Remitly Review

Remitly is a U.S. headquartered digital remittance provider helping immigrants send money back home to their families. 

They are well established in the industry, and have been offering money transfer services for more than a decade. 

They also have one of the world’s most popular money transfer apps, which has received excellent reviews. 

But are they the right money transfer provider for you?

In this Remitly review, we’ll look at the firm’s strengths and weaknesses, providing a clear breakdown of the services they offer. 

We’ll draw insight from our own experiences, as well as the millions of verified Remitly reviews of the company and its mobile app. 

By the end, you’ll have a clear idea of whether or not Remitly suits your own transfer requirements. 

To summarise Remitly’s services, they specialise in offering a variety of delivery options like cash pickup, but they are only suitable for small transfers due to their send limits. 

They are certainly not the cheapest in the industry, but may prove to be a reliable and suitable choice for getting cash to a recipient based in an exotic country.Is Remitly the right match for your transfer needs?

How did we review Remitly?

We started this Remitly review by signing up for a new account.

This allowed us to review the registration process and make a test transfer. 

We made sure Remitly didn’t know the reason for our account registration to ensure the service we received was a fair reflection of their everyday service. 

We focused on the user friendliness and efficiency of their sign up process, transfer process, and how effective or useful we found Remitly’s other features.

We also analysed the firm’s: 

  • Compliance and regulation
  • FX rates and fees
  • Service quality
  • Customer reviews
  • Australia-specific features and feedback

We used our findings to score Remitly across 5 performance indicators, which are combined to produce Remitly’s overall review score. 

Key information

Established2011
Launched in Australia2018
HeadquartersSeattle, U.S.A
OfficesU.S.A, UK, Ireland, Nicaragua, Philippines, Poland 
RegulationASIC (AU), FCA (UK), ECB (EU), plus U.S.A and Singapore
No. of customers5.9 million active customers
No. of currencies70+
Transfer feesVaries by currency 
Customer reviews (Overall)4.1/5, 44,378 reviews
Customer reviews (Australia)N/A 
Annual trading volume (Overall)AU$60.3 billion
Minimum transfer$0
Maximum transfer24hr, 30 day, and 180 day limits (varies by currency)
Online platformYes
Mobile appYes
Account managerNo

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Variety of destination countries – Remitly lets Australian users send money to 100 countries – including exotic locationsPoor exchange rates – Remitly offers bank beating rates, but these are sub-par compared to alternative providers
Very secure transfers – Remitly are one of the few publicly traded money transfer providers and are deemed extremely trustworthyRestrictive send limits – Remitly has a number of limits in place that makes them unsuitable for large transfers

 

Very slick app which is one of the most popular money transfers apps worldwideConfusing fee structure – due to various partners, their pricing structure lacks clarity and consistency

About Remitly

Remitly was founded in 2011, initially as a search engine for remittance services. 

It launched its own money transfer service in 2013, allowing users from the U.S.A to send free money transfers to recipients in the Philippines. 

By 2018, Australia became the fourth ‘send country’ that Remitly offered its services, after the U.S.A, Canada, and the UK. 

 

Following a highly successful first decade in business, which included several impressive funding rounds, Remitly went on the NASDAQ exchange in September 2021. 

The listing saw the firm valued at $7 billion, though this has now fallen to just shy of $4 billion.

In a short space of time, Remitly has grown immensely and to this day continues to expand into new territories. However, its focus remains the same: providing immigrants an affordable way to send money back home to family and friends. 

Remitly is also a philanthropic company and is a member of the Pledge 1% organisation.

Remitly has been publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange since September 2021    

Remitly currency exchange services

Remitly offers a fairly streamlined spot transfer service, but you’re unable to set up recurring transfers, use hedging tools to secure a rate for the future, or set up a limit order. 

How to pay for your transfer

Australian users can use any of the following payment methods to fund your overseas transfer.

  • Bank account
  • Debit or credit card (Visa & Mastercard)
  • Prepaid card 

Whilst Remitly does support Google Pay and Apple Pay in some regions, it’s not currently available in Australia. 

Delivery methods 

With Remitly, you have a good variety of delivery options, which can be particularly useful when sending money to a more exotic location, where the recipient may not have access to a bank account. 

Let’s take a look at each of these options: 

Cash pickup – Remitly works with a large number of partners, where your recipient can collect cash as soon as the transfer is complete. 

Mobile money – Mobile money accounts are particularly popular in parts of Asia and Africa, and with Remitly you can send your funds directly to a recipient’s account. 

 

Bank transfer – This is a more traditional payment route, but it’s not an available delivery option for all regions, so you’ll need to check if this is available for your destination country.

Airtime top-up – Remitly has a number of airtime partners, so you can send money to directly top up a recipient’s mobile balance for calls, texts, and data.  

Remitly also offers a home delivery service where cash is delivered by courier, but this is currently limited to recipients based in Vietnam, Philippines, and Dominican Republic.

Limits

Remitly is designed to transfer smaller amounts abroad, normally for someone based in a developed country, to an exotic currency.

