Remitly Review: Safety, Features, & Uses

A Remitly review, including the benefits and drawbacks of their services.

Updated: January 15, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

 

Sending money abroad isn't a new concept. However, it has been made more accessible in recent years. In 2023, it was reported that 41.2% of people in the UK send money abroad to support their loved ones.

Money transfers have come a long way, with money leaving one bank account and entering another within minutes, regardless of the distance.

Regular bank transfers to an international account can cost you hefty transfer fees, whereas using a digital money transfer service can save you money. If you're looking for a money transfer service in the UK that allows you to send money overseas, Remitly facilitates fast, safe, secure money transfers at decent rates.

In this article, we will share our Remitly review, including the benefits and drawbacks of their services, exploring the platform's features, fees and safety protocols.

Who Is Remitly?

Remitly is an American online remittance service based in Seattle. The company operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the European Union. However, it transfers international money to over 170 countries in over 100 currencies.

Remitly is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered by the HMRC as a money service business.

Remitly was founded in 2011 by Matthew Oppenheimer, Shivaas Gulati, and Josh Hug. Remitly prides itself on helping millions of immigrants who bravely leave their families behind to live and work in another country. They created an online money transfer service to help people help their families overseas.

Remitly has joined Pledge 1% and, through their charitable giving programs, invests and supports organisations that improve the economic, financial and social inclusion of immigrants and their families. There is no doubt the lives of immigrants are essential to the company.

In 2023, Remitly had over 4.2 million active customers, showing us that the company is widely trusted worldwide and in the UK. There are over 43,335 money transfer customer reviews on Trust Pilot, and 79% of them are five stars. With glowing reviews, it's clear why Remity is one of the UK's most popular money transfer providers. The company provides a speedy and affordable money transfer service.

Remitly's Services and Features

Remitly's platform is straightforward and only facilitates money transfers, but there are perks to using Remitly.

With Remitly, you can begin sending money with confidence, know that:

  • Guaranteed delivery: A Remitly transfer comes with a guaranteed delivery so that they will get to the receipt on time. If the transaction is late, you’ll be refunded the fees. The platform also comes with flexible speed options.
  • Secure transactions: Remilty has a secure server connection to protect all transactions and data. Remitly adheres to anti-money laundering regulations, which is one reason they require users to provide documents for transfers.
  • Competitive exchange rates: Exchange rates are updated daily to reflect market fluctuations, so sending money to a country with volatile currency will work in your favour.
  • Global network: You can choose from many bank and cash pickup locations in Remitly's growing network. You can send funds to over 170 countries.
  • Trusted worldwide: Millions of users already use and trust Remitly to send money abroad. You can see online reviews that share successful stories of using the platform.
  • 24/7 customer care: You can look for answers to any questions via Remitly's Help Centre or chat with a team member in English, French and Spanish 24/7. You can contact a support team member over the phone.
  • Varied payment options: You can make payments via bank account, debit card and credit card. The person receiving the money can access the funds via bank account deposits, home delivery, and cash pickup.
  • Remitly blog: Remitly has a blog on its website that shares helpful information for its users, such as articles on how to relocate to the UK and settle in the UK as an immigrant. The blog has handy advice and resources.

Who Should Use Remitly?

If you regularly send money to friends or loved ones in other countries, you will benefit the most from Remitly money transfers.

Remityl themselves say the service is designed to help immigrants and ex-pats send money home securely and on time.

You may also benefit from using Remitly if you are any of the following:

  • Moved to the UK from another country: If you've moved from another country but still have family in the country where you were born, you could use Remitly to transfer funds home if you need to securely.
  • Someone who needs to make quick emergency transfers: If you're using debit and credit card funding and choose the Express delivery option, your receipt could receive money within minutes. Express delivery is ideal if you or a loved one is travelling or staying in a country separate from you and they need more funds. You can send them money almost instantly to help them out.
  • Need cash pickup: Remitly has cash pickup locations in over 130 countries, so if you're receiving money, you can pick it up in person in cash instead of receiving it digitally.
  • Prefer a mobile-first experience: You can use the Remitly mobile app on Android and iOS smartphones to use your mobile device for financial transactions. With the app, you can transfer money on the go, and it has the same features as the online platform.
  • Don't have a bank account: If you're receiving money from someone overseas but don't have a bank account, you can receive the money via cash pick up or home delivery. Most digital remitters require both parties to have bank accounts, but this is not the case with Remitly; only the sender must have a bank account.

