According to statistics from the World Bank, remittances in 2018 to low and middle-income countries reached a record high of $528 billion (projected to $550 billion in 2019) representing an increase of 9.6% relative to 2017 with Sub-Saharan Africa recording an increase of approximately 10% to $46 billion in 2018. The cost of remitting funds across most African countries is above 10% with Banks and Post Offices having the highest charges on these transactions. Ghana, on the other hand ranks 9th out of 10 countries based on remittance as a share of the countries’ GDP.
Guest Author Jens Ischebeck, therefore shares his views with us on the pros and cons of Xoom versus World Remit as International Money Transfer options for Ghana.
What is the Best Remittance Provider for Africa?
Funding personal businesses from abroad and sending money to relatives and friends living in Africa has become a valuable endeavor to individuals living abroad. Fortunately, technological advancement across the globe has made international money remittance swift and efficient. Today, you can send money from USA or Canada in a matter of minutes, through online money transfer platforms or digital banking.
You can also change multiple currencies without having to walk into a bank. However, you might end up paying more money for remittance than you should, depending on the remittance service provider. You should consider researching and investigating the various remittance providers in the market for scrutiny of pricing, exchange rates, and remittance timelines.
This guide provides an in-depth comparison between two money transfer service providers for Africans, namely Xoom and WorldRemit. It will look at how convenient it is to send money to any African country from Canada and the USA, or any other part of the world where the two money transfer service providers operate (see also my popular article “Clever Money on Mobile Solutions for Africa”).
Find the Best Remittance Providers for Africa
Days are gone when banks were the only available avenues for money transfer. Today, a smartphone and remittance services from a reliable remittance provider, are the tools you need for an instant transfer of your money. For money transfers to and from Africa, we recommend Xoom and WorldRemit providers.
These are among the leading international money transfer apps across Africa. It is safer to send and receive money with Xoom and WorldRemit from different parts of the world. Money transfer through the two providers is faster, especially when both you and your recipient have accounts with these service providers.
The two remittance providers offer efficient services, with multiple payment methods in over 100 countries across the world.
But which is the best remittance provider for your needs?
Which one is the cheapest and how reliable is each for transfers to and from Africa?
Check out our guide on the merits and demerits of each of these service providers, and how each one of them operates.
Xoom was founded in 2001 as a digital remittance service provider where clients were given a chance to reload their mobile phones through top-ups, send money, and pay bills for others or to institutions that they relate to across the world. Today, Xoom allows users to use remittance services from Canada and USA to over 131 countries, including those in Africa.
Xoom is owned by PayPal, which is a digital powerhouse when it comes to digital transfer of money. In the recent past, Xoom has been rated as the best service provider in terms of customer satisfaction for their effectiveness, transparency of fees and exchange rates, and utility.
• Transparent transaction charges enabled by the Xoom online calculator.
• It offers coupons to clients after a given period.
• Relatively cheaper than most money transfer providers.
• No charges for large transfers.
• Extremely secure, with 128-bit encryption for data security.
• Xoom guarantees a refund of money lost or not received by recipients.
• All remittances are done online, limiting those individuals without internet connectivity.
• A complicated verification process during sign-up and log in.
• Delayed delivery of money compared to other providers such as WorldRemit.
With headquarters based in the UK, WorldRemit was founded in 2010 as an online money remittance service provider. WorldRemit was among the first remittance providers that invested heavily in establishing a fully-integrated mobile-to-mobile money transfer across the world.
WorldRemit offers remittance services in various forms, including mobile money, mobile top-ups, money collection, and bank deposits. Their remittance services are integrated with some of the world’s leading mobile money platforms such as MTN in Africa and Asia and M-Pesa in Kenya.
WorldRemit continues to partner with financial and telecommunication institutions across the globe. This is to ensure that everyone all over the world has easy and affordable access to money transfer via mobile phones or digital banking.
• You can transfer from as little as 1 US Dollar.
• Flexible transfer across the world, with over 140 active countries.
• High transfer speeds.
• It is the best option for the transfer of small amounts.
• It has an easy to use website. Signing up takes you directly to the money transfer segment.
