When you want to send money abroad, some of the questions you ask yourself revolve around transfer fees, exchange rates, and turnaround time. In fact, the evaluation criteria you will use for picking your preferred money transfer provider is likely to be anchored on these three cornerstones.
In this comparison we’re comparing two money transfer giants, WorldRemit vs TransferWise. This comparison guide looks at the two providers, how they work, their pros and cons, transfer fees and exchange rates to help determine the best pick for your next transfer.
WorldRemit is a leading online money transfer company incorporated on 22 December 2009 in the United Kingdom. It plays a key role in facilitating the transfer of billions of dollars that expatriates and immigrant workers send home to their families. With a customer base of more than 4 million, WorldRemit allows sending money from 50 countries to recipients in 150+ countries globally.
Compared to brick-and-mortar agents, WorldRemit gives its clientele a convenient, fast and low-cost alternative to sending money across borders.
TransferWise is another global brand in the money transfer industry. It claims a significant share of the $700 billion international remittance market. The company was incorporated in the United Kingdom on 31 March 2010. One of the standout features of TransferWise is that it processes international transfers at the mid-market rate. It doesn’t charge any exchange rate margin and its transfer fees are lower compared to most providers and banks.
On paper, it may look simple drawing the line separating the two providers. However, in real practice, WorldRemit and TransferWise have overlapping or compensating strengths that make it a little difficult to prefer one over the other.
Money transfer providers charge their transfer fees based on the transfer destination, the transfer payment option and the payout method. Cash pickups are normally costlier than direct-to-bank transfers.
TransferWise transaction fees comprise payment method fee and the fee charged by the provider. Both fees are lumped together and change depending on the amount transferred. The fees are charged on a percentage basis and smaller transfers attract the highest fees in percentage terms. As the transfer amount increases to the regions of $5,000, the transfer fee settles around 0.42%.
WorldRemit charges a transfer fee of 3.99 USD to most countries. When sending from the United Kingdom, you will be charged 2.99 GBP and from Australia 3.99 AUD.
Both providers charge less when you send higher amounts but WorldRemit has lower fees at all levels of comparison.
If you’re looking for the lowest fees, use our simple guide to find the cheapest way to send money abroad.
Exchange rates for any given currency pair keep on rising and falling depending on market performance. For this reason, it makes much more sense to compare exchange rate margins instead. If you’re just getting started, check out our guide on finding the best exchange rates.
TransferWise charges zero exchange rate margins. All transfers are processed at the mid-market rate for any currency pair. The exchange rates are guaranteed for a period of up to 48 hours depending on the currencies being exchanged.
WorldRemit makes money from exchange rate margins which depend on the currency pair. It can be as low as 0.5% or as high as 1%. On its website, WorldRemit displays an exchange rate calculator widget than can help you figure out how much the recipient will get.
TransferWise is a clear winner because of the mid-market rate. Even the tight margins of WorldRemit cannot beat that!
The countries you can send money from and those you can send money to for any given provider are crucial. If a provider covers fewer countries, it may inconvenience senders from other regions when transferring money home.
With TransferWise, you can send money to 59 countries worldwide in 52 currencies both exotic and standard.
WorldRemit allows its customers to send money from 55 countries to 150+ countries and territories globally. It covers Africa, Americas, Asia, Australia Oceania, Europe and the Middle East.
Looking at the numbers above, WorldRemit carries the day. It serves more countries and territories than TransferWise.
There are two main components that determine the speed of funds transfers. The first component is the length of time money takes from the sender’s payment method such as a bank account to the provider. The second component is the time it takes for the transfer from the provider to the recipient.
TransferWise can takes 0-3 days for the money to get to the recipient. When making larger transfers it may take a little longer but for smaller transfers, it can take minutes.
WorldRemit takes anything from minutes to about two days to get the funds to the recipient’s mobile, cash pickup location or bank account.
Although it is too close to call, transfers made through WorldRemit score the highest in speed. Compared to TransferWise, WorldRemit serves more mobile wallets and has cash pickups which guarantee faster delivery times than direct bank deposits.
