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Review: Remitly international money transfers December 2020
Quick, affordable transfers to the Philippines and beyond.
Remitly updates its exchange rates daily to align with global markets, locking in the exchange rate you see at the beginning of your transaction. Some countries may have a weaker exchange rate than those of competitors.
Remitly charges no extra fees unless you’re sending through their express service or via credit card. At the time of writing (17 October 2018) it’s a US$3.99 flat fee for this, but there’s a 1% surcharge added if you’re using a credit card.
Remitly offers money transfers to over 30 different currencies across more than 80 countries. Some of the more popular include:
HUF Hungarian forint
INR Indian rupee
KES Kenyan shilling
MAD Moroccan dirham
PHP Philippine peso
PKR Pakistani rupee
USD United States dollar
VND Vietnamese dong
What types of transfers can you make with Remitly?
While Remitly does let you transfer to a cash pick-up location, it doesn’t have forward contracts, limit orders or regular payments. Forward contracts let you lock in an exchange rate now for a future transaction. With a limit order you can set the exchange rate you want and the trade will automatically go through when that rate is reached.
If you’re after a provider with either of these capabilities, check out our pages on forward contracts and limit orders.
Cash pick up locations in the Philippines
Your recipients can pick up funds send through Remitly in any of these establishments:
Remitly offers two ways to send – express or economy.
Express may cost extra but it can deliver your money to your recipient in minutes.
Economy generally takes three to five business days to arrive.
Transfers typically take
3 – 5 days
What payment methods does Remitly accept?
You can pay for your transfer using:
Paying by card will get your money there faster, but you’ll pay an extra 1% surcharge.
How much can I send with Remitly?
With Remitly, how much you can send depends on the tier you’re approved for. To move up to a tier with higher sending limits, you’ll need to provide more personal information and identity documents.
Tier 1. Send up to US$2,999 daily, US$10,000 monthly and US$18,000 every six months.
Tier 2. Send up to US$6,000 daily, US$20,000 monthly and US$36,000 every six months.
Tier 3. Send up to US$18,000 daily, US$36,000 monthly and US$60,000 every six months.
Is Remitly safe to use?
Security and regulation: Remitly is government regulated and keeps its customers’ funds separate from its own. Although Remitly doesn’t have 2-factor authentication, the server connection is secured using 256-bit SSL.
Reviews: Trustpilot gives Remitly a score of 4.5* out of 5, based on about 29,500+ reviews.
Investors: PayU, Stripes Group, Bezos Expeditions, Silicon Valley Bank.
*According to Trustpilot on Nov 19, 2020.
Remitly is regulated in the Philippines by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; in Australia, by ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission). ASIC is the regulatory body that oversees finance companies to protect consumers. Part of this regulation means Remitly has to keep its customers’ funds separate from its own in case it runs into any financial problems.
Remitly also says it has a number of risk management procedures in place that help show any suspicious account activity if you’ve been hacked.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)
How does Remitly make money?
Remitly only charges a fee for its express transfers so makes the rest of its money from the margin. The margin is the difference between the rate you’re quoted by Remitly and the live mid-market rate you can see on Google or XE.
Money transfer providers often include a margin on the exchange rate to cover their costs. When comparing providers, keep an eye on both the fees they charge and their exchange rate.
How to register and send your first transfer
Signing up for an account with Remitly is simple and free. The following steps can help guide you through the process.
You’ll need to provide your email address and create a password. At this point, you won’t need to add in any extra personal information.
Choose which currency you want to send to, how much and pick how you want it to be delivered. You’ll normally get the choice of a bank deposit, cash pick-up or mobile money.
If you pick bank deposit, you can then choose which bank you’ll be sending to (in other words, which bank your recipient is with). Cash pick-up will give you a list of pick-up locations, and mobile money will let you choose from the mobile wallets Remitly is partnered with in that country.
This includes the recipient’s address and contact information. If it’s a bank transfer, you’ll need to enter their bank account details as well.
After adding in your contact information and address, you’ll be asked for your date of birth to help confirm your identity, as per federal banking laws.
You have the choice to pay by card or bank transfer. Whichever you choose, you’ll now need to add in your details.
Make sure to double-check your recipient’s details because it can be difficult to get your money back if you send to the wrong address. After you confirm, check your mobile – Remitly will send you text message updates to keep you in the loop.
What is Remitly’s background?
Remitly was founded in 2011 by Matt Oppenheimer to disrupt the remittance industry. It aims to lessen fees and create greater transparency and has a focus on being easy to use on your mobile. Remitly is based in Seattle in the United States and chiefly services those sending transfers out of the US, Australia, the UK and Canada.
In a nutshell
Instant transfers. If you pay through card, your money can be transferred in minutes with the express service.
On-time guarantee. Remitly offers a money-back guarantee if your transfer doesn’t arrive on time.
Fast registration time. You’re able to register an account and send a transfer in minutes. For transfers smaller than US$2,999 you don’t need to provide any proof of identity or address, such as a passport. However, Remitly will ask for your date of birth, address and full name.
Cash pick-up. You can send cash to a range of pick-up locations. This isn’t available in every country, however.
Limited currencies. Remitly doesn’t currently offer as many currencies as other providers.
Low maximum daily limits. Especially for the lower tiers.
Higher fees for expedited service. Credit card transactions and transfers to certain countries can be expensive.
Our table below shows you the exchange rate and fees for other money transfer specialists.
To access higher transfer limits, log in and visit Remitly’s Sending Limits page. Click “apply now” on the tier you want. Answer the questions on how often and how much you’re planning to send, your occupation and the source of funds. You’ll also need to provide proof of ID in the form of a driver’s licence or passport.
Yes, Remitly’s app is available through the App Store or Google Play.
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