As long as you have the proper documentation, you can send money to whoever you want as long as they reside in one of the 170 countries.

You may be wondering who won't benefit from using Remitly as although the list is short, some people may not find the platform helpful, such as:

  • Businesses: Business payments aren’t permitted by Remitly. Only personal consumer transfers are supported between friends and family. There are no business accounts or options on the platform.
  • Senders without bank accounts: Although the recipient doesn't need a bank account, the sender must have one.
  • Cryptocurrency senders: Remitly doesn't accept digital assets like cryptocurrency to fund your account. You can only send money. If you want to send someone cryptocurrency, you must use a cryptocurrency trading platform.
  • Senders outside of supported countries: You must be based in supported countries to use Remitly for your money transfers.
  • Recipients needing physical checks: Remitly doesn't offer check payouts, only bank deposits, mobile wallets, cash pickups and home delivery.

What Are Remitly's Fees?

Remitly offer no fees on your first transfer as a new customer; this is a great way to test the platform for money transfers without paying extra.

After the first transaction, these are the following fees you may have to pay for further money transfers:

  • Delivery method fees: Fees are free for mobile money and debit card deposits. Bank deposits, cash pickup, and home delivery costs £1.99.
  • Transaction speed: Economy delivery costs £2.99, and Express delivery costs £3.99.
  • Exchange rates: There is no fixed exchange fee as it varies, but you can view them whenever you log into your Remitly account.

You will see transaction fees before the transaction is executed, so there are no hidden fees. You can earn rewards when you refer your friends and family.

What Are Remitly's Transfer Limits?

Your limits will depend on how much information and verification you share with the platform.

Additional limitations may be added to your transaction depending on your house of payout recipient and receiving location.

There is a three-tier system to Remitly's transfer limits:

  • Tier one: With the first tier, the limits are £5,000 within 24 hours, £15,000 within 30 days, and £50,000 within 180 days. You must provide your full name, residential address, date of birth, and reason for the money transfer.
  • Tier two: Limits are £25,000 within 24 hours, £25,000 within 30 days, and £75,000 within 180 days. You must provide all the information required for tier one, plus a government-issued photo ID, further details about your reasoning for using the platform and proof of how you're funding the transaction.
  • Tier three: Limits are £25,000 within 24 hours, £25,000 within 30 days, and £150,000 within 30 days. You must provide all the information required for tiers one and two, with documents as proof. You may also have to provide proof of income.

The first tier is basic and has low limits. There isn't much difference between tiers two and three, with only being allowed to transfer £25,000 within 24 hours and 30 days on both tiers; this could be limiting. If you plan to send large sums of money overseas, you may benefit from the more significant limits of 180 days for these tiers.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Sending Money With Remitly

An excellent way to get to know a service is by reading all the benefits and drawbacks so you'll know immediately what they're best at and what areas they lack.

So, we've compiled a list of the benefits and drawbacks of using Remitly:

Benefits

✔️ Fast transfer speeds: Remitly transactions can get to your recipient within minutes with Express transfers.

✔️ Low or no fees: When using Economy services funded by bank accounts, there are low or no fees for transfers to certain countries.

✔️ Multiple payout options: Depending on the country you're sending money to, there are various payout options, such as bank account deposit, mobile wallet, cash pickup, and a home delivery method.

✔️ Accessible: Remitly's website and mobile app are easy to use, with a clean UX and a user-friendly interface. You don't need to be a tech expert to transfer money with Remitly.

✔️ Offers cash pickup locations: Remitly provides the choice of cash pickup locations in many countries. If you want to transfer money to someone in a different country, they can receive it at a designated location.

✔️ Decent exchange rates: Remitly offers better rates than banks and traditional remittance companies.

Drawbacks

❌️ Transfer limits: There are transfer limits. However, if you provide more extensive verification, you can increase your money transfer limits.

❌️ Higher fees for card payments: When making express transfers with a credit or debit card, you are charged higher fees than with other payment methods.

❌️ Exchange rate margin: The exchange rate margin isn't transparent, and you may not find it out until the transaction has been executed.

Remitly Review: Our Thoughts on the Money Transfer Platform

We tried and tested Remitly to give you our honest thoughts for this review. The money transfer provider offers a secure alternative to a bank transfer, with low fees and multiple payment options. Transferring money has never been easier.

Firstly, it's important to mention that the overall sign-up process is pretty simple, and Remitly's website and mobile app are easy to use with a user-friendly interface. The layout of both platforms is simple and clean, making it easy for you to transfer money without searching through features, as you can access the feature to send money on the website's home page.

