Best same-day international money transfer services

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 18th November 2022

Many of us have to regularly transfer money from Australia to overseas friends and family or for business purposes — sometimes in a hurry.

Today, with same-day money transfers, sending money to recipients in many countries in minutes is possible. However, while you have a wide range of choices in same-day transfer services, not all are alike, and many of the best-known services do not offer same-day delivery.

Read on to find out how the more popular same-day services with global reach compare.

The following services must verify the identity of new customers to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) laws.

These checks can take 1-2 days to complete. If you do not already have an account set up and verified, it will take longer than a day to send and arrive.

Remitly

A popular choice designed for immigrants remitting to their families back home, Remitly can deliver money within minutes to recipients in more than 130 countries.

Transfer fees are, on the whole, low. They do, however, vary depending on the destination country and choice of delivery speed. Express costs a little more than economy.

In Australia, Remitly is registered with and regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

Pros

  • Delivery within minutes to 130+ countries.
  • Convenient funding methods, including bank transfers and debit and credit cards.
  • Choice of delivery options, including bank deposit, cash collection and delivery, and mobile money.
  • Fees are generally low, varying depending on the destination.

Cons

  • There are limits on how much you can send in 24 hours, 30 days, and 180 days. May not be suitable if you need to send a large amount.
  • Exchange rate margins vary depending on the currency and your delivery speed.
  • POLi and PayID are not supported ways of funding a payment.

On website

WorldRemit

Specialised in smaller transfers and able to send money to 130+ countries, WorldRemit is a good option for sending bank transfers or cash quickly.

Transfers and cash pick-ups are available within minutes, as are airtime top-ups.

Fees per transfer are transparent and low, although they vary depending on currency, destination, and method.

Pros

  • Transfers are completed within minutes for the majority of destinations.
  • Many ways to fund your transfer. Senders can pay using credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, bank transfers, POLi, and Apple Pay.
  • Choice of delivery options for recipients. Choose from bank account deposits, mobile wallets, mobile top-ups, cash at pick-up locations, or home delivery.
  • Competitive exchange rates, particularly when compared with a bank.

Cons

  • Not suitable if you need to transfer a large amount of money.
  • American Express cards cannot be used to fund your account.
  • Cash pickups are not available everywhere.

Ria

Ria offers a convenient option to send money via bank transfer or for cash pickup at the other end.

Ria is unlikely to be the cheapest option compared to other money transfer services. However, this is a trade-off against the speed of its transfer service.

You can send money to 165+ countries worldwide, with funds accessible from more than 500,000 cash pickup locations.

Pros

  • Quick transfers. Some transfer methods are available immediately to the recipient.
  • Many ways to pay. You can transfer money to Ria via bank transfer, credit cards, debit cards and PayID. It’s also possible to pay at money transfer agents.
  • Recipients can get money in several ways, including via cash pick-up, home delivery, deposit into their bank account, or mobile wallet.
  • Competitive, bank-beating exchange rates. Better rates and lower fees translate to more money for the recipient.
  • Customer support in person or via phone and email.

Cons

  • Online transfers are limited to $5,000 daily, which can be inconvenient for some.
  • Limited choice of orders with no forward contracts or limit orders available to lock in solid rates for future money transfers.
  • The margin on the mid-market rate varies depending on the destination, ranging from 0.25% to 4%.
  • Agents can impose their restrictions on limits and fees.

Western Union

A brand with global recognition, you can use Western Union to send money from Australia to friends and family in 200+ countries. Their global network—600,000+ locations—means recipients get their money faster.

Pros

  • Transfers generally arrive within minutes, but some transactions may take up to 24 hours.
  • Multiple ways to transfer money. Send online, via their app, telephone, or in person at an outlet.
  • A wide choice of funding options, including bank transfers, credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, POLi, or using cash at an outlet.
  • Able to send small or large amounts. Other competing services have relatively low maximums.
  • Transfer fees are transparent. You know exactly what you will be charged.

Cons

  • Same-day or next-day delivery comes at an extra cost and depends on the country of destination.
  • Western Union can be one of the most expensive online money transfer options because of their comparatively uncompetitive exchange rates.
  • Transfer fees vary extensively depending on the destination and method of transfer. Additionally, they aren’t the lowest.
  • Customer support is not known to be the best.

MoneyGram

MoneyGram has 400,000+ agent locations in 200+ countries worldwide, second only to Western Union.

Same-day money transfers are fast, arriving with the recipient within minutes. Receivers without bank accounts can receive money sent via MoneyGram (bankless senders can also use the service, although that’s less of a bonus in Australia).

Pros

  • Transfers are swift. Cash pickups are available minutes after sending. Money sent to a bank account typically arrives on the same day or within one business day.
  • Choice of ways to receive funds. Send to the recipient’s bank account, mobile wallet, or a convenient location for pickup.
  • Available extensively across Australia, including at 7-Eleven and Travel Money Oz.
  • Loyalty benefits for repeat users with a welcome gift, ongoing rewards, and status after five transfers.
  • Senders can cancel transfers if they have paid MoneyGram but no longer need to send them.

Cons

  • There is a maximum amount per transfer, which is between Western Union (high) and competitors.
  • It may not be the cheapest way to send same-day money. Transfer fees, exchange rate markups on top of the mid-market rate, and third-party charges add up.
  • Variable fees are based on the destination, chosen payout method, and transfer amount.

On website

PayPal

PayPal is a well-known money transfer service operating in 200+ countries worldwide. You probably already have an account with them.

PayPal’s instant transfer feature helps you transfer money or get paid faster. However, the convenience and speed of PayPal come at a cost — especially if you send a large amount of money.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use. However, getting verified as a new user takes time, making it a poor option for same-day transfers.
  • Transfers are quick and convenient. You can send money to individuals and businesses via their website or app.

Cons

  • Costlier than competing transfer services. Be ready to pay extra for the convenience.
  • Weaker exchange rates compared to regular transfers, which is something for which they are notorious.
  • Expect delays, especially if you are a new user. You’ll have to pass security checks, which may also limit how much you can send. In addition, recipients will get funds in their PayPal account, which may not be convenient since it takes time to withdraw.
  • Limited coverage. PayPal is not available in some countries, e.g. Lebanon and Pakistan.

Send crypto

An alternative same-day money transfer option

If you need to send money today but don’t have a verified account with one of the services above, there is another option: send crypto. Internal transfers on the same exchange are instantaneous and cheap.

How to send money with a crypto exchange

  1. Sign up for a crypto exchange, ideally one the recipient already uses. Compare options here.
  2. Get verified, which usually involves providing your email address, mobile number, and selfie while holding a photo ID.
  3. Fund your account using a debit card since this is the fastest way to do so.
  4. Buy a stablecoin pegged to a main global currency, for example, USDT.
  5. Send that to the recipient’s wallet after carefully checking you have the correct details.