As the fintech world continues to rapidly evolve, financial services companies aim to stay relevant and both retain and attract new customers through cutting edge, user-friendly mobile technology. Though Western Union dominates international money transfer, even in the mobile app category, other companies have set their eye on the United States and more remittance apps have begun to appear in the App store. FXcompared has downloaded fifteen of the most commonly used mobile transfer apps and given them a test drive.
Focused on money transfers to Latin America, Chicago-based startup, Pangea has one of the highest repeat user percentages in the money transfer space, with 65% of its users returning for a second transfer.
Pangea's mobile app is designed for users to send money home, specifically to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Colombia. If sending money via a bank transfer, users can send up to $2,999 a day via the Pangea app. If Pangea users are sending cash pick up, available at over 14,000 locations, the daily limit is lower, maxing at $999. There is a monthly cap for each user, with a maximum of $6,000/month to be sent via debit card, and $2,000 via cash pick up. Some specific locations, specifically in Mexico, have a lower maximum amount that $999, so it's a good idea to investigate before sending money.
- Registration is free
- Transfers with a debit card have a fixed fee of $4.95
- Over 14,000 available pick-up locations
- Calculator automatically updates exchange rate
Pangea is the ideal mobile money transfer app for those regularly sending money home to loved ones in Latin America via debit card. In addition to the app's user-friendly interface, the fixed $4.95 rate for debit card users is one of the most competitive fees on the market.
Founded in 1998, Australia based OFX offers a variety of foreign exchange services to its clients. Its mobile app reflects this, as it is one of the most expansive apps, offering a variety of tools for users to learn more about foreign exchange.
OFX's US mobile app - currently categorized under USForex, is an app designed for users who regularly transfer personal funds, such as those who travel frequently for business or who reside in two different countries.
Users must register with OFX before they can transfer money via the OFX mobile app. By transferring via the mobile transfer app - users have access to over 45 different currencies and 24/7 customer service. Unlike remittance focused apps, you cannot remotely pay phone bills or utilities with the OFX app. The app does provide various helpful tools for those leading a lifestyle that requires frequent currency exchange, such as a currency conversion tool.
Unique Features of the App
- Quick in-app international payments
- Payment tracker
- Global Customer Support 24/7
- Ability to rebook previous money transfers
- Check real time foreign exchange rates
- Read and compare historical currency charts
- Access currency commentary from OFX brokers and stay up-to-date with the FX markets
- The app can monitor specific currencies for you, with personalized currency alerts
The OFX mobile app is ideal for users who travel internationally frequently, or perhaps own homes in foreign countries. OFX provides access to over 45 different currencies, making it a great app for people who frequent destinations outside of Europe and North America. Because of its rebook feature, those paying mortgages or staff abroad may also find the app convenient.
Founded in 1988 and headquartered in New York, TRANSFAST is a financial services and global money transfer company providing individuals the ability to make secure, online payments to over 300,000 locations in over 100 countries throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. TRANSFAST has transferred more than $30 billion to its customers worldwide since its inception.
TRANSFAST's mobile app gives users access to over 300,000 pick-up locations across the globe. Their app is designed to be easy-to-use, it has simple graphics and direct instructions to its users.
In order to use the TRANSFAST mobile app, a user must register as a TRANSFAST user. This is somewhat inconvenient for those wanting to send a one-time payment, a typical scenario for those interested in sending money to live agents. Once registered, the app is easy to navigate.
Unique Features of the App
- Send transfers directly from app
- Track transfers with app
- Message with Customer Support
- Make repeat transfers with Quick Send feature
- Access transfer history
Unlike many of the apps reviewed, TRANSFAST's app provides useful features for both frequent travelers and those sending assistance home. Due to TRANSFAST's many locations throughout the world, their mobile app is ideal for those sending assistance to those who need cash in hand. The app's repeat transfer "Quick Send" feature is convenient for those who regularly send money, but TRANSFAST's app is just as convenient for those sending one-time assistance - such as a student abroad in need of cash or a stranded traveler in need of quick assistance.
Founded in 2005, Remitly is a Seattle-based mobile payments service and money transfer company. Remitly has additional offices in the Philippines and offers its customers the ability to send money quickly and easily throughout the majority of the United States, as well as to India and the Philippines. Customers can send money from a mobile device using a bank account, a debit card, or a credit card.
As their name suggests, Remitly's mobile app is designed for users sending assistance to family and friends. With the mobile app, Remitly users can send money to India, the Philippines, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru.
