WorldRemit is a popular money transfer service for good reason. It offers fast and flexible payments and is an excellent choice for small and medium values.
|Transfer speed:||1-3 days|
|Trustpilot score:||4 stars|
|Our score:||4 stars|
What we like
- Large selection of receiving countries locations
- Flexible delivery options
- Competitive rates
What we don’t
- Lack of advanced payment options
- Maximum transfer limit of £50,000
- A long wait for phone assistance
As the world becomes increasingly globalised, economic migration is the new reality for many people. WorldRemit was incepted on a basic premise; how can international remittances be made painless for those moving abroad?
After working with the UN for many years, the founder of WorldRemit saw technology as a key factor in making payments more accessible. As a result, the service he created aims to assist with sending funds back to the developing world.
To learn more about this service and see if it’s right for you, read on for our in-depth WorldRemit review.
Affiliate disclosure: If you sign up with a money transfer service after being referred from our website, we might earn a referral fee. Learn more.
What is WorldRemit all about? Let’s begin our WorldRemit review with some general information about the service.
WorldRemit was founded in 2010 by Ismail Ahmed and Catherine Wines. Ismail had previously worked with the United Nations Development Programme, advising on financial compliance in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Following the discovery of alleged corruption within the program, he left to found WorldRemit.
Ismail met Catherine through a friend, and together they formed a complementary partnership. She bought to the table extensive experience in corporate finance consulting. Since the founding of the WorldRemit, the two have grown the company to over 200 employees and have raised $220 million of venture capital.
WorldRemit continues to be led by its founders, with Ismail as CEO and Catherine assisting in a non-executive capacity. Ian Cole has been appointed Chief Financial Officer and Brian Nazzaro is Compliance Director. Its board is mostly comprised of venture capitalists and includes Jonathan Addis as an independent director.
Location of WorldRemit headquarters
WorldRemit headquarters is located at the following address:
62 Buckingham Gate
London SW1E 6AJ
WorldRemit branches have been established in the following countries:
- New Zealand
- United States
Supported countries and currencies
WorldRemit supports the transfer of funds to approximately 132 countries. For the most part, the service facilitates its transfers using the SWIFT network, which allows it to deliver funds to all corners of the globe. The downside to this network is that there are often charges incurred by the recipient, of which WorldRemit has little control of.
WorldRemit has a minimum transfer value of £1, which is excellent news if you only need to transfer a small amount. There is a maximum transfer value of £50,000, however, this value may vary depending on the type of payment required and the receiving country.
WorldRemit transfer fees and exchange rate
What are WorldRemit transfer fees and exchange rates? 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 a transfer for you, the customer, is the combination of the two; the spread + transaction fee.
Q. Does the WorldRemit exchange rate include a spread?
A. Yes, there is a spread.
Q. What about WorldRemit transfer fees?
A: Yes, there is a transaction fee of £2.99 for standard transfers. Cash pickup transactions can attract a fee of up to £40.
But for the moment, don’t pay too much attention to the details. Rather, for the purpose of our WorldRemit 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 WorldRemit? To determine its overall cost we need to compare a transfer with a benchmark, 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 WorldRemit?
To calculate the cost of WorldRemit, 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 1.34% means that for every £1,000 sent, on average £13.40 will be lost in spread + fees. By using this figure, we can make a general representation of WorldRemit across a range of transfer values. Of course, it is not a perfect representation by any means, but it is helpful for comparative purposes.
Important note on SWIFT: You should be aware that any transfer conducted via the SWIFT network may incur additional hidden charges by correspondent banks; the exact cost depending on the amount of the transfer and the recipient bank. In our experience, these fees can be as high as £25 per transaction.
WorldRemit review: Market comparison
So, how does WorldRemit 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||OFX||1.20%||3-5 days||226||4 stars||Read review|
|2||Azimo||0.89%||1-3 days||200||2 stars||Read review|
|3||WorldRemit||1.35%||1-3 days||63,145||4 stars|
|4||MoneyGram||3.50%||1-3 days||194||2 stars||Read review|
|5||CurrencyFair||0.45%||2-4 days||157||5 stars||Read review|
|6||Currencies Direct||1.79%||2-4 days||188||3 stars||Read review|
|7||OrbitRemit||0.43%||1-3 days||43||4 stars||Read review|
|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|
If you would like to learn more about the rationale of our WorldRemit review, take a look at our review methodology.
A typical transfer with WorldRemit 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 WorldRemit review? Let’s take a look at its capabilities.
