Remitly Review: Leader in Online Remittances

This Remitly review will showcase both the good and the bad of using the remittance provider to send money home. With thorough research, we present the fees and exchange rates offered by Remitly, the different ways Remitly can transfer money abroad and the payment routes and destinations Remitly covers. We’ll provide a recommendation based on what existing clients have had to say about their experience with Remitly, combined with our expert comparison of Remitly competitors.

📝 Remtly isn’t of the best money transfer companies on Money Transfer Comparison January 2022 list, based on its editorial ranking. Want to find other options? take a look at Remtly recommended alternatives here.

Logo
🏛️ Established2011
🌎 International Clients  USA/UK/ Europe/ Australia/ Canada/Singapore
💱 Currencies Offered65 currencies, send to over 120 countries
💷 Minimum Transfer

No minimum

Maximum varies depending on sending and receiving country

📲 Trading viaMobile App, Website
🏢 Offices In

Seattle, Washington (US, HQ)

Spokane, Washington (US)

Manga (Nicaragua)

Cork (Ireland)

London (UK)

Krakow (Poland)

Singapore

Manila (Philippines)

⚖️ Regulation

Financial Conduct Authority (UK)

FINTRAC (Canada)

FinCEN (USA)

AUSTRAC (Australia)

🤯 FeesVaries depending on location, currency and one of two payment types selected; express payments or economy payments (more on these in our detailed fee section).
Promotional CodeNone
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Client Reviews

Over 33,000 reviews on leading review platform site TrustPilot.

265,000 reviews on Google Play Store.

Colossal 566,000 reviews on Apple App Store

⭐ Client Rating

4.3 / 5 (Trustpilot)

4.8 / 5 (Google Play)

4.9 / 5 (App Store)

Websitehttps://remtly.com/
🏆 AwardsTechnology Pioneer – World Economic Forum (2019)
👍 Advantages
  • Send bank-to-bank, cash pickup and even door-to-door cash delivery in some countries
  • Money back guarantee
  • Strong set of cultural values
  • Well-reviewed app from thousands of reviews
  • Transparent payment fees
👎 Disadvantages
  • Seems to be more negative reviews left recently than in the past
  • Extensive KYC required to increase spending limits
  • Not suitable for large transfers: no phone trading, no dedicated dealers, no hedging functionality and so forth
  • Customer service not informed, just relaying information
  • Significant delays to transfers

View Recommended Alternatives:

You can find top 3 Remitly competitors for bank to bank transfers:

UK EU Currencies Direct: Best Overall for International Money Transfers
Headquarters:
1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AA, UK
97.8% Editorial rating
5,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / $100 or equivalent - Send From: UK, Europe, US, Canada, South Africa, India
Why Them?
  • #1 Rating on MTC for the Past 2 Years - Tailored to Larger Transfers with Excellent Phone Service
  • No Fees on any Transfers, Ever
  • Very Friendly Online Platform
+Read more
Australia UK EU USA New Zealand OFX: The Publicly-Traded Money Transfer Company from Down Under
Headquarters:
Level 19, 60 Margaret St, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
90.4% Editorial rating
4,500 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£100 / €100 / $100 or equivalent, Send From: Australia, New Zealand, UK, Europe, US, Canada
Why Them?
  • Excellent Reach - Transfer to Any Country
  • Excellent Online System, Easy to Understand and Use
  • 24/7 Support Wherever You Are on The Globe (Unique Perk)
+Read more
EU UK USA Australia Wise (Previously TransferWise): Valued at £10bn
Headquarters:
17 Avenue Marnix, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
86.8% Editorial rating
124,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
No Minimum- Send From: UK, Europe, US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand
Why Them?
  • Largest Money Transfer Provider of its Kind
  • Fees for Most Routes under £1
  • Fully-Online Journey
+Read more
EU UK USA Australia One of the Hottest Money Transfer Startups
Headquarters:
Colm House, 91 Pembroke Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland
86.8% Editorial rating
5,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
No Minimum - Send From: UK, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore
Why Them?
  • No Fees on GBP payments, EUR Charged at €3
  • Very Low Margins, Down To 0.33%
  • Great Reputation And Client Reactions
+Read more
UK Netherlands Azimo: Fees from £0.99, 4.6/5 on TrustPilot
Headquarters:
Milton Keynes Buiness Centre Foxhunter Drive, Suite 140 Milton Keynes, MK14 6GD United Kingdom
77.0% Editorial rating
51,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
£1
Why Them?
  • Very well known
  • Good online system
  • Tight margins
+Read more
UK Germnay Turkey TransferGo: Rated 4.8 / 5 from over 22,000 reviews
Headquarters:
241 Southwark Bridge Rd, SE1 6FP, London, United Kingdom
72.0% Editorial rating
22,000 Client Reviews
Minimum transfer:
No Minimum, Remit from UK and Europe to over 65 destinations.
Why Them?
  • ltilingual Support Team
  • Excellent Client Feedback
  • Over 2.5 million Customers to Date
+Read more

