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Sokin Money Transfer Review

By 
Matt Di Vincere (Chief Editor)
Last Edited Nov 10, 2022

Should I use Sokin for money transfers?

Pros:

  • Free basic account allowing you to receive money
  • Flat £9.99 monthly subscription fee allowing unlimited fee-free transfers
  • Easy to use App
  • Payment card made from 86% recycled PVC
  • Spend with your card in 38 currencies
  • Payment Gateway - Accept Card Payments Online

Cons:

  • No client reviews
  • Only available in the UK & Europe for now
  • No Hedging Tools
  • Tech and payment infrastructure reliant on a number of external partners

Services Offered by Sokin

Send Money Abroad to a Bank Account  + 3

Official Website:

Sokin Review: Executive Summary

Sokin is a money transfer service that allows users to send and receive money using their smartphones. The service is available in over 200 countries and supports over 40 currencies. It is very similar in the way it works and how they make money to Revolut. If you need to make multiple payments every month, their paid plan is going to make it worth it. But if you only need to send remittances back home from time to time, you will be better served by using a company like Wise.
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Updated on Nov 10, 2022
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Not Top 10 Ranked

🏆 No Industry Awards

Where is Sokin Available?

Our Top Rated Sokin Alternatives

On Money Transfer Comparison, we have reviewed 80+ money transfer services, many of which could be considered a direct Sokin competitors. View our top rated Sokin money transfer alternatives that have higher ratings below:

Currencies Direct
  • 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
TorFX
  • 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
moneycorp
  • 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

2021 Launch: Sokin is the first money transfer provider to offer unlimited fee-free international transfers in return for a monthly subscription fee.

In this Sokin review, we look through the pros and cons of using this innovative money transfer company for both sending international payments overseas and receiving money from abroad. We run through the important aspects of the service, including the unique, subscription-fee, business model of Sokin and the impact this has on the fees and exchange rates a customer achieves. Read our Sokin review and learn if it’s a good fit for your personal or business requirements.


Is Sokin Safe?

Company size:

Founded in 2019 but not launching until the summer of 2021, Sokin is the first money transfer company to offer unlimited fee-free international transfers at the real exchange rate in return for a fixed monthly subscription fee of £9.99. It’s very similar to the concept offered by Revolut through its most premium metal plan (charged at £12.99 per month) although that allows for only 3 free same-currency international money transfers and international transfers which require a currency exchange can still incur a small payment fee. Sokin’s £9.99 monthly fee is set to allow unlimited same-currency international transfers with no fees and unlimited cross-currency transfers with no fees (i.e. no payment fees and no FX markup).

Sokin was founded by Vroon Modgill. A first-generation immigrant himself, Vroon was more than aware of how hard and cumbersome money exchange can be. With many family members opting for well-known brands, the process was often expensive and time-consuming. Hence Sokin was founded with the ambition of creating an open and transparent payments platform with a seamless user experience.

Along with Vroom, Sokin has a senior leadership team with plenty of experience in payments and financial services. The Chief Strategy Officer, Vidura Seneviratne, was previously Head of BARX FX at Barclays and the Chief Commercial Officer, Kaushik Sthankiya, was a former Senior Director at Visa.

One of the most interesting early investors in the concept is former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. Rio has thrown his support behind Sokin financially and has been the face of their early marketing campaigns.

The firm’s football connection doesn’t end there, with Sokin launching as the official payments partner to Arsenal FC, Fulham FC, Everton FC & Monaco FC. You will already see Sokin’s logo at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, regularly ticking over the club’s advertising boards. It’s certainly a bold marketing launch which suggests Sokin has taken a leaf out of Wise’s book, who themselves marketed very aggressively in their early days.

The company is headquartered in London and is in the process of opening local offices in a further 9 countries where they also seek regulatory approval. The service in the UK & Europe is provided through Currency Cloud, a payment solutions juggernaut in the B2B space, that provides the payment technology to a number of money transfer companies, including Revolut and SpartanFX. Operating since 2007, Currency Cloud provides secure infrastructure and invaluable experience to what is a very new startup in Sokin.


Regulated By:

Financial Conduct Authority (UK)

Central Bank of Netherlands (Europe)

FinCEN (USA)

Regulation pending with ASIC (Australia) & FINTRAC (Canada), in addition to licensing applications in Brazil, India, Mexico and Singapore.

Awards:

None

Conclusion:

Sokin appears to have put together a knowledgeable leadership team with specific experience in foreign exchange, digital payments and mobile currency wallets. Board members have previously held senior roles at major financial institutions including Barclays, Visa and Mastercard.

