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Top 10 money transfer companies

With more and more professionals engaging in business travel and living between borders, many international money transfer companies have sprung up to simplify the movement of foreign funds. People no longer rely solely on bank money transfer services and are instead, looking to specialised international money transfer companies due to lower costs, higher transfer speeds and a range of other benefits. If you’re new to money transfers, familiarise yourself with this guide to the top 10 money transfer companies.

Updated: 05/07/2021
Read time: 22 minutes
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At a Glance: Top 10 Money Transfer Providers

#ProviderExchange Rate Markup
#1XE0.5-2%Visit Site
#2Wise (formally TransferWise)0.5%Visit Site
#3WorldRemit1%-1.5%Visit Site
#4OFX1.5%Visit Site
#5Azimo1.5%Visit Site
#6Remitly1% – 2%Compare
#7Skrill3.99%Compare
#8Ria Money Transfer0.5% – 2.5%Compare
#9Xoom2% – 4%Compare
#10MoneyGram4% – 5%Compare

What is an international money transfer company?

An international money transfer company is almost always the cheapest way to send your money across the globe. These companies often offer lower transfer fees than banks, while guaranteeing the same level of security and reliability.

Money transfer services will have different fees for international money transfers, these are dependent on the current market rate as well as extenuating factors such as where you are sending money from, to, and the amount you are sending. Our comparison tool is designed to compare these factors as well as overall security, reliability, and accessibility to help you make an informed decision on the best way to send money.

How does a money transfer work?

Leading online money transfer providers focus on streamlining digital navigation to create a simplified user experience so every customer can benefit from a straight-forward service. The steps to initiating a money transfer are as follows:

Step 1: Choose a money transfer provider
Step 2: Create your free account
Step 3: Set up your transfer
Step 4: Double-check fees and confirm
Step 5: Track your transfer

What key features should be included?

While locking in the best price for your money transfer is important, it is also a good idea to consider a few other factors when looking for a reliable and safe money transfer service.

Ultimately, the cost of your international transfer will depend on how much money you are sending, the exchange rate at the time and the fees charged by the provider.

There are some important considerations to make when securing the best money transfer service for you, these include:

Security

Make sure the money transfer service you’re considering is registered with the appropriate financial authorities in the country they operate in and use secure encryption methods to keep your money safe.

Additionally, it is worth learning about the reputation of a company by reading the reviews from their users. This is a good way of double checking that their services are held to as high a standard as advertised.

Cost

Some money transfer providers, like Wise, will offer money transfers at a set mid-market rate, adding on a set fee for their services. Conversely, other companies, will add a small mark up on top of the mid-market exchange rate.

To give you an idea of what to expect, most banks add a mark-up of between 4 – 5%, whereas most money transfer providers usually charge exchange rate margins around 1%. The important thing to note is that all providers will charge fees or mark-ups in exchange for their services, but ensuring transparency of those fees upfront, before you make your transfer, is what counts.

Speed

With a huge percentage of money being held digitally, you might think all international money transfers will be as instant as sending an email but unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. It’s a good idea to check the estimated transfer time with each provider, bearing in mind that the day you transfer your money will impact transfer times: delivery speeds vary for weekend days and business days.

Accessibility/Availability

Make sure the money transfer provider you are looking at has the availability to send money via the route you need. Currently, not every company offers their services to all territories or countries so this is a hugely important factor to iron out before deciding on a service provider.

The importance of comparing money transfer companies

Not all money transfer services are the same and every service differs depending on customer requirements. While some work great for smaller transfers, others are better for sending large amounts of money. The cost and speed of transfer can also vary considerably, as can the payment and withdrawal methods available. 

Depending on where you are sending the money, what currency you are sending, the amount you are sending and how you are funding the transaction, the best service for your specific needs will vary. We’ve come up with this comprehensive list of our top 10 money transfer companies, with a quick overview of their pros and cons, to get you the best possible deal.

