WorldRemit is an online money transfer operator that helps customers transfer money in a secure, fast and affordable way. Founded in London in 2010 by expatriate entrepreneur Ismail Ahmed, WorldRemit’s pioneering approach to money transfers has seen the company evolve into an industry leader. Customers can send money to more than 150 countries around the world, thanks to thousands of well-placed WorldRemit agent locations. In this review we will be evaluating the full scope of this money transfer company, by assessing the cost, convenience and customer feedback of WorldRemit international payments.
As is the case with many other leading money transfer operators, the story behind WorldRemit relates directly to the real-life experiences of the company’s founder, Ismail Ahmed. Having become frustrated by how difficult and expensive the options were to send money home, Ahmed came up with the idea for WorldRemit in a bid to solve this problem, thus creating a “better way to send money.”
Over the last decade, WorldRemit has grown exponentially and the company now boasts a network of over 5,000 transfer corridors. This network includes widespread coverage of almost every African country (except Algeria, Eritrea, Eswatini, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan). This is a particularly gratifying milestone for Ahmed who, although now based in London, is originally from Somaliland.
In order to provide a detailed rundown of this money transfer company, we will be investigating each of the key aspects of the WorldRemit business model; from transfer speeds, to foreign exchange rates, to mobile services.
A crucial aspect of any international transfer is understanding what you will pay in fees, how you will be asked to pay and the exchange rate you will be offered.
WorldRemit exchange rates can be dissected into two components: the true mid-market rate and a small profit margin; this margin varies depending on the currencies used for the international transfer.
The exchange rates also vary depending on the payout method. Cash pickups have a lower rate compared to bank transfers. The rate WorldRemit gives you at the time of transfer is guaranteed and locked with no variations along the way.
We conducted a number of tests to get a feel for the foreign exchange spread applied to WorldRemit transfers and our research found that popular currencies incur markups between 0.5 – 1.25% above the mid market rate. Less commonly traded, most exotic currencies, appear to incur slightly larger markups ranging between 3 – 5%.
Traditional banks typically apply markups 4 – 6% higher than the true market value to all foreign currency transfers, in addition to the standard international bank transfer fees.
WorldRemit offers affordable transfers to countries located in all four corners of the globe, applying a fixed, flat-fee structure to all transactions; this means customers are informed of all costs, upfront, ahead of payment. The price of these fees will be determined by the sending amount, the destination, and the type of transfer service requested.
For instance, customers sending $2,000 USD to Nigeria for cash pickup will be charged $16.99 in fees: however, this fee covers fast delivery, with funds ready for collection within 3 minutes.
We will present another example, this time using the more popular currency pairing of GBP to USD. Customers choosing to send money from the UK to the USA, via bank transfer, will incur a transfer fee of just $2.99. A lower fee is charged to this customer because they are paying for a slightly slower service (bank transfer) and the currencies are two of the most commonly traded forex currencies on the market.
All transfer fees are displayed throughout the transfer process, so customers are aware of the fees they will be charged, in advance.
WorldRemit is keen to advise customers that card issuers may apply their own charges, which are separate to any transfer fees. For example, customers paying for a transfer using a credit card may be charged up to 3 % in additional fees.
Funding an international transfer using a foreign credit or debit card may also attract a foreign transaction fee. Banks may also charge extra for payments sent via the SWIFT network. It is crucial that you confirm all the fees, as well as the agreed upon exchange rate, to avoid any surprises.
Readers who are just starting out and yet to send an overseas payment, may want to check out our guide to the Cheapest Ways to Send Money Abroad.
WorldRemit supports international transfers in over 70 currencies, to more than 130 countries globally. From our research, the following destinations are the most popular with WorldRemit users:
WorldRemit, like all money transfer companies, has strengths and weaknesses, but it is our job to help our users discover whether the pros outweigh the cons.
WorldRemit offers a diverse range of transfer options for customers sending money to different destinations around the world. The options vary per transfer remittance corridor, so it is important to weigh up all the options before initiating payment.
WorldRemit money transfers are faster than sending money with your bank, irrespective of the transfer corridor. With that said, timing differs depending on the transfer method, the destination, the currencies involved, the amount you are transferring and security checks.
Cash pickup, mobile money, and airtime top-up are all instant transfers, while bank transfers can take between 2 – 3 days to complete. Door-to-door deliveries can take anywhere between 24 hours to 7 days, depending on the recipient’s location.
When you pay with a credit or debit card, your transfer funds will take about an hour to be deposited, and payment via bank transfer can take up to 3 days. According to WorldRemit, 50% of its bank transfers are completed within 10 minutes, which is differently a bank-beating statistic.
WorldRemit is a faster money transfer provider than other major remittance operators like MoneyGram, Western Union, Pangea and Transfast. Even the slowest sending method WorldRemit uses is faster when compared to interbank transfers.In general, WorldRemit is one of the best money transfer service providers for sending money to your family for household expenses, medical care and treatment, education, social contributions and other personal reasons. See how WorldRemit compares to Wise, another industry leading provider, in our comparison review of the two brands.
