Need to send money abroad? You’ll want to check out a number of providers to make sure you find one which will provide a safe, cheap and convenient service to get your money where it needs to be. WorldRemit is a global business offering international payments direct to bank accounts, for cash pick up, as mobile money and airtime top-ups. This WorldRemit review can help you decide if this is the service for you.
If you’re wondering who owns WorldRemit, you’ll be pleased to know that WorldRemit grew out of personal experience, when founder Ismail Ahmed needed to remit money regularly from the UK to his family in East Africa¹. Along with his co-founders, he went on to tackle the issues he experienced in sending international transfers, by creating WorldRemit. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into our full WorldRemit review.
But first, a word.
If you’re looking to send money abroad with low and transparent fees, take a look at Wise. Wise is on average 7x cheaper than old-school banks when you send, spend, or withdraw money around the world – but more on this later.
How does WorldRemit work?
WorldRemit operates online, using an app, and through a network of agents around the world ². That means there are various ways you can send and receive money – although it’s important to note that not all services are available in all locations. Fees and exchange rates may also vary according to the service you select – we’ll cover that in more detail later. Let’s look at WorldRemit’s main payment delivery options.
Your recipient can get a payment delivered directly to their bank account for convenience. They’ll then be able to spend or make withdrawals as usual – with no need to have a WorldRemit account or head out to pick up the cash. Arrange your bank transfer online by giving your recipient’s details, including their bank account number, IBAN, SWIFT/BIC, sort code or other key information³.
The quickest delivery method with WorldRemit is usually cash pickup. You’ll send your payment and then the recipient can visit a local agent wherever they are in the world to collect the money in cash. This is usually almost instant – but your recipient must have the transaction reference and their valid photo ID to make the collection⁴.
In some countries, mobile money deliveries are available. Mobile money is an electronic wallet which lets users hold money on their phone rather than in a traditional bank account.The money can then be used to buy airtime, make withdrawals using a registered agent, spend in stores, or send to other people⁵.
The final way you could choose to have your payment delivered through WorldRemit is by airtime top-up. In this case the recipient can only use the payment to top up their phone – it can’t be withdrawn or used elsewhere. Airtime top-up payments are usually instant⁶.
To see what you’ll pay for your Worldremit transfer, you’ll need to model the payment online. This is easy, and you don’t have to create an account first. Simply head to the WorldRemit website, select the currency you want to pay with, and the currency you want to send to, to get your options. You’ll see which delivery methods are available for your destination and can also check the fees and exchange rates. Here’s what to look out for.
The first cost is the most obvious. You’ll usually pay an upfront transfer cost, which varies by destination and delivery method. It’s good to know that this is added onto the price of your payment. So if you want to send 1,000 USD, and the fee to pay is 2.99 USD, the total bill you’ll pay in the end is 1002.99 USD.
The next fee may not be so easy to spot. WorldRemit may add an extra fee into the exchange rates being used for your payment. To see this, you’ll need to find the mid-market exchange rate for your currency. Use a Google search or a good online currency converter to get this. The mid-market rate is the one banks and services like WorldRemit use when they buy and sell currencies wholesale. However, it’s common to add a markup or margin to this rate when dealing with retail transactions.
If there’s a difference between the mid-market exchange rate and the one you’re offered by WorldRemit this probably means an extra cost has been factored into the rate used. Choose an exchange service which gives the mid-market exchange rate to avoid this.
Lastly, make sure there are no third party fees you’ll run into during your transaction. These may be cash advance fees imposed by your credit card company, or overdraft fees if you pay by bank transfer for example⁷.
Sending money abroad with Wise or WorldRemit
Let’s take a look at a comparison when sending 1,000 USD to a friend in Germany. We’ll pay the transfer by ACH and it’ll arrive, conveniently, in euros in our recipient’s nominated bank account.
