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Remitly vs Wise: Comparing International Transfer Solutions

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Choosing a service provider for international money transfers is a crucial decision impacting cost, efficiency, and security. This is particularly true for those who engage in cross-border transactions, whether for personal or business reasons.

The Remitly vs Wise comparison presents a classic scenario of weighing options in an increasingly digital financial world.

Understanding the nuances of each service is essential. Remitly and Wise, prominent names in the sector, offer distinctive features and benefits tailored to different user needs.

As UK consumers increasingly seek digital solutions for sending money abroad, dissecting these services in detail is imperative.

For instance, if your priority is a straightforward bank transfer, Wise might be the better option, offering a borderless account that allows you to hold and manage multiple currencies, thus potentially reducing currency conversion fees.

On the other hand, Remitly provides flexible solutions for those who may not have easy access to a bank account, allowing senders to choose cash pickup options for their recipients.

The choice between Remitly and Wise also extends to how you manage your bank account. With Wise, you can easily transfer funds between currencies within your account, which is ideal for those who work with clients in various countries.

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Meanwhile, Remitly focuses on the ease of sending money abroad, allowing users to make international transfers from their bank account to another bank account overseas or to alternative payout options.

This exploration clarifies and guides you in selecting the most fitting international money transfer service for your unique requirements.

Let’s delve into the intricacies of Remitly vs Wise and uncover which stands out as the preferable choice for UK users, considering the importance of a reliable bank transfer service that aligns with your financial strategies.

Understanding Remitly and Wise

Understanding the core offerings, strengths, and target demographics of both Remitly and Wise is crucial for anyone looking to navigate the complexities of cross-border payments.

It helps to ensure they choose a service that aligns perfectly with their transfer requirements and financial goals.

Overview of Remitly

Remitly has established itself as a robust player in the international money transfer market, offering services designed to meet diverse customer needs.

Remitly’s offerings include bank transfers, cash pickup options, mobile wallet services, and even home delivery in select areas.

This versatility makes it particularly appealing to a broad customer base, especially those seeking multiple payout options.

Remitly’s target customers are individuals who must send money abroad, often to support family and friends. They cater mainly to immigrants and expatriates who require a reliable service to transfer funds to their home countries.

Remitly’s services are widely used for remittances, offering an efficient way to ensure that money reaches its intended recipients through various channels, whether directly into bank accounts, as cash available for pickup, or through mobile wallets.

Overview of Wise

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, has carved out its niche in the international money transfer space, focusing on transparency and cost-effectiveness. Wise’s services include straightforward bank transfers and mobile wallet transfers.

A standout feature of Wise is its multi-currency account, accompanied by a debit card, which allows users to hold, manage, and spend in multiple foreign currencies, making it a versatile tool for frequent travellers and international businesses.

Wise’s primary target customers include individuals and businesses requiring regular, cost-effective international transfers.

Wise is particularly favoured by those who value its mid-market exchange rates, ensuring users get the most out of their money with no hidden fees.

This transparent pricing model is a significant draw for both personal and business users who regularly engage in international transactions and seek a reliable, economical service.

The Wise borderless account and debit card also cater to globetrotters and digital nomads who operate in multiple currencies, providing a seamless financial experience across borders.

Comparative table: Remitly vs Wise

Aspect Remitly Wise
Services Bank transfers, cash pickup, mobile wallets, home delivery in select areas Bank transfers, mobile wallet transfers, multi-currency account and debit card
Fees Variable fees, additional fee for express transfers Transparent fees, percentage fee based on transfer amount and currency
Exchange Rates Includes exchange rate margin Mid market exchange rates with no markup
Transfer Speed Express transfers available for faster delivery, economy transfers take longer Fast transfers, with many being instant or completed within a day
Pay Out Options Bank deposits, cash pickup, mobile wallets, and door-to-door delivery in some countries Bank deposits, mobile wallet deposits
Supported Countries Extensive global reach with over 100+ countries for sending money Supports transfers to over 60 currencies from 23 sending countries plus Europe SEPA countries

Note: The information provided in this table is based on the latest data as of November 2023 and is subject to change.

Comparative analysis: Remitly vs Wise

In a comparative analysis of Remitly vs Wise, choosing the right platform hinges on individual needs. Each service offers distinctive advantages, making the decision a matter of personal or business priority.

Service offerings

When comparing the service offerings of Remitly and Wise, it’s clear that both cater to distinct needs regarding international transfers.

Bank account services:

Remitly provides traditional bank transfer services, allowing users to send money directly to bank accounts abroad. This service is fundamental for users who need to transfer funds to family or business associates overseas.

However, Remitly goes beyond bank transfers by offering cash pickup and mobile wallet options, accommodating users who may send money to recipients without easy access to bank accounts.

Multi-currency options:

Wise, on the other hand, excels with its multi-currency account offering. The Wise borderless account allows users to hold and manage funds in multiple currencies, which is a boon for those dealing with regular transactions in different countries.

This feature, combined with the accompanying debit card, provides high flexibility and convenience, especially for frequent travellers or businesses operating internationally.

Fees and exchange rates

Fixed fee and exchange rate margin:

Remitly’s fee structure includes a variable, fixed fee, which changes depending on the transfer route and amount.

Additionally, Remitly incorporates an exchange rate margin into its rates, meaning the exchange rate offered to customers includes a small markup over the mid-market rate.

Mid market exchange rate and transparent fees:

In contrast, Wise prides itself on offering the mid-market exchange rate, which is often more favourable to customers than rates with a built-in margin.

