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10 Best International Money Transfer Apps in Jun 2024

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An international money transfer app simplifies the process of sending money to friends and family who live abroad.

They are very convenient to use and may even save you on fees compared to sending money through your bank.

This article covers the 10 best international money transfer apps, including why they’re the best, their pros and cons, and what you should look for in these apps to choose the best one for your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Wise, XE Money Transfer, Simplii GMT, WorldRemit, and Remitly are some of the best international money transfer apps in Canada.
  • Some features you should compare to find the best international money transfer app include fees, exchange rates, transfer speed, and funding options.
  • The benefits of international money transfer apps are mainly their convenience, affordability, and security.

Best International Money Transfer Apps in Canada

Money transfer appFeesSpeed of transferCountries/currencies supportedTransfer limits 
WiseCompetitive base and mid-market rate1-2 days160+ countries, 40+ currencies$25,000 CAD
XE Money TransferNo transfer fees1-4 days130+ countries, nearly 100 currencies No maximum limit
Simplii GMTNo transfer fees1-3 business days130+ countries, up to 65 currencies$50,000 CAD
WorldRemitFees varyInstant – 2 days130+ countries, 70+ currencies$4,000 CAD
RemitlyOwn exchange rate with a markupExpress (within minutes) or Economy (3-5 business days)17 sending countries, 100+ receiving countriesLimits vary based on sending and receiving countries
OFX$15 CAD for transfers of less than $10,000 CAD1 business day up to 5 daysover 190 countries, 50+ currenciesMinimum transfer of $150 USD
Western UnionFees vary1-5 business days200+ countries, 130+ currencies $999 CAD per day 
PayPalFees based on location and funding methodInstant or 1-3 daysOver 200 countries, 100+ currencies $10,000 per transaction
MoneyGramStarts at $4.99 CAD plus currency exchange rate markups2-4 business days200+ countries $990 CAD every 30 days
Ria Money TransferMarkup + fees15 minutes to 4 business days 160 countries with physical locations$3,0000 per day, no more than $8,000 every 30 days 

Top Money Transfer Apps in Canada

In this article, I compare the best international money transfer apps for iPhone and Android devices in 2024.

Best International Money Transfer Services

The money transfer apps and services below offer affordable global money transfers.

1. Wise

Formerly known as TransferWise, Wise is one of the cheapest ways to send money internationally.

As per its website, you can use the app to send money up to 7x cheaper than big banks, and its customers save £3 million every day in bank fees.

The Wise app is available on the Google Play Store and the App Store, where it has a 4.4/5 and 4.7/5 rating, respectively.

  • Funding Options: Direct debit, debit card, credit card, domestic wire transfer, and bill payment.
  • Countries Supported: 160+
  • Fees: Vary

When you send money using Wise, currency conversions occur at the “mid-market exchange rate,” which means you don’t end up paying high markups, and more of your money gets to your intended recipient.

In addition to just sending money abroad, you can also use this platform as a freelancer or for your business to accept and spend foreign currencies without needing to convert them.

A Wise multi-currency account can hold more than 40 currencies.

Pros of Wise

  • Uses the competitive mid-market rate (no markups)
  • Has competitive base fees
  • Regulated by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)
  • Multiple-currency account available
  • Offers personal and business accounts
  • Versatile mobile app
  • Access to a Visa debit card

Cons of Wise

  • Cash or cheque funding is not available
  • Cash pickup is not offered

You can send your first money transfer of up to $800 CAD free of charge using this link. The offer only applies to your first transfer.

Get more details about this platform in my Wise review.

2. XE Money Transfer

XE was founded in 1993 and has since become one of the most popular sites for checking currency exchange rates and sending money worldwide.

The XE Currency app supports nearly 100 currencies and international money transfers to more than 170 countries. It is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.

  • Funding Options: Bank transfer, credit card, debit card, wire transfer, and direct debit
  • Countries Supported: 130+
  • Fees: No transfer fees. There’s a markup on the mid-market rate

In addition to sending money abroad, you can also use the XE app and website to track various currencies and their exchange rates, as well as set alerts.

The app has a 3.7/5 rating on both the Google Play Store and App Store.