1. XE

XE offers international money transfers to over 170 countries, with their most popular routes including Canada, the United States and New Zealand. The brand is known to use enterprise-grade security to ensure their transfer service keeps for money safe. XE is also well-known for offering low rates.

With over 40,000 reviews on Trustpilot and an overall rating of ‘Excellent’, XE is one of our top picks, as a trusted and reliable money transfer service with low fees for overseas remittances. 

Pros
Trusted name in the industry
Provides transfers to more than 170 countries in over 60 currencies
No transfer fees
24/7 account management
Cons
Does not support card payments
Exchange rate markup can be higher than other providers

How do I send money through XE?

You first need to sign up for an account by providing personal details such as name, address, social security number and occupation. Once the account is approved, you can set up the transfer using your chosen payment details, the amount to be transferred, the currency you want to send and the recipient’s details. 

One thing to be aware of, however, is that XE only supports payments through online banking and over the phone. XE does not offer customers the option to pay with a card or request a cash pick-up service.

Fees and exchange rates

XE does not charge a transfer fee and instead applies a small mark-up on top of the mid-market exchange rate. This margin will reduce as the monetary value of the transfer increases. You will only know the confirmed exchange rate once you are ready to transact. Normally, this margin is in the range of 0.5 – 2%. 

Transfer speed

Most money transfers can happen the same day. The type of currency being transferred and the corresponding banks involved determine whether it takes longer for the funds to arrive with your recipient. This can range between 1 – 4 business days.

2. Wise

Wise is one of the best-known names in the industry and for good reason. They are a money transfer company focused on bank-to-bank international transfers, but the service they offer is much cheaper than banks, with a big focus on zero hidden fees. 

One of the biggest selling points of Wise is how transparent they are with their fee-structure and exchange rates from the offset: Wise confirm the exact amount which will reach the recipient account, before the transfer is even made.

Wise has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Trustpilot, and with over 8 million people using their services, they are one of the most popular transfer providers out there.

Pros
Very transparent fees and exchange rate margins
Well-trusted and popular transfer company
Offer guaranteed rates for 24 – 48 hours
Fast transfer times available
Cons
No option for cash pickups
Emphasis on online service can make troubleshooting difficult at times
Less support for larger transactions

How do I send money through Wise?

To use Wise, you need to create an account by providing personal details such as address, phone, email, date of birth, bank account or credit card information, details of the recipient and the recipient’s International Bank Account Number (IBAN). Once you enter the payment information including the amount and currency, you will be able to see the fees and estimated transfer time for each payment method. You can then make a transfer. 

Fees and exchange rates

The best thing about Wise is that it offers the mid-market rates – no exchange rate mark-ups – and these rates are guaranteed for 24 – 48 hours. They do however charge fees for transfers which vary depending on how fast you want the money to be delivered, the amount you are transferring and which currencies you are using. Usually, these take the form of a percentage of the amount being transferred and typically lie in the region of 0.5%.

Transfer speed 

Wise usually takes 3-5 days to transfer your funds to the recipient’s account.

3. WorldRemit

WorldRemit provide money transfers in over 90 currencies to 150 countries around the globe, with over two million people using their services last year alone. 

They offer different methods to send money internationally such as bank deposits, cash pickups and mobile money. The company process most transfers within minutes with low fees and an upfront exchange rate. WorldRemit has an above average rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Trustpilot, having been reviewed by over 4 million customers globally.

Pros
Worldwide presence to over 150 countries
Quick transfer speeds (90% transfers approved in minutes)
Secure encryption system to keep your money safe
Supports a wide range of payment methods including debit/credit card and bank transfers
Range of delivery options including cash pick up, airtime top up, and bank transfer
Cons
Complex fee structure
Can have higher exchange rate markups than competitors

How do I send money through WorldRemit?

It’s quick and easy to sign up and start using the services of WorldRemit. All you need to do is enter your personal details and provide a valid proof of address for verification. You can simply scan and upload the documents. Once your account has been approved you can transfer money using a variety of payment options including bank transfer, debit card and cash pickup.

