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WorldRemit vs. Sendwave

Which service to choose to get better exchange rates, lower fees and faster international money transfers.

Updated

Fact checked

Sendwave is a smartphone app designed to offer quick and affordable money transfers to Africa, while WorldRemit is an online transfer service that allows you to send funds to more than 140 countries.

How do the two companies compare and which one offers better value for money? To find out, let’s compare WorldRemit and Sendwave in terms of fees, exchange rates and transfer times.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of February 11, 2019.

Why we like: WorldRemit

WorldRemit - United States

Why we like: WorldRemit

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.

  • Use promo code 3FREE to send your first three transfers with no fee.
  • No minimum transfers.
  • Wide range of destinations.
  • Competitive exchange rate.
Promoted

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 388.548 NGN 386,997 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
USD 0 Within an hour USD 0.00 378.395 NGN 378,395 Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

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

Which has lower fees?

WorldRemit

WorldRemit’s transfer fees vary depending on where you’re sending money, how much you’re transferring and the type of transfer you send. Bank transfers incur a $3.99 fee in many cases. However, because there are several variables that can affect the fee you’ll have to pay, make sure to use WorldRemit’s online calculator to work out the total cost of your specific transaction.

Sendwave

Sendwave does not charge any fees on international money transfers and instead makes money by offering an exchange rate that’s lower than the mid-market rate.

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Winner: Sendwave

The absence of transaction fees makes Sendwave the winner in this category.

However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Sendwave offers cheaper transfers, as you’ll also need to consider the exchange rate when comparing the two services.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending US$500 to Nigeria

Let’s take a closer look at how WorldRemit and Sendwave compare in a hypothetical example of transferring US$500 to Nigeria.

Sending US$500 to Nigeria
WorldRemitSendwave
Transfer feeUS$9.99US$0
Transaction costUS$509.99US$500
Exchange rate1 USD = 353.23 NGN1 USD = 352 NGN
Transfer speedInstantInstant
Total received (in NGN)176,615 NGN176,000 NGN

As you can see, WorldRemit’s slightly higher exchange rate means that your recipient will get an extra 615 NGN (approx US$1.72). However, because Sendwave doesn’t charge any fees and WorldRemit charges US$9.99, Sendwave is the most cost-effective provider for this transfer.

Which offers better exchange rates?

WorldRemit

The exchange rate WorldRemit gives you when you send money overseas is different than the mid-market rate listed on Google. This is because WorldRemit, like many other transfer providers, makes money on the margin, which is the difference between the exchange rate at which they buy and sell currency. WorldRemit’s margin differs across all currencies, but when sending to the destinations supported by Sendwave (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda), it typically sits between 2% and 5.5%. For example, if you wanted to send a transfer from the US to Uganda:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 3,673.98 UGX
  • WorldRemit’s rate might be 1 USD = 3,563.55 UGX

Sendwave

Sendwave also adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. With the exception of the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), for which Sendwave offers a margin of just 0.5%, our research found that the margin usually ranges anywhere from 2% to 5.5%.

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Winner: WorldRemit

When we compared USD exchange rates for the five countries to which Sendwave offers transfers, WorldRemit offered a slightly better rate on all except the Tanzanian shilling. While the differences were marginal, this means WorldRemit comes out on top in this category.

Which is faster?

WorldRemit

WorldRemit’s transfer times vary according to the type of transaction you send.

  • Bank transfers. Instant processing to some banks, but a transaction time of 1-3 business days in other cases.
  • Cash pick-up transfers. Instant.
  • Mobile money transfers. Instant or near-instant.
  • Airtime top-ups. Instant or near-instant.
  • Home delivery transfers. 1-7 days.

Sendwave

Sendwave allows you to transfer funds from your smartphone to your recipient’s mobile wallet within 30 seconds.

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Winner: Tie

WorldRemit and Sendwave both offer fast transfer options if you need to send money to an overseas recipient as soon as possible.

General features

Payment methodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCountries and currencies
WorldRemit
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Android Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Minimum: $1
  • Maximum: $9,000
  • Bank transfer
  • Mobile wallet
  • Cash pickup
  • Airtime top-up
  • Door-to-door delivery
Within an hour145+ countries
Sendwave
  • Debit card
  • Minimum: $1
  • Maximum: $999 per-day (or $2,999 per day if you provide photo ID
  • Mobile money
30 seconds
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

WorldRemit

WorldRemit is an online transfer service that allows you to send several transfer types. To make a transfer, sign up for a free account online and provide your recipient’s details, the currency you want to send and the transfer amount. You can then pay for your transaction via bank account transfer, credit card, debit card, Android Pay or Apple Pay.

Sendwave

Sendwave is a smartphone app that allows users with a US, UK or Canadian bank account to send money to Africa. After downloading the Android or iOS app and registering for a free account, you can send a transfer by choosing a currency and transfer amount then entering your recipient’s name and phone number.

Bottom line

If you need to send money to Africa, it’s well worth comparing WorldRemit and Sendwave to find out who will offer a better deal for your transaction. Transaction costs are fairly similar in many cases (though Sendwave offered a much better exchange rate for transfers to Tanzania when we checked), so it’s worth getting quotes from both providers.

If you’re looking to send funds to somewhere other than Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania or Uganda, Sendwave currently doesn’t offer transfers to those countries, so you’ll need to consider using an alternative like WorldRemit.

Ultimately, it’s essential that you compare a wide range of international money transfer services to find the best value for money.

Looking for more options?

Use the comparison calculator below to see how WorldRemit and Sendwave compare to a range of other money transfer services.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.904 EUR 904 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 1.99 0.893 EUR 891 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 8.00 0.911 EUR
904
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 0.907 EUR 903 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.

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