From a user’s point of view, it is easier to use the desktop site (web interface) than the app.

Pros of XE Money Transfer

  • Globally recognized platform
  • No transfer fees and competitive exchange rates
  • Offers an international money transfer account for businesses
  • Has multiple free FX tools, charts, alerts, and apps
  • There is no maximum limit for transfers; however, a rep is required for amounts over $500,000
  • Registered with FINTRAC

Cons of XE Money Transfer

  • Poorly-rated mobile app
  • No cash pickup option
  • You don’t get the mid-market rate
  • Limited funding options

3. Simplii Financial Global Money Transfer

Sending money internationally with Simplii Financial’s Global Money Transfer is completely free. You must have a Simplii Financial chequing account, credit card, or line of credit to send the transfer. 

You can send up to $50,000 to over 130 countries worldwide. For most countries, you can send in both US dollars and the local currency. 

Most transfers are completed in one business day, but some can take up to 3 business days. Money transfers are free, but foreign exchange rates apply. 

You can transfer money via international bank accounts, a Visa debit or credit card, cash pickup, or China UnionPay card. 

Pros of Simplii GMT

  • Get up to a $300 welcome bonus
  • Completely free to send money to any country 
  • Money is sent fast, between 1-3 business days 
  • 4 different ways to send money 
  • Track your transfer on the Simplii Financial mobile app or online banking
  • Access to a free chequing account and a $400 bonus

Cons of Simplii GMT

  • You must have a Simplii Financial bank product to use the service 
  • You can only send up to $50,000 in a 24-hour period 
  • Foreign exchange rates apply

4. WorldRemit

WorldRemit facilitates the international transfer of money in over 70 currencies and more than 130 countries. It is fast, with most transfers arriving within minutes of sending the funds.

Even better, if you are transferring money to someone with no bank account, WorldRemit offers cash pickups.

Other ways your recipient can receive money include through airtime top-ups, mobile money, and directly to a bank account.

The WorldRemit app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the App Store, where it is rated 4.2/5 and 4.7/5, respectively.

  • Funding Options: Bank account transfer, debit card, credit card, SOFORT, Interac, Poli, Apple Pay, Trustly, IDEAL.
  • Countries Supported: 130+
  • Fees: Vary

The exchange rate on WordRemit includes a markup on the mid-market rate.

Pros of WorldRemit

  • Almost instant transfers through cash pickup locations
  • Available in 130+ countries
  • Reasonable fees
  • Multiple payments options

Cons of WorldRemit

  • Not mid-market rates with margins and fees built-in
  • The maximum transfer is limited to $4,000 per transaction when using debit, credit, or prepaid cards and Apple Pay.

You can get your first money transfer free on WorldRemit.

5. Remitly

You can use the Remitly app to send money abroad and have it deposited within minutes or available for pickup by your recipient from thousands of locations.

Transfers can be sent from 17 countries (including Canada, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom) to 100+ receiving countries.

The Remitly app is available on iOS and Android devices and is rated 4.5/5 and 4.8/5 on both platforms, respectively.

  • Funding Options: Bank transfer, debit card, credit card, Sofort, IDEAL, SEPA, and Passbook.
  • Countries Supported: 17 for sending and 100+ for receiving.
  • Fees: Vary

Remitly sets its own exchange rate, which has a markup and is not as competitive as the mid-market rate.

Pros of Remitly

  • Multiple ways to receive funds, including bank deposit, mobile money, cash pickup, and home delivery
  • Competitive money transfer fees
  • Registered with FINTRAC in Canada
  • Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service (fee refunded)
  • Versatile user-friendly mobile app

Cons of Remitly

  • Does not use the mid-market rate (includes margin fee)
  • Sending limits are based on your account tier
  • You can only send money from 17 countries
  • Express transfers cost more

6. OFX

OFX was established in 1998 and has since facilitated more than $130 billion (USD) in global money transfers.

You can send money in over 55 currencies to recipients in 190 countries.

The OFX money transfer app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store, where it is rated 4.8/5 and 4.4/5, respectively.

