Hanane and her husband are from Morocco, living in the Boston area, and they help support relatives back home. She’d always gone in person to send money, waiting in long lines at the counter. When she first heard about the Remitly app, she was excited, but she wondered, is Remitly safe?
“At first you think, it could be a scam,” she said in a recent interview.
She sent a test transaction to her sister in Morocco. Soon, her sister reported that she’d successfully picked up the money at the same place she’d always gone. That’s when Hanane was convinced.
“That’s it, it’s working, it’s real!,” she said to her husband.
Months later, Hanane continues using Remitly, just like millions of customers worldwide.
There are several options to choose from when sending money abroad. But not all money transfer services make security a top priority like we do. We’re here to tell you exactly what makes Remitly safe—from our cutting-edge technology to our world class security team.
Security Is in our DNA
Our Chief Information Security Officer (or CISO), Alex Maestretti, explains it this way. “Remitly was founded with the vision of becoming the best global bank for immigrants. In order to build that, from an early stage, we had a ton of focus on security and compliance.”
In other words, Remitly wouldn’t be Remitly without its focus on safety.
Maestretti says, “culturally, everyone at Remitly understands the importance of earning our customer’s trust with every transaction. Security is always called out by Matt, our CEO, and other leaders as the foundation of our business.”
Read on to learn just how Remitly makes sure that your money and your personal details are secure, every step of the way.
How Does Remitly Keep Your Money Safe?
1. We’re Registered and Licensed
Remitly is a fully licensed organization that follows all the rules set by regulatory agencies in countries where we operate. Just as in any industry, international remittance services operate under specific rules and are guided by strict regulations.
A big part of what makes Remitly safe is following the law. In turn, that protects our customers.
- Remitly is a registered Money Services Business with the US Department of Treasury.
- We’re licensed to operate in all Canadian provinces including Quebec.
- Remitly is licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.
As of December 2022, Remitly operates in 28 send countries and over 170 receive countries and territories. No matter where we are, we meet the requirements of each regulatory body in these countries.
2. We Use High-Level Data Security
Account security is the highest priority at Remitly. To protect you from fraud and hacking attempts, our team of experts uses a variety of automated and manual risk management procedures to identify suspicious account activity. We’re constantly monitoring!
This is where it can get technical. Your account is protected by ‘multiple factors of authentication.’ That means you are protected by:
- Your own password (be sure to choose one you don’t use anywhere else)
- Your mobile phone (we will send you a message to make sure it is you.)
This helps us validate your identity when you sign in and makes sure that only an intended recipient can access the money you send.
Our mobile apps and website use Transport Layer Security (TLS) and support the most modern encryption protocols like AES256 and 2048-bit RSA to keep your information private.
These secure methods of encryption are used by banks, government agencies and organizations to secure online transactions across the globe.
3. We Always Verify Your Account
When you go to the bank to open an account, you’ll need to verify your personal details as part of the process.
Remitly is a financial institution, and similar to your local bank, we conduct account verification. The process ensures you’re the only person who has access to your Remitly account and your money is safe at all times.
Account verification also helps us prevent fraud and money laundering.
If you’re worried about sending sensitive details electronically, we’ll send you a unique link to our Resolution Center when we request personal information to verify your account.
Depending on your location, we may ask the following details:
- A valid ID
- Proof of address
While it may seem like we’re asking for too many personal details, these legal obligations are required by all money transfer services.
You can learn more about how to complete the verification process here.
4. We Have a Team of In-House Security Experts
We always want to be on the forefront of financial security. To this end, Remitly employs a robust team that works hard to fight online financial fraud.
We monitor transactions around the clock to look for suspicious activity. Our security experts will take immediate action to protect your money and sensitive details.
Our Chief Information Security Officer explains that our security team of specialized developers is vital to keeping Remitly safe for you. They constantly seek out vulnerabilities and monitor our systems for intruders.
For any problems, the CISO says, “we make sure it is fixed, and work to engineer a solution that makes sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The team checks for flaws and corrects them through intensive code reviews, responding to alerts, providing security design reviews for other engineering teams, and upgrading systems.
This highly focused team takes our value of customer safety seriously, from our headquarters in Seattle to our office in Krakow.
5. We Use Encrypted Connections
We use predictive tools and advanced machine learning technology to detect unusual activity. Remitly encrypts sensitive information such as payment methods and social security numbers.
