WorldRemit Money Transfer: Fees, Rates and Transfer Times

TransferWise
01.12.18
8 minute read

If you’re looking to make an international payment, it’s a smart idea to do some research to find out which option suits you best. There are many providers out there, all offering slightly different payment types, and fee structures. WorldRemit allow customers to send money to over 140 countries across the world - by bank transfer, for cash collection, or even home delivery. However, not all services are available in all countries, and fees vary according to the payment type you want to use.

Before you settle on a particular international payment provider, compare your options, to see if there’s a better deal out there. You could consider TransferWise, for example, for low cost, safe and simple international bank transfers around the globe, but more on that later.

Here’s all you need to know about making an international payment with WorldRemit.

What are the fees for an international money transfer with WorldRemit?

When you’re considering sending money with Worldremit, the first thing you’ll need to do is to model the payment, check the fees payable, and then decide if they’re fair. Here’s an outline of what you can expect.

ServiceWorldRemit fee
Upfront feesThe fee you’ll pay depends on the amount you’re sending, where it’s going, and how you want your recipient to receive it. Here are some examples: Sending AUD500 to the UK, US, or India, direct to a recipient’s bank account will cost AUD3.99. Sending the same amount to the Philippines direct to a bank account costs AUD6.99. Sending AUD500 for cash collection in Vietnam will cost AUD4.99. The same transfer in the Philippines is AUD6.99. If you choose to have your payment courier delivered to your recipient in cash, it’ll typically cost more. Sending AUD500 to a recipient in Vietnam this way costs AUD9.99.
Exchange rate markupThere is a markup applied to the exchange rate used - We will cover that more later. Here’s what WorldRemit’s terms say about it: “When you pay a Transaction Amount in one currency and the Payout Amount is in another currency, there will be a difference between the exchange rate at which we buy foreign currency and the exchange rate provided to you. WorldRemit and its Service Providers usually make a small profit in these circumstances.” *
Credit card and bank imposed feesWorldRemit specify that a credit card fee could be payable depending on the specific payment being made, and you may be charged more by your own card provider, too: “We may apply a convenience fee for processing credit cards in certain jurisdictions at our discretion” “WorldRemit will have no responsibility for any fees or charges you may incur by the use of a particular Payment Instrument to fund a Transaction. These may include but are not limited to unauthorised overdraft fees imposed by banks if there are insufficient funds in your bank account or "cash advance" fees and additional interest which may be imposed by credit card providers if they treat use of the Service as a cash transaction rather than a purchase transaction.” * *
Cancellation feesIt’s not always possible to cancel a transfer - if it is there could be a fee to pay. WorldRemit’s terms say the following: “For successful revocations WorldRemit will normally refund your money, less any reasonable revocation charges and any Service Fees already charged, within four (4) Business Days.” *
Other chargesYou might find that there are other charges added by WorldRemit or their agents. Here’s what the smallprint says: “If a Payee’s account is denominated in a currency other than the currency you instructed us to make payment in there may be delays, additional charges or different exchange rates.” “If you submit a Transaction Request that results in WorldRemit becoming liable for charges including but not limited to chargeback or other fees, you agree to reimburse us for all such fees” * *

What are the currencies that WorldRemit supports?

WorldRemit offer payments to over 140 countries, with slightly different services offered by destination. To check if the payment route you want is available in the country you’re interested in, you can model the transaction on the WorldRemit website.

What is the WorldRemit exchange rate?

WorldRemit charge an exchange rate spread on transfers. This means that they take the real, mid-market exchange rate, and add a margin on it, which they then keep for themselves.

Here’s how the terms and conditions explain it:

“When you pay a Transaction Amount in one currency and the Payout Amount is in another currency, there will be a difference between the exchange rate at which we buy foreign currency and the exchange rate provided to you. WorldRemit and its Service Providers usually make a small profit in these circumstances.”

Adding a markup to the exchange rate used for retail customers is a common practice among bank and exchange services. However, this markup is a hidden fee, and can make it hard to know exactly what your exchange is costing you. It’s smart to get to know a bit about the mid-market exchange rate, so you can spot if a markup is being added to your transactions.