Its platform is powered by the technology of Currency Cloud who has been a market-leader in the B2B FX industry since 2007. On the one hand, we like the trusted technology Currency Cloud brings to this startup but on the flip side it’s worth pointing out that a lot of Sokin’s technology appears to be driven through external partnerships. Along with Currency Cloud, Sokin partners with Mastercard and plans to form many more partnerships in order to offer its services around the globe. Even though this is commonplace for tech startups of today, it’s worth bearing in mind that users are reliant on the tech of both Sokin and their technology partners. If something goes wrong, it’s not just down to the Sokin tech team to fix it. The quality of how well these tech integrations are managed will be important to Sokin’s future success.

Question marks have to be asked over the sustainability of the business model too. A £9.99 monthly fee could soon start to be dwarfed by rising costs if Sokin users are processing a number of payments a month. For example, when Revolut first launched it offered unlimited international payments at the interbank exchange rate for all users but it has had to levy more fees as the years have gone by and it is still yet to turn a profit (in 2021 Revolut made pre-tax losses of £207m).. With it still not being clear exactly how much Revolut makes from foreign exchange (its diversification into crypto and stock trading seems to be more profitable) it suggests it could be a long road ahead to profitability for Sokin. This high-stakes approach from Sokin will require significant customer growth if it is to garner the sort of VC interest which has helped to prop-up and propel the likes of Revolut and Wise.

All in all, Sokin has a genuinely unique offering, it has assembled an experienced leadership team and implemented tech which has been tried and trusted in the sector for many years. At this stage, however, there’s no getting past the fact that Sokin is a completely brand new service, has a high-risk revenue model and lacks a track record which provides the kind of credibility which would speak for itself. By comparison, industry veteran Western Union has been operating since 1851. Now that’s not to say Western Union does things particularly well, the service is expensive and often slow, but their operational capabilities and international footprint is vast. It gives an idea of the sort of competition Sokin is to encounter.

Sokin Customer Reviews

Research:

Early signs are not overly encouraging but it has to be said the number of Sokin reviews is just too limited at this stage to get any real feel for the quality of service it is offering users. As it stands, there are 134 Sokin reviews on the Google Play Store, reviewing the firm 4.0 / 5. And there are just 10 Sokin reviews on the App Store, netting the firm a very average 3.8 / 5 rating.

Only a handful of  the 138 Sokin reviews on Google Play leave comments but this does provide a small bit of insight as to the benefits and bugbears that users are experiencing.


Positive

Of those who left a comment with their review, one was positive and quoted:

  • “Easy and quick to transfer. Thanks.”
Negative

The negative comments made reference to: :

  • Not enough space to input the phone number for registration.
  • App not working

Sokin: Our Client Experience

Given the very limited number of customer reviews we could find online, we thought we’d give Sokin a try for ourselves.

Registering on android, it was easy enough to supply our basic details and gain access to the app. However, we soon encountered issues as we tried to verify our identity by uploading our ID – the upload functionality wasn’t working and repeated to show us the same error message. This meant that beyond browsing, we couldn’t actually use the app for any meaningful purpose like making or receiving a payment. We contacted the customer support to notify them of the issue and received no reply, we then sent two further follow-up emails which again remained unanswered. Months have now passed without a reply.


Conclusion:

There are now 148 reviews of Sokin as of October 2022 but given only a handful of customers left a comment, we can gather little insight into the money transfer provider from its existing users for now.

What we can say is that our own experience has been terrible. The app experienced a glitch with our ID upload and customer service has been non-existent. As one might expect, the app is also less polished than major players like Wise or Revolut, it’s a little bit clunky and navigation isn’t as intuitive.

Given the almost total absence of client reviews which have left a comment (which again is quite surprising now that the firm has nearly 150) it’s just too little information to rate Sokin with a client review score at this stage. We will monitor Sokin reviews throughout the rest of 2022 and beyond but it doesn’t look like the service has been picking up that well if we make judgement on this by the number of reviews.