Before using the Remitly app, users must be registered with Remitly. After registration, transfers can be made easily. After selecting the country the user wants to send money to, the Remitly app displays the offered exchange rate at the very top of the screen. Users are offered delivery speed options - with free "economy transfers" that take several days to deliver or "Express" delivery, which is available in minutes to the recipients, for a charge of $3.99. With the Remitly app, users can deposit money into foreign accounts or arrange for cash pickup at a Remitly affiliated location.
Unique Features of the App
- Offers Repeat Transactions Feature
- Call Customer Support, toll-free, from the app
- Track your transfer within the app
- Text message updates can be sent to both you and the recipient
- Send money via debit card or by bank account transfer
Remitly's app is ideal to those regularly and primarily sending money to Latin America, the Philippines or India. Because the Remitly app only allows transfers to 10 specific countries, those who regularly transfer to other countries may find another app more useful.
BillMo is an America-based remittance company focused on the USA-Mexico money transfer corridor. BillMo was designed specifically for recipients with access to smart phones, as it provides a mobile wallet to its receiving end users.
Easy-to-use and requiring only a mobile number for signup, BillMo's app is one of the more modern international money transfer apps, seeming to take a few pointers from other popular fintech apps in its use-friendly interface. Unlike many mobile apps focused on the remittance sector, BillMo is designed with the smart phone user in mind.
Though focused on the remittance corridor, BillMo's app has more in common with more modern money apps such as Transferwise or the domestic payment app, Venmo. Users can send money to Mexico for .99 per transfer and users who share BillMo with friends that register for the service receive a $25 credit.
Unique Features of the BillMo App
- Send up to $999 a transfer
- Pay with all major bank branded debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover)
- Receiving users in Mexico can use BillMo app as a mobile wallet
- Receiving users can withdraw cash from many locations accross Mexico
- Utility bills can be paid directly by recipients through the BillMo app
- Recipients can also top-up mobile phones or shop at various retail outlets via the app
The BillMo app is ideal for those sending money to loved ones directly in Mexico. It is also ideal for recipients who may not have a bank account, but have a smart phone and would like to pay bills and shop via the mobile wallet.
Founded in 2014 in Mountain View, California, Abra is a peer-to-peer money transfer network focused entirely on digital cash payments from USA to the Philippines.
Unlike more traditional brick-and-mortar companies, there are two different ways to deposit money with Abra. In the first option, a user visits an Abra location, deposits cash and then uses the Abra app to finalize the money transfer.
Offering only two operating currencies, the US dollar and the Philippine peso, Abra's mobile app facilitates transfers between the US and the Philippines, even offering an option to pay recipients without a bank account.
Unique Features of Abra App
- Send money both domestically and internationally
- Purchase items online from retailers that accept Abra
- Pay a friend back for a shared expense (similar to Venmo)
- Pay contractors in the Philippines, even those without bank accounts
- Add or withdraw money
The Abra app is ideal for those who send financial assistance to family living in the Philippines. It is also a good app for individuals who may work or reside part of the year in the Philippines, as they can easily transfer money back and forth and pay contractors for work.
Founded in 2005 and based in the United Kingdom, Small World Financial Services is dedicated to facilitating simple, secure and cost effective international transfers.
The Small World Money Transfer mobile app allows users to send money to over 200 different countries. Their interface is user-friendly and intuitive, and is designed to allow "one swipe" transfers.
Users must register with Small World Money transfer before funds can be transferred. Recipients of transfers via the Small World app can receive payments as a bank deposit, cash pick-up, mobile wallet deposit or mobile airtime top-up. Funds can be received in over 100 different currencies. Sender currencies include USD, GBP, EUR, CHF, SEK and DKK. In addition to money transfers, Small World's app has a currency calculator, payment tracker and a GPS enabled locator to help find pick-up locations.
Unique Features of the Small World App
- 24/7 transfers
- Transfers can be sent directly from app
- Send to bank accounts, cash pick-up or mobile wallets
- Use currency calculator to see exchange rates
- Track status of transfer
- GPS enabled Small World locator
Small World's money transfer app is ideal for those sending money to loved ones, due to the multiple available pick-up locations and mobile wallet capabilities. It is also convenient for those based in the US who are sending money in DKK, CHF or SEK, as these are not common in other US-based apps.
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Viamericas Money Services Corporation has operation centers in Mexico and Columbia, over 3,000 agents in the United States, and over 60,000 locations abroad.
