
- Guaranteed delivery
- If the delivery is late, the fees will be refunded
- Allows people in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and the UK to send money to over 50 countries around the world, with cash pickup possible at more than 140,000 locations worldwide.
- Remitly’s referral program makes it possible to earn rewards by referring friends and family members.
- Banned transfers between 16 sending countries
- Fees can be high compared to other money transferring companies
- A limit of $2,999 is placed on all new accounts, and you’ll need more ID to increase daily, monthly and 180-day sending limits.
- The speed and the amount of fees can differ, they depend on the country you send money
How does it work?
While commissions and real customer experience are major factors in choosing a reliable money transfer service, other aspects come into play as well.
This will help you decide with confidence if Remitly is right for your specific needs or if you need to use a different service.
Remitly only allows personal transfers. That is, if you are in the country of the sender, you can send money to a family member to cover utility, household, medical, or travel expenses. If this is you, Ramitly’s service offerings can be particularly attractive.
Areas they really shine:
- Cash pick up
- Express Service
- Timely guarantee – or they’ll refund you transfer fees (not margin)
Remitly currently supports 16 sender countries and over 50 recipient countries. So if you’ve recently moved to a developed country for work and want to support your family in your home country, Remitly can be a great option.
Before to start introducing you to the registration process, here is a quick overview of transfer methods and options, which you definitely need to have an imagination about:
- Sending options: Remitly website and mobile app.
- Payment options: US bank account, debit and credit card.
- Delivery options: bank account and cash withdrawal from a large number of outlets, including banks, supermarkets and pharmacies. Delivery to India is only done to bank accounts.
- Transfer limits: $ 2,999 within 24 hours upon first registration with Remitly. The amount can be increased up to USD 10,000 (USD 30,000 for transfers to India) if you provide additional information to verify your identity or source of funds. The amount you can send within a month is limited to $ 30,000.
As already noted, Remitly is a web-based transfer service, so to send money to your family you have to register and create an account.
Follow these steps to register and start sending money.
Step 1. Go to the Remitly website or download their app (both iOS and Android apps are available). Click “Join Now” and start filling in the information, first of all you have to fill in your email address and come up with a password, and after it’s turn for your personal information.
Step 2. Verify your identity before initiating a transfer to avoid delays.
Step 3. Fill in the requested information and make sure you have entered the correct country of origin and target currency pair. After choose your delivery partner, which usually is the recipient’s bank.
Step 4. Choose a tariff (Express or Economy) and complete your transfer.
Step 5. Enter (and double check) the recipient’s details and remember that they don’t need a Remitly account to receive money, they just need a bank near their address, which is the delivery partner.
Step 6. The easiest and happiest step. Just hit send and voila.
Sending money home with Remitly is quick and easy. You only need to set up the transaction, and Remitly will do the rest. They even let the recipient know when money is in his bank account or ready to be picked up at a cash pick-up point.
How do international money transferring companies make money? Foreign exchange companies make money in two ways – either through transfer fees or by including margin on the exchange rate.
Let’s now talk a little about the fee and commissions which are not less important than other factors. Remitly usually charges a flat fee of about $ 4 to send money, depending on the country or payment method.
There is no fee for sending more than $ 1000 to India or transferring money to the Philippines from a bank account. There is always a 3% fee for sending money by credit card.
Remitly exchange rates usually have a markup of 1% to just under 3%, which depends a lot on currency and payment method, but they are about on par with similar competitors.
But this was a general fee overview, now let’s see some details. The Remitly fee depends on the country you are sending from, the service you use and the target currency.
As we said, they usually charge a flat fee (like $ 2.99 or $ 3.99) to transfer, sometimes you can even meet a 0 commission.
To see how much you have to pay for your transfer check it on your payment tab (on desktop) or get an app for mobile devices – iOS or Android.
About the exchange rate margin
Most people are unaware that this is usually the highest cost. Fortunately, Remity’s exchange rate offers are displayed right on the website when you select the currency you want to transfer.
To calculate your margin commission, open Remitly, then open XE to get the interbank rate. Take the Remitli number and subtract it from the XE bet. You will get a number like 0.04. Multiply this number by the amount to get the margin that you pay as margin.
You will notice that express transactions are very fast (recipients can receive money within 4 hours), but the margin is higher than their tariff plan.
And the final payment you have to do is the general amount of a usual fixed fee and the exchange rate margin, that is why sometimes you can meet complaining reviews from customers talking about high fee structure and etc.
For smaller amounts, the total fees will be about $10-20 which is much less than a bank and pretty competitive with their competitors especially when you consider cash pickup and their guarantee which is pretty attractive.
