Should I use PagoFX for money transfers?
Services Offered by PagoFX
PagoFX Review: Executive SummaryPagoFX is a new international money transfer service from Santander. The service is designed to be used by individuals and small businesses who need to send money abroad and offers a simple, fast and convenient way to make international money transfers. The main selling point of PagoFX is its low fees and competitive exchange rates. While PagoFX may be a good option for some customers with certain transfer routes, overall as a service is not ready to be a top contender in the space.
Our Top Rated PagoFX Alternatives
On Money Transfer Comparison, we have reviewed 80+ money transfer services, 40+ of which (currency brokers) could be considered direct PagoFX competitors. View our best rated PagoFX money transfer alternatives which have received higher ratings below:
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 100
- Currencies Supported: 39
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, India, South Africa.
- Our Rating : 97.8%
- Most Global Offices and Reach
No Fees from Anywhere and Competitive Rates
96% Client Satisfaction
- Min Transfer: £/€ 100
- Currencies Supported: 40
- Offices : UK, EU, Singapore, and Australia.
- Our Rating : 93.4%
- High Quality Bespoke Service
MoneyFact's Best Provider Award
Over 100 Years of FX Experience Across Its Trading Desk
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 50
- Currencies Supported: 120
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, HK, and UAE.
- Our Rating : 92.8%
- Business Oriented, Many High Profile Business Customers
Industry Veteran since 1979
Diverse Hedging Options and Excellent Guidance
This PagoFX review will look into the Santander-backed international money transfer UK service and everything it has to offer. We’ll break down the PagoFX fees, the PagoFX rates and the quality of the PagoFX app. We’ll also look at the overall level of service provided, including what existing clients have had to say in their PagoFX reviews. Read our dedicated PagoFX Money Transfer review to learn more.
Is PagoFX Safe?
Launched in 2020, PagoFX money transfer is the new low-cost international money transfer service backed by Santander. Originally available to UK and Belgian residents, Pago FX now accepts clients from Spain as of December 2020 as well. The service is open to any resident of these three countries with a debit card issued by any bank or financial entity.
Despite being Santander owned, PagoFX operates as an autonomous fintech start-up with more than 50 employees in Madrid, London and Brussels. The idea being that it brings together the best of both worlds – Santander’s expertise in international payments, foreign exchange and high security standards, with the digital innovation and competitive pricing of a fintech.
As a fintech start-up, PagoFX has been able to attract talent from several major tech companies, including Amazon, Paypal and Intuit. The leadership team at PagoFX have strong digital and banking backgrounds.
Group executive chairman of Banco Santander, Ana Botín, had this to say: “This is a unique proposition and we hope it will help many people and businesses. It draws on our world-class technology and talent to deliver a new and highly relevant service for everyone in the open market.”
In terms of its product offering we don’t see anything particularly unique about PagoFX at all but for users who are particularly cautious around security, they will enjoy the fact this is a competitive money transfer offering from one of the big banks. No other big bank is dipping its toe as far into the fintech side of the money transfer industry as Santander. And no other big bank offers standard pricing that is as competitive as PagoFX either – though you will find cheaper spreads from dedicated international money transfer companies.
As of November 2020, PagoFX launched PagoFX for Business. Business payments are open to UK-based small to medium enterprises, no matter who they currently bank with. Businesses can send money abroad to pay suppliers, partners, freelancers and more.
Starting in Europe, PagoFX is aiming to launch in over 20 markets in the next three to four years. A bold move that would bring its global servicing capabilities in line with some of the largest UK currency brokers that exist today.
Pago FX Ltd is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an authorised payment institution.
PagoFX Europe is licensed as a payment institution and regulated by the National Bank of Belgium.
PagoFX is as secure as a money transfer firm can be. Backed by Santander, the firm regularly promotes ‘Bank-level security’ which it defines as, “the high security standards set by Santander that we uphold. Bank-level security is a promise to our customers that their money is as safe with us as it would be with a bank.”
Being part of a major bank means Pagfx should have some of the highest standards in cyber security, financial crime and risk requirements.
PagoFX Customer Reviews
- 30 reviews on TrustPilot (4.3/5)
- 107 App Store reviews (4.3/5)
- 203 Google Play reviews (4.2/5)
True as of January, 2021
- Limited currencies
- Not as cheap as Transferwise, particularly for smaller transfers
- Can’t speak to anyone on the phone if things go wrong
- Often sends payments via SWIFT, thus opening up possibility of clients incurring recipient bank fees (admitted not fees levied by Pagofx themselves)
- Extensive KYC process
As it stands, there are still a very limited number of reviews from which to judge Pagofx. That being said, their review score is incredibly consistent across the three review platforms it’s on – rating the firm either 4.2/5 or 4.3/5.
The positive Pagofx reviews attest to the fact the Pagofx app is incredibly easy to use and transfers can be initiated quickly. Reviewers also like the fact it is one of the most secure money transfer options on the market today. On the whole, the online customer service team appears to be more than adequate when clients face issues registering or setting up a payment with pagoFX. There are however a number of reviews who criticise the fact they can’t speak with anyone on the phone when things go wrong.
