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Lebara Money Review: Is it safe? How does it work? What are the rates?

Following a strategic partnership with WorldRemit, Lebara Money's customers can now send money abroad with WorldRemit. Lebara Money's own money transfer service is discontinued.

    Our independent review of Lebara Money

    Lebara Money Transfer is a UK-based money transfer service that provides simple, easy-to-use money transfers through its website. Lebara Money Transfer is operated by the Lebara Group — a large, international telecommunications business.

    One of the main advantages of Lebara is the ability to “lock in” an exchange rate today and then pay for and transfer the money within 30 days. For example, if you were transferring £GBP to €EURO and saw an exchange rate of 1.172 today on 3 April, you could lock that in until 2 May, regardless of whether the exchange rate rose or fell between now and then. Another big advantage of this approach is that you only get charged by Lebara when you make the transfer, so it’s easier to budget.

    While this facility (called a “forward contract”) is available from other specialized currency exchange providers for larger amounts, Lebara makes it very easy to do for any amount of money. You can easily complete these “lock in” / forward contract currency exchanges using their online platform. Lebara does charge a small fee for this service, but if you want peace-of-mind and you’re sending larger amounts, that can be worth it.

    Lebara Money Transfer fees and exchange rates are competitive with many of the other large money transfer providers. However, you should be aware that they do charge a minimum fee when transferring smaller amounts, which might make them less competitive. You can get around this by transferring amounts large enough to avoid the minimum fee. Note that Lebara Money Transfer are currently offering zero fees on all “now” transfers (i.e. not a future transfer with a locked in exchange rate) to every country except India.

    Lebara currently only allows UK residents to send money using their services — although they don’t support as many destination countries as other providers, their network is growing all the time. Recipients can receive their money through their local bank account, or in some cases, a mobile wallet.

    Lebara Money

    What we like about Lebara Money

    • You can “lock in” exchange rates for up to 30 days for a low fee.

    • Transfers are normally completed in 1 to 3 business days.

    • Their online money transfer service is simple and easy to use.

    What we dislike about Lebara Money

    • You need to be 18 or over, have a UK bank account, and live in the UK.

    • If you’re sending smaller amounts, Lebara does have a minimum fee (which is currently waived for “now” transfers to every country except India)

    • You can only fund your account with a UK debit card or prepaid card.

    • You can only send money to the recipient's bank account or, in some cases, a “mobile wallet.”

    Lebara Money is not an options anymore, here are alternatives

    How Lebara Money works

    Open an account

    Visit Lebara Money's website and open a free account

    Enter the details about your recipient

    Tell Lebara Money where you need to send money and to whom.

    Set-up your transfer with Lebara Money

    Enter how much money you want to send and how you want to pay for your transfer.

    Pay for your transfer

    Fund your transfer by making a local bank transfer or pay by debit or credit card

    Let Lebara Money do the rest

    Lebara Money will convert your money in the recipient's currency and send it to him through the selected pay-out option.

    Fees & Exchange Rates

    Lebara Money Transfer Fees

    Lebara’s fees depend on the country you’re sending money to, the amount you’re sending, and whether you choose to send the money now or lock in a rate. Lebara does provide all the details of exchange rates and fees up front, so you know exactly how much you need to pay before you transfer.

    Fees are calculated as follows:

    • Europe — 0.4% of the transferred amount, with a minimum fee of £2.
    • Africa — 0.5% of the transferred amount, with a minimum fee of £2.
    • India — 0.5% of the transferred amount, with a minimum fee of £2.
    • Bangladesh — 0.6% of the transferred amount, with a minimum fee of £2.
    • Pakistan — 0.8% of the transferred amount, with a minimum fee of £2.
    • Sri Lanka — 0.65% of the transferred amount, with a minimum fee of £2.

    Note that Lebara Money Transfer currently waive the transfer fee for “now” transactions to every country except India. There is an additional fee for the “send later” transactions – usually, an additional 0.5% of the transferred amount.

    Lebara Money Transfer Exchange Rates

    Here’s how Lebara Money Transfer’s exchange rates compare to the baseline, mid-market rate, for transferring £1,000 to Indian Rupees

    • Baseline interbank rate — recipient would receive 81,140.52 Indian Rupees.
    • Lebara Money Transfer rate — recipient would receive 80,691.20 Indian Rupees.
    • Lebara Money Transfer’s rate is 1% below the baseline interbank rate.

    These rates are correct as of early April 2017, they do not take into account Lebara’s fees or commissions.

    Combining Lebara Exchange Rates and Fees

    When you combine fees and exchange rates together:

    • Immediate transfers — you will pay between 1.4% and 1.8% more than the baseline rate for immediate transfers. With Lebara Money Transfer’s current zero fees promotion to all countries except India, you only pay the 1% exchange rate margin.
    • “Locked in” forward contract transfers — you will pay between 1.9% and 2.3% more than the baseline rate for “locked in” transfers.

    These rates are correct as of early April 2017, they do not take into account Lebara’s fees or commissions.

    Country from
    United Kingdom
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    Credibility & Security

    Lebara Money Transfer is owned and operated by the Lebara Group, a large, international telecommunications and media services provider, dedicated to providing low-cost services to migrants and others around the world.

    The Lebara Group has been around for more than ten years and serves over five million customers. It is one of the fastest growing telecommunications businesses, employs over 1,000 employees around the world and has revenues of over $700 million. Lebara Money is registered as a payment institution and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

    Lebara Money keeps client money safe through strong encryption, security protocols, and have separate, segregated bank accounts in their financial operations. They operate only through reputable payment institutions and payment providers.

    They process every transfer using the Verified by Visa® and MasterCard® Securecode services. They also have comprehensive terms and conditions and a strong privacy policy.

    Authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) 
    Firm Reference : 746677

    Customer satisfaction

    Lebara received an overall rating of 9.5 out of ten on Trustpilot, across over 1500 reviews. 96% of reviews rated Lebara Money Transfer at four or five stars, while only 3% of reviews rated them at one or two stars. 

    Among the positive reviews, customers praised good exchange rates, low fees, and rapid transfers. One reviewer said, “I have used many different money transfer services online and i was very impressed with Lebara Money. Fast, I got my money on time, the rates are quite good. I highly recommend it.” Other reviewers praised how easy the service was to use and recommended the service to others.

    Lebara Money Transfer did have a very limited number of negative reviews as well. The main issues customers faced were problems with needing to provide further information to initiate transfers, delays in processing payments and transfers, and referral rewards not being paid. In some cases this was due to the customer not understanding how Lebara’s systems worked. To their credit, Lebara did respond to every negative review and explained the issue or offered to resolve the problem.

    The story behind Lebara

    Lebara Money Transfer was founded in 2016. It is the latest in a series of new ventures by the Lebara Group, an international telecommunications business. In addition to mobile phone plans and international money transfers, Lebara also provides multimedia services to migrants and others through “Lebara Play.”

    The Lebara Group was founded in 2001 by Rasiah R Leon, Baskaran Kandiah and Ratheesan Yoganathan.

    It operates the Lebara Foundation, an international charity dedicated to, “making a difference to the lives of vulnerable children across the world, and do so by delivering sustainable, high-quality services for youngsters affected by conflict and poverty.”

    Lebara states that, “Our ambition is to continue to care for the migrant community, supporting them on their journey by providing innovative experiences that directly relate to their lives. Lebara stands for simple, honest values and we want to make a difference to the lives of 1 billion people by 2020.”

    Lebara received the “Diversity Champion Award” in 2016.

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      Questions you may have

      Read our guides on sending money abroad