While the pandemic has forced many of us to conduct our usual errands online, you may still go in person to send money transfers abroad. Beyond having to wait in line and fill out the necessary paperwork, sending money this way can be more costly than you think. Now, more than ever, there are plenty of reasons to switch to a money transfer app.
Take Kay K., a photographer living in Jacksonville, Florida. She wanted to send money to her brother in Japan and looked for a convenient and trustworthy option when researching money transfer apps.
She ended up finding an option with low rates and was happy with the process.
“I found [an app] with great reviews and that had cheap rates,” she says. “Overall, I was happy to be able to send money so easily.”
Speed, convenience, and price are the major reasons to forego in-person transfers. Before you make the switch to a money transfer app, let’s take a more detailed look at what makes online transfers so great.
1. Money Transfer Apps Are Secure
Your money is precious, and it’s natural that you’d worry about it arriving safely at its destination. When sending funds across borders, you may feel even more nervous about whether the transfer will go through.
For instance, Anna B., founder of the website Logical Dollar, previously lived abroad and sent money home to herself and her family.
“I’m not saying the local companies weren’t legitimate, as my funds arrived in my home account every time without any issue,” she says. “It was certainly nerve wracking doing it the first time, though!”
Not only do apps help you avoid the hassle of in-person paperwork, but they also make security a top priority. They’re regulated by strict industry standards, to start.
Money transfer apps also invest in up-to-date technology. Just take a look at how Remitly uses world-class practices to protect their customers.
Plus, apps like Remitly allow you to track your transfer. This provides tremendous peace of mind.
In Anna’s case, she was sending money to the U.S. to pay her bills back home. She couldn’t afford to wonder if the money got to the right place.
“I always find it much more comforting to know exactly where my money is rather than only knowing that it’s floating around somewhere between the various accounts,” she says.
2. They’re Easy for Your Family and Friends
The best money transfer apps, like Remitly, allow you to send to a huge network of banks and cash pickup locations. For your loved ones, there likely won’t be any difference when you switch to an app.
For example, let’s say your mother in Manila is used to going to a Palawan Pawnshop near her home to pick up money. When you switch to using Remitly, she’ll still be able to pick up cash at a Palawan location.
In fact, for some recipients, your app might even make it easier than it was before.
3. Apps Can Save You Money
Who wants to spend more than they have to?
Both Kay and Anna noted that saving money on fees was a priority when sending money abroad. The point is to get the best deal so that your recipient ends up with more money in their pocket.
Research apps to find out about their fees to your country. In many cases, the app fees will be lower than brick-and-mortar options.
Aside from fees, saving money means finding the best exchange rates. One money transfer company may charge fewer fees, but if the exchange rate isn’t as favorable, you’ll probably end up paying more.
Often, banks offer less than ideal exchange rates. While transfer companies offering in-person service can offer attractive rates and fees, the best money transfer apps can be even more competitive.
Many companies such as Remitly offer exchange rates close to the real exchange rate (or the mid-market rate), so you’re not experiencing additional markups as you do with banks.
Our guide to understanding exchange rates is a great starting point for your research on rates.
4. Money Transfer Apps Can Save You Time
With the holiday season approaching, in-person money transfer facilities and banks may be closed more than usual. Not only that, but pandemic-related closures are increasing. Both scenarios make it more challenging for you to send money.
Instead, a money transfer app allows you to conduct transfers from your couch. That’s right. You just log in, complete your transfer, and sit back and relax. Whether you need to pay your bills, provide regular support to loved ones, or send special gifts, you’ll be able to do it more quickly with an app.
With Remitly, you can usually choose two different transfer speeds. They are Express (your money will often be transferred immediately with a small fee), or Economy (your money will usually take about 3-5 business days to transfer, often with no fee).
Either way, you can track the transfer right from the app.
Apps have other timesaving benefits, too. Anna wanted to save money by monitoring the exchange rates in real-time so she could make transfers when they worked the most in her favor.
When the time was right, she could quickly make a transfer with an app.
5. Apps Are Available Anywhere
Making international money transfers is a great feeling, isn’t it? And with an app, even if you’re on the go, you can whip out your phone to send money to loved ones.
With in-person transfers, you’re limited to locations available in your area. If you live somewhere rural or you’re getting settled in your new surroundings, finding a money transfer location can prove challenging.
Instead, you can easily create an account online through a money transfer app and worry about other important matters, like making sure your loved ones get what they need.
Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Our reliable and easy-to-use mobile app is trusted by over 3 million people around the world.