Home Comparison InstaReM vs Wise

InstaReM vs Wise

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.

In this comparison, we’ve looked at two money transfer giants; InstaReM vs Wise, formerly Transferwise.

Updated: 03/06/2021
Read time: 9 minutes
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How does InstaReM compare to Wise?

InstaReM and Wise are ranked among the top cross-border money transfer providers in the industry. Both offer exchange rates with zero margins, meaning your transfer is processed at the mid-market rate. In this review, we’re considering factors such as transfer speeds, fees, sending and disbursing network coverages, transfer and pay-out options and user sentiment for each brand.

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 experience in the business, the company has grown to a staff of around 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; these include 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, with a focus on Europe and Asian markets instead.

Based in London, Wise serves over 4 million customers and supports 750+ currency routes. On average, the company facilitates transfers of approximately $4 billion per month. With a team of 1900+ professionals, the provider ensures that its customers are attended to through mail, online 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 pay-out 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 pay-out solution.

Which brand has lower fees?

Wise

Wise’s fees depend on the amount you are sending and how you pay. Most transfers will include a 0.35% variable fee plus a fixed fee which is include in the quote for your transfer.

The company will charge you $2.07 to send $100 to India and $1.98 to send to Hong Kong.

InstaReM

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.

✅ Verdict: InstaReM has lower fees

When compared InstaReM vs Wise, InstaRem has much lower charges 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.

Which brand offers better exchange rates?

Wise

Wise process their rates at the mid-market rate, which is the exchange rate you would see if you were to look it up on Google. It offers guaranteed rates for up to 48 hours.

InstaReM

InstaReM shows you the conversion rate through its transfer widget and once you commit to a transfer, the rate holds until the transfer is complete and is also at the mid-market rate.

✅ Verdict: It’s a tie

This is a tie because neither provider charge an exchange rate mark-up on currency pairs. Learn more about finding the best exchange rates in our simple guide.

Which brand covers more locations?

Wise

Wise allows you to open an online money transfer account from 200+ countries and territories. However, its disbursing network covers only 59 countries and 50 currencies, as listed on its website.

InstaReM

When signing up for an account, InstaReM gives the option of choosing from a dropdown list 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.

✅ Verdict: Wise has more options

In InstaRem vs Wise, Wise has a stronger sending and disbursing network.

Which is faster?

Wise

Wise 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, if you transfer $1000 to Bangladesh, it takes 4 days. If you pay using a card, it is much faster.

InstaReM

InstaReM has some of the fastest and easiest transfer services to most of the markets it serves. Within 1 to 2 business days, the recipient gets the money transferred.

✅ Verdict: It’s a tie

With most transfers delivered the same day or within 1 business day for both InstaReM and Wise, 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.

Which brand offers more transfer & payment options?

Wise

Wise allows customers to pay for their transfers using bank transfer, debit card and credit card. For the receiving options, where there was once only the option to transfer-to-bank accounts, there is now the option to transfer to digital wallets in Bangladesh(bKash), Ghana (MTN Mobile Money), Indonesia (DANA, GoPay, and OVO) and the Philippines (PayMaya).

InstaReM

InstaReM only allows bank transfers as the payment method and deposit into a bank account as the receiving option.

✅ Verdict: Wise wins

Between InstaRem vs Wise, Wise has more transfer payment and pay-out options, which may be crucial factor in many people’s decision making.

What do users have to say about each brand?

Wise

Wise has a total of 79,830 reviews on Trustpilot; 68,000+ of these award 5 stars. Below are some of the positive points frequently mentioned:

  • Faster transfers
  • Ease to navigate platform
  • Affordable for both small and large transfers
  • Highly secure platform with security measures at the critical stages
  • Excellent rates

The areas of concern cited by dissatisfied customers included:

  • Transfer delays on some routes
  • Bad customer experience relating to the mobile app queries
  • Higher fees on some routes
InstaReM

On Trustpilot, InstaReM has 3,976 reviews, 2,400 of which are 5 stars. The following are some of the positive experiences:

  • Faster transfers
  • Best exchange rates
  • An easy to use transfer platform
  • Helpful customer support
  • Lower fees

About 9% of the reviewers rated the company as either ‘Poor’ or ‘Bad’ on the following accounts.

