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Remitly Review: Is it safe? How does it work?

Is Remitly the best option for sending money abroad? Compare your options to make sure you get the best exchange rate and lowest fees for your transfer.

    Our independent review of Remitly

    Last updated February 27, 2019
    Written by Laurent Oberholzer

    Remitly is an online international money transfer service allowing people in the U.S., Canada, the Eurozone and the U.K. to send money to various countries around the world. As a digital alternative to traditional money transfer services, Remitly makes money transfers fast, secure, and cheap. Remitly is mobile optimized and you can send money abroad using their online money transfer service or the Remitly app on your smartphone or tablet. Remitly provides its services in both English and Spanish.

    The Remitly app and online transfer service lets you send money to the following countries in Central and South America: Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and the following countries in Asia : China, India, the Philippines.

    Funding your money transfer is easy, Remitly lets you pay via bank transfer, debit, or credit card. Your recipient can have the transferred money deposited into their bank account in their local currency, or pick it up from one of the tens of thousands of pickup locations that Remitly provides.

    Due to their focus on digital technology and mobile apps, Remitly fees are relatively cheap and they provide good exchange rates for money transfers and currency exchange. We’ve covered this in detail in the “Fees and Exchange Rates” section below. Remitly offers two main types of money transfer service:

    • Economy - You fund these money transfers with a deposit from your bank account. The fees are typically low or free, and the transfers normally take three to five days.
    • Express - You fund these transfers with your debit or credit card. The fees are higher and you will sometimes need to pay a card processing fee. The money is normally available to the recipient within minutes of you making payment.

    Like many other money transfer services, Remitly does have daily and monthly limits on how much you can transfer, depending on your “tier.” You can get access to higher tiers by providing Remitly with additional information and identification.

    Remitly

    What we like about Remitly

    • Extremely easy to use with a simple, user-focused online interface and excellent mobile applications.

    • Recipients can collect their money from any participating bank. This includes almost all of the big banking networks in the countries where Remitly is available.

    • Several payout methods including cash pickup at over 10,000 locations, bank transfer, and mobile money / GCash.

    • Lock in your exchange rates when you place your transfer to avoid currency fluctuations

    • SMS / text message alerts for you and the recipient so you can track the transfer and know when it’s been paid and collected.

    • A 100% satisfaction guarantee means you get your fees back if you aren’t completely happy.

    What we dislike about Remitly

    • Not always the cheapest provider, other providers do offer better exchange rates.

    • Daily and monthly limits on how much you can send (although these can be lifted.)

    Compare Remitly's fees and exchange rates

    Country from
    United Kingdom
    Country to
    Select a country
    You send
    To

    Alternatives to Remitly

    How Remitly works

    Open an account

    Visit Remitly's website and open a free account

    Enter the details about your recipient

    Tell Remitly where you need to send money and to whom.

    Set-up your transfer with Remitly

    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 Remitly do the rest

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

    Remitly Fees & Exchange Rates

    Remitly Fees & Exchange Rates 4.5/10

    Bad

    Remitly is rarely the cheapest option

    This indicator is based on the percentage of searches on Monito for which %PSP% is the cheapest provider

    0.5/5

    Remitly fees and exchange rates are often competitive

    This indicator is based on the percentage of comparisons on Monito in which %PSP% offers a competitive pricing (taking into account the pay-in and pay-out options as well as the amount).

    3/5

    Remitly doesn't offer special promotions to Monito users

    0/1

    Monito can access real-time pricing information from Remitly

    1/1

    The points above are added to calculate the "Remitly Fees & Exchange Rates" score of Remitly, who scores 4.5 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Remitly Money Transfer Fees

    Remitly money transfer fees are based on several different factors:

    • How much money you are transferring.
    • Where you are transferring money to.
    • How you are funding your money transfer.
    • How the recipient is receiving the transfer.
    • The transfer service you choose:

    For example, here are the fees charged for sending money from the U.S. to the Philippines.

    Remitly’s Economy Service — Dollar to Peso — No Fee.Arrives in three business daysPaid for with a bank account deposit from youThere is no Remitly fee for this service.

    Remitly’s Express Service Paid for with a Debit Card — Dollar to Peso — $3.99.Arrives almost immediately.Paid for with your debit card.There is a Remitly fee of $3.99 for this service.

    Remitly’s Express Service Paid for with a Credit Card — Dollar to Peso — $3.99 plus 3% of Transaction Value.Arrives almost immediately.Paid for with your credit card.There is a base Remitly fee of $3.99 for this service.There is an additional fee of 3% of the whole transaction amount for processing the credit card payment.

