Wise Vs Remitly: A Full Comparison

Wise and Remitly both offer international payment services - but they may appeal to different customers. If you’re not sure which to choose, you need this Wise Vs Remitly  review. We’ll cover all you need to know, including:

  • Wise and Remitly key features
  • Provider costs and exchange rates
  • Is Wise or Remitly faster?
  • Which is safer?
  • Which gets better customer reviews?

Summary: Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is a specialist in international payments to bank accounts, with multi-currency account products for individuals and businesses. Remitly aims to help immigrants send money to loved ones at home, covering popular remittance routes with a range of payout options including mobile money transfers and payments for cash collection and delivery.

Both providers are perfectly safe and fully regulated. The best one for you will depend on the specific service you’re looking for.

Wise Vs Remitly: 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

Business currency services: Yes

Open a business account: No

Fully licensed and regulated: Yes

Remitly

Send payments to: 50+ countries

Multi-currency accounts: No

Debit card: No

Cash payout available: Yes

Mobile money payments: Yes

Business currency services: Yes

Open a business account: No

Fully licensed and regulated: Yes

So, to summarise:

  • Wise supports payouts to more countries compared to Remitly  
  • Wise has a multi-currency account and card to support 50+ currencies - Remitly  does not have that option
  • Remitly offers payouts for cash collection, mobile money and even cash for home delivery in a small number of countries - Wise does not
  • Wise has business account options - Remitly is for personal use only
  • Both providers are fully regulated by the relevant authorities in their trading regions

Remitly and Wise both exist to serve different customer needs. Remitly has a focus on helping immigrants send money to loved ones back home, which leads to a greater emphasis on common remittance routes and payout methods which suit those in rural areas or places where access to bank accounts may be limited. Wise on the other hand provides cheap, fast and secure international bank transfers and multi-currency accounts, with a focus on keeping costs low and transparent for customers.

The important bits

 

Wise

Remitly 

Rates Mid-market exchange rate with no markup Standard exchange rates include a markup
Fees Low fees, varies by destination Fees vary based on payment value and delivery speed selected
Speed 40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours Delivery time depends on the service you select. Express payments may be available in minutes, Economy can take up to 5 days
Service Online, in app and by phone 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: 4.2/5 , Great rating, from 33,000+ reviews

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

Fees: Wise has variable fees which are based on the transfer value and the destination country. Remitly fees depend on the amount you send, and the speed of delivery required.

Speed: Remitly express payments may be ready in minutes - economy payments can take 3 - 5 days. Wise payments can be instant, with 80% arriving in 24 hours.

Service: Both providers offer multilingual service in a range of languages in-app and by phone. You’ll also be able to talk to Wise over email if you choose.

Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated.

Reviews: Wise scores an Excellent review rating on Trustpilot, Remitly has a lower, Great rating, with fewer posted reviews.

Pros and cons

 

Wise 

Remitly 

Pros
  • Mid-market exchange rate
  • Low, transparent fees
  • Multi-currency account options available
  • Fast delivery times
  • Business services available
  • Send money for cash collection, to mobile money accounts and even for home delivery
  • Choose your delivery speed
  • Popular remittance routes covered
Cons
  • No cash payout options
  • No branch network
  • Accounts are not interest bearing
  • Overall costs may not be market beating
  • Not all services are available in all destination countries

Wise Vs Remitly: The verdict

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

Remitly exists to help immigrants send money home, which means there is a great range of payout options including cash and mobile money payments. Destination countries focus on popular remittance routes which means that some major economies aren’t covered by Remitly’s services.

Wise 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. 

Because Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate it’s often the cheapest way to send transfers to a bank account. However, if you’re sending money for cash collection or need another service like a mobile money payment, check out Remitly.

About Wise and Remitly

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. 

Remitly makes sending money home easier, and offers international payments on a selection of popular remittance routes. The company is also involved in charitable giving programs to support its mission.

Send Remitly payments from Australia to over 50 countries.

How do they work?

To use Wise you’ll need to create an account, and may need to provide some ID for verification. You can then make payments easily online and in the Wise app:

  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 keeps down the costs of international payments by using a network of local bank accounts. You pay for your transfer in AUD to Wise’s local Australian account. 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.

