Monito.com

Remitly Review: Our Definitive Review of Remitly's Money Transfers in 2023

Jan Watermann

Reviewer

Apr 24, 2023
Affiliate disclosure

Remitly is an excellent money transfer provider (9.2/10) and is highly recommended by the experts at Monito. Serving over three million customers across the globe, Remitly is trusted and highly credible (7.5/10) and very well-rated by customers (9.4/10). Though it ranks highly across the board, Remitly excels in its fees and exchange rates (9.7/10), offering users the cheapest transfer options in over 50% of Monito searches for bank transfers and over 75% for cash transfers – truly unparalleled!

What Monito Likes About Remitly

  • Excellent choice for cash pick-ups;
  • Numerous destinations are available around the globe;
  • Offers a variety of pay-in and pay-out options.

What Monito Dislikes About Remitly

  • 35% of fees are hidden in the exchange rate margin.
  • A limited number of origin countries which can't send to each other.

Criteria

Monito's Score

Review Highlight

🔒 Trust

7.5/10

Trusted by over 5 million customers

✅ Service

9.3/10

Variety of pay-in and pay-out options

💸 Pricing

9.7/10

Consistently ranks as the cheapest provider

👥 Users

9.4/10

Extremely popular with users

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:

Is Remitly Available in Your Country?

Remitly

Can I Trust Remitly?

Moving over $5 billion across the globe for more than 3 million customers annually, Remitly is a well-established money transfer provider that has been in the field for 10 years.

Remitly is a trustworthy and secure money transfer provider. A Registered Money Services Business with the US Department of the Treasury and licensed as a money transmitter in the US, Remitly is also authorized to operate in all Canadian provinces (including Quebec) and is duly regulated in the UK and Ireland (for the EU.)

Is Remitly Safe To Send Money?

Yes, Remitly is indeed a safe money transfer service, providing the following security measures and fraud prevention safeguards:

  • All Remitly accounts are verified using various techniques to keep them safe and secure and prevent fraud.
  • Users need to submit certain identification documents to send money through Remitly.
  • Remitly uses manual and automated detection techniques and risk management procedures to detect and eliminate suspicious account activity.
  • All transactions are protected with strong technological security, including 256-bit SSL encryption with a 2048-bit signature.

Remitly offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, or you will get your money back. If you cancel your transaction at any time before its completion, you will have all your money refunded in full. If the transaction has already been completed, but you are not satisfied, Remitly will refund you their fees in full.

Remitly's Industry Reputation

Remitly has the financial strength and the backing of investors, including TommorrowVentures, Jeff Bezos (Founder and CEO of Amazon), Trilogy Equity Partnership, QED and DJF. The company has now raised over $100m in venture capital from various noteworthy investors, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group. They have now completed a further fundraising round, including investment from Generation Investment Management, Barclays, Bridge Bank,  Goldman Sachs, Silicon Valley Bank, Owl Rock Capital, Princeville Global, Prudential Financial, Schroder & Co Bank AG, Top Tier Capital Partners, DN Capital, Naspers’ PayU and Stripes Group.

Investors and venture capitalists see Remitly as a well-run, secure, and efficient business for international money transfers and transactions.

Remitly is growing rapidly, increasing the total value of transactions and the number of customers served by between 200% and 400% year on year. It has hundreds of thousands of customers who are now collectively transferring more than $6 billion a year through its services.

Remitly's Service Quality

Remitly is straightforward to use, conveniently offering users a variety of pay-in and pay-out options and easy-to-reach customer service.

Monito's Impressions During Our Test

Remitly's ease of use makes it quite easy to open an account and send money, though its rather dated website design sometimes gets in the way, especially when it comes to changing the destination country. Despite the dated design, however, Remitly is pretty good at putting what its users need front and center, with its clear communication on transfer limits being a particular stand-out. A shame, then, that it doesn't extend this transparency to its rates!

What is Remitly?

Remitly is an online international money transfer service allowing people in the US, Canada, the Eurozone, Australia, and the UK to send money to over 85 countries across the world. As a digital alternative to traditional money transfer services, Remitly makes money transfers fast, secure and relatively inexpensive. 

