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Small World Review

Small World is a UK-based payment and money transfer services provider helping people to make inexpensive transfers to their families, friends, and businesses around the world. Small World’s global team of over 800 people help facilitate money transfers to more than 190 countries every day. 

This review looks at every aspect of Small World’s services; from the transfer fees and exchange rates to the payment options, the speed of transfer, and customer service provision.

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Every month, Small World handles over 1 million transactions, and the company has a customer base of 15 million people around the world. Transfers can be initiated through the online platform, mobile app, or through one of Small World’s over 5,000 affiliated agent locations.  

Recipients also have a variety of payment collection methods. The options available to receive money with Small World include home deliveries, direct credits to local accounts, mobile money transfers, and cash pickups at over 250,000 locations worldwide. 

Small World exchange Rates and fees

Unlike banks and other money transfer companies that charge hefty international transfer fees, Small World charges small fees and exchange rates margins in order to ensure more of your money gets to your intended recipient.

Exchange rates

The exchange rate you will get from Small World includes a mark-up from the mid-market rate. The rates vary based on your currency pairing and transfer payout method. To give you an indication of the margins typically charged by Small World, here are 2 examples using rates as of 25th April 2020.

Sending £1,000 to Kenya

  • Bank deposit: The provider gives a KES/GBP rate of 124.7510 KES against the mid-market rate of 132.319. This translates to a margin of 5.7%.
  • Mobile wallet: You will get a KES/GBP rate of 131.2649 compared to the mid-market rate of 132.319. The margin here is 0.8%
  • Cash Pickup: Small World will give you a rate of 130.0861 against a mid-market rate of 132.319. This translates to a 1.67% margin.

Sending £1,000 to India

  • Bank deposit: If you deposit directly into a bank account, you will get an INR/GBP rate of 93.4371 against the market rate of 94.4184. This gives you a margin of 1%
  • Mobile wallet: Small World does not offer mobile wallet payouts to India.
  • Cash pickup: If you choose this payout method, you will get an INR/GBP rate of 93.1672 against the mid-market rate of 94.4184. This translates to a margin of 1.33%.

From this we can see that usually exchange rate margins with Small World are between 1% and 2%, but can be considerably higher for specific transfer corridors and currencies, so be sure to double check the exchange rate you’re being charged before making a transfer.

Fees

In addition to a small mark up on the exchange rate, Small World charges flat fees for making transfers, which depend on your transfer destination. Below are some simulations to give you an idea of the fees to think about: 

  • Sending £1,000 to the Philippines: The fee you will pay is £6.00
  • Sending £1,000 to Spain: You will pay fees of £1.50
  • Sending £1,000 to Brazil: You will be charged £2.99 in fees

Additional costs

If you pay using a credit card, you may be charged a cash advance fee on top of Small World’s fees and margins. Small World is not in control of these fees, so check with your bank before making a transfer.

Small World pros and cons

Whether you are sending money to a bank, cash pickup location, cash card, mobile airtime top-up or mobile wallet, Small World offers its customers a seamless transfer experience. However, as with any service there are some downsides. Here are some pros and cons of using Small World:

Pros
Fast transfers: Small World delivers instant or same-day transfers to more than 90 countries around the world.
Several payout options: You can transfer money to bank accounts, cash cards, pickup locations, mobile wallets, or have it delivered at recipients’ doorsteps.
Mobile app: You can make transfers on the go using a mobile app available on both Android and iOS platforms.
Real-time payment tracking: You can track your transfer to establish where it is for peace of mind.
Secure and trusted: Over 15 million customers use the service and more than 1 million transactions are processed on the platform monthly.
Cons
Fixed fees: Transfer fees are fixed irrespective of the amount. While this is advantageous for people making large transfers, fees on small transfers can add up quickly.
Customer support: There is an online chat service, but it can take about 25 minutes or even more for you to be attended to.
Limited sending network: You can sign up for an account and send money from only 21 countries. This limits people from other countries from using the service to send money.

What kind of payments can I make with Small World?

The provider has an advanced technology that ensures customers payments are safe and recipients get funds in ways convenient to them. Here’s a summary of the payment methods available with Small World.

Payment methods available 

You can pay for your transfer using the following two options:

  • Bank transfer: You can transfer money from your bank to Small World’s client account to pay for your transfer.
  • Card payments: You can use your debit or credit card to pay for your transfer. However, ensure you factor in the cash advance fee that some card issuers charge.

Withdrawal options available

Beneficiaries can receive funds in one of the following ways:

  • Bank deposit: The money is transferred directly into the recipient’s account.
  • Cash pick-up: There are over 250,000 locations worldwide recipients can get their money from.
  • Mobile wallet: For countries that support this payout method, you can send directly to your recipient’s mobile wallet
  • Home delivery: If your recipient is in the Philippines, Vietnam, or any other country that supports home delivery, transfers can be delivered at your recipient’s doorstep.
  • Cash-card reload: You can load your beneficiary’s prepaid cash card directly from Small World’s platform.
  • Mobile top-up: If you want to send mobile airtime to your loved ones, you can top-up their prepaid phones directly.

Does Small World have a mobile app?

Small World has a mobile app available as a free download on both the Play Store and App Store. The app has several functions including:

  • Sign up: You can sign up for an account using the app.
  • Manage beneficiaries: You can add, delete and change beneficiary details.
  • Money transfer: You can make your transfer in simple steps right from the palm of your hand.
  • Track your transfer: Using the app, you can check the status of your transfer and browse through your transfer history

The app has a 3.8/5 rating on Play Store with 2,652 reviews. On the App Store, it has a rating of 4.4/5 but with only 302 reviews.

