Remitly Vs TransferWise: The Ultimate Comparison

Debating whether to use Remitly or Wise (formerly TransferWise) for your next overseas payment?

This Remitly Vs Wise review will help you decide, covering:

  • Feature comparison
  • Fees and exchange rates
  • Delivery times and options
  • Safety and regulation
  • Customer satisfaction

Summary: Remitly exists to help people working overseas get money home to loved ones and covers common remittance routes, with pay out options including cash collection or delivery and payments to mobile money accounts. Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is a specialist in international payments to bank accounts, with multi-currency account products for individuals and businesses.

Remitly has more payout options – and covers more countries – but for payments to a bank account, Wise can be cheaper and more transparent.

Remitly is licensed as a money transmitter throughout the US.

Wise is registered with FinCEN and authorized to operate in most US states. In some states Wise operates as a service provider to Community Federal Savings Bank.

Go To Wise Go to Remitly
 

 

Remitly Vs Wise: side by side

FeatureRemitlyWise
Send payments to90+ countries80+ countries, 50+ currencies
Multi-currency accountsNAvailable for 54 currencies
Debit card availableNY
Pay to bank accountsYY
Cash payout availableYN
Pay to mobile money accountYN
Fully licensed and regulatedYY
Open a business accountNY

So, to summarize:

  • Remitly supports payouts to more countries compared to Wise
  • Wise has a multi-currency account and card to support 50+ currencies – Remitly does not have that option
  • Remitly offers payouts for cash collection and delivery,  and to mobile wallets – Wise does not
  • Wise has business account optionsRemitly is for personal use only
  • Both providers are fully authorized to operate in the US and internationally. Wise trades publicly. 

While Remitly and Wise both offer international payments their services are a little different. Remitly’s core purpose is to cover common remittance routes to allow people working abroad to send money home to loved ones. Wise is a specialist in international payments to bank accounts, providing cross border transfers and multi-currency account services to individuals and businesses.

Wise payments use the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees. If you’re sending money to a bank account and Wise covers the destination country you’re sending to, they may be the cheapest option. However, if you want a fast way to get cash to someone on the other side of the world, Remitly might be the right provider for you.

Remitly is licensed as a money transmitter throughout the US.

The important bits

RemitlyWise
RatesExchange rates include a markupMid-market exchange rate with no markup
Fees2 different rates – Express and Economy – availableLow fees, varies by destination
SpeedExpress payments can arrive instantly, Economy may take a few days40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours
ServiceOnline, in app and by phoneOnline, in app and by phone
SafetyFully regulated and licensedFully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot)Trustpilot score: 4.2/5, Great rating, from 34,000+ reviewsTrustpilot score: 4.6/5, Excellent rating, from 143,000+ reviews

Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate; Remitly adds a markup to the exchange rates used

Fees: Both providers have variable fees which are based on the destination country. Remitly also offers a choice of faster Express payments – which have higher fees – or cheaper Economy transfers when time is not a concern

Speed: Remitly cash collection and mobile money payments may be ready in minutes – bank transfers depend on destination and may arrive quickly or take a day or two depending on the payment type you choose. Wise payments can be instant, with 80% arriving in 24 hours

Service: Both providers offer multilingual service in a range of languages, online, in-app and by phone

Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated. Wise is publicly traded.

Reviews: Wise scores an Excellent review rating on Trustpilot, Remitly has a lower, Great rating, with fewer posted reviews

Pros and cons

RemitlyWise
Pros
  • Great range of pay out options
  • 90+ countries covered
  • Choose the delivery speed you prefer
  • Arrange payments online or in-app for convenience
  • Mid-market exchange rate
  • Low, transparent fees
  • 80+ countries covered
  • Multi-currency accounts available
  • Business services offered
Cons
  • Exchange rate markups are used
  • No multi-currency account option
  • No business services
  • No cash pay out option
  • Fees vary by destination country
  • Mobile money transfers not available

Remitly Vs Wise: The verdict

Remitly offers an important service to customers who want to send money home on popular remittance routes, especially if they’re looking for cash collection or mobile money pay outs.

Wise on the other hand is a specialist in transfers direct to bank accounts, and offers the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees. Wise also has a multi-currency account with a linked international debit card.

If Wise supports payments to the country you’re sending to, and you want your transfer to be delivered to a bank account, they may be your best bet. However, for payments to be collected in cash, Remitly is worth considering thanks to their broad reach and extensive agent network.

About Remitly and Wise

Remitly is a mission-driven business, which was founded in 2011 to make remittance payments faster and cheaper for people living overseas and sending money home. Remitly has a broad agent network to allow cash collections even in areas where access to banking services may be limited.

You can send payments with Remitly from 17 larger developed countries, to over 100 countries.

Wise was launched as TransferWise back in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider. These days, Wise has upwards of 10 million customers, and also offers personal and business accounts to hold and manage currencies, accept payments and spend using a linked debit card.

With Wise you can send payments to 80+ countries, in 50+ currencies.

How do they work?

Typically, Remitly won’t hold customer money. Instead, as soon as the payment is received it’s passed on to the recipient – either as cash for collection, or directly to their bank account.