Remitly is mobile-optimized and you can send money abroad using their online money transfer service or the Remitly app on your smartphone or tablet. Remitly provides its services in English, Spanish, French, German, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Romanian, and Vietnamese. Funding your money transfer is easy, Remitly lets you pay via bank transfer, debit, or credit card. Your beneficiary has multiple choices on how they pick up their money:

  • They can have the transferred money deposited into their bank account in their local currency.
  • They can pick up their money in cash from any of the 140,000 agent locations around the world in Remitly’s network.
  • They can have money transferred directly into their mobile wallet on their smart device.
  • They can have the money delivered to their home address.

How Remitly Works

  • Step 01

    Check Remitly’s rates

    Use Monito's comparison tool to understand Remitly’s exchange rates and fees to ensure they are the cheapest option for your international money transfer. You can find the cheapest way to fund your transfer (pay-in) and receive the money (pay-out)

  • Step 02

    Create an account

    Sign up for Remitly on the web or via the mobile app using an email address. You’ll need to provide Remitly with your full name, residential address, date of birth, and with the reason for your money transfer.

  • Step 03

    Verify your identity (KYC)

    If you want to send more than $2,999 in 24 hours, $10,000 in 30 days, or $18,000 in 180 days, you’ll need to provide more information such as your SSN/ITIN, proof of funds (e.g. payslip), and to verify your identity with a government-issued photo ID (limits and documents vary country by country).

  • Step 04

    Initiate a transfer

    Enter how much you're sending, the destination country and currency, and delivery method. You can choose between Remitly’s Express service (paying with a debit/credit card) or its Economy (paying with a bank account) which usually has lower fees and better exchange rates but a longer delivery speed.

  • Step 05

    Add a beneficiary

    Enter the recipient’s details including name (matching their ID), address and contact info (mobile phone). If you’re sending money abroad on a bank account, you’ll also need to provide the beneficiary’s banking details (IBAN, SWIFT/BIC etc..).

  • Final step

    Fund your transfer and click send

    Pay for your transfer with the payment method you selected, click “Send” and voilà the money is on its way! You can follow the status of your transfer on the platform and subscribe to SMS or Email notifications.

Remitly Economy and Express Service

Due to their focus on digital technology and mobile apps, Remitly fees are reasonable and Remitly provides good exchange rates for money transfers and currency exchange. We’ve covered this in detail in the “Fees and Exchange Rates” section below. Remitly offers two main types of money transfer service:

  • Economy: You fund these money transfers with a deposit from your bank account. The fees are typically lower than the Express service, and in some cases, there might be no fee at all. Transfers normally take three to five days.
  • Express: You fund these transfers with your debit or credit card. The fees are higher and you will sometimes need to pay a card processing fee. The money is normally available to the beneficiary within minutes of your making the payment.

Please note that depending on the country where you’re transferring money, you may be limited to only one of these options.

Like many other money transfer services, Remitly has daily and monthly limits on how much you can transfer, depending on your “tier.” Once you’ve signed up, you can gain access to higher tiers by providing Remitly with additional information and identification.

Remitly Money-Back Guarantee

Remitly has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which means that if your money doesn’t arrive on time, they will refund their fees and charges.

Remitly’s Mobile App Review

Remitly’s mobile app have excellent customer ratings on Apple’s App Store (4.9/5 stars on 463 thousand ratings) and Google’s Play Store (4.8/5 on 182 thousand ratings). With Remitly’s mobile apps, it’s easy to send money from your smartphone in a few taps.

See some of the 2022 Remitly App's standout and convenient features:

  • Direct transfer to banks in Mexico, the Philippines, India & 100+ more;
  • Wire funds to 50+ mobile money providers;
  • Recipients pick up cash without paying a fee;
  • User friendly app design;
  • Few complaints and attentive customer service.

Remitly's Fees & Exchange Rates

Remitly consistently ranks as the cheapest provider in a majority of relevant Monito searches, both for bank transfers and transfers for cash pick-up. Fees can change over time and vary by location, so run a search on Monito's comparison engine to find the best deal too.

In general, Remitly's fees and exchange rates can be broken down as follows:

Remitly Money Transfer Fees

Note that fees do vary significantly depending on where you are sending from, where you are sending to, the amount you are sending, the service you choose, and several other factors. 

These factors include:

  • How much money you are transferring;
  • Where you are transferring money to;
  • How you are funding your money transfer;
  • The currency the beneficiary is receiving the transfer in;
  • The transfer service you choose.

