money transfer operators

Little lies from money transfer operators

As an expat or a student living abroad for one semester, you have probably already used money transfer operators to send or receive money, or not. You might have used your bank as well. Let us see which solution is the best.

money transfer operators

Why you should use a money transfer operator

It is very easy to use your bank to make an international money transfer. However it is probably the most expensive solution you can find. Indeed you’ll be charged with various kinds of fees: fixed, variable or even hidden one! Banks will charge you around 8 to 10% of the amount transferred. So it means that if you send 100€, you’ll be receiving between 92€ and 90€. Imagine if you’re doing this each month with bigger amounts… It’s a scandal!

One the other hand, using money transfer operators for this kind of operations will make you save money depending on the one you are using.

Which money transfer operator should you use?

Your options here a numerous, according to the World Bank there are more than 500 money transfer operators around the world. None of them is operating worldwide and some are focused on one specific region. You should be careful with traditional ones such as Western Union or Moneygram, which are well implemented in many countries. Why? Because they are outrageously expensive compared to new actors. Just like banks they will charge you around 10% of the amount sent.

They even advertise about this! A couple of years ago I remember seeing a Christmas add from Western Union saying “for only $5 send up to $50”! That’s a 10% fee but imagine you send less than $50… I call this robbery!

There are other marketing slogans that you should be aware of. For example many money transfer operators argue that their service is totally free. Remember that nothing is really free in this world and that money transfer operators are not NGOs, they need to make profits! If their transfers are “free” then how do they make money? They make money on the exchange rate.

Indeed, most of the time they will apply a poor exchange rate compared to the real one. This allows them to make money without (almost) anyone noticing.

To sum up, remember to use money transfer operators instead of your bank next time you are sending money internationally and that there is no such thing as free money transfer.

Best money transfer services

If we look at the actors in money transfers, we can count on banks, foreign exchange brokers and money transfer services. Who are the best money transfer services? many exist even if most people only know a few. Here is a global overview of these services.

How to know the best money transfer services?

According to you what is the best way to know if a money transfer service is good or not? By looking at the customers’ reviews ! of course. Nothing is better than the customers’ review of a company as it tells you everything about the pros and cons of the company. A trusted source to look at the customers reviews is Many people use it and it is secure. So here we will have a big picture of the money transfer services and their reviews on Trustpilot. We’ll look at the three biggest money transfer services which exist for tens of years: Western Union, Moneygram and Ria money transfer. And then we will look at the new money transfer companies which have appeared in the recent years. There are a lot such as Transferwise, Azimo, Worldremit, TransferGo, Afrimarket, Xendpay, Currencyfair, Worldfirst and others.

  • Western Union is rated 8.7 on Trustpilot. Trusted service because it exists for years, operates everywhere but quite expensive sometime.
  • MoneyGram is rated 1.4 on Trustpilot. Available in many countries but not so easy to use and some customers are really disappointed in this service.
  • is rated 7.7 because it is trustworthy and they offer good rates.
  • Transferwise is rated 9.5 on Trustpilot because it offer very good rates and is simple to use. Good customer service.
  • Worldremit is also rated 9.5 as it provides fast and cheap transfers. The service also allows to receive money by mobile phone and there are several delivery options.
  • Azimo is rated 9 on Trustpilot. It is a great service really easy to use. The cons are they only allow to send money from Europe and they have high flat fees for little amount of money transferred.

Compare money transfer services


Rates of money transfer services are always changing and evolving over time. As the exchange rate between two currencies is always evolving it is the same for the rates of money transfer operators. We can see on the graph above that for a transfer of 1’000$ from the United States to Philippines there are a lot of options. One week one operator offers the best rate and the following week it is not the cheapest. That’s why it is so important to compare and choose the best solution each time you have to do a transfer or send money abroad.

Start now to compare the best money transfer services and exchange rates now.