Fees and exchange rates

WorldRemit charges both a transfer fee and a markup on the mid-market exchange rate. Additionally, you’ll have to watch out for possible hidden charges by your bank. WorldRemit is upfront about the fees charged, however, and you’ll know exactly how much your transfer will cost before it is carried out.

You may have to pay a delivery fee of between $3.99 and $24.99 depending on the currency, country and delivery option. While WorldRemit charges a mark-up on exchange rates, these are still lower than what banks offer. Normally, the provider charges no more than 1%-1.5% mark-up.  

Transfer speed

WorldRemit offers near instant fund transfers in most cases, especially when transferring cash. However, bank transfers may take 1-3 days to be credited to the beneficiary’s account

4. OFX

OFX has more than 20 years’ experience providing money transfer services and have handled transactions totalling over £67 billion to date with an average Trustpilot score of 4.4.

The company has a very wide disbursement network, with offices in London, San Francisco, Auckland, Hong Kong, Toronto and Sydney, and bank accounts in over 155 countries, offering over 55 currencies. With OFX you’ll also benefit from 24/7 customer service, low fees and exchange rate markups.

Pros
Competitive exchange rates
Wide banking network with physical offices across the world helps provide cheap and fast collection and delivery of funds
User-friendly online platform and mobile app
Excellent, accessible customer support
Cons
Minimum transfer amount of $1,000
Credit cards can't be used to make overseas payments
Limited availability for same-day transfers

How do I send money through OFX?

Like most other services, you need to follow two simple steps to start using OFX: registering online and verifying your identity by providing documents such as a driving license, passport, or utility bill. Once you login, you can set up a transaction either on the phone or via their online platform. 

You can fund your account using one of the methods available in your country. Electronic bank transfer is available to residents of Australia, US, UK and Canada. The US and Canada residents can use wire transfers as well. Debit card transfers are available for only UK residents. Something else to be aware of is that the minimum transfer amount is $1,000, which means OFX is not ideal for users wanting to send smaller amounts.

Fees and exchange rates

OFX charges no flat rate transfer fee, and the level of the exchange rate markup applied to each transfer depends on the amount being transferred and the currencies used. The larger the transfer amount, the better rates you will get, but in general, you can expect exchange rate margins of about 1.5% above the mid-market rate. 

Transfer speed

With OFX, transfers typically take between 1 and 5 days to be completed.

5. Payoneer

Payoneer provides international money transfers services to 200 countries and in 150 currencies. Its marketing is largely directed at businesses and freelancers, with an easy-to-use platform to send money abroad.

Payoneer boasts an esteemed clientele including big names such as Airbnb, Upwork, Google and Amazon, who use Payoneer for mass payments. Payoneer is also used by eCommerce marketplaces such as Walmart and freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr, while still catering for individuals who want to send money abroad.

Pros
Wide presence in 200 countries
Free payments between Payoneer accounts
Provides custom invoices and enables you to request payment from clients
Cons
Complex fee structure
Card payments can be quite expensive

How do I send money through Payoneer?

When you sign up on the Payoneer website, creating either a personal or professional account, you will need to enter your personal details and provide identity documentation such as a passport or driving license. Payoneer will then run identity and credit checks which can take up to 2 days. Once this information is verified, you can start sending and requesting payments through Payoneer using a variety of payment methods including bank transfer and debit card.

To receive funds via Payoneer, you can send another user a payment request and Payoneer will send them the relevant details including the payment options available to them. You will receive the payment in your Payoneer account within a few days. In case you have to receive payment from companies and marketplaces by bank transfer, Payoneer lets you receive payment in local currencies via specialised receiving accounts. The funds are then directed to your Payoneer account from these receiving accounts. 

For making payments from one Payoneer account to another, there are no fees. You can also make a payment directly from your Payoneer account to other people’s bank accounts without them needing to be a Payoneer customer, but this will attract fees and charges. 

