Should I Use Small World Money Transfer?
Services Offered by Small World Money Transfer
Small World Money Transfer Review: Executive SummarySmall World Money Transfer, established in 2005, offers a variety of remittance services, catering to a diverse range of global destinations. While they have a broad spectrum of offerings, from bank-to-bank transfers to unique services like home delivery of cash, their mobile application has been noted for occasional crashes, leading to mixed reviews. The longstanding presence in the industry suggests reliability, but potential users might be cautious of technical glitches. All in all, Small World provides a range of services, but those prioritizing a seamless digital experience might want to explore better options.
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This review of Small World Money Transfer will delve into both the good and the bad of using this remittance firm to send money home. Through in-depth research, we present the fees and exchange rates offered by Small World Money Transfer, the payment routes and destinations covered, and the ways in which you can make a payment. We’ll provide a recommendation based on what existing clients have had to say about their experience, combined with our expert comparison of their competitors. Read our Small World Money Transfer review and see if they’re a good fit for your requirements.
Is Small World Safe?
Small World Money Transfer (registered name Small World Financial Services Group Limited / FCA no. 504482) is an online-focused remittance provider, allowing clients to register from the UK, Europe, USA and, quite uniquely, Brazil.
Interestingly, the company was launched in 2005 by the current CEO Nick Day and Michael Kent, the 2012 founder and Executive Chairman of Azimo, one of Europe’s leading remittance companies. Michael was with the Small World Financial Services Group for seven years from 2005 – 2012, prior to launching Azimo by himself. Unsurprisingly, the services offered by Small World are highly similar in nature to Azimo and other remittance firms like WorldRemit and Remitly. Small World’s CEO, Nick Day, won “Money Transfer Service CEO of the Year” at CEO Monthly’s 2018 CEO of the Year Awards.
From humble beginnings, Small World has developed a strong global presence to become one of the leading challenger fintechs to an industry long dominated by slow and cumbersome multinational banks and high-fee, poor service companies like Western Union and Moneygram. Since inception, the firm has facilitated over 15 million transactions and continues to process over a million transfers each and every year.
The company’s vision is clear – to be their customer’s favourite choice for their global payment needs. As their name suggests, the firm is focused “on making a big world small”. Put simply, they believe that the more people they can assist with reaching family, friends and businesses overseas with money, the smaller the world will become. Small World puts the customer at the heart of everything it does, as it strives to constantly improve the services offered.
Like most of the successful remittance providers in existence today, the company is constantly trying to leverage new technology and new payment networks to meet the demands of their existing clients and expand into new territories around the globe. This involves joining direct payment schemes in India and South America so transfers which traditionally take days, take only a matter of minutes or hours. Small World has focused on a number of deep technical integrations with partner financial institutions, exchanging data over APIs, to enable instant transaction flows and better payment processing.
Nowadays, Small World Money Transfers can deliver money to over 190 countries (90 almost instantly), has a network of over 250,000 pick up locations, and a team of 1000 people (including payment partners and agents).
The firm is committed to being a net zero organisation and to offset their carbon emissions, Small World plants trees to help reforestation projects in Choco, Colombia.
✓ Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
✓ FinCEN (USA)
✓ 20 US States where Small World Operates
CEO Monthly – Money Transfer Service CEO of the Year, Nick Day – 2018
Considering WorldRemit was established in 2010, Remitly in 2011 and Azimo in 2012, it’s fair to say Small World Money Transfer is a relatively long-standing player in international remittances. Whilst it hasn’t quite grown at the same pace as these firms, Small World has plenty of experience when it comes to remitting money home.
To date, they’ve helped millions of migrants send money to loved ones and they continue to handle over one million transactions a year. The firm adheres to all necessary regulations and has developed a trusted brand over a long period of time. Small World Money Transfer is definitely safe to use. Whether it’s the best option based on cost and speed is another matter.