  • Funding Options: Bill payment, electronic fund transfers, and direct debit.
  • Countries Supported: 190
  • Fees: Vary

Most transfers via OFX are completed within 1 business day; however, it may take up to 3-5 business days for some currencies/locations.

Pros of OFX

  • No minimum sending limits
  • You can view the interbank rates and compare it with OFX customer rates
  • Can set limit orders for target exchange rates or lock in a rate using forward contracts
  • Large transfers have no extra fees and you only pay the FX margin
  • Supports business accounts
  • Registered with FINTRAC

Cons of OFX

  • Does not use the mid-market rate
  • No cash pick-up option for recipients
  • Can’t pay with cash, credit cards, cheque, or bank drafts
  • The minimum transfer amount is $150 USD
  • Limited payment options

7. Western Union

While it is not close to being the cheapest option for sending money, Western Union is one of the most popular money transfer apps in the world.

It is available in over 200 countries, and recipients can receive funds in their bank account, mobile wallet, and through cash pickup.

The Western Union money transfer app is available for iOS (4.7/5 rating) and Android devices (4.4/5 rating).

  • Funding Options: Credit card, debit card, and bank transfer. Cash payments also offered at agent locations
  • Countries Supported: 200+
  • Fees: Vary

Cash pickup transfers sent using credit or debit cards are available within minutes. Mobile money and bank transfers reach the recipients within 3 business days.

You can send up to $999 CAD per day.

Pros of Western Union

  • Globally recognized international money transfer service
  • Over 500,000 agent locations and cash pickup and payment options
  • Registered with FINTRAC
  • Fairly reasonable rates compared to banks

Cons of Western Union

  • Expensive compared to Wise, WorldRemit, Remitly, and OFX
  • Does not use the mid-market rate
  • Slow customer service
  • Low maximum sending limit

8. PayPal

PayPal is a popular way to send and receive money for both personal and business purposes. It is available in over 200 countries, and recipients can receive funds in 100+ currencies.

The company was founded in 1998 and trades on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “PYPL.”

The PayPal app is available on the Google Play Store and the App Store with review ratings of 4.2/5 and 4.7/5, respectively.

  • Funding Options: Credit card, debit card, PayPal balance, bank account
  • Countries Supported: 200+ markets
  • Fees: Vary based on location and funding method (e.g., $2.99-4.99 CAD + 2.90% + fixed fee for cards)

PayPal adds a 3-4% minimum markup for currency conversions.

The company also owns XOOM, an online money transfer service that offers cash pickups, deposits to bank accounts, and cash deliveries to homes.

Pros of PayPal

  • Well known payment service with 325 million active users
  • Fast payments speeds
  • Can be used for business or personal purposes
  • Free domestic transfers when there is no currency conversion
  • Registered with FINTRAC

Cons of PayPal

  • Does not use the mid-market rate
  • Transfers include several fees (expensive!)
  • Slow customer service
  • Accounts freezes are common, potentially increasing payment processing time

9. MoneyGram

The MoneyGram money transfer service is available in more than 200 countries and territories. The app is available on the Google Play Store (4.6/5rating) and App Store (4.8/5 rating).

When sending money, your recipient can receive the money in their bank account or pick up the cash at an agent’s location.

  • Funding Options: Credit card, debit card, Interac, and cash
  • Countries Supported: 200+
  • Fees: Starts at $4.99 CAD plus currency exchange rate markups

Transfers sent to a bank account take 2-4 business days to be completed. When using online transfer, the maximum you can send is $990 CAD every 30 days.

Pros of MoneyGram

  • Global money transfer company with readily available agent locations (approximately 350,000)
  • Can use the app to pay thousands of billers
  • Supports cash pickup and cash funding

Cons of MoneyGram

  • Online transfers have a maximum limit of $990 CAD per 30 days
  • Does not use the mid-market rate
  • Can be expensive when the FX markup and fees are considered
  • Senders in some countries can only pay using cash

10. Ria Money Transfer

Ria is a money transfer service founded in 1987. It has 435,000 locations in 160 countries, and recipients can get funds using cash, pickup, bank deposit, or via courier delivery to their home or office in some countries.

The Ria Money Transfer app is available on the Google Play Store and App Store, where it has a 3.5/5 and 4/5 rating, respectively.