Fees and exchange rates

Payoneer’s fee structure is quite complex as there is a different fee and exchange rate structure for different types of payments:

Fees

  • Using the ‘Make a Payment’ option, as a Payoneer customer, you can send and receive funds for free
  • To pay your service providers via credit card you will be asked to pay a 3% fee. Local bank transfer and eCheck payments cost 1% 
  • To receive payment via their Global Payment Service, there is no fee for EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, CAD, MXN, but there is a 1% fee for USD
  • To use their billing service to receive payment, you will have to pay a 1% fee for payment via eCheck and 3% for credit cards

Exchange rates

  • Payoneer charge 0.5% above the mid-market rate for exchanging currency
  • To transfer money from Payoneer to your bank account in a different currency, you will have to pay 2% above the mid-market rate. In addition to this, if you are making a withdrawal in the same currency, you will have to pay $1.50
  • It’s good to be aware that Payoneer offers lower fees for high-value transactions, so you can save money if transferring more funds at once

Transfer speed

Most money transfers with Payoneer are almost instant. However, transactions with non-Payoneer accounts take longer depending on the payment methods used. Withdrawal from your Payoneer account to bank account may take 2-3 days. 

6. Remitly

Remitly supports transfers from 17 countries to over 50 receiving countries around the world, with over 140,000 agent locations allowing cash pickups for speedy transfers. 

Remitly is one of the most trusted names in the industry and well-known for its competitive fees and effectively optimized mobile app. It features a great range of payment options, including bank deposit, cash pickup and even home delivery. Remitly has an overall score of 4.5 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

Pros
Recipients can collect money from any of the participating banks, which include almost all major banking companies in countries where their service is available
Different payout methods such as bank transfer, cash pick up, mobile wallet deposits and home delivery
You can lock in the exchange rate when you place the order
Cons
Some payment methods have high fees
Low daily limits

How do I send money through Remitly?

Opening an account with Remitly is the first step. You can register by providing your personal details, email address and the last four digits of your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or your Social Security number. You also need to provide the recipient’s name, contact information and bank details. 

Once you are set up with an account, you can send money across the world through a variety of methods including bank account, debit card and credit card, which can all be selected on the Remitly website when setting up a transfer. 

Fees and exchange rates

Remitly fees and exchange rates are determined by how you’re paying for your transfer, how much you’re sending and the currencies. While Remitly transfers can sometimes be more expensive than other providers, this is offset by the amount of ways you can send your money. Here’s a quick summary:

Fees 

The cost of transferring money with Remitly will depend on how much money you are sending, where you are sending money, and the payment method you select. Credit card payments typically incur a 3% fee but there is no fee for debit card transactions. There are also different payment types to consider:

  • Express payments: Payments are made via credit or debit cards. There is a different fee structure for different destinations, but by and large, this costs approximately $6.99 with your transfer arrives in minutes.
  • Economy payments: Payments are made via bank transfer. Again, there is a different fee structure for different destinations, but these transactions tend to take a few days and have no fees if the amount is over $500.

Remember that your bank may charge extra fees when transferring money, so be sure to check with them before making a transfer.

Exchange rates

The exchange rate markup above the mid-market rate will depend on the currencies and amounts that you are sending. In general, Remitly charges a rate between 1% and 2% above the mid-market rate.

Transfer speed

Remitly offers both express and economy transfers. With express transfers, you pay with a debit/credit card and have to pay an additional fee for the transfer to arrive with the recipient within minutes. Economy transfers do not attract this extra fee but tend to take between 1 and 3 days to arrive.

7. Skrill

Skrill is a payment service that is highly popular with online gambling customers and forex traders. Skrill has a clientele of over 120,000 online merchants worldwide and markets itself as having a focus on providing quick transfers, with the ability to transact using cryptocurrencies as well as regular money transfers.

Skrill has a score of 4.7 out of 5 on TrustPilot and makes international money transfers easy to navigate thanks to its modern and user-friendly website and app.

Pros
Available in 200 countries
You can make transfers to online gambling accounts
Send money easily to a phone number or email address linked to a bank account
You can buy and sell cryptocurrency
Fast transfer speeds
Modern, user-friendly interface
Cons
Complex fee structure
Can be more expensive than other options

How do I send money through Skrill?

