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.
Which has lower fees?
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 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.
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
|Exchange rate||1 1 USD = 353.23 NGN||1 1 USD = 352 NGN|
|Total received (in NGN)||176,615 NGN||176,000 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?
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 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%.
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'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 allows you to transfer funds from your smartphone to your recipient's mobile wallet within 30 seconds.
WorldRemit and Sendwave both offer fast transfer options if you need to send money to an overseas recipient as soon as possible.
|Payment methods||Minimum and maximum transfers||Transfer speeds||Currencies|
|Within minutes||61 currencies|
|Sendwave||Debit card||Minimum: $1|
Maximum: $999 per-day (or $2,999 per day if you provide photo ID
|Within minutes||5 currencies|
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 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.
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.
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