Transfast Review: Exchange Rates, Transfer Fees & Alternatives
Transfast is a cross-border payment solutions provider and international money transfer service. Its headquarters are in New York with additional offices in the Philippines, UAE, and India. Now owned by Mastercard, Transfast supports the Mastercard send service by providing multi-currency payment services for businesses and consumers around the world.
This review digs deeper into other features of Transfast such as fees, exchange rates, popular transfer corridors, and users' sentiments among others.
Currently, Transfast covers 125+ countries offering a total of 200,000 cash payout points. The company offers direct-to-bank, cash pickup, and mobile wallet transfers in partnership with local banking institutions in the destination countries. In some markets such as Vietnam, Transfast offers home delivery services.
Despite the many countries and currencies that Transfast supports, one major drawback and certainly an area of improvement when compared to other money transfer companies is the fact that it only allows sending from US and Canada. Potential customers in other countries can not sign up for Transfast.
Transfast exchange rates and fees
Transfast charges both exchange rate markups and transfer fees. The fees and margins vary depending on the currencies involved, the amounts, and the destinations. Below is an overview of how they play out.
Transfast has two money transfer packages, Value+ and Fastrack, that differ in exchange rates, transfer fees, and time of delivery. The Value+ package charges transfer fees starting from $0.00 while the Fastrack package fees begin from $4.99.
For instance, when sending $1000 to India, you'll pay $0 fees on the Value+ package. There is no option of Fastrack when sending to India.
When sending the same amount to Kenya, the transfer widget shows Value+ package at $0.00 transfer fee and $14.99 transfer fee on the Fastrack option.
Due to the variations in transfer fees, it is always important to carefully check the transfer widget for every transfer you make.
The exchange rate markups vary depending on the package (Value+ or Fastrack) and the destination. For instance, when sending $500 to Ethiopia, the Value+ package charges a margin of 0.28% and on the Fastrack package the margin is 0.59%. This means that the Value+ package gives you much better rates.
When sending to the Philippines Transfast offer 3 packages (Value+, Fastrack by card, and Fastrack by bank). The exchange rate margins for the three are 3.58%, 3.74%, and 3.84% making the Philippines route one of the costliest for Transfast users.
All the same, a margin of anything between 0.5 and 3.5% is competitive in the online money transfer market and way more attractive than the 5%+ that banks charge.
Other than the exchange rate markup and the transfer fees, there isn't any charge billed by the provider. However, if you use a credit card to pay for your transfer, you may be charged cash advance fees by the card issuer.
Top destinations for using Transfast
Transfast has a strong disbursing network coverage totalling 125+ countries. That being said, some corridors have low volumes and other high remittance frequencies. Below is a list of the top market served by Transfast.
After being acquired by Mastercard in 2019, Transfast has aggressively been looking for new markets and opportunities for strategic expansion. In Africa, Transfast has agreements with lots of banks that serve as its agents in the different countries it operates
Pros and cons of Transfast
Transfast is one of the fastest-growing international online money transfer providers. It has brought a lot of conveniences and made transfers easy and fast. However, much like any other service provider, there are always two sides to a coin, the pros, and the cons. Let us see how Transfast fairs on both ends.
Types of transfers by Transfast
Depending on the destination of your transfer, there are different payout options you can opt for as listed below:
Direct bank transfers
Mobile wallet deposits
Home cash delivery
Deposit into card
In 2018, Transfast partnered with BRAC Bank and bKash to facilitate mobile wallet deposits for its Bangladeshi customers. In 2015, the company teamed up with major Kenyan banks and connected to Mpesa, a leading mobile money service in the country.
Time it takes to receive money with Transfast
According to the provider's website, transfers are completed within 1 to 7 business days. The factors that determine the time a transfer takes include:
The product you choose - Value+ package takes 3 to 5 business days while the Fastrack package delivers transfers within 24 hours.
Account verification - Unless the verification is complete and all documents provided including the proof of address and funds, the transfer may delay and where there is no communication within 48 hours, it is cancelled.
