Your guide to money transfer apps in Canada

Diane Rekker

With online banking, specialist international payment services, and mobile apps to set up cross border money transfers, it’s never been easier to send and receive money.

If you’re looking for a great app to make mobile payments no matter where you are, we’ve got you covered. Check out this guide to some of the top rated products out there for making international money transfers, to help you choose the best deal for your needs.

In this post we won’t just look at a number of apps, we’ll also discuss:

How to choose the best international money transfer app for you

International money transfer apps in Canada

There’s a broad range of options to choose from if you need an international payment app. Different apps have different features, benefits and fees - so do check out the smallprint to see how they’ll work for you before you sign up.

Here’s a great selection to get you started.

Wise app

Wise offers an app for both iOS and Android, to manage and track international payments all over the world. For security the app can be set up with 2-step verification to make sure your details are kept confidential.

With the app you can fund payments using bank transfers, a credit or debit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay. You can also pay using your existing borderless balance if you have a borderless multi-currency account. Transfers are made using the mid-market exchange rate with no markup added, and are delivered quickly and safely, direct to your recipient’s bank account.

The app has some great features, such as: you can easily make repeat transfers because the details of previous payments are stored in the app, you can also alter or stop payments, invite friends to Wise, and send in verification documents as needed.

Download the Wise app

PayPal app Canada

Using the PayPal app you can send and receive money both at home and abroad. For security and convenience, payments can be made with just a recipient’s email address or phone number¹. It’s free to send money to friends and family in Canada if you use PayPal balance or your linked bank account to pay for the transfer - but there’s a fee for international payments you’ll want to know about². If you’re sending money, your recipient will need a PayPal account of their own to access the funds¹.

Within the app there’s a One Touch feature, which keeps you logged into PayPal on your personal devices. This means you don’t need to log in whenever you pay for items using PayPal online³.

It’s worth knowing that there are separate apps for PayPal personal customers and business customers. You’ll need to make sure you have the correct app for your needs, and to avoid unnecessary hassle and charges.

Western Union money transfer app

Western Union is a global money transfer service, and lets customers send money overseas for collection and delivery in cash, or direct to a bank account. With the app you can estimate fees, send and track transfers, and store all your recipients’ details so you don’t need to enter information again for repeat payments⁴.

Because Western Union has a global agent network, you may be able to pay for your transfer using cash by visiting a local office. However, it’s worth checking the fees which will be applied to your payment, as these vary depending on the way you choose to pay for your transfer, and how you want the recipient to get access to their money⁵.

WorldRemit Canada

WorldRemit customers can send money online using the WorldRemit app, either direct to a recipient’s bank account, as mobile money, airtime top-up or for cash collection at an agent near them. Not all services are available in all locations, so you’ll need to log into the app to check which options you have in the destination you’re sending to. As with all international payment providers, it’s also worth comparing the costs to send and receive money, as well as the exchange rates on offer, against other similar services to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

The WorldRemit app is available for free download on Apple and Android devices, and lets you simply arrange and track your payments, get daily exchange rate notifications, as well as storing details of the transfers you’ve previously made⁶.


OFX Canada

Previously known as Canadian Forex, OFX provides online international transfers in 55 currencies. You can pay for your transfer direct from your bank account or using a direct debit - it’s not possible to pay using a card, check or cash⁷.

With the OFX app you can set up and track payments, as well as being able to access foreign exchange rate data and set alerts to tell you when selected rates change. You can also get support from the customer service team via the app should you need it⁸.

CurrencyFair app

Download the CurrencyFair app to make and manage international payments on the go. You can set up an immediate transfer using the CurrencyFair exchange rate, or, if you’re not in a hurry with your transfer, choose your own rate by using the peer-to-peer exchange service⁹. It’s well worth reviewing the real exchange rate for your currency pairing by using a simple Google search or an online currency converter, so you can check you’re getting a good deal if you choose to use this service.

With CurrencyFair, you’ll arrange your international transfer online and pay by bank transfer, via the app, once you’ve created a CurrencyFair account¹⁰.

Xoom money transfer app Canada

Part of the PayPal family, Xoom provides international payment services including mobile top-up and bill payment. With the app you can track your payments easily, make repeat payments to the same recipient, and receive push notifications whenever a payment is processed or received¹¹.

