As international business and travel become more relevant in today’s economy, it isn’t any wonder that we need to send and receive payments as quickly as circumstances allow. But not all money transfer services are the same, and it can be difficult to understand the differences between one service and the next.
So what are the fastest money transfer services out there? Well, it really depends on what you have to accomplish. Most services will focus on helping a particular type of customer, so it is useful to think ahead about what you’d like to do, and if you are willing to sacrifice cost for speed (to a certain extent).
Below, I’ll outline some of the services that I think are fastest for a particular use. Then, to conclude, I will list all the money transfer services that we have reviewed and include the speed for each (measured in days); so you can compare the differences in your own time.
Fastest for cash pickup (Immediate delivery)
Our pick: Western Union (review). If you want to get money somewhere quickly to all corners of the globe, it’s hard to go past Western Union. Payments can be initiated online with a credit card and be picked up by another party at one over 500,000 locations worldwide – almost in an instant. It is not a particularly cheap service and payments are limited to a maximum of £4,000. However, it is fast, there is no doubt about that.
If you’d like to read more about this type of transaction, we have written a dedicated article on cash pickup.
Fastest for everyday consumers (Within 3 days)
Our pick: TransferWise (review). The market leader in peer to peer payments, TransferWise is an innovative service led by an energetic founding duo, including one of the first employees of Skype. The service facilitates transactions at the mid-market rate, and they charge a low transparent fee. It has received a lot of praise from its customers and is supported financially by many well-known investors.
Fastest for expats (Within 4 days)
Our pick: CurrencyFair (review). Headquartered in Ireland, CurrencyFair is an expat-centric payment platform focusing on major currency corridors. They employ a technology-focused workforce who are attempting to make the payment process as efficient as possible. Its cost structure is in line with the other peer to peer market leaders, and they are constantly building additional functionality for the benefit of their users.
Fastest all-rounder (Within 4 days)
Our pick: XE Money Transfer (review). A service with a lot of experience in foreign exchange. XE Money Transfer provides its customers with a personalised experience and can facilitate transfers of almost any amount. They make payments into over 220 countries around the world and funds are transferred at competitive rates. Their online platform is robust, and advanced tools can be accessed by speaking with their dealer desk.
Fastest for low-cost transfers (Within 3 days)
Our pick: OrbitRemit (review). OrbitRemit is a relatively small money transfer service located in New Zealand. It only offers its services to residents of a select number of countries, however, in our assessment, it is the lowest cost provider in the market. If you can access their service and they make payments to your required destination, it’s an excellent choice for the budget-conscious.
Fastest for small values (Within 3 days)
Our pick: WorldRemit (review). A fast and flexible service, transferring to over 140 countries around the world. Established by a former consultant to the United Nations, the service is suitable for payments of up to £35,000. The company’s online platform is simple, easy to use, and allows delivery of funds by a variety of methods. Its fee structures are much more competitive than traditional remittance services.
Fastest for business (Within 5 days)
Our pick: OFX (review). As a publicly listed company, OFX is one of the market-leading money transfer services in the world. They aim to provide truly global business money transfer solutions. While not the cheapest service available, the breadth of services offered by OFX is second to none. A thorough solution for small and medium businesses conducting trade internationally.
If you are making payments in a commercial context, we have written a dedicated article on business money transfer that may interest you.
Fastest for large values (Within 4 days)
Our pick: WorldFirst (review). A reliable service to transfer large amounts abroad. Competitive rates, advance foreign exchange tools, and a broad selection of international offices, allow the company to provide a consistent experience to its customers. WorldFirst offers a high-quality online platform which facilitates transfers, as well as provides access to market research and commentary.
Fastest way to send money: A complete list of services
If you haven’t already found the fastest way to send money for your needs, you can use this list to filter through the options available, as reviewed by us.
wdt_ID Service Countries Speed Ave. cost Our score Review 1
XE Money Transfer
Ria Money Transfer
Depending what you’re trying to do, there are a number of services out there that can help you do it. In this post, I’ve listed a range of services I consider to be the fastest money transfer services for a particular use. If you still haven’t had any luck finding the right service for your needs, perhaps it’s worth taking a look at our post on how to compare money transfer services.