To send a Remitly payment you’ll need to:

  1. Create or log into your account, online or in the app
  2. Check your destination country is covered and choose a payout method
  3. Select the delivery speed and payment type
  4. Enter the payment details
  5. Add your recipient’s information
  6. Fund the payment - the money is now on its way

Wise vs Remitly Fees

Wise international transfers use a variable fee which depends on the value of your payment. You may also pay a small fee based on the way you fund your transfer. All the costs involved in sending a Wise payment are upfront and transparent; and Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markups, so there are no extra fees hidden in the rate.

Remitly fees can vary depending on the delivery speed you prefer - economy or express. In addition there are also exchange rate markups - which means an extra charge is added into the exchange rate that’s provided. This makes the charging structure less transparent compared to Wise, as to see this fee you’ll need to compare the Remitly exchange rate against the mid-market exchange rate for your currency pair.

Wise vs Remitly: which is cheaper?

Using a specialist provider like Wise or Remitly is usually cheaper than using a traditional bank to send a payment overseas. However, to be sure you’re getting the best available deal you’ll still want to compare a few specialist services to find the one that suits you.

To see the costs and exchange rates available from Wise you’ll just need to head to the Wise homepage or app. There you can model your transfer, and see the exchange rate and transfer fee that’ll apply. 

To check out the cost of sending money with Remitly you’ll need to visit the Remitly website or app, where you can see the delivery charges by transfer type. You may need to create an account to get a full quote including the exchange rate on offer for your specific transfer.

Remitly exists to help immigrants remit money home - which means the places you can send money to focuses on popular remittance destinations. Check your country is covered before you get started.

Wise vs Remitly: 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.

Remitly offers different payment types in many destination countries. If you choose Express delivery your money could be ready in minutes. Economy transfers are cheaper but can take 3 - 5 days to arrive.

Safety

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).

Remitly is a registered money transfer service, and works in partnership with major financial institutions around the world to help keep customer money safe.

Ease of use

  • Creating an account: Wise and Remitly accounts are opened and operated online or using the provider app.  
  • Making a transfer:  Remitly and Wise international payments can also both be made online or via an app.  
  • Ways to send money:  Wise and Remitly transfers can be funded by bank transfer, credit or debit card.  
  • Languages:  Wise offers global support in a range of languages, online, using the app, and by phone.  Remitly has a chat service in English, French and Spanish, or phone service in English and Spanish.
  • Minimum & maximum amounts:  Wise limits depend on which currencies you send to and from, and how you pay. However, you can make several smaller transfers if your ideal transfer amount exceeds the limit for the specific payment.  Remitly maximum payment amounts depend on your account tier. You can increase your maximum payment amounts by providing additional identification and verification documents.

Supported currencies

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

The currencies and countries you can send to with Remitly depends on where in the world you’re sending from. From Australia you can send payment to 50+ countries, in a range of currencies. In some destination countries you can choose between different currencies depending on which you’d rather your recipient get in the end.

Conclusion

Wise and Remitly both offer great services for their key customers. That means that the best one for you may simply depend on what you’re looking for.

Wise has a focus on fast and efficient online and in-app payments direct to bank accounts. Transfers use the mid-market exchange rate and low transparent fees - you can also open a personal or business multi-currency account.

Remitly aims to make it cheaper and more convenient to remit money home to loved ones. That means there’s an emphasis on sending money on common remittance routes, with a range of pay out options to reach people who may be in rural areas or have limited access to bank accounts.

If you need a cash pay out, Remitly may be your better choice. However, if you’re sending money to a bank account directly, Wise transfers come with the mid-market exchange rate with no markups and a more transparent overall fee structure - which can mean you save. 

Frequently asked questions - Wise vs Remitly

Is Wise or Remitly cheaper?

Remitly fees depend on the delivery type you need, as well as the destination country. Costs include an exchange rate markup. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees, which can mean it’s cheaper for sending payments to a bank account.

Is Wise or Remitly faster?

Wise payments can arrive instantly, with most being delivered within 24 hours. Remitly express payments can arrive in minutes, but may cost more - economy payments are usually cheaper but can take up to 5 days to arrive.

How many currencies do Wise and Remitly support?

Wise customers can send payments to 80+ countries, and hold and manage 50+ in their Wise accounts. From Australia you can send a Remitly payment to 50+ countries, on common remittance routes.

Compare international money transfer providers

By Ileana Ionescu Updated January 28th, 2022