If you’re looking for the fastest provider, use our simple guide to find the fastest way to send money internationally.
The speed of transfer discussed above is mainly influenced by the transfer payment option and the payout method.
TransferWise offers bank deposits as the main payout option. When paying for your transfer you can choose debit or credit card, bank transfer, Facebook messenger, ACH bank debit, or bank wire transfer. If you are sending money to Indonesia, Ghana, the Philippines, Kenya or Bangladesh, you can now opt for mobile money which is instant.
WorldRemit has six payout options which are mobile money, cash pickup, bank transfer, airtime top-up, door-to-door, and WorldRemit Wallet. Door to door cash delivery is only available when sending to Vietnam.
Depending on the country you are registered in, WorldRemit allows you to pay for your transfer using any of the following payment methods. Debit or credit card, bank account transfer, Poli, Interac, iDEAL, Sofort, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Trustly.
WorldRemit has more transfer payment and payout options compared to TransferWise thus WorldRemit carries the day.
TransferWise has a total of 77,365 reviews on Trustpilot. Out of these, 94% are rated as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Great’ or experiences. Below are a few of the comments from customers.
WorldRemit has attracted a high percentage of positive customer reviews on Trustpilot and social media. On Trustpilot, WorldRemit has a total of 32,970 reviews 94% of which are rated either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Great’. This shows a high level of customer satisfaction. Most of the WorldRemit customers cited the following experiences.
TransferWise has a lot of positive reviews almost double that of TransferWise. For this reason, it carries the day.
TransferWise supports 12 languages on its website: English (both US and UK versions), German, French, Portuguese, Turkey, Spanish, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Italian, Hungarian and Russian. In case you want to contact customer care, they are available on live chat, email and telephone.
The provider also has a mobile application available as a free download both on android and iOS platforms. Through the app, users can check rates, send money, make transfers, check historical transactions among other functionalities. With bank-grade security, 3D secure feature and two-factor authentication, customers can be assured of maximum protection.
In the various countries TransferWise operates, it is regulated by the respective bodies. Below is a list of all the regulatory authorities by country.
WorldRemit has an easy to navigate website interface supporting 4 languages. You can browse in English, Danish, Spanish, French, and German. Apart from the FAQs, WorldRemit has an email and phone option to getting help from the customer helpdesk. The phone lines are grouped based on the region. WorldRemit also has an app available on Google Play and the App Store. The mobile application allows you to transfer money, track your transfers, check real-time exchange rates among other services.
WorldRemit takes customer security seriously. It has invested in industry-leading processes for screening transactions and has machine learning systems in place. It uses 3D Secure technology to ensure payment systems are protected. In addition, the provider is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and expected to operate in accordance with the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and Payment Service Regulations 2017.
TransferWise is the most regulated, has more customer support channels and the website is accessible in 12 languages, 7 more than WorldRemit. Therefore, TransferWise is the winner.
The TransferWise Borderless Account (TBA) is a gamechanger in cross-border money transfer. Through the TBA account, customers can spend, send, and receive money in 30+ currencies from around the world at real exchange rates. You get bank details for countries around the world so that you can receive local money directly into your account at zero transfer fees.
TransferWise also gives its customers the TransferWise debit Mastercard for free. Users can spend through the card at no cost and withdraw up to £200 per month for free.
WorldRemit doesn’t offer any more additional featured other than the ones mentioned above.
TransferWise has a well-developed product portfolio and with clear provisions for freelancers, e-commerce entities, and enterprises.
To understand further the features discussed above for both providers, here is a tabulated comparison of 3 scenarios involving transfers from the United States in USD to Belgium in EUR.
|Transfer speed||Same Day||1 day|
To make this decision, we have to do a round-up of the different categories and see which of the two providers scores the highest.
When sending small transfers to countries in Africa, Asia and South America, WorldRemit is the better option. But TransferWise might be a better option for other locations.