OrbitRemit has a cult-like following in the market for good reason. It combines competitive rates and low fees to provide a very good customer experience.
|Transfer speed:||1-3 days|
|Trustpilot score:||5 stars|
|Our score:||5 stars|
What we like
- Excellent rates
- Some flexible delivery methods
- Many popular currency pairings
What we don’t
- Limited to residents of Australia, NZ and the UK
- Payment by bank transfer only
- Online transfers from the UK are limited to £9,000 (although higher values are possible)
OrbitRemit has taken a user-first approach from day one. Focusing its attention exclusively on the requirements of Australian, New Zealand and UK residents, it has developed a loyal following among its customers.
A small and nimble team has built OrbitRemit to deliver millions of dollars worth of payments each and every month. The secret to its success is probably that it does not intend to be all things to all people.
To learn more about this service and see if it’s right for you, read on for our in-depth OrbitRemit review.
What is OrbitRemit all about? Let’s begin our OrbitRemit review with some general information about the service.
OrbitRemit was founded in 2009 by Robbie Sampson, David Platt, Tommy Heptinstall, and Paul Robinson. The four founders identified the need for a seamless cross border transfer service that would be cheaper, faster and more reliable than what was offered at the time.
The company has since established its product to focus on the markets of Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. OrbitRemit seems to keep its cards close to their chest and does not disclose a lot of metrics on its performance. That being said, we can see that the company raised NZ$1 million of seed funding at its initial founding and their website currently receives half a million visits per month.
Robbie Sampson continues to run OrbitRemit as CEO, and is assisted by Geoffrey Hill as General Manager. Paul Goodman is Chief Commerical Officer, while Tommy Heptinstall appears to focus on the company’s UK operations. Paul Kinzett, who has been with the OrbitRemit since 2010, oversees its online platform as Chief Technology Officer.
OrbitRemit is headquartered at the following address:
OrbitRemit Global Money Transfer Limited
1/182 Vivian Street
Te Aro, Wellington, 6011
OrbitRemit has established local offices in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
Supported countries and currencies
OrbitRemit supports the transfer of funds to approximately 43 countries. To accomplish this, the service has established a network of international bank accounts using its own locally domiciled subsidiaries. This allows OrbitRemit to facilitate many transfers without actually having to enter the currency market.
OrbitRemit has a minimum transfer value of £5. There is no maximum transfer value, which is great news for anyone who needs to make large transfers. However, its online platform is limited to £9,000 in the UK and $60,000 in Australia and New Zealand. For values larger than this, OrbitRemit will complete your transfer manually.
OrbitRemit fees and exchange rate
What are OrbitRemit fees and exchange rate? It will take a few minutes to explore the foreign exchange market, so we can properly consider this question.
How the foreign exchange market works
Let’s begin with how the foreign exchange market works. Banks and other money transfer services will buy foreign currency at a price very close to the mid-market rate. They will then sell this currency to you, the customer, for a higher rate than they bought it for, taking a margin in between – known as “the spread”.
The spread is essentially a hidden cost that is not disclosed to you during the transaction. Then, in addition to the spread, some services will charge a transaction fee on top – which is typically the fee that they quote to you. In any case, the total cost of the transfer for you, the customer, is the combination of the two; the spread + transaction fee.
Q. Does the OrbitRemit exchange rate include a spread?
A. Yes, there is a spread.
Q. What about OrbitRemit fees?
A. Yes, there is a transaction fee of £4.
But for the moment, don’t pay too much attention to the details. Rather, for the purpose of our OrbitRemit review, let’s consider the overall cost.
Why focus on overall cost?
If you focus on the spread or transaction fee in isolation, it is easy to become lost in marketing gimmicks. Instead, it is more helpful to consider the overall cost when these factors are combined. For example, a typical bank will charge up to 5% of the overall transfer value in spread and transaction fee to complete a transfer on your behalf. Not great.
But what about OrbitRemit? To determine its overall cost we need to compare a transfer with a benchmark – in this case, the mid-market rate – which in theory has no cost. Practically speaking, it is unlikely that you will ever receive the equivalent of the mid-market rate, however, your goal should be to get as close as possible.
