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Sendwave money transfer review

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A fee-free way to send money to Africa in 30 seconds.

The Sendwave (formerly Wave) app offers a secure way to transfer funds almost instantly to a mobile money account using your debit card — but for now it only works in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria or Tanzania.

USD 0

Min. Transfer Amount

USD 12,000

Max. Transfer Amount

Within an hour

Transfer Speed

Details

Product NameSendwave
Min. Transfer AmountUSD 0
Max. Transfer AmountUSD 12,000
Transfer MethodsOnline
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
Within an hour
Customer ServicePhone, Email
Available CurrenciesCAD, EUR, GBP, GHS, KES, NGN, TZS, UGX, USD
Online Transfer FeeUSD 0
Branch Transfer FeeUSD 0

How much will I pay to send money with Sendwave?

Sendwave is one of those rare services that doesn’t charge transfer fees. Instead, it makes money by offering you slightly worse than the mid-market rate when you exchange currency.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 Within an hour USD 0.00 375.488 NGN 375,488 Sendwave is a fee-free way to send money to Africa in about 30 seconds. Show details

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Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Pro tip

The mid-market rate is what your money’s worth compared to another currency. For example, the mid-market rate for dollars to euros could be 1 USD = 0.95 EUR.

Charging above the mid-market rate means a company will convert your money for less than it’s really worth — reducing the exchange rate to 1 USD = 0.90 EUR, for example.

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.

How are Sendwave’s exchange rates?

Depending on your recipient’s currency, you’ll see a spread on the mid-market rate that appears to top out at about 3.5%.

To give you an idea of what you could pay on the exchange rate, here’s what Sendwave advertised at the time of this writing:

Mid-market rateSendwave’s exchange rateMarkup
Kenya1 USD = 102.92 KES1 USD = 99.97 KES2.9%
Uganda1 USD = 3,593.50 UGX1 USD = 3,500 UGX2.6%
Ghana1 USD = 4.38 GHS1 USD = 4.29 GHS2.1%
Tanzania1 USD = 2,244.82 TZS1 USD = 2,168 TZS3.4%
Nigeria1 USD = 363 NG1 USD = 352 NG3.1%

What does this mean?

According to the mid-market rate, 1 USD is worth 102.92 Kenyan shilling (KES). Yet when you transfer through Sendwave, 1 USD is worth 99.97 KES.
Here’s what that looks like when sending $100:

  • Your money is actually worth $100 x 102.92 = 10,292 KES.
  • Instead, your recipient receives $100 x 99.97 = 9,997 KES.

Sendwave profits the difference of 295 KES — or about $2.80.

How does Sendwave compare to other services?

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 1.99 379.75 NGN 378,994 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 9.00 387.5 NGN
384,012
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 385.563 NGN 384,024 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

What types of transfers does Sendwave support?

Sendwave supports only debit card payments to mobile money accounts in Africa. You can send as little as $1 through Sendwave to Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania and Nigeria.

At the time of writing, Sendwave supports transferring your cash to M-Pesa, MTN and Airtel mobile money accounts, with plans to add others as it expands into other countries.

How do I send money through Sendwave?

Download the Sendwave app for iOS and Android and register for a free account. You can start sending money immediately — just enter your recipient’s name and phone number.

Sendwave money transfer banner with cellphones

How do I track my Sendwave transfer?

Once the recipient receives your transfer, Sendwave emails you confirmation. And you’ll see your transfer marked Funds Delivered in the app’s transaction tab.

Benefits and drawbacks

Pros

  • Mobile app. No need for a desktop, you can transfer funds straight from your smartphone.
  • Easy signup. To get started, submit your name, email and phone number on Sendwave’s site.
  • Low minimum transfer. Transfer as little as $1.
  • Quick transfers. According to Sendwave, transfers are instant.

Cons

  • Only for mobile. Sendwave is a mobile-only app.
  • Not for all African countries. Currently, you can only send money to Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania.
  • No credit card or PayPal payments. Load funds from a debit card only.

How safe is Sendwave?

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.

Next steps

To get started with Sendwave, download the app on your mobile device. Then sign up for an account and enter your recipient’s contact details to send money.

If you need help at any point in the process, email help@wave.com.

Compare Sendwave to the competition

Bottom line

Sendwave is a simple way to get money to African countries not often served by other money transfer services. It charges no fees to transfer funds directly to mobile money accounts — and it’s as easy sending a text.

Frequently asked questions

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77 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    tosin
    March 26, 2020

    I’m in Libya. I am interested in Sendwave. How can I apply for it?

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      March 27, 2020

      Hi Tosin,

      Thanks for contacting Finder. I hope you are well.

      It’s good to know that you are looking to use Sendwave to transfer money. It’s helpful to know that at this time, Sendwave is only available in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria or Tanzania. In the meantime, I highly suggest finding local money transfer providers in Libya.

      Just a quick reminder when sending money – read through the transfer process of the provider such as transfer fees, transfer options and transfer speed to set expectations for the receiver. Take note of any reference or tracking numbers should any transaction delays come up during the transit. Also, it’s important to check the exchange rate beforehand to maximize the funds to be exchanged.

