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WorldRemit vs Sendwave

Which service to choose to get better exchange rates, lower fees and faster international money transfers.

Sendwave is a smartphone app designed to offer quick and affordable money transfers to Africa, while WorldRemit is an online transfer service that allows you to send funds to more than 140 countries.

How do the two companies compare and which one offers better value for money? To find out, let's compare WorldRemit and Sendwave in terms of fees, exchange rates and transfer times.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 11 February 2019.

Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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Which has lower fees?

WorldRemit

WorldRemit's transfer fees vary depending on where you're sending money, how much you're transferring and the type of transfer you send. Bank transfers incur a $3.99 fee in many cases. However, because there are several variables that can affect the fee you'll have to pay, make sure to use WorldRemit's online calculator to work out the total cost of your specific transaction.

Sendwave

Sendwave does not charge any fees on international money transfers and instead makes money by offering an exchange rate that's lower than the mid-market rate.

Trophy icon
Winner: Sendwave

The absence of transaction fees makes Sendwave the winner in this category.

However, it's important to note that this doesn't necessarily mean that Sendwave offers cheaper transfers, as you'll also need to consider the exchange rate on offer when comparing the two services.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending US$500 to Nigeria

Let's take a closer look at how WorldRemit and Sendwave compare in a hypothetical example of transferring US$500 to Nigeria.

Sending US$500 to Nigeria
WorldRemitSendwave
Transfer feeUS$9.99US$0
Transaction costUS$509.99US$500
Exchange rate1 1 USD = 353.23 NGN1 1 USD = 352 NGN
Transfer speedInstantInstant
Total received (in NGN)176,615 NGN176,000 NGN

As you can see, WorldRemit's slightly higher exchange rate means that your recipient will get an extra 615 NGN (approx US$1.72). However, because Sendwave doesn't charge any fees and WorldRemit charges US$9.99, Sendwave offers better value for money.

Which offers better exchange rates?

WorldRemit

The exchange rate WorldRemit gives you when you send money overseas is different to the mid-market rate listed on Google. This is because WorldRemit, like many other transfer providers, makes money on the margin, which is the difference between the exchange rate at which they buy and sell currency. WorldRemit's margin differs across all currencies, but when sending to the destinations supported by Sendwave (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda), it typically sits between 2% and 5.5%. For example, if you wanted to send a transfer from the US to Uganda:

  • If the mid-market rate is 1 USD = 3,673.98 UGX
  • WorldRemit's rate might be 1 USD = 3,563.55 UGX

Sendwave

Sendwave also adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. With the exception of the Tanzanian shilling (TZS), for which Sendwave offers a margin of just 0.5%, our research found that the margin usually ranges anywhere from 2% to 5.5%.

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldRemit

When we compared USD exchange rates for the five countries to which Sendwave offers transfers, WorldRemit offered a slightly better rate on all except the Tanzanian shilling. While the differences were marginal, this means WorldRemit comes out on top in this category.

Which is faster

WorldRemit

WorldRemit's transfer times vary according to the type of transaction you send.

  • Bank transfers: Instant processing to some banks, but a transaction time of 1-3 business days in other cases
  • Cash pick-up transfers: Instant
  • Mobile money transfers: Instant or near-instant
  • Airtime top-ups: Instant or near-instant
  • Home delivery transfers: 1-7 days

Sendwave

Sendwave allows you to transfer funds from your smartphone to your recipient's mobile wallet within 30 seconds.

Trophy icon
Winner: Tie

WorldRemit and Sendwave both offer fast transfer options if you need to send money to an overseas recipient as soon as possible.

General features

Payment methodsMinimum and maximum transfersTransfer speedsCurrencies
WorldRemit
  • Apple Pay
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
Minimum: $1

Maximum: $50,000

Within minutes61 currencies
SendwaveDebit cardMinimum: $1

Maximum: $999 per-day (or $2,999 per day if you provide photo ID

Within minutes5 currencies

WorldRemit

WorldRemit is an online transfer service that allows you to send several transfer types. To make a transfer, sign up for a free account online and provide your recipient's details, the currency you want to send and the transfer amount. You can then pay for your transaction via bank account transfer, credit card, debit card, Android Pay or Apple Pay.

Sendwave

Sendwave is a smartphone app that allows users with a US, UK or Canadian bank account to send money to Africa. After downloading the Android or iOS app and registering for a free account, you can send a transfer by choosing a currency and transfer amount then entering your recipient's name and phone number.

Bottom line

If you need to send money to Africa, it's well worth comparing WorldRemit and Sendwave to find out who will offer a better deal for your transaction. Transaction costs are fairly similar in many cases (though Sendwave offered a much better exchange rate for transfers to Tanzania when we checked), so it's worth getting quotes from both providers.

If you're looking to send funds to somewhere other than Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania or Uganda, Sendwave currently doesn't offer transfers to those countries, so you'll need to consider using an alternative like WorldRemit.

Ultimately, it's essential that you compare a wide range of international money transfer services to find the best value for money.

Looking for more options?

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Xe Large Transfers
24 hours
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Revolut
Within minutes
$0
Send money with great rates and low fees in 30+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%
50% off first transaction fee from any country in APAC (outside India).
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Rocket Remit
Within minutes
From $0 to $5
Send money instantly to friends and family in over 45 countries using just your mobile number.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
SingX
Within minutes
From 0.5%
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Get your 1st and 2nd money transfer for free with promo codes FIRSTFREE and MASTERFINDER!.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Limited time offer: Earn up to 125,000 bonus Qantas Points as a first-time converter. Ends 30 April 2024. Conversion limits and T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
Streamline global payments in 60+ currencies. Send & receive securely in 150+ countries, with fast settlements & competitive rates. Simplify book-keeping & manage everything in one place.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
OFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
WorldFirst
24 hours
From $0
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Send business
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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