Should I use OrbitRemit for money transfers?
Services Offered by OrbitRemit
OrbitRemit Review: Executive SummaryOrbitRemit is an online remittance service that offers fast, easy and secure international money transfers. With OrbitRemit, you can send money to over 50 countries worldwide from any device. The company has been in operation since 2012 and is headquartered in New Zealand, with offices also in the UK and Australia. They work on a flat fee structure but it does not disclose how they calculate rates or the exchange rate spread they charge. This lack of transparency usually mean that this is the place from where the company makes its profits.
Our Top Rated OrbitRemit Alternatives
On Money Transfer Comparison, we have reviewed 80+ money transfer services, 40+ of which could be considered direct OrbitRemit competitors. View our best rated OrbitRemit money transfer alternatives for UK, NZ, and Australia which have received higher ratings below:
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 250
- Currencies Supported: 120
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, HK, and UAE.
- Our Rating : 92.8% 🌟Best for Large Transfers🌟
- Business Oriented, Many High Profile Business Customers
Industry Veteran since 1979
Safest and Most Geared Towards Large Amounts
Up Close and Personal Service by Professionals
Fix Today's Rates for Up to 2 Years with a Forward Contract
- Min Transfer: £/€/$/A$/NZ$/$CAD 100
- Currencies Supported: 140
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, Australia, NZ and Canada.
- Editorial App Rating : 98.4%
- Min Transfer: £/€ 1,000
- Currencies Supported: 138
- Offices : UK, Europe.
- Our Rating : 90.6%
TrustPilot Rating : 4.3 / 5
- Very Quick to Respond in a Friendly Manner
Competitive Rates and No Wire Fees
Very High Customer Satisfaction
Operating from Cornwall, Less Operating Costs Rolled Over to Customers
Directors Have Dozens of Years of Industry Experience
Our OrbitRemit review is intended to explain the pros and cons of using the company for our reader’s money transfer needs. We focus on the important aspects like fees and exchange rates, the quality of the online trading platform, and the level of service provided. To view other companies similar to OrbitRemit, check our guide that compares remittance companies.
Is OrbitRemit Safe?
Founded in 2009, OrbitRemit is a money transfer service originating from Wellington, New Zealand. They have a little over 40 employees spread across three offices (Wellington, NZ; Sydney, AU; London, UK), and, as of 2021, have transacted over $5 billion in transfers since inception.
CEO Robbie Sampson, David Platt, Paul Robinson, and Tommy Heptinstall raised 1 million NZD to start OrbitRemit back in 2009. Since then, they haven’t needed any additional venture funding to grow their business.
The New Zealand-owned business initially used the Philippines as a proof of concept and test market when it started operating in 2009. It turned out to be a significant channel for money transfer. Along with India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, it is one of the biggest markets for international remittances from New Zealand.
The founder’s hard work has certainly paid off. OrbitRemit managed to crack the Deloitte Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500 index in 2017 and has been in the Financial Times Fast 300 growing businesses for Asia-pacific for consecutive years in 2020 and 2021.
The firm has also gained acceptance from fellow New Zealanders. They were voted the top online business in Wellington in 2018, and are one of four payment options accepted by New Zealand Inland Revenue.
Though OrbitRemit remains largely under the radar in the press, it continues to enhance its offering and develop its services across the world. In 2020, OrbitRemit partnered with the Indian Federal Bank to provide easy transfers from NZ to India, and in the same year OrbitRemit joined the RippleNet platform to enhance its payment processing capabilities.
ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit – New Zealand), FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)
Orbit Remit has enjoyed tremendous success in the past decade. Despite remaining a small company, they have grown their business to the point where they’re gaining international accolades. With only 40 staffers in three countries, that’s no small feat. The firm clearly takes its regulatory responsibilities seriously and it’s easy to navigate through their support section to learn about the regulations that OrbitRemit adheres to and the nature of its separate client accounts held with trusted banking institutions.
OrbitRemit Customer reviews
OrbitRemit has been reviewed extensively on Trustpilot. Over 23,000 customers have left reviews, and with a score of 4.8 / 5 the overwhelming majority of them positive. In fact, only 2% of reviewers had a poor or bad experience, meaning OrbitRemit has one of the highest client review scores on TrustPilot in the industry.
The rating on productreview.com is distinctly average but it has to be said this is based on a very small sample of 3.4 / 5.
Those dissatisfied with Orbit Remit had the following to say:
- The process of sending a bank transfer to OrbitRemit was confusing
- Rates were better with Wise
- The documentation procedure was tedious
- Incorrect payment status showing on the online portal
The vast majority of customers using OrbitRemit do so without issue. The positive reviews almost unanimously state the ease of the online platform and how efficient it is to make a transfer. One user reports of the money reaching a recipient within the hour and very few seem to have issues with delays to their international payments.
However, the onboarding process for new customers is a bit involved, which has annoyed some. And there are some negative reviews on productreview.com from Australian users. It looks as if UK and Australian users make up a larger portion of the negative reviews, perhaps suggesting the service is at its most optimal in its native New Zealand.
Overall, though, it’s only a small fraction of complaints and the majority of Orbit’s customers are pleased with their low rates, slick interface, and responsive customer service.