Here’s what it’ll cost with Wise and WorldRemit – and more importantly, how much the recipient will get in the end:
|Upfront fee||2.99 USD||7.39 USD|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 0.83526 EUR||Mid-Market Rate|
|Amount you pay||1,002.99 USD||1,000 USD|
|Amount recipient receives||835.26 EUR||842.97 USD|
WorldRemit charges a transfer fee – which is added onto the 1,000 USD you’re sending – and also includes additional costs in the exchange rate used. This can be tricky to see at first, and – as you can see in this example – can also mean your payment is more pricey overall. You pay more than the 1,000 USD you set out to send, and your recipient also gets less than you may expect.
How long does it take to receive money through WorldRemit?
WorldRemit payments which are funded using a card and sent for cash collection could be available in minutes. However, payments sent to a bank account may take longer. You’ll get an idea of the delivery time when you model your payment online, but may need to wait a day or two for arrival.
Is WorldRemit safe and reliable?
If you’re new to international payments, you may be wondering: is WorldRemit legal? Or even: is WorldRemit legit?
WorldRemit is a safe and reliable service, with high level internal security measures in place. However, services like WorldRemit have been targeted by fraudsters looking to exploit vulnerable individuals – so it is important to take measures to keep yourself safe when you make international payments.
Because many of the payments made through WorldRemit are instant, you’re not usually able to reclaim the money if it’s paid in error or if you’re the victim of fraud. Check who you’re paying out to, and read up on WorldRemit’s suggestions to keep your money safe, too⁸.
Before you use any international payment service for the first time, it’s a good idea to take a look at some online reviews to get a picture of the levels of service and customer satisfaction. Many review sites are dynamic, which allows customers to provide constant updates and a live picture of how the business is doing.
At the time of writing, WorldRemit has a good 4/5 rating, with majority favorable reviews on TrustPilot⁹, and the app is also well rated for convenience in the Apple Store¹⁰.
However, there are other sites where customers are not so happy. Places like Sitejabber¹¹ and Compareremit.com¹² are home to some customer complaints and issues. It makes sense to check out a range of WorldRemit reviews before you process your transfer, so you can be confident you’ll get the best service out there.
If you run into issues with your WorldRemit payment, there’s a handy FAQ section online¹³, and WorldRemit can be contacted using social media or via their agent network.
WorldRemit Pros & Cons
Still unsure about sending money with WorldRemit? Here are some pros and cons to think about. It also makes sense to get some alternative quotes from other providers before you get started – this can often be done online in just a few clicks, and can quickly help you see if WorldRemit represents good value for your payment.
- Broad range of delivery options including cash collection for almost instant service
- Well rated app and a global network of agents for payments all over the world
- Model your payment costs online so you can check options, fees and exchange rates
- Costs include transfer fees and a markup on the exchange rate, and can vary depending on the delivery method you choose – may not be the cheapest option out there
- Not all delivery methods are available in all locations
- Check out online reviews before you get started, so you have a picture of the service available
Bottom line: Is WorldRemit for you?
WorldRemit is a reputable international payment provider, which has a good range of payment delivery options. If you’re sending money for cash collection, this may be a good choice. The big network of WorldRemit agents is an advantage and may mean you can get cash to someone on the other side of the world almost instantly.
However, if you’re sending a payment with WorldRemit it does make sense to check out the costs and some alternatives. Direct transfers to your recipient’s bank account could be cheaper with other providers.
Save money on international transfers with Wise
If you need to make an international transfer, and want to send the payment directly from your bank account to your recipient’s account, you could be better off with Wise.
Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup or margin, and just charges a low transparent fee per transfer. This can work out cheaper than using your regular bank or an alternative provider. Compare the costs of your transfer with Wise to see if you can save.
It’s important to choose an international payment provider you’re comfortable with, and which will get your money to its destination fast, safe and for a reasonable fee. The best way to find the right service for you is to compare a few options. There’s no single best international transfer provider out there, so the right one for you could depend on the type of transfer you want to make. Look at delivery options, fees and exchange rates to find your match.