Vianex, the Viamericas Money Transfer app, is designed specifically for those sending assistance to friends or family in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Money can be sent either as a bank deposit or for cash pick-up at over 60,000 different locations globally.
Users must register with Viamericas before using the Vianex app. There is an option to check rates by country and amount with the app before signing in or registering, seen above on the right. Sending money directly to a bank account often does not incur a fee, however sending via a debit card does incur a fee, though the amount varies depending on recipients location and amount sent. Cash pick-up also includes a small fee.
Unique Features of the Vianex App
- Send money directly from app
- Use debit card or credit card for payments, or direct bank account transfers
- Resend previous transactions
- Track current payments
- Access customer support 24/7
Vianex is a good fit for users sending money home to one of the countries in Asia, Latin America or Africa that Viamericas enables transfers to. Due to the ability within the app to repeat payments, those who send home money reguarly will find the app convenient. For customers who prefer to send money via debit card or credit card payments, another remittance app may be a better fit, as fees can be high and unpredictable for those paying with credit or debit cards.
Originally founded in 2001 as Moneybookers, Skrill is a money transfer services provider offering its digital global payments services to over 156,000 merchants and 36 million customers in 40 currencies and 200 countries. The company is headquartered in London and has multiple locations throughout Europe and the United States.
Skrill's app is probably the most unique of the apps reviewed by FXcompared, as it can be used for more than transferring money internationally. Skrill is more of a "lifestyle" app, operating as a mobile wallet and even gives users access to popular gaming and gambling sites.
Users must register with Skrill before using the app. Sending money via the app is intuitive, with payments easily made after card information is stored. You can also upload bank account information to transfer directly from your bank account. Skrill conveniently offers the option to create a passcode for the app, which allows users to login with a 5 digit code, rather than their email and password every time they use the app. After reviewing so many apps, FXcompared was happy to have the option of a digital passcode in order to access the app.
Unique Features of Skrill App
- Send and receive payments in over 40 currencies and over 200 countries
- Mobile wallet capabilities allow users to upload money and check balances quickly and easily
- Create a unique passcode to quickly access the app
- Access gaming sites via the app
Skrill's app is ideal for those who have other friends using the Skrill app, as payments can be easily made. It is also a convenient way to pay for things for users who enjoy mobile wallets.
Western Union is arguably the most well known of the money transfer companies we reviewed in this piece, and their app is currently the most downloaded money transfer app in the United States. With over 500,000 agent locations throughout the globe, Western Union is one of the most convenient money transfer services available to consumers today.
Western Union allows money to be sent to over 200 countries and territories with the click of a button. Like other modes of transfer via Western Union, the Western Union mobile app allows the sender to transfer money to a live agent location. Additionally, users of the Western Union app can send direct payments to hundreds of different companies, making bill payment much easier for users of the app.
Unique features of the app
- Repeat previous payments with the Resend feature
- Verify and approve transfers with TouchID/fingerprint
- Save time by scanning your credit card, rather than manually inputting information
- Pay bills
- Determine estimated cost of transfer
- Funds can be sent via app, or funds can be scheduled to be sent in person at agent location
- Save contacts, convenient for those sending regular payments
Western Union's US app is ideal for people remotely paying bills for themselves for dependents, regularly sending small amounts of money and/or sending money to a live agent, as payments to live agents can be scheduled through the app.
Founded in 1940, after Western Union, Moneygram is one of the most widely known and used money transfer services in the U.S. Moneygram launched their app in 2012, and has since made many adjustments to their application.
Moneygram's U.S. app allows user to send money to more than 200 countries and 35,000 locations. Unlike many other mobile apps, money can be sent without registration, allowing a “guest user” to transfer funds. This is a particularly useful feature for users sending a one-time payment.
Unique Features of the App
- Pay bills
- Send funds directly in app or schedule payments at agent location
- No fees to send money
- Funds can be received as agent payment or account deposit
- No estimated cost of transfer on app, but available online
Moneygram's "guest user" feature makes it ideal for those sending one time payments, such as emergency assistance to a family member. Unlike other apps we review throughout this piece, Moneygram's mobile transfer involves many steps, which may be aggravating to some users when compared to other, newer mobile apps.
Founded in 2004 in London, World First's mobile app allows American users to send money to Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia. Though World First is a newer money transfer company than some competitors, such as Western Union, it tends to attract clients who become regular users.
