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WorldRemit Vs TransferWise

  Not sure whether to use WorldRemit or TransferWise for your next international payment? This WorldRemit Vs TransferWise review is here to help. We’ll cover:

  • A full side by side feature comparison
  • Which provider is cheaper?
  • Which is faster?
  • Which is safer?
  • Which gets better customer reviews?

Summary: WorldRemit supports more countries and payout options than TransferWise (now known as Wise). However, in our comparison Wise has cheaper fees and they are more transparent. Both providers are licensed by the FCA.

 

WorldRemit Vs Wise: side by side

 

FeatureWorldRemitWise
Send payments to

130+ countries, 70+ currencies

80+ countries, 50+ currencies
Payments to bank accounts Y Y
Payments for cash collection or home delivery Y N
Payments to mobile money accounts Y N
Airtime top-ups Y N
Multi-currency accounts N Available for 54 currencies
Debit card available N Y
Fully licensed and regulated Y Y
Business services N Y

 

So, to summarise:

  • WorldRemit supports more countries and currencies than Wise
  • Wise has a multi-currency account to support 50+ currencies, WorldRemit does not have that option
  • Wise has a debit card on offer for customers - WorldRemit does not
  • WorldRemit offers cash collection and home delivery, payments to mobile money accounts and airtime top-ups - Wise does not
  • Both providers are fully regulated by the FCA in the UK

WorldRemit and Wise offer some overlapping services - but they’re quite different companies. The most important factor when deciding between them may be how you want your recipient to get their payment. Wise is a specialist in payments direct to bank accounts, while WorldRemit has a range of other payout options to choose from.

 

The important bits

 

WorldRemitWise
RatesExchange rates include a markup on the mid-market rate Mid-market exchange rate with no markup
Fees

Vary by destination - fee is added to the transfer amount

Low fees, vary by destination
Speed95% of cash collection transfers are ready in minutes, 90% of bank transfers arrive the same day 40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours
ServiceOnline, in app and by phone Online, in app and by phone
SafetyFully regulated and licensed Fully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot)

4 star, Great, 53,000+ reviews

4.6 star, Excellent, 134,000+ reviews

 

Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate, whereas WorldRemit adds a markup to the rates on offer

Fees: Both providers have variable fees which are based on the destination country

Speed: Both WorldRemit and Wise payments can be very quick - 95% of WorldRemit cash collection payments arrive in minutes, and 90% of bank transfers arrive on the same day. 40% of Wise payments are instant. 80% within 24 hours

Service: Both providers offer multilingual service in a range of languages, online, in-app and by phone. Wise has more languages covered than WorldRemit

Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated

Reviews: Wise scores an Excellent 4.6 star review rating on Trustpilot - WorldRemit gets a lower overall rating at Great with 4 stars

 

Pros and cons

 

WorldRemitWise
Pros
  • Extensive range of payout options
  • 130+ countries and 70+ currencies available
  • Cash for collection payments are very fast
  • Pay by card, bank transfer, or Apple Pay
  • Mid-market exchange rates + low fees
  • Transparent pricing
  • Send to 80+ countries
  • International accounts for personal and business customers
  • Hold and manage 54 currencies
Cons
  • Service availability varies by country
  • Fees and rates may not be the best available
  • No cash payment options
  • Online and mobile payments only - no branches
  • No option for cash payments
  • Transfer fees vary by destination country
  • Multi-currency accounts are not interest bearing

 

WorldRemit Vs Wise: The verdict

 

Whether WorldRemit or Wise win for you will depend on the specific services you need.

WorldRemit has extensive payout options including cash collection and home delivery, and transfers to bank and mobile money accounts. You can also top up mobile phone airtime.

Wise is a specialist in transfers direct to bank accounts, and offers the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees. Wise also offers a multi-currency account with a linked international debit card.

Often Wise international transfers come with better rates and lower overall costs compared to WorldRemit. If Wise supports payments to the country you’re sending to, and you want your transfer to be delivered to a bank account, they are worth considering.

 

About WorldRemit and Wise

 

WorldRemit was set up in 2010, inspired by the difficulties the founder remembered from his days remitting money home from London to his family in East Africa.

