Instarem Money Transfer Review: Fees, Exchange Rates, Safety, How It Works, and Monito's Rating in 2023
Writing for Monito, Olivia is here to help users navigate the world of money transfer fees, exchange rates, and tips and tricks that help you make your best decisions.
A writer and editor at Monito, Jarrod is passionate about helping people apply today’s powerful finance technologies to their lives. He brings his background in international affairs and his experiences living in Japan to provide readers with comprehensive information that also acknowledges the local context.
Links on this page may earn us an affiliate commission. This does not affect the opinions and recommendations of our editors.Read more
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.
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.
Trusted by more than two million customers.
Sending money is fast, but opening an account may take some time.
Well-priced and competitive fees and exchange rates.
An excellent 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Trustpilot.
bank transfer4 others
Bank deposit, cash pick-up (Philippines)
Min. Transfer Amount
Max. Transfer Amount
Number of Customers
Number of Reviews
Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia & New Zealand
Singapore (HQ), Melbourne, Coquitlam (Canada), Hong Kong, Mumbai, Jakarta, Tokyo, Vilnus, Kuala Lumpur, Bedminster (NJ)
Number of employees
Singapore FinTech Award, India FinTech Award, ET Net FinTech Award, Blockchain Innovator Award from Ripple
CEO Prajit Nanu came up with the idea of starting Instarem while organizing a friend's bachelor party in Thailand.
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:
🔎 See how our scoring methodology works
All international money transfer services we review are put through a comprehensive and rigorous scoring methodology, which involves the testing of the platform's functionalities, assessment of customer reviews, fees, pay-in options, customer service, and business metrics. The methodology is also powered by an analysis of millions of searches on Monito's comparison engine to determine each provider's competitiveness in terms of pricing. When the research is done, each Monito Score is then peer-reviewed by at least one Monito expert. Learn more about our scoring methodology here.
🤝 See why you can trust our recommendations
Reviews are written independently by Monito's editors, and the recommendations given are our own. We might make money from some links on our reviews to bring you premium content without pesky banner ads and paywalls. We promise you that this never impacts the independence of our recommendations. Learn more about our promise and our business model here.
Key Questions About Instarem Answered
Where Is Instarem Available?
Trust & Credibility
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
According to millions of searches on Monito, here's when we think you should (and shouldn't) use Instarem:
Instarem in the UK, India, Canada, and More
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
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.
- Issues with customer documentation;
- Complicated proof-of-identity process.
How Instarem Works
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.
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.
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.
Fund Your TransferTry Instarem ❯
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Instarem
Is Instarem safe? 🔐
Yes. Moving over US$8 billion annually across the globe for over 2 million customers in 2023, Instarem is a well-established and trusted money transfer provider that nine financial regulators around the world duly regulate. Moreover, Instarem holds an Australian Finance Services (AFS) license and is also registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
How do I send money using Instarem? 💻
To send money using Instarem, you'll need to visit Instarem's website and open a free account using your full name, address, contact details, date of birth, bank details, and proof of identification. Once you're registered and verified, you'll be able to log into Instarem's online dashboard to make a transfer by providing the details of the sender and receiver of the funds. Instarem will then convert your money and deposit it in your recipient’s bank account.
How long does Instarem take to transfer money? ⏱
Typically, a bank transfer made through Instarem can take up to two working days to process. Card payments are faster, taking a matter of seconds to arrive. To find out more about making fast payments across borders, take a look at our in-depth guide here.
Can Instarem send money to Nigeria? 🌴
No. Due to tight restrictions imposed by Nigeria's central bank, Instarem is currently not permitted to send money to Nigeria from abroad. Find your best alternatives using Monito's comparison engine instead.
Which is better, Instarem or TransferWise?
According to Monito's comparison data, Instarem is better than Wise for transfers from India to Europe and North America. Instarem is also very cheap when sending money from the United States to Canada. Wise, however, is often the best for transfers from Canada to the United States.
To save money on every transfer you make, run a search on Monito's comparison engine.
Which is better, Instarem versus Western Union?
According to Monito's comparison data, Instarem is cheaper and offers better exchange rates than Western Union in almost all countries. If you want cash pick-up services, however, then Western Union may be able to serve you.
Rates change constantly. To make sure you save money on every transfer you make, run a search on Monito's comparison engine.