Remitly has a number of different send limits in place that apply to a 24 hour, 30 day, and 180 day period. 

They also have a 3 tier structure, where you’re able to increase your send limits by providing additional information. 

The screenshot below summarises Remitly’s tiered limit structure. 

Remitly’s daily limits will make them unsuitable for users needing to transfer large sums

As you can see, even if you’ve reached tier 3, a 24 hour limit of AU$10,000 will be extremely limiting for many users.  

Remitly fees & exchange rates 

Fees

Remitly’s fee structure is less straightforward than many alternatives, and varies based on the receiving currency, country, transfer type, and send total. 

They generally apply a fixed fee for a particular currency, but this is not always the case. 

For some routes, they charge a variable fee instead, and sometimes have two different fees, based on whether you opt for a ‘standard’ or ‘express’ transfer. 

Some currencies also qualify for zero fee transactions, if you’re transferring more than the specified amount for that currency.

To provide a general guide, the table below lists Remitly’s fees for some common currency transfers from AUD. 

Receiving CurrencyFee (AUD)
GBP1.99
USD2.99
EUR0
SGD2.99
CADEconomy

0.4% of the amount you send plus $1.49

Express

1.3% of the amount you send plus $2.99

INRBelow AU$1,000

$3.99

More than AU$1,000
$0

 

It’s nice to see Remitly offers zero fee transfers for all AUDEUR transfers. 

In truth, we’d like to have seen this ‘zero fee’ policy apply to all transfers, as these fees are unnecessary.  

The fact they charge a fixed fee for some currency routes, and a variable fee for others, frankly makes their offering needlessly confusing. 

Wondering why we haven’t included NZD? 

Surprisingly, Remitly does not offer Australian users the ability to send money to New Zealand. 

This omission might prove frustrating for many customers who want to register with a single provider for all of their money transfer needs, as it’s such a common currency corridor. 

Exchange rates

Remitly also makes part of its profit by adding an fx margin to the mid market exchange rate. 

Again, Remitly lacks consistency with its rates, likely because they have a wide variety of banking partners across different regions, who each offer a different spread depending on the currency. 

Proceed with caution.

For instance, on some occasions, rather than charging a fixed fee for an express transfer, they’ll instead offer you a worse exchange rate. 

It’s important to pay close attention, as an express transfer might end up proving very costly. 

Let’s look at a live example.

At the time of writing, for AUDEUR transfers, Remitly was offering an exchange rate of 0.5974 for an economy transfer, and 0.5865 for an express transfer. 

At first glance, these numbers might seem fairly similar, but once you calculate the fx margin you start to see the bigger picture. 

For an economy transfer, Remitly’s markup is 0.83%, which isn’t the cheapest in the industry, but is still far cheaper than any rate you’ll be offered from a bank. 

However, the markup for an AUDEUR express transfer jumps up significantly to 2.64%.

This offer is significantly less competitive, and puts Remitly in the same region, albeit at the lower end, of what the ‘big four’ banks charge for international transfers.

This also means that for a AU$10,000 AUDEUR express transfer, there’s an additional total cost of more than AU$180 compared to an economy transfer.

It’s rare you’d ever see a fixed express fee as high as this, so in our opinion, Remitly lacks transparency here as they’re technically charging a huge cost for express transfers. 

In short, there are many cheaper alternatives for international transfers. 

For smaller transfers, we’d recommend using ‘Wise’, an online money transfer app that offers an extremely fast and cost effective service. 

They offer transfers at the mid-market rate, and only charge a small variable fee in the region of 0.3-0.65%.

Wise also has an excellent track record of delivering funds quickly, known for being one of the fastest providers in the industry. 

Is there a Remitly app?

Yes, Remitly has a mobile app available on Google Play and the App Store, both of which have received excellent reviews. 

4.9/5 on the App Store, based on 1.4M reviews.

4.8/5 on Google Play, based on 793K reviews.

These are extremely impressive numbers! 

With the exception of PayPal, Remitly is the most popular money transfer app on Apple’s App Store, and has been downloaded more than 10 million times on Google Play.

The app allows you to easily make overseas transfers, track the status of your payment, and manage your recipients.  

The majority of reviews praise the app for being ‘seamless’, ‘easy to use’, and offering ‘fast and smooth transfers’.

The negative reviews all relate to issues with Remitly’s customer service, rather than criticising the app itself. 

We will cover these issues in more detail in our ‘Remitly Reviews’ section.
Remitly has an extremely popular and highly rated app  

Is Remitly safe?

Yes, we can confidently recommend Remitly as a safe choice for overseas transfers. 

Firstly, they are highly regulated in Australia and other key territories with stringent regulatory bodies, including the FCA in the UK. 

As Remitly is a publicly traded company, there’s an additional spotlight on the firm, ensuring that they’re squeaky clean in regards to their regulatory obligations.

Customers also get far greater transparency into the company’s operations, and how much Remitly is profiting from their services. 

They partner with some huge global brands, and have extended partnerships with Visa and Mastercard.

