Remitly is one of the largest independent digital remittance companies in the United States. Based in Seattle, the provider serves over 2 million customers who collectively send an annual remittance volume of more $6 billion.
In this review, we’ll look at the exchange rates and fees, the payments you can make, transfer speeds, what customers are saying about Remitly, and anything else you could need to know about Remitly before trusting the company with your money.
Remitly was founded in 2011 with a mission to provide immigrants in the U.S. with convenient, faster and cheaper ways of transferring money to their families and friends back home and has been doing that ever since. Its proprietary money transfer platform allows customers to pay for transfers using debit cards, credits cards and bank transfers. Remittances are swift and can be delivered directly to your recipient’s bank account, cash pickup point, debit card, mobile money or digital wallets, or even delivered at their doorstep.
Apart from the United States, Remitly customers can now transfer money from Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, and 12 other countries – and can make transfers to over 55 countries globally. Remitly has so far raised $420 million from top investors like Bezos Expeditions, Founders’ Co-Op, QED Investors, and Trilogy Equity Partners among many others.
Remitly focuses on enhancing product and customer experience across a limited number of corridors handling a large volume of transactions. This includes a commitment to provide low fees and great exchange rates for all the customers they serve. Here is how Remitly is different from other money transfer companies in terms of fees and exchange rates from Remitly.
Customers using Remitly enjoy competitive rates across a variety of currency pairs. Exchange rate margins typically vary between 1% and 3.7% above mid-market rates, but the individual exchange rate will depend on a variety of factors including the speed at which your transfer is processed. To get a picture of the margins charged, let’s look at the following scenarios as of 15th April 2020:
Sending $1,000 from the U.S. to Mexico
Sending £1,000 from the United Kingdom to the Philippines
Sending CA$1,000 from Canada to Kenya
The exchange rate margin you’ll get on your transfer varies depending on the transfer corridor and whether you need the money delivered very fast or not. Remitly also offers promotional rates for new customers, so if it’s your first time using the service you could benefit from these deals.
On top of applying a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate, Remitly charges customers fees for making transfers. Transfer fees on Remitly depend on how much you send and the delivery method you choose. Express is the fastest delivery method, but also costlier than the ‘Economy’ option, which is inexpensive but with a longer delivery window. Here are some scenarios to give you an idea of the fees charged.
Sending funds from the United States to Honduras
Sending funds from the United Kingdom to the Philippines
When you pay with a credit card, you may incur a processing fee charged as a percentage of the transfer amount. When paying from the United States this fee is 3% and 1% when paying from Canada. The recipient may also be charged landing or bank processing fees – these are not controlled by Remitly so contact your bank before making a transfer.
Remitly’s goal is to offer an unbeatable digital platform that customers can interact with simply, securely, and conveniently. Here are the pros and cons of using Remitly for your international money transfers:
Remitly offers a variety of ways to transfer your money internationally through the internet. Here the ways you can pay for your transfer and how your recipient can get the funds.
There are two main ways you can pay for your transfer when using Remitly’s platform:
One of the key selling points of Remitly’s service is the number of methods available for beneficiaries to collect their funds. Here’s a summary of the available withdrawal methods:
The very reason Remitly was founded was to bridge the gap between where your money is and where you want it to be. Here is what to expect when sending and receiving money through its proprietary platform.
To send money using Remitly, just follow these simple steps:
Depending on the payout method you choose, the transfer may be deposited directly into your recipient’s bank account, debit card, mobile or digital wallet, delivered at their doorstep or sent to a cash pickup location.
All the payout methods save for the last two, don’t need your recipient to do anything. They just have to wait for the funds to be credited to their account. However, for cash pickup and home delivery, they’ll need the transaction reference number and a government-issued ID card or passport to get the money.
Yes, Remitly has an app that you can download for free on Play Store or App Store.
Remitly is an online payment processor based in Seattle, the information technology hub of the Pacific North-West. The company was designed to be used by customers worldwide, working closely with more than 3,000 banks and 350,000 cash pickup locations, to provide accessibility to a global user base. The majority of Remitly customers are immigrants who have moved overseas to work and use the service to transfer their hard-earned money to family members and friends at home.
Having achieved immense success over the last decade – the company’s latest valuation in 2020 came in at $1.5 billion USD – Remitly has attracted a number of high-profile investors, including PayU, Stripes, Bezos Expeditions, Threshold, Trilogy and DN Capital.
The mobile app can be used for everything the website offers, including checking the status of your transfer, receiving transfer notifications, referring friends and earning rewards, editing transfer details, increasing transfer and spending limits, among other processes.
We will be running through the finer details of this money transfer app, so our readers can decide whether or not they wish to download it to make their next remittance. Here is what you can do with the app:
The Remitly app is compatible with iPhone or Android devices and can be downloaded in a matter of minutes, for free, by customers in the following countries:
Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States
The app facilitates money transfers to over 100 countries around the world from the sending countries listed above. It is also possible to send money abroad through a number of Remitly’s partner mobile money providers such as Paymaya, EasyPaisa and Vodafone.
We will now take a look at how the Remitly app performs, to find out if it is a worthy competitor of other leading money transfer apps.
User interface: the app has a clean user interface with a white and blue theme. The buttons have a large size making them easy to press. Also, the menu systems are intuitive: simply select the country and enter the amount. Users will also get a chance to review the fees and total cost before confirming the transaction.
Speed and bugs: this app performs quickly and efficiently due to the minimalist design philosophy and regular software updates that have been rolled out. The app is responsive and doesn’t take more than a few minutes to send money. However, customers noted some lag during certain transfers but this could be explained by the quality of internet connection or the smartphone.
