Rocket Remit Money Transfer Review: Fees, rates and transfer times

Samuel Clennett
31.07.20
4 minute read

Rocket Remit has been in business for over 15 years, and allows users to send money via an SMS or online. You can send a payment to a mobile wallet by simply giving the recipient’s personal details and mobile phone number. However, the service isn’t available in all countries.

Rocket Remit serves mainly countries in Africa, with some representation in Central America and South East Asia, so you’ll need to take a look at whether it’s available for your destination country.

This guide will take a look at how you can send money overseas with Rocket Remit. We’ll look at the features, fees and limits of the service, and also highlight low cost international payments with Wise as an alternative which could save you money.

Join Wise

What are the fees for an international money transfer with Rocket Remit?

Rocket Remit states that it charges a simple AUD5 fee for sending any amount of money overseas. For payments to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh the fee is waived¹.

That sounds great, but it doesn’t tell the full story.

It is important to realise that when you send money overseas, the transfer fee isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. You also need to look at the exchange rate applied. It’s common for providers to add an extra fee on to the exchange rate passed on to customers.

This isn’t surprising really - after all, the provider needs to make a profit somewhere in the transaction. However, marked up exchange rates can make it hard to see the true cost of your transaction. We’ll take a closer look at how inflated exchange rates can impact the price of your transfer in just a moment.

There are also a couple of other charges you should know about if you choose Rocket Remit:

  • AUD25 fee if you send money to the wrong person and ask for a reversal. This is charged even if the reversal is not successful

  • AUD50 fee to withdraw funds loaded onto your account. This will take up to 3 weeks, and a withdrawal is not possible at all if you added funds to your account using a branch or ATM deposit.

What are the currencies that Rocket Remit supports?

From Australia, you can use Rocket Remit to send money to mobile wallets in the following countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Congo DRC
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • India
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Senegal
  • Somalia
  • Somaliland
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Tonga
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

If your destination isn’t listed, or you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, check out the currencies and great rates available through Wise, here.

What is the Rocket Remit exchange rate?

You probably already know that exchange rates change all the time, moving up and down as the market changes.

That can mean it’s hard to know which exchange rate really matters. It can also mean you don’t know where to start when it comes to judging if a rate you’re offered is fair or not.

The best way to know if you’re getting a good deal is to compare the exchange rate you’ve received for your transfer against the mid-market exchange rate. The mid-market rate is a good benchmark because it’s the one banks and currency services get when they buy currencies themselves. By comparing their retail rates against the mid-market rate, you can see if a markup or spread has been added.

As we noted above, it’s common for money transfer services to add a markup to the mid-market rate to calculate the rate they pass on to customers. Let’s take a look at how this can impact the amount your recipient gets, by using an example.

Example: Sending AUD500 to a friend in Mexico

ProviderCost to youTransfer feeExchange rateRecipient gets
Rocket Remit[2]AUD505AUD5 (added to the AUD500 you transfer)1AUD = MXN14.865MXN7,432.67
Wise[3]AUD500AUD7.19(deducted from the AUD500 you transfer)1AUD = MXN15.9555MXN7,863.03

*Fees and exchange rates are correct at the time of research 22 July 2020

As you can see in this example, Rocket Remit actually quotes a lower fee. However, once you take into account the marked up exchange rate being used, your recipient will get less through Rocket Remit and more if you send the money with Wise**. **

That’s because Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup, and just adds a low transparent fee for each transaction.

How long can a transfer with Rocket Remit take?

To use Rocket Remit you’ll first need to add funds to your account. This can take a few days by bank transfer, or may be slightly quicker if you use POLi.

Rocket Remit payments are initiated using an SMS message, and usually arrive as soon as they’re authorised, so long as you have an existing balance in your Rocket Remit account.

How does Rocket Remit work?

To use Rocket Remit you’ll first need to create and load an account. To sign up you just need a mobile number - it doesn’t even have to be a smart phone, although there’s also an app if you have a smart device and want to use it.

Load money into your account using your normal internet banking, BPAY or POLi. You can also use any ANZ ATM or make an over-the-counter branch deposit and any ANZ branch. It’s worth knowing, though, that money deposited in branch or via an ATM can not be later withdrawn.

Once you have money in your account you send it to an overseas user by simply sending a text message including their name, address and phone number. You’ll receive a one time code to confirm the payment, which you send by SMS and you’re done⁴.

You may also choose to send a payment online, which works in a similar way⁵.

What kind of transfers can you make?

Rocket Remit transfers are made to mobile wallets. That means your recipient must have a compatible mobile wallet or e-wallet. They’ll then be able to access the funds according to the terms and conditions of their specific wallet.

Does the recipient have to sign up with Rocket Remit?

The recipient does not need a Rocket Remit account, but they will need an eligible e-wallet or m-wallet in a country Rocket Remit serves.

Are there any limits to the amount you can transfer?

Rocket Remit allows transfers of AUD50 to AUS500, with a maximum daily limit of AUD1000, and further limits on the amount you can send in a month. Monthly limits depend on the specific payments you’re making, and can be imposed by the e-wallet provider in the destination country.

Is the service available to anyone?

You can use Rocket Remit if you have an Australian mobile phone number and the correct ID. You’ll need to be able to receive SMS messages on the phone.

What are some competitors?

Rocket Remit isn’t right for everyone. You can only send mobile or e-wallet payments, and the choice of countries served is rather limited. Some of the costs involved in currency exchange are also relatively high. Check out a few competitors before you decide on which service to use. Here are some to consider:

Before you decide how to send a payment to someone overseas, you’ll want to research a few different options to find the best fit for your needs. Rocket Remit may work, but it can certainly pay to compare the costs and services to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. Take a look at a range of options including your regular bank and smart modern alternatives like Wise to get the right one for you.

Sources:

  1. Rocket Remit FAQ
  2. Rocket Remit Send Money
  3. Wise
  4. How it Works
  5. How it Works 2
  6. WU
  7. OFX
  8. Ria Money Transfer
  9. Paypal

All sources accurate as of 22 July 2020

Wise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location