If you can achieve a total cost of less than 1% of the overall transaction value then you are on the right track. However, it really depends on what your needs are and if you are willing to pay a little bit extra for additional features, advice, or research. To find out the mid-market rate of any currency pairing, use this calculator at xe.com.
What is the cost of OrbitRemit?
To calculate the cost of OrbitRemit, we received three quotes to exchange British Pounds (GBP) into Australian Dollars (AUD) – for low, medium, and high values. The overall cost of each transaction was then compared against the mid-market rate and represented as a percentage of the transfer value.
Here is the calculation:
|Transfer value||Overall cost|
An average cost of 0.43% means that for every £1,000 sent, on average £4.30 will be lost in spread + fees. By using this figure, we can make a general representation of OrbitRemit across a range of transfer values. Of course, it is not a perfect representation by any means, but it is helpful for comparative purposes.
OrbitRemit review: Market comparison
So, how does OrbitRemit compare to other services in the market? To help you determine its relative competitiveness, we have prepared a chart. Beside the name of each service, we have listed its average cost, speed of transfer, receiving countries, and our review score – sorted from highest to lowest.
To sort this chart by column, click its respective headings. If you are reading on mobile, you may need to scroll horizontally to view all fields.
|wdt_ID||Service||Ave. cost||Speed||Countries||Our score||Review|
|1||Azimo||0.89%||1-3 days||200||2 stars||Read review|
|2||OFX||1.20%||3-5 days||226||4 stars||Read review|
|3||MoneyGram||3.50%||1-3 days||194||2 stars||Read review|
|4||Currencies Direct||1.79%||2-4 days||188||3 stars||Read review|
|5||CurrencyFair||0.45%||2-4 days||157||5 stars||Read review|
|7||OrbitRemit||0.43%||1-3 days||43||4 stars|
|8||Paysera||0.97%||3-5 days||174||3 stars||Read review|
|9||RationalFX||1.16%||1-3 days||201||3 stars||Read review|
|10||Remitly||0.77%||1-3 days||58||2 stars||Read review|
|11||Ria Money Transfer||3.06%||1-3 days||158||2 stars||Read review|
If you would like to learn more about the rationale of our OrbitRemit review, take a look at our review methodology.
A typical transfer with OrbitRemit takes 1-3 business days, from sending to receipt. The exact duration will depend on a few factors, including the currency pairings involved, the transfer value, as well as the particular systems of the sending and receiving bank.
Key payment features
How do payment features affect our OrbitRemit review? Let’s take a look at its capabilities.
A spot contract consists of a single payment from one currency to another at the current available rate. If you need to send money right away, simply login to the OrbitRemit app or website and with a couple of clicks a spot payment can be arranged.
A recurring payment is the easiest way to transfer money to the same recipient on a regular basis. A recurring payment allows any future payments to be direct debited automatically, providing a convenient solution to make better use of your time.
A cash pickup payment allows you to transfer money to a person in another location, whereby they can pick up the payment in cash – typically from a physical branch. It is the easiest way to send money to family or friends who need quick and flexible access to funds.
OrbitRemit customer care number
OrbitRemit customer care can be reached by phone or email. Here is the Orbitremit contact number for a few of their offices:
+61 3 5294 0380 (Australia)
+64 800 672 484 (New Zealand)
+44 20 3962 0613 (United Kingdom)
In our experience, we found OrbitRemit customer service to be friendly and helpful. We did not have to wait too long to speak with someone on the phone, and our queries by email have been answered in a prompt and professional manner.
Is OrbitRemit safe?
As a customer, is OrbitRemit safe to use? Let’s take a look at some of its security measures.
OrbitRemit is regulated by the New Zealand Companies Office under FSPR reference FSP7721. Its international subsidiaries are regulated by the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction of their operations, such as the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia.
Customer funds are held in trust
In accordance with the standards imposed by government regulators, the funds of OrbitRemit customers are held in segregated accounts and are kept separate from the service’s own operating accounts. This ensures the security of customer funds, should OrbitRemit encounter financial difficulty.
