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 to Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

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GBP 0

Min. Transfer Amount

GBP 10,000

Max. Transfer Amount

Within an hour

Transfer Speed

Details

Product NameSendwave Money Transfers
Min. Transfer AmountGBP 0
Max. Transfer AmountGBP 10,000
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 FeeGBP 0
Branch Transfer FeeGBP 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
GBP 0 Within an hour GBP 0.00 481.616 NGN
240,808
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 pounds to euros could be 1 GBP = 1.12 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 GBP = 1.11 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 4%.

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

Mid-market rateSendwave’s exchange rateMarkup
Ghana1 GBP = 7.08 GHS1 GBP = 6.87 GHS3%
Kenya1 GBP = 130.81 KES1 GBP = 127.59 KES2.5%
Nigeria1 GBP = 476.83 NGN1 GBP = 458 NGN3.9%
Senegal1 GBP = 731.17 CAF1 GBP = 710.86 CAF2.8%
Tanzania1 GBP = 2,832 TZS1 GBP = 2,763 TZS2.4%
Uganda1 GBP = 4,636 UGX1 GBP = 4,537 UGX2.1%

What does this mean?

According to the mid-market rate, 1 GBP is worth 130.81 Kenyan shilling (KES). Yet when you transfer through Sendwave, 1 GBP is worth 127.59 KES.
Here’s what that looks like when sending £100:

  • Your money is actually worth £100 x 130.81 = 13,081 KES.
  • Instead, your recipient receives £100 x 127.59 = 12,759 KES.

Sendwave profits the difference of 322 KES – or about £2.46.

How does Sendwave compare to other services?

Table: sorted by a combination of service offering and the amount your recipient will receive

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1 1 - 2 days GBP 1.99 494.646 NGN
246,339
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
GBP 10 Within an hour GBP 2.00 498.505 NGN
248,256
First two transfers free for new customers.
Instant or 1 hour transfers to over 50 countries, send money directly to bank accounts or over 280,000 cash pickup points.
Go to site Show details
GBP 50 Same day GBP 2.99 496.15 NGN
246,591
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
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 Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal and Tanzania.

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 send money to Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Senegal 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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