Remitly money transfer review

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 4th June 2021

Finty review Remitly
  • Find out how to send money to your loved ones back home using a simple, low-cost service.
  • Explore Remitly fees and exchange rates.
  • Get answers to your questions about Remitly services and features.

Remitly is a money transfer service used mainly by individuals who are looking for a way to send money to family and friends in developing countries. Remitly can be used worldwide, with some limitations, so let's take a closer look at this company.

In this Remitly review, we'll take you through the ins and outs of using the money transfer platform, so you can decide whether or not to use it next time you want to send money overseas.

See how Remitly's rates, fees, and speed compare with other remittance companies using our money transfer comparison.

What is Remitly?

Remitly is an online international money transfer platform, used to send money to friends and family in over 50 countries worldwide.

The transfer fees are low and the exchange rates offered can often be better than those used by banks, so it is a very convenient way to send money back home.

How Remitly started

Remitly was founded back in 2011 by CEO Matt Oppenheimer (previously running online banking for Barclays Bank in Kenya), Shivaas Gulati (an IT engineer) and COO Josh Hug.

Why users choose Remitly

According to the World Bank, there is a strong growth trend for international remittances, so there's always a demand for companies offering this service.

The problem is that that sending money overseas using a bank often results in huge fees and poor exchange rates. Remitly, however, offers customers the option to transfer money online, while paying lower fees and often receiving a more favourable exchange rate.

How Remitly works

First, as a new customer you'll have to create an account with Remitly, using its website or by downloading the app, free of charge. Then choose a destination country and the transfer amount in Australian dollars. You'll see how much the recipient will receive in their local currency.

Next, choose a delivery method – bank account, cash pick-up, cash home delivery, or delivery to a mobile wallet. Then, enter the recipient's name and contact details, plus their bank account details if that is the delivery method you have chosen.

Finally, select your payment method, which can be from your bank account or card (credit card, debit card, or prepaid card payments are accepted). You will be given an estimated funds arrival time when you review the transfer and before you confirm it. Tracking the progress of your transfer can be done via your Remitly account.

Currencies and countries supported

This service can be used to make money transfers in over 50 currencies to more than 50 countries, often at a better exchange rate than you'll get from most banks. From Australia, you can use Remitly to send money in EUR, USD, INR, PHP, HKD, ZAR, and many, many more.

However, what you can't do is send money to developed western nations such as the US, UK, New Zealand and western Europe. It's a service designed for immigrants from less developed countries to send money home.

Transfer fees

Remitly fees depend on the transfer destination and currency, and sometimes on the amount and whether you choose the Express or Economy delivery service.

Here are some examples:

  • Send to Colombia: Express $6.49, Economy $2.99
  • Send to Philippines: Express $3.99, Economy $3.99
  • Send to Croatia: Express $3.99, Economy 2.99

If you pay with a credit card, however, you may pay an additional 1%, and your card issuer may charge you a cash advance fee and interest.

You may get a discount on your first Remitly transaction.

Exchange rates

Exchange rates vary depending on the amount being sent and the delivery speed you choose. You may also get a better exchange rate for your first transfer than you will subsequently.

Remitly does add a profit margin to the mid-market exchange rate, and this margin can vary from quite small to relatively substantial depending on the destination country and currency.

Security and trustworthiness

Remitly has a very high Trustpilot rating of 4.5 and is fully regulated by the appropriate authorities in each of the countries in which it operates. The company has a dedicated Compliance & Reliance team to obtain, verify and record the required transfer information, and uses encryption and two-factor authentication to protect your account information.

Over three million people are using this service, and customer service is available 24/7.

Who Remitly is designed for (based on design, features and costs)

This platform is aimed at immigrants who are looking to make a money transfer to friends and family back home in developing countries. You won't be able to send money via Remitly to the US, UK, Italy, Greece or New Zealand, for example. Remitly also specifically says that it is not intended for use by businesses.

Why would you choose Remitly over other competitors in Australia?

There are many alternatives available, such as Commbank, Moneygram, or OFX, so why choose Remitly? With four options for receiving money, highly-rated customer service, a low transfer fee and your fees refunded if the delivery isn't completed in the promised time frame, it's easy to see why people prefer Remitly over using banks.

It's also possible to track your money transfer with Remitly and share the tracking details with the recipient using WhatsApp, SMS or email.

Alternatives

Popular money transfer alternatives to share money include Wise, WorldRemit and Western Union.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Low transaction fees and easy-to-understand fee structure.
  • Plenty of delivery options, including cash pick-up and cash home delivery.
  • Two transfer speed options, so you usually pay a lower fee if the transfer isn't urgent.
  • Wide global network, covering 50+ currencies and countries.
  • Cancel a transfer in progress if you change your mind, provided the recipient hasn't received the funds.

Cons

  • Currency exchange rate includes a profit margin for Remitly.
  • Exchange rate margins vary depending on the currency and the delivery speed you choose, so it's difficult to predict whether you'll get a good exchange rate or a not-so-good one.
  • Transfer limits on how much you can send in 24 hours, 30 days and 180 days, although you can apply for your personal limit to be increased.

FAQs

Is my destination country supported?

Currently, it's possible to send money to 50+ countries using Remitly, so there is a good chance it will work for your chosen destination if you are a migrant wanting to send funds back home. It won't work, however, for sending funds from Australia to North Amercica, Western Europe or New Zealand.

In many destinations, there are several options for receiving cash. For example, if your recipient has a bank account in India with one of eight supported banks, including HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, they can receive money straight into their account.

How fast is it to send money?

There are two services to choose from – Express, which will be with the recipient within four hours, or Economy, which takes 3-5 business days. The Express service is more expensive, and the transfer can often only be paid for using a card, while the cheaper, slower Economy service can be paid for using a bank account.

Are there minimum and maximum transfer amounts?

There is no minimum transfer amount, but to comply with regulations, the maximum amount customers can send does vary and starts at $2,999 per 24 hours, $10,000 per 30 days and $18,000 per 180 days. You'll have to verify your identity and provide additional information about your funds' source if you wish to increase your transfer limit.

Are money transfers through Remitly safe and secure?

Remitly is rated 4.5 on Trustpilot with thousands of positive reviews. It is regulated by Australian government financial authorities, uses encryption and two-factor authentication to protect your data, and has a monitoring system to detect possible fraud.

Is Remitly better than Western Union?

Remitly offers better currency exchange rates on the whole, and lower fees, making it a great choice for regularly sending money. On the other hand, it doesn't offer as many currencies and destination countries.

How good are Remitly exchange rates?

The fee varies depending on the recipient country and the delivery speed you choose, but generally, rates, fees and other charges are very reasonable.

Verdict

Remitly is a suitable, low cost option for anyone wanting to send money to family and friends back home in less developed countries.

It's easy to sign up and use, although there are some fairly strict limitations on the amounts you can send, and the exchange rate profit margin added is very variable. The two choices of delivery speed are a good idea for anyone with a non-urgent transfer who wants to save money.