The mid-market rate is important, because it’s the only real exchange rate - the one you’ll find on Google, and the one banks themselves use when trading currency. Keeping up with the real exchange rate can be hard, because rates move all the time - but using an online currency converter, or simply googling your currency pairing will give you the right rate for the day. You can then compare the rate you’re offered by your bank or international payment service, to the real rate, to see if it’s fair.

WorldRemit explain why they add a markup to their exchange rate:

“We guarantee you the Payout Amount in local currency. The margin taken on foreign currency exchange covers our risk in guaranteeing this”

However, it’s good to know that there are other providers out there who don’t add a markup, and instead charge an upfront, transparent fee for their international payment service. TransferWise, for example, use the real rate, and are honest about what’s being charged, so there’s no need to worry about hidden fees.

How long can a transfer with WorldRemit take?

How long your transfer will take depends on a few factors including the payment route you’ve chosen, and where the money is going. Cash pickup services, where your recipient visits a WorldRemit agent near to them, are often available instantly. If you’re arranging for your payment to be home delivered to the recipient, the delivery time will vary depending on availability in the country you’re sending to.

Bank transfers can generally be processed in a day, but they may take longer depending on the route being used to process them. It’s worth knowing that international bank transfers are often processed using the SWIFT network. The SWIFT network involves several banks working together to move money between them - it can mean that up to 3 intermediary banks are involved in processing your transfer. Not only can this take a little time, it may also result in unexpected charges, as each intermediary can add their own fee if they wish to. This may result in your recipient getting less than they expect at the end of the transaction.

If you’re concerned about the high - and hidden - charges applied by banks and some international transfer services, don’t worry. There are other options out there. You could consider a borderless account from TransferWise, for example, for simple international payments at a low cost. All currency exchange is done using the real mid-market exchange rate with no markup, and you can keep your money in any of over 40 currencies in the same account.

How does WorldRemit work?

WorldRemit serves over 140 countries, but the options available vary from place to place, so it pays to know a bit about how the service works.

What kind of transfers can you make?

There are several different types of payment, but not all are available in every country. Here are the most common payment routes:

  • Direct bank deposit - money is paid into your recipient’s bank account
  • Cash for collection - recipient goes to a WorldRemit agent near to their home, to collect their cash
  • Home Delivery - in some countries, the cash can be courier delivered to the recipient

Does the recipient have to sign up with WorldRemit?

The recipient doesn’t need to sign up to Worldremit to receive their payment. If the recipient will receive cash, they’ll need a reference number from the sender, and appropriate ID. For direct deposits to a bank account, the recipient doesn’t need to take any action to receive the payments.

Are there any limits to the amount you can transfer?

There are limits, which vary depending on the type of payment you’re making - here’s an outline:

  • For transfers paid for using a credit, debit or pre-paid card, Apple Pay or Android Pay: Limit of AUD5,000 per transaction to a maximum of AUD50,000 in 24 hours
  • POLI payments: Up to AUD50,000 per transaction to a maximum of AUD50,000 in 24 hours

Is the service available to anyone?

To use the WorldRemit service, you must be at least 18, and you’ll need to open an account by applying and showing appropriate documentation.

How can you contact WorldRemit?

If you need to get in touch with WorldRemit you have several options:

  • You can complete an online contact form on the Worldremit website contact page
  • Email the team with the email found on their website
  • Call customer services or even send a fax to the number provided on their site
  • Or write to: WorldRemit, attn: Customer Service, WorldRemit Pty Ltd, Suite 23.01, Level 23, 1 O'Connell Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

Whether you’re planning on sending a small amount of money to a friend abroad, or need to make a large international payment to cover a major purchase, you don’t want to pay more than you need to. Knowledge is power - and a little bit of research can save you a lot of money. Don’t forget to check the upfront fees each provider adds, and also the exchange rate used, to make sure you’re getting a fair deal on your international payment.

All sources correct as of 01 December 2018


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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