Pangea Money Transfer review — What you really need to know

TransferWise
01.04.19
7 minute read

Pangea is an international money transfer service, which allows customers to send money to 15 countries across Asia and Latin America. Using the Pangea app, payments can be made in under 30 seconds, and your recipient can collect their money in cash from an agent location, or have it deposited in their local bank account. Pangea isn’t available in every US state, so do check the availability where you are. The full list of states where Pangea is available is covered below.

When you’re researching which international payment provider might be right for you, it’s helpful to compare the different services out there. This helpful guide walks through some of the pros and cons of using Pangea, and also offers a comparison with an alternative payment service — TransferWise. Here’s everything you need to know, to decide if Pangea is the international payment provider for you.

What is Pangea money transfer?

Pangea offers international payments to Latin America and Asia. You can arrange your payment via their mobile app, and pay using your linked bank account or debit card. In Illinois you can also pay in cash at a 7-Eleven store. You’ll need to pay a transfer fee which can vary according to where you’re sending money to, and how you choose to fund the payment.

Strengths and weaknesses

To decide whether Pangea is the right provider for your international transfer, it’s a good idea to review the pros and cons of the service. You can then compare it to other international payment providers before deciding which suits you. Here are a few things to consider.

Strengths Weaknesses
It’s convenient to set up your payment online or using the Pangea app, and you may receive a promo code. There’s also a referral program. Pangea isn’t available in every US state, and allows payments only to select countries in Latin America and Asia - for a broader range you’ll need an alternative provider with global reach, like TransferWise
Several methods to receive the money - your recipient can either collect their money in local cash from a Pangea agent, or have it deposited in their bank account or card If you’re using a bank transfer to pay for the transaction, your recipient will likely have to wait a few days before they can get their money.
Transfers for cash pickup are processed extremely quickly when you use a card to fund the payment - your recipient could have their money in just a few minutes. No business payments. TransferWise on the other hand offers business transfers and accounts.

Pangea transfer fees and exchange rates

Finding an international transfer service to make your payment won’t be tricky, but working out which service is the best value for you can be a lot harder. You’ll need to evaluate both the fees charged for your transfer, and the exchange rate that’ll be used. Here are the upfront fees Pangea charge for different countries:

Country Pay by card Pay by bank transfer
Mexico $4.95 $4.95, Free if transfer value is over $500*
China $8.00 $8.00, Free if transfer value is over $750*
India £3.95 - $20.95 $3.95, Free if transfer value is over $1000*
Philippines $3.95 $3.95, Free if transfer value is over $500*
Bangladesh $4.95 $4.95, Free if transfer value is over $500*
Colombia $4.95 $4.95, Free if transfer value is over $500*
Dominican Republic $4.95 $4.95, Free if transfer value is over $500*
El Salvador $6.95 - $24.95 $6.95
Guatemala $4.95 $4.95, Free if transfer value is over $500*
Honduras $6.95 - $24.95 $6.95
Indonesia $4.99 $4.99, Free if transfer value is over $500*
Malaysia $5.99 $5.99, Free if transfer value is over $500*
Singapore $5.99 $5.99, Free if transfer value is over $500*
Thailand $5.99 $5.99, Free if transfer value is over $500*
Vietnam $4.95 $4.95, Free if transfer value is over $500*

*Not so fast. A markup on the rates offered may enable service providers to say there aren’t fees, but there is in fact a fee - and it’s within the markup. Many providers and banks disclose that they use a markup in their terms and conditions or FAQ pages.
To understand the total cost, you need to compare the rate offered to you with the mid-market rate or other providers rates.

The mid-market rate is the one you’ll find if you google your currency pair, or using an online currency converter. However, many exchange services, banks and international transfer providers don’t actually use the mid-market rate for their international payments. Instead, they add a markup, which they can then keep as their own profit. While it’s a common practice, it is not a good one, since it makes hard for people to evaluate the final cost of their transfers.

To understand the charges in the exchange rate, simply check the rate Pangea offers you, against the mid-market rate you find online.

Add reminder here for Elle to add info box with ‘what is mid-market rate’.

If you’d like to make a transfer with the mid-market rate, try TransferWise. Instead of hiding some of their fee in the exchange rate, TransferWise is upfront about the small fee they charge for an international payment. All transfers are then carried out using the real mid-market exchange rate, which means you know you’re getting the very best rate out there for your currency.

You might also be interested to learn about the free multi-currency borderless account from TransferWise. This account lets you hold your money in any of dozens of different currencies all in the same account. You can send and receive payments easily, and then switch between currencies using the real exchange rate whenever you need to. You can also get the TransferWise multi-currency debit card, which you can use to pay for goods and services all over the world.

Where can I send money to and from with Pangea?

Pangea allows customers to send money to Latin America and Asia, currently operating in the countries listed below:

Latin America

  • Mexico
  • Guatemala
  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Dominican Republic
  • Colombia

Asia

  • China
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Bangladesh
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

There are some restrictions on where in the US you can send money from. Pangea covers the following states at present, but also invites residents of other states to join a mailing list to discover when the service reaches them:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Vermont

Pangea money transfer speed

Sending money for cash collection with Pangea can mean that your recipient gets their money in minutes, if you’re paying for the transaction using a card. Choosing to pay using a bank transfer will take a little longer as the funds need to clear before being paid out.

If you choose to have your money deposited directly into your recipient’s bank account, the amount of time it takes will depend both on your on bank, and your recipient’s bank policies. Direct deposits like this typically take a few working days, and the likely delivery time will be confirmed when you model your payment.

Ways to transfer your money

Depending on where in the US you are, and where you’re sending money to, you’ll have a few different options to consider.

Ways to send money Ways to receive money
Send a transfer online using your credit or debit card Receive your funds as a direct deposit into your bank account
Send a transfer online via a bank transfer Get your money in cash at a Pangea agent location near you
In Illinois you can also pay for a transfer in cash in many 7-Eleven stores Receive the payment on your card

Customer experience

Pangea has a customer support phone line, which is open for calls between 9 AM and 6 PM CST - or you can email the team out of hours if you have a question. There’s a comprehensive FAQ section on the Pangea website, which might also give you what you’re looking for - it’s quite comfortable to navigate.

To read more real customer reviews, and get a feel for the service offered by Pangea, have a look at Trustpilot. Trustpilot collates customer testimonials, and currently rates Pangea as a 4 out of 5 star rating for their service.

How do you make a transfer with Pangea

In most cases you’ll be making a transfer online - although in Illinois you may also choose to process your transaction in a 7-Eleven store. In this case the store staff will walk you through the transfer process so you’ll have nothing to worry about.

To arrange a transfer online you’ll need to do the following:

  • Register a Pangea account online
  • Model the payment by entering how much you want to send. You can check the rates and fees at this step.
  • Confirm the recipient’s details - either their bank account information for a direct deposit, their card details to transfer money on it or their personal details, if they will collect the money in local cash in the destination country
  • Make the payment - it could go through very quickly for a cash collection, or for a direct deposit you can expect to wait a few days.

There you have it. All you need to know about Pangea - how the service works, what it costs, and how to work out if it’s right for you. Don’t forget to look at the upfront costs, and also the fees rolled into the exchange rates on offer from international payment providers, to find the right service for you. And if Pangea doesn’t meet your needs, why not try TransferWise for low cost international transfers using the mid-market exchange rate.


Sources:

All sources checked 17 December 2018

  1. https://pangeamoneytransfer.com/how-it-works/
  2. https://pangeamoneytransfer.com/
  3. https://pangeamoneytransfer.com/help/#sending-money
  4. https://pangeamoneytransfer.com/send-money/saber/
  5. https://pangeamoneytransfer.com/help/#receiving-money
  6. https://pangeamoneytransfer.com/help/#sending-money
  7. https://pangeamoneytransfer.com/help/#fees-and-exchange-rate
    8.https://pangeamoneytransfer.com/help/#common-questions

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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