When sending money online to other countries some of the biggest questions you may ask yourself revolve around the reliability, cost-effectiveness, speed, and suitability of a money transfer provider on your specific transfer corridor. You may find yourself comparing one provider to another, looking at the features common in both and the special additions they may have.
InstaReM and TransferWise are some of the top cross border money transfer providers in the industry. Both offer their customers exchange rates with zero margins meaning your transfer is processed at the mid-market rate. In this brand by brand review, we look at all the factors including transfer speeds, fees, sending and disbursing network coverages, transfer and payout options and user sentiment for each of the brands.
InstaReM is a fintech company headquartered in Singapore and offers businesses and individuals across 150 transfer corridors low-priced money transfer solutions. With slightly over 5 years in business, the company has grown to include a staff of about 100 people. Through its InstaReM MassPay solution, the company now manages bulk payments in different currencies to multiple beneficiaries.
Despite the wide disbursing network coverage, InstaReM only allows sending in a few currencies which are AUD, CAD, EUR, HKD, GBP, INR, MYR, SGD, and USD. This limits the number of customers who can comfortably send money to their families. Africa, in particular, has been excluded from the sending countries because the provider focuses on Europe and Asian markets.
Based in London, TransferWise serves over 4 million customers and supports 750+ currency routes. On average, the company facilitates transfers of about $4 billion per month. With a team of 1900+ professionals, the provider ensures that its customers are attended to through mail, chat, and phone.
While the company is known for its mid-market exchange rate policy, it also charges low transfer fees and has begun rolling out mobile wallet payout solutions in some of the markets. This is a huge improvement and a relief to its customers many of whom were restricted to using bank transfers as the only payout solution.
TransferWise will charge you $2.07 to send $100 to India and $1.98 to send to Hong Kong.
In general, InstaReM will charge you transfer fees based on a percentage of the amount transferred. The percentage changes depending on the market you are transferring to. Some of the transfer corridors are expensive while others are relatively cheaper.
On average, the fees range from 0.25% to 1%. For instance, when transferring $100 from the US to India, you will be charged $1.99 if you pay via direct debit or wire transfer. When sending the same amount to Hong Kong, you will only be charged $0.5.
InstaReM has much lower charges compared to TransferWise for the same transfer payment methods.
If you’re looking for the lowest fees, use our simple guide to find the cheapest way to send money abroad.
TransferWise process thir rates at the mid-market rate. It offers guaranteed rates that last up to 48 hours.
InstaReM through its transfer widget shows you the conversion rate and once you commit to a transfer, the rate holds until the transfer is complete and is also at the mid-market rate.
This is a tie because both providers do not charge an exchange rate markup on currency pairs. Learn more about finding the best exchange rates in our simple guide.
TransferWise allows you to open an online money transfer account from 200+ countries and territories. However, its disbursing network covers only 59 countries as listed on its website.
When signing up for an account, InstaReM gives you a dropdown of 38 countries most of which are from Europe, the Americas, and Asia. If you are based in an African country, you cannot open an account. Its disbursing network covers 29 countries.
TransferWise has a stronger sending and disbursing network.
TransferWise is not very clear on its website on how long it takes but estimates from its transfer widget show that some transfers are delivered instantly while others take a couple of hours and some take up to 4 days. For instance, when you transfer $1000 to Bangladesh, it takes 4 days. If you pay using a card, it is much faster.
InstaReM has some of the fastest and easy transfer services to most of the markets it serves. Within 1 to 2 business days, the recipient gets the money transferred.
With most transfers delivered the same day or within 1 business day for both InstaReM and TransferWise, it is fair to say that it is a tie.
If you’re looking for the fastest provider, use our simple guide to find the fastest way to send money internationally.
TransferWise allows its customers to pay for their transfers using bank transfer, debit card and credit card. For the receiving options, the provider used to have only transfer-to-bank accounts option, but now it has ventured into mobile digital wallets in Bangladesh(bKash), Ghana (MTN Mobile Money), Indonesia (DANA, GoPay, and OVO), and the Philippines (PayMaya).
InstaReM only allows for bank transfer as the payment method and deposit into a bank account as the receiving option.
TransferWise has more transfer payment and payout options.
TransferWise has a total of 79,830 reviews, 68,000+ of which are 5 stars. Below are some of the positive experiences:
Ease to navigate platform
Affordable for both small and large transfers
Highly secure platform with security measures at the critical stages
The areas of concern cited by dissatisfied customers were as follows:
Transfer delays on some routes
Bad customer experience relating to the mobile app queries
Higher fees on some routes
On Trustpilot, InstaReM has 3,976 reviews, 2,400 of which are 5 stars. The following are some of the positive experiences.
About 9% of the reviewers rated the company as either ‘Poor’ or ‘Bad’ on the following accounts.
Much like InstaReM, TransferWise also has a vibrant customer support function available on phone, chat and email. In addition, its website supports a total of 12 languages which are English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Italian, Hungarian, French, and Turkish.
Using the TransferWise app, that is available on both the iOS and Android platforms, you can send money, pay for your transfers, track your transfers, view historical transfers and do so much more. The company is licensed and regulated in the following markets Belgium and the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA), and the United States.
The company uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) for data security, has a two-step authentication system, and is ISO/IEC 27001 compliant for information security.
InstaReM offers 24/7 customer support through phone, chat, and email. The website is available only in English. With the InstaReM App available on both Google Play and App Store, you can send money on the go, track your transfers and view your transaction history.
The provider is licensed in 8 markets (Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, US, EU and Canada) and has robust verification processes to ensure the safety of client funds and information. For instance, if you sign up for an account, the provider gives you 36 hours to upload documents and verify your account failure to which they close it.
TransferWise is more accessible because of the website translation capability, is licensed in more countries than InstaReM and packs loads of security layers.
TransferWise has several solutions for businesses.
Apart from sending money overseas, InstaReM offers solutions that enable global expansion of businesses. Through its payment solution, you can pay employees, freelancers, and associates overseas fast and easy.
The greatest product it has for businesses is the multicurrency payment solution. It targets small businesses who make payments to suppliers, vendors, and service providers in 55+ countries.
With a single payment, InstaReM can facilitate multicurrency transfers in local currencies. They also have branded business cards to help you showcase your brand.
TransferWise has lots of solutions both for personal and business compared to InstaReM.
The following scenarios give you a look and feel of how typical transfers play out when the two providers are compared head to head in the US -Australia corridor.
|Transfer speed||1-2 days||1-2 days|
Winner: Anyone transferring amounts from $100 to $5000 is indifferent when considering the two providers. The amount the recipient receives is almost the same with single-digit variations.
Overseas Payments – Both TransferWise and InstaReM offer competitive pricing on their international payments.
TransferWise has established itself as a go-to cross-border money transfer company with lots of solutions targeted at both individuals and businesses. InstaReM has also quickly taken up the challenge despite it being a recent entrant into the industry. However, looking at all the variables at play, TransferWise carries the day.