Wise’s fee structure is transparent, with a clear service fee that varies based on the currency and transfer amount.

This transparent pricing model particularly appeals to those who value clarity in how much they pay and receive in foreign currency transactions.

Transfer speeds and limitations

Urgent transfers and economy transfers:

Remitly offers two distinct transfer speeds – Express and Economy. Express transfers, which come with an additional fee, are processed much faster, often within minutes.

It makes them suitable for urgent transactions. Economy transfers, while more affordable, take longer to process.

Transfer speed:

Wise generally processes transfers swiftly, with many transactions being instantaneous or completed within a day. This speed is contingent on the funding method and the currencies involved.

Minimum transfer amounts and limitations:

Both services impose certain limitations. Remitly limits the amount you can send over different timeframes, which is crucial for users making large transfers.

Wise, while not setting strict transfer limits, does require a minimum transfer amount, ensuring that even small transactions are feasible.


A step-by-step guide to using Remitly and Wise

A clear understanding of how to use services like Remitly and Wise facilitates your cross-border transactions.

Initiating money transfers with Remitly and Wise

  1. Set up your account: Remitly and Wise require you to create an account. This involves providing personal details and verifying your identity to comply with financial regulations.
  2. Choose your transfer route: Select the country you send money to and the amount. With Remitly, you also choose between Express and Economy transfer speeds.
  3. Enter recipient’s details: You need the recipient’s bank account information for bank transfers. Remitly also allows cash pickup, requiring the recipient’s name and location.
  4. Payment method: Choose how you will fund the transfer. Remitly and Wise both accept local bank transfers and debit/credit cards. Wise also offers additional options like Apple Pay or Google Pay in some regions.
  5. Confirm and send: Review all details and fees, then confirm the transfer. Both services provide tracking information so you can monitor the transfer’s progress.

Managing bank and multi-currency accounts


The Wise Borderless account allows you to hold and convert money in multiple currencies. You can add money to your account in one currency and convert it to another, all within the Wise app or website.


While Remitly doesn’t offer a multiple currencies account, it does facilitate sending money to bank accounts in different currencies. You manage your funds in your local currency, and Remitly handles the conversion process.

Navigating fees

Understanding fees:

Check the fee structure on both platforms before confirming your transfer. Remitly shows the fees upfront, varying by transfer type and speed. Wise breaks down the fees based on the transfer amount and destination.

Exchange rates:

Wise uses the mid market exchange rate for conversions, while Remitly adds a margin to this rate. Always compare the final amount the recipient will receive, considering the fees and rates.

By following these steps and understanding the nuances of each service, you can effectively manage your international transfers, ensuring your money reaches its destination quickly and affordably.

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In summary, the choice between Remitly and Wise hinges on individual needs and preferences.

Remitly stands out with its diverse payout options, including cash pickup and home delivery, catering to those who need to send money to regions with limited banking access.

Its tiered transfer speeds also offer flexibility for urgent or regular transactions. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the varying fees and exchange rate margins.

Wise, conversely, appeals to those prioritising cost efficiency and transparency.

Its mid-market exchange rates, transparent fee structure, and multi-currency account with a debit card make it an attractive choice for frequent travellers, digital nomads, and businesses dealing in multiple currencies.

When choosing between Remitly and Wise, UK users should consider their specific requirements for international money transfers, whether it’s the versatility in delivery options or the pursuit of the best rates and lowest fees.

Both platforms offer robust solutions, but aligning their features with your transfer needs is critical to making the most informed decision.


What is the best service for large transfers?

Wise often emerges as the preferable option for large transfers, mainly due to its transparent fee structure and the use of the mid-market exchange rate.

Wise does not typically impose high ceilings on the amount that can be transferred, making it suitable for large international transactions.

However, it’s essential to consider the specific transfer route and currencies involved, as these factors can influence the overall cost and efficiency.

How can I save money on international transfers?

Saving money on international transfers involves understanding different services’ fee structures and exchange rates. Opting for providers like Wise, which offers mid-market rates and transparent fees, can reduce costs.

Additionally, avoiding urgent transfers and planning ahead with standard transfer options can also help save on additional fees.

Are there hidden fees with Remitly or Wise?

Wise prides itself on its transparent fee policy with no hidden costs. All charges are clearly outlined before you confirm a transfer.

Remitly’s fees are also stated upfront, but it’s important to note that their rates include a margin over the mid-market rate, which can impact the overall cost of the transfer.

Can I use these services for business accounts?

Yes, both Remitly and Wise offer services suitable for business accounts. Wise, in particular, provides a business borderless account, which is beneficial for managing transactions in multiple currencies and international business payments.

While Remitly is generally more focused on personal transfers, businesses can still utilise its services for international payments, albeit with certain limitations compared to Wise’s business-specific offerings.

Renata Pacheco

Renata is a seasoned financial market expert with over 30 years of experience in journalism and content creation, primarily focusing on the financial market. Throughout her extensive career, she has worked with leading financial institutions such as Citibank Brasil, Fiserv in Latin America, and other notable financial entities, further honing her expertise and credibility in the sector.

For more than six years, Renata has also been writing for the crypto market, collaborating with financial publications in Brazil, the US, and Europe. Her deep understanding and extensive knowledge make her a respected voice in the industry, appreciated for her ability to demystify complex financial concepts and market trends. This skill enables her to make financial insights accessible to a wide audience, from novice investors to seasoned professionals.

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