Digital remittance makes it convenient to send funds to any part of the world.
Today, over 10 million people are using it to send funds across borders. Statista projects its worldwide transaction value will reach $106.925 billion this year. They believe this value will grow by 12.6 percent annually by 2024.
But how do you choose a service that’s reliable, secure, and has reasonable exchange rates and fees?
I reviewed two popular international money transfer services — Remitly and Xoom. At the end of this article, you’ll walk away knowing which one is right for you.
Let’s get started.
What Is Remitly?
Remitly is an international money transfer service provider. It leverages technology to enable people to send and receive funds from anywhere.
The company provides international money transfer services for individual customers and businesses.
Industry-leading investors back the company. These include TomorrowVentures, Bezos Expeditions, DFJ, Trilogy Equity Partners, DN Capital, Founders’ Co-Op, and QED Investors.
What Is Xoom?
Xoom is a PayPal service that makes it easy to send money abroad, reload phones, and pay foreign bills.
The platform enables people to transfer money to a bank account, send cash for pickup in designated locations, or have the cash delivered straight to recipients’ homes.
PayPal acquired the company in 2015.
Ease Of Use
How easily and intuitively do users find the service? Here’s what I found.
Users find Remitly intuitive and easy to navigate.
The dashboard allows them to manage their account from one place — and refer friends.
Users can send funds with Remitly in five simple steps.
Xoom is easy to use and straightforward. The dashboard is easy on the eyes and setting up transfers is quick and simple.
Users can also reload phones, pay bills, and manage their profiles in a couple of clicks.
Both Remitly and Xoom are winners. They’re straightforward and easy to use and users can quickly set up accounts.
Service and Coverage
What can users do with Xoom and Remitly, and how many countries do they support?
Remitly’s ever-expanding list of supported countries makes it appealing to users as a digital alternative to traditional money transfer services.
The platform supports money transfers from 17 sending countries to 99 receiving countries worldwide — plus 11 languages and over 62 currencies.
Remitly offers four delivery methods, though some are not available in some countries.
- Bank transfer
- Mobile wallet
- Cash pickup
- Home delivery
Cash pickup and home delivery are great options for recipients that prefer cash.
Remitly sends SMS notifications to senders and recipients — this helps them track their transfers and know when recipients receive them.
With Xoom, users can conveniently move money to about 158 countries and territories from the US, Canada, the UK, and selected countries in Europe.
Despite its broad coverage, Xoom supports only four currencies — CAD, EUR, GBP, and USD.
Their website is available in 15 languages.
Xoom offers three delivery methods — bank deposits, cash pickups, and home deliveries. The fantastic thing about Xoom is that there are options for users to pay international bills and reload prepaid mobile phones.
They also send an SMS notification to users when their money arrives and alert both customer and recipient via email of the transfer’s progress.
Xoom and Remitly are winners. They both have unique features.
Remitly, for example, supports over 60 currencies against Xoom’s four. It also offers four delivery methods, while Xoom provides only three.
On the other hand, Xoom offers two additional services — bill payments and phone reload, unlike Remitly, that offers only international money transfer.
Xoom sends to over 150 countries and supports 15 languages, while Remitly supports only 99 countries and 11 languages.
So, there’s a standoff in this category.
How do their exchange rates compare?
Remitly’s exchange rates are often competitive. Their rates are the same as the interbank exchange rates. For instance, Oanda shows that the interbank rate currently stands at 0.81840 EUR for 1 USD.
Remitly’s dashboard shows that it exchanges 1 USD for 0.81 EUR.
Xoom fixes their rate below the interbank rates. The difference enables them to earn money for their services. They’re transparent with this.
They exchange 1 USD for 0.7935 EUR — that’s 0.0249 EUR below interbank rates.
Remitly edges Xoom in this category. Their exchange rate is the same as interbank rates.
How do people engage with their websites and how often do users return?
Remitly has impressive engagement numbers. The website received over 21.1 million total visits between June and November.
About 3.7 million visited in November, and they spent 4:24 minutes per visit navigating 4-5 pages. The bounce rate was 42.2 percent — the percentage of people that visited only one page.
The website had 51.7 percent direct traffic in November. This number means over half of their visits were from returning visitors. This metric is a sign of customer satisfaction.
Xoom engagement numbers can make one go crazy with admiration. The total visit between June and November was 36.5 million. The website got over six million visits in November.
These guys spent over 4:57 minutes visiting close to seven pages. The bounce rate was 36.97 percent.
The return visit was 46.08 percent — that is, over 2.76 million returning visits.
Xoom and Remitly are winners. They both show spectacular engagement numbers. However, I will give this category to Xoom.
Their metrics are superb — they know to engage their users.
