InstaRem Review

InstaReM is a digital payments solutions provider headquartered in Singapore. It serves a variety of markets including the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and South-East Asia. On the platform, businesses and individuals enjoy low-cost money transfers and zero margin foreign exchange rates.

However, despite serving 55+ plus countries, if you are sending money to Africa or the Mid-East, you will need to find another money transfer provider as InstaReM has no presence there.

    Date Founded:
    2014
    Provider Type:
    MTO
    HQ Location:
    Singapore
    Regulators:
    Mobile Friendly:
    Yes
    Mobile App:
    Yes
    Languages Available:
    English
    Transfer Options:
    Online
    Withdrawal Options:
    Bank
    Payment Options:
    Bank Transfer, Debit Card
    Regular Payments:
    No
    Supported Currencies:
    ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, CAD, CHF, CLF, CNY, COP, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, INR, JPY, LKR, MXN, MYR, NOK, NPR, NZD, PEN, PHP, PLN, RON, SEK, SGD, THB, USD, VND
    Support Options:
    Telephone

    InstaReM exchange rates and fees

    Before sending money on InstaReM, it is important that you know the fee structure and exchange rate pricing the company uses.

    • Transfer Fees – The fees InstaReM charges depend on the amount you are transferring and the country of origin. For instance, when transferring from Hong Kong or Australia, you will pay about 0.5% of the amount you are sending. On the other hand, sending from the UK or Hong Kong gives you a much lower percentage fee of 0.25%.
    • Exchange Rates – InstaReM uses the real-time interbank rate. This means they do not charge any margin on their rates. What you see is what you get.
    • Other Fees – Apart from the transfer fees, InstaReM doesn’t charge any other fees. However, banks on the sending and receiving ends may charge you fees that can range anywhere between $25 and $50.

    Top destinations for using InstaReM

    Currently, InstaReM serves 150+ remittance corridors with the top sending countries being Singapore, Malaysia, India, Lithuania, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

    These corridors are served by a total of 100+ knowledgeable employees including a responsive customer support team.

    Pros and Cons of InstaReM

    InstaReMhas been rated as a cost-effective remittance provider in Australia by the World Bank. This endorsement has been credited to the numerous features the company has developed into its product offering.

    Pros

    • Low Transfer Fees – The percentage fees InstaReM charges its clients range between 0.25% and 1%. This makes transfers affordable.
    • Zero Margins on Exchange Rates – You are always guaranteed the best rate when transferring your money on the InstaReM platform. The provider doesn’t charge any margins and you always transact at the interbank rate.
    • Dedicated Support Team – InstaReM offers 24/7 customer support through phone, email, and online chat. It has dedicated physical offices and phone lines in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Lithuania, the United States, and the United Kingdom. They are also available on social media platforms.
    • Transparency – When transferring your funds, InstaReM shows you the fees they charge for the transaction. In this way, you are left with no doubt as to any hidden charges. The only charges you should inquire from the sending and receiving banks are bank processing fees and landing fees.
    • InstaPoints Reward Program – As a client, you can earn points when you transact on the InstaReM platform which you can redeem in the form of discounts to lower your transaction fees.

    Cons

    • Limited Coverage – If you live in Arica or the Middle East, you cannot use InstaReM because it has no coverage in those regions.
    • Longer Account Activation – The account activation process at InstaReM for both business and individual accounts involves an intensive verification process. At one point, you will be sent a mobile verification code to confirm your phone number. This process can delay initial transfers.
    • Doesn’t support credit cards as a transfer payment option. However, you can use a debit card, ACH, and Wire Transfer.

    What type of transfers can you make?

    InstaReM only allows for electronic funds transfers or wire transfers to the recipient’s bank account. They do not have a cash pickup option even if you are sending relatively smaller amounts. This approach was inspired by the calibre of clients the provider targets both corporate and private.

    There is no limit to the amount you can transfer through InstaReM. However, you need to check with the receiving bank if they have a limit on how much can be transferred per single transaction or per day.

    How long will it take to receive money?

    True to its name, InstaReM (Instant Remittance) is known for instant transfers. However, depending on the currency pair, the country you are sending to, and how you pay for your transfer, it can take up to 5 business days to transfer funds.

    For faster transfers, pay using a debit card. The funds become available almost instantly to InstaReM so that the transfer process can begin.

    On InstaReM’s digital platform, you can transfer funds at any time 24/7 or use the app. For peace of mind, the provider allows you to track your transactions, update your payee list in case of any changes and view your transaction history.

    Compared to money transfer service providers such as OFX, WorldFirst, Currencies Direct, and TorFX, InstaReM falls within the same range save for a few unique features like the InstaPoints and InstaReM MassPay.

    What payment methods can I use?

    When paying for your InstaReM transfer, there are a number of options you can use depending on the country you are sending from. You can use wire transfers, bank transfers, or electronic funds transfer. If you are sending from Australia, you can pay using POLi or a debit card if you are sending from the EU.

    Clients in the United States can use bank transfers or ACH Pull and those in Malaysia can use FPX to transfer money to InstaReM. Cash deposits are not allowed and you cannot transfer money to InstaReM using another person’s bank account. When using a joint account to pay for your transfer, ensure that your name reflects on the account details as one of the account holders.

    Top reasons to use InstaReM

    Irrespective of the reason, both businesses and individuals can enjoy a seamless sending experience and competitive mid-market rates when sending through InstaReM. The following are some of the best use cases for InstaReM.

    Business

    • Paying Overseas Staff – You can pay employees and freelancers resident in other countries through InstaReM.
    • Paying Suppliers and Vendors – The multicurrency and batch payment features can help you settle invoices and other vendor payments with ease through the InstaReM platform.
    • Payment to China and the US – InstaReM is a key supporter of the Belt and Road Initiative. Whether you want to pay contractors or credit facilities in the US and China, InstaReM allows you to pay in the local currency.