We liked how the platform offers a fee-free first transaction for new users, and this is a great way to introduce users to a service. After the first transaction, we found the fees to be fair.

For users who continue with Remitly after the first transaction, there are options to earn rewards for referring friends and family. You’ll receive a referral link to share with people to earn rewards. There is no limit on how many people you can refer. Once you've successfully referred someone and they've signed up using your link and made their first transfer, you will receive a reward to use on your next transfer.

The delivery options are one of the platform's great features; offering Economy and Express options for your transaction speed is ideal and gives users more choices. If you require sending money quickly, you can, and it's not much more expensive. If any issues arise with the transaction, causing a delay, Remitly will refund you the delivery fees.

We appreciate the payment options; you can receive money via mobile money wallet, bank transfers, cash pickup, and home delivery. So, if the person you're sending money to is home-bound or not tech-savvy, you can deliver the funds directly to their home to save them time and effort.

Although Remitly gives users plenty of choices, we found the transfer limits low. The transfer limits can increase by providing more personal information about yourself, which can be great, but you may find it intrusive if you're primarily private. However, if you give the essential information, you can send a maximum of £5,000 within 24 hours and £50,000 within 180 days.

Overall, the Remitly platform is easy to use, with low fees, great options and opportunities to earn rewards. We recommend this platform for your money transfers.

What Safety Protocols Do Remitly Have?

Remitly is a registered money services business and offers licensed money transfer services.

Remitly adheres to anti-money laundering regulations, which is one reason they require users to provide documents for transfers. Security measures are in place across the platform to protect users' transactions, accounts and data.

Security measures include:

  • Account verification process: To open a Remitly account, you must participate in a verification process. New users have to provide personal information and complete an email verification profile. Remitly have automated risk management procedures that highlight suspicious account activity.
  • Password security: Remitly has a secure server connection using a secure socket layer with 256-bit encryption whenever you log into your account. Your account is also protected with a unique password you create, and it should include at least eight characters, numbers, and upper and lower case letters.
  • Advice for avoiding scams: The platform offers information and advice for being wary of internet scams and identifying phishing and spoofed emails. It has a small knowledge base for users to help them know what to avoid and look out for when making transactions.

Is it Easy to Send Money With Remitly?

Remitly make using their platforms to transfer money overseas to your loved ones as easy as possible.

The website and app are easy to use with simplistic style and features. But just in case you're unsure, we've created a simple five-step guide to help you send money online with Remitly:

  1. Create an account: You can create an account with your email address on the Remitly website or mobile app. You must provide your full name, residential address, and date of birth to open an account.
  2. Select currency, amount and speed: Once your account is verified and you're on the platform, you simply select the currencies you are sending from and input the amount you're sending, and you can choose the delivery speed that suits your needs.
  3. Choose a money delivery option: The person receiving the money can access the funds via bank account deposits, home delivery, and cash pickup. So, you will need to know their preferred payment option to receive the money.
  4. Enter recipient information: You must input the recipient's name and other details relevant to the transaction. They may need ID to receive the money, so make them aware of this before you execute the transaction. You will also need to inform the receipt of the transfer and when it is estimated to arrive to them.
  5. Input your payment details: Once you've entered all the transaction details, you must input your payment information. You can pay for the transaction with a bank transfer, debit or credit card. Once you've entered the necessary information, you can confirm the transaction.

Is the Remitly Customer Service Good?

As well as speedy service for money transfers, Remitly offers 24/7 customer service.

Should you need it, you can get customer support via live chat, phone or email. You can speak with a team member in English, Spanish, and French should you need to. We, and other reviewers, have found the team to be supportive, polite and eager to answer any questions and remedy any problems.

Final Thoughts on Using Remitly for International Money Transfers

Remitly allows users to send and receive money of their choice. A significant factor is that you can choose the speed of your transaction, how the receipt gets the money, and the many options of countries to send money to. The multiple choices are great for users who want more control of their transactions.

You may also find platforms with more transparent fees and broader parameters for sending funds, but Remitly is enticing with its first free transfer and varied choices with transaction details.

Related Guides:

Remitly Review: FAQs

Is Remitly Secure for Businesses?

What Are the Advantages of Using Remitly?

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Remitly?

Is Remitly Free to Use?

What Is the Sending Limit for Remitly UK?

What Is the Minimum Payment for Remitly?

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