For example, here are the fees charged for sending money from the US to the Philippines:

  • Remitly’s Economy Service: The money arrives in three business days and is paid for with a bank account deposit from you. There is no Remitly fee for this service.
  • Remitly’s Express Service Paid for Debit Card: The money arrives almost immediately and is paid for with your debit card. There is a Remitly fee of $3.99 for this service.

Remitly does charge higher fees in some circumstances, for example, if a beneficiary in the Philippines is receiving money in US dollars rather than pesos. These fees can add up, so we recommend the beneficiary receives money in their country’s native currency wherever possible.

Credit Card Processing Fees

Remitly does charge a small credit card processing fee in Australia, Canada, and the US, but doesn’t charge a fee in EU countries. Please note that a credit card provider may charge an additional fee or interest, as a money transfer may be considered as a “cash advance.” This fee is outside Remitly’s control. This could be as much as 3% in the US or 1% in Canada. Credit card fees may also vary in other countries.

Additional Fees Levied by Banks

Certain fees may also be levied by banks when you are transferring money to another account. These fees are outside the control of Remitly. Circumstances, where banks may charge additional fees, include:

  • Wire transfers into or out of sender or beneficiary accounts
  • Transfers that are sent via SWIFT or certain other banking protocols
  • Beneficiary banks charging a fee to receive a transfer
  • Intermediary banks charging fees to process money in transit

These fees could mean that the beneficiary receives less money than stated by Remitly due to circumstances beyond their control. If you want to understand what these extra fees are likely to be, please contact your bank and the beneficiary's bank.

Remitly Exchange Rates

Remitly’s exchange rates are competitive and are typically between 0.5% and 2% worse than mid-market rates. Create an account with Remitly and log in to see the exchange rates you will be charged, depending on where you are sending to. For example, take a look at the mid-market exchange rates for various currencies compared to the exchange rates offered by Remitly.

Sending US Dollars from the US to Honduran Lempira

  • Mid-Market Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 24.75 HDL
  • Remitly Exchange Rate: 1 USD to 24.64 HDL
  • Remitly's rate is 0.5% worse than the interbank rate
  • If you’re transferring 1,000 USD, this would mean you pay $5 more, plus Remitly’s fee of $10.99 to $15.99

Sending British Pounds from the UK to Bolivian Boliviano

  • Mid-Market Exchange Rate: 1 GBP to 8.92 BOB
  • Remitly Exchange Rate: 1 GBP to 8.71 BOB
  • Remitly's rate is 2.4% worse than the interbank rate
  • If you’re transferring 1,000 GBP, this would mean you pay £24 more, plus Remitly’s fee of £0.99 to £14.99

Compare fees & exchange rates cheaper than Remitly:

Remitly Money Transfer Customer Reviews

Remitly is extremely popular with users, having a 4.1/5 star rating on Trustpilot, with over 35 thousand 4- and 5-star reviews. Customer reviews of Remitly are dominated by positive sentiment, included comments such as, “After some time getting everything set up, it was fast and easy. Love how I was kept informed of the progress from sending to getting picked up. So easy to use.” and “I would use their service again. it was so easy and fast, the recipient received the money in their account within 5 minutes, and there was no charge for sending from a debit card.”

Although significantly in the minority, Remitly did have some negative reviews, including, “What a foolish policy asking a customer that brings an ID with date of birth of your recipient, only then will they allow you to send money.” and “Don't send money here if your recipient bank is PSbank and especially during Thursday Canada time because they will wait and hold your remittance for next week’s banking hours.”

Remitly Positive Points

  • The money transfer services were rated as fast and cheap
  • Customers were pleased with how easy the service was to use.
  • Remitly was praised for being reliable and trustworthy
  • Customers were pleased with the customer service

Remitly Complaints

  • A few customers had a bad experience with Remitly, especially when cancelling their transaction and waiting for a refund.
  • On some occasions, the money took a bit longer to arrive than expected, normally because of banking hours in the receiving country.
  • Some customers complained that there were many requirements (bank information and personal identification) before making a transfer (note: these are legal obligations and therefore not Remitly’s fault).

Notably, Remitly responded to almost every negative review on Trustpilot with an offer to look into and resolve the issues for the reviewer. In many cases, they also offered to refund their money transfer fees.

FAQ About Remitly

See How Remitly Stacks Up

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

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