Remitly review – cheap money transfers from Pakistan?

Remitly¹ is a money transfer service which offers international payments from 21 countries – including Singapore – to over 100 receiving countries around the world, on common remittance routes.

In this full Remitly review we’ll look at how Remitly payments work, what they cost and how safe they are. To make sure you get the best possible deal on your next international transfer, we’ll also compare Remitly with low cost payment specialist Wise. Let’s dive right in.

What is Remitly and is it available in Singapore?

Remitly is a money transfer service which allows people in 21 countries to set up online payments to be received in cash or deposited in bank accounts in over 100 countries around the world.

Not all services are available in all locations – but from Singapore you can send money to 80+ countries², instantly, using a Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card. Here are some key points:

  • Set up your payment online or in the Remitly app
  • Pay with bank card for convenience
  • Your funds can be deposited instantly in your recipient’s bank account – or collected in cash at an agent near them
  • Remitly payments are for personal use only – not for business transfers
  • Send up to 5,000 SGD per day with a Tier 1 account, or up to 45,000 SGD per day with a Tier 3 account³
  • Remitly is MAS regulated in Singapore

It’s important to note you can’t send money from one ‘send’ country to another. That means from Singapore you can’t send to a number of larger developed economies, like the USA, UK or Australia. However, you can send your money to bank accounts or for cash collection in Remitly’s selected countries which reflect common remittance routes. That makes Remitly a popular choice for people working in Singapore and sending money home to friends and family.

send-wise-singapore

Is Remitly safe?

Before you trust them with your money you probably want to know: is Remitly legit?

Remitly is a safe and trusted provider, which is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore⁴ and a range of other regulatory bodies around the world. On top of this, Remitly uses in-house technology to prevent fraud, has secure payment systems in place, and works in partnership with reputable financial institutions around the world to keep customers and their money safe.

Remitly exchange rates and money transfer fees

With a Remitly international money transfer you may run into several different fees:

  • Transfer fee – this is clearly stated when you set up your payment
  • Exchange rate markup – you’ll need to calculate this yourself
  • Third party fees – not paid to Remitly, but these can increase costs nonetheless

Often the most costly of all these fees is the exchange rate markup. To find the Remitly rate today for your currency, you’ll need to head to the Remitly desktop site or download the app. To get a quote for your specific transfer you’ll need to register an account, where you’ll see the options, fees and exchange rates available for your transaction.

When you’ve found the Remitly exchange rate it’s worth comparing it to the mid-market rate for your currency, which you can get from Google. If the Remitly rate is different to the Google rate it probably means there’s a markup or margin added – an extra fee. This is common among banks and money transfer services, but it also means it’s harder to see exactly what you’re paying for your transfer as the costs aren’t fully split out.

On top of the exchange rate fee you’ll also pay a transfer fee which is set according to the currency. Finally, it’s worth checking if any third party fees are likely to creep in – charges paid to your credit card for the cash advance, or recipient fees levied by the recipient’s bank, for example.

Remitly payment limits

It’s helpful to know that there are different limits depending on the Remitly account tier you hold. You can increase your account tier – and the limits – by providing extra verification information.

Here are the limits you need to know about:

Limit/TierTier 1Tier 2Tier 3
24 hours5,000 SGD15,000 SGD45,000 SGD
30 days15,000 SGD30,000 SGD90,000 SGD
180 days30,000 SGD60,000 SGD180,000 SGD

Additional limits may apply based on the currency, destination and the payment type.

To help you pick the perfect provider for your next payment let’s compare Remitly to another option in Singapore – Wise.