How secure are Xoom and Remitly, and what level of security do they offer?
Remitly is a secured international money transfer service provider. They’re a licensed money transmitter.
The company uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) with 256-bit encryption — the industry standard in secure server protection to provide secure server connections to users.
They use email verification procedures to maintain high levels of security, trust, and protection. Also, it allows users to protect their accounts with unique passwords.
Remitly makes it easy for users to report suspicious activities on their profiles.
Xoom provides secured services. The US federal and state governments regulate them.
The company uses 128-bit data security encryption to serve encrypted, secure pages to visitors. Also, Xoom subjects all employees to background checks as a condition of employment.
They use verification procedures and password protection to maintain and ensure the integrity of users’ accounts.
The two platforms are reliable and secured. They’re both winners.
Xoom and Remitly have mobile apps, but how useful do users find them?
Remitly mobile apps make it easy for users to send money on the go. There are versions for both Android and iPhone users.
Customer rating shows users are getting value from the apps. Over 352,000 iPhone users rate the app 4.8/5.
The Android app has over a million downloads. These users rate the app 4.7/5 from over 68,500 reviews.
Remitly’s Android app got about 9.4 percent of its download traffic in November from referrals.
This data shows the company is not taking their word of mouth marketing seriously — or perhaps, their users don’t see the need to share their stories.
Whatever is the reason, a 9.4 percent referral rate shows Remitly needs to revisit its customer engagement strategies.
Xoom has impressive numbers. Over 718 iPhone users rate the app 4.8/5.
It has over five million downloads on Google Play. Over 111,300 Android users rate the app 4.7.
Xoom has super crazy and fanatical users. Close to two-thirds of the app downloads were from referrals.
This number is only possible because the users get value from the app.
The data says it all. Xoom is the clear winner here.
How easily do users get help from customer service?
Remitly provides live chat and phone support. They also have an extensive repository of support articles and blog posts.
The support is available in 11 languages and 24/7 — except phone support, which is only available during designated business hours.
Xoom provides email and phone support. The company also offers support articles to guide users. They provide email support in eight languages.
Remitly is the winner — they provide live chat support, have an extensive knowledge base, and support more languages.
What’s the maximum amount users can transfer to their loved ones?
Just like other money transfer services, Remitly limits the funds users can transfer.
Users can upgrade their limits by providing Remitly with additional information and identifications. The sending limits vary according to location — other sending limitations may apply depending upon the users’ choice of payout partner.
To compare Xoom-Remitly sending limits, I studied the sending limits for US-Israel transfers. The table below summarizes what I found.
The maximum amount users can send depends on their sending levels. They can upgrade by providing additional information and documents.
The sending limit depends on where the sender lives, the delivery method, and the Xoom partner’s limit.
Here are the bank deposit limits for users sending from the US to anywhere — Israel inclusive.
Xoom is the winner here. It offers fewer restrictions on the amount of money users can send.
What payment methods are available to senders?
Remitly offers three payment types — debit cards, credit cards, and bank accounts. Payment using credit cards attracts extra fees.
Paying through bank accounts affects the delivery speed — it delivers within two working days. It might also impact exchange rates and fees.
Xoom supports debit card, bank account, and credit card payment methods. Users can also pay with the payment methods stored in their PayPal accounts.
Xoom is the winner in this category. It supports all the payment methods offered by Remitly — plus the PayPal payment method.
How much do Xoom and Remitly charge for their services?
A couple of factors determine how much Remitly will charge users. These factors include:
- The amount of money users are sending
- The receiving country
- Their delivery option
- The currency the recipients will receive the money in
- The payment method
Remitly fees are often competitive. They’re typically below what the traditional money transfer services charge.
But to find out how Remitly’s transfer fees compare against Xoom’s. I tried using Remitly to transfer $100 from the US to Mexico.
Here’s what I found.
Remitly would have charged me $3.99 to transfer $100 from the US to Mexico. This number equates to a 4 percent service charge. I think it’s impressive.
Transfer fees for Remitly may change from time to time. Always refer to their website for updated information — or from your dashboard.
Remitly offers special discounts to new users on transfers above $500 to help them save money.
They also charge nothing for transfers to certain countries. Some of these countries include — Israel, the Philippines, Cambodia, Greece, et al.
Often, the company delivers promo codes to their users to save big on their next transfer — an impressive way to approach customer retention and drive repeat business.
Xoom’s transaction fees are competitive. It appears to be lower than Remitly’s. They would have charged me $2.99 to transfer $100 from the US to Mexico — a three percent service fee.
Please note that Xoom’s transfer fees may change at any time. Always visit their website for updated information.
Though Xoom offers lower transfer fees, I’ll give this category to Remitly.
