Xoom is a digital consumer-to-consumer online money remittance service that allows customers to send money, pay bills and reload mobile phones across borders. Currently, Xoom serves 159 countries the latest addition being Ireland where Xoom launched its operations on November 14, 2019. The provider which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of PayPal since July 1, 2015, has its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, CA.
Through the Xoom platform, customers can pay for their transfers using bank accounts, debit cards, or credit cards and have it paid out to their recipients through direct deposits, cash pickup and door-to-door cash deliveries. While the speed and reliability are great, Xoom has often been criticised for lack of transparency in its exchange rate markup and higher total cost of transfers when compared to other money transfer companies.
This review dissects the various aspects of Xoom from the fees and markups it charges to the types of transfers it allows and the general view customers have of the provider.
Xoom makes money from currency exchange markups and fees. Knowing how much the provider charges in fees to your destination and the exchange rate your transfer will be processed at, is so important.
The destination and transfer payment method you choose will determine the fees you pay. Consider the below scenarios:
When you pay via credit card, the card-issuing company may charge you extra fees for the cash advanced.
Xoom doesn’t come out clear on the formula it uses for the exchange rate margins it charges when converting one currency to another. It only states that it makes some money on currency conversions. Looking at the four scenarios below you can get an idea of exchange rate markups Xoom charges in percentage terms.
|100 USD to:||Live rate ( XE)||Xoom rate||Difference||%Markup|
|Australian Dollar (AUD)||144.747||140.52||4.227||2.92%|
|British Pounds (GBP)||76.5308||73.74||2.7908||3.65%|
|Brazilian Real (BRL)||407.661||393.35||14.311||3.51%|
|Nigerian Naira (NGN)||36,189.67||34770.69||1418.98||3.92%|
Higher transfer amounts attract better exchange rates than smaller amounts. Ensure you use the Xoom transfer widget to determine the rates before sending.
Xoom only mentions the cash advance fees that card issuing companies charge for the use of credit cards. However, it is also important to note that some fees such as bank processing fees, intermediary fees and landing fees may be charged to either the recipient or sender.
Xoom sends money from the United States and Canada to lots of countries across the globe. Of the 159 markets the provider actively serves, the following are the top corridors:
The following are the unique advantages that put Xoom ahead of many other online money transfer services.
Wider disbursing network coverage- The provider boasts a market size of 159 countries to which customers can make transfers.
Multiple transfer payout options-Though it varies per destination, Xoom allows for cash pickups, direct transfers to bank accounts and door-to-door cash deliveries.
Faster transfers- Subject to receiving agents hours of operation, transfers can be delivered within minutes or hours. It is in rare circumstances do you find cases of transfers taking days to be completed.
Reliable customer service-As part of the PayPal family, Xoom has benefited from a harmonised and well-established customer support system available on both email and phone.
Mobile airtime recharges-You can top up your recipient’s mobile phone directly from the Xoom platform.
Exchange Rate Markup-Xoom doesn’t have a clear schedule of how it charges its exchange rate markups. That notwithstanding, its percentages are higher compared to other providers.
Higher Transfer Costs-When matched against other online money transfer services, Xoom charges higher fees. You can pay up to $10 for a transfer. For lower fees, pay for your transfer using your bank account or PayPal balance.
Sending from fewer Currencies- Despite the wider coverage, Xoom allows you send from only four currencies USD, EUR, CAD and GBP. If you want to send from other currencies, you’ll have to first convert your transfer to any of the above currencies or use your PayPal balance.
When sending money using Xoom, you can send three types of transfers:
Recipients on prepaid mobile phones can have their phones topped up directly from the platform.
Xoom transfers can take minutes, hours or even a few days depending on the transfer destination. Non-traditional transfer routes normally take a little longer while the frequent or preferred routes take a much shorter time to complete.
For faster transfers, ensure you pay using a debit card, credit card or PayPal balance. Bank account transfers to Xoom can take time depending on whether there are intermediaries or not.
Paying for your Xoom transfer is simple. There are four main transfer payment options you can use:
For lower fees, pay using a bank account or PayPal balance.
Xoom money remittance service can be used to transfer money for various causes such as:
Xoom was founded in 2001 in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. In July 2015, it was acquired by PayPal Holdings, Inc., in a $1.09 billion deal. The company is now a private subsidiary of PayPal.
To help offer efficient and secure money transfer services, the company has employed and trained 295+ professionals positioned in its different offices and support centres. In the United States, Xoom is licensed under the applicable laws such as Money Transmission Services Act, Sale of Checks Act, Currency Transmissions Act, Check Cashing Registration Act among others. At the federal level, Xoom is registered as a money services business and licensed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The provider is also subject to the Dodd-Frank Act that regulates consumer protection and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, for handling nonpublic personal information.
Together with PayPal, Xoom has maintained PwC as its auditors since 2015. In line with the federal requirements, the company is meant to rotate the lead audit partner after every 5 years hence it is still within the timeframe.
Xoom takes the security of its customers seriously. It uses 128-bit data security encryption which ensures all information transmitted between customers’ browsers and the Xoom website is well secured and private. In addition, the company maintains both electronic and physical servers firmly protected by industry-grade firewalls. Xoom is also certified by VeriSign Secure and Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Xoom has a total of 20,331 reviews on Trustpilot, 93% of which are categorised as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Great’.
On Consumer Affairs, this is what one satisfied customer had to say:
Sending money on the Xoom platform to family and friends is such a quick and easy process.
Step 1- Create a Xoom account or log on with your PayPal account if you have one. All you need is your name and email address. Go to My Account tab and choose the country you want to send money to.
Step 2- Enter the amount of money you want to send
Step 3- Choose the payout method. Depending on the destination of your transfer, you can choose from cash pickup, to direct bank deposit, to door-to-door delivery.
Step 4- Select how you would like to pay for your transfer. Xoom has four main transfer payment methods which are PayPal, bank account, debit card and credit card.
Step 5- Enter the recipient details and pay for your transfer
In case of any hitches during the transfer process, you can always get human support from the customer service team.
Xoom is on mobile and you can access its services by downloading the Xoom money transfer app on Google Play or App Store. The app has lots of functionalities some of which include:
On Google Play, the app has a rating of 4.2/5.0 and a total of 45,238 reviews. On App Store, Xoom as 505,000+ reviews and an overall rating of 4.8/5.0
Yes, you cancel your transfer without incurring any charges. Simply log on to your account and cancel your transfer under the Track Last Transaction link. In case you’ve made lots of transactions and have to choose which to cancel, click on the Transaction History tab. For further help, you can call the Xoom customer care toll free number on 1-877-815-1531.
That being said, it is important to note that the only transfers that you can cancel are those that have not been deposited, picked up or paid to the recipient. It can take up to four business days for your refund to be processed.