Mobility—International payments

Sometimes there’s nothing less mobile than trying to complete a bank transfer in international funds. It may be called an electronic transfer, but it’s fraught with fees and unpredictable outcomes on both sides. Enter mobile international payments. With domestic payment processes moving to the small device platform, international payments weren’t going to be far behind. Here’s how three popular ones stack up against each other.


With Transferwise you can transfer the first $4,500 for free. After that, it’s around .5 percent, depending upon the amount your sending.

WorldRemit offers you a fee-free transfer the first time. After that, it’s just a few dollars depending upon where you’re sending it and in what currency.

PayPal has always been known for its steep fees. International payments are no different. It would be approximately .005% plus 4-5% above the exchange rate.


Getting it there fast is the point of these services. So, how do they measure up to one another? Well, they can all get the money there the next business day, but it depends on what time the transaction was initiated and where it’s going. According to

  • Transferwise gets it there in 1-2 days
  • WorldRemit gets it there in 1-3 days
  • PayPal gets it there in 0-3 days

Regular payment setup

For business needs, both Transferwise and PayPal will suit. Depending upon the service, you may not also be able to do this for personal payments.

User ratings

On TrustPilot, WorldRemit edges out Transferwise by only a tenth of a point, 9.4 vs 9.3 on a 10-point scale. PayPal trails the pack with only a 1.9 out of 10. To be fair it’s been around longer and has had all the growing pains of an early adopter.

Bottom line

Both WorldRemit and Transferwise are cost effective choices to avoid PayPal’s high fees. If Transferwise has a slight edge, it is allowing you to monitor exchange rates to time payments to your advantage. You can also set up fee-free rate alerts on currencies you choose.