Skrill offers both personal and business accounts, and you can register for either one of these on their website or by downloading their app on your Android or iOS device. Once you provide your personal details, you will be asked to set up a security pin and payment method: bank transfer, bitcoin, debit/credit card, or e-wallets like Neteller, Klarna, Trustly and Klarna, are all accepted.

The provider will ask for identification and proof of address when verifying personal accounts. If you have registered for a business account, you will need to provide a variety of documents including ID, proof of company address, details of shareholders and business partners and certificate of incorporation. 

Once your account is set up, it’s easy to navigate Skrill’s payment options both online and on their app, as well as making transactions to and from a wide range of payment and withdrawal options. 

Fees and exchange rates

Skrill has a very complex fee and exchange rate structure; the amounts you pay can vary considerably depending on the chosen payment method. Any currency conversion will cost 3.99% above the mid-market rate, which is more than with a lot of other providers, but this is offset a little by the fact there are no transfer fees for international transfers.

Watch out for the administration fees, as you can end up having to pay more in certain situations, such as a €25 fee for reversing transfers or a €5 inactivity fee if you make no transfers over the course of twelve months.

Transfer speed 

Skrill usually takes 2-3 business days to transfer funds to the recipient account. If you wish to withdraw your funds to your bank account, this can be executed instantly.

8. Ria Money Transfer

Ria Money Transfer has been in business for over 30 years and enables money transfers to more than 149 different countries from the US, Australia, UK and Spain. It lets you send money via its vast network of 397,000 cash transfer and payout agent locations, as well as online, and has a strong reputation for providing a reliable remittance service to people all over the world.

Ria Money Transfer is a trusted provider with excellent reviews online and years of industry experience which helps to provide high quality services to their customers

Pros
Global reach with over 350,000 agent locations
Home delivery available in some locations
Payments made using debit/credit card are delivered instantly
Cons
High cost of transfer for some locations, especially when payments are made using cards
Low limit when transferring money online ($7,000 per month)

How do I send money through Ria Money Transfer?

To start using Ria you will need to create an account by providing your personal details and a valid ID. You can make a payment using bank transfer, credit card or debit card. You will also have to provide the recipient’s details including name, contact information and bank account information. This is all easily achieved, both online or by visiting an agent to arrange your money transfer in-person.

Fees and exchange rates

With Ria Money Transfer, the transfer fee you’ll pay depends on a variety of factors such as the destination, payment method and how the recipient will receive funds (cash pickup or bank). You can make a payment using bank transfer, credit/debit card or cash. 

You can use the online calculator to find out what fees you will pay. For example, if you are transferring money from the US to Canada and make a transfer from your bank account to the recipient’s bank account, you will pay $3 as a transfer fee. 

In terms of exchange rates, these are determined by where you’re sending money to and which currencies you are using. In general, the exchange rate margins applied by Ria Money Transfer tend to be between 0.5% and 2.5%.

Transfer speed

Most money transfers arranged through Ria Money Transfer are instant, especially if using cash pickup as a delivery option. Bank transfers, however, may take between 2 and 5 days.

9. Xoom

Xoom lets you send money to an overseas bank account, send cash for pick up or have cash delivered to the doorstep, in over 70 countries. The provider also allows you to make phone top-ups in 35 countries, and this wide range of services is one of the reasons they have such a strong reputation in the money transfer industry.

Xoom is a PayPal service and has a TrustPilot rating of 4.5 out of 5 online. It’s a great choice if instant money transfers are a high priority for you, but it’s worth noting that the quick transfer times do come at a higher cost.

Pros
Wide network covering 159 countries
Multiple payout options
Quick transfers
Cons
High fees compared to some other providers
Exchange rate isn't clear until you sign up with the service

How do I send money through Xoom?

To send money using Xoom, you first need to register for an account by providing your personal details. You will need to provide a government-issued ID, like a passport or license, and a recent bank statement. After this information, you will need to provide the recipient details before selecting the payment method; debit/credit card or bank transfer. 