    Note that fees do vary significantly depending on where you are sending from, where you are sending to, the amount you are sending, the service you choose, and several other factors. Use our cost calculator at the top of this page to understand the fees and exchange rate for your unique circumstances.

    Remitly Exchange Rates

    Remitly’s exchange rates are competitive and are typically between 0.5% and 1.5% below mid-market rates. Create an account with Remitly and log in to see the exchange rates you will be charged, depending on where you are sending to. Exchange rates can vary based on several factors:

    • How much money you are transferring.
    • Where you are transferring money to.
    • How you are funding your money transfer.
    • How the recipient is receiving the transfer.
    • The transfer service you choose.
    Country from
    United Kingdom
    Country to
    Select a country
    You send
    To

    Ease of Use

    Ease of Use 9/10

    Excellent

    A lot of Monito users going to Remitly end up making a transfer with them

    3/3

    Remitly's homepage is clear and very easy to understand

    1.8/2

    It's very easy to open an account with Remitly

    1.8/2

    Setting up your transfer is quick and easy

    1.5/2

    It's easy to sign up and make a transfer both on mobile and desktop

    1/1

    The points above are added to calculate the "Ease of Use" score of Remitly, who scores 9 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Credibility & Security

    Credibility & Security 7.8/10

    Good

    Remitly is fully licensed and authorized

    2/2

    Remitly has many positive customer reviews

    1.5/2

    A very large number of customers already trust Remitly

    2/2

    Remitly employs a very large number of employees

    1/1

    Remitly has already transferred at least 5 billion USD for their customers

    0.8/1

    Many articles from recognized newspapers mention Remitly

    0.5/1

    Remitly isn't part of Monito's network of trusted partners

    0/1

    Remitly is a long-established company

    0.5/0.5

    The points above are added to calculate the "Credibility & Security" score of Remitly, who scores 7.8 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Remitly is a trustworthy and secure money transfer provider.

    Remitly is a registered Money Services Business with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is licensed as a money transmitter in the U.S. Remitly is authorized to operate in all Canadian provinces except Quebec and is also authorized in the U.K.

    Remitly provides the following security measures and fraud prevention safeguards:

    • All Remitly accounts are verified using a variety of techniques to keep them safe and secure, and to prevent fraud.
    • Users need to submit certain identification documents to send money through Remitly.
    • Remitly uses manual and automated detection techniques and risk management procedures to detect and eliminate suspicious account activity.
    • All transactions are protected with strong technological security including 256-bit SSL encryption with a 2048-bit signature.

    Remitly offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee or you will get your money back. If you cancel your transaction at any time prior to its completion you will have all your money refunded in full. If the transaction has already been completed but you are not satisfied, Remitly will refund you their fees in full.

    Remitly has financial strength and the backing of investors including TommorrowVentures, Jeff Bezos (Founder and CEO of Amazon), Trilogy Equity Partnership, QED and DJF. The company has now raised over $100m in venture capital from various noteworthy investors including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group. Investors and venture capitalists see Remitly as a well-run, secure, and efficient business for international money transfers and transactions.

    Remitly is growing rapidly too, increasing the total value of transactions and the number of customers served by between 200% and 400% year on year. It has hundreds of thousands of customers who are now collectively transferring more than $1 billion a year though its services, across over 2 million transactions.

    Service & Coverage

    Service & Coverage 5.5/10

    Poor

    Remitly allows you to send money from a limited number of countries

    0.5/2

    Remitly allows you to send money to an average number of countries

    1/2

    Remitly is available in many different languages

    0.8/1

    It is possible to pay for your transfer by local bank transfer

    0.5/0.5

    It is possible to pay for your transfer by credit/debit card

    0.5/0.5

    Remitly doesn't offer additional pay-in options

    0/0.5

    It is possible to send the money to your recipient's bank account

    0.5/0.5

    The money can be delivered to a cash pick-up location

    0.5/0.5

    Remitly can’t send money to a mobile phone (airtime top-up or mobile wallet)

    0/0.5

    Remitly doesn't offer a bill payment service

    0/0.5

    Remitly doesn't offer additional banking features

    0/0.5

    Remitly doesn’t offer a multi-currency debit card

    0/0.5

    Remitly offers guaranteed exchange rates

    0.5/0.5

    It is not possible to set up repeating transfers / standing orders

    0/0.5

    There is no minimum amount (or very low)

    0.5/0.5

    There is a relatively high maximum amount

    0.3/0.5

    The points above are added to calculate the "Service & Coverage" score of Remitly, who scores 5.5 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Customer satisfaction

    Customer satisfaction 8.6/10

    Great

    Remitly has a very high percentage of excellent customer reviews

    4.3/5

    Remitly has a very low percentage of negative customer reviews

    2.3/2.5

    Remitly has a very high number of positive customer reviews

    2/2.5

    The points above are added to calculate the "Customer satisfaction" score of Remitly, who scores 8.6 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Remitly reviews are “Great” according to reviewers on Trustpilot. Remitly was reviewed at a rating of 9.2 out of 10, with 93% of the 13,158 reviewers rating it at four or five stars. Fewer than 8% of reviewers rated Remitly’s service at one or two stars.

