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If you need to send money abroad, you might wonder which online money transfer service is the best for your needs.
Remitly and Wise are two of the most popular options available, but how do they compare in terms of features, fees, rates, speed, and customer support?
Remitly: A Fast and Flexible Way to Send Money Abroad
Remitly was established in 2011 as a provider of international money transfers. Its main office is located in the Greater Seattle Area in the US. So far, the company has over 3 million customers and facilitates transfers from 17 countries to over 100 other nations around the world.
Remitly’s main features and advantages are:
- Express and Economy options for different delivery speeds and costs. You can choose between Express transfers that are delivered within minutes or Economy transfers that take 3 to 5 working days but have lower fees. You can also get free transfers if you send more than a certain amount and pay with your bank account.
- Multiple payment methods, including bank transfer, debit card, credit card, and cash pickup. Depending on the destination country, you can choose how you want to pay for your transfer and how your recipient will receive the money. Remitly offers cash pickup at thousands of locations worldwide, as well as home delivery and mobile wallet options in some countries.
- Specialized in remittance corridors to over 100 countries, especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Remitly focuses on serving customers who send money to their families and friends in developing countries, offering competitive rates and fees for common remittance routes. Remitly also supports many local currencies that are not widely available with other services.
- Customer satisfaction guarantee and 24/7 support. Remitly promises to deliver your money on time or your money back. If you have any issues or questions, you can contact their customer service team via phone, email, or chat at any time of the day.
Wise: A Cheap and Transparent Way to Send Money Abroad
Wise, previously known as Transferwise, started in 2011 as a money transfer service that offers low-cost, fast, and easy international transfers. It has over 10 million customers and handles more than $6 billion in transfers every month. It is authorized by the FCA in the UK. It is one of the most well-known companies in the money transfers space.
Wise’s key features and benefits are:
- Low and upfront fees based on a percentage of the transfer amount. Wise charges a small fixed fee plus a variable fee that depends on the currency pair and the payment method. The fees are always shown upfront before you confirm your transfer, so there are no surprises or hidden charges.
- Mid-market exchange rate with no hidden markups or margins. Wise uses the real exchange rate that you can find on Google or Reuters without adding any extra costs or commissions. This means you get the best possible rate for your transfer, saving you money compared to other services that inflate their rates.
- Expert in bank-to-bank transfers to over 80 countries, especially in Europe, North America, and Oceania. Wise specializes in sending money from one bank account to another, using its own network of local bank accounts in different countries. This way, your money never crosses borders or incurs extra fees from intermediaries.
- Licensed and regulated by multiple authorities and trusted by millions of customers. Wise is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, as well as other regulators in different jurisdictions where it operates.
Remitly vs. Wise: Fees, Rates, Speed, and Coverage
To compare Remitly and Wise more closely, let’s look at some real examples for different amounts and destinations.
Remitly charges a flat fee of $3.99 for Express transfers, regardless of the destination country. However, if you choose Economy transfers and pay with your bank account, you can send money for free. Conversely, Wise charges a variable fee that depends on the currency pair and the payment method. The fees are always shown upfront before you confirm your transfer, so there are no surprises or hidden charges.
For example, if you send $200 from the US to India, Remitly will charge you $3.99 for Express transfers or nothing for Economy transfers. Wise will charge you a $4.25 flat fee and a variable fee.
Both Remitly and Wise offer the same exchange rates for these currency pairs, which are also the same as the mid-market rates that you can find on Google or Reuters. This means that neither service adds any markup or margin to its rates, giving you the best possible value for your money.
Remitly offers faster delivery options than Wise, especially if you use Express transfers and pay with your debit or credit card. Remitly can deliver money within minutes to most destinations, either through cash pickup, bank deposit, or mobile money. Wise, on the other hand, only offers bank-to-bank transfers, which usually take 1-2 working days to arrive.
For example, if you send $200 from the US to India, Remitly will deliver your money in minutes if you use Express transfers and pay with your card. If you use Economy transfers and pay with your bank account, it will take 3-5 working days. Wise will deliver your money in 1-2 working days, regardless of the payment method.
Wise supports more sending countries and currencies than Remitly, making it more accessible and convenient for customers around the world. However, Remitly supports more receiving countries and currencies than Wise, especially in regions like Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where remittance demand is high.
For example, you can send money from 59 countries and over 50 currencies using Wise. You can send money to 80 countries and over 50 currencies using Wise. You can send money from 17 countries and 4 currencies using Remitly. You can send money to over 100 countries and over 40 currencies using Remitly.
User Experience and Interface
Both Remitly and Wise offer a simple and user-friendly experience for their customers, whether they use their website or mobile app.
Registration and Verification
To register with either online money transfer service, you need to provide some basic information like your name, email address, phone number, and password. You also need to verify your identity by uploading a copy of your government-issued ID documents, such as your passport or driver’s license.
Remitly usually verifies your identity within minutes, but it may take longer sometimes. Wise may also take longer to verify your identity, depending on the country you’re sending from and the amount you’re sending.
Website and Mobile App
Both services have a sleek and intuitive website and mobile app that allow you to set up and track your transfers with ease. You can also access additional features like rate alerts, multi-currency accounts, debit cards, etc., depending on the online money transfer services you choose.
Remitly’s website and mobile app are simple and user-friendly, with clear instructions and helpful tips. You can also see the fees, rates, and delivery times for different options before confirming your transfer.
Wise’s website and mobile app are also easy to use and navigate, with a minimalist design and transparent information. You can also see a breakdown of the fees, rates, and delivery times for your transfer, as well as an estimate of how much your recipient will get.
Customer Support and Security
Both Remitly and Wise offer reliable customer support and security measures to ensure that your money and data are safe and protected.
Remitly offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, or chat. You can also find answers to common questions on their help center or FAQ page. Remitly’s customer service team is friendly and responsive and can assist you in different languages depending on your location.
Wise also offers customer support via phone, email, or chat, but their availability may vary depending on the country you’re sending from or to. You can also find answers to common questions on their help center or FAQ page. Wise’s customer service team is professional and helpful and can assist you in different languages depending on your location.
Both Remitly and Wise are licensed as money transmitters in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc., and are authorized by the FCA in the UK. They both use encryption and data protection protocols to safeguard your personal and financial information. They also comply with industry standards and regulations in different jurisdictions where they operate.
Final Thoughts: Which One is Best For You?
Remitly and Wise are two popular money transfer services that offer different features and benefits to their customers. In this article, we compared them based on five criteria: fees, rates, speed, coverage, and user experience.
We found that Remitly has an edge over Wise in terms of delivery speed, especially with its Express transfers that can reach the recipient within minutes. Remitly also has a more user-friendly interface and a generous referral program.
However, Wise beats Remitly in terms of coverage and currency support, as it operates in more than 80 countries and supports over 50 currencies. Wise also has lower fees and more transparent rates than Remitly, as it uses the mid-market exchange rate and charges a fixed percentage fee.
Therefore, the best option between Remitly and Wise depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you value speed and convenience over cost and coverage, you might prefer Remitly. If you value cost and coverage over speed and convenience, you might prefer Wise.