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3 fast money transfer apps for 2020

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Initially, banks were slow to embrace the advantages the Internet offered. Various third-party developers took advantage of this opportunity to create applications and tools that made transferring money between people quick and painless. While banks have since made improvements in their ability to transfer money online, especially with regards to dedicated banking apps, quick international payments are still difficult without the aid of a third party transfer provider.

International transfers are where mobile money transfer apps come into their own. They are uniquely able to send money across the globe in any currency with a minimum of pain or difficulty. These transfers come with a charge and you should always check the fees before committing but the best services offer competitive rates and are even cheaper than some bank granting saving in both time and money.

Security is the most important aspect of any transfer app. Your transaction must be protected to prevent the loss of your bank details and the absolute minimum requirement is strong encryption between all devices involved in the transactions.

What you Need from your Money Transfer App

Given how convenient and affordable these apps have made international transfers, it is no surprise that they have become so widely used and popular (e.g. sending money to Ghana). However, with this popularity comes a high number of competing apps all of which proclaim themselves better than the competition. A cursory search through any app store quickly reveals more options than can be easily sorted through in a reasonable length of time.

Before you choose the money transfer app you will use, bear in mind that there is no one that is clearly superior to the rest. Each has its own characteristics and qualities that provide advantages in different scenarios. 

Here are three fast money transfer apps for 2020:

  1. Xoom


Xoom is one of the leading money transfer apps and it allows you to send money from North America and Europe to over 130 different countries worldwide.

With Xoom, you can bay using a debit or credit card or your bank account. There are different ways the money can be sent. It can be delivered as cash, deposited in the recipient’s bank account or sent as an airtime top-up. Your options are dependent on which country you are sending the money to. It is even possible to pay your utility bills in 10 different countries with Xoom (Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua).

Xoom is owned by PayPal and its services are integrated with the app. This means if you already have a PayPal-linked bank account or debit or credit card, it can be used with Xoom. You receive updates on the status of your transfer via text or email.

The Xoom app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Android