Banking hours limitations
Because of the stringent laws governing financial institutions in Canada and the US, transfers to some markets may be put on hold for manual review. However, once you have processed a transfer successfully, chances of delays in successive transfers are minimal.
What payment methods are offered by Transfast?
You can pay for your transfer in one of the following ways.
Checking Account - This can be a US or Canadian account. Transfast will validate the account by charging 2 small deposits before you can proceed with your transfer. Ensure you don't use a savings account as this may cause your transfer to be cancelled.
Debit/Credit Card - Transfast accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro. The only thing you have to ensure is that the name on the card matches the name on your Transfast account. The currencies you can pay through are USD or CAD. Credit cards often attracts higher processing fees compared to debit cards.
Reasons to use Transfast
You can use Transfast for both personal and business transactions. Some of the frequent use cases include:
Payment of wages and salaries
Payment for supplies, goods and services
Freelancer and contractor payments
Repatriation of income
Payment for travel and holidays
Mortgage and loan repayments
Can I trust Transfast?
Transfast was founded in 1988 as Trans-Fast. The focus then was to facilitate money transfers from the United States to Latin America. The company changed its name to Transfast Remittance LLC in 2007 after receiving a private equity funding from Greenhill Capital Partners LLC. Fast forward, Transfast was acquired by Mastercard in 2019.
Currently, the company has a total of 800 employees and serves 125+ markets across the globe. Inasmuch as Transfast is known for its money transfer service, it has two other products, Transpay and agent business through which it facilitates cross border business-to-business and business-to-person payments.
Transfast holds licenses in 70+ jurisdictions enabling it to establish direct banking relationships. Some of the markets the provider is licensed include:
Canada - Money service business license number LLC0000280 authorized to operate in 6 provinces.
EU/UK - Operates under authority of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in line with the Payment Service Regulations 2017.
India - Licensed as Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) under license number CG-FFMC/088/2005
United States - Licensed in 36 states as a money transmitter and seller of checks.
Other markets where Transfast is licensed and authorized to operate include Pakistan, and Kenya.
The company owns and operates every platform required to transfer funds to recipients. This ensures direct visibility, control, and cost effectiveness in service delivery.
The company has invested in information security solutions to ensure both logical and physical security of customer funds and information. For instance, they have 256-bit encryption of data, OFAC compliance, a Norton-secured website, Verified Visa, and Mastercard SecureCode solutions. In addition, the platform is monitored 24/7 with a built-in transaction monitoring system.
In 2016, Transfast won Kalahari award for the best remittance service at the Remittance and Mobile Money Expo held in Nigeria.Compare Providers Now
User feedback about Transfast
Transfast has been reviewed 2709 times on Trustpilot out of which 1400+ reviews are rated 5 stars. Those who left positive reviews pointed out the following:
Safety and trustworthiness
Reliability in delivering transfers according to their promises
Competitive exchange rates
Friendly customer service
The customers who weren't happy with Transfast centered their complaints on the following issues.
Account blocking following delays in submitting verification documents
Transfers put on hold
How to send and receive money with Transfast?
If you want to send money on Transfast, you first have to sign up and follow the prompts to the end. Below are the simple steps you will have to take.
1.Step 1 Sign up for an account
2.Step 2 Account verification
3.Step 3 Funds transfer
4.Step 4 Recipient and payout details
5.Step 5 Payment
Does Transfast have a mobile app?
Yes, Transfast has a free mobile app available on both android and iOS platforms. The app allows you to do so much on the go including:
Signing up for an account
Adding recipient information
Using the Scan ID feature to input details fast
Using the 'Quick Send' feature to send money to repeat beneficiaries
Checking rates and fees
On Google Play the app has a 3.7/5.0 rating with 1,267 reviews.
Can I cancel my Transfast transfer?
If for whatever reason you want to cancel your transfer, it is as simple as going to the dashboard and hitting the 'Cancel this transaction' tab. If the transfer is not completed or is still undelivered, you will get your funds back within 5-7 days following a successful cancellation.Compare Providers Now