For many years, banks were the only way to transfer money overseas. The primary method used was wire transfer. This allowed banks to charge exorbitant fees, high fx conversion margins, and a whole bunch of hidden costs. Today however, the international money transfer market is flooded with options and sometimes choosing the right option in itself can be the tricky. In this article, we will compare a few popular international remittance alternatives and analyze it for you.
Western Union is one of the older and more credible players in the market. Western Union’s service allows you to send or receive money directly to another country – where the recipient can pick the cash in person. Cash collection from a centre is most commonly suited for individual needs, but for businesses which have high value transactions everyday, prefer transfers to their bank accounts.
Western Union definitely scores high on the number of countries they operate in. However they do not work on a flat fee approach. The charges are actually based on the amount transferred. When transferring large amounts, as businesses typically do, these charges can add up to an exorbitant amount. The fee is also linked to the method of payment (bank account/debit card/credit card). In addition, a bank to bank transfer through Western Union can take 3 to 5 business days which in today’s day and age is unacceptable for most businesses.
Transferwise was started with the intention of making international money transfers fast, transparent and easy on the pocket. A typical money transfer can take anywhere between 1 to 3 business days, and Transferwise allows you transfer money in 27 currencies. Currently they can transfer money to 50 countries, and only bank transfers are allowed. With Transferwise, for transferring an amount of USD 1000, the fees can go up to USD 10 but the fees vary from country to country. The breakup of their charges are listed transparently helping a customer understand exactly why they have been charged and what they have been charged. For current and precise pricing refer to the Transferwise website.
OFX takes between 1 to 3 business days to transfer your money, with charges based on the amount and the country to which the money is being sent. They also have a minimum transfer amount of $250/£100/€100. OFX only allows bank transfers and claim to help you save up to 70% of the bank transfer charges. They also have a mobile app through which you can track your transactions. They do not charge any fees for personal transactions.
REMITR is a fairly popular option for international money transfers. The reason for this is that they have some of the fastest turnaround times. Their international transfers to most countries only take 1 day.
They also allows you to automate payments with a custom API. In terms of charges, they’re the most competitive. Pricing structure by flat fees- ranging from $1 for transfers within Canada, $5 for payout in the receiving country local currency, and $10 for USD payouts. Regardless, of the amount you decide to transfer, the pricing structure will stay flat. You also gain access to a reach of 150+ countries. In addition, you have access to live exchange rates with no hidden fees!
So, when you compare all the options, REMITR seems to be one of the fastest, and most affordable. It’s very easy to set up, and offers you the option of integrating with an accounting/[payment management software. This option is very convenient for businesses and reduces steps while eliminating human error in your payment processes. Overall REMITR scores highest in terms of convenience speed and cost!