Small World Client Reviews
Small World has a large number of reviews across three leading platforms. On TrustPilot, there are 26,632 Small World Money Transfer reviews, on the Google Play store there are 7,034 and on the App store there are 1,817 reviews of Small World. This is a significant sample and considerably more reviews than specialist currency brokers get, but it lags behind other remittance competitors in this space. OrbitRemit, which is still relatively new, has 28,000+ TrustPilot reviews, whilst Remitly has hundreds of thousands of reviews on the Google Play and App store.
Small World Money Transfer reviews are a mixed bag – the firm scores 4.3 / 5 on TrustPilot, and an impressive 4.5 / 5 on the App store, but worst of all, the firm scores a low 3.8 / 5 on the Google Play Store. The sample size is also nearly five times larger on Android than it is on Apple too.
Whilst the scores aren’t bad, they’re behind the online-focused Wise who are rated 4.6 / 5 on TrustPilot, and the more tailored bank-to-bank offering by Currencies Direct who net a very strong 4.9 / 5 on Trustpilot.
85% of Small World Money Transfer reviews on TrustPilot are positive, highlighting these good aspects about the service:
- Simple to execute operations in the app
- Competitive rates (by remittance standards)
- Generally, excellent customer service
- It’s easy and money gets to where it should
With 11% of Small World Money Transfer reviews marking the service as either ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ it’s worth highlighting the theme in these reviews too:
- Long delays to money reaching the intended recipient
- A small handful reporting poor customer service
- A lot of information is required to register at first
- A number of reports of app crashing
Roughly four out of five client reviews of Small World are positive, with the remaining reviews either rating the service as average or bad.
The positive reviews attest to the fact that Small World Money Transfer is a secure provider that can be relied on. For the majority of customers, payments are seamless, the app works just fine, and customer service is responsive and helpful.
There are, however, a higher proportion of negative Small World Money Transfer reviews than what we usually find with competitors in this space. The overwhelming majority of these bad reviews relate to the speed at which the payment is delivered. It’s difficult to know if the delays are caused by Small World, or their payment partners around the world. When sending money for cash collection, it could be due to the agents they work with. On the whole, payments to the Philippines and India appear to go through quickly, whilst some South American countries seem to be mixed. Some users are reporting fast payments to Venezuela, whilst others are highlighting payments to Venezuela as being slow. We can’t say for sure where the problem lies, however, we do know from our experience that despite this being a common complaint in the industry, Small World seems to be getting more complaints in this area than most. Some of the other negative reviews of Small World Money Transfer relate to lengthy onboarding times which we think is a little harsh – most users understand this is a financial services company that has to complete the required due diligence of its customers to ensure they are abiding to anti-money laundering and sanctions regulations.
A 3.8 / 5 review score on Google Play is also rather poor. A number of google app users complain of a constantly crashing app and a payment tracking system which doesn’t work. Online support is also slow to respond.
Small World Rates & Fees
Payment fees with Small World 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 using the price calculator on smallworldfs.com to get an understanding of both the payment fee and exchange rate ahead of making a transfer. For small transfers (which is the predominant use of the service) the fees are pretty reasonable.
For instance, a £100 transfer to India incurs a £1.99 fee, whilst a £1,000 transfer incurs a £2.99 fee. Where the fee gets expensive is when Small World switches the payment fee from a fixed amount to a percentage. For larger payments to India, it suggests fees are taken as a % of the overall transfer. For example a £40,000 transfer to the Dominican Republic would incur a £200 fee which is completely unreasonable. By comparison, a company like TorFX charges no payment fees for private clients of any of the payment corridors it serves.
A payment to Brazil will incur a fee of £2.99, regardless of whether £100 or £50,000 is sent. This is why it’s always worth checking payment fees ahead of making a payment. These sort of fees are highly similar to other remittance providers like WorldRemit and Ria Money Transfer.
Exchange Rates are hard to determine as they’re not completely transparent. Small World clearly publishes the exchange rate a customer will be able to trade at but they don’t specify the % difference to the actual, or interbank, exchange rate at the time.
