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WorldRemit vs Sendwave

Which service to choose to get better exchange rates, lower fees and faster international money transfers.

Sendwave is a smartphone app designed to offer quick and affordable money transfers to Africa, while WorldRemit is an online transfer service that allows you to send funds to more than 140 countries.

How do the two companies compare and which one offers better value for money? To find out, let’s compare WorldRemit and Sendwave in terms of fees, exchange rates and transfer times.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 11 February 2019.

Name Product Offer Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Sendwave
Within an hour
$1
Sendwave is a fee-free way to send money to Africa in about 30 seconds.
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Which has lower fees?

WorldRemit

WorldRemit’s transfer fees vary depending on where you’re sending money, how much you’re transferring and the type of transfer you send. Bank transfers incur a $3.99 fee in many cases. However, because there are several variables that can affect the fee you’ll have to pay, make sure to use WorldRemit’s online calculator to work out the total cost of your specific transaction.

Sendwave

Sendwave does not charge any fees on international money transfers and instead makes money by offering an exchange rate that’s lower than the mid-market rate.

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Winner: Sendwave

The absence of transaction fees makes Sendwave the winner in this category.

However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Sendwave offers cheaper transfers, as you’ll also need to consider the exchange rate on offer when comparing the two services.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $500 to Nigeria

Let’s take a closer look at how WorldRemit and Sendwave compare in a hypothetical example of transferring $500 to Nigeria.

Sending $500 to Nigeria
WorldRemitSendwave
Transfer fee$12.99$0
Transaction cost$512.99$500
Exchange rate$1 CAD = 267.77 NGN$1 CAD = 271.02 NGN
Transfer speedInstantInstant
Total received (in NGN)133,885 NGN135,510 NGN

As you can see, Sendwave’s slightly higher exchange rate means that your recipient will get an extra 1625 NGN (approx $6) and you’ll save $12.99 on fees.

Which offers better exchange rates?

WorldRemit

The exchange rate WorldRemit gives you when you send money overseas is different to the mid-market rate listed on Google. This is because WorldRemit, like many other transfer providers, makes money on the margin, which is the difference between the exchange rate at which they buy and sell currency. WorldRemit’s margin differs across all currencies, but when sending to the destinations supported by Sendwave (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda), it typically sits between 2% and 5.5%. For example, if you wanted to send a transfer from Canada to Uganda:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 CAD = 2,795.51 UGX
  • WorldRemit’s rate might be 1 CAD = 2,692 UGX

Sendwave

Sendwave also adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. With the exception of the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), for which Sendwave offers a margin of just 0.5%, our research found that the margin usually ranges anywhere from 2% to 5.5%.

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Winner: Tie

When we compared CAD exchange rates for the five countries to which Sendwave offers transfers, WorldRemit and Sendwave were tied, offering similar exchange rates on all except the Tanzanian shilling which Sendwave offered much better rates for.

Which is faster

WorldRemit

WorldRemit’s transfer times vary according to the type of transaction you send.

  • Bank transfers: Instant processing to some banks, but a transaction time of 1-3 business days in other cases
  • Cash pick-up transfers: Instant
  • Mobile money transfers: Instant or near-instant
  • Airtime top-ups: Instant or near-instant
  • Home delivery transfers: 1-7 days

Sendwave

Sendwave allows you to transfer funds from your smartphone to your recipient’s mobile wallet within 30 seconds.

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Winner: Tie

WorldRemit and Sendwave both offer fast transfer options if you need to send money to an overseas recipient as soon as possible.

General features

Payment methodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
WorldRemit
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Android Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Minimum: $0
  • Maximum: $40,000
  • Bank transfer
  • Mobile wallet
  • Cash pick-up
  • Airtime top-up
  • Door-to-door delivery
Within minutes145+ countries
Sendwave
  • Debit card
  • Minimum: $1
  • Maximum: $999 per-day (or $2,999 per day if you provide photo ID
  • Mobile money
30 seconds
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

WorldRemit

WorldRemit is an online transfer service that allows you to send several transfer types. To make a transfer, sign up for a free account online and provide your recipient’s details, the currency you want to send and the transfer amount. You can then pay for your transaction via bank account transfer, credit card, debit card, Android Pay or Apple Pay.

Sendwave

Sendwave is a smartphone app that allows users with a Canadian, US, or UK bank account to send money to Africa. After downloading the Android or iOS app and registering for a free account, you can send a transfer by choosing a currency and transfer amount then entering your recipient’s name and phone number.

Bottom line

If you need to send money to Africa, it’s well worth comparing WorldRemit and Sendwave to find out who will offer a better deal for your transaction. Transaction costs are fairly similar in many cases (though Sendwave offered a much better exchange rate for transfers to Tanzania when we checked), so it’s worth getting quotes from both providers.

If you’re looking to send funds to somewhere other than Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania or Uganda, Sendwave currently doesn’t offer transfers to those countries, so you’ll need to consider using an alternative like WorldRemit.

Ultimately, it’s essential that you compare a wide range of international money transfer services to find the best value for money.

Looking for more options?

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Name Product Offer Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
24 hours
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From $0
Use code HELLO to get $20 off on first two transfers on a min transfer of $250. Valid until November 30, 2023.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Africhange
Within minutes
From $0
Send money in CAD to Africa on this blockchain and P2P powered provider.
Remitly
Finder Award
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
MoneyGram
Finder Award
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $4.99
For a limited time, get $0 fees on your first money transfer from Canada. Conditions apply.
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
Finder Award
OFX
24 hours
$0
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
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