WorldRemit’s mission is to help immigrants sending money to those they love, by providing a streamlined digital transfer process instead of needing to use physical agents - which may be both costly and inconvenient.

Today, WorldRemit has 5.7 million customers who can send payments in 70 currencies, to 130 different countries. Offering payout options including cash collection and delivery, airtime top-up and mobile money transfers supports those sending money home to places where access to bank accounts may be limited - helping WorldRemit fulfil its founder’s mission.

Wise was launched as TransferWise back in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider - also inspired by the experiences of the cofounders who struggled with high bank fees when living abroad. Wise’s vision is to make sending money low-cost, fair, fast and easy, to help anyone who needs to make cross border payments beat poor exchange rates and excessive bank fees.

These days, you can send payments to 80+ countries, in 50+ currencies with Wise. Over 10 million customers use Wise services, which also include personal and business accounts to hold and manage currencies, accept payments and spend using a linked debit card.

 

How do they work?

 

To use WorldRemit you’ll need to register an account - which should only take a couple of minutes. Then:

  1. Select the country you want to send to
  2. Enter the amount you want to send
  3. Select the payment type - how you’d like to fund the transfer, and how you want it to be received
  4. Enter the recipient details - what’s required will vary depending on delivery method
  5. Pay for your transfer
  6. You’re done - you can now track the payment online and in the WorldRemit app

If you’re sending a WorldRemit payment to a bank account it will be sent as soon as your payment is received, but the length of time it takes can vary based on the recipient’s own bank’s processes. If you’re sending money for cash collection your payment details will be communicated to the local MoneyGram agent, so your payment can be released as soon as it’s been received by MoneyGram - this may only take a few minutes.

To use Wise you’ll need to create an account, and depending on the type of payment you want to make you might need to provide some ID for verification.

Once your account is up and running make payments online and in the Wise app:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
  3. Enter the recipient’s details - bank account number or email
  4. Check over the details
  5. Fund your payment using a card or bank transfer
  6. Confirm and your money will be on the move

Wise transfers are made through Wise’s network of local bank accounts, so they arrive faster and don’t incur intermediary fees. When you want to pay for your transfer in pounds you’ll send the money to Wise’s local UK account. Then Wise will make a payment of the equivalent amount in your preferred currency, from their account in the destination country. No money actually moves across borders, so it’s faster and cheaper than traditional international payments.

 

WorldRemit Vs Wise Fees

 

WorldRemit fees can include a couple of costs:

  • Transfer fee
  • Exchange rate markup

The transfer fee is shown clearly when you start to set up your payment. It may vary depending on how you want to pay, and how you want your recipient to get the money in the end. Transfer fees are added onto the amount you’re sending, so if you want to send 1,000 GBP and the fee is 2.99 GBP, you’ll pay 1,002.99 GBP for example.

Exchange rate markups are a little trickier because they’re hard to spot. You’ll be shown the exchange rate available for your WorldRemit transfer when you set up your payment. It can change based on how you want the payment to be received. However, it may also be different to the rate you’ll find on Google for your currency pair.

The Google rate is the mid-market exchange rate. Many providers add a markup to this to calculate the rate they pass on to customers. While it’s very common, it can make it harder to see the full costs of your international transfer.

Wise doesn’t add a markup to the mid-market exchange rate used, but instead has a couple of different transparent costs:

  • Fixed fee: covering the fixed costs associated with the transaction. For major currencies this can be in the region of £0.20 - £0.40
  • Variable fee: covering the cost of the currency exchange. For major currencies this can be in the region of 0.35% to 0.45% of the transfer value

 

WorldRemit Vs Wise: which is cheaper?

 

Choosing an international payment specialist is almost certainly cheaper than sending money using your bank. However, as fees and rates do vary, it still pays to compare a few providers before you pick.

Let’s look at how a few different payments from WorldRemit and Wise work out. This table looks at how much in GBP it’ll cost you to send a payment to a friend in USD. The payment will be delivered to the recipient’s bank account directly.

