Review: WorldRemit international money transfers September 2021
Send money overseas with WorldRemit’s range of options, including to a cell phone or cash pick-up location.
- Good for sending to those without a bank account in a wide range of countries.
- Not so great for larger transfers, due to the low daily minimum.
Min. Transfer Amount
Max. Transfer Amount
Within an hour
|Product Name||WorldRemit International Money Transfers|
|Min. Transfer Amount||USD 1|
|Max. Transfer Amount||USD 3,000|
|Transfer Methods||Online, Bank Account to Bank Account, Cash Transfer|
|Transfer Options||One off payments|
Minimum transfer time
|Within an hour|
|Customer Service||Phone, Email|
|Available Currencies||AED, ALL, AMD, AOA, ARS, AUD, BAM, BDT, BGN, BHD, BIF, BOB, BRL, BWP, BYN, CAD, CDF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CZK, DKK, DOP, EGP, ETB, EUR, FJD, GBP, GEL, GHS, GMD, GNF, GTQ, HKD, HRK, HTG, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, ISK, JMD, JOD, KES, KGS, KHR, KMF, KRW, KWD, KZT, LBP, LKR, LRD, LSL, MAD, MDL, MGA, MUR, MVR, MWK, MXN, MYR, MZN, NAD, NGN, NOK, NPR, NZD, OMR, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, PYG, QAR, RON, RUB, RWF, SCR, SEK, SGD, SLL, SOS, THB, TJS, TND, TOP, TRY, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, VND, WST, XAF, XOF, ZAR, ZMW|
|Exchange Rate Updates||Real time|
|Online Transfer Fee||5.00%|
- No minimum transfer amount
- Large range of destinations
- Competitive exchange rate
- Significant amount of transfer fees as amount goes up
- Maximum amounts apply when sending
Rosie is a writer at Finder, specializing in international money transfers. She's constantly planning her next trip overseas and is on a mission to make personal finance easier to understand.
WorldRemit’s network isn’t quite as large as brands like Western Union, but you’ll often find better rates and lower fees with WorldRemit. Plus, WorldRemit’s app and website tell you upfront what exchange rate and fees you’ll be paying without needing to sign up first. This makes it easier to compare against other companies to see if you’re getting the best deal.
One major downfall of WorldRemit is that you can’t pay in cash, but its global network does support cash pickups in many countries worldwide. Other delivery options like mobile airtime top-ups, bill pay and door-to-door cash delivery help round this service out for some sending destinations. You’ll also often be able to find promo codes to get a better deal if you’re a first-time customer.
What is WorldRemit?
WorldRemit is a global remittance company that was founded in 2010 by Ismail Ahmed, a Somali migrant who was studying in London at the time. WorldRemit is currently headquartered in London, UK, but operates in more than 150 countries around the world.
Why should I consider WorldRemit?
- Easy-to-use website. Signing up and sending money can be done in as little as a few minutes, and support can be accessed through phone, email, live chat and FAQs.
- Worldwide network. Customers in more than 50 countries can send funds to over 150 countries in a variety of methods, including bank transfers, cash pickup at thousands of locations, door-to-door delivery, delivery to services like Alipay and more.
- Flexible payment options. Pay with a credit or debit card, from your bank account, through Apple or Google Pay and even with prepaid cards.
- Fast transfers. Cash pickups, WorldRemit Wallet transfers and airtime top-ups are typically available instantly after sending, while mobile money and bank deposits may take one or more business days to process.
What to be aware of with WorldRemit
- Maximum daily limits. Transaction limits depend on how you are sending the money, while a total transaction cap of R4,999 applies to all transactions being sent by you out of South Africa.
- Changing fees. Depending on where you are sending to, how you are paying and how you are transferring money, your fees may vary. Although a base fee of R7.50 is applied to most transfers, keep an eye on this category when actually completing your transfer to make sure it doesn’t change.
