WorldRemit vs. Wave

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

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Wave 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 Wave 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 - Hero

Your first transfer is free with the code FINDER.

  • The first transfer is free
  • 30,000+ partner agent locations worldwide
  • No minimum transfer amount

Why we like: WorldRemit

Send money to 140+ countries for bank deposit, instant e-wallet, mobile top-up or cash pickup at 30,000+ agent locations worldwide.

  • Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
  • Easy to use with round-the-clock help.
  • Get cash to family and friends in minutes.
Promoted

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 360.29 NGN 358,852 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

The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by finder.com

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on finder.com may vary from the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention finder.com before you commit to a brand.

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.

Wave

Wave 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: Wave

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

However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Wave 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 Wave compare in a hypothetical example of transferring US$500 to Nigeria.

Sending US$500 to Nigeria
WorldRemit Wave
Transfer fee US$9.99 US$0
Transaction cost US$509.99 US$500
Exchange rate 1 USD = 353.23 NGN 1 USD = 352 NGN
Transfer speed Instant Instant
Total received (in NGN) 176,615 NGN 176,000 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 Wave doesn’t charge any fees and WorldRemit charges US$9.99, Wave 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 Wave (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

Wave

Wave also adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. With the exception of the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), for which Wave 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 Wave 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.

Wave

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

General features

Payment methods Minimum and maximum transfers Delivery methods Transfer speeds Countries 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 hour 145+ countries
Wave
  • 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.

Wave

Wave 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 Wave to find out who will offer a better deal for your transaction. Transaction costs are fairly similar in many cases (though Wave 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, Wave 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 Wave compare to a range of other money transfer services.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.894 EUR 894 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 8.00 0.898 EUR
891
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 0.894 EUR 890 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


The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by finder.com.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on finder.com may vary from the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention finder.com before you commit to a brand.

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