Sending money abroad online is now easier than ever, but how simple is it really?
InstaReM is one of the latest newcomers in the online money transfer industry, and they’re currently expanding their coverage to Europe with great ambitions. We selected InstaReM as the penultimate provider to analyze in our benchmark study of the money transfer industry.
If you’d like to obtain all the insights of our study (created in conjunction with the user-testing tool Userbrain), you can pre-order the full report using the link below.
To evaluate how easy it really is to send money with InstaReM online, we tasked a panel of randomly selected users to try and make a transfer of £250 from the United Kingdom to a fictional friend living in Paris. We used the remote user-testing tool Userbrain to record the users’ screens and oral commentary.
Sending money to the moon 🌛👨🏾🚀
InstaReM offers a bold first impression, with a science fiction look and feel (the start page features an astronaut on the moon) and prominent hashtags (#sendMore, #doMore, #getMore, #saveMore). It’s an original design and many of our testers found it appealing.
“I love the background, the astronaut image, the colors, it looks professional and clean, which means the service offered will also be professional.”
Our panel of tester was also quick to understand how InstaReM works and what the page was about and.
Most of our testers started by changing the currencies and amount in the calculator, and were a little annoyed that the currencies dropdown aren’t sorted alphabetically and don’t have any search function, which made finding the right currency a bit tedious. Update: after we released this report, InstaReM told us they are taking the user comments on board and are working to improve several elements that customers found unsatisfactory, including the currency drop down search functionality.
Most of the time, users rapidly scrolled through the homepage, without paying too much attention to the “technical sections” explaining the Zero-Margin FX rates InstaReM uses, and directly decided to sign-up.
To get started, some testers used the “send menu” link in the top navigation to select their country, which yielded a confusing result. They were asked to make a transfer from the United Kingdom to France and they naturally selected “UK” in the list, which brought them to a landing page for money transfers to the United Kingdom (rather than from the United Kingdom). The dropdown to change the receiving currency on this page is empty, which added to the confusion.
Easy sign-up, but some lengthy forms to get started
To sign-up, users simply need to enter one email, a password and their country of residence in a modern-looking form, before being redirected to the first step of the transfer process: a clear overview of the transaction.
“Allright, the sign-up form looks good”
“That was very easy to sign-up!”
A small annoyance many of our testers complained about was the fact InstaReM didn’t remember the amount and currencies they selected on the homepage, which meant they had to scroll down the non-sorted currency list one more time.
“See that’s annoying, I just told you how much I want to send, I shouldn’t have to enter them again.”
Our testers appreciated the full breakdown of the transfer, but the actual fees could be displayed more prominently, because a lot of our users focused on the “You Pay Only” field which is the amount entered by the user in the first place, which led many of our testers to think that there were “no additional fees”.
Getting to this first step was straightforward, but two long forms were waiting for our users for the next two steps, where the sender needed to complete the recipient’s details and personal information.
InstaReM ask for some fields that aren’t necessarily asked by all providers, such as the relationship to the recipients, his nickname, or the specific intended use of the account, but more than those additional fields, it’s the layout and construction of the forms that make filling them a tedious process.
Probably in an attempt to make the form look lighter, InstaReM uses a very light layout, without field labels and with borders only on the bottom of the fields. But the results is that the headings of the form’s section and the actual fields look very similar, which confused our panel of tester.
“The section headings doesn’t look different than the fields, it should look more like a title.”
“Address, okay so … okay … see, I thought this is where I need to enter my address, then I realized Contact and Address are titles, and then it says “start typing address here”, then I see address line 1 and that’s where I need to enter my address…”
Some additional friction was added by the fact some fields prevent the user to paste a value, meaning our users needed to enter the mobile phone number and the IBAN’s recipient manually, which led to some errors and invalid IBANs.
“It doesn’t let me copy the IBAN, that’s really annoying, I really wished they would let me copy and paste here…oh my gosh there’s a lot of zeros…”
Many of our testers needed more than one try to validate the form, as they overlook some fields assuming they were optional or simply didn’t see them in the first place.
“It was easy to sign-up, but to set-up your account, putting your address and the recipient’s address was a bit painful.”
Zero margins on the exchange rates and “fair” fees
Only a few online money transfer services convert their customer’s money at the mid-market rate without any markup, and InstaReM is one of them. This allow them to explain their pricing structure easily: “get you mid-market rates sourced directly from Reuters and add absolutely no margins! We charge a nominal fee.”
“Okay, now I have a price table, I have the conversion rate, the transaction fee, the information here is clearer than in the landing page, there is no tax … it seems fine.”
“As I understood, the transfer will cost me 250 GBP, minus the fees the service is charging me which is 0.88 GBP, it’s a very fair price.”
“Conversion amount, conversion rate, tax, amount payable, it tells you everything, and I have to pay 250 GBP, so I don’t have to pay anything extra that’s nice.”
Their nominal fees depend on the amount of the transaction and is always displayed, along with the exchange rate and the final converted amount, which means InstaReM scores high on the transparency front. As mentioned earlier, to make sure their customers fully understand how much their transfer cost and don’t miss the fee in the cost breakdown, InstaReM could add this nominal fees to the amount paid by the customer rather than deducting it.
Solid first impression and great value with a few UX missteps
InstaReM gives a solid first impression with their audacious but professional layout, they have a great value proposition with their “Zero Margin on FX” rate model and competitive fees, but also some user experience missteps, especially in the two lengthy forms of the transfer process.
“It would be very easy to transfer my money, you guys did a great job, I liked the picture with the astronauts, the colors are good and it’s user friendly.”
“The site is well-made, it just the process takes a long time, so I would give it a 5/10, not to hard, it just takes time, little tedious, but it was easy to understand how it works!”
“I’ll give InstaReM a 7/10, it was pretty easy.”
“It was very easy to figure out how it works, you just follow along…”
Even though none of our testers had heard about InstaReM before, they all agree that the company seems legit and trustworthy.
“Overall, I found it very well-design, it transmits security and it seems to be a reliable service, I would trust it. But I’m trying to balance this with PayPal that I’m currently using, in comparison it took me a long time to open an InstaReM account. Overall I would rate InstaReM 6/10 or 7/10. I don’t think it’s difficult, but the overall time it’s taking to complete the whole operation it’s taking too long.”
“This is the first time I’ve seen InstaReM’s website, but I would trust it because it was well-made. It seems like PayPal, just a longer application process.”
“It is trustworthy, I would look for references and try to google the service before transfering the money, but overall the site and the design is good. One thing I’m missing is a security stamp or something like that.”
“It looks serious, it has https, I would probably do some research but it looks legit.”
Most of the issues raised by our testers should be pretty straightforward for InstaReM to solve, and if they focus on making entering their customer personal information and the recipient’s details a quick and seamless process, they are on a good path to offer a great user experience to send money online.
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Get the detailed analysis of the InstaReM user experience and nine other leading online money transfer companies in our full report.
We would like to thank Userbrain for providing us with the panel of testers for this analysis of InstaReM’s website. If you would like to start testing your website and receive a constant stream of feedback, give UserBrain a try!