Our Rating: 78%

Status: Not In MTC’s Most Recommended List

“Now a publicly traded company, Remitly has enjoyed fantastic growth over its 10 years of existence. Great app which works well when transfers go smoothly but poorly reviewed customer service when a payment goes wrong or more information is required in order to process it. ”

Read full review

 

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Company Information and Credibility


Company size:

As a tech-focused remittance provider, Remitly is highly similar in nature to WorldRemit and the now PayPal owned Xoom. Like WorldRemit and Xoom, Remitly has tried to bring a fresh, mobile friendly approach to the way migrants  remit money home. Going by existing client reviews, Remitly arguably adopts this mobile-friendly approach the best.

To a slightly lesser extent, Remitly is also similar to the services provided by Wise (formerly Transferwise) and CurrencyFair. If it’s specifically a bank-to bank transfer you’re after then we’d certainly recommend looking at Wise and Currencyfair as viable Remitly alternatives. Both firms have transparent FX spreads as well as payment fees. Whereas Remitly clearly advertises their payment fees, but does not specify their exchange rate spreads (it’s often in the FX spread where most money is lost/made on a transfer).

Established in 2011, Remitly is a remittance provider with a bold vision to “transform the lives of immigrants and their families by providing the most trusted financial service products on the planet”. Remilty seeks to help the millions of immigrants around the world who make a big sacrifice in leaving their families behind to work in another country. They know that by providing a fair and affordable service that their customers’ hard-earned money can stretch farther and more makes it to their loved ones safely.

Remitly’s values and guiding principles are not just some PR stunt either – it’s clear they take their social objectives importantly. This is demonstrated by Remitly CEO Matt Openheimer testifying to the US congress (pages 7-8) on the devastating impact a proposed ‘2% remittance tax’ would have on migrants. As well as Remitly’s ongoing commitment to its own charitable initiatives which has seen the firm join the ‘Pledge 1%’ scheme, alongside tech giants like Salesforce and DocuSign. Committing not only 1% of current profit to support nonprofits in the community but 1% of all future profits that Remitly earns too.

Remitly offers international transfers with a variety of ways to withdraw or deposit money, including bank deposit, cash pickup from over 180,00 locations, mobile transfer and even home delivery. Users get the choice between ‘express’ payment for faster delivery or ‘economy’ for a slower but lower-cost transfer. Their mobile focus has revolutionised how easily migrants can send money home and has been a huge part of Remitly’s success.

Remitly’s success has seen the firm attract over $420m in VC funding and even led to an IPO in September 2021. Joining the likes of Wise and OFX as new-age money transfer companies to become publicly traded.

Regulated by:

✓ Financial Conduct Authority (UK)

✓ FINTRAC (Canada)

✓ FinCEN (USA)

✓ AUSTRAC (Australia)

Awards:

Technology Pioneer – World Economic Forum (2019)


Conclusion:

Remitly has been built on solid corporate values and an ambition to lower the cost of international transfers for migrants all over the world. To date, they’ve helped literally millions of migrants send money back to loved ones at home. Nowadays, the firm transfers over $6 billion worth of migrant flows every year.

The fact they recently IPO’d will only lead to greater transparency in investor relations and financial performance. In this regard, Remitly is definitely deemed a safe and credible option for remittance flows. Winning an award with the World Economic Forum is definitely rare in the industry too and isn’t something any other remittance provider can claim.

Client Feedback


Research:

The mobile nature of Remitly’s offering is evident, as can easily be seen by the huge swaths of app store ratings the firm has received. To put it into context, there are just over 33,000 Remitly reviews on Trustpilot compared to Azimo’s 51,000 reviews, but Remily enjoys 25-fold the amount of App store reviews – 566,000 compared to Azimo’s 22,500. Remily also has over 265,000 Google Play store reviews.

