Remitly Overview. Big player on the wire transfers market?
- No or low fees for international money transfers to some countries
- 24/7 customer support
- Multilingual platform
- User-friendly mobile app in more than 10 languages
- Card-based transfers are very fast under the Express Service
- Support for several transfer methods
- Several options to receive money, including cash pickup and home delivery
- High levels of account and transaction security
- Cheaper promotional rates for first-time users
- Complex variety of transfer fees
- High fees for money transfers to some countries
- Debit and credit card transfers are more expensive than bank transfers
- Bank transfers are slow under the Economy Service
What is Remitly?
Remitly is an online service for sending money internationally using smartphones, personal computers, or any other suitable digital device. It is a web-based remittance service that boasts of providing faster, more transparent, and more affordable wire transfers.
Remitly is not a bank. It is a fintech company that was founded by Matthew Oppenheimer, Shivaas Gulati, and Josh Hug in 2011. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington State, in the United States of America. It has global offices across the world, including some of the best locations for launching a fintech startup, such as London (United Kingdom) and Singapore.
Through a global network of trusted partners and financial institutions, Remitly has been providing cross-border money transfer services to its millions of customers. The company’s major partners include payment networks like Visa (which provides Visa Direct support), payment processors like Stripe, traditional banks like Sunrise Bank, and over 3,600 cash disbursement agents worldwide.
Who is Remitly for?
The money-transfer platform of Remitly was designed especially for sending remittances to family and friends. In other words, this digital payment service is meant to transform the “lives of immigrants and their families” (quoting from the company’s vision statement). So, digital nomads, international freelancers, refugees, working-class foreign students at colleges and universities, and other types of immigrants who need to financially support their loved ones back home can use this service.
The services rendered by Remitly are not intended for businesses or commercial customers. They were created for personal money transfers such as medical expenses, rent payments, utility bills, social event funding, transportation costs, education financing, retirement savings contributions, and gifts. Nevertheless, the platform can be used for commercial payments and charitable donations in a few permissible cases, which are to be determined by Remitly during payment processing. Keep in mind that there is limited support for business transfers from the United States to other countries but none for outgoing payments from any other country.
Note: Remitly does not support the use of its money transfer service for payments relating to firearms, adult services, betting, gambling, controlled substances, and other illegal products in the country of the sender or recipient. All such money transfers will be declined because they are against the company’s policies and User Agreement.
Remitly rates and fees
Remitly charges competitive exchange rates and fees, like many other money transfer services. Depending on the currencies, the exchange rate charged by Remitly is between 0.5% and 2% of the amount.
In terms of fees, Remitly does not have a fixed fee. The cost of international money transfers varies depending on the locations involved and the mode of sending the money—Express Service or Economy Service (we have more information about them in a later section of this overview). However, expect to pay no fee on your first transfer and about $3.99 (Express) or $1.99 (Economy) for subsequent transfers.
Main Features of Remitly
The Remitly payment platform offers the following key features to enable immigrants and other users to get the best experience when sending money internationally:
Support for many payment methods
Remitly enables the use of a variety of payment methods for sending money to family and friends abroad. Among the supported transfer options are Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards. It also accepts prepaid cards, Maestro cards, Klarna, iDEAL, digital accounts of traditional banks and neobanks, Passbook (an app by Remitly), bank transfers, and manual transfers (SEPA payments).
Free cash pickup
Remitly allows a sender to select "cash pickup" as a method for delivering the money transferred. It is advantageous for people who prefer to receive physical cash or do not have a bank account. When this option is chosen, the transfer details must be sent to the recipient, who will have to go to a nearby convenient location to collect the cash.
User-friendly multilingual mobile app
Remitly offers a mobile app that works smoothly on devices running Android and iOS operating systems. It is easy for anyone to use and understand. Besides, its interface and functionality are available in 14 languages, allowing you to conveniently operate the app and receive communications from Remitly in your preferred language.
24/7 customer support
Remitly's customer service is available around the clock (24/7). The channels for getting help are the following: chat, which is available in English, Spanish, and French; the searchable Help Center, which is available in more than 10 languages; and phone (various numbers for different locations), which is available in English and Spanish. Also, users can stay connected with the Remitly platform on Facebook and Twitter.
High levels of security
Remitly offers account and transaction security at a very high level by deploying a variety of automated and manual risk management processes. Unusual activities are promptly identified and reported.
Your Remitly account uses a secure server connection (https://) with 256-bit encryption enabled by Secure Socket Layer (SSL). This standard is used across the payments industry.
Furthermore, your Remitly account is protected with a strong password that has no less than eight characters, including letters and numbers. You must create this password in order to access your account or mobile app.
Remitly Mobile App
Remitly has a free-to-download, user-friendly, multilingual mobile app for money transfers. It is loaded with the essential features required to send cash from one supported location to another at any time. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store on devices running Android version 5.0 or higher and from the Apple App Store on those running iOS version 11 or higher.
Is Remitly Safe to Use? Is It Regulated?
Remitly is a safe and legitimate online service for immigrants to make international money transfers. The company has received multiple licences and registration statuses in the various countries where it operates. It is registered as a Money Service Business (MSB) with the United States Department of the Treasury and licenced as a money transmitter in several states, including the New York State Department of Financial Services.
