“What! You’re trying a different money transfer service . . . again.”
That’s my sibling ever-wondering what I’m up to at the moment. Nothing too complicated. It’s just me trying for the first time on how to send money online through Remitly.
I have no idea what Remitly is until a kababayan in a personal finance class mentioned it to me. Through Remitly, you can remit money online to the Philippines. I am remitting from Canada; there are 12 more countries.
The power is at the tips of your fingers, phone, and bank account.
I wasn’t sold to the idea until I had to find a new, reliable international money transfer service. ASAP.
Online Money Transfer Services I Used Before Remitly
I wasn’t new to the idea of using apps in sending money overseas; in fact, I recommend my friends to give it a go.
But the services I relied on for so many years have changed not to my liking.
- PayPal – the fee increased and the exchange rate is lower than other money transfer companies.
- TransferWise – the conversion is higher and the fee is lower compare to PayPal but after a few remittances, I kept getting errors.
I will still use PayPal for online shopping and for getting paid with side hustle (eg. testing mobile apps) but not for sending money in the Philippines from Canada. As for TransferWise, I wouldn’t use it again and will have to delete my account.
For Filipinos in Canada, here are different ways on how to send money to the Philippines:
- 4 ways to send money to the Philippines from Canada
- Remittance centers in Calgary, Alberta
- Tips on how to send huge sum of remittance
If I have to send money more than the usual amount (eg. buying or repairing a house), I would go to remittance centers and use my debit card instead.
How to Send Money Online Through Remitly
Are you ready to try Remitly? Later I’ll show the advantage of becoming a client. For now, I’ll show you how easy it is to switch.
By the way, I’m making an account in Canada and sending funds to the Philippines. If you are living somewhere else, the process is the somewhat the same.
Step 1: Create an account. New customer can get the special offer for the first transaction.
New customer offer. Promotional FX rate applies to the first %500.00. Non-promotional rate applies to the remainder of transfer.
When I signed up the exchange rate was bumped up: 1 CAD = 44 PHP (instead of 41.84). Let’s see if I would still get the promotional rates next time.
Step 2: Give the sender and recipient’s information.
Step 3: Send money to the Philippines
- Express – $6.99, use debit/credit card
- Economy – $2.99, use bank account
- Bank deposit
- Cash pickup
- Mobile money
Step 4: Confirm the transaction and wait for the invoice in your email.
Step 5: Check online the status of the transaction or wait for update via email and text messages.
For signing up, I used my desktop; for future transactions I’ll use the Remitly app which I hope is as good if not better with the web version.
Where Can You Send Funds
I’ll divide this subject into two categories:
Where to Send From
Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden
North America: Canada, USA
Where to Receive Funds
Asia: Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
Latin America and Caribbean: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
Is it possible to send funds vice versa? If my family would like to send me a cash gift, I am willing to take it anytime. (I’ve been wanting to buy a food processor for a long time.)
How Fast is the Service
We all want our family back home to receive the funds as soon as possible without any problems on the way.
With Remitly, you have two choices: Express and Economy.
Because I wasn’t in a hurry, I chose Economy for $2.99, the lowest fee on Remitly.
Day 1: Signed up and sent money.
Day 7: Received an email, “We’ve Successfully sent your funds to (insert a Philippine bank) . . .”
Day 8: Received an email, “We have confirmed funds were deposited to your recipient’s (insert a Philippine bank). Your transaction is complete . . .”
In the span of eight days, my recipient and I received updates about the progress of sending money online. This eliminates the constant texting to my family of whether they get the funds or not.
Next time, I’ll use Express and pay $6.99 fee for comparison.
What I Like
If I wasn’t being too obvious and you have gone this far, then here it goes. I’m ecstatic to send money online through Remitly.
If that’s a vague statement then I’ll tell you why in details.
Reason 1: Sending money online is fast and easy. The interface of the website is user friendly that even a first timer is unlikely to make a mistake.
Reason 2: Getting a competitive exchange rate is the first factor I look for in an international monetary service. And I get to choose how much should I pay; urgency means higher fee and longer days mean lower fee.
Reason 3: Keeping in the loop is easy without having to log in. Remitly sends email to the sender and text messages to the recipient. None of the money transfer services that I used before had sent notification to my recipient.
Reason 4: Having the invoice sent to my email came as a surprised, yet I love it. Somehow, it gives added confidence and security as if I bought something in person and received an official receipt.
Reason 5: Paying for transaction with referrals. This is just a bonus for me. Even without it, I would still use it and recommend it.
What else can I say? I like Remitly so far and hope I wouldn’t have any issues I had similar to TransferWise.
As always, listen and take recommendations with a grain of salt.
What I Don’t Like
None as of the moment. But will update this section whenever I find something that needs improvement. Although I can’t think of anything negative about Remitly it doesn’t mean that others have the same opinion as mine.
How I Use Remitly
Here are the ways I take advantage of the low fee of Remitly.
- Send cash to my PNB debit account that I opened in Canada. (Done.)
- Send remittance in the Philippines. (Done.)
- Pay MP2 (Modified Pag-IBIG II Program) by remitting money to PNB, then add fund to PayPilipinas. (I haven’t done this yet.)
To save fees, I send all the funds to my PNB account then transfer some to another PNB account for free. Instead of paying for two transfers, I pay once. Clever isn’t it? This trick wouldn’t work if you have to send money to different Philippine bank accounts.
What I would look forward to happen is to be able to send money to COL and crowdfunding like FarmOn or Cropital.
Next stop, have a look at the online reviews some of which are disappointing and dissuading.
Remitly Online Reviews
I read online reviews about Remitly before signing up. And these are what I found.
- Tripadvisor – travellers want to receive money and avoid withdrawal fees
- Better Business Bureau – the complaints received response from Remitly
- Trustpilot – now this site has many good reviews
- Facebook – there’s no shortage of mixed reviews from people from all walks of life
The mixed reviews by comparison sites and customers made me decide to send money online through Remitly. I have to prove it myself and pray that nothing bad will happen to the test fund meant for my family.
Either way, I’ll still write about it because I can’t find any blogger reviewing Remitly. I even went to YouTube and found only promotional videos.
If you happen to have any issues or questions, here are the ways on how you can contact Remitly.
Remitly Canada, Inc.
Address: 250 Howes Street, 20th Floor, Vancouver, BC,V6C 3R8
Phone: (888) 736-4859 (Tagalog, English, and Spanish)
For the meantime, I am going to use Remitly especially in winter when the weather is cold enough that icicles are forming on the roof. I rather stay at home having a hot chocolate and send money online through Remitly. Stay warm and smart.
Regardless of the weather, online money transfer, is convenient and getting cheaper. Why not give it a try. I wonder what other startup will emerge in the coming years; looking forward to that and more recommendations.
What money transfer companies do you rely on sending remittance from overseas?