  • Funding Options: Debit card, credit card, and bank account
  • Countries Supported: 160
  • Fees: Vary

Transfers paid for using a debit or credit card take approximately 15 minutes to be processed. Bank account transfers can take up to 4 business days.

There is a maximum limit of $3,000 per transfer per day, and you can send no more than $8,000 within 30 days.

Pros of Ria Money Transfer

  • Supports cash pickup at thousands of locations
  • No minimum transfer amount
  • Registered with FINTRAC
  • Fast transfers when paying with a debit or credit card

Cons of Ria Money Transfer

  • Does not use the mid-market rate (you pay a markup + fees)
  • Maximum daily limit of $3,000 and $8,000 per month
  • Poorly rated mobile app for Android devices

Related: Simplii Global Money Transfer Promo.

What To Look for in an International Money Transfer App

When sending money abroad and choosing a money transfer app, you should consider the following factors:

Fees: How much are you paying in transfer fees? Some money transfer companies charge a flat fee, or you may be paying a percentage. Generally, the fees will vary with how much you are sending, the location of the recipient, and how fast they get the funds.

Watch out for hidden fees that are not clearly advertised upfront.

Exchange Rates: The most competitive exchange rate a provider can offer you is the mid-market rate or interbank rate. Apart from Wise (formerly TransferWise), many money transfer apps add a markup to the exchange rate, which can be as high as 5%.

This markup translates to a fee you pay even if the provider is marketing their service as “zero” fees.

Transfer Speed: This is how long it takes for the money to reach your recipient. Some providers only deposit in bank accounts which take some time to clear, and others may offer instant cash pickups at an agent location.

Locations: Confirm that the money transfer company operates in your country and in the country you are sending money to.

Funding Options: Some providers are limited in the forms of payment they accept. Also, check what each payment option costs. For example, credit card payments may cost a lot more in fees.

Customer Support: Look at online reviews to see what others are saying about the provider’s customer support service. If your payment is frozen for whatever reason and you can’t reach customer support for a few days, your transfer could be delayed for several days.

Transfer Limits: A money transfer platform may limit how much money you can send per transfer, per day, and per month. For example, you can only send up to $990 CAD per 30 days when using MoneyGram online.

Safety: Is the provider regulated and licensed to operate in your country? Money Service Businesses in Canada are registered with FINTRAC and AMF.

How to Send Money Internationally 

The process for sending money internationally with any of these apps is basically the same. Here are a few steps you need to take when sending money to another country. 

  1. Register for the money transfer app. You’ll need to create an account, verify your identity, and link your card or bank account. 
  2. Enter the recipient’s details. Input the recipient’s full name, banking details, and any other information needed to send the money. Ensure you spell the recipient’s name exactly as it is on their government-issued ID. 
  3. Send the money. Decide how much you are going to send, keeping in mind the currency conversion fees and any other fees the money transfer app may take. Pay for the transfer using your debit or credit card or directly from your bank. 
  4. Track your transfer. Most international money transfer apps allow you to track the status of your transfer and will let you know when the recipient has received the money. 

Pros of International Money Transfer Apps

Convenience. Sending money online or through an app is about as convenient as it gets. You don’t have to go into a bank branch or talk to anyone to send money.

Low fees. Fees vary based on the money transfer app, but generally, they aren’t too high. Using a money transfer app, you can avoid interest and exchange fees that many big banks impose.  

Safe and secure. These money transfer apps are protected by financial regulations, meaning your money will get to the recipient without any security issues. On the mobile app or website, you can also view your transaction history. 

Cons of International Money Transfer Apps

Transfer limits. Most, if not all, money transfer apps impose maximum transfer limits in a certain time frame. Some also have a minimum transfer amount. 

Availability. You generally need to sign up and create an account with these transfer apps to send money. Some of them, including Simplii GMT, require you to have an account and banking products with them already. 

Conclusion

Money transfer apps eliminate most of the hassle when sending money to your friends and family.

Compared to visiting a physical bank and paying exorbitant wire transfer fees, these apps are often a lot cheaper, and you can send money in just a few clicks.

Related: Best Cash Back Apps in Canada.

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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