    Positive reviews of Remitly included comments like, “After some time getting everything set up , it was fast and easy. Love how I was kept informed of the progress from sending to getting picked up. So easy to use.” and “I would use their service again . it was so easy and fast, the recipient received the money in their account within 5 minutes and there was no charge for sending from a debit card.”

    Although they were significantly in the minority, Remitly did have some negative reviews including, “What a foolish policy asking a customer that bring an ID with date of birth of your recipient, only then will they allow you to send money.” and “Don't send money here if your recipient bank is PSbank and especially during Thursday Canada time because they will wait and hold your remittance for next week’s banking hours.”

    Key positive points

    • The money transfer services were rated as fast and cheap
    • Customers were very happy with how easy the service was to use.
    • Remitly was praised for being reliable and trustworthy
    • Customers were pleased with the customer service

    Key negative points

    • A few customers had a bad experience with Remitly, especially when cancelling their transaction and waiting for a refund.
    • On some occasions, the money took a bit longer to arrive than expected, normally because of banking hours in the receiving country.
    • Some customers complained that their were a lot of requirements (bank information and personal identification) before making a transfer (note: these are legal obligations and therefore not Remitly’s fault).

    Notably, Remitly responded to almost every negative review on Trustpilot with an offer to look into and resolve the issues for the reviewer. In many cases they also offered to refund their money transfer fees.

    Customer support

    Customer support 10/10

    Excellent

    The FAQ and help center of Remitly are easy to understand

    2/2

    Remitly has a live chat available to all

    2/2

    Remitly offers email support (even to noncustomers)

    2/2

    Remitly offers phone support (even to noncustomers)

    2/2

    It's very easy to get in contact with Remitly

    1/1

    The FAQ and help center are translated in all languages

    1/1

    Monito cannot contact Remitly on behalf of our users

    0/1

    The points above are added to calculate the "Customer support" score of Remitly, who scores 10 points on a maximum of 10 points.

    Transparency

    Transparency 3.8/10

    Bad

    The exchange rate margin makes up most of the total cost of your transfer

    0.5/3

    It's more complicated than it should be to understand the fees of Remitly

    0.5/2

    Remitly’s exchange rate margin is not properly disclosed

    0.5/2

    A real-time quote can be obtained without registering

    0.5/1

    Remitly applies the same fees and exchange rates to all customers

    1/1

    The pricing information of Remitly is made available to Monito

    0.8/1

    The points above are added to calculate the "Transparency" score of Remitly, who scores 3.8 points on a maximum of 10 points.


    • Send Money to Mexico via Remitly (Mexican Pesos)

      • Remitly’s cash pick-ups network elektra, BBVA Bancomer, Bancoppel, Soriana, Scotiabank, Telecomm, Bansefi, Famsa, Chedraui, Waldo’s, Intermex, Banorte.
      • Remitly’s banking network includes BBVA Bancomer, Bancoppel, Scotiabank, Bansefi, Banco Azteca, Banorte, Isseg (farmacias), Caja Popular Mexicana.
    • Send Money to the Philippines via Remitly, including BLD (Philippine Pesos)

      • Cash pick-ups network — Cebuana Lhuillier, M Lhuillier, and any BPI Branch
      • Banking network — The Bank of the Philippine Islands, Banco de Oro, Philippine National Bank, Metrobank, Globe Gcash Wallet, and all Bancnet member banks.
      • GCash network — covers all Globe Telecom outlets, Tambunting Pawnshops, Villarica Pawnshops and the Green Bank of Caraga.
      • BDO cash network — covers all BDO bank branches, all SM Malls and department stores, SM Global Pinoy centers, Palawan Pawnshop and over 30 rural banks.
    • Send Money to India via Remitly (Indian Rupees)

      • Deposit instantly to Andhra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, Central Bank of India, City Union Bank, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank, HDFC Bank, Indian Bank, Indian
      • Overseas Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Punjab National Bank, South Indian Bank, Union Bank of India, Vijaya Bank, and YES Bank.
      • Deposit within 4 banking hours to all others including ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, and Citibank.
    • Send Money to Central and South America via Remitly