A spot contract consists of a single payment from one currency to another at the currently available exchange rate. If you need to send money right away, simply login to the WorldRemit website and with a couple of clicks a transfer can be arranged.
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.
WorldRemit customer service and phone contact
WorldRemit customer service can be contacted by phone or email. Here are the contact details for a few of its offices:
+61 02 6145 2161 (Australia)
+44 20 7148 5800 (United Kingdom)
+1 888 772 7771 (United States)
In our experience, we found WorldRemit customer service to be friendly and helpful. Our queries by email have been answered in a prompt and professional manner. However, when we did reach out to speak with the team on the phone, we were met with a 15 minute wait.
Is WorldRemit safe?
As a customer, is WorldRemit safe to use? Let’s take a look at some of its security measures.
WorldRemit is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and is licensed as an Electronic Money Institution under reference 574642. Its international subsidiaries also appear to be regulated by the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction of their operations, such as FSPR in New Zealand and AUSTRAC in Australia.
Customer funds are held in trust
In accordance with the standards imposed by government regulators, the funds of WorldRemit customers are held in segregated accounts and are kept apart from the company’s own operating accounts. This ensures the security of customer funds, should WorldRemit encounter financial difficulty.
Website is securely protected
The WorldRemit 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.
Does WorldRemit scam? A look at its reputation
Does WorldRemit scam? Are there WorldRemit complaints – or is WorldRemit reliable? Let’s take a look at its reputation.
As of publication, WorldRemit has received over 40,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars; representing a positive experience in 93 percent of interactions with its customers.
Here are our observations of the feedback posted:
- Reasonable exchange rates
- Multiple delivery formats
- Quick payments
- A long wait for phone assistance (over 30 minutes)
- Unexpected delays with payments
- Poor communication when issues arise
Upon viewing the Facebook and Twitter feeds of WorldRemit, we can see that the service replies same-day to any query raised by its customers. Because WorldRemit is a popular service, it receives a lot of messages on these platforms.
The social media posts of WorldRemit focus mostly on keeping its customers up to date with news, rather than providing foreign exchange market commentary.
The mainstream media reporting of WorldRemit is very positive. The company is active in the fintech scene and spends a lot of energy campaigning about the benefits of mobile money. The executives of WorldRemit often spend their time presenting at industry events, such as this interview with Ismail Ahmed.
Refugee Turned Fintech Chief Aims to Upend a $444 Billion Market.Bloomberg
Lebara hooks up with WorldRemit in money transfer pact.Reuters
My boss said I would never work in remittances again; Podcast interview with Ismail Ahmed.Financial Times
WorldRemit app and user experience
How does product design affect our WorldRemit review? Let’s take a look at its user experience.
The WorldRemit website has been designed thoughtfully, with special attention being paid to user experience and simplicity. It is available in 5 languages; English, Danish, French, German, and Spanish.
A WorldRemit app has been developed for Apple and Android devices. By using the WorldRemit 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 quick and takes around 2 minutes. All you need to do is enter your name, email address and a password.
Before you can commence transferring funds with WorldRemit, 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 WorldRemit work?
As a part of our WorldRemit 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 – Sign up and login
Visit worldremit.com, sign up and login. To begin a transfer, select your destination country and click Get Started.
Step 2 – Select receiving country
First, select the country of your recipient and the currency denomination of their account. You will also need to select the delivery method. Click Send.
Step 3 – Enter recipient details
Enter the personal information of your recipient, including their bank details if that is the delivery method chosen. You will also need to provide a reason for the payment. Click Next.
Step 4 – Select payment method
Select your desired payment method. Click Next.
Step 5 – Enter your personal information
Enter your own personal details and click Next.
Step 6 – Enter payment details
Enter your payment details and click Pay. If you selected bank deposit in a previous screen, now is the time to transfer your funds into the local bank account of WorldRemit.
Step 7 – WorldRemit tracking online
When your funds are received by WorldRemit, it will complete the final leg of the transfer. You can track its status online or with the WorldRemit 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 WorldRemit 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.
WorldRemit review: Final thoughts
WorldRemit is a great service for small and medium transfers. Its platform is easy to use and has a variety of features. The service will be perfectly adequate for many people, but for those with more complicated requirements, its functionality may be limited.
That being said, for what WorldRemit sets out to do, it does very well. We found the service to be fast, and its rates are not far off those offered by market-leading services TransferWise and CurrencyFair. If you are in need simple and effective solution, WorldRemit is worth a look.
If you have any questions or feedback about our WorldRemit review, let us know in the comments below.