At the time of writing, the GBPUSD interbank rate is 1.2740 and Small World Money Transfer is offering an exchange rate of 1.2607. Thus, we can estimate the exchange rate margin applied by Small World to be around 1.1% on the transfer. Considering only £100 is being sent, this is a very fair exchange rate margin and better than the majority of remittance companies. It is, however, a worse exchange rate than that offered by CurrencyFair and Wise.
There is no minimum amount and there are no maximum payment limits specified if you’re funding the trade via bank transfer. You may, however, be asked to prove the source of the funds for larger amounts. The following limits apply to payments funded via debit card:
- GBP – 2.000 per transaction
- EUR – 2.000 per transaction
- NOK – 20.000 per transaction
- SEK – 22.000 per transaction
- DKK – 18.000 per transaction
- BRL – 8.000 per transaction
- CHF – 2.000 per transaction
- USD – 2.000 per transaction
The exchange rate margin applied by Small World is very good by remittance standards and beats the rate that can be achieved by most other remittance companies. It’s better than companies like Ria and Remitly, similar to Azimo (not surprising given the Azimo founder also founded Small World), but more expensive than CurrencyFair and Wise. Though it should be noted, these two firms allow for online transfers only and do not provide cash delivery. So if you’re looking to arrange a cash pickup, Small World Money Transfer offers some of the best exchange rates.
The payment fees are generally pretty good and not much different to the rest of the remittance market. The fact there are no maximum payment limits is a definite plus as most other remittance firms do cap the amount that can be sent. The only concern is when payment fees are charged as a % on larger transfers to certain destinations. If that happens to be a corridor you’re looking to send a large payment, we’d suggest using an alternative provider. In any case, for large amounts, we recommend using a currency broker for a variety of reasons anyway.
Global Reach & Services
- Dedicated Dealer: No, but can arrange payments over the phone.
- Offices: London (UK) + 13 London branches for customers to arrange payments in-person.
- Ways to approach: Online Chat, App, Email, Telephone.
- Translations: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch.
- Accepts clients: US, UK, Europe, Brazil (22 countries in total).
- Currencies Handled: 100+ currencies to 190 countries.
- Client reviews: Generally positive about the service they received.
The countries in which they accept clients are somewhat limited (less onboarding capabilities than WorldRemit) but the ability to onboard customers from Brazil is definitely unique and provides a great option for those sending money from Brazil.
There is an impressive number of website translations and Small World T&C’s are available in a variety of languages. The Small World team is said to speak up to 40 different languages so there should be somebody on hand in your local language. The fact you can arrange payments over the phone is definitely unique to Small World too, as virtually all other remittance firms force users to arrange payments either online or via the app.
However, even though the company is represented in a number of countries around the world, the only physical office location of Small World is in the UK, so things like the online chat functionality are only available during UK working hours.
You can only make spot transfers.
No offering , purely for individuals sending small remittance flows.
Well reviewed on the App store at 4.5 / 5 but a big drop off to 3.8 / 5 on Android. The app offers all the functionality that Small World provides – customers can arrange bank transfers, airtime top up and even cash pickup/home delivery.
The google app appears to crash regularly, leading to a number of 1* reviews.
Small World Money Transfer offers all of the services a top remittance provider should. It facilitates bank-to-bank transfers, payments to a debit card/mobile, cash pickup, and in some cases, even home delivery of cash.
By our usual rating standards, however, there is no hedging functionality or tools that customers can utilise in order to better manage their exposure to the currency markets. This is the same with any remittance company – they’re great at remitting money to remote destinations but don’t provide a great degree of flexibility for customers or businesses who have regular requirements to send or receive large amounts of foreign currency.
Small World Money Transfer Review
Established in 2005, Small World Money Transfer has a long track record of successfully helping customers send money home to loved ones. The Small World Money Transfer app regularly crashes on users, leading to poor reviews on the Google Play Store, and it is certainly not deemed one of the best money transfer apps currently on the market.
On the plus side, customers can arrange transfers over the phone. This is not very common for remittance companies who specialise in low-value transfers to a wide number of countries. The exchange rates are also pretty good by remittance standards, although there are a number of customer complaints about long delays to their transfers.