Unlike many other money transfer apps, World First's app partially operates as a lifestyle app, offering users a currency calculator that is separate from money transfer and even the option to read the World First blog via their mobile app.
World First's mobile application is designed with its typical customers in mind - offering unique tools to its users, such as a currency converter and live exchange rates. It also offers more standard money transfer app features, such as quick mobile transfers. Unlike many other money transfer apps, World First requires users to register with their social security number before making any transfers. However, they are conscientious of user privacy, and users have the option to select being called on the phone at a later time to share their social security numbers. I chose this option and spoke with a World First representative later that day to finish registration. It should be noted that special tools in the app, such as the currency converter, can be used whether or not you are a registered World First user.
Unique Features of the App
- "Quick trade" allows money to be sent abroad in minutes
- Payment tracker enables users to track the status of pending payments
- Calculate the cost of a specific international transfer and compare the cost to average bank transfer
- Watch current rates with the Live Exchange Rates option
- Access World First's blog
World First's mobile app is ideal for those who frequently travel to many different countries, as the app tools provide helpful information for those that switch currencies frequently.
Known for their competitive rates and low fees, Transferwise, the darling unicorn of the fintech world, is popular with younger users. This is evident in our review, as Transferwise has made many decisions that cater specifically to a younger demographic.
Transferwise has made themselves readily available to those using modern technology, even offering an Apple Watch app. Additionally, Transferwise users can register with Facebook, Google plus and Paypal accounts - making transfers particularly easy to faciliate, especially when compared to many of the multistep apps we reviewed.
Unique Features of Transferwise App
- Quick easy estimates with easy-to-read fees
- Users can send and receive funds in other currencies, including USD, GBP and EUR
- Transferwise's price comparison button compares costs to average bank
- Personal payments as well as business and charity payments can be made
- Interface is user-friendly and intuitive
The Transferwise mobile app is ideal for those making one-time business or charity payments, or those who are eager to receive quick and easy to read estimates.
With Xoom's mobile app, users can send money and directly pay bills in 56 different countries. A Paypal service since 2015, Xoom still operates as its own entity and its users do not need a Paypal account. Xoom users cannot send money or payments domestically, and must use Paypal for domestic payments.
Xoom's registration is multistep and requires more information than some other money transfer apps, making it a more time consuming choice than other apps. The fee structure is also higher and more complicated than other apps. Though it is only $4.99 for a bank account transfer, paying with a debit or credit card is a minimal $9.99 fee, and as seen in this example of sending $1,000 USD to Spain - fees can go much higher.
Unique Features of App
- Send money to 56 different countries
- Make remote bank deposits, arrange for live cash-pick up arrangement, or even home delivery in some countries.
- Reload prepaid phones
- Pay international Utility bills
- App comes in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese
- Bank-to-bank deposits available within 2 days
Xoom's mobile app is ideal for those sending financial assistance home, particularly users who may be paying phone or utility bills for family members abroad.
Founded in 1987 in New York and a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, Inc., Ria offers its customers the ability to send money to over 133 countries, make domestic and international payments for bills and vendor services, and provides prepaid debit cards, check cashing services, money orders, and the ability to top up mobile accounts while on the go.
Ria's app is designed with those sending regular payments to friends and family abroad in mind. The app is less user friendly than many of its competitors, requiring much information to be stored and shared before any transfers can take place.
Ria users must register before they can access the Ria mobile app. Ria requires more information than many of its competitors, asking for the user's address, birth date, mobile number and for 3 security questions to be made before the app may be used. While we appreciated the high security of Ria's app, filling out three security questions was tedious compared to other apps that have equally good, but more convenient security, such as World First, who assigns a passcode to its users. Once the user can access the app, using the Ria app is simple. The user provides the amount being sent, chooses bank transfer or cash pick-up and then provides the recipient's address and bank account information. Unlike other money transfer apps, fees and transfer costs are not shared until the very end. This is somewhat inconvenient for users looking to save money on their transfer who are also short on time. There is a price calculator, but this is hard to find on the app.
Unique Features of Ria App
- Facilitate in-app transfers
- Money can be sent to over 316,000 locations
- Price calculator
The ideal user for the Ria mobile app is someone who already uses Ria for transfers or regularly sends payments to one of the countries Ria delivers to.
Looking to learn more about international money transfer? You can find more information about sending money abroad throughout www.fxcompared.com. Check out our review pages, country guides, personal guides and our volatility and audit tools now. You can also check back at this article periodically, as we will continue to regularly update this page with new mobile app reviews.