Sokin Exchange Rates & Fees

  • ‘Market-beating’ FX Rates
  • No Commision Fees
  • No Payment Fees

There are a choice of two accounts with Sokin, basic (free) and premium (£9.99 / €9.99):

Sokin Basic (Free) Sokin Premium (£9.99 / €9.99)
  • Free when receiving money
  • Free virtual wallet
  • Free IBAN Account
  • Free virtual payment card
  • Free when receiving money
  • Free virtual wallet
  • Free IBAN Account
  • Free virtual payment card
  • 86% recycled Sokin debit card
  • Send money to 200+ countries
  • Exchange 38+ currencies
  • Priority customer support
  • Multiple payment methods
  • No limit on withdrawals to external bank account

 

Free users have no payment functionality when it comes to international transfers. They are permitted to generate ‘virtual payment cards’ i.e. card details which can be used for online purchases but these cannot be used physically in retail outlets.

Sokin premium users get access to a wide range of payment functionality, all with no cost (except the monthly fee).

Sokin vs Revolut Fees – Payment Comparison

RevolutSokin
Same-Currency PaymentsCross-Currency PaymentsSame-Currency PaymentsCross-Currency Payments
Basic Plan (Free)0.3% of transfer, capped at maximum £5Interbank rate up to to £1,000 traded – over this limit, currency traded is charged at 0.5%£4.99 fee£7.99 fee (no mention of currency exchange fee on basic plan)
Premium Sokin Plan (£9.99) / Metal Revolut Plan (£12.99)*3 free transfers, thereafter 0.3% of transfer, capped at maximum £5Unlimited exchange at interbank rate, though payment fee may applyUnlimited fee-free same-currency international transfersMarket-beating exchange rates** with no payment fees
Limit TypeFrequencyLimit
Max Single SpendPer Transaction£4,500
Max Annual Spend1 Year£22,500
Max Number POS TransactionsDaily20
Max Value POSDaily£1,350
Max Value POS4 Days£13,500
Max Number ATM TransactionsDaily5
Max Value ATMDaily£270
Max Value ATM4 Days£900

*Revolut also offers a ‘premium’ plan which sits between its ‘basic’ and ‘metal’ plan but for comparison purposes we are comparing Revolut’s most expensive plan with Sokin’s most expensive plan.

**The interbank rate is the exchange rate that banks trade currency with one another. It’s likely both Revolut and Sokin receive an exchange rate which is slightly worse than the interbank rate from their banking partners but their ‘wholesale rates’ will be very close to the interbank rate.

Sokin Exchange Rates: 

It’s not clear what exchange rate is applied for users on the basic Sokin plan.

Sokin used to advertise that when users opt for the premium plan they get the interbank exchange rate. However, now it simply states on sokin.com that users get ‘market-beating rates’ which are completely transparent. Whilst we don’t doubt that the rates will be made absolutely clear before making a trade and that Sokin’s rates will indeed be better than the majority of its competitors, we do note the subtle change of language on their site. This suggests the interbank rate model was not sustainable and Sokin is now having to take a small margin in order to balance the books.

Under Sokin’s exchange rate page they also make reference to the fact that users get the mastercard exchange rate when spending with their Sokin debit card overseas. However, the mastercard exchange rate has not been updated since January 2022, whilst the daily interbank rate continues to refresh each day. It then calculates incorrect and extremely large markups for using the Sokin debit card abroad. Other than acting as a deterrent to prospective customers who aren’t so clued in and just see the high fees without spotting they’re incorrect, it also leaves us with an unprofessional feeling as Sokin haven’t fixed the issue some nine months later.

Limits: 

No limits specified for international transfers, though card payments have limits of the following:

Limit TypeFrequencyLimit
Max Single SpendPer Transaction£4,500
Max Annual Spend1 Year£22,500
Max Number POS TransactionsDaily20
Max Value POSDaily£1,350
Max Value POS4 Days£13,500
Max Number ATM TransactionsDaily5
Max Value ATMDaily£270
Max Value ATM4 Days£900

Conclusion:

By providing cheap money transfers, digital bank accounts and a debit card, Sokin’s solution is most similar to that of Revolut & Wise. Wise prices itself differently as it charges no monthly fees but rather a transparent payment fee which is usually around 0.5% of the transfer (one of the cheapest ways to send money internationally). Revolut has the most similar pricing to Sokin, in that it offers both a basic free account and a premium pay-monthly account. Under its original promise on launch, unlimited transfers with no fee or no FX markup for £9.99 a month, Sokin would have proved even cheaper than Wise and Revolut for customers who have a regular requirement to send money overseas (for comparison a 0.5% fee on a trade of £1,000 with Wise would cost £5).. The idea of unlimited transfers at the real exchange rate, with no payment fees, was simply unheard of until Sokin launched.

