Wise vs MoneyGram: A Full Comparison [2022]

Wise Vs MoneyGram: A Full Comparison

Torn between Wise and MoneyGram for your next international payment?

This Wise Vs MoneyGram review covers all you need to know, including:

  • Compare Wise and MoneyGram features side by side
  • Which option is cheaper?
  • Which provider is faster?
  • Which is safer?
  • Which gets better customer reviews?

Summary:

Wise is a specialist in international payments to bank accounts, with multi-currency account products for individuals and businesses.

MoneyGram has an impressive global coverage, with a broad agent network to allow cash collection around the world. MoneyGram has a good range of payout options, but for payments to a bank account, Wise has more transparent fees, and was cheaper in our comparisons. 

Both MoneyGram and Wise are safe, established, and fully regulated in the countries in which they operate. 

Wise Vs MoneyGram: side by side

Wise

Send payments to: 80+ countries, 50+ currencies

Multi-currency accounts: Available for 54 currencies

Debit card: Yes

Cash payout available: No

Mobile money payments: No

Open a business account: No

Send to card: No

Fully licences and regulated: Yes

MoneyGram

Send payments to: 200+ countries and territories

Multi-currency accounts: No

Debit card: No

Cash payout available: Yes

Mobile money payments: Yes

Open a business account: No

Send to card: Yes

Fully licensed and regulated: Yes

So, to summarise:

  • MoneyGram supports payouts to more countries compared to Wise. 
  • Wise has a multi-currency account and card to support 50+ currencies - MoneyGram does not have that option.
  • MoneyGram offers payouts for cash collection and home delivery, mobile wallet payments and as a card deposit - Wise does not.
  • Wise and MoneyGram both have some business services available- although the options do differ significantly.
  • Both providers are fully regulated and safe to use.

Whether MoneyGram or Wise is best for you is likely to depend on the specifics of your transfer. MoneyGram offers more payout methods including cash collection transfers, and covers a broader range of destination countries. However, Wise can have cheaper overall fees for transfers direct to bank accounts. Check out the costs of each provider - and our comparison of fees, which is coming right up - to help you decide.

The important bits

 

Wise MoneyGram 
Rates Mid-market exchange rate with no markup Exchange rates may include a markup on the mid-market rate
Fees Low fees, varies by destination Varied fees based on destination, value and payout method
Speed 40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours Cash collection payments are usually available in minutes, bank transfers may take a day
Service Online, in app and by phone Online, in app and by phone
Safety Fully regulated and licensed Fully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot) Trustpilot score: 4.6/5, Excellent rating, from 140,000+ reviews Trustpilot score: 4.3/5 , Excellent rating, from 1,000+ reviews

 

Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate, whereas MoneyGram adds a markup to the exchange rates used.

Fees: Both providers have variable fees which are based on the destination country. MoneyGram fees may also change based on funding and payout method.

Speed: MoneyGram cash collection payments may be ready in minutes - bank transfers depend on destination and may take from a few hours to a day or so. Wise payments can be instant, with 80% arriving in 24 hours.

Service: Both providers offer multilingual service in a range of languages, online, in-app and by phone. 

Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated. 

Reviews: Both Wise and MoneyGram Australia score an Excellent review rating on Trustpilot, although MoneyGram has far fewer posted reviews.

Pros and cons

 

Wise MoneyGram 
Rates Mid-market exchange rate with no markup Exchange rates may include a markup on the mid-market rate
Fees Low fees, varies by destination Varied fees based on destination, value and payout method
Speed 40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours Cash collection payments are usually available in minutes, bank transfers may take a day
Service Online, in app and by phone Online, in app and by phone
Safety Fully regulated and licensed Fully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot) Trustpilot score: 4.6/5, Excellent rating, from 140,000+ reviews Trustpilot score: 4.3/5 , Excellent rating, from 1,000+ reviews

 

Wise Vs MoneyGram: The verdict

Whether MoneyGram or Wise win for you will depend on the specific services you need.

MoneyGram offers a range of payout options, and covers 200+ countries and territories. If you need a payment to be collected in cash the MoneyGram network of 400,000 locations may make this a strong choice for your transfer.

Wise on the other hand is a specialist in transfers direct to bank accounts, and offers the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees. Wise also offers a multi-currency account with a linked international debit card. If Wise supports payments to the country you’re sending to, and you want your transfer to be delivered to a bank account, they may be your best bet.

About Wise and MoneyGram

Wise was launched as TransferWise back in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider. These days, Wise has upwards of 10 million customers, and also offers personal and business accounts to hold and manage currencies, accept payments and spend using a linked debit card. 

With Wise you can send payments to 80+ countries, in 50+ currencies. 

MoneyGram provides both personal and business services, with money transfers offered through a network of 400,000 locations[9]. You can also make payments online, in-app and through kiosks in some countries. In some areas, MoneyGram also offers money orders, bill payments and processing services.

MoneyGram payments can be sent to over 200 countries and territories around the world.

How do they work?

Wise offers payments online and via an app. The process is simple once your account is all set up - here’s what you do:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
  3. Enter the recipient’s details - bank account number or email
  4. Check over the details
  5. Fund your payment using a card or bank transfer
  6. Confirm and your money will be on the move

Wise payments don’t work like international transfers through a regular bank. Instead of sending money through a series of intermediaries, which is expensive and slow, Wise uses its own network of local bank accounts. This means you can pay for your transfer in AUD and then Wise will make a payment of the equivalent amount in your preferred currency, from their account in the destination country. No money actually moves across borders, so it’s faster and cheaper than traditional international payments.