Website is securely protected
The OrbitRemit website is protected with TLS encryption, which prevents sensitive data from being intercepted during your visit. You can confirm that this is in place by recognising a green padlock next to the website’s URL on your browser.
Can you trust OrbitRemit? A look at its reputation
Are there any OrbitRemit problems? Let’s take a look at its reputation.
As of publication, OrbitRemit has received over 21,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars; representing a positive experience in 96 percent of interactions with its customers.
Here are our observations of the feedback posted:
- Long term, issue free experience
- Simple and easy to use
- Excellent exchange rates
- Delivery of funds took longer than expected
- Slow compliance process
- Delay in response to support queries
Upon viewing the Facebook and Twitter feeds of OrbitRemit, we can see that it replies to any query raised by its customers within two days. OrbitRemit will typically move the conversation into private messaging to rectify any issue.
It’s worth adding, it is impressive to see the love that the customers of OrbitRemit have for the service. For example, a Facebook post announcing its success in the Deloitte Fast 500 received 298 likes and 23 positive comments!
The mainstream media reporting on OrbitRemit is generally positive. Most articles provide insight into the mission of the service, its culture, and explain how it is playing its part in assisting the community with international remittances.
We have taken a customer-centric approach from day one, looking at what the person sending money really wants and needs.Lifehacker
While OrbitRemit was focused on the global remittance market, it’s platform was also well suited to expand on the evolving the mobile market and other e-commerce payment trends.Stuff
New Zealand firms shine in Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500.Scoop
OrbitRemit app and user experience
How does product design affect our OrbitRemit review? Let’s take a look at its user experience.
The OrbitRemit website has been designed thoughtfully, with special attention being paid to user experience and simplicity. As far as we are aware, the website is only available in English.
An OrbitRemit app has been developed for Apple and Android devices. By using the OrbitRemit app you can access your account at any time and use its core features; such as initiating new payments or tracking the status of in-progress transfers.
The registration process is very quick and takes around 1 minute. All you need to do is enter your email address and password. Alternatively, you can sign up with your Facebook or Google accounts.
Before you can commence transferring funds with OrbitRemit, you will first need to verify your identity. This will typically require providing two types of documents:
- Photo identification, such as a passport or drivers licence
- Proof of address, such as a bank or utility statement
How does OrbitRemit work?
As a part of our OrbitRemit review, we will take you through an example transaction. If you would like some guidance in navigating your own account, you can follow along below.
Step 1 – Login to OrbitRemit dashboard
Visit orbitremit.com, sign up and login. To begin a transfer, enter the value of either the sending or receiving currency, and click Make a Transfer.
Step 2 – Select recipient
Select your intended recipient – the details of which are entered in a separate menu.
Step 3 – Confirm transaction
The terms of your quote are presented, including the exchange rate and fees applicable. When you are happy to proceed, click Confirm and Continue.
Step 4 – Select payment method
Select a method of payment. In this instance, only bank transfer is available.
Step 5 – Pay into local account
You are provided with instructions to make your part of the payment. If you selected bank transfer, now is the time to deposit your funds into the local bank account of OrbitRemit.
Step 6 – OrbitRemit tracking
When your funds are received by OrbitRemit, it will complete the final leg of the transfer. You can track its status online or with the OrbitRemit app. You will also receive email updates throughout the process.
Finally, once the transfer is complete its status will be updated accordingly. The funds should arrive in your recipient’s bank account shortly.
In our experience, the OrbitRemit platform was simple to use and we were satisfied with the instructions provided along the way. The entire process took 2 business days, and the funds arrived into our recipient’s account as requested.
OrbitRemit review: Final thoughts
OrbitRemit is a silent achiever. It offers great rates and a transparent fee structure. Overall, the service performs a very well, and as a result, has a loyal following. One of the key downsides is that it is not available to more people – being limited to residents of Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
The service sets a great example for others to follow. It is a strong competitor of what we consider to be market-leading services, TransferWise and CurrencyFair. While it does offer some advanced functionality, it may fall a touch short if you have complex requirements. In that case, you might look at services such as OFX or WorldFirst.
If you have any questions or feedback about our OrbitRemit review, let us know in the comments below.