From Canada you can pay for your Xoom transfers using your local bank account, credit or debit card, or PayPal balance¹². It’s helpful to know that there are various sending limits for residents of Canada. These limits depend on the level of your account - you’ll be able to raise the level, and therefore increase the amount you can send, by providing more verification information to Xoom¹³.


With services for personal and business customers, including online sellers, WorldFirst provides international payments to and from a wide range of countries and currencies. Although the service recently shut down in the US, customers in Canada can continue to make WorldFirst payments via the UK based WorldFirst website or app.

WorldFirst caters to customers looking to send the currency equivalent of GBP1,000 or more, covering some 180 different currencies¹⁴.

The WorldFirst app is there to help you check live exchange rates, arrange and track transfers. You can download the app for free on your regular device, and set up an account online to get started. And if you have an Android smartwatch, you can set up a payment from there as well¹⁵.


To use TorFX you’ll first need to set up an account online or over the phone¹⁶. You can then download the TorFX app to manage your payments easily no matter where you are. Through the app you can also track your payments, check live exchange rates, and set rate alerts so you’ll know when an exchange rate that matters to you changes¹⁷.

TorFX payments are made online, through the app or by phone, and paid directly to your recipient’s bank account. You can arrange either personal or business transfers - although the options and terms may vary between these services. Make sure you read all the details before you complete your international payment.

Not available in Canada: Venmo and Square Cash

If you’ve been researching international payment apps already, you may have come across Venmo and Square Cash. There’s a number of people in Canada who’re wondering if they can make payments on these apps, from Canada. But unfortunately, neither of these services are available for Canadian residents at present, you have to be either physically located in the US and/or be a US resident¹⁸⁺¹⁹.


What to look for in an international money transfer app

Not sure what to look at when choosing the right app for your international payment? Here are a few pointers.


No matter which service you choose, you’ll need to pay a fee. However, some services are more transparent than others about disclosing the costs of an international transfer. Remember to take a look at the upfront fees applied, but also at the exchange rate used.

As we’ll see in a moment, some services which claim to offer fee free, or zero commission transfers simply hide their profit in the exchange rate the use to convert your money. This makes it harder to calculate the real costs, and can mean you pay more.

See if you can save on fees with Wise

Exchange rate

Before you start an international payment it’s crucial to check out the exchange rate which will be used. You can then compare this rate to the mid-market rate - the one you’ll find on Google or using an online currency converter.

The mid-market rate is the one banks and currency exchange services get themselves when they buy currency - but they don’t always pass this on to their customers. Instead they might add a markup to keep as profit for themselves, in addition to any upfront fees charged.

If the exchange rate being offered doesn’t match the mid-market rate you might be better off with a different provider. Check out Wise for simple and convenient payments which use the Google exchange rate.

How you can pay for your transfer

Different services have different options for funding your transfer. These include:

  • Bank transfer
  • Cash
  • Check
  • Debit/credit card
  • Direct Debit
  • Wire transfer
  • Online account balance

Check the payment method you want to use is supported by your chosen provider, and don’t forget to look at the fees to see if there’s any extra cost for a particular payment type. Paying with a credit card, for example, if often more expensive than using a bank transfer.

How the money can be received

Finally, think about the way your recipient will access the money once the payment is made. Will the funds be paid directly into their bank account? Or do they need to create an account with the payment provider to get their money? In some cases you may also be able to choose options such as local cash collection or delivery, or mobile money, depending on the destination country.

There are many different international payment apps available - which can be a little overwhelming, but if you do a little research you’re sure to find the right one for you. You can use this list as a basis to find the perfect app to make your international payments.

Sources used for this article:
1.About PayPal app
2.PayPal fees for Canada
3.PayPal One Touch
4.About Western Union app
5.Western Union send money fees
6.About WorldRemit app
7.OFX Canada
8.OFX app features
9.How CurrencyFair works
10.About CurrencyFair app
11.About the Xoom app
12.Supported payment methods for CAD, with Xoom
13.Payment limits for Xoom
14.WorldFirst private payments
15.About WorldFirst app
16.Torfx homepage
17.About the Torfx app
18.Cash app terms of service (II. Eligibility)
19.Venmo requirements
*All sources checked on Nov 17, 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 Wise Payments 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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