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Instarem Review: Money Transfer Fees, Safety, Usability, and Monito's Verdict

May 19, 2021

Instarem is a good money transfer provider (8.0/10), recommended by the experts at Monito. Highly trusted (9.2/10) and well-rated by customers (8.3/10), Instarem is a popular and quickly-growing provider that allows you to comfortably send money to and from North America, most of Europe, Asia, and Australia. Featuring a newly-relaunched website, Instarem is easy-to-use and worth the sign-up process to access its advantageous fees and rates (8.3/10).

What Monito Likes About Instarem

  • Overall good rates and cheap fees;
  • Easy to use once your account is set up;
  • Quick transfers.

What Monito Dislikes About Instarem

  • Limited coverage in Latin America (service is available only in Mexico) and Africa;
  • Slow registration process;
  • Customer service is difficult to reach.
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Monito's Recommendation

Instarem is a great option for sending money internationally, recommended by the experts at Monito. However, Monito always encourages users to regularly check our comparison engine to see how Instarem ranks against other providers for their specific destination as rankings and recommendations can change at any given time.

Who is Instarem for?

Though Instarem is not as widely available as some of its competitors, its ease of use and competitive pricing make it a good provider for users sending money to and from most of Europe, Australia, Canada, the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and India, as well as to Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mexico.

How Monito Reviewed Instarem's Services

In order to review Instarem, we applied Monito’s rigorous methodology to score Instarem along with 20+ of its most popular competitors, including Wise (formerly TransferWise), Remitly, and Western Union, to see how it fared. The scoring process began with setting up an Instarem account and included thorough testing of its services both on desktop and on its mobile app. In order to analyze Instarem’s fees and exchange rates, we screened thousands of comparisons on Monito’s engine from the past three months to check how often Instarem was the cheapest and how often they were offering competitive rates. In order to determine whether or not their fees were transparent, we checked 12 typical customer transactions for the provider, such as a £1050 transfer from the UK to India. Finally, we ran a background check on Instarem, looking at how they were regulated and by which authority, and considering their security practices along with whether they had any publicly known legal, privacy, fraud, or technical issues. As with all Monito reviews, our Instarem score was peer-reviewed by at least one Monito expert.

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Instarem at a Glance

Trust & Credibility

9.2

Background check

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.

Company size

Since its establishment in 2014, Instarem has grown to serve 2 million customers and over 200 employees. Instarem transfers over $4 billion around the world annually.

Transparent pricing

Instarem is partially transparent, disclosing that they do make money on the exchange rate but not disclosing how much.

Can I Trust Instarem?

Moving over US$4 billion annually across the globe for over 2 million customers, Instarem is a well-established and trusted money transfer provider. 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.

Is Instarem Safe?

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.

Service & Quality

6.2

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.

Contacting support

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.

Instarem's Service Quality

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.

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. They are consistently ranked as a very competitive remittance platform between several Asian countries, including Australia to India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam, and from Singapore to Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

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

Instarem’s Android mobile app has rather good ratings on the Google Play Store (4.1/5 on five thousand ratings) and a more lukewarm rating on Apple’s App Store (3.7/5 stars on around 100 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

8.3

Transfers to a bank account

Instarem has good fees and exchange rates that consistently rank well in Monito’s comparisons (8.3/10): Instarem ranks as the cheapest provider on 26% of relevant searches and ranks competitively in 56% of cases.

Instarem's Fees & Exchange Rates

Instarem has good fees and exchange rates that consistently rank well in Monito’s comparisons (8.3/10): Instarem ranks as the cheapest provider on 26% of relevant searches and ranks competitively in 56% of cases. Instarem charges fees of around 0.5% for money transfers from Hong Kong and Australia, and 0.25% for transfers from Singapore. This is the only fee charged by Instarem and is based on the standard, mid-market, interbank currency exchange rate.

Here’s a comparison of converting Australian dollars to Hong Kong dollars.

Converting A$1,000 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
  • Difference between baseline and Instarem rate — HK$30
  • Percentage in extra costs for using Instarem compared to baseline — 0.5%

Converting A$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
  • Difference between baseline and Instarem rate — HK$300
  • Percentage in extra costs for using Instarem compared to baseline — 0.5%

Compare Instarem's Fees & Exchange Rates

Customer Satisfaction

8.4

Customer review score

With a 4.3/5 star rating on Trustpilot, there’s no doubt that Instarem has made a very good impression on its users.

Number of positive reviews

With over 4,600 four and five star ratings on Trustpilot, Instarem is well loved by its customers.

Customer Reviews of Instarem

Instarem is popular with users, receiving a 4.4/5 star rating on Trustpilot, with an overall large number of positive reviews.

Typical comments include “I have been using Instarem service from 2015, I am very pleased and happy to recommend. Thanks” and “Reliable money transfer service with excellent exchange rate. Definitely recommend Instarem.” Issues with Instarem tended to fall into the need to provide additional documentation and proof of identity. This problem is not unique to Instarem though, all currency providers need proof of identity so they can authorize transfers.

How Instarem Works

  • Step 01

    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.

  • Step 02

    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.

  • Step 03

    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.

  • Final step

    Fund Your Transfer

    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.

    Try Instarem

Frequently Asked Questions About Instarem

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