In this guide

  • Review
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question
Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser disclosure
Sendwave
Minimum Transfer Amount
$1
Maximum Transfer Amount
$2999

Summary

A free way to send money to select African and Asian countries in 30 seconds.

Enjoy straightforward transfers through a mobile app with the only cost being a small markup on the exchange rate.

  • Exchange rate markups as low as 1%.
  • Must pay by debit card. No credit card or PayPal transactions allowed.

Pros

  • Send money on the go.
  • Easy signup.
  • Low minimum transfer limit.
  • Quick transfers.

In this guide

  • Review
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Our Verdict

If you need to transfer money to Africa and Asia, Sendwave is a decent option but you’ll need to find another option to send anywhere else. That said, transfers start from as little as $1 and the mobile app makes it even easier to transfer on the go.

While transfers can only be sent through the app and not the website, recipients can receive funds through a bank account, mobile wallet or cashpickup. Delivery is quick and almost instant in some cases while cash pickups and bank transfers will take longer. And your only option for depositing money into a Sendwave account is with debit cards. Credit card or PayPal payments are not supported.

Why should I use Sendwave?

  • Send money on the go.
    Manage all of your Sendwave money transfers through the Sendwave app, at home or on the go.
  • Easy signup.
    To get started all you need to submit is your name, email and phone number.
  • Low minimum transfer limit.
    Transfer as little as $1 to most destinations.
  • Quick transfers.
    Transfers are nearly instantaneous, according to Sendwave.

What should I watch out for?

  • Limited sending destinations.
    Sendwave is only available for transfers to around 20 countries countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
  • Limited payment options.
    Sendwave only accepts payment by debit card when sending from the US.
  • Only for mobile.
    Sendwave transfers must be sent through your phone, transfers cannot be sent through the Sendwave website.

How does Sendwave work?

Sendwave works by allowing you to send money from a debit card to select countries abroad. You sign up for the app, enter sending and payment details and then send money at your leisure.

Sendwave doesn’t charge transfer fees. Instead, it makes money by offering you slightly worse than the mid-market rate when you exchange currency.

Keep in mind that big players like Western Union and MoneyGram make money on both exchange rate spreads and fees that can be higher for specific types of transactions, like paying with your debit card. With Sendwave, you cut out the fee altogether and only have to worry about the exchange rate.

Sendwave’s exchange rates and fees

Depending on your recipient’s currency, you’ll see a spread on the mid-market rate that appears to top out at about 4.1%.

To give you an idea of what you could pay on the exchange rate, here are Sendwave’s advertised exchange rates as of March 17, 2023.

Mid-market rateSendwave’s exchange rateMarkup
Bangladesh107.16113.761.44%
Ghana12.4311.924.10%
Kenya130.08128.071.54%
Philippines54.6853.811.59%

What does this mean?

According to the mid-market rate, 1 USD is worth 130.08 Kenyan shilling (KES). Yet when you transfer through Sendwave, 1 USD is worth 128.07 KES.
Here’s what that looks like when sending $100:

  • Your money is actually worth $100 x 130.08 = 13,008 KES.
  • Instead, your recipient receives $100 x 128.07 = 12,807 KES.

Sendwave makes a profit from the difference of 201 KES — or about $1.54.

How long does a Sendwave money transfer take?

Sendwave money transfers are typically delivered within 30 seconds to your recipient’s mobile wallet. Transfers can take longer if you’re sending money for cash pickup, so double-check delivery speeds before sending if time is crucial.

What are Sendwave’s sending limits?

Sendwave’s sending limits for new customers start out at:

  • $999 per day.
  • $2,999 per month.

If you verify your account with Sendwave using a government-issued ID, limits can be raised to:

  • $2,999 per day.
  • $12,000 per month.

What currencies can I send with Sendwave?

