Novi: International Money Transfers by Facebook/Meta
In October 2021, Facebook, which has rebranded into Meta since, has announced its new and ambitious international money transfers and remittances “digital wallet” named Novi (officially: Novi Financial, Inc). These are significant news to the broad industry, with direct competition to online money transfer sites, remittances providers and ultimately even currency brokers. Our aim of this Novi money transfer review is to collate all the information that is already available about this new and surprising initiative presented by one of the largest and wealthiest corporations in the world.
Say goodbye to delays and fees and say 👋 to Novi — currently rolling out in Guatemala and most of the United States on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Check back here for the latest updates on availability, or visit https://t.co/STs3PiQnvv pic.twitter.com/ESoavo5nym
— Novi (@novi) October 19, 2021
Background information about Facebook / Meta
If you haven’t heard about Facebook by now you have been literally living under a rock since 2004. As the first social media website to become a global phenomena, Facebook has not only become 7th largest company in the world by market cap (true for November 2021), it changed the way the world is communicating. As the world has adopted to this then-new way of communication, and sharing, there were also negative precautions as a result of the free speech agenda and the fact it’s easy to spread false news which has lead to much criticism and multiple questionings by the U.S congress. Facebook has also been leveraging their position in the market to purchase more companies, such as WhatsApp, the world’s most popular communication service and Instagram, one of the most popular social networks globally. Facebook has rebranded to Meta in late October 2021:
Announcing @Meta — the Facebook company’s new name. Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection. pic.twitter.com/ywSJPLsCoD
— Meta (@Meta) October 28, 2021
Novi review: What is Novi by Meta supposed to be
Novi money transfer is a new solution for international money transfers and remittance payments, or is described as such, using StableCoins (digital currency whose value is pegged to fiat currencies – in Novi money transfer’s case it would be the USDP, Pax Dollar, a digital currency founded in September 2018). Meta’s Novi solution claim to be instantaneous means of payment which does not charge any upfront fees per transfer and has no exchange rate markups, or in other words competing for the best foreign exchange rate for international money transfers.
In practice, Novi money transfer is now open for beta in Guatemala and USA enabling customers from these countries to move money between accounts in these two countries*. Novi offers an easy and secure sign up online, easy way to purchase USDP, and transfers to other accounts with no fees or exchange rate markups on either the sender or the recipient’s side. Withdrawal of funds can done in multiple physical locations (and it is unclear from Novi by Meta’s website whether you can also withdraw the funds into a bank account, or only in cash).
Novi boasts an English and Spanish speaking support team.
Since the service has literally just launched, we cannot provide any feedback on it. Whether it works as expected, are the exchange rates by Novi actually as good as claimed to be, and how will the initiative expand into an actual money transfer service on par with competitors like Wise (supporting dozens of countries and currencies), is still unknown to us. We will be updating this Novi review with additional information as we come across it, and/or when we test the service ourselves.
* Please note that Novi money transfers is available only in the following USA states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia