InstaReM money transfer: Fees, rates and transfer times


Do you need to send money out of Australia? If so, you might be investigating the world of international money transfer services. As people have become increasingly frustrated with the high fees and bad exchange rates that banks charge to make international transfers, many specialist companies have emerged to offer consumers a better deal.

InstaReM is one such company. Set up in 2015, InstaReM initially focused on transfers from Australia to India, and has steadily expanded its reach since then¹. It prides itself on not marking up the exchange rates like most providers do. As such, it’s similar to another well-known international transfer provider, Wise - more on which later. Read on for more information on InstaReM and how it works, as well as a quick look at some alternatives.

Sending money to or from Australia? Wise could save you up to 8x versus your bank

Before you get started, a word.

Banks and money transfer providers often give you a bad exchange rate to make extra profits.

Wise is different. Its smart new technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world. Which means you can save up to 8x by using Wise rather than your bank when you send your money abroad.

Check out how to make your first transfer with Wise. And give it a try.

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out Wise’s free borderless multi-currency account. Where you can manage and send dozens of currencies all from the same account.

Now, back to what you came here to read.

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

Generally, InstaReM charges a percentage fee based on the amount that you want to transfer. The percentage they charge varies depending on the route the money has to take, because different routes vary in terms of how expensive they are to make.

Though they’re subject to change, they currently put “typical fees” at between 0.25% and 1%².

What are the currencies that InstaReM supports?

Check carefully, because not all transfer routes with InstaReM are available in both directions. You’re able to send money to a considerable number of countries, but the list of countries that you can send money from is more limited. If you might need to both send and receive along a particular transfer route, do make sure both paths are available.

Anyhow, here’s the list of countries and currencies from which you can send money with InstaReM - correct as of 16 August 2018²:

  • Australia, Australian dollars
  • Singapore, Singaporean dollars
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong dollars
  • India, Indian rupees
  • Malaysia, Malaysian rupees
  • Eurozone countries, Euro
  • UK, British pounds
  • USA, US dollars

As just noted, you can send money to many more countries than those listed there, including Canada, Japan and New Zealand². It’s just that if you might need to receive money to Australia from New Zealand, for instance, you won’t be able to use InstaReM.

What is the InstaReM exchange rate?

As mentioned above, InstaReM is unusual in not marking up its exchange rate: they offer “Zero-Margin FX rates”².

Wise offers the mid-market rate, too - it’s the only rate that’s really fair to use. There are slightly different ways of calculating this rate, so don’t be surprised to see very slight differences between the rates offered. And don’t forget, although you’ll get the mid-market rate, that rate is changing all the time, so your money will very likely be worth a different amount from one day to the next, it can sometimes even change from one minute to the next.

How’s the mid-market rate calculated? The short answer is that it’s an average of all the buy and sell rates currently in use, so it always works out as a better deal than the marked-up rate that banks tend to offer. Banks do use the mid-market rate sometimes - but generally to trade between themselves, not to do business with consumers.

It’s strange, because the mid-market rate isn’t a secret. It’s the same rate you’ll find on online currency converters, like XE, Google or Wise’s currency converter.

How long can a transfer with InstaReM take?

InstaReM says that a transfer should be completed in 1-2 business days, although the time always depends on various factors including where the money is going, and details concerning the receiving bank. The receiving bank also has to process the transfer, which can take time, too².

Though it’s not always 100% certain when a transfer will arrive in the recipient’s account, specialist services like InstaReM and Wise have one big advantage over banks - they’re not tied into using the SWIFT network, which is one reason that traditional international bank transfers end up being so time-consuming and costly.

How does InstaReM work?

Like with many modern money transfer providers, you can use InstaReM online. You’ll need to register for an account with them and verify your identity and address². Then it’s a matter of giving them details of both your recipient’s bank account, and your own.

What kind of transfers can you make?

As well as standard transfers with InstaReM, they have options for businesses, and companies can make use of a bulk payment feature².

You should be able to pay InstaReM via a standard electronic bank transfer, or in Australia via POLi. Credit card isn’t currently an option².

Does the recipient have to sign up with InstaReM?

The money goes straight into the recipient’s bank account, so they shouldn’t have to create an account with InstaReM themselves.

Are there any limits to the amount you can transfer?

Yes - with InstaReM there are various maximum and minimum limits that you’ll encounter, depending on where you’re sending from and to. From Australia, InstaReM currently has a minimum transfer amount of AUD 200, and a maximum - for your first transfer only - of AUD 2,500. Certain countries have a limit on how much can be received there, too, for instance Thailand and Vietnam³.

Wise generally allows lower payment amounts, as long as the amount that you send isn’t lower than the fee you have to pay. The maximum amount you can send depends on the country you're sending to, and in some cases the method you use to pay your money. For example, paying by card usually has a lower limit than paying by bank transfer.

Is the service available to anyone?

The key thing is that you can verify your identity, including proving your address. Also keep in mind that if you want to make business related payments, you should create the correct profile. When you create a personal profile, you’re only allowed to make payments for personal purposes².

How can you contact InstaReM?

There are various ways you can get in touch with InstaReM if you want further information or to discuss your particular situation. Here are a few of them:

  • You can contact their support centre at
  • Call on +370 5 214 0263
  • They also offer support via live chat
  • Or you can check out the help centre on their website².

Conclusion: InstaReM or Wise?

InstaReM’s certainly doing the right thing in offering the real exchange rate, rather than marking it up. Wise does the same thing, and likewise charges a low, percentage-based fee.

So how to choose between them?

If you often find yourself needing to use money in a foreign currency, Wise offers an additional service that might come in handy for you. With a borderless multi-currency account, you can hold money in 40+ international currencies, protecting your money from the constant fluctuations in the exchange rate. And you also get virtual account details in Australian and US dollars, euros and British pounds - meaning that you can pay and get paid like a local in any of those currencies. That could mean savings not just for you, but also for anyone paying you from abroad - it’s ideal for small businesses, or individuals leading complex international lives.

Borderless accounts cost no monthly fee at all, you only pay a small fee when you want to convert between currencies - always with the real mid-market rate, on which Wise prides itself - or when you want to transfer money out of your borderless account.

With so many competing international transfer services, you need to make sure you’re getting good value for money on your transfer, but also that your provider is offering you the widest range of options. Rather than sending money to and from your bank account every time you make a transfer overseas, it could well be a lot easier to set up a borderless account and hold some money in whichever foreign currency you use most often. That way, you don’t just save money - you save yourself time and stress, as well.

1. (September 13, 2018)
2. (September 13, 2018)
3. (September 13, 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.

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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