    Personal Transfers

    • Repatriating Income and Earnings – If you work abroad and want to repatriate your earnings home, InstaReM will give you the best rates and low fees.
    • Buying Property Abroad – On the InstaReM platform, you will get the best mid-market rates 24/7 and pay low fees when sending large amounts to brokers, solicitors, and property owners.
    • Sending Money Home – Whether you are servicing a loan, sending tuition fees, or supporting your family, InstaReM allows you to do mass payment which can save you on time, inaccuracies, and cost.

    Can I trust InstaReM?

    InstaReM was incorporated in August 2014 as a private company by Prajit Nanu and Michael Bermingham. In Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) licensed InstaReM Pte Ltd as a remittance provider.

    In India, the Reserve Bank of India gave the company a regulatory approval to operate as an overseas remittance provider from the country in September 2017. The other regulatory approvals the company has received include:

    • Australia – InstaReM operates as InstaReM PTY Ltd, regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
    • Hong Kong – Here, InstaReM Ltd is regulated under the Customs and Excise Department.
    • Canada – InstaReM is registered in Canada as InstaReM Canada Corp. and operates under the regulations set by Financial Transactions and Report Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
    • Malaysia – The Central Bank in Malaysia regulates all financial institutions including InstaReM Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
    • Lithuania – InstaReM is regulated by the Bank of Lithuania and operates as UAB InstaReM EU.
    • The United States – The Community Federal Savings Bank sponsors InstaReM USA Corporation. Both are jointly regulated by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

    As part of the regulations, InstaReM is required to segregate client funds from business funds. It is also required to observe information privacy policies with respect to client data as part of the larger General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    The company is ISO certified, ISO/IEC 27001. This means that InstaReM has satisfied the Joint Technica Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission and the International Organization for Standardization conditions as far as information security risks are concerned.

    In the 55+ countries that InstaReM serves, it has facilitated transfers for more than 35,000 business and individual clients. In total, they have transferred about $5 billion since starting operations.

    In January 2015, Global Founders Capital, a venture capital entity invested $500,000 in InstaReM. In March 2016, the company raised a further $5 million from Global Founders Capital, Fullerton Financial Holdings, and Vertex Venture Holdings. Other investors such as SBI-FMO Ventures and GSR Ventures have also funded InstaReM. This shows the level of confidence these companies have on InstaReM.

    Each year, the company processes more than 0.5 million transactions, thanks to their team of employees working tirelessly in the 6 global offices InstaReM runs.

    User opinion on InstaReM?

    In customer reviews, InstaReM has been receiving positive comments and excellent ratings on social media and Trustpilot. For instance, on Trustpilot, InstaReM has 3541 reviews, 58% of which are rated as ‘Excellent’ and 28% as ‘Great’. Customers gave the following comments in praise of InstaReM.

    • Best Rates – InstaReM offers mid-market rates across all the transfers without adding any margin.
    • Affordable Transfers – The low-cost transfers InstaReM offers have enabled businesses and individuals to transfer even smaller amounts without feeling the pinch.
    • Remarkable Service – The customer support prioritizes client requests and ensures they are handled professionally.

    The few who rated the company as bad or poor cited occasional delays as the reason for their dissatisfaction. Some clients had difficulties applying the coupon code. In most cases, these issues were resolved as shown in the responses to the reviews.

    In 2017, InstaReM won the Singapore Open Award. In the same year in Mumbai, the company bagged the Fintech Rising Star Award. In 2018, the company continued in its winning streak with the Network Accelerator Award and Outstanding Digital Cross-border Money Transfer Service Award.

    How to get started with InstaReM?

    You can sign up either as a business or individual client on the InstaReM platform. The following are the steps involved.

    How to Send Money Using InstaReM?

    • Step 1: Sign Up –  Individual customers will require to indicate their location and provide an email. For businesses, the initial sign up requires that they provide their email, phone number, registered business name, and the country of registration.   
    • Step 2 – Account Verification – There are two verification processes on InstaReM: mobile verification and document verification. For mobile verification, you will receive a code on your phone which you use to verify your identity. The document verification process requires that you have your ID on hand. Alternatively, you can use a bank statement, utility bill, or drivers license. Business account verification takes a maximum of 24 hours.
    • Step 3 – Setting Up the Transfer – Here, you enter the details of the recipient and the amount of money you want to send.  
    • Step 4 – Paying for Your Transfer – InstaReM allows you to use a bank transfer or debit card to pay for your transfer.
    • Step 5 – Tracking the Transfer – You have the ability to track your transfer on InstaReM until it gets to the recipient. You will get periodical notifications as the transfer progresses.

    How to Receive Money Using InstaReM?

    InstaReM will deposit the funds directly into the recipient's bank account. Therefore there is no procedure required to access the money.

    Does InstaReM have a mobile app?

    InstaReM mobile app is available as a free download on both Android and iOS platforms. The App comes with lots of features enabling you to:

    • Send money anywhere at any time to 55+ countries
    • Track your transfers
    • View transaction history
    • Add and manage recipients

    On Google Play, the app has been installed by more than 100,000 customers and reviewed by 1711 users, who gave it an average score of 4.5. On the App Store, the app has 122 ratings with an average score of 3.5. There are regional restrictions with regard to app downloads and usage.

    Can I cancel my transfer?

    In case you want to cancel a transfer, contact InstaReM’s Client Service Team via phone call, online chat or through email. It is important to note that once funds have been transferred, there is no cancellation that can be done.

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