They remit more money than Xoom — they pay 2,027 MXN for a $100 transfer against Xoom’s 1,944 MXN.
Remitly gives special discounts and promo codes to help their users save big on transfer fees — plus free transfers to certain countries.
How upfront are Xoom and Remitly about the actual cost of their services?
Remitly is transparent with their pricing.
There are no hidden charges. They spell out every cost to the users early enough — the transfer fee, the exchange rate, and the remittance.
Price transparency helps eliminate buyer remorse. The company also offers a money-back guarantee.
Xoom is transparent with its customers. They make it easy for them to know everything — the transfer fee, total billing, exchange rate, and remittance.
Xoom also offers a money-back guarantee.
Xoom and Remitly are transparent — their users know how much they’ll charge them. They’re both winners for this category.
What incentives do Xoom and Remitly offer their users?
Remitly runs a “Refer Friends” program. It rewards customers whenever someone they refer signs up and sends money with Remitly for the first time.
They give $20 for every successful referral.
Remitly makes it easy for people to share their referral links. They could send it through emails without leaving their dashboard or switching tabs.
They could also share through SMS, WhatsApp, or on Facebook — or copy the link and use it in their promotions.
Xoom customers earn incentives by inviting new users to the platform.
The company runs a “Refer a Friend” program that rewards customers with Amazon eGift cards and Mastercard prepaid debit cards for getting others to sign up and make a transfer.
The referral program is currently on hold — Xoom says they’re making exciting changes.
Remitly takes it. They offer $20 for successful referrals and make it easy for people to share their links via many channels.
Xoom Vs Remitly Similarities
Remitly and Xoom share a lot in common. Let’s take a look at them.
- Remitly and Xoom have simple and intuitive dashboards.
- They both offer a bank account and cash pickup delivery methods.
- Zoom and Remitly run reward programs.
- Their exchange rates and fees are competitive — they perform favorably against those of traditional money transfer services.
- They support both Android and iPhone mobile apps.
- Zoom and Remitly offer a money-back guarantee.
- The two companies offer secured and encrypted connections to website visitors.
- They impose sending limits based on users’ accounts level — users can upgrade by providing additional information and documents.
- Xoom and Remitly have excellent customer service — they provide both email and phone support in multiple languages.
- They support debit card, credit card, and bank account payment methods.
- Both services are transparent with their pricing.
- They send notifications to enable users to track their transfers.
Xoom Vs Remitly Differences
What features set the two apart? Let’s find out.
Here, we’ll discuss the advantages of using Xoom and Remitly.
- Remitly makes it convenient for people to send funds overseas from the comfort of their homes.
- They give more delivery options — even home delivery to recipients.
- Their support is available 24/7 and they provide live chat and an extensive knowledge base.
- Remitly’s exchange rate is outstanding.
- The company delivers SMS notifications to enable users to track their transfers.
- They offer various promotions to help users save big.
- The service supports over 60 currencies.
- Remitly offers a $20 reward for successful referrals.
- They provide free transfers to some countries.
- Xoom charges reasonable transfer fees.
- They provide email support.
- Users can reload the phone of their loved ones with Xoom and also pay bills.
- Xoom has an extensive coverage area.
- Users can also pay with any of their stored PayPal payment methods.
- The dashboard is intuitive and easily navigable.
- Users can send up to $100,000 with Xoom.
- Xoom sends notifications to enable users and recipients to know when the transfer arrives.
Xoom and Remitly are great, but there are things I don’t like about them. We’ll discuss them here.
- Remitly sends to limited countries — 99, as of the last count.
- Users can’t transfer more than $60,000.
- They offer only three payment methods.
- Their transfer fees are more expensive.
- Users can’t reload phones or pay bills with Remitly.
- They offer only three delivery options.
- Their support is only available in eight languages.
- Xoom’s exchange rate is often below interbank rates.
- Xoom supports only four currencies.
- The company doesn’t give free transfers — nor discounts to users.
- Xoom doesn’t support live chat.
Final Verdict: Remitly Vs Xoom
Xoom and Remitly are incredible digital alternatives to traditional international money transfer services. They provide a convenient way to send money overseas through intuitive and easily navigable dashboards.
Both tools have unique features, but Remitly wins in this comparison as it offers more value than Xoom.
Remitly has a reasonable exchange rate — this makes them remit more money to recipients than Xoom.
Remitly supports 62 currencies. They give users discounts to save money on transfer fees and provide free transfer services to some countries. The company runs an incentive program that helps customers earn $20 from referrals.
They serve both individuals and businesses and can deliver cash directly to recipients’ mobile wallets.
Xoom provides extra services — phone reloads and bills payment and has more coverage area than Remitly.
I give it to Remitly.