- No hedging options. WorldRemit only offers one-off transfers, unlike some of its competitors that offer additional tools to help you save money. Hedging tools are most often used to lock in an exchange rate, helping you save money on future transfers if the market shifts against your position.
- Inconsistent markups. Exchange rates vary through WorldRemit and depend not only on the currency you are sending to but also on the destination country. Expect mid-market markups anywhere from 1-4%.
WorldRemit fees and exchange rates explained
WorldRemit updates its rates daily to reflect changing market conditions and these rates generally compare favourably to the ZAR exchange rates available from other providers and banks.
Transfers through WorldRemit will have both a fee and a mid-market margin markup added to them. These depend on the following:
- Location. Fees and exchange rates may vary based on the country you are sending to. Even if two destination countries share the same currency, the exchange rate offered by WorldRemit may vary when sending to each.
- Amount. Although the fee for most transfers will be roughly the same, some countries will have higher fees based on the amount you are sending.
- Delivery. Sending cash will typically have higher fees, while sending to a bank account tends to be cheaper.
Unlike many competitors, WorldRemit offers the same exchange rate no matter how much you send.
Sending R1000 from South Africa around the globe
As of June 4, 2020, here are the mid-market rate markups and fees for popular sending destinations around the world when sending to a bank account. The mid-market rate is the exchange rate you’ll see when you look up a currency pair on Google and is the current recognized rate that traders use to buy and sell a pair of currencies. The lower the percent above the mid-market rate that WorldRemit is charging, the better.
|Sending to||Currency||Mid-market rate||WorldRemit rate||% above mid-market||Fees from|
Calculate how much sending money overseas would cost with WorldRemit by using our tool below. You can also check out the real-time exchange rate WorldRemit offers and if there are any additional fees.
What types of transfers can you make with WorldRemit?
Although it varies depending on where your recipient lives, WorldRemit offers a range of ways you can send money from South Africa, including:
- Mobile wallet. Send to your recipient’s smartphone wallet. This option is helpful if your recipient doesn’t have a bank account and isn’t near a cash pick-up location.
- Cash pick-up. You can send money to a cash pick-up location for your recipient to collect. If you choose this option, the person picking it up will need valid photo ID on hand and the transaction reference number.
- Bank transfer. The money will be deposited directly into the bank account you choose. You’ll need to know your recpient’s SWIFT code or International Bank Account Number (IBAN).
- Airtime top-up. This is used when you want to send money directly to your recipient’s mobile to top up their pre-paid plan. Credit top-ups are often instant. Quite a few of WorldRemit’s supported countries only offer airtime top-up.
- Door-to-door delivery. Instead of picking up the cash at a fixed location, this option means your cash is delivered physically to your recipient’s home.
How long does a transfer with WorldRemit take?
WorldRemit transfer speeds depend on the delivery method you choose.
|Delivery method||Transfer speed|
|Bank transfer||Within minutes to five business days|
|Mobile money||Within minutes|
|Airtime top-up||Within minutes|
|Home delivery||One to seven business days|
Where can I use WorldRemit?
WorldRemit transfers can be sent from over 50 countries and received in over 150 countries. You can check out the full list of currencies here, but popular currencies and sending destinations include the following:
- Mexico: Mexican peso (MXN)
- China: Chinese yuan (CNY)
- India: Indian rupee (INR)
- Philippines: Philippine peso (PHP)
- Vietnam: Vietnamese dong (VND)
- Guatemala: Guatemalan quetzal (GTQ)
- Nigeria: Nigerian dollar (NGN)
- El Salvador: El Salvador colon (SVC)
- Dominican Republic: Dominican peso (DOP)
- Thailand: Thai baht (THB)
Is WorldRemit safe to use?