Remitly vs Wise (formerly TransferWise)

RemitlyWise
Send payments to80+ countries on common remittance routes80+ countries, including USA, UK and Australia
Exchange ratesExchange rates may include a markupMid-market exchange rate with no markup
Transfer feesFees vary by destination and payment typeFees vary by destination and payment type
Pay in optionsVisa or Mastercard debit or credit cardBank transfer, credit or debit card, PayNow, Wise account balance
Pay out optionsBank deposit or cash collection – services available vary by destination countryBank deposit
LimitsLimits apply based on account tier – from 5,000 SGD/day to 45,000 SGD/dayUp to 1 million SGD per transfer
Business payments availableNot availableAvailable
Multi-currency accounts and linked cards availableNot availableAvailable

While Remitly and Wise have some overlapping services, they probably appeal to quite different customers. Remitly offers pay out options including cash collection, and covers common remittance routes only – making them a popular service for people working in Singapore and sending money home to loved ones, especially if they can’t get easy access to a bank account.

Wise on the other hand is a specialist in international transfers direct to bank accounts, offering a broad range of destination countries with low transfer fees and the real mid-market exchange rate. On top of that, Wise offers a multi-currency account and linked debit cards, which can be used to receive fee free payments and make cash withdrawals globally – handy if your recipient needs to get some cash fast, and can access an ATM.

Wise-card

It’s worth comparing Wise’s overall costs with Remitly, to see which suits you best.

Typically, Wise wins on a few points:

  • Wise uses the real exchange rate with transparent pricing
  • Wise has a broader range of pay in methods, including bank transfer and PayNow
  • Wise covers both personal and business payments
  • Wise has higher transaction limits
  • Wise offers multi-currency accounts for personal and business customers
  • Wise offers an international debit card for spending online and in person, plus cash withdrawals all over the world

Take a look at Wise for low cost international transfers which use the real exchange rate – and can get your money where it needs to be far quicker than a bank, with lower fees.https://wise.com/widget/calculator?sourceCurrencyCode=SGD&targetCurrencyCode=USD&amount=1000&cta=Get%20started&hideCta=false&hideDetails=false&lang=en&theme=

How use Remitly to send money abroad

Let’s look first at how to create a Remitly account. You can use the desktop site or app, but the processes are slightly different.

To join on the desktop site⁵:

  1. Select Join Now
  2. Enter your email address and password
  3. Select Join

To use the Remitly app:

  1. Download the Remitly app
  2. Enter the country you’re Sending from, where you’re Sending to
  3. Tap Next
  4. Enter your email address
  5. Enter a password
  6. Select Join Remitly

Once you have your account up and running it’s pretty easy to send payments. Here’s a walk through the process⁶.

  1. Sign into Remitly on the webpage or open the Remitly app
  2. Select Get started or Send money
  3. Enter the amount you want to send and the pay out method
  4. Add recipient information
  5. Connect your preferred payment card
  6. Review, and when you’re ready, hit Send money
  7. You’ll see a confirmation screen once the payment is finalised

Eligibility requirements

To use Remitly in Singapore you must be a Singapore citizen or resident, aged over 18, and with valid ID documents. Documents required for verification must show your identity and your home address. If you have one document which includes all this information – like an NRIC card with your home address on it – you can use that. If not, you’ll need to upload 2 documents to cover both requirements.

Documents used to prove your identity can include⁷:

  • NRIC
  • Passport
  • Dependent pass
  • Employment pass
  • Singapore work permit
  • S Pass
  • Visit pass

Documents used to prove your address can include:

  • Bank statement
  • Lease agreement
  • Phone bill
  • Pay stub

How long does a Remitly transfer take?

From Singapore all Remitly transfers are funded by bank card – which means they can often be delivered instantly to the recipient.

Summary

You can use Remitly in Singapore to send payments to bank accounts or for cash collection to over 80 countries on popular remittance routes. This makes it a popular service for people remitting money home – but does mean you can’t send with Remitly to some major developed economies like the US, UK, Australia and many European countries.

Remitly’s differentiating factor is probably that you can send money for cash collection instantly, through an agent network in its supported countries. However, if you’re looking for a payment to a bank account directly, Remitly may not be your best option. Compare the fees and exchange rate on offer for your transfer against those available from Wise to see if you can get a better deal.

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