Their online platform is easy to navigate and you will be asked to select from a drop-down menu which list a variety of payment options and delivery methods.

Fees and exchange rates

The transfer fees you’ll pay when using Xoom depends on factors such as the payment method used, where you are sending your funds and the amount being sent. The fee is usually lower if you pay via a US bank account. 

Fees, in general, are quite high if you pay using debit/credit card (around $11 when sending $200), but in some instances, such as when you are transferring a larger amount using your bank account, the fee is waived. 

On top of these fees, Xoom also applies an exchange rate margin usually in the range of 2% – 4% when transferring into a different currency. This is quite high compared to other services, and when combined with the fees charged, make Xoom comparatively expensive within the industry.

Transfer speed

Most transfers through Xoom are instant but it may take up to a few days in case of some currencies and countries.

10. MoneyGram

The final member of our top 10 is one of the industry’s most recognisable names. MoneyGram is a payment transfer service that launched all the way back in 1940, so they have more than 80 years’ experience providing global money transfer services with a network of over 350,000 agent locations.

MoneyGram customers can rest assured, knowing they will receive a secure and reliable service from one of the largest money transfer companies in the world. Although the company’s fees to tend to be higher than some of the newer providers on the market, MoneyGram has an overall ‘Great’ rating on TrustPilot with a score of 4.2 out of 5.

Pros
Wide network coverage spanning 200 countries
Different payout options
Fast transfers
Cons
Often more expensive than many other providers
Variable fees

How do I send money through MoneyGram?

Setting up your account with MoneyGram is similar to other services: you simply visit their website to open a free account, providing personal documentation such as a passport or a driving license. Once your account has been approved, you just need to enter the recipient details and set-up your transfer. 

With MoneyGram, you can send money online or in-person at one of the agent locations, which UK customers can often find at local Post Offices. Additionally, if you have a Facebook account you can also use the unique ‘MoneyGram Sendbot’ to send money through Facebook’s platform.

Fees and exchange rates 

The transfer fees charged by MoneyGram depend on the payment method, destination, currency and chosen payout method. For example, if you intend to send $1,000 to India, you will pay no fees for bank transfer, $3.99 for debit/credit card and $7 for cash deposit at your selected location.

While MoneyGram fees are pretty reasonable, they do charge a much higher exchange rate margin than many other providers, sometimes as high as 4% or 5%. So if you’re looking for the best value way of sending money across currency zones, you may want to consider other options.

Why do money transfer providers charge fees?

The fact is, money transfer providers need to make a profit for their business to keep running, and those profits are found in the fees or markups applied to each money transfer arranged through them. This is why you’ll rarely (if ever) find a money transfer service for the exact mid-market exchange rate (the rate banks use to trade between themselves) on any particular day, with zero additional fees. Most providers will mark up the exchange rate to cover their costs (such as WorldRemit, Remitly and XE) or will add a set fee onto the mid-market rate when calculating your money transfer (such as Wise).

This is why we would always recommend being wary of providers that advertise ‘no fees’ or ‘zero commission’ because more often than not, this will mean there are hidden fees that you’re not being told about.

Are there any other ways to send money abroad?

The cheapest way to send money internationally is almost always going to be by using a money transfer provider, such as the companies listed in this review. 

An alternate method is to transfer money directly using your bank. This is a more convenient option for some as you don’t need to set up and verify another account and can instead arrange to wire money directly from your bank account to the recipient.

Bear in mind, however, that this convenience does come at a cost. Banks typically add a 4 – 5% markup on the exchange rate, compared to the average 1% markup money transfer providers charge.

Choosing the best money transfer company for you…

All of the names in this list have strong reputations in the industry and offer a variety of services to their users which make international money transfers simpler and more cost-effective. It’s always important to remember, however, that the best service for one transfer might not be the best for another.

In order to guarantee the best deal for your transfer, take a minute to use our free money transfer tool at the top of this page to instantly compare your options and find you the best service for your needs.

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