WorldRemit uses many methods to keep your money safe and is authorized and regulated by many government agencies. In short, here is how WorldRemit keeps your money safe:
Secure payment channels
Depending on where you are sending money from and to, you can expect your payments to be secured by the following:
- Apple Pay
- Android Pay
- Verified by Visa
- Mastercard and Maestro SecureCode
WorldRemit holds many licenses around the globe, including in the following countries:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Dedicated security teams
WorldRemit uses machine learning to monitor all transactions, and anything suspicious is forwarded for human attention. When problems pop up, customers can contact WorldRemit 24/7 by using the following methods:
- Live chat
How do I transfer money through WorldRemit?
There are six easy steps to follow:
- Choose the country you want to send to
- Select the method of transfer
- Bank transfer
- Cash pickup
- WorldRemit Wallet
- Mobile top-up
- Airtime top-up
- Enter sending amount then double-check fees and exchange rate
- Add recipient information
- Add payment information
- Send money
How do I receive money through WorldRemit?
Depending on where you live, the ways to receive money through WorldRemit may vary. WorldRemit offers the following ways to receive money:
- Cash pickup. Pick up a cash transfer at one of WorldRemit’s partner network locations – these are typically banks.
- Bank transfer. Have the money delivered straight to your bank account. Additional fees may apply, so always double-check with your bank before accepting a transfer this way.
- Mobile money. Receive money into your existing mobile wallet service, which you can then use to pay bills, withdraw at authorized agents and similar actions.
- Airtime top-up. Have money sent directly to your telecom network to cover your phone bill.
- Door-to-door delivery. Physical cash is delivered straight to your door, but you must present a valid ID that matches the details entered by the sender.
What information will I need to send a transfer?
To send money through WorldRemit, you’ll need the following:
- A WorldRemit account. Creating an account is free and can typically be done in a few minutes or less.
- Valid payment. Payment options for transfers out of South Africa include debit, credit and prepaid cards, bank account transfers, Apple Pay and Android Pay.
- Recipient’s name and contact information. To make sure your transfer goes smoothly, have your recipient’s legal name, bank account information and contact info ready when setting up your transfer.
- Valid identification. Valid ID is required to transfer with WorldRemit. Acceptable forms must include your photograph, your full name, date of birth and more. Typically accepted forms of ID include the following:
- SA or international passport
- SA ID
- SA driver’s license
- SA refugee document
- SA visa
WorldRemit Wallet, mobile money and airtime top-ups explained
Some of these services you may know under different names and not all of them are available worldwide.
Similar to other digital wallets, the WorldRemit Wallet enables users in select countries to store money without having to move it to a bank account or for cash pickup. The WorldRemit Wallet comes included in the WorldRemit mobile app in participating countries and can currently store US dollars, Philippine pesos, Ugandan shilling and Central African francs.
WorldRemit mobile money
Mobile money is an ewallet service that is available for use in more than 80 countries and may be particularly useful for the underbanked and unbanked. Mobile money uses smartphones and basic phones to store money that can be saved, withdrawn and sent by the user through their phone. Users can use their mobile money to buy things in participating stores and online shops as well as to pay bills and more.
Many mobile service providers allow you to pay for service through money transfers. This is where airtime top-ups come into play. WorldRemit allows you to pay for service in other countries, perhaps for your friends or family, so that they will have airtime minutes and text balances to stay in touch with you.
Does WorldRemit have a mobile app?
Yes, WorldRemit has an app available on both the App Store and through Google Play. Through the app, you can do the following:
- Save contact information. Store your frequent recipients to make starting a transfer to them even quicker.
- Get daily price notifications. Keep an eye on multiple currency pairs to send your money when the exchange rate is in your favor.
- Track transfers. See the progress of your transfer in the app and opt in or out of SMS notifications.
- Access customer support. Find live chat, telephone numbers and email options to contact customer support through the app.
How does WorldRemit compare to other providers?
Our table below shows you the fees and exchange rates you can expect from other money transfer specialists. Compare WorldRemit to the other providers below to see if it’s the best option for you.