The Remitly app has received exceptional reviews, netting a 4.8 / 5 score on Google Play and 4.9 / 5 on the App store.

Where, Remitly falters is with its Trustpilot review score. At 4.3 / 5 this certainly isn’t bad but it’s behind the digital-focused Wise who scores 4.6 / 5 and comfortably behind more tailored bank-to-bank offerings like Currencies Direct who net a very impressive 4.9 / 5 on Trustpilot.


89% of Remitly reviews are positive on Trustpilot, highlighting many good aspects about the service:
Positive:

  • Never any glitches on the app
  • Seamless user experience
  • Transactions are quick
  • Easy to use

With 2% of Remitly reviews marking the service as average, it leaves 9% of reviews as complaints:
Negative:

  • Very slow at getting money back if something is wrong with the payment (sometimes weeks)
  • Poor customer service that is difficult to reach
  • Limited to three transfers per week
  • Constantly asking for KYC for transfers, causing excessive delays

Conclusion:

The majority of client reviews are highly positive, hailing the company for plenty of reasons concerning currency transfers. When payments work smoothly via the app it’s a very hassle-free experience. The Remitly app has a tremendous number of positive reviews. More than virtually any other provider on the market.

There are meaningful complaints about the company on Trustpilot though, where the firm’s score has reduced from 4.8 / 5 to 4.3 / 5. Towards the later end of 2021, the proportion of negative reviews that Remily received also appeared to be much higher than before. Virtually all of these are from clients who believe their money has been stolen or is taking forever to be returned. As Remily works with a huge number of countries (usually developing nations), a lot of the time the money is stuck with one of Remitly’s local partners or correspondent banks. This is more of an issue to do with outdated payment systems, as opposed to Remitly themselves. However, saying that, areas that Remitly can control, such as a timely response through customer service with a knowledgeable customer support team, does seem to be lacking.

Exchange Rate & Fees


Fees:

Fees vary depending on the sending and receiving country, the currency in which the payment is sent and the payment method selected. It’s well worth utilising Remitly’s site to calculate payment fees ahead of making a transfer. Whilst most fees are fairly reasonable, there are some questionably high fees for certain routes (such as sending USD to Vietnam). As a predominantly US-focused provider, we highlight fees for a sample of US transfers here:

Express Payment – Convert to Local CurrencyEconomy Payment – Convert to Local CurrencyExpress Payment – USD to USDEconomy Payment – USD to USD
Mexico$0 > $500, $3.99 < $500$0 > $500, $3.99 < $500N/AN/A
Philippines$3.99 ($0 if payment > $1000)$0$9.99 – $93.99 (depending on size of payment)$6.99 – $37.99 (depending on size of payment)
India$3.99 ($0 if payment > $1000)$3.99 ($0 if payment > $1000)N/AN/A
Israel$5.99$4.99$7.99 – $21.99 (depending on size of payment)$6.99 – $20.99 (depending on size of payment)
Vietnam$4.99$1.99$4.99 – $94.99 (depending on size of payment)$2.99 – 9.99 (depending on size of payment)

Exchange Rates:

Exchange Rates are hard to determine as they’re not completely transparent. Remilty will clearly publish the rate a customer can achieve ahead of making a currency exchange but they won’t specify the % difference this is to the actual, or interbank, exchange rate at the time. The Remitly welcome offer grants customers a preferential exchange rate for their first three transfers, each transfer up to $500. So if we look at a $1000 transfer from the US to Philippines as an example (USD/PHP), the Remitly calculator tells us the following:

An introductory rate of $1 to 52 PHP is even better than the actual USDPHP exchange rate at the time of writing of $1 to 50.83 PHP (11/10/21). Suggesting Remitly will actually make a loss on its introductory rate. Given that the introductory rate applies to only the first $500, the calculator then goes on to tell us the normal trading rate which would apply as standard and to the remaining $500 of this transfer. A rate of $1 to 49.33 PHP.

Given we have both the proposed standard rate of 49.33 PHP to the dollar and the interbank rate of 50.83 PHP to the dollar we can calculate the exchange rate margin. Coming in at 3%, this is higher than CEO Matt Openheimer’s target to offer currency exchange at under 2% of the transfer. It’s also a rate much more akin to a bank than a new-age tech focused payment provider. Wise, for example, charges 0.53% on a $1000 USD to PHP transfer.