But when you send bigger amounts the margin fee will increase gradually. So consider this fact while choosing Remitly for sending money abroad.
Is Remitly safe and reliable?
They have over 1 million users who commit more than $ 6 billion in collective transactions annually.
Remitly is a licensed financial services provider in 16 sender countries and over 50 recipient countries. In the United States, they are regulated by the United States and have the authority to “transfer money to all US states and Washington DC,” Canada. They are also regulated in the UK, Ireland and Australia.
Apart from that, Ramitly also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee clause. This means that if you cancel the transaction, you will receive a full refund.
And if you are not satisfied with their services (but your money was received), they will refund the “transfer fee” (but not the margin).
Remitly also checks all transfers for fraud prevention and protects your data with 256-bit SSL encryption and two-factor authentication.
The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regulates Ramitly. Its international subsidiaries are regulated by the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction of their operations, such as FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia.
In accordance with standards set by government regulatory authorities, Remitly’s customer funds are held in segregated accounts and kept separate from the company’s own operating accounts. This ensures the safety of clients’ funds should Remitly run into financial difficulties.
The Remitly website is protected by TLS encryption, which prevents the interception of sensitive data during your visit. You can verify that this is indeed the case by recognizing the green padlock next to the website URL in your browser.
They also claim to use modern, manual and automated verification methods to identify suspicious account activity.
How fast the transfer is being processed?
The transfer speed depends on a number of factors: on the plan you choose (economy or express), on the method of funding your transfer and the target currency.
If you need to send money urgently, choose their express delivery service, which will ensure that the money is in the hands of the recipient “within minutes using a debit card”.
If your transfer can wait, choose their Economy plan, which gives you the best exchange rate and helps you save on transfer fees. Money sent at Economy rate usually arrives within 3-5 business days.
Remitly also sends you and your recipients with translation updates, which adds peace of mind.
Remitly will also notify you if your transfer is suspended, is pending with its partner in the recipient’s country, or if you have made any changes to the recipient’s details.
Benefits of using an international online money transfer service
Of the many available money transfer methods, the best option is considered to be online money transfer. Other methods include wire transfer and bank transfer.
Both of these methods are somewhat slower, more expensive, and less intelligent than transferring money over the Internet.
Gone are the days when you had to visit banks to transfer money abroad. It’s now a very easy task, no matter where you are or what time of day! With online money transfers, you can even make money transfers from your own home.
Here are some benefits of using international money transferring services:
- More suitable exchange rates
This is how they beat the banks. They operate at current exchange rates and use various monitoring tools to select the best exchange rates. Their goal is to operate at higher turnover rather than higher margins.
They provide an opportunity to fix the exchange rate for the future. You can take advantage of useful tools such as stop orders and limit orders.
These tools set the minimum and maximum exchange rates for exchanging or sending money, respectively. This will save you from adverse fluctuations in currency rates.
- Online transaction method is faster than traditional methods
The transferred money is received on the same day, and in some cases maximum, within one or two working days. Thus, you have both options; if you have time to wait, you can choose the best exchange rate; or you can also perform an immediate transaction if there is no time limit or any kind of emergency.
- The online system is available 24/7
You can transfer money at any time of the day.
- It is also very easy to track the status of your transfer
Every step; the past, the present and the next are clearly visible, as with tracking orders in an online store. Managing your online account is available all the time, 365 days a year. Get quotes, make transfers and track the progress of your payments at any time.
- Safety and reliability
Online money transfers from trusted sites are safe and secure as they meet the highest industry security standards. It gives you a lot of peace of mind.
Another reason for using trusted names is their unrivaled customer service. Their cool and dedicated team of qualified professionals is always ready to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
There are absolutely no hidden bank charges, clearance fees or commissions. Using the normal method, all of these fees add up to an additional cost of 4 to 5 percent. This makes a huge difference; for example, you will save $ 1,000 on transactions around $ 25,000.
Remitly is at its best in the speed department, offering fast shipping options in every country we looked at. If other speed-focused competitors make up for it with high prices, Remitly offers these services at moderate prices. Beginners will get a particularly good exchange rate.
It’s worth noting that if you don’t have time and your recipient can wait a few days before collecting their money, other providers have lower fees and better rates.
Remitly is a great money transfer service if you work overseas (in a developed country) and want to send money home to support your loved ones.
They are available in 16 sending countries (UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Sweden) and support transfers to more than 50 countries.
But if you are looking to pay for business expenses, send larger amounts, or prefer slower bank transfers, they might not be the right choice for you. Continue reading our in-depth reviews about money transferring companies and maybe one of them will be a great option for you to send money to your family, kid or friend.
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