Review: Instarem International Money Transfers
Earn loyalty points each time you send with Instarem.
- Good for earning loyalty points and fast transfers.
- Not so great for larger transfers or for sending money to someone without a bank account. Be aware that the zero-margin exchange rate only applies to some currencies during certain hours.
Check out our full list of pros and cons below.
Within an hour
Min. Transfer Amount
Max. Transfer Amount
|Min. Transfer Amount||USD 50|
|Max. Transfer Amount||No limit|
|Transfer Methods||Online, Phone, Bank Account to Bank Account|
Minimum transfer time
|Within an hour|
|Available Currencies||AUD, BDT, CAD, CNY, EUR, GBP, HKD, IDR, INR, KRW, LKR, MYR, NPR, PHP, PKR, SGD, THB, USD, VND|
What is Instarem?
Instarem was founded in 2014 by Prajit Nanu and Michael Bermingham and aims to make money transfers faster and cheaper. While the headquarters are in Singapore, Instarem has offices in Melbourne, India, the US and other major cities around the world. In 2018, Instarem joined RippleNet to make transfers to Latin America and Southeast Asia even quicker.
The payments provider is best known for competitive money transfer rates and fast transfer speeds. It serves over 150 remittance corridors across more than 20 countries.
Instarem exchange rates and fees
While Instarem does offer the mid-market exchange rate, it doesn’t offer it for all currencies and at all times of the day. This means that just like for other international money transfer apps, there will be a margin on top of the quoted exchange rate. The company doesn’t make it clear what currencies or times this applies to for users in Hong Kong.
Instarem also adds fees on top of this, which is often around 0.5% of the transfer amount.
Use the calculator below to see what exchange rate and fees Instarem offers on your particular currency.
Instarem sends money to over 20 currencies around the world. You can check out the full list of the currencies you can send with Instarem, but some of the more popular ones include:
- EUR Euro
- GBP British pound
- INR Indian rupee
- LKR Sri Lankan rupee
- NPR Nepalese rupee
- PHP Philippine peso
- THB Thai baht
- VND Vietnamese dong
What types of transfers can you make with Instarem from Hong Kong?
Instarem only supports bank transfers at this time, meaning your recipient will need to have a bank or savings account to receive the money. This also means you can only pay for your transaction through a bank transfer and not use cash or card.
While Instarem doesn’t currently offer forex tools like forward contracts, it does offer specialised help for business transfers.
For these reasons, Instarem is a popular option for businesses paying overseas employees and foreign vendors, as well as individuals repatriating their overseas income or buying properties abroad.
How long does a transfer with Instarem take?
Most transfers with Instarem take between one and two business days in Hong Kong. The exact time varies depending on what currency you’re sending to and the banks involved.
For your first transfer, you’ll need to go through the verification process which will take a bit longer. To speed things up, make sure the documents you upload (like your ID) are as accurate and up to date as possible.
Transfers typically take
Is Instarem safe to use?
- Security and regulation: Government regulated
- Established: 2014
- Reviews: Trustpilot gives InstaRem a score of 4.5* out of 5, based on over 6,581 reviews
- Investors: Vertex Ventures, SBI-FMO Fund, GSR Ventures
How does Instarem make money?
Instarem makes its money from the fees it charges. There’s also a margin added to the exchange rate of some currencies.
How to register an account
How do I make an international money transfer with Instarem in Hong Kong?
- Sign in to your account after you’ve been verified.
- Enter your recipient’s details, including their full name and bank account details.
- Add how much you want to send and how you’ll pay for the transfer. You have the option of an electronic funds transfer (EFT)/bank transfers/wire transfers.
- You’ll be given Instarem’s bank account details, which you’ll send your money to.
- Instarem will let you know when the transfer takes place and when it’s completed.
In a nutshell
- Loyalty points program. You can earn points on your transfer and redeem them against your transactions.
- One of the few services that send from India. While a lot of money transfer services can send to India, it’s a bit harder to find one that sends out of India due to strict regulation.
- Fast transfers. Speed is one of Instarem’s specialities and your transfer normally arrives within one business day.
- Doesn’t use mid-market rate for all transfers. Instarem only offers zero-margin transfers for some currencies and during certain hours. The company doesn’t make it clear which currencies and hours this applies to for users in Hong Kong.
- Doesn’t accept cash or card. You can only pay for your transfer through bank transfer.
- Percentage-based fee can add up. Instarem is better suited to smaller transactions, as the fees on larger ones can get expensive.