 

Amount & CurrencyWorldRemitWiseWinner?
GBP>1000 USD 752.66 GBP 745.88 GBP Wise
GBP>5000 USD 3,751.33 GBP 3,716.88 GBP Wise

 

*Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 18th November 2021

As you can see, on these comparisons, Wise worked out cheaper.

However, bear in mind that these costs are for payments to a bank account. WorldRemit uses different fees for cash payout which may end up more expensive. Sending money for cash collection is typically a more costly option, because of the labour involved. If you want to send a payment for collection in cash, WorldRemit may still be a good option to consider - cash payout is not available through Wise.

 

WorldRemit Vs Wise: which is faster?

 

WorldRemit payment delivery times look like this:

  • 95% of payments for cash collection arrive within 3 minutes
  • 90% of mobile money payments and airtime top-up payments are available within 10 minutes
  • 90% of bank transfers are available on the same day

The exact delivery time depends on a range of factors. If you’re sending for cash collection, agent opening hours or public holidays in your destination can slow your payment. Bank transfers depend on the recipient bank’s processes - which can mean they take longer than expected. However, you’ll see an estimated delivery time when you set up your payment.

40% of Wise payments get to their destination instantly, and 80% arrive in 24 hours. However, the exact delivery time will depend on where you’re sending money to, and how you want to pay. You’ll see an estimated arrival time when you set up your payment.

 

Safety

 

Both WorldRemit and Wise are fully licensed and regulated, and use both smart technology and dedicated service teams to keep customer money safe.

WorldRemit is regulated by the FCA in the UK.

Wise is regulated by the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US, and other global regulatory bodies around the world.

 

Ease of use

 

  • Creating an account: Create your account online or in app with both WorldRemit and Wise
  • Making a transfer: Both providers allow bank transfers, card payments and Apple Pay payments
  • Ways to send money: Send payments to your recipient’s bank account directly with Wise. WorldRemit delivery options vary by destination but can include cash collection and home delivery, transfer to a debit card, bank or mobile money account, and airtime top-ups
  • Languages: WorldRemit services are available in English, Dutch, Danish, Spanish, French and German. Wise offers 15 languages, plus multi-lingual support services
  • Minimum & maximum amounts: Wise sending limits can vary by destination country. WorldRemit has per transaction limits based on the way you choose to pay, and a maximum daily limit of 50,000 GBP

 

Supported currencies

 

WorldRemit supports 70+ currencies and can arrange payments to 130+ countries. Wise supports 50+ currencies, and lets you send payments to over 80 countries.

 

Conclusion

 

WorldRemit and Wise are both great companies - while some services overlap, they also offer some different features which may mean they appeal to different customers.

WorldRemit has a great global reach with 70+ supported currencies and payments available to 130+ countries. If you need to send a payment for cash collection or delivery, to a mobile wallet or as airtime top-up, it’ll suit you better than Wise.

If you’re sending a payment to a bank account both providers can help you out. They’re pretty comparable on speed - and both offer an estimated delivery time you can easily see before you commit to the transfer. Where Wise wins is in the exchange rates available, which will usually be better than Worldremit. This can mean you save overall, even if the Wise fee looks higher than WorldRemit.

Finally, Wise has its international account which isn’t an option with WorldRemit. If you want to spend while you travel, make ATM withdrawals and shop online with international retailers with no foreign transaction fees, the Wise multi-currency account may be the better choice for you.

 

FAQs

Is WorldRemit or Wise cheaper?

For transfers to bank accounts, Wise is likely to be cheaper, as it offers the real exchange rate with no markup, and low transfer fees.

If you want to send using one of WorldRemit’s other payout options, it’s worth comparing the prices against some other providers with similar services, like Remitly or Xoom.

Is WorldRemit or Wise faster?

Both can offer very quick payments. For bank transfers, 40% of Wise transfers are instant - while 90% of WorldRemit’s bank transfers are delivered within the day. Check out the delivery time estimates available on both the Wise and WorldRemit websites.

How many currencies do WorldRemit and Wise support?

WorldRemit supports 70+ currencies and Wise supports 50+ currencies.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated 12 January 2022