OrbitRemit Exchange Rates & Fees
Fees are very straightforward with OrbitRemit. They operate a flat-fee structure in which the same payment fee is taken for payments between 50 – 10,000 of the major currency being sent, i.e. GBP, EUR or NZD:
|New Zealand||$4 to all destinations except the Philippines which is $6|
|Australia||$4 to all destinations except India which is free of charge|
Payments over ‘10,000 units’ (as described by OrbitRemit themselves) incur no payment fees, which is a definite plus as larger transfers with usual currency brokers are unlikely to incur a payment fee.
Payments to the Inland Revenue in New Zealand, the New Zealand Ministry of Justice and New Zealand Ministry of Social Development are always fee-free. Further backing the strength of OrbitRemit’s product in NZ.
A customer’s first transfer with OrbitRemit is free, as well as every eleventh transaction thereafter.
OrbitRemit does not disclose how they calculate rates or the exchange rate spread they charge. This is often where the ‘hidden costs’ of an international payment come in and fees can seriously rack up when larger transfers are made.
Exchange rate spreads vary by country but are lower than what banks and Western Union charge. As is shown by OrbitRemit’s pricing page:
As there are no exchange rate spreads advertised we have tried to look at the formula ourselves on Aug 10, 2021 on GBP to AUD transfers.
This was the official exchange rate:
And this was what was offered on OrbitRemit’s website:
By our calculations, the exchange rate markup was 0.5%. This is far better than most remittance providers, but more than the rates advertised by Wise and CurrencyFair at the times of writing this (August 12, 2021), and likely to be more than the rates you can negotiate on larger transfers with the likes of Currencies Direct and Global Reach.
Also, we have identified higher margins on some other corridors.
OrbitRemit has a minimum transfer amount of 50 NZD / 50 AUD / 50 GBP. Maximum transfer amounts vary by country but there aren’t any on major routes such as GBP, EUR, USD and AUD – check out their FAQ page for more details.
OrbitRemit could be more transparent about how they calculate fees by showing the exchange rate markup, particularly as their rates have become more competitive over the years. There’s no reason not to, when compared against very strong competitors like WorldRemit, Azimo, Xoom and Wise Put simply they could also be cheaper for larger transactions, but overall it offers good fees and exchange rates for remittance purposes.
OrbitRemit Global Reach & Service
- Dedicated Dealer: No
- Offices: NZ, AU, UK
- Ways to approach: Phone, e-mail, live chat
- Translations: English only
- Accepts clients: Three countries (New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom)
- Currencies Handled: 24
- Client reviews: 4.8 / 5 on TrustPilot.com
OrbitRemit has become tremendously successful in just over ten years of existence despite a small team of just over 40 staff. They have done this by keeping their focus narrow – as a result, they only accept clients in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK. They also only trade in a narrow range of currencies – those used by major migrant groups in NZ, AU, and the UK – and global reserve currencies like EUR and USD. By integrating with the ripple network and building partnerships such as that with the Indian Federal Bank, the firm demonstrates it can punch above its weight and keep up with the big international money transfer companies.
On the contrary, OrbitRemit does only offer 24 currencies and three countries from which clients can register for the service. Whilst most of the major migrant destinations are covered for the UK, Australia and NZ, there is room for improvement as there are still a number of payment routes missing. OrbitRemit does not facilitate payments to latin America as it’s largely US migrants who send money home to these countries. OrbitRemit has no US operations and nor does it claim to, we just want to highlight there are other providers who have a more global reach, such as OFX and Wise. Both services are available in the States and many other territories around the world.
Orbit Remit offers more than just money transfer. This business also provides the following functions:
– Tax payments to the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department
– Payment of fines to the New Zealand Ministry of Justice
– Remittance of Work and Income payments to the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development
* Regular transfers possible but must accept rate on the day
* Business accounts are available but no hedging functionality
People don’t just send money to friends and family overseas using OrbitRemit. They also use this service to settle debts with the New Zealand government. This service is of great use for businesspeople and those who habitually send money overseas to loved ones.
OrbitRemit does one thing well – helping people transfer money to loved ones and business contacts overseas. By allowing customers to pay government bills online, it makes their lives much more manageable.
We like the fact you can set up automatically occurring transfers but the difference between OrbitRemit and a currency broker is that you would have to accept the FX rate presented on the day of your automatic transfer with OrbitRemit (i.e. the live rate at the time). With a currency broker you get the option between either a) scheduling your transfer to accept the rate on the day it is due to be made in the future or b) book a number of forward contracts which allow you to apply today’s rate to automated transfers in the future, helping you to budget accordingly.
Businesses, except for self-employed and micro SMEs, will likely be hindered by the lack of hedging options . The service best suits those who are just simply happy to accept the FX rate on any given day that they need to make a transfer and would just like to know they aren’t getting overcharged.
Orbit Remit Money Transfer Review Summary
- Credibility Score - 80%80%
- Client Feedback Score - 97%97%
- Fees and Exchange Rates - 85%85%
- Global Reach, Availability - 50%50%
- Added Values Score - 65%65%
Orbit Remit is a great provider for low-value transfers with relatively low fees, excellent feedback, an inviting website and app, and a spotless reputation. It only allows cash pickup to a few locations, has no physical agents to attend and does not offer mobile top up, thus it lacks the true remittance capabilities of the likes of WorldRemit. It also has no hedging functionality offered by traditional FX brokers which are typically used by businesses or individuals who have a requirement to send large amounts overseas. Definitely worth a try if you need to transfer small amounts on a regular basis though.