  • Delayed transfers on some routes
  • Poor customer experience especially when dealing with refunds
  • Longer time to evaluate transactions once funds are deposited

✅ Verdict: Wise wins

In Wise vs InstaRem comparison, Wise is the winner here with more positive reviews overall.

What brand offers better ease of use, accessibility & security?

Wise

Wise 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 Wise 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

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.

✅ Verdict: Wise is more accessible

Wise is more accessible due to the website translation capabilities, is licensed in more countries than InstaReM and implements lots of security layers.

Additional Features

Wise

Wise has several solutions for businesses, these include:

  • Borderless Account– This is a free business account allowing you to send and receive payment in multiple currencies
  • Batch Payments– You can make batch payments to employees, suppliers, or vendors. It can send up to 1,000 payments with a single click
  • Xero Integration– You can easily sync your business activity with Xero on the Wise platform. This helps in business accounting
  • Open API Payment Automation– You can automate recurring orders and simplify expense reporting as well as placing standing orders through this solution.
  • Mastercard Branded Debit Card– This card gives you the convenience of shopping online and offline and also withdraw money directly from an ATM
InstaReM

Aside 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.

✅ Verdict: Wise wins

Wise has lots of solutions both for personal and business compared to InstaReM.

Case Studies

The following scenarios give you a look and feel of how typical transfers play out when InstaRem vs Wise compared head to head in the US – Singapore corridor.

Wise

Sending $200

If you were to send $200 to Singapore with Wise via bank debit, you would incur a fee of 2.67 USD, with the recipient receiving a total of 267.52 SGD within 1 – 3 working days.

For credit card payments, the fee increases to 9.51USD,  while the debit card fee would be 4.35 USD.

Sending $1,000

Paying by bank transfer to send $1,000 to Australia would have a fee of 8.63 USD with Wise, whilst a credit card payment increases the fee to $42.83. The recipient would get a total of 1,379.06 SGD.

Sending $20,000

By bank debit, sending this sum would incur a fee of 150.33, with this increasing all the way up to 834.38 USD if you were paying by credit card. This transfer could take up to 5 working days.
InstaReM

Sending $200

If you were sending this sum with InstaReM, your recipient would receive a total of 262.68 SGD when paying via direct debit. The transfer would have 0 fees, and an exchange rate of  USD/SGD1.3134 SGD at the time of writing. 
Sending $1,000

Your this sum, you would get the same fees and exchange rate as above, leaving your recipient with 1,347.3 SGD once the transfer is processed.

Sending $20,000

Sending this sum would again have no fees attached, and a conversion rate of USD/SGD1.3473 SGD (at the time of writing). Your recipient would receive 26,946 SGD.

✅ Verdict: Wise has better rates

From this InstaRem vs Wise case study, we can see that the recipient receives more of your funds through Wise than with InstaReM, with the differences only increasing the larger the sum you send. It’s worth bearing in mind that this can change depending on the currency pair you are converting between, however.

Bottom Line – who is better?

Wise
  • Domestic Payments– Wise supports domestic payments in both EUR and USD. InstaReM only supports international payments
  • Business Payments– While both Wise and InstaReM have business payment solutions, Wise is more invested
  • Smaller Transactions- Wise is much more suited for smaller payments. It allows for payments as low as $1 while InstaReM begins at $50
  • Large Transactions– Wise is best for large transactions of up to USD 1 million, GBP 1 million and EUR 1.2 million in addition to other currencies. InstaReM limits vary depending on the market
  • Disbursing Network Coverage– Wise serves 59 countries compared to InstaReM which supports 29 supported countries
InstaReM

Overseas Payments: Both Wise and InstaReM offer competitive pricing on their international payments.

Winner

Wise 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, Wise carries the day.

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