We have tested the Remitly app to find out the step-by-step process for sending money overseas: it is largely similar to money transfer services provided by other mobile applications.
Step 1: Start by logging into the Remitly app: you may need to receive an SMS verification code or confirm your identity via Touch ID fingerprint; it depends on the security settings selected for your account.
Step 2: Click on the “Get Started” button and enter your recipient’s name, address and phone number. Once the money is sent, the recipient’s details will be saved for future payments.
Step 3: Enter the amount you wish to transfer and the currency: the app will display exactly how much the recipient will receive in local currency.
Step 4: Review the transaction in full, checking all the details to make sure everything is correct, before clicking Confirm. Your money has now been sent!
The transfer time of the funds depends on various factors such as the currency used, delivery destination and size of transfer. The first time payment sent through the Remitly app will be new to you, and most users tend to spend around 5 to 10 minutes setting this up. However, subsequent transfers will be much faster – especially if you are sending money to the same recipient, as all payee details will have been saved. Overall, it can be faster to send money using the mobile app – as opposed to desktop browser – because funds can be transferred with a tap of a few buttons.
The app is designed to facilitate transfers from one bank account to another, which means, at the time of writing, it’s not possible to hold cash in the Remitly app.
Remitly is rated 4.9 on the App Store and 4.8 on the Google Play store: these are two of the highest scores available and indicates that the app is well liked by mobile users across the board. Remitly regularly conducts software updates, fixing any user issues and developing features that offer new experiences, based on customer feedback. In addition to the positive online reviews for the app, Remitly has been awarded a score of 4.7 on TrustPilot, adding to their already excellent brand reputation.
Your money can be sent in minutes or days depending on the delivery speed you choose. There are two delivery speed options available: Express and Economy.
Yes, Remitly has daily, monthly, and 180-day limits. How much money you can send depends on the tier your account belongs to. Remitly has 3 tiers of accounts, and these are determined by the number of personal documentation users are willing to provide to the company. Here are the 3 tiers and their limits if you are sending from the U.S.:
The daily, monthly and 180-day limits are $2,999, $10,000 and $18,000 respectively. Whenever you sign up for an account, this is the Tier you are automatically assigned, so you only have to provide limited personal information (such as your name and your email address) to access this.
The daily, monthly and 180-day limits are $6,000, $20,000 and $36,000 in that order. To join this tier, you should submit the following information:
The daily, monthly and 180-day limits on this tier are $10,000, $30,000, and $60,000. In addition to the information provided in tier 2, you’ll be asked for more information, such as proof of funds. It’s also important to bear in mind that the limits vary depending on the country you are sending money from.
Remitly has the right mobile technology and money transfer infrastructure to help you send and receive money across borders all over the world. Whether you are in the Philippines, El Salvador, India or any of the more than 55 support countries, you can be guaranteed of quality, secure, and fast service. Here’s a summary of all the factors that can assure you Remitly is a trustworthy service.
Remitly was established in the United States in 2011 and has its headquarters at 1111 3rd Avenue Suite 2100 Seattle, WA 98101. It has since grown in both transaction volumes and the number of employees which currently stands at over 1,000.
Initially, the service was available only to U.S. residents but has since grown into 16 other countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Canada. Remitly U.K. was set up as a private limited company on 1st December 2015.
In the United States, the company is registered as a Money Service Business by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It is also licensed in the several U.S. states in which it operates as a money transmitter. Here are the other registrations and licenses that Remitly has acquired:
Remitly has entered the following strategic partnerships to improve its service and expand the company’s network:
To enhance security, protection and trust for its customers, Remitly has put in place vigorous account verification procedures. It also uses the industry-standard 256-bit SSL encryption to protect its servers.
The service is also layered with risk management controls and automated detection techniques to deal with suspicious account activity and protect users.
Founded by Matthew Oppenheimer and Joshua Hug, the company has so far attracted 36 investors according to Pitchbook, who’ve put in a total of $420 million. The funding is a mixture of seed rounds, Series A, B, C, D, E, and debt financing raised between November 2011 and July 2019.
Some of the leading investors include Founder’s Co-op, QED Investors, Threshold, Stripes, PayU, Generation Investment Management, Silicon Valley Bank, DN Capital, Barclays and Owl Rock Capital Partners. The last round of financing valued Remitly at close to $1 billion.
The company has also bagged several awards in the 10 years it has been in the financial services industry. Here are some of them:
Remitly highly rated on Trustpilot, with 92% of the 21,234 reviews rated as either 4 or 5 stars. Here is what customers had to say.
Yes, you can cancel your transfer on the website or through the app, provided the recipient hasn’t received the funds. If you cancel before the funds leave your account, the refund will be processed within 24 hours – otherwise, it can take up to 5 days to get your money back.
Here are the top markets customers regularly send money to using Remitly’s platform:
Remitly has customer support as one of its top priorities. If you have a query concerning a transfer or any other related issue, you can get help through any of the following ways:
Remitly is the largest independent digital remittance company offering low transaction fees and fast payments across borders. It started in Seattle, WA in 2011 and has since grown to 16 other countries and supports sending to more than 55 countries.
Using the platform, you can send money to your recipient’s bank account, mobile money or digital wallet, deposited onto a card, have it home delivered, or sent to a cash pickup point. You also enjoy flexibility when paying for your transfer through bank, debit or credit card.
However, like with any other money transfer service, it is always sensible to compare your options and make sure you’re getting the best deal. Using our money transfer comparison tool, you can quickly compare Remitly’s services against their competitors for your specific transfer.
Remitly is one of the biggest names in the remittance market, so it is common to see it rank highly among our recommended services. But always compare your options if you want to find the best deal.
April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.