How fast are Small World’s transfer speeds?

Transfer speeds depend on the destination and payout methods. Cash pickup, mobile wallet deposits, and cash to card transfers are delivered instantly or on the same day. A typical Small World bank deposit or home delivery takes about 1-3 days to be delivered.

Are there maximum and minimum transfer amounts?

There is no minimum or maximum transfer amount overall, but there are limits for certain payment types and destinations. For instance if you pay using a debit or credit card, the maximum you can send at a time is $2,000. Restrictions on how much you can send to certain counties vary and so it is important to check the Small World website to see if it can facilitate the size of transfer you wish to make.

Can I trust Small World?

Small World has attracted lots of positive reviews and its customers base keeps on growing. Here are some of the trust factors worth looking at as you consider using them for your next transfer.

History

The company was founded in 2005 and headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Initially, it was incorporated as Hexagon Partners Limited company number 5405279. Later, in 2008, it changed its name to Small World Financial Services Group Limited.

For the 15 years the company has been in business, Small World has grown its client base to over 15 million, and now processes more than 1 million transactions to more than 190 countries monthly. Other than the UK,, the company operates in different countries under the following entities:

  • LCC- Transcending Ltd
  • LCC Trans-Envio SPRL
  • Swiss Transfers GmBH
  • Small World FS, Ireland Ltd.
  • Small world Fs Norway AS
  • Small World FS, Spain SAU
  • Small World FS, Sweden AB
  • Small World Financial Services Spain S.A.
  • Small World Exchange Services, SLU
  • Trans-Envio Agencia de Cambios Unipessoal LDA
  • Small World Financial Services Bulgaria Ltd EOOD

Regulatory compliance

Small World is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UKreference number 504482. It is also independently regulated in the different countries in which it operates.

Key industry partnerships

To better its services and expand its sending and disbursing reach, the company has entered partnerships with the following industry players.

  • Mi-Pay: This 2009 partnership helped in creating and expanding the company’s mobile money distribution network.
  • Ingenico Group: Ingenico is a payment processing partner that linked up with Small World in 2018 to expand the provider’s global footprint.
  • Kumari Bank Ltd: In 2019, Kumari Bank Ltd, a leading commercial bank in Nepal signed an agreement with Small World to expand remittances services throughout the country.

Investors 

Small World has had 5 funding rounds led by investors such as MMC Ventures, Future Fifty, FF&P Private Equity, FPE Capital, and Equistone Partners Europe. In 2018, Equistone Partners Europe acquired Small World Financial Services Group and made it a subsidiary.

Customer satisfaction

On Trustpilot, Small World has a total of 4,787 reviews with 77% of them rated 4 and 5 stars. This is what customers had to say. 

Positive

  • Great exchange rate: The exchange rate offered almost mirrors the mid-market rate in some transfer routes.
  • Fast: Transfers are delivered instantly or same day in over 90 countries.
  • Simple: The platform is easy to use, and transfers take a few steps to initiate.

Negative

  • Delayed customer service: Emails take long to be answered making transfer disputes hard to resolve.

Can I cancel my transfer?

You can cancel your order if it has not been paid out. Simply, get in touch with the customer support team by phone, chat or email. 

Top destinations for using Small world 

Small World allows transfers to over 190 countries, with some of the most popular being:

Customer support

If you need help with a transfer or any other query, you can reach out to the customer helpdesk through the following channels.

  • Email: You can email them through the website or at info@smallworldfs.com
  • Live chat: The online chat service is available during office hours.
  • Telephone: Choose your country on the ‘contact us’ page and call the number available. For the U.K., it is +44 2031980387, available from Monday to Friday from 9am – 7pm and on Saturday from 9am – 4pm
  • Physical visit: You can also visit a Small World agent or branch near you for additional assistance.

Summary

Small World is a cross border money transfer service supporting transfers to over 190 countries (but only from a list of 21 countries). Over 15 million customers use the platform to move more than 1 million transactions monthly. 

Customers can initiate their transactions through the online platform, mobile app, over the phone or by visiting a Small World agent – and Small World can facilitate transactions made with bank transfers and debit or credit cards. 

On the payout end, recipients can get their funds deposited into their bank accounts, sent to mobile wallets or prepaid cash cards, sent to cash pickup locations, and even delivered at their homes in some countries. Beneficiaries can also have their phone airtime topped up, giving Small World a great range of different delivery options.

Before using Small World to make a payment, however, it is important to check around for alternatives to see if you’re getting the best possible deal. Through our money transfer comparison tool, we can help you make simple and quick comparisons on who is cheaper and faster. 

Small World often features at or near the top of our recommendations, but every transfer is unique and so there’s always a chance you can save money by using another service.

Customer reviews

Post your review:

I am very happy with Small World Ireland. I live in Dublin for 13 years and I send money since i arrived and i never had problems. All staff are friendly and helpful. A few weeks ago I had an amazing surprise. I won a beautiful toaster from Small World. I am very happy with them and i trust this company. They are 100 ? % .
Thanks a lot to an amazing staff and friend , Christhiane and the supervisor and staff from the Branch at Abbey Street.

By Helena Da Silva
26 November 2020 - 12:23am

My money has not reached 2 me yet

By Mitzie Fernandes
16 October 2020 - 03:39pm

TERRIBLY RUDE customer service.
I used this once with minimal issue and today was my second attempt at using them.
The process has been unfortunately exhausting and I think I will go back to using Sendwave.

The person I spoke to was not only rude but also did not allow me to speak, I had to ask ‘can you allow me to speak’ but he was so rude!

By Dammy Dixon
29 June 2020 - 02:20pm