MoneyGram payments can be arranged online, in the app, or by visiting an agent location. If you set up your account digitally, you’ll be able to arrange payments funded by credit or debit card. Simply add the amount you want to send, the currency, and select a pay out method to see the exchange rate and fee available. If you prefer to make your transfer in person at an agent location, you’ll be guided through the process and can pay in cash.

Wise vs MoneyGram Fees

 

Wise international transfers use the mid-market exchange rate and a transparent fee which you’ll be shown when you calculate your payment online or in the Wise app. 

The Wise international transfer fee will depend on the value of your payment and the way you pay for it. There’s no cost added to the exchange rate, so you’ll be able to easily and instantly see the real price of your transfer.

MoneyGram fees can include a transfer fee and an exchange rate markup. The fee you pay may vary depending on how you pay - credit card payments are often more expensive and may also incur third party charges. It’s worth knowing also that the fee added to the exchange rate you get may change based on the pay out method. That may mean you get a worse exchange rate when you send money for cash collection compared with having it deposited directly to a bank account.

Wise vs MoneyGram: which is cheaper?

 

Using a specialist provider to send international transfers is usually cheaper than relying on your normal bank. However, different providers have different services on offer, and may use vastly different pricing systems, so you’ll still need to shop around to find the best one for you.

Let’s take a look at how Wise and MoneyGram measure up on a transfer example.

For both Wise and MoneyGram, this example transfer to EUR is sent direct to a bank account.

Amount & Currency Wise  MoneyGram  Winner?
AUD>1000 EUR 1,589.62 AUD 1,615.43 AUD Wise
AUD> 5000 EUR 7,946.01 AUD 8,077.15 AUD Wise

*Rates and fees correct at time of research - 8th January 2022

As you can see, in this comparison Wise comes out on top each time. Wise is often the cheapest option if you’re looking to send a payment direct to a bank account, as there’s no fee added to the exchange rate which can make a big difference to the overall cost. If you’re looking for a cash collection payment, you may still want to compare MoneyGram to a few other similar providers to see if they suit your needs.

Wise vs MoneyGram: which is faster?

Wise payments can arrive in seconds on some currency routes, and most transfers arrive within a day. You’ll see the estimated delivery time when you set up your transfer, and can always track it online or in the Wise app.

MoneyGram cash collection payments arrive in minutes. Bank transfers can take anything from a few hours to a day or so - you’ll see an estimated delivery time when you set up your payment online or in the MoneyGram app.

Safety

MoneyGram is licensed in the countries and territories in which it trades.

Wise is fully regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and also holds the required licenses in other countries it operates in. In Australia, Wise holds an Australian Financial Services licence and is authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Ease of use

Creating an account: 

  • Wise accounts are opened and operated online or using the Wise app.  
  • MoneyGram allows customers to create online and in-app accounts, or set up an account at an agent location.

Making a transfer: 

  • Wise international payments can be made online or in the Wise app.  
  • MoneyGram payments can be made online, in app or in person at an agent location.

Ways to send money: 

  • Wise transfers can be funded by bank transfer, credit or debit card.  
  • MoneyGram accepts credit or debit card payments online, or cash at an agent location.

Languages: 

  • Wise offers global support in a range of languages, online, using the app, and by phone. 
  • MoneyGram has an online and phone service, and agent locations where you may also find face to face support.

Minimum & maximum amounts: 

  • Wise limits depend on which currencies you send to and from, and how you pay. However, you may be able to make several smaller transfers if your ideal transfer amount exceeds the limit for the specific payment. 
  • MoneyGram online transfers are capped at 13,750 AUD/month, although you may be able to send more than this from an agent location.

Supported currencies

With Wise you can send money to 80 countries and hold and convert 54 currencies in your Wise account.

MoneyGram serves 200+ countries and territories with a digital service, and a network of 400,000 agents.

Conclusion

MoneyGram and Wise offer a different suite of services. Which is best for you may depend on exactly what you’re looking for.

MoneyGram has an impressive reach covering 200+ countries and territories, and its agent network of 400,000 locations also allows it to offer a comprehensive cash collection and payment service. If you’re looking for a transfer to a mobile wallet, or for cash collection or home delivery, MoneyGram may be a strong choice for you.

Wise’s stand-out feature is its low costs and convenience for international bank transfers. Because you get the mid-market exchange rate every time, with a low, transparent fee, it’s easy to see the true cost of your transfer - and you may find you save compared to other providers. Wise also offers a multi-currency account for individuals and businesses which can be handy if you need to send, receive, hold or convert currencies.

Frequently asked questions - Wise vs MoneyGram

Is Wise or MoneyGram cheaper?

In our comparison, Wise was cheaper than MoneyGram for bank payments.

Is Wise or MoneyGram faster?

Wise payments can arrive instantly, with most being delivered within 24 hours. MoneyGram transfers to be collected in cash can be ready instantly, bank transfers may take an hour to a day to arrive.

How many currencies do Wise and MoneyGram support?

Wise customers can send payments to 80+ countries, and hold and manage 50+ in their Wise accounts. MoneyGram offers payments to 200+ countries and territories, although not all services are available in all destination countries. 

Compare international money transfer providers

By Ileana Ionescu Updated January 28th, 2022