Remitly Fees: What’s the price of a money transfer?

Wise
30.06.19
6 minute read

Remitly is an international payment provider, specialising in remittances. Their services cover a range of countries in Asia, South and Central America, and Africa, with a small number of European destinations also available.

When you’re selecting a service to make a remittance home, or send money internationally for any reason, you’ll want to know a bit about how the process works and what it’ll cost. This handy guide covers all you need, as well as providing an alternative option for comparison - Wise.

Who are Remitly?

Remitly was created to help people who have moved abroad remit money home to friends and family securely and conveniently. Their vision and mission focus on making remittances easier, for immigrants and anybody else who needs to move money internationally.

Remitly offer remittances to a range of countries from Australia. These are selected from those countries where the flow of overseas remittances is already high, covering countries in Asia, Africa, South and Central America and a few European locations.

The options and fee structures for payments vary by country, depending on local needs and competition. In some countries, for example, it’s possible to have money delivered in the local currency or US dollars, and in some money can be collected in cash or home delivered - handy for customers who don’t have to easy access to banking services.¹

What are the fees for sending money internationally?

The price of an international payment with Remitly depends on where you’re sending money, and which currency you would like it to be received in.

You can make international payments with Remitly from Australia to the following countries:²

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam

Services to New Zealand will be available in future, and customers can sign up to receive further information about when this route will open for business.

To understand the international payment options available to you, and the fees, you’ll need to visit the Remitly webpage and review the country specific information. We have modeled a few major currency routes here to give you an idea of the options and costs available.

Send money from Australia to India

Sending money to India can be done with 2 different payment methods. There are different fees and exchange rates for each.³

The Express service will arrive in your recipient’s bank account quicker than an Economy payment. However, the exchange rate you get is better if you choose the Economy option, making this service likely to be cheaper overall. You may also get a preferential exchange rate for your first transfer.

Payment methodFees
ExpressUpfront fee: AUD3.99 for transfers under AUD1,000 in valueNo upfront fee for transfers of AUD1,000 or more Exchange rate fee:There is likely to be an exchange rate markup - at the time of research, the exchange rate for Express payments is not as good as the rate offered for Economy payments Other fee: 1% fee if funded with a credit card
EconomyUpfront fee: AUD3.99 for transfers under AUD1,000 in valueNo upfront fee for transfers of AUD1,000 or more Exchange rate fee:There is likely to be an exchange rate markup against the live mid-market rate

Send money from Australia to the Philippines

If you’re sending money to a recipient in the Philippines you can have it delivered in pesos or US dollars. There are different fees for these services.⁴

Payment methodFees
ExpressUpfront fee: AUD3.99 for all transfers, received in PHP or USD Exchange rate fee:There may be an exchange rate markup to pay
EconomyUpfront fee: AUD3.99 for transfers under AUD500 in value, delivered in PHPTransfers of AUD500 or more, delivered in PHP are fee freeAUD1.99 for all transfers delivered in USD Exchange rate fee:There may be an exchange rate markup against the live mid-market rate

Send money from Australia to Poland

If you’re sending money to Poland, you can choose a fixed price economy service, which will take a few days, or a quicker - and more expensive - express delivery.⁵

Payment methodFees
ExpressUpfront fee: Sliding scale of fees based on volume, from AUD3.99 for transfers under AUD500 in value, to AUD41.99 for transfers of AUD9,500 and above Exchange rate fee:There may be an exchange rate markup to pay
EconomyUpfront fee: AUD2.99 Exchange rate fee:There may be an exchange rate markup against the live mid-market rate

Send money from Australia to Vietnam

Within Vietnam, you have several different options for delivery of your payment. Your recipient could collect the payment in cash, have it delivered to their home, or you may choose to have it paid directly into their bank account. These delivery options are available in a select few countries only. Payment can be delivered in either dong or US dollars.⁶

Payment methodFees
ExpressUpfront fee: Payments made in Vietnamese dong cost AUD3.99 Payments made in USD are charged with a sliding scale of fees based on volume, from AUD4.99 for transfers under AUD100 in value, to AUD149.99 for transfers of AUD7,500 and above Exchange rate fee:There may be an exchange rate markup to pay
EconomyUpfront fee: Payments made in Vietnamese dong cost AUD2.99Payments made in US dollars cost AU3.99 Exchange rate fee:There may be an exchange rate markup against the live mid-market rate

What exchange rate is used by Remitly when converting your funds?

