Best International Money Transfer Apps for iOS and Android

Aman Saxena
22.08.19
10 minute read

Old money transfer services are moving their operations online, while new fintech companies are bursting with online-only services that deliver straight to local bank accounts around the world. But with so many choices and new features, it is important to do your research and find the international money transfer app that is right for you.

Some apps are only available to residents of certain countries, while others will get your money there faster but at a cost. Some will let you drop off or receive in cash if that is what you need. And a few may have the speed, cost, and convenience you need all in one. To make things easier for you, we have tried to pick out some apps which we think are best suited for your international money transfer needs.

1. Wise

Known for its upfront fees and real exchange rate, Wise lets you send money directly to local bank accounts in India from 59 countries¹.

  • Uses the real, mid-market exchange rate for every transaction
  • Has one transparent, low-cost fee
  • No maximum or minimums for a transfer

With over 5 million users, Wise is one of the most popular apps to send money to India. It has an award-winning app that can let you send money on the go to friends, family or merchants. Wise doesn’t always guarantee being the cheapest there is on the market for your particular transfer, but its price comparison tool will let you know that up front.

transferwise-international-money-transfer-app

2. PayPal

One of the leaders in starting online global e-wallets, PayPal lets you send money instantly if your friends or family have an account too.

  • PayPal’s wallet can let you request money, collect and make purchases online
  • A PayPal account is required to send and receive money and funds can’t be sent directly to a bank account
  • Pricing and fees can be confusing and unclear

Whether you are sending or receiving funds, you would require an account with PayPal. Plus there are transfer fees, like the currency fixed fee for sending money, a funding fee and a transaction fee². PayPal’s wallet system can seem like a long and expensive process when trying to send money quickly. But it can be a secure option, although one with fees, if you and your recipient have PayPal accounts already set up.

paypal-international-money-transfer-app

3. Remit2India

Remit2India has been providing money transfer services specifically for NRIs for the past 16 years. You can send money directly to bank accounts in India with no hidden fees and a guaranteed or indicative exchange rate.

  • Available to US, UK, Ireland, Canada and Australian residents
  • Zero transfer fees for amounts above $999 USD or when using your bank account
  • Minimum sending amount is $50 USD

Remit2India is an attractive option for sending large amounts to India if you are not in a hurry. You can send upto $50,000 using ACH and upto $200,000 with a wire transfer, both which can take 2 or more days, without a transfer fee³. They also offer Instant Transfer for up to 200,000 INR for a fee. Remit2India lets you choose from two different exchange rates they offer, one is a guaranteed exchange rate at the time or your payment, while the second is an indicative exchange rate which is the rate at the time your transaction is converted to rupees⁴.

remit2india-international-money-transfer-app

4. InstaReM

InstaReM is a modern money transfer service that uses the real mid-market exchange rate for transactions. They then charge a percentage of your transfer amount as a fee, instead of a flat fee.

  • You can send money from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Euro Zone Countries, UK, India and the US
  • Zero-margin exchange rates

Like Wise, InstaReM provides transparent pricing on all of their transfers. So you get the real mid-market exchange rate and an upfront transfer fee on every transaction. And most transactions arrive within 1-2 days. You can transfer money to InstaReM through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) / Bank Transfers / Wire Transfers in all countries. You can also send money through POLI (in Australia), Debit Card (in EU), FPX (in Malaysia) and ACH Pull or Bank Transfer method (in USA)⁵. InstaReM has differing minimums and maximums you can send depending on the originating country.

instarem-international-money-transfer-app

5. Remitly

Remitly has a strong reputation for offering fast, easy and low-cost transfers directly to Indian bank accounts.

  • Send money using Remitly from 16 different countries, including the US, Germany, UK, and Australia
  • Attractive promotional foreign exchange rate for the first few transfers but then set their own
  • Offers two different options for sending money- Remitly Economy or Express

Remitly is an online-only remittance service provider with a large nationwide coverage with over 130 banks across India. There are no transfer fees if you are sending more than $1,000 USD with either option⁶. Remitly also sets their own exchange rate which is less than the mid-market rate- the rate used by the banks themselves. This small difference can really add up with ongoing transfers. However, Remitly remains a strong option to transfer money abroad with their one-time fee and especially for amounts greater than $1,000 USD.

remitly-international-money-transfer-app

6. MoneyGram

MoneyGram is well known in the money transfer business especially for their cash pick up, but if you are paying by credit or debit card, their fees can be pricey.