We use encryption to help protect your data from prying eyes. No one can read your data when it is encrypted!
We also conduct internal monitoring for our cloud services and software to shield them from viruses and hacking attempts.
Remitly will never:
- Ask you to provide the full details of your credit or debit card over the phone or via chat
- Send money for you
- Ask for your login details
6. We Have Secure Payment Systems
We use the most secure payment technology to ensure all money transfers go through securely.
7. You Can Count on 24/7 Customer Support
Sometimes there are delays beyond our control and you’re worried about your funds reaching your loved ones on time.
Our customer support is online via chat 24/7 to solve problems you may experience while using Remitly.
You can chat with us in English, French, and Spanish. We suggest using the live chat option as the wait time is much shorter than phone calls.
8. You Can Track Your Transfer
Often, when customers want to know “is Remitly safe?”, they’re wondering if they’ll get confirmation their money arrived at its destination on time.
For your peace of mind, you can keep track of your international money transfers with the Remitly app. Simply log in and navigate to your list of transfers to view the progress.
Plus, you’ll get updates from us along the way, and we can even send text updates to your recipient if you’d like.
If you sent money in error, you can also cancel transfers with the Remitly app.
The Last Word
Remember Hanane and her family? They have nothing but praise for the safety, security, and simplicity of Remitly. In fact, she tells everyone about it.
“This is so much easier! I invited my two sisters, my dad, and my friend. I never want to go back to the old way of sending money.”
Learn More: International Money Transfer Rules
Remittance regulations vary across countries where they operate. To give you an idea of all the laws that Remitly follows, let’s take look at remittance guidelines from a few major countries where we operate.
The United States
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an agency responsible for enforcing fair financial practices that protect consumers. They also oversee all international transfers above $15.
Consumers have the right to see costs such as
- Taxes collected by the provider
- Exchange rate
- Amount of money your recipient will receive
International remittance services must issue a receipt for each transaction that matches the amount sent and the date the money will be available to the recipient. Receipts must also include where to submit complaints and what to do if there’s an error.
The Reserve Bank of India is the governing body for international money transfers in India.
- Businesses in India cannot use an offline service provider for international money transfers
- All transfers require an agent-recognized debit or credit card
- Maximum limit of USD 2,500 per transfer
- Maximum of 30 transfers a year to a single recipient.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) regulates private remittance companies in the Philippines.
- BSP authorization is required to receive above USD 956. Exceptions are made for educational purposes, collectors of currency, and testing of money counting.
- Cross-border transfers involving foreign currency up to USD 10,000 require a foreign currency declaration form.
- Bank wire transfer fees range from USD 3-5 plus an additional $35 for foreign wire transfer services.
Next Steps: Tips on Keeping Your Remitly Account Safe
While our security team works around the clock to secure your account, there are a few things you can do to make your account safer.
Set a Strong Password
If you’re using an iPhone or Google-enabled device such as an Android, you’ll see the option for “suggest password”. The password is usually a powerful combination of symbols, numbers, uppercase and lowercase characters.
Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Have you ever been asked to verify your password by entering a code that’s been sent to your phone?
That’s two-factor authentication. It combines your password with a unique code that’s sent to your phone when you attempt to login.
Using 2FA keeps your details with Remitly safe. This security feature makes it really difficult for anyone else to access your information.
Watch Out for Internet Scams
- Make payment for a “guaranteed” loan or credit card.
- Respond to offers that you haven’t personally investigated to determine if its’ genuine.
- Make payment to someone you can’t verify.
- Make payment to claim a prize winning.
Be Wary of Suspicious Emails
Sometimes, fraudsters pose as legitimate companies to obtain sensitive information such as passwords, account details, and usernames to hack your account.
Remitly will never ask for the following via email:
- Your PIN, credit card number or security code
- Your date of birth or full social security number
A few ways to protect against suspicious emails or phishing attacks:
- Do not open emails from unknown sources. They sometimes contain viruses that infect your device when you open an attachment.
- Check the return address on all emails. If it doesn’t have “@remitly.com” as the domain, then it’s not from us.
- If you hover your mouse over the domain name, does it redirect to a URL that’s not hosted on remitly.com?
Report suspicious emails here.
Now more than ever, you want to support your loved ones back home. Remitly is here to help.