In the United Kingdom, Remitly is authorised and regulated under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 by the Financial Conduct Authority. In addition, it is registered as a money service business by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which is the UK’s tax, payments, and customs authority.
Therefore, you can rest assured that Remitly is safe to use. The reason is that it operates in accordance with the established official rules and strict regulations in its supported countries. Furthermore, as one of its main features, Remitly has a high level of security on each user's account and transactions.
How to Send Money Using Remitly
The process of sending money to your family or friends overseas through Remitly begins with creating an account and entering your bank account details or card information on the platform. After that, you need to follow these steps:
- Log in to your account using the Remitly mobile app or website.
- Go to the "Send Money" or "Get Started" option and enter the amount you want to transfer to your recipient, indicating the sending and receiving currencies, which could be USD and EUR, respectively. You must also provide the recipient's correct personal and account information, such as name, address, and phone number, as well as bank name and account number if sending via bank transfer.
- Check the exchange rate, which will immediately appear on the screen, to ensure that you are comfortable with it before clicking on "Continue" to proceed to the next step.
- Choose the preferred speed of transfer, which can be either "Express" or "Economy," depending on how quickly you would like the money to be transferred to the receiver. The former option will require the use of a debit or credit card for a high fee and transfer the funds immediately (or in about an hour), while the latter will send the money on a specified future date for a low fee and require the use of a bank account. Specify the delivery method and click "Send" to transfer the money. The options available are bank deposit, cash pickup, mobile money, and home delivery. That’s all.
How to Receive Money Through Remitly
When money is sent to you via Remitly, there are various ways you can receive it. Depending on where you live and the delivery option specified by the sender, you can receive the money via home delivery, a digital account or mobile wallet on your mobile phone (or personal computer), your bank account, or a cash pickup point near you. Note that the home delivery option is supported in the Philippines, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic.
Remitly Affiliate Program
Remitly has an affiliate programme for those interested in supporting its mission. It is particularly important for website owners, fintech bloggers, influential members of communities, and those who have immigrants as audience members or followers.
The first step to joining the "Remitly Affiliate Program" is to fill out the online application form and wait for three to five working days to get completely set up. Next, you will tell your audience about Remitly and its usefulness in making fast and low-cost international money transfers. After doing that, you will start generating revenue by using your unique Remitly link to invite new users to join the platform. You will be rewarded only for those who successfully made money transfers on the platform after joining through your link.
Remitly provides a digital platform that supports families in over 160 countries with their money transfer needs. The fintech company is available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Austria, Australia, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
The customer support team at Remitly can be reached via chat and phone 24/7. The languages available in the chat channel are English, French, and Spanish, while only English and Spanish are available in the phone option.
Remitly Competitors: Alternative Wire Transfer Services to Use
There are other money transfer services on the market that are as good as, and even better than, Remitly. Below are our top picks from among them for those who would like to try a different service.
- Wise: This online money transfer service offers a multi-currency account and a card to enable its users to hold and spend more than 50 different currencies, whereas Remitly does not. However, unlike Remitly, it does not offer cash pickup and home delivery options for receiving money. Read our Wise overview for more information.
- Paysend: This is a mobile money transfer app for sending funds to family, friends, and associates in more than 150 countries. It integrates with third-party apps, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, more than Remitly. Find out more about this service by reading our Paysend overview.
- PayPal: If you are looking for a money transfer service that has e-commerce tools for businesses to manage their payments more efficiently, PayPal is a better option for you than Remitly. Read our PayPal overview for more information about it.
- Payoneer: Payoneer is a more advanced cross-border payment service than Remitly. It provides freelancers, e-commerce establishments, and digital content creators with the tools that they need to succeed in their various businesses. Read our Payoneer overview for more details.
The daily money transfer limit on Remitly is relatively low compared to some of its top competitors. The amount of money you can pay out or send in a day ranges from US2,999 to US$30,000, depending on the amount of information you are able to provide for the confirmation of your identity.
Remitly makes money from its exchange rates and transfer fees. The total amount a customer pays to Remitly per transaction depends on the amount involved, the currencies being exchanged, and the funds transfer method.
Yes, Remitly is a trustworthy international money transfer service. It is registered and regulated by reputable financial authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom. So, you do not need to have any fears while dealing with this fintech company; their activities are under the watch of law enforcement agencies in respect of consumer protection. Moreover, Remitly has a 4.1/5 customer rating on Trustpilot, which is an excellent score to assure you that it is reliable.
Yes, Remitly is a US-based company. Its headquarters is in Seattle, United States of America.
Yes, Remitly is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. The Payment Services Regulations 2017 recognise its legal status.
Like many other money transfer services, Remitly is a mixed bag, with strengths and weaknesses that you need to keep in mind. Nevertheless, it is a safe, legitimate, secure, and reliable online platform for immigrants to send money overseas to their families and friends.
Despite the impressive features of Remitly, such as its flexible payment and cash collection options, it is necessary to remember that this service is not for commercial users or businesses. You cannot create a business account on Remitly and get specialised tools for managing cross-border payments. If you want such functionality, you should consider using Remitly alternatives like Payoneer and PayPal.