How you pay for your transfer will depend on the country you are sending from. The following payment methods are accepted by WorldRemit:
The first reason to use WorldRemit for your next international money transfer is the company’s far-reaching global network. Over 130 countries can receive money transfers in more than 70 different currencies, with WorldRemit; not to mention the thousands of agent locations across the globe that make it easy for money transfers to be collected as cash.
Further to this point, WorldRemit is equally as flexible about pay-out options as they are payment options, with debit and credit cards accepted as a payment method, along with bank transfers.
Finally, WorldRemit offers some of the fastest ways to send money overseas. The rapid speed of WorldRemit transfers are far more competitive than most other remittance providers in the industry, with instant transfers widely available.
WorldRemit is a legitimate money transfer service with layers of proprietary safety measures in place, to ensure customers’ money gets to the recipient in a timely and safe manner. Looking at the company’s history, customer feedback and the investors who have put their money into WorldRemit, as well as the level of regulatory compliance, indicate this operator has a high trust index.
Customer reviews: The number of unique users on the WorldRemit platform amount to more than 4 million. Many customers on Trustpilot (87%) have rated the company ‘Great’ and ‘Excellent’, with over 53,000 reviews to date (2022).
Investors and funding: WorldRemit has received numerous series of funding including Series A, Series B, Series C, Series C2, Series D, mezzanine and debt financing. The company’s main investors include Leapfrog Investments, TCV, TriplePoint Venture Growth, Accel, Project A, Silicon Valley Bank and Future Fifty.
Regulation and authorisation: WorldRemit is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This regulatory oversight means the company is obliged to operate in the best interest of its customers.
Security: WorldRemit safeguards all customers through Norton-certified technology and two-factor authentication (2FA) that authenticates connections from clients’ smartphones and computers before communicating with the WorldRemit app and website.
Transparency: WorldRemit is fairly transparent, displaying all fees in advance, irrespective of whether you are registered on the platform or not. All customers receive the same exchange rates and fees, no preferential treatment is given unlike with certain banks.
Customer support: The company extends customer service assistance via phone and email, with an elaborate FAQ section for online customers.
Sending money through WorldRemit is simple and fast. However, before jumping ahead to the process of sending and receiving money, ensure you have a valid payment method (credit/debit card or bank) and the recipient details (name, contact information, and bank information for bank transfers).
Yes, the WorldRemit mobile app is available as a free download on both Android and iOS operating systems.
The WorldRemit app was rolled out globally in 2014, responding to the shift to mobile-based financial services. The app provides the same send and receive functions as the WorldRemit website, and is equally as safe and secure for users who want to send money internationally.
As an FCA approved UK-based company, this international money transfer service is globally revered. With multiple pay-out options and locations, customers all over the world choose to send money to family and friends via WorldRemit.
The app is easy to navigate and remittances can be arranged within minutes. It is free and available to download from the App Store and Google Play Store, where it has earned a 4.7 and 4.2 star rating, respectively.
Some of the key features of WorldRemit app include:
Unlike money transfer apps like Google Pay and PayPal, the WorldRemit app does not provide digital wallet functions. Therefore, money transfers can instead be paid for via debit or credit card, bank transfer and other online payment services such as Klarna and Apple Pay. Google Pay is no longer accepted.
Money can be transferred to over 130 countries using the WorldRemit app and there are now thousands of locations around the world – 15,000 branches in the Philippines alone – making cash pick-up a viable option for many recipients.
The WorldRemit app facilitates international money transfers to over 140 destination countries, from 50 sending countries. This is the same amount of countries supported by the website.
The transfer time of a WorldRemit remittance depends entirely on the way you send funds. Although the available services differ from country to country, the app offers customers the following pay-out options:
Compared to its competitors, WorldRemit offers a broad range of pay-out options, however, this means transfer times can vary. The expected delivery time will be displayed to you before you make a payment. If sent via cash pick-up, mobile money or bank transfer, funds are expected to arrive within minutes.
However, most transfers, no matter where in the world both parties are, take approximately 24 hours to reflect in the recipient’s account. This is far quicker than the speed of an international bank transfer.
Another added bonus of using the WorldRemit app is the “View your transfer status” feature. This means customers can stay informed about the status of a transfer, tracking the status of the money without the need to follow up with WorldRemit customer services.
The cost of a WorldRemit money transfer is determined by the destination country, pay-out method (outlined in the previous section) and currency exchange.
WorldRemit is very transparent and any fees (usually a flat-fee) will be displayed at various times throughout the transaction, so you know in advance how much you will pay.
For instance, sending $2,000 through cash pickup to Nigeria from the United States will cost you $16.99 in fees. When you deposit directly to a bank in Nigeria, you’ll pay $23.99. Sending the same amount to the United Kingdom from the United States through bank transfer will cost you $2.99.
Be notified of the real-time exchange rates as well as the latest promotions and news from WorldRemit, by setting up push notifications in the app. You can also receive notifications which alert you of the best time to send money for specific countries. Download the WorldRemit app today.
In this next section we will take you through a step-by-step guide to sending a money transfer using the WorldRemit app.