What Are the Best International Money Transfer Apps? Exchange Rates, Usability, Features, and More
Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.
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Are you looking to transfer abroad from the convenience of your smartphone and searching for the best international money transfer app to get the job done? While the number of choices out there may seem overwhelming, Monito's data-driven scoring methodology whittles down the best transfer apps into just a handful, allowing you to hand-pick the right one that best suits your needs.
In this guide, we explore the reasons why mobile apps can be so useful for sending money abroad. Then, we compare the mobile apps offered by over 30 top money transfer services according to the Monito Score and explore why Wise, Paysend, and TransferGo's apps come out on top. Finally, we delve into what this all means for users who're looking for the best international money transfer app of them all.
If you're looking for the best international money transfer app all-around, we recommend using WorldRemit, which offers a fast, simple, and flexible mobile app with many destination countries, low fees, and excellent cash transfer options.
Best International Money Transfer Apps
- 01. Pros and cons of sending money internationally in-app
- 02. Wise — best for bank transfers
- 03. Paysend — best for card transfers
- 04. TransferGo — best for multiple options
- 05. Other worthy mentions
- 06. What's the best money transfer app for you?
- 07. How we review money transfer apps
- 08. FAQ about money transfer apps
Using an App To Send Money Internationally
Sending money internationally using a mobile app offers several key advantages over using a website or making an in-person transfer. Before we explore the best money transfer apps, it's worth having a good idea of just where they can be useful and where they're lacking:
- Personalisation: Most mobile apps allow you to make the space your own by adapting to your behaviour, location, and preferences;
- Convenience: Many money transfer apps are designed with a minimalistic and slick interface that usually allows for an even easier user experience than a website;
- Offline access: Some money transfer apps allow various features to be used offline, providing increased freedom and flexibility;
- Notifications: Being quickly notified of any money transfer status updates, app changes, or customer support messages can be very useful when transferring money internationally;
- Integration: Integrating a mobile app with your device’s hardware can mean faster verification, as you'll be able to use your smartphone's camera to scan your photo ID, for example.
- Navigation: You won't easily be able to browse content or make use of certain web features on an app as you would on a website;
- Visibility: It's sometimes impossible to find a mobile app on Google Play or the App Store when in a certain region. Websites, on the other hand, are practically always reachable using only a device and an internet connection;
- Compatibility: Money transfer websites are available on any device, while money transfer apps are limited only to smartphones and tablets.
According to the Monito Score, the three best international money transfer apps that we reviewed were:
However, before you go off to download any of the three, it's worth noting that each has its own perks and drawbacks and that, therefore, while one app may be suitable for some, it might not be the best choice for others. For example, Wise is particularly well-suited for low-cost transfers to bank accounts, while Paysend it geared toward card payments. TransferGo, on the other hand, is a reliable mix of both.
What's more, many other money transfer apps we reviewed — in particular Remitly, Western Union, and Skrill — also offer excellent mobile platforms which performed well on Monito's service rankings and should not be overlooked for certain types of users.
In the end, the mobile apps of all money transfer services that appear on Monito are high-quality and secure platforms, even if not all of them have the same level of user experience and usability. As such, if finding the cheapest way to transfer money internationally is a bigger priority for you than the intricacies of app design, then we recommend running a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine below.
Wise — Best for Bank Transfers
Wise's mobile app was the best mobile app we reviewed, and we found it impressively well-designed and intuitive and filled with helpful tooltips and clear descriptions. It also offers an impressive scope of service that's not only limited to money transfers but includes a fully-fledged debit card management system, bank details in multiple currencies, and the ability to hold and spend in dozens more.
Costs: Wise charges a mix of fixed fees and commissions for different corridors, which usually constitute between 0.25% and 1.00% of the total transfer value. Wise was the cheapest service on 21% of global comparisons on Monito between July 2020 and 2021.
Customer Ratings: Average of 4.4/5 stars from around 146 thousand reviews on the App Store and Google Play.
Availability: EU/EEA, UK, US, Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand.
Ideal for: Small- to medium-sized transfers to a foreign bank account.
Limits: Vary depending on currency and country, but in general, the minimum transfer is US$1.00, and the maximum transfer is US$1 million, or currency equivalent.
More info: See our full Wise review.
Paysend — Best for Card Transfers
Paysend's mobile app was the second-best mobile app we reviewed, scoring better than 94% of those tested. It offers a very clean, bright user interface without any on-screen information overload. The app allows you to send money overseas using a debit or credit card directly to somebody's bank account, Paysend wallet, card, or to a cash pick-up location. Both registering a new account and (especially) making a transfer can be completed quickly, and customer support is easily accessible through an on-screen live chat feature.
Cost: Paysend charges a fixed fee for most card-to-card and card-to-Paysend-wallet transfers and an exchange rate margin of between 0.50% and 2.00% of the international money transfer value. Paysend was the cheapest service on roughly 25% of global comparisons on Monito in May 2021.
Customer Ratings: Average of 4.7/5 stars from around 50 thousand reviews on the App Store and Google Play.
Availability: 49 countries globally, not yet including India, Ukraine, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines, etc.
Ideal for: International credit and debit card payments.
Limits: Default transfer limits at Paysend are US$10.00 and US$1,000.00, which can be raised to US$10,000.00 after ID verification.\
More info: See our full Paysend review.
TransferGo — Best for Multiple Options
TransferGo's mobile app was the third-best mobile app we reviewed, scoring better than 91% of those we tested. The app is designed in a clean and compact way with good use of colours to highlight key information, which makes sending money transfers fast and convenient. What especially stood out to us about TransferGo's money transfer app was its handy update feature, which allows users to receive to-the-second updates of the status of their transfer from beginning to end.
