Sendwave review 2021: Fees, rates, is it safe? |
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Sendwave review


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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.

This product is not currently available via Finder. Visit the provider's website directly, or compare other options.


Min. Transfer Amount


Max. Transfer Amount

Within an hour

Transfer Speed


Product NameSendwave
Min. Transfer Amount$0
Max. Transfer Amount$2,999
Transfer MethodsOnline
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
Within an hour
Customer ServicePhone, Email
Available CurrenciesBDT, CAD, EUR, GBP, GHS, KES, NGN, TZS, UGX, USD, XOF
Online Transfer FeeUSD 0
Branch Transfer FeeUSD 0

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 a handful of countries in Africa and Asia.
  • 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 4.5%.

To give you an idea of what you could pay on the exchange rate, here are Sendwave’s advertised exchange rates as of September 30, 2020.

Mid-market rateSendwave’s exchange rateMarkup

What does this mean?

According to the mid-market rate, 1 USD is worth 108.50 Kenyan shilling (KES). Yet when you transfer through Sendwave, 1 USD is worth 105.27 KES.
Here’s what that looks like when sending $100:

  • Your money is actually worth $100 x 108.50 = 10,850 KES.
  • Instead, your recipient receives $100 x 105.27 = 10,527 KES.

Sendwave makes a profit from the difference of 323 KES — or about $2.98.

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 October 2020
Google Play Store4.6 out of 5 — based on 13,606 customer ratings
Apple App Store4.5 out of 5 — based on 3,800 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?

To see how Sendwave compares to some popular competitors, select your destination then enter the amount you want to send and choose Calculate.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Same day USD 0.00 377.704 NGN 377,704 XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
$1 1 - 2 days USD 9.00 380.75 NGN
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 378.846 NGN 377,335 WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups. 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.

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.

Ask an expert

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    Default Gravatar
    December 1, 2020

    It asked for me to upload a copy of my ID. I don’t see that listed in your instruction. I’ve never hear of sharing my ID and my credit card information on a site.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      December 1, 2020

      Hi La Toya,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      I’ve reviewed Sendwave’s current signup policies and updated our instructions accordingly, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention. It is common for a money transfer business to request your ID, as these businesses often have to verify your information to comply with AML (Anti money laundering) laws in the US.

      I hope this helps clear things up.


    Default Gravatar
    March 26, 2020

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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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.


    Default Gravatar
    February 10, 2020

    I want to send money to an account wave.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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.


    Avatarfinder Customer Care
    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!


    Default Gravatar
    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…

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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,

    Default Gravatar
    May 14, 2019

    How can I sign up for Wave in Ghana?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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!


    Default Gravatar
    May 12, 2019


    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
      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!


    Default Gravatar
    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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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,

    Default Gravatar
    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
      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!


    Default Gravatar
    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 transaction.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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. If your brother is unable to use Wave, there are other money transfer services to Ghana that he can consider using. Typically, online money transfer providers offer the strongest exchange rates and lowest fees so this could also be a suitable option for him.

      When sending money, it’s important to check the exchange rate beforehand as well as the fees involved as they are subject to change at aby time. Remember to also review the terms and conditions before making a decision on whether it is right for you.

      Hope this helps and feel free to email back if you have questions.


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