  • MoneyGram is the second-largest money transfer provider in the world⁷
  • Your recipient can pick up cash at an agent location, or get the money deposited directly into their Indian account
  • Different transaction fees depending on how much you are sending, and your payment method

MoneyGram provides online and offline money transfers and is found to be fairly quick compared to other service providers. Depending on how the recipient wants to receive the money, it is ready anywhere from 3 hours to 3-4 days if paid by bank account⁸. They have a transfer fee that varies depending on if you are paying by credit/debit card or online bank account, and if it is a direct to a bank account or cash pick up.

moneygram-international-money-transfer-app

7. WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a fast and secure way to send money to India and is well-reviewed on Apple’s AppStore and Google Play.

  • Allows you to receive money in India from more than 50 countries
  • Receive money by either bank transfers or mobile top-up
  • 90% of bank transfers to India arrive in less than 10 minutes, and airtime is added to Indian mobiles almost immediately⁹.

With WorldRemit you can transfer money directly to an Indian business or individual bank account or add mobile credit to prepaid phones in India. The sender is charged a transfer fee that you see upfront, as well as a WorldRemit set exchange rate. Make sure to check the amount you might be losing against the exchange rate you see on Reuters or Google to know what the transfer is really costing you.

worldremit-international-money-transfer-app

8. Ria Money Transfers

Ria has been in the money transfer game since the late 1980s and with their 377,000 locations worldwide¹⁰, Ria has an advantage for cash pickups in India.

  • You can send money online for cash pickup at a Ria agent location, or deposit directly into your recipient's bank account
  • Maximum transfer limit of $2,999 per day/$7,999 over 30 days in the US; Maximum £4,999 over 30 days in the UK¹¹.
  • Only for US, UK, Spain, and Australian residents

It is free to sign up for Ria Money Transfer and your recipient doesn’t need to have an account to either receive the money in their account or pick up the cash. The exact fees charged on your transaction will differ based on the amount you are sending and the payment method and are not clearly listed without signing up. In some cases, Ria may not charge any transaction fees but will still take a cut by marking up the exchange rate.

ria-international-money-transfer-app

9. OFX

OFX lets you deposit money directly into recipients' bank accounts, and is most attractive when moving amounts larger than $10,000 AUD.

  • Sets their own exchange rate and has a fee for any transactions below $10,000 AUD.
  • Usually 80% of all of the major currency transfers are completed within 24 hours of receiving the payment at OFX¹²
  • Available for residents of Australia, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK

Using OFX, you can send money directly to any bank account in India. The minimum transfer amount is $250 AUD¹³, so if you are looking to send anything smaller than that you may need another option. If you are sending over $10,000 AUD, OFX does waive the transfer fee and it can be an attractive option for sending money.

ofx-international-money-transfer-app

10. Xoom

This PayPal owned company offers international payments to India from Europe, the UK, and the US, but paying by debit/credit card may be costly.

  • Available for direct bank account deposit in India.
  • No transfer fees when you are sending $1,000 USD or more and paying with your bank account

Xoom offers fast and safe international payments directly into bank accounts. You can send bank deposits typically in minutes to HDFC, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, and Punjab National Bank (PNB). Bank account payments are cheaper, but there is a substantial fee when paying by debit or credit card. If you are making transactions that are less than $1,000 USD, you may want to look at options that are low cost and with a transparent exchange rate.

xoom-international-money-transfer-app

11. Azimo

This online-only Eurozone money transfer provider can have attractive offers for sending money to India, but it may not be the cheapest.

  • Only for residents of the Eurozone, UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland
  • Convenient for cash pickup transfers, with over 200,000 pick-up points globally with a possible 1 hour delivery time to India

With Azimo you can send money directly to your recipient’s bank account and for cash pickup. Your recipient won’t pay any fees to receive the money, nor do they need to be signed up for. With its benefits and attractive sign-up deals, Azimo can feel like a good partner for transferring money to India- but for the long term, you may want a service with more transparency and clear pricing.

azimo-international-money-transfer-app

12. Transfast

Transfast is a completely online and mobile money transfer service for residents of the United States and Canada to send money to India with the flexibility to choose the delivery speed but with low transfer limits.

  • Offers two exchange rate and speed options for sending money- Value+ and Fastrack
  • You can deposit money into a bank account or for cash pickup.
  • The sending limit with Transfast is $2,950 per transaction, and $10,000 USD within 30 days

Transfast Fastrack gets the money there within 24 hours but has a higher exchange rate and a fee starting at 4.99 USD. The Value+ option will take anywhere from 3-5 business days but will eliminate the transfer fee if paying by bank account, rather than debit or credit. The transfer fee is waived for transfers that are $10,000 USD or more, but that also hits the maximum of how much you can send within 30 days.

transfast-international-money-transfer-app

13. TransferGo

Like many modern money transfer providers, TransferGo uses a local account which you pay into, and then they use their own accounts to pay out in the recipient’s country to make speedy transfers.

