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Instarem Money Transfer Review: Fees, Exchange Rates, Safety, How It Works, and Monito's Rating in 2023

Jarrod Suda

Reviewer

Apr 27, 2023
Affiliate disclosure

Instarem is a great money transfer provider (8.1/10), recommended by the experts at Monito. Although its exchange rate margins are not transparent, the company is duly regulated and highly trusted (7.8/10). Well-rated by customers (8.4/10), Instarem is a popular provider that allows you to comfortably send money to and from North America, most of Europe, Asia, and Australia. We found Instarem's sign-up process and user experience to be complex (6.7), but they do offer very competitive rates (9.4/10).

What Monito Likes About Instarem

  • Overall great rates and cheap fees,
  • Highly trusted and fast-growing,
  • Quick transfers.

What Monito Dislikes About Instarem

  • Limited coverage in Latin America (only in Mexico) and Africa,
  • Slow registration process,
  • Exchange rate margin fees are not transparent.
recommendation icon

Instarem is one of the cheapest international money transfer providers for rupee transfers from India to the United States, Canada, the Eurozone, and the United Kingdom.

From June 2021 to June 2022, Instarem also ranked highly for transfers from the United States to Canada and for transfers from Canada to the United States and the Eurozone.

Category

Monito Score

Highlight

Trust & Credibility

7.6/10

Trusted by more than two million customers.

Service Quality

6.7/10

Sending money is fast, but opening an account may take some time.

Fees & Exchange Rates

9.4/10

Well-priced and competitive fees and exchange rates.

Customer Satisfaction

8.1/10

An excellent 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Trustpilot.

Last updated: 26/04/2023

How We Review Money Transfer Providers

With more than 50 providers reviewed and 100 test transfers made over the past ten years, we pride ourselves on providing the best reviews of international money transfer services online. Curious how we make them and why you can trust us? Take a look at our process below:

Where Is Instarem Available?

Instarem

Trust & Credibility

7.8

Background check

Instarem is strictly regulated by nine financial regulators around the world and holds an Australian Finance Services (AFS) license and is also registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

Security & reliability

Instarem’s platforms are fully secured through the use of top-notch security protocols, such as segregated user accounts and HTTPs.

Company size

Since its establishment in 2014, Instarem has grown to serve 2 million customers and over 200 employees. Instarem transfers over $8 billion around the world annually.

Transparent pricing

Instarem is not transparent, not clearly disclosing that they do make money on the exchange rate (which constitutes around 98% of their total costs).

Is Instarem Safe?

Moving over US$4 billion annually across the globe for over 2 million customers, Instarem is a well-established and trusted money transfer provider.

Can I Trust Instarem?

Yes, Instarem is indeed a safe and secure money transfer service. Aside from offering industry-standard web security and protection, the service also has a growing customer base of more than 2 million customers, many of whom use the Instarem service every month. The company processes around US$5 billion in transactions every year and have a team of over 200 employees across six offices worldwide.

Instarem holds client money in accordance with money rules. All client money is held in a segregated client money account, separately from Instarem's operating money, making it a very secure option, all told.

Is Instarem Legit?

Yes, Instarem was launched in 2015 and has grown rapidly into a popular currency exchange provider. They received US$18 million in venture capital funding to grow the business. Currently, Instarem is licensed in the EU, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and Singapore. They have also been recognized through the Singapore Fintech Festival and India Fintech Awards in 2017.

Service & Quality

6.7

Opening an account

Opening an account with Instarem is a lengthy process, and ID verification can take some time, so Monito recommends that you plan accordingly when making your first transfer with Instarem.

Making a transfer

Making a transfer with Instarem is an easy and straightforward process.

Contacting support

Though Instarem advertises 24/7 customer care via email and live chat, contacting its customer service can be a frustrating and lengthy process that doesn’t always result in the needed answers.

Is Instarem's Service Good For Sending Money?

Instarem could be easier to use, as many of its processes are lengthy and customer service is difficult to reach. Still, transfers with Instarem go through and arrive at their destination quickly, thereby making up for time spent setting them up.

What Is Instarem?

Instarem (short for Instant Remittance) is a new money transfer provider providing low-priced, fast, and secure currency exchange services, especially in Asian countries. They provide up-front, transparent fees for currency transfers based on a low commission rather than a fixed fee. This makes them very attractive for transferring smaller amounts.

Instarem Transfer Time

Their money transfer service is fast, too. They can typically transfer funds within a business day of funding, compared to a bank transfer time of two to four days. In addition to providing money transfer services to individuals, Instarem also focuses on small and medium businesses, where they provide specialized functions.

We recommend Instarem as a fast, reliable, and well-priced money transfer specialist, especially if you need to send money to or from an Asian country.

Monito's Impressions During Our Test

While its new and easy-to-navigate website much improves the Instarem experience, our experts were unimpressed with the service quality provided to the user. Account activation was a lengthy process, with ID verification taking several days, and customer service proved to be both slow and unhelpful. However, making transfers with Instarem was, thankfully, a very different and quick experience.

Our takeaway is that to benefit from Instarem’s positive offerings and good fees and exchange rates; users should give themselves enough time to complete the one-time sign up process.