However, we spoke of the serious question marks as to how sustainable the pricing model would be and it looks like Sokin has had to adjust their model and apply a small FX markup. Fees for other services through Sokin may have to follow suit too. For example, we’ve seen virtually all digital banks (including Revolut) having to bring in ATM fees given the high costs they incur from international banks themselves. As it stands, Sokin charges absolutely zero ATM fees for its premium users. If premium users are drawing cash out frequently overseas, it will certainly prove costly to Sokin.

Sokin Global Reach & Service

Research:

  • Dedicated Dealer: No
  • Offices: UK & Europe (more to follow)
  • Ways to approach: Online chat and email
  • Translations: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Accepts clients: UK and Europe (licences pending in many more territories)
  • Currencies Handled: 38
  • Client reviews: N/A

The Sokin payment card can be used anywhere in the world that accepts Mastercard – literally millions of merchants across hundreds of countries.

International payments, powered by Currency Cloud, can be made in 38 currencies to over 200 countries.

Sokin is currently available to individuals and businesses in the UK & Europe, though it has ambitious plans to launch in a number of other markets around the world, including some which are notoriously difficult to attain licensing, such as Brazil. A complete list of countries Sokin is aiming to launch is as follows:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Singapore
  • US

Within the last 12 months, Sokin has been busy translating the website into a number of European languages. This is definitely a positive move and shows the firm is trying to make it as easy as possible for European users to get started. Given the proactiveness here, it does make us wonder why things like the exchange rate page remain faulty and outdated.


Conclusion:

By launching in the UK & Europe, Sokin is having to adhere to some of the most stringent regulatory requirements across the globe, so it sets a good precedent for its licensing applications in other countries. Local state approval in each US state is surely going to be cumbersome and will require significant time-investment from a compliance perspective. Perhaps Sokin will look to target other markets before it fully launches in the US. Based on interviews with CEO Vroon Modgill, Asia seems to be a prime focus for Sokin with the belief that transfers to/from this region are just too cumbersome as things stand.

There are no dedicated currency dealers assisting clients but this makes perfect sense considering the digital focus of the company. Whether clients are trading vast sums or smaller remittance flows, it makes no difference to Sokin – every user should get the same slick digital experience in return for a fixed monthly fee. The website is now available in five different languages which is more than many long-standing money transfer companies who also operate in Europe choose to do.

Additional Functionalities

App:

A completely app-based solution for personal customers, with business customers also able to register online.

Users can make payments and manage their digital bank accounts all through the Sokin app. It has minimal reviews as yet and early signs are not particularly encouraging. A 3.8 / 5 rating on the App store and 4.0 / 5 on Google Play. Our own experience with the app was also poor.

Digital Bank Accounts

Users can generate IBANs in a number of currencies and receive international payments from all over the world. Hold balances, convert currency between accounts and make withdrawals to your domestic bank. Easy to manage through the Sokin app.

Sokin Payment Card

The Sokin payment card is made from over 86% recycled PVC. Powered by Mastercard, users can spend from their Sokin digital account balances wherever Mastercard is accepted around the world.

Sokin Pay

In a rather unique move for a bank-to-bank money transfer company, Sokin has launched Sokin Pay, an online payment gateway that allows business customers to accept card payments online. The only other providers we know to do this are Revolut and Genome. They also advertise that funds will be available to merchants immediately after purchase; any day or time, including weekends and holidays. We’re a little surprised by this as it usually takes two days for funds to clear the merchant channel. Iit would be worth confirming this with Sokin if you plan on using Sokin Pay.

Sokin Money Transfer Review

Sokin Review: Grand Summary

Sokin Money Transfer is a unique money transfer offering. In return for a £9.99 fixed monthly fee, users can access ‘market-beating rates’ and fee-free international transfers. Within a year, it looks like the firm has had to alter its pricing strategy and can no longer honour its original promise that customers could access the interbank rate.

Aside from that, the partnership with Currency Cloud provides reassurance to us that Sokin has reliable payment infrastructure and with board members who used to run the digital FX trading platform at Barclays (Barx FX) it suggests the senior leadership team has the required know-how to drive an international payment business forward. As well as understanding the different risk factors a foreign exchange business faces. With that being said, Sokin is still relatively new to the scene, it has some issues with its site and customer service model which give the impression of being unprofessional and the company is certainly lacking the sort of customer reviews we like to see before making a firm recommendation. We’re also surprused they haven’t amassed more reviews now that they launched over a year ago. Individuals who have frequent money transfer requirements and are prepared to give a new concept a go, will be attracted to Sokin.