WorldRemit vs Wave

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

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Wave 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 Wave in terms of fees, exchange rates and transfer times.

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

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
CAD 0 Within an hour CAD 3.99 0.761 USD
758
Use code FINDERCA and pay zero fees on your first transfer. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

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.

Wave

Wave 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: Wave

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

However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Wave 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 Wave compare in a hypothetical example of transferring $500 to Nigeria.

Sending $500 to Nigeria
WorldRemit Wave
Transfer fee $12.99 $0
Transaction cost $512.99 $500
Exchange rate $1 CAD = 267.77 NGN $1 CAD = 271.02 NGN
Transfer speed Instant Instant
Total received (in NGN) 133,885 NGN 135,510 NGN

As you can see, Wave’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 Wave (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

Wave

Wave also adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. With the exception of the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), for which Wave 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 Wave offers transfers, WorldRemit and Wave were tied, offering similar exchange rates on all except the Tanzanian shilling which Wave 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

Wave

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

General features

Payment methods Minimum and maximum transfers Delivery methods Transfer speeds Countries 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 an hour 145+ countries
Wave
  • 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.

Wave

Wave 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 Wave to find out who will offer a better deal for your transaction. Transaction costs are fairly similar in many cases (though Wave 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, Wave 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?

Use the comparison calculator below to see how WorldRemit and Wave compare to a range of other money transfer services.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 150 1 day CAD 15.00 0.757 USD
745
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies.
Go to site Show details
CAD 0 Within an hour CAD 3.99 0.761 USD
758
Use code FINDERCA and pay zero fees on your first transfer. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details
CAD 0 1 day CAD 0.00 0.757 USD
757
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

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