Instarem Mobile App Reviews

Instarem’s Android mobile app has rather good ratings on the Google Play Store (4.1/5 on over seven thousand ratings) and as well as on Apple’s App Store (4.1/5 stars on over 700 ratings). With Instarem’s mobile apps, it’s easy to send money 24/7, track your transfers on the go, and check the status of your transfers.

Instarem for Business

One of the main advantages of Instarem is the support they provide to businesses. They mainly do this by providing a configurable, multi-featured platform called “MassPay” that helps corporate and SME users to manage and control their high-volume payments. This lets organizations manage multiple remittances to multiple beneficiaries in multiple currencies through a simple and easy process. They estimate this can lower cross-border money transfer costs by up to 80%.

Benefits for businesses include:

  • Close to the mid-market, baseline rates with no hidden costs;
  • Same-day transfers within Asia;
  • Businesses can collate funds without needing a local presence;
  • You will know the exact rates used for your money transfer.

Fees & Exchange Rates

9.4

Transfers to a bank account

Instarem has good fees and exchange rates that consistently rank well in Monito’s comparisons (9.4/10): Instarem ranks competitively in 96% of cases.

Instarem's Fees & Exchange Rates

Instarem has good fees and exchange rates that consistently rank well in Monito’s comparisons (9.4/10): Instarem ranks competitively in 96% of cases for bank transers.

Instarem Fees and Charges

Unlike many big banks, credit unions, and international money transfer services, Instarem often does not charge a fixed fee for its service. Depending on your location, your sending destination, and your transfer method, you may have zero transfer fees for their service.

For example, debit card transfers will incur a low fixed fee. If you choose a bank transfer as your preferred method, then your transfer will often have no fixed fee! If your sending destination is a less common used corridor, such as Argentina or Nigeria, then bank transfers will still incur a fee.

Regardless, Instarem will charge an exchange rate margin, which we detail just below.

What is the Instarem Exchange Rate?

All of Instarem's fees are based on charging a small premium on the mid-market, baseline currency exchange rate. This lets businesses and individuals understand exactly how much they will be paying for money transfers. Their prices are low, at between 0.25% to 0.5% of the transferred amount.

On average, this margin constitutes 98% of Instarem's total fees.

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According to millions of searches on Monito, here's when we think you should (and shouldn't) use Instarem:

  • Sending from India to Europe & N. America? 
    Use Instarem, it's always very cheap!
  • Sending from North America to Europe?  
    Consider Instarem, Instarem usually ranks highly.
  • Sending between Canada and the United States? 
    Compare providers, Instarem is often competitive.

Here’s how much Instarem costs when you account for the exchange rate margin. Here, we are converting Australian dollars to Hong Kong dollars, and vice versa:

Fee for Converting 1,000 AUD to Hong Kong dollars

  • Mid-market exchange rate (baseline) — 5.992 HKD per AUD — A$5,991.80
  • Exchange rate offered by Instarem — 1.6489 AUD per GBP — A$5,961.80
  • Margin between baseline and Instarem rate — HK$30
  • Percentage cost for using Instarem compared to market rate — 0.5%

Fee for Converting 10,000 AUD to Hong Kong dollars

  • Mid-market exchange rate (baseline) — 5.992 HKD per AUD — A$59,918
  • Exchange rate offered by Instarem — 1.6489 AUD per GBP — A$59,618
  • Margin between baseline and Instarem rate — HK$300
  • Percentage cost for using Instarem compared to market rate — 0.5%

Compare to Find Lower Fees & Exchange Rates Than Instarem

Customer Satisfaction

8.4

Trustpilot reviews

With a 4.4/5 star rating on Trustpilot, there’s no doubt that Instarem has made a very good impression on its 7,848 reviewers.

Google Play reviews

7,435 reviews on Google Play gave Instarem a solid 4.1/5 star rating.

Instarem Reviews by Customers

Instarem is popular with users, receiving a 4.4/5 star rating on Trustpilot, with an overall large number of positive reviews.

Instarem Positive Reviews

  • Reliable with an excellent exchange rate;
  • First-time users can often get discouts;
  • Easy, quick, and convenient.

Instarem Complaints

  • Issues with customer documentation;
  • Complicated proof-of-identity process.

How Instarem Works

  • Step 01

    Check Instarem's Rates

    Use Monito's comparison engine to see how Instarem’s fees and exchange rates weigh up against the rest and make sure they are indeed the cheapest option for your international money transfer.

  • Step 02

    Open an Account

    Visit Instarem's website and open a free account. You will need to provide your full name, physical address, contact details, date of birth, bank details, and proof of identification. Instarem will then verify your identity documents and authenticate you, which can take up to 24 hours.

  • Step 03

    Set-up Your Transfer With Instarem

    Once your ID has been validated, log into Instarem’s online portal and specify where you need to send money and to whom by providing the personal and banking details of the sender and receiver of the funds.

  • Final step

    Fund Your Transfer

    Fund your transfer by making a local bank transfer or pay by debit or credit card. Instarem will convert your money in the recipient's currency and send it to him through the selected pay-out option.

    Try Instarem ❯

Frequently Asked Questions About Instarem

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Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.