Cost: TransferGo converts funds using the prevailing mid-market exchange rates, minus a margin of 0% to 2.2%. You can pay an additional, optional small fee to speed up the transfer.
Customer Ratings: Average of 4.2/5 stars from around 14 thousand reviews on the App Store and Google Play.
Available: EU/EEA, North America, Singapore, Australia.
Ideal for: Those looking for a variety of pay-in and pay-out options.
Limits: There are no limits for bank transfers, but up to 10,000 GBP can be transferred via card.
More info: See our full TransferGo review.
Best Money Transfer Apps: Other Worthy Mentions
In addition to the top three money transfer apps we assessed above, the following apps also scored well and provide an excellent scope of service and good user experience to their customers:
Western Union: Although slightly less slick than the others, Western Union's mobile app is easy to use and offers an unparalleled scope of pay-in and pay-out methods;
Skrill: A mobile wallet at its core, Skrill offers a fast and convenient mobile app that allows users to take advantage of various versatile financial features (of which international money transfers are one of many.)
What's the Best Money Transfer App for You?
In the end, finding the best money transfer app will depend almost entirely on your personal needs and preferences.
If you're looking for the all-around best option, we recommend downloading and signing up with Wise, whose money transfer app is not only at the top of its game in terms of design, but also functionality in that it offers a broad suite of services not merely limited to money transfers.
On the other hand, if you know you'll frequently be transferring money abroad using a debit or credit card, then we recommend Paysend's mobile app, which is just as clean and user friendly as Wise's while offering slightly better pricing for card payments. Similarly, if you know you'll frequently be transferring cash abroad for your recipient to pick up, then Remitly offers a more convenient app.
Regardless of what your needs are exactly, we recommend running a search on Monito's comparison engine to weigh up your options in terms of any number of factors. From there, selecting the money transfer app that best suits your needs will be faster and easier:
Compare Money Transfer Services
How Monito Reviews Money Transfer Apps
All services that appear on Monito undergo a rigorous evaluation to assess the quality of their service. Their mobile apps are no different, with app reviews forming a key step in calculating the final Monito Score that we award to each service.
Our experts review international money transfer apps by downloading the apps, opening a user account, and testing out the platform's functionalities. These include the ease of registration, the speed of transferring money, the convenience of customer support, and the available pay-in methods (e.g. bank transfer, debit card payment, etc.)
With a well-rounded overview of the app's strengths and limitations in place, our reviewers feed this score into the rest of the scoring process, which analyses other key criteria such as customer reviews, percentage of fees constituted by exchange rate margins, pricing on Monito's comparison engine, and business and legal metrics — all of which combine to provide the final Monito Score, ranked on a scale of zero to 10. As a final step, the review process (including the mobile app review) is repeated by a second reviewer to peer-review and cross-reference.
FAQ About International Money Transfer Apps
🔐 Are money transfer apps safe?
Yes, all money transfer apps that appear on Monito belong to money transfer services that are vetted against stringent security and credibility criteria.
📱 How do I send money internationally using an app?
To send money internationally using an app, you'll first need to download your money transfer app of choice from the App Store or Google Play and then log in or register a new account. If you're registering for the first time, using a mobile app can be particularly convenient, as it often allows you to integrate your smartphone's camera to scan your photo ID. In the next step, you'll be able to access the sending page, from which you should be directed quickly and conveniently through the transfer process right up until payment.
🏆 What is the best international money transfer app?
While the best international money transfer app can differ from person to person, in general, if you're looking for the best money transfer app all-around, we recommend using Wise, which offers a fast, simple, and flexible mobile app with a large number of destination countries, low fees, and capable service which includes a multi-currency account and card management features.
🌴 What's the best international money transfers app to Nigeria?
For credit card and debit card payments, the best international money transfers app to Nigeria is Paysend, which is among just several dozen international money transfer operators authorised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to send money to Nigeria.
🍁 What's the best international money transfers app to Canada?
For bank deposits, the best international money transfer app to Canada is Wise, which offers an excellent user experience and very competitive fees and exchange rates between the US and Canadian dollars.
💳 Which money transfer apps accept prepaid cards?
While many money transfer apps accept payments from prepaid cards, we particularly recommend Paysend if you'd like to fund your international money transfer this way. Not only is Paysend's mobile app a clean and convenient way to get the job done, but the service's fees and exchange rates for card transfers (including prepaid cards) are some of the best you'll find on the market.
🚀 Which money transfer app is instant?
Strictly speaking, no money transfer app offers instant transfers abroad. However, for very fast money transfers that are processed in a matter of seconds or minutes, then we recommend Remitly and Wise for bank deposits, Remitly for cash pickup transfers, and Paysend for credit and debit card payments.
📲 Can you use Cash App to send money internationally?
Yes, you can use Cash App to send money to another Cash App user in the UK in British pounds. Unfortunately, you can't yet use Cash App to send money internationally to any other currency. To find the best alternative, compare the top money transfer providers on Monito.com.
💸 Is there any free international money transfer app?
Strictly speaking, there's no totally free international money transfer app. However, there are very cheap ones, such as Wise and Remitly. Take a look at our guide to free international money transfers to find out more.
🔑 Which money transfer app is safest?
There isn't a 'safest' international money transfer app of all, and, in general, all apps offered by regulated and trusted money transfer providers (e.g. Wise, Western Union, Remitly, etc.) are as safe as they come as far as the user is concerned. Take a look at our guide to transferring money abroad safely to learn more.
Other Popular Money Transfer Guides
Why Trust Monito?
You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.
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