• Competitive currency exchange rates better than those for banks
• They have a limited maximum transfer threshold of $10,000, which is extremely low.
• Complex transfer fees that vary with time.
• Have no expertise to offer advice.
• WorldRemit offers no support to businesses.
Xoom and WorldRemit Comparison
Different clients transfer money from diverse countries under diverse transfer conditions, depending on various service providers. Although both Xoom and WorldRemit will give you appealing encounters in your money transfers, looking into the details of each will help you in identifying which one is the best for your needs. They may differ in issues such as countries supported, pricing, exchange rates, offers, and benefits.
Xoom and WorldRemit: Countries Supported
WorldRemit allows sending money to over 140 countries in the world. With its expansion into Africa, WorldRemit enables Africans living abroad to send money home to 39 African countries (as per July 2019). Among the African countries where WorldRemit is supported include; South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Egypt, to name just a few.
In addition, a new hub is opened in South Africa. Based on this new transfer hub WorldRemit allows people in South Africa to send money directly out of their country.
You can send money directly via your credit or debit card from the USA to the African countries where WorldRemit is supported.
Xoom, on the other hand, is supported in over 60 countries across the world. You can send money from your bank account in Canada or the USA to any of these countries via Xoom. These countries include Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and India.
Recipients of Xoom remittances can receive the transferred money through their bank accounts, via collection locations, or by having the money delivered at your house.
Xoom and WorldRemit: Possibilities Offered for Transfers from the USA to Ghana
Mobile money transfers have risen significantly in the last three years from USA to Ghana.
Although a large number of customers use these services, each sender has to check the circumstances before in detail. At least 7 features worth to be checked are illustrated in the report about mobile money transfer to Ghana.
Both providers, Xoom and WorldRemit, provide a good bunch of possibilities to receive funds.
The following are the available possibilities for transfers from the USA to Ghana;
• Bank transfer via the country’s major banks
• Cash collection from different locations by approved agents
• Airtime Top-up through networks such as Tigo, Airtel, and MTN
• Mobile money platforms.
Xoom and WorldRemit: What It Will Cost You to Transfer Money Internationally
For both services, there is a transaction cost that is charged for every transfer. The transfer fees vary with various factors such as the payment method used, the total amount being transferred, the destination currency and the destination country. The two service providers offer clients with an online calculator where they can verify exchange rates and total amount per transaction.
WorldRemit is relatively cheaper than Xoom in terms of transaction costs. With all the other factors remaining constant, it will cost you $3.99 to transfer $1,000 using WorldRemit, as opposed to Xoom’s $4.99 fee. WorldRemit also offers a fee-free first transaction to new subscribers.
However, Xoom offers a fee-free transaction to customers who make large deposits. Transactions are free for PayPal account holders who transfer money to recipients who also own PayPal accounts.
How Good are the Exchange Rates Offered
How good a service provider is in terms of offering excellent exchange rates is determined by the provider’s exchange rate margin over time. This margin is the variation between what the service provider offers and the mid-market exchange rate listed by Google.
Although their exchange rates vary from currency to currency, both Xoom and WorldRemit operate within the same margin of 0.7% to 3%. The currency calculators offered by the two providers help you in determining the exchange rate, which is paid on top of the transfer fee and the money being transferred.
Xoom and WorldRemit Comparison Conclusion
Avoiding high transaction charges is equally as important as the need to have your money safely delivered to your loved ones. To ensure that you get the best out of money transfer, you should analyse the various remittance providers before considering buying their services.
Xoom and WorldRemit are world-class money transfer platforms. They both have equal capacities to transfer your money to your home country. However, their strengths, transfer speeds, and efficiency are different.
Based on your money transfer needs, you should evaluate every aspect of each provider to determine which one best suits you.
Jens Ischebeck is an Africa focused website publisher. The main sites are apps-for-money-transfer.com and Bitcoin-Guide-Africa.com (both cover the international money transfer tools for inward and outward remittances) and fast-bachelor-degree.com (accelerated bachelor degree by online studying).
Also check out OMT’s post on Skrill Payment System!