  • Only for UK and Eurozone residents
  • There is no maximum limit in place for transactions
  • It can be a convenient and low-cost option to send money to India, but the actual costs may be more than you think

Using TransferGo, you can send the money directly to a local Indian bank account. Your recipient does not need to have a TransferGo account to receive money directly into their bank. The time it takes to receive the money depends on the delivery time that the sender chooses. Taking the longest delivery process is free, while the faster payouts have a fixed delivery fee plus a currency conversion percentage.

transfergo-international-money-transfer-app

14. Skrill

Skrill is a digital wallet platform based in London to help individuals and businesses with e-commerce, money transfers, cryptocurrencies, and gaming or betting.

  • Lets you transfer money directly to a bank account from your Skrill wallet
  • You can get payments to your Skrill wallet without having to share your personal bank details
  • Separate fees for currency conversion, transferring and processing that can eat into your transaction

Skrill is a wide-ranging marketplace and platform that lets you transfer money directly to a bank account from your Skrill digital wallet. There are no fees to receive money into your bank account or to sign up. However, there is a processing fee of 5.50 EUR (or currency equivalent) to transfer money from your Skrill wallet into your bank account. Plus, Skrill adds a 3.99% fee to the exchange rate for currency conversions. Skrill may not be the fastest or cheapest process, so take it into account when you are making a decision, and see if any purer money-transfer options are better for you.

skrill-international-money-transfer-app

15. ecoPayz

ecoPayz is an online platform with an e-wallet that lets you send money instantly and for free to your recipient as long as they have an ecoPayz wallet as well

  • Requires you to transfer money to your wallet on ecoPayz first.
  • A tiered system of accounts that provide additional benefits as you move up the tiers
  • You are charged when you withdraw money from the ecoPayz wallet

While ecoPayz advertises instant money transfers, it does require you and your recipient to both sign up for the service and create an ecoPayz wallet. Once that is complete, the transfer is completed instantly between wallets, with a 1.50% money transfer fee starting at the Silver level. As you move up to the next levels on ecoPayz, the fees can be reduced. If you are not using the money on the ecoPayz platform, you will need to withdraw it to your bank account. This can usually take at least 3 days and you are charged between 5.90-10.00 EUR for the withdrawal depending on your bank and the international transfer fees.

ecopayz-international-money-transfer-app

What to consider when choosing an international money transfer app

what-to-consider-when-choosing-international-money-transfer-app

All the different features and ways to send and receive money can feel dizzying after a while. That is why we have broken down the major components to look at when choosing the right app for you. The how and why you send money will be different per your transaction need, so try to identify the factors that are a priority for you. It could be the speed of transfers, cost, convenience, location or customer support.

The total cost of a transfer

Ever felt like you were sending one amount to India, but the recipient got something way less? That’s the cost of hidden fees. These fees are snuck into transfers mainly through the exchange rate, but also depends on which card you use or how you withdraw the money. So make sure you either read the fine print of your money transfer provider or find a money transfer service that shows all their fees upfront. It can save you from any unwanted surprises.

Transfer speed

How fast or slow you need to send the money can often determine which one you choose and what your eventual fees will be. And especially for those away from home, speed to transfer money becomes even more crucial in times of emergencies. Some of the older systems of money transfers can take days to land in your recipient’s accounts. But newer companies, like Wise or TransferGo, use local accounts and sophisticated systems to make transfers faster.

Geographic location

Unfortunately, not all apps are available everywhere. Many attractive money transfer services are limited by the regions and countries. So while doing research on which one to go with, always make sure that you find the ones that are appropriate for your residence.

Convenience

Sometimes, in the search for a good rate and low cost, convenience can be put on the back burner. But the whole point of doing a transfer online is for it to be easy, isn’t it? So make sure you use a service that is easy to use, has a seamless interface, and allows you to transfer money easily. Check the app reviews on the app store too to make sure the app doesn’t have any bugs and current users like how it works.

Customer support

Last, but definitely not least is customer support. Strong customer support can make all the difference when you are having trouble with a payment or can’t track a transaction. If you feel more comfortable talking to someone over the phone, make sure you choose a provider that provides a real person on the phone at convenient times. Or if you are more likely to shoot an email, ensure your provider has easy to reach email addresses or service request forms online.

Sources used for this article

  1. Wise
  2. PayPal Fees
  3. Remit2India USA
  4. Remit2India Exchange Rate
  5. InstaRem How To Transfer
  6. Remitly
  7. Moneygram History
  8. Moneygram Transfer Time
  9. WorldRemit India
  10. Ria Money Transfers- About
  11. Ria Money Transfers- Limits
  12. OFX Transfers
  13. OFX Minimum
  14. Xoom
  15. Azimo
  16. Transfast FAQs
  17. TransferGo
  18. Skrill Fees
  19. EcoPayz

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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