The fact Remitly’s app users have given a near perfect 4.9 out of 5 stars based on 1.5 million reviews, is also a massive vote of confidence for the firm.

Remitly Reviews 

As of March 2024, Remitly has a ‘great’ rating on Trustpilot, narrowly missing out on an ‘Excellent’ rating. 

They have a total of 44,378 reviews, 79% are 5 stars, and 85% of all reviews are positive. 

Conversely, 13% of Trustpilot reviews are negative, wth 11% of reviews awarding Remitly just 1 star. 

Looking at the positive Remitly reviews, customers frequently praise the firm for being:

  • User friendly 
  • Trustworthy
  • Convenient

And offering:

  • Good status updates 
  • Fast transfers

Overall, it seems that the customer experience varies significantly with Remitly. 

Common complaints in Remitly’s less favourable reviews include: 

  • Very slow ID verification/security process 
  • Long delays for cancelled/refunded transactions 
  • Money taking longer to arrive than quoted
  • Very poor customer service experiences

The fact Remitly deals with many exotic currencies may explain why the customer experience seems so inconsistent. 

This especially applies to how long a transfer can take to arrive, as well the level of customer service that users receive. 

Remitly offers 24/7 customer support, which sounds great on paper, but the reality is the negative reviews regarding their customer service far outweigh the positive comments.

Reports of very long hold times, as well as unhelpful or rude staff, do provide some cause for concern.  Remitly has mostly positive reviews, but some negative reviews are a cause for concern

How does an overseas transfer with Remitly Work? 

Create an account 
Once you’ve compared Remitly with alternative providers, if you decide they’re the right choice for you, then your first step is registering a new account. 

You can do this within the Remitly app or via their website.

For Australians, the ID verification stage will require a picture of one of the following ‘Primary Documents’

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • ImmiCard

If your ID does not include your current address, you’ll likely need to provide a ‘proof of address’ document also.

Confirm the details of your trade 
Without an account manager for support, you are solely responsible for ensuring all of the trade details are entered correctly.

First you’ll enter your transfer amount, and choose whether or not you’d like an economy or express transfer, if this is an available option for your destination country. 

You’ll then see a clear overview of the rate you’re choosing, as well as any applicable fees. 

Enter your beneficiary’s details
The information required at this stage varies greatly based on your transfer delivery method. 

For example, if you’re choosing cash pickup, you’ll only need the recipient’s full name as it appears on their ID, and to select a pickup location. 

But, if you’re sending to a recipient’s bank you’ll also need to provide the bank’s name, address, and an international bank ID code, such as an IBAN (UK and Europe) or a routing number (USA).

Sit back 
Once you’ve confirmed your trade, simply wait for your funds to arrive. Remitly will provide a guaranteed delivery time and will also give you some basic updates allowing you to track the status of your transfer. 

How long does a Remitly transfer take?

For all ‘economy’ transfers, Remitly states that money typically arrives 5-7 days after Remitly has received your payment. 

They do not provide any specifics regarding their ‘Express’ transfer service. 

With that said, once you’ve confirmed a transaction, Remitly will provide a promised delivery date and time. 

They guarantee this delivery time, and will refund the transfer fees if your funds don’t arrive by then.

This is a nice touch from Remitly, but one that sounds better in theory than in reality. 

Yes you’d get a refund of somewhere between $1.99-$3.99 AUD, but that won’t really make up for the fact your funds could be arriving significantly later than promised.  

When to use Remitly for money transfers

Based on the quality of alternative providers for small transfers, Remitly has, in our opinion, fairly limited use cases. 

For most small transfers less than AU$20,000, we recommend the leading money transfer app ‘Wise’. They offer fast, reliable, and very cost effective overseas transfers. 

But there are some exceptions where Remitly might be a better option for you. 

 

The first and most obvious time to consider Remitly, is when your recipient does not have a bank account, or has a specific need to receive cash. 

This is more often applicable to beneficiaries based in exotic or remote locations, which is a big focus for Remitly’s service. 

As such, Remitly aso has an impressive reach, as they allow Australians to send funds to 100 countries, which is slightly more than Wise’s 76. 

Therefore, Remitly might also be your best bet if a provider such as Wise does not offer money transfers to your destination country. 

Our Verdict

Remitly have cemented themselves as a very well established remittance provider in a crowded industry. 

They’re continuing on a trajectory of impressive growth and had a great 4th quarter in 2023. 

Remitly is certainly a safe and trustworthy choice for sending money abroad, particularly to more exotic countries, on the condition you only need to transfer a small amount. 

Where Remitly simply can’t compete with the leading alternatives is cost.

You’ll save money choosing Remitly over your bank, but you stand to potentially save much more by choosing a leading money transfer app like ‘Wise’. 

With that said, your needs are unique, and if your recipient is based in an exotic country and needs to receive cash or mobile credit, then there’s a chance Remitly is just right for your needs. 

If you need to send a large overseas money transfer, check out some of Money Transfer Australia’s top rated currency brokers

🔙 Money Transfer Companies in Australia