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Updated on Thursday, November 3, 2016
WorldRemit is an online service that allows you to send money abroad using your phone, tablet, or computer. WorldRemit offers reasonable transfer fees, and the person abroad receiving money can get access to funds within minutes.
Keep in mind, transfer fees are just one variable to think about when choosing a money transfer service. Moving money across international borders usually requires a currency conversion, and exchange rates vary by service provider.
For this reason, you need to compare exchanges rates across several providers to make sure you don’t get duped with a bad exchange rate. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the WorldRemit service including:
- How WorldRemit works
- WorldRemit fees and exchange rates
- The pros and cons
How WorldRemit Works
WorldRemit allows you to send money to over 110 countries.
At this time, you can only send money from 50 countries. However, WorldRemit may be adding more countries in the future.
You can review fees and exchange rates on the WorldRemit home page before signing up for an account. First, you select the country where you want to send money. Then, you choose how the person will receive the money.
Here are the five ways that someone abroad can receive money through WorldRemit:
- Bank deposit — the money is credited to your recipient’s bank account
- Cash pickup — the person you send money to can pick up cash from a local agent
- Mobile Money — the money is added to the recipient’s Mobile Money account, which is an electronic wallet
- Mobile airtime top-up — the money is transferred as airtime minutes that the recipient can use for calls, texts, and data use
- Home delivery — cash is delivered to the recipient’s home address (this is an option only available in the Philippines)
The options for sending money vary by country. As you can see from the photo above, someone in Jamaica can only receive money in two ways, airtime top-up or cash pickup at a local agency.
The process of sending money and paying for the transfer
WorldRemit will ask you to set up a free account to begin your first transaction if you want to move forward with a transfer. You’ll need to provide information about the person receiving money, such as their phone number and bank account information.
Next, you decide how you want to pay for the transfer. You can pay using debit card or credit card. WorldRemit accepts MasterCard, Visa, and Maestro. Once the transfer is finalized both you and the recipient will get an SMS message.
Deposits to the recipient’s bank account can take several business days to go through, depending on the country. The home delivery option in the Philippines can take 24 hours to 7 days. For the other transfer options (cash pickup, Mobile Money, and airtime top-up), funds can be available instantaneously.
WorldRemit Exchange Rates and Fees
WorldRemit tells you how much the fee is for each transfer upfront.
Using Jamaica as an example again, the transfer fee for sending $1,000 is $13.99.
The $13.99 fee is added to the amount you pay, so altogether this transfer would cost $1,013.99.
The exchange rate also shows up below the transfer cost in fine print. Currently, 1 USD equals 124.50 JMD.
In some cases, third-party fees may apply to your transfer. Credit card companies may charge a cash advance fee for the transaction. Be sure to check with your provider for applicable charges.
Cash pickup is another instance where a third-party fee may be involved. The agency abroad where the person goes to pick up cash may charge a fee for the service.
Pros and Cons
Pro: WorldRemit gives multiple options for sending money. Depending on where you’re sending money, friends or family abroad can choose from a few ways to receive funds.
Con: Third-party fees. WorldRemit is transparent in showing how much it will charge you for the service. However, there is a possibility you’ll run into additional third-party fees. Double-check with your credit card provider to avoid surprises before initiating a transfer.
Pro: Instant transfers. The two transfer options that may not happen instantaneously are deposits into your recipient’s bank account and home delivery in the Philippines. Otherwise, you can get money abroad to family and friends quickly.
Con: WorldRemit is available to limited countries. You can find out if the country you want to send money to is on the list of countries WorldRemit services here.
Other Ways to Send Money Abroad
Xoom is a PayPal service that allows you to send money internationally. The transfer fees vary by country and how you pay for the transaction.
For example, paying through your bank account for a $1,000 transfer to Jamaica will cost $7.99. Paying through debit or credit card costs $37.99. (Again, fees from your credit card company may apply as well.)
One additional thing to notice here is that Xoom and WorldRemit are offering different exchange rates. Xoom offers 1 USD to 125.85 JMD. WorldRemit offers 1 USD to 124.50 JMD.
This brings to light how fees are just one aspect of the transaction you want to pay close attention to when sending money. You should compare fees and the exchange rate across providers to find the best deal.
TransferWise is another online service that can send money abroad on your behalf. TransferWise is upfront with fees and even breaks down exactly how fees are calculated for each currency.
One potential downside of TransferWise is that your options for paying are limited. You can only pay through your bank account via ACH bank debit, domestic wire transfer, or international wire transfer, and third-party bank fees for international wires may apply. Currently, TransferWise doesn’t support transfers to Jamaica for a direct comparison.
For a $1,000 transfer to Mexico, the cost is $14.78, and the recipient gets 18,321 MXN at time of writing.
Who Will Benefit the Most from WorldRemit?
The highlight of WorldRemit is how quickly it can get money abroad to your loved ones. The fees are also competitive. However, if you plan to pay for a transfer with your credit card, be sure to call your provider to see what charges may apply on their end.
Whenever you need to transfer money abroad, do some homework to avoid a bad exchange rate. You can use the currency converter on sites like Yahoo! Finance and Google as a resource while shopping around to make sure you get a competitive rate.