Before you can make a payment, you’ll need to create an account online or in the app. This is straightforward to do by following the on-screen prompts. However, to keep your money safe and comply with US law you may also need to provide documents for verification. When your account is set up you can make transfers in just a few steps:

  1. Sign in on the webpage or open the Remitly app
  2. Select Get started or Send money
  3. Enter the amount you want to send and the delivery method
  4. Add recipient information – bank account details for a bank transfer, or name and personal details for cash pickup
  5. Complete your profile, adding your name and personal details
  6. Connect your preferred payment method – bank account or card
  7. Review, and when you’re ready, hit Send money
  8. You’ll see a confirmation screen once the payment is finalized

Wise also requires customers to create an account online. You might need to provide some ID for verification, depending on the transfer type you’re making.

Once your account up all up and running you can make payments easily online and in the Wise app:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
  3. Enter the recipient’s details – bank account number or email
  4. Check over the details
  5. Fund your payment using a card or bank transfer
  6. Confirm and your money will be on the move

Wise transfers are always delivered to recipient bank accounts – however they don’t work in the same way as a traditional wire payment, which is why they can arrive faster and don’t incur intermediary fees.

Instead of relying on the outdated technology used by banks, Wise built its own network of local bank accounts to speed up payments. This means that when you want to pay for your transfer you’ll send the money to Wise’s local US account, then Wise will make a payment of the equivalent amount in your preferred currency, from their account in the destination country. No money actually moves across borders, so it’s faster and cheaper than traditional international payments.

Remitly is licensed as a money transmitter throughout the US.

Remitly vs Wise Fees

Remitly’s exchange rates and fees depend on where you’re sending money to, the specific service you require, and how you’ll pay. Fees include:

  • Transfer fee
  • Exchange rate markup
  • Third party fees

Often you can choose from 2 different payment types – Express and Economy.

Express payments are funded by debit or credit card, and can arrive quickly. Economy payments are funded with a bank transfer but can take several days to arrive. If you use a credit card to pay for your Remitly transfer you may also pay a cash advance fee to the card issuer.

Often the highest of all of the fees you pay for an international transfer is in the exchange rate markup. This is also the trickiest to see, as it’s rolled into the rate you’re offered when you set up your payment. As markups are applied as a percentage of the transfer value, they quickly mount up if you’re sending a large amount.

Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no hidden costs. Instead there’s a transparent fee which will depend on the value of your payment and the way you pay for it. All costs are clearly shown when you calculate your payment.

Remitly vs Wise: which is cheaper?

International payment specialists are almost always cheaper than sending money overseas with your normal bank. However, different providers have different features and fees, so you’ll still want to compare a few to find the best one for you.

Get all the information you need about sending a transfer with Wise without needing to create an account or make any commitments. Just head to the Wise, or download the app, enter how much you want to send, or how much you need your recipient to get, and see an instant quote.

Remitly also lets customers model payments online or in their app, but you’ll need to create an account first. The services which are available do vary by destination country, and there are some large developed countries which you can’t make Remitly payments to. Check out the details and the services available before you get started.

Remitly Vs Wise: which is faster?

Remitly Express payments may be processed in minutes. Economy transfers can take 3 – 5 business days to arrive.

Wise payments can arrive in seconds on some currency routes, and most transfers arrive within a day. You’ll see the estimated delivery time when you set up your transfer, and can always track it online or in the Wise app.

Safety

Remitly is licensed to transmit money in all US states and Washington, D.C[8].

Wise is registered with FinCEN and licensed as a money transmitter in most US states. In some states Wise operates as a service provider to Community Federal Savings Bank.

Ease of use

  • Creating an account: Wise and Remitly accounts are opened and operated online or using the provider app.
  • Making a transfer: Remitly and Wise international payments can be made online or in the provider app.
  • Ways to send money:  Wise and Remitly both offer transfers funded by bank transfer, credit or debit card.
  • Languages:  Remitly and Wise offer global support in a range of languages, online, using the app, and by phone.
  • Minimum & maximum amounts: Remitly has sending limits which apply every 24 hours, 30 days and 180 days. These limits vary depending on the specific services you use. You can increase your limit by providing additional verification documents. Wise limits depend on which currencies you send to and from, and how you pay. However, you can make several smaller transfers if your ideal transfer amount exceeds the limit for the specific payment.

Supported currencies

From the US you can send money to over 90 countries with Remitly. With Wise you can send money to 80 countries and hold and convert 54 currencies in your Wise account.

Conclusion

While Remitly and Wise both offer international payments, the specific services they provide are a little different. Remitly has a focus on supporting customers working abroad to send payments home, serving popular remittance routes with transfers for cash collection, delivery and to mobile money accounts. You can also send transfers to bank accounts.

Wise is a specialist in cross-border payments to bank accounts and also offers multi-currency account options for individuals and businesses. If Wise serves your destination country and you’re sending a payment to a bank account, they might be your cheapest option. However, if you want to make a transfer for cash collection, Remitly is worth a look thanks to its impressive reach and range of pay out options.

Go To Wise Go to Remitly
 

FAQ

1. Is Remitly or Wise cheaper?

Wise is a specialist in international payments to bank accounts – and often offers market beating rates and fees. Remitly has a broader range of service options, including cash payouts. Which is best for you will depend on the specific payment you want to make, so it’s worth comparing a few options before you decide.

2. Is Remitly or Wise faster?

Wise payments can arrive instantly, with most being delivered within 24 hours. Remitly Express payments may be processed in minutes. Economy transfers can take 3 – 5 business days to arrive.

3. How many currencies do Remitly and Wise support?

From the US you can send money to over 90 countries with Remitly. Wise customers can send payments to 80+ countries, and hold and manage 50+ in their Wise accounts.

By Ileana Ionescu Updated March 28th, 2022