      • Remitly’s cash pick-ups network includes Banrural, Banco industrial, elektra, Banco Agricola, MiCoope, Credomatic, Davivienda, Banco Atlantida, Ficohsa, Banpro (Grupo Promerica), Banco Lafise, BBVA, Bancolombia, Interbank, Servipagos, Banco Internacional, Banco del Austro, Sistema Fedecredito.
      • Remitly’s banking network includes Banrural, Banco industrial, Banco Agricola, Credomatic, Ficohsa, Davivienda, Banco Atlantida, Bancolombia, BBVA, Banco Internacional, Banpro (Grupo Promerica), Banco Lafise, Banco del Austro, Interbank, Banco Guayaquil.

    Remitly Money Transfer Partners

    When you send money via Remitly, your recipient has a number of choices on how they will receive the funds. They can access money in several different ways:

    • Through a network of local Remitly agents where they can collect money in cash.
    • Via direct deposit into their local bank account in their native currency.
    • Using Mobile Money / GCash in certain locations — recipients can cash out their funds at certain locations using GCash. You can find more information on GCash here.

    We’ve listed just some of the cash pickup locations and banking networks below. For a complete list of all the ways your recipient can pick up their money transfer, log into the Remitly website, go to the FAQ section and review “Delivery Options.”


    Mobile Apps

    Remitly provides mobile apps for smartphones and tablets on the Apple / iOS and Android platforms. Their mobile apps are very highly rated, scoring four and a half stars on iTunes and 4.2 stars on Google Play.

    The Story Behind Remitly

    Matt Oppenheimer, one of the founders of Remitly, formed a business called BeamIt Mobile in 2010. He experienced issues sending money back to the U.S. from Africa and decided to try and solve the issue. When he returned to the U.S. he started work on an easy-to-use money transfer system.

    His business was accepted into the Techstars Incubator program in Seattle, and the business relocated there from Idaho. At Techstars, Matt met Josh Hug, who became a co-founder and the Chief Product Officer. The company also changed its name from Beamit Mobile to Remitly.

    Other notable events in the company’s history include:

    • 2013 — doubled its transaction volumes over the year.
    • 2014 — growing its customer base by 400% and transferring over $100 million.
    • 2014 — processing its one-millionth transaction.
    • 2015 — allows users to make direct deposits to its network of banks in the U.S. India, and the Philippines.
    • 2015 — expanding money transfer service to India and Mexico.
    • 2015 — incorporating Talio’s picture messaging solution into Remitly’s app.
    • 2015 — sending over $500 million worth of annualized transfers

    Today, Remitly continues to grow rapidly, expanding its network of banks and local agents in receiving countries and making it easier for people in the U.S., U.K, and Canada to send money to their friends and families back home.

    Remitly Support

    24/7 365 days a year

    Email: service@remitly.com

    Toll-free: (888) 736-4859

    Remitly vs its competitors

    • Remitly vs Xoom. Which one is the best for you and your needs? Which is the most affordable option if you need to send or receive money internationally? Check out our analysis of the pros and cons of each money transfer company.
    • Remitly vs TransferWise. Which one is the best for you and your needs? Which is the most affordable option if you need to send or receive money internationally? Check out our analysis of the pros and cons of each money transfer compan…
    • Remitly vs Western Union. Which one is the best for you and your needs? Which is the most affordable option if you need to send or receive money internationally? Check out our analysis of the pros and cons of each money transfer compa…
    • Remitly vs Ria. Which one is the best for you and your needs? Which is the most affordable option if you need to send or receive money internationally? Check out our analysis of the pros and cons of each money transfer company.

    Tips for your next transfer

    • Our real-time comparison engine finds the cheapest providers for your transfer to Mexico. You save on fees and exchange rates, and more money arrives.
    • TransferWise vs Xoom. Which one is the best for you and your needs? Which is the most affordable option if you need to send or receive money internationally? Check out our analysis of the pros and cons of each money transfer company. …
    • Western Union vs MoneyGram . Which one is the solution for you and your money transfer needs? Which option should you choose if you need to send or receive money internationally? Check out our comparison of the pros and cons of each m…
    • Western Union and MoneyGram often offer 24-hour agent locations in many major cities (plus some smaller-sized locations.They also offer the most extensive network of agent locations: Western Union has 550,000 agent locations in over 20…

    Where are you sending money to?


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    Questions you may have

    Read our guides on sending money abroad