When you’re sending money home to loved ones, or making an international transfer for any reason, you’ll need to know both the upfront fees and the exchange rate used to understand if you’re getting a good deal.

The exchange rate matters a lot - a bad rate can mean your recipient gets far less than you expected, even if the upfront costs are low.

Remitly confirm the exchange rate they will use when you model the payment you want to make, on their website. The best benchmark to use when comparing the Remitly rate, is the mid-market exchange rate for your currency. In basic terms, the mid-market rate is the one banks and exchange services get when they buy currency themselves. If you compare this to the rate they pass onto their customers, you can see if they have added any markup.

While it’s common for services to add an exchange rate markup, this is effectively a second fee in addition to the upfront admin charge that’s advertised. It can mean it’s hard to see exactly what you’re paying for your international transfer, because you need to calculate the cost of the markup, as well as the other charges.

Not all international transfer services choose to add a markup to their exchange rate. Wise for example, process international payments using the mid-market exchange rate, and charge a transparent fee. There’s no markup, which makes the costs clear - and can also be cheaper than using a regular bank or remittance service. You can also get yourself a Wise borderless account to make it even easier to send money home - more on that later.

What is the real cost of transferring money with Remitly?

The costs applied by Remitly depend on whether you choose an Economy or Express payment - Economy payments are usually funded by bank transfer, and take a few days, while Express payments can usually be paid for using your card, and take less time to arrive. Paying by credit card may attract an additional percentage fee for some currencies.

To help illustrate the way Remitly’s pricing structure can work, we have modeled a payment of AUD1,000 to be made to a friend in South Africa.⁷

Remitly transfer typeFee (deducted from transfer amount)Exchange rate usedYour recipient receives
ExpressAUD19.991AUD = ZAR9.87ZAR9,672.70
EconomyAUD4.99 + possible SWIFT fees (see below)1AUD = ZAR9.87ZAR9,820.75(May be subject to additional SWIFT fees)

Exchange rate correct at time of writing, 12 April 2019

We mentioned SWIFT fees above. These are costs associated with international payments being processed using the SWIFT network. The SWIFT network is commonly used to process international transfers, and involves several banks working together on a single payment. Each bank can then charge a fee for the service. If you’re arranging an international payment, it’s worth checking if your chosen provider uses the SWIFT network, as this can result in additional costs being charged by third party banks.

As a comparison to Remitly, we have also set out the costs of using an alternative provider for the same transaction - Wise. It’s also good to know that Wise international payments are made using a modern approach which avoids the SWIFT network entirely. This can make payments quicker, and skips the risk of extra SWIFT fees being added to your payment. More about using Wise for low cost international payments, in a moment.

Wise transfer typeFee (deducted from transfer amount)Exchange rate usedYour recipient receives
Funded by bank transferAUD17.161AUD= ZAR9.985ZAR9,813.66
Funded by debit cardAUD21.141AUD= ZAR9.985ZAR9,773.91
Funded by credit cardAUD26.081AUD= ZAR9.985ZAR9,724.59

As you can see, it’s important to understand the full range of fees and charges you might run into when making an international payment. There may be several different costs to consider, including an upfront fee, additional charges for card payment, and an exchange rate markup. If your payment is sent using the SWIFT network you may also find extra costs, which are known as intermediary or correspondent bank fees, are added.

For straightforward cross border payments with no hidden fees and no nasty surprises, you could try Wise. All international transfers use the mid-market exchange rate, with no markup, and are processed in a smart new way which avoids the SWIFT network, too. You just pay a low upfront fee, and your payment is transferred securely and quickly, no matter where in the world it’s headed.

To make life even easier, get a Wise borderless account. You can hold over 40 different currencies, send and receive payments simply, and manage your money on the go, using an app.

If you need to send an international payment or remittance, it pays to research your options. If Remitly don’t cover the currency or county you need - or if you simply want to compare the market to make sure you’re getting the best deal, check out Wise to see if you can save.

Sources:
  1. https://www.remitly.com/au/en/vietnam

  2. https://www.remitly.com/us/en/faq

  3. https://www.remitly.com/au/en/india/pricing

  4. https://www.remitly.com/au/en/philippines/pricing

  5. https://www.remitly.com/au/en/poland/pricing

  6. https://www.remitly.com/au/en/vietnam/pricing

  7. https://www.remitly.com/au/en/south-africa/pricing

All sources accurate as of 12 April 2019

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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