      Kindly note that exchange rates vary on a daily basis, the rate today may differ from the rate tomorrow. Observe the fluctuations of exchange rates more frequently days before you exchange your money.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    Mary
    February 10, 2020

    I want to send money to an account wave.

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      February 10, 2020

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are doing well.

      To be able to send money via Wave, download the app on your mobile device. Then sign up for an account and enter your recipient’s contact details to send money.

      “When sending money – read through the transfer process of the provider such as transfer fees, transfer options and transfer speed to set expectations for the receiver. Take note of any reference or tracking numbers should any transaction delays come up during the transit.

      Also, it’s important to check the exchange rate beforehand to maximize the funds to be exchanged. A friendly reminder, exchange rates vary on a daily basis, the rate today may differ from the rate tomorrow. Observe the fluctuations of exchange rates more frequently days before you exchange your money.”

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      Best,
      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    nikkiangco
    July 19, 2019

    Hi Glory,

    Thanks for getting in touch! Yes, the Wave app works in Nigeria and you can send and receive money using the app.

    Hope this helps!

    Best,
    Nikki

  4. Default Gravatar
    Stephen
    May 16, 2019

    using wave app for transactions, do i have to keep taking a snapshot of my identity card for every future transactions?
    Let me know please…

    • Default Gravatar
      Bella
      May 17, 2019

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Wave money transfer doesn’t require an ID or identification card for every money transfer transaction. To use Wave money transfer app, just simply download the Wave app for iOS and Android and register for a free account. You can start sending money immediately — just enter your recipient’s name and phone number.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

  5. Default Gravatar
    Jonathan
    May 14, 2019

    How can I sign up for Wave in Ghana?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jeni
      May 14, 2019

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      You need to download Wave app from Apple store or Google Play store then you may register for a free account.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  6. Default Gravatar
    Aisha
    May 12, 2019

    Hello,

    Money was sent to my M-Pesa account in Tanzania but I didn’t receive it till now what might be a problem? Or how long does the money take to reach an account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jeni
      May 15, 2019

      Hi Aisha,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Currently, we do not have a page that you may refer to about M-Pesa app however Wave doesn’t transfer to M-Pesa as of the moment. You may receive money on your M-Pesa app from all mobile networks in Tanzania and only via Western Union, MoneyGram and Safaricom from across the world. I suggest that you speak with your sender on how the fund was sent to your M-Pesa account.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  7. Default Gravatar
    Lisa
    May 10, 2019

    Money was sent to Nigeria by using wave and they ask for stamped passport they want to confirm the recipient has been to state before which he did not have

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      May 11, 2019

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder! Wave asks for a government ID photo when the money sent is beyond the maximum transfer limits. Due to banking regulations, you can initially send a maximum of $999/£750/€750 per day and $2,999/£2,500/€2,500 per month. Wave can easily raise those limits to $2,999/£2,500/€2,500 per day and $12,000/£10,000/€10,000 per month if you are able to send them a government ID photo. You can do this through the app by pressing ‘Raise Limits’ on the settings page.

      You can confirm this information when you contact Wave through their 24/7 phone service or by emailing them. You can find their contact details on their main website.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have other questions.

      With care,
      Nikki

  8. Default Gravatar
    Akinbolawa
    May 10, 2019

    How can I get a refund? My money didn’t send to the recipient and I want a refund to get the money I sent back to my account?

    • Default Gravatar
      Ellie
      May 10, 2019

      Hi Akinbolawa,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      If the funds have not yet been delivered to your recipient’s mobile wallet, you can call Wave money transfer to get a refund for the transfer. The refund process would depend on your bank’s relationship with Wave money transfer debit card processor – some refunds can be processed immediately but others can take up to 10 business days.

      Hope this helps.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Regards,
      Ellie

  9. Default Gravatar
    Frank
    April 15, 2019

    My brother tried sending money from U.S to me in Ghana but was called to ask if he had met me in person or he knows me…. Because of that wave didn’t accept his transcation.

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      April 16, 2019

      Hi Frank,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder! We’re sorry to hear Wave wasn’t an option to send money to Ghana. You can go to this page to find other options. When sending money – it’s important to check the exchange rate beforehand to maximize the funds to be exchanged. Also, read through the transfer process of the provider such as transfer fees, transfer options and transfer speed to set expectations for the receiver. Take note of any reference or tracking numbers should any transaction delays come up during the transit. Hope this helps and feel free to email back if you have questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  10. Default Gravatar
    Pascal
    April 8, 2019

    How can I receive $5000 through the Wave? Do I have to use multiple debit cards?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Mai
      April 9, 2019

      Hi Pascal,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      I’m afraid Wave has a limit of $2,999 per month. No need to use multiple debit cards to receive an amount more than your limit. You can request to increase your limit by contacting Wave and providing them your government ID. They will then review your processing history or such amount designated by their processor. The Reserve may be raised, reduced or removed at any time by Wave or the Bank, in their sole discretion.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

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