The most common complaint in the negative Pagofx reviews relate to the lack of currencies and destinations that Pagofx has an offer. Though it should be noted that a number of the currencies they were criticised for not having, (such as CAD and INR) they do now offer. Still, at 32 currencies, the offering is far behind the likes of Moneycorp who can handle 120 different currencies. One reviewer believes PagoFX has the most intrusive KYC procedures of all the money transfer companies – this wouldn’t surprise us given it is backed by Santander.
All in all, it’s a decent start for PagoFX but the money transfer service is still finding its feet and we would like to see a much higher number of Pagofx reviews before we can make a firm decision on the service.
PagoFX Exchange Rates & Fees
No fees for opening a PagoFX account.
PagoFX money transfer fees as follows:
- 0.7% of the sent amount to Australia, Bulgaria , the Czech Republic, the eurozone, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland
- 0.8% for Canada, Denmark, Hungary, India, Poland, Romania and the US
- 1% for Croatia
- 1.1% for Mexico
- 1.2% for Turkey
- 1.5% for Israel and South Africa
- 1.6% for Brazil
- 1.8% for Qatar and Saudi Arabia
- 1.9% for Bahrain and Kuwait
- 2.2% for Argentina
- 2.3% for Colombia
- 2.9% for Peru
The minimum amount you can send is £2.
The following countries have a minimum payment of £100:
Hong Kong (HKD)
South Africa (ZAR)
United States (USD)
New Zealand (NZD)
The maximum payment limit is £100,000
Just like TransferWise, Pagofx does not charge an FX spread on your international transfer. Rather, the firm opts to levy a payment fee. This means you will actually achieve the interbank exchange rate on your transfer, though the payment fee ends up working in just the same way as an FX spread, given that the fee is a % of the total value of the transfer. The crucial aspect of opting for a payment fee as opposed to a spread is it means Pagofx is completely transparent on the fees levied. There’s no hiding behind hidden FX spreads. Customers can clearly see how much they will be charged prior to initiating a transfer.
Pagofx vs Transferwise?
The cheapest payment corridors for Pagofx are charged at 0.7% which is not as cheap as the likes of Transferwise and WorldFirst who will charge a fee of around 0.5%. Payments to South America are charged at 2%+ which is not uncommon in the money transfer industry, though you would certainly achieve a better rate than this if you had a large payment to make and shopped around.
PagoFX Global Reach & Service
- Dedicated Dealer: None
- Offices: London, Madrid, Brussels
- Ways to approach: In App Chat/Online Chat
- Translations: English, Dutch, French, Spanish
- Accepts clients: UK, Belgium, Spain
- Currencies Handled: 32
- Client reviews: 4.3/5 TrustPilot
The global reach of Pagofx is still very limited, particularly when you compare them to the most established money transfer providers on the market today. As it stands only residents and SMEs from the UK, Spain and Belgium can register for the service. There are also much fewer destinations that clients can send money to, though Pagofx is adding new currencies regularly and appears to be adding new ones as each month passes. Readers outside of the UK, Spain and Belgium should view our top rated money transfer providers for firms with global registration capabilities.
All customer service is done online, which is not uncommon for new fintech providers, though clients making larger payments will surely prefer the reassurance that a dedicated account manager from an FX broker can bring.
Spot transfers only.
No additional features with Pagofx. As far as we can see you cannot even set up a rate alert.
Trades can only be funded with your debit card. No ability to settle via bank transfer.
This is definitely the weakest element that we can see of the service so far. Private clients who are looking to make at-the-time transfers will see the benefit in Pagofx but outside of that there is little that Pagofx offers.
Business clients are more likely to be impacted by the lack of additional functionality. There is no ability to book forward contracts, the number of destinations that you can send money to is less than many of the other money transfer companies we review here and there is no account management provided by an FX expert. For customers who make regular international transfers or have any requirement to hedge their international exposure then they won’t find Pagofx as a viable option.
Despite its recent 2020 launch, Pagofx money transfer doesn’t appear to be disrupting the international payment industry with anything groundbreaking. The Pagofx app appears to be smooth and Pagofx fees are fair, particularly when you consider it’s been launched by Santander. The transparency in Pagofx rates is also nice to see from a bank-backed provider. Ultimately though, the online-only offering is similar to that of the already dominant Transferwise but is more expensive and has lower payment limits. At this stage, it also has significantly less functionality than many of the money transfer providers on the market today (including even online-only remittance providers).
Pagofx’s niche is for clients who are reluctant to move to challenger fintechs and would prefer the security of a service supported by a big bank. We’re sure there will be a segment of the market who this appeals to but providing you are choosing a money transfer provider that is processing significant volumes and has a long and credible history, we don’t think there’s a need to push for more security than this. For example, the sydney stock exchange listed OFX, or industry veteran Moneycorp we deem to be just as credible.