When sending from the US, Sendwave supports transfers to seven destinations. Supported countries and associated currencies include:

  • Bangladesh (BDT)
  • Ghana (GHG)
  • Kenya (KSH)
  • Nigeria (NGN)
  • Senegal (CFA/XOF)
  • Tanzania (TSH)
  • Uganda (UGX)

Is Sendwave safe to use?

Sendwave is a licensed money transmitter in every country it operates in. It encrypts transactions through a 128-bit connection and doesn’t store your personal or financial info in its databases. Additionally, Sendwave doesn’t hold any of your money in its own bank accounts, all money is instantly moved to your recipient.

What payment methods does Sendwave accept?

When sending from the US, debit cards are the only accepted form of payment for Sendwave transfers. Sendwave says it doesn’t accept credit card or PayPal payments in order to keep costs down.

What are the ways I can send money with Sendwave?

Sendwave allows transfers to mobile wallets like M-Pesa, MTN and Airtel, bank accounts and cash pickup locations. Delivery methods depend on the country you are sending to, and include:

Mobile wallets

  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • Ghana
  • Senegal
  • Liberia

Bank accounts

  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Nigeria

Cash pickup locations

  • Senegal

Note: Not all sending destinations are supported for transfers outbound from the US at this time..

How to send money with Sendwave

You can start sending money immediately — simply enter your recipient’s name and phone number.

  1. Download the Sendwave app for iOS or Android and register for a free account.
  2. Enter debit card information.
  3. Verify your identity.
  4. Enter recipient name and phone number.
  5. Send.

Sendwave money transfer banner with cellphones

Sendwave app

Sendwave App Screenshot

Sendwave has an app on both Google Play and the App Store. The app makes it possible to:

  • Signup in minutes. Creating your account typically takes only a few minutes using an email and phone number.
  • Track orders. Get real-time status updates on your transfer so you’ll know exactly when it will arrive.
  • Send money on the go. Sending money through Sendwave is as easy as sending a text message.
Ratings accurate as of March 2023
Google Play Store4.5 out of 5 — based on 32,210 customer ratings
Apple App Store4.6 out of 5 — based on 14,509 customer ratings

More on the best money transfer apps

How do I track my Sendwave transfer?

Once the recipient receives your transfer, Sendwave emails you confirmation. Also, you’ll see your transfer marked Funds Delivered in the app’s transaction tab. If the transaction runs into any issues Sendwave will contact you to sort it out.

How does Sendwave compare to other services?

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
1 - 14 of 14
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Airwallex
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
After spending $15k in your first 90 days, receive a one-time $500 bonus that will automatically be credited to your account on any FX conversion.
Airwallex can help you make business payments to 150+ countries in 60+ currencies.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Cash App
Within minutes
From $0
With this peer-to-peer payment app make payments to your friends and family with no transfer fees within the US or from the US to the UK or EU.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Enjoy $0 fee on your first online transfer. Western Union makes money from currency exchange. Not valid on credit cards or sends to Cuba.
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries and territories around the world.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
Currencies Direct (business)
24 hours
$0
Minimizes costs of international transactions and offers custom solutions for business clients. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
Xe
Within minutes
$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
$0
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
loading

Want to compare Sendwave with other services side-by-side?

Bottom line

Sendwave is a straightforward way to send money to select African countries that other money transfer providers don’t serve. Sendwave’s clear markups and no fees structure makes understanding the cost of your transfer easy, and money can be sent on the go from your phone at any time.

Frequently asked questions

Can I cancel a Sendwave transaction?

Yes, as long as the funds haven’t been delivered yet. Because Sendwave sends fast transactions, canceling may be difficult even if you do it immediately after sending. To cancel, select the transaction in the Sendwave app and choose Cancel.

How do I contact Sendwave’s customer support?

Customer support information can be found in the Sendwave app. The app also allows you to call or text customer support, whichever is easier for you.

Why can’t I use a credit card or PayPal with Sendwave?

Sendwave has chosen not to accept credit cards or PayPal because both options cost the company processing fees. According to the company, accepting only debit cards allows it to keep costs low and pass savings on to customers.