Limits:

No minimum amount but there is a cap of three transfers per week and a maximum amount which can be sent but this varies depending on the country you’re registering from and where you’re sending money to. In order to send more than this limit, you’ll have to explain to Remitly the purpose of the transaction and potentially provide further documentation.

Conclusion:

We like that Remitly has two payment types – economy and express – providing choice between a cheaper and longer transfer or a faster more costly one. Although it’s worth checking fees for both payment types and not just assuming the express payment will be more expensive. Across a number of currencies, such as MXN and IDR, the fees for economy and express are exactly the same. Fees are perhaps a bit higher than other money transfer companies but are likely to reflect the higher fees Remitly encounters themselves by operating in the US.

Exchange rate spreads seem high at 3% but it was just one sample and may not be reflective of all currency pairings. CEO Matt Openheimer has been on the record saying Remitly aims to conduct its currency transfers under 2%, which isn’t bad given the territories Remitly can get your money to, but still higher than the likes of Wise and CurrencyFair.

The process to increase payment limits seems a little convoluted based on client feedback and may prove a hindrance to those looking to make transfers more than three times a week or transfer large sums. Some uk currency brokers, such as Currencies Direct, have absolutely no maximum limits, whether it’s an outbound transfer from UK or international money transfers from USA.

Global Reach & Service


Research:

  • Dedicated Dealer: No.
  • Offices: Seattle, Washington (US, HQ), Spokane, Washington (US), Manga (Nicaragua), Cork (Ireland) London (UK), Krakow (Poland), Singapore, Manila (Philippines)
  • Ways to approach: Online Chat, Email, Telephone.
  • Translations: French, Spanish, Portuguese.
  • Accepts clients: US, UK, Europe, Australia and Canada.
  • Currencies Handled: 65 currencies to 125 countries.
  • Client reviews: Generally positive about the service they received.

Conclusion:

Remitly provides what we regard as a true remittance solution. It covers most of the major remittance corridors around the world, allowing transfers to over 125 countries. A little behind WorldRemit’s 130 and truly lagging behind Azimo’s 198 but an extensive footprint nonetheless.

One slight limitation is the countries Remitly can send from. Its onboarding capabilities are pretty extensive (UK, EU, US, Canada and Australian residents can all register) but users from Africa or Asia will have more luck with WorldRemit.

Remitly’s cash pickup locator is pretty nifty, allowing users to check there is a cash pickup point close to their family and friends whom they are sending money to. As it stands, the locator is limited to just Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico and Philippines for now. Although that’s not to say cash pickup is not available in other countries – Remitly works with over 180,000 agents around the world.

Additional Functionalities

Hedging:

  • None.

You can only make spot transfers.

For Business:

No offering , purely for individuals sending small remittance flows.

App:

Easily the strongest element of Remitly’s service. Excellent user experience with all the functionality required to make it easy to transfer money on the go or from the comfort of your home. It’s rated 4.8 stars out of 5 in the Google Play store and receives an even higher 4.9 out of 5 on the App store. Considering there are over 800,000 Remitly reviews across both review platforms it’s a truly staggering performance. Not common for money transfer apps either as most usually quite poorly reviewed.

Conclusion:

There are few additional features but Remitly covers everything that a top remittance provider should. It offers bank-to-bank transfers, payments to a debit card/mobile, cash pickup and in some cases even door-to-door cash delivery. No hedging functionality and no business offering but for individuals looking for an easy-to-use mobile app, Remitly has one of the best.

Remitly Review
78%
78 of 100 1 review
  • Credibility Score - 92%
    92%
  • Client Feedback - 88%
    88%
  • Fees, Exchange Rates - 73%
    73%
  • Global Reach, Availability, Service - 71%
    71%
  • Added Values - 66%
    66%

Bottom Line

Remitly is one of the fastest growing ‘new-age’ remittance providers in existence today. In fact, the firm has been on such a growth trajectory that it recently went public on the NASDAQ in September 2021. The focus of the firm has always been to democratise money transfers and make them super-accessible to migrants by being able to make transfers at just the click of a few buttons on their mobile. In this regard, they’ve succeeded. The Remitly app is just about the best money transfer app there is today.

On the other hand, there seems to be a greater number of negative Remitly reviews left on Trustpilot than ever before. Reviews almost always complain that customer service is slow and the team installs no confidence that their money is either safely on its way to the recipient or due to be returned to their Remitly account shortly. Exchange rate spreads also appear to be quite high and we’re confident there are cheaper remittance companies available on the market.