Remitly

remitly
  • First-time transfer promotions
  • Easy to understand and send money
  • Delivery promise
  • Delivered by a specified time or the fees are refunded
  • Many delivery options

It’s not easy being an immigrant or an expat at times. Sending your hard-earned money shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, but sometimes it does. Let’s see how Remitly fares in this regard. But first, here’s our short verdict:

Remitly is offering a good range of countries and currencies to choose from. If your country is supported, it’s a good choice for sending money with flexible payment options and many delivery selections.

remitly infographic

About Remitly

Remitly was founded in 2011 by Matthew Oppenheimer (CEO), Joshua Hug (COO), Shivaas Gulati (Head of Engineering). The company is focused on transforming the lives of millions of immigrants and their families since the beginning. They already had more than 3 million customers worldwide.

The inspiration behind Remitly came when Matt was working for Barclays in Kenya and saw how difficult it was to send and receive money overseas.

Remitly makes international money transfers faster, more accessible, transparent, and affordable through its global network.

Its headquarters are in Seattle, but they have offices in Spokane, Manila, Managua, London, Krakow, & Cork.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • First time sending discount
  • Fast transfers
  • Transparent fees
  • Delivery promise
  • Easy to send money
  • Many countries and currencies to choose from
  • Track your transfer by email and text

Cons

  • Transfer limits
  • 3% fee when sending money with a credit card

Fees

Remitly’s fees are roughly on par with similar competitors. There’s usually a $4 (more or less) fixed fee that depends on the payment option and the country your sending from and to. Sending money with a credit card will always result in a 3% fee.

Remitly’s exchange rates generally have a margin from 1% to around 3%, largely dependent on the currency and payment method. 

When sending $500 to Mexico from the US, for example, you pay no fees, and if you send less than $500, you’ll pay $3.99. When transferring $500 or more from the U.S., you can expect to pay:

  • $1.99 to Brazil.
  • $2.99 to China.
  • $3.99 to India (fees fall to zero when you send $1,000+)

The best thing to do is visit the website and choose your country and the receiver’s country and see exactly how much they’re getting and the fees and exchange rates. 

Why is Remitly so special?

When you send money home, you want to make sure it’s easy for your loved ones to pick it up. Sending to a familiar location or trusted bank is an integral part of the process. 

With the Remitly app, you can count on plenty of choices for your family. In countries like Mexico, India, and the Philippines, you’ll find thousands of locations for sending money home, from mobile wallet accounts to bank deposits to cash pickup at stores.

The company also introduced Passbook – a bank account and Visa card designed specifically for immigrants living and working in the United States. There are no fees for minimum balance, overdraft, maintenance, ATM withdrawal, transfers, service charges, card re-issues, etc. And, you don’t have to have a Social Security Number to join. 

What countries are supported with Remitly?

Remitly supports money transfers from 17 sending countries to more than 100 receiving countries worldwide. Remitly is focused on immigrants, and so the transfer options reflect where immigrants currently live and where they’ve come from.

You can send money from the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

To view the complete list of countries you can send money to, visit the Remitly website.

Things you can send money for with Remitly

Remitly was designed to send money from individual to individual, meaning for personal use. You can only send money for things like medical expenses, rent, mortgage payments, travel expenses, bills, and similar.

You can’t send money to do:

  • Business transactions
  • Commercial transactions,
  • Charitable transactions
  • To pay for items that are against laws and rules (gambling and such)

How to transfer money with Remitly

You can send money using your phone by downloading the Remitly app from the App Store, Google Play Store, or do it on the website:

  1. Select ‘Get Started’ on the app or ‘Send money’ in the web browser
  2. Choose the options that work best for you and your recipient
  3. Enter the amount you’d like to send
  4. Choose a delivery method
  5. Enter your recipient’s name and phone number

If you select Bank Deposit as your delivery method, you’ll need to enter some information about your recipient’s bank account. If you choose Cash Pickup, you’ll need to select a pick up location. If you chose a different delivery option, you might need to enter their email address or other details.

Next, you’ll need to complete your profile and finish the transfer:

  1. Enter your name exactly as it appears on your valid ID, as well as your phone number and address
  2. Enter your date of birth
  3. Enter your bank account information, your credit or debit card information, or the details of another payment method 
  4. Review your transfer summary to make sure everything is correct. You’ll see all the details you just entered and the estimated arrival date
  5. When you’re ready to send your transfer, select ‘Send Money’ 
  6. The last step is to wait for your transfer to process. It’s crucial to stay on the processing screen until the subsequent page loads, as you might need to provide additional information or correct an issue 
  7. When you see a confirmation screen, you’re all done!

How to cancel a transfer

As long as the recipient hasn’t received the money, you can cancel most transfers. You can do this from the app or through the remitly.com website. Once you cancel, your refund will be processed immediately. Still, it can take 3-5 business days for debit or credit card payments and up to 10 business days for bank account payments.

To cancel a transfer using the Remitly app:

  1. Open the Remitly app
  2. Choose the transfer to cancel
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap ‘Cancel Transfer’
  4. Confirm you’d like to cancel by tapping ‘Yes, cancel’
  5. Select a reason for your cancelation

To cancel from the website:

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Select ‘Transfer history’ from the top menu
  3. Choose the transfer you’d like to cancel
  4. Click ‘View receipt’
  5. Scroll down and click ‘Cancel your transfer’
  6. Select a reason for your cancelation

If you don’t see the ‘Cancel your transfer’ link, it might be that the recipient already got the transferred money or that the transfer has been put on hold. 

Why is my transfer on hold?

There are multiple reasons why Remitly might put on your transfer hold:

  • Incorrect recipient information
  • Pending sending limit increase
  • Delivery provider temporarily unavailable
  • Transfer being reviewed by the delivery provider
  • Identity verification

How does the verification process work?

Remitly is required by law to ask you to verify your identity by providing additional information like your photo ID or supporting documents in some cases. They sometimes do this if it’s your first transfer or requested to increase the sending limit. 

It can also happen if they noticed “unusual activity” on your account and need to “protect you.”

Verifying your identity is different depending on the country you live in, but you’ll usually need to upload a photo of your photo ID, take a selfie video or photo, or answer a few questions about the transfer. 

If you need to verify your identity, Remitly will send you a custom link to the Resolution Center. There you can see a list of the requirements and submit what’s needed. The verifying process usually takes an hour or less.

How much money can I send with Remitly?

Remitly limits how much you can send in 24 hours, 30 days, and 180 days. It depends on your and your recipient’s location. If you need to send more than your current limit allows you, you can request a limit increase. 

You can do it through the app or over the website 24 hours after signing up for the account. It can take up to 48 hours to complete your sending limit increase request. And if you’re a seafarer, the limits are set and can’t be increased. 

To request a sending limit increase in the Remitly app:

  1. Open the Remitly app and sign in
  2. Select ‘My Remitly’
  3. Select ‘Increase Limits’
  4. Select the sending tier you’d like
  5. Upload any requested information or documents

To do it on the Remitly website:

  1. Go to Remitly.com and sign in
  2. Select the Sending limits tab
  3. Choose the sending tier you’d like and select Apply now
  4. Upload any requested information or documents

To increase your sending limit, Remitly will ask for:

  • Your name, date of birth, and address
  • If you’re sending from the U.S., your social security number (SSN) 
  • Additional information about how you use Remitly, including:
    • How often you plan to transfer money 
    • Your average transfer amount 
    • Your source of funds
    • Why you’re sending money
    • Your current occupation and employer (there’s an option to tell us if you’re retired or not working)
    • Your relationship to the recipient(s)
  • Additional documents like a copy of your bank statement or pay stub How long do 

How long do Remitly transfers take? 

That depends on how much you’re ready to spend on fees. The fastest option (Express) will take only a few minutes, but the price is higher. The Economy option can take up to five business days, but you get fewer fees and a better exchange rate. Calculate the exact rate on the Remitly website

How is Remitly regulated?

Remitly is a fully licensed organization that follows all the rules set by regulatory agencies in countries where they operate in. They’re a registered Money Services Business with the US Department of Treasury, licensed to work in all Canadian provinces, including Quebec, and authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.

Is my money safe with Remitly?

Remitly does everything possible to protect your data. The app uses 256-bit encryption (the banking industry’s standard) to prevent others from accessing your account. And also protects you by never including your information like Social Security or bank account numbers in emails or text messages.

Who owns Remitly?

Remitly was founded in 2011 by Matthew Oppenheimer (CEO), Joshua Hug (COO), Shivaas Gulati (Head of Engineering). Its headquarters are in Seattle, USA.

The company raised more than $500 million from 12 rounds of funding. The last corporate round brought in investment from Visa ahead of IPO plans.

It has 28 investors that include Visa, PayU, Threshold, DN Capital, Stripes, Top Tier Capital Partners, and others.

Customer reviews

Remitly has a 4.4-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, with 83% of 33k reviewers giving it an excellent mark and only 8% a bad one. With a 4.4 score, Remitly placed lower than Wise (4.6), Currencyfair (4.7), and Paysend (4.7), but higher than WorldRemit (4.1).

Customer service

You can reach Remitly customer support by phone 24/7 in English and Spanish. The number is +3531800816808. You reserve a spot in line and get a call back when someone can talk to you.

Chat is available 24/7 in English, French, and Spanish. And you can search the help center in 11 languages. 

Competitors

Wise 

wise

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise got famous for transferring money quickly, cheaply, and transparently across the world. By charging meager fees compared with high street banks and other online payment providers and using the real exchange rate when converting currencies, Wise has quickly become a top choice for both personal and business international bank transfers.

Currencyfair 

currencyfair

Currencyfair was established in 2009. The Irish company has only become more prolific and successful in its specific niche – offering cost-effective exchanges through an innovative customer-to-customer approach. CurrencyFair currently allows the exchange of 20 different currencies through their platform and sending money to and from 150+ countries – a recent increase thanks to their expansion into Asian territories.

WorldRemit 

worldremit

First established in 2010, WorldRemit’s service aims to offer their customers cheaper money transfers, a smoother experience, and a more convenient process for all parties involved. Depending on where you’re sending money to, the platform may not be the most cost-effective.

Paysend

paysend

Paysend was established in 2017 and has quickly made a name for itself as one of the latest generations of modern money transfer services on the market. Their streamlined approach allows users to quickly and practically transfer money to other people without confusing choices or complicated processes with different transfer methods.

The bottom line

Remitly is an excellent choice for sending money abroad via their app or their website. Enter the sender and the receiver country and see the fees upfront and transparent. They even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a delivery promise. If you’re not satisfied or they didn’t deliver the money on time, you can get the money you paid for fees back.