The explosion of fintech companies throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s resulted in many exciting money transfer services that are doing things differently. Gone are the days of standing in line at the bank and paying exorbitant fees to transfer money to friends, family, or workers across the world.
Some of the more popular money transfer services have grown to become multi-million dollar companies and are positioning themselves as a legitimate threat to Wall Street’s era of dominance. The rapid growth can be attributed to the ease at which people can now transfer money across the world.
Whether you’re looking to transfer money for the first time or a seasoned veteran, these best money transfer services will make it a snap to send money across the globe.
The Best Money Transfer Services in 2021
The largest banks in the world were able to hold on to their dominance because it was simply impossible for new companies to compete. The banks’ best-kept secret of overcharging customers wherever and whenever possible has since been exposed.
As technology progressed rapidly over the years and entrepreneurs had easier access to startup capital, creating a new company from scratch to outperform banks has become a reality. The best money transfer services can now do what big banks do either faster or cheaper — and in many cases, both.
Granted, some customers prefer the convenience that banks offer, especially the ability to transact in-person. But the new era of consumers are tech-savvy and understand the digital universe.
One of the following top 5 online digital transfer services will more than suit the vast majority of people’s needs. While some of the best, this list is far from complete, and several other firms are just as reputable if these don’t suit your needs.
TransferWise was born in 2011 when two workers from Estonia working in London met at a party. The first, Taavet Hinrikus, was Skype’s first-ever employee, and the other was Kristo Kaarmann, a management consultant at Deloitte. The two quickly discovered they shared the same financial dilemma.
Hinrikus was paid in euros and had to exchange his salary for pounds to pay his daily expenses in London. Kaarmann was paid in pounds but needed to transfer money to euros to pay for a mortgage in his native country.
Instead of rewarding big banks with repeat business each month, Hinrikus put his euros in Kaarmann’s Estonian bank account, and Kaarmann put his pounds in Hinrikus’ UK account.
Essentially, the two were trading currencies and were able to completely avoid the high exchange rates their banks charged.
What started as a collaboration between the two co-founders to save money evolved into a global money transfer company with the same strategy. Today, Transferwise helps its customers save $4 million in bank fees daily. Most currency exchange transactions set the customer back 0.5%, and TransferWise prides itself on a fixed fee for all clients.
TransferWise’s roster of investors and backers are quite notable. The list includes billionaire investor Peter Thiel (PayPal co-founder), Richard Branson (Virgin founder), and mega venture capital firm Anderson Horowitz.
The company is now worth $5 billion and is exploring a potential initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange.
OFX boasts one of the best reputations in the global money transfer service by default of its shares listed on the Australian stock exchange. Public companies tend to offer customers a higher level of trust since their business is under the scrutiny of regulators, and auditors closely monitor its operations to remove all hints of fraud in the public eye.
The immense scale means OFX can establish itself as one of the best money transfer services by passing along savings to consumers. OFX reported AU$11.2 billion worth of turnover in the first part of 2021 versus AU$24.6 billion in all of 2020.
OFX does not charge consumers a flat fee for a transaction, regardless of the transaction’s size. The company earns a profit through a small markup on the exchange rate that is a fraction of major banks’ fees.
OFX leverages technology so customers can track each transaction through SMS, e-mail, the mobile app, and via the website.
MoneyCorp was founded in 1962 and has operated as a money transfer service since 1979. Today, MoneyCorp stands out as one of the best money transfer services in 2021 because decades of operations have earned its users’ trust.
MoneyCorp is one of the largest money transfer companies globally as it has facilitated more than 1 million payments to 192 countries totaling around $50 billion. Of course, the fees are a lot more competitive compared to banks.
MoneyCorp’s customers love the platform, which operates 24/7, and appreciate its global presence. Operating offices in key cities sends a strong signal to customers that the company fully understands the unique wants and needs of locals and can quickly adapt to changing local market conditions.
Currencies Direct has been expanding its business to win market shares by providing superior scale and passing on savings to customers. In 2015, Currencies Direct was acquired by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.
The new owners invested new capital, provided valuable experience, and leveraged their global relationships to accelerate Currencies Direct’s strategy of becoming a global leader in the money transfer services space.
One of the more notable features of Currencies Direct that earns it a spot as one of the best money transfer services in 2021 is its ability to offer zero fees on all transfers.
Business customers appreciate the fact that Currencies Direct is compatible with online marketplaces, especially Amazon. In fact, Currencies Direct is among the most reputable money transfer firms for corporate clients. Some of the products and suites offered to corporate clients include forward contracts designed specifically to hedge against currency fluctuations.
WorldFirst has a reputation for offering customers the best rate for currency transfers. Most notably, WorldFirst realized the growing competitive landscape was intensifying in the late 2010s and announced a new fixed fee structure considered the most transparent in the money transfer industry.
WorldFirst charges clients a fixed fee of 0.15% to 0.5% on the vast majority of money transfers. At the higher-end, a fee of 0.5% is much cheaper than standard banks. Large volume clients that conduct enough business to take advantage of the 0.15% fee will benefit from what is most likely the best margin rates in the industry.
Some drawbacks are that WorldFirst is not available to customers in the United States. It has some of the most stringent minimum transaction amounts at £1,000 or equivalent to other currencies.
Conclusion: Is One Better Than The Other?
The online currency exchange space is very competitive, with multiple newcomers investing in their businesses to steal market shares from each other. Most focus their efforts on lowering the cost to customers as this is among the most important areas of focus for most people.
This list of top 5 money exchange services will likely change as fintech companies continue to innovate the space. Fortunately, this means consumers will have greater choice and can easily switch platforms multiple times.
TransferWise is most consumers’ starting point, by default of a very recognizable name and crowned as a media darling. This isn’t to say that other firms can’t compete with TransferWise in terms of cost and support. Rather, it means they lack the global recognition that TransferWise currently benefits from.
Any of the above money transfer services should be more than suitable to send money to loved ones worldwide. It is only a matter of where you are, the fee structure, and which platform is preferred.
Which of these money transfer services works best for you?