Transfast was established in 1988, and was acquired by current CEO Samish Kumar together with GCP Capital brothers in 2007. Since the acquisition the company has changed its face from a company focusing solely on the South American remittances market, to a much more global firm, with a reach of more than 50 countries at present moment.
The company, that had a relatively small turnover in 2007 of US $500m per annum, and it is now assumed by us they have passed the 1bn barrier – the barrier between being a small insignificant player to a mid-cap company.
The company takes pride in their auto-approval system that enable them, through sophisticated FX risk management models, to approve 70% of its online transfers on-the-spot and send them instantaneously abroad.
Transfast’s marketing strategy compose of two main elements – the usage of agents, similarly to rival companies Western Union and Moneygram, and empowering African Diaspora (they hold an annual summit and awards on this topic).
Local Banking Authorities in More than 30 States
Best Remittances Service 2015, Kalahari awards, Nigeria
Transfast is a medium-sized remittance business. It’s hard to put it in the same line as niche leaders, and it’s even a far cry from emerging startups like Transferwise and Worldremit by all means – trading volumes, investment, and media exposure. It doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page of its own.
On the other hand, the business has been functioning for almost 30 years now (though less than 10 years in its newest format), and its trading volumes are estimated to be quite large.
To summarize, we deem Transfast as a reliable company, which is truly trying to improve the world’s inequality by creating an immigrant-friendly product, that hasn’t had breakthrough yet.
There are more than 2,000 reviews on TrustPilot for Transfast. The overall score is 8, which is quite OK (much lower than companies like World First or Currencies Direct, but still, a fair grade).
The problem begins when we inspect the number of complaints in comparison with the number of good reviews. There are more than 200 negative comments which could be somewhat of an alarming sign. Another alarming sign is the fact that recently there are more negative comments than positive comments on the page.
We discovered more than 200 reviews that were very harsh, even in comparison with angry client reviews. They spoke about the following elements
Cancelled transfers that didn’t go through
Money held in account even though transfer was cancelled
Promotional rate promised by not applied
Poor client service
Very slow arrival times (8 days in some cases)
Although generally there are a lot more people who were content with their transfer than those who weren’t, complaints are always louder than compliments. It’s hard to ignore the unfortunate chain of events some clients had to bear, sometimes for no particular reason. The Transfast staff is quick to respond to each comment, and in some cases, all they have to do is apologize…. which indicates they acknowledge their wrongdoing.
Although we believe Transfast tries to better immigrant remittances, the scenarios that were described by some clients are the exact opposite of that. If a transfer does not go through due to compliance, money must be refunded immediately.
Overall we are not satisfied with what we read here, and especially since out of last 20 reviews, 70% are highly negative, we believe there’s a problem with the service.
Fees: $4.99 or more for for 24 hour transfer. No fees on up to 3 day transfers.
Exchange Rates: According to our research the markup Transfast takes on popular currencies for our visitors (USD to CAD, USD to GBP, USD to EUR) are at around the 3% mark. That is slightly less expensive than US banks but these are quite wide spreads.
For comparison sakes – Transferwise will charge anywhere between 0.7-1% on these transfers.
When it comes to exchange rates to developing countries like Nepal or Philippines, it seems like exchange rates are actually better, and we saw margins hovering at around 1.5%. That’s a very good margin considering the fact these are exotic currencies.
Limits: Transfers are limited at either $3,000, $6,000 and $10,000 a month. Find detail below:
Transfast provides service that can prove as useful and even cheap for a certain part of the population – immigrants who need to send money home to developing countries.
Their vigorous limitations and very wide spreads on popular currency pairs won’t even allow any other usage of this service, unlike Transferwise or Currencyfair that don’t have upper sending limits, and have better much better prices for sending money to developed countries.
Exchange Rates & Fees Rating
Global Reach & Service
Dedicated Dealer: No.
Ways to approach: Phone, Email, Online Platform, App.
Accepts clients: USA and Canada Only.
Currencies Handled: 45.
Client reviews: Mostly positive, but plenty of complainants.
Transfast’s offering is far from the offering of UK-based currency firms that are tailored for property buyers, investors, and expats. It’s also quite different in its approach than startups in the money transfer domain.
You could say Transfast is just a better version of Moneygram and Western Union online, for a very specific audience.
Global Reach Score
Transfast has a functional mobile application that enables its clients to connect directly to their account and perform transactions on the go. We can’t say it’s too popular, with just 100 ratings, but it has received good scores, and seem to do what it’s built for.
Another thing which is quite unique to Transfast in comparison with other companies, is the fact they enable cash pickups in certain locations, which makes their service even friendlier to their target audience.
Transfast doesn’t have fancy FX options for hedging, because it’s meant for low-value transactions. On that aspect, it offers what you would expect – cash pick-up options, and a functional app.
Special Features Score
Credibility Score - 80%
Client Feedback - 60%
Fees, Exchange Rates - 65%
Global Reach, Availability, Service - 70%
Added Values - 80%
Transfast is definitely an OK firm for US based immigrants who need to send money home to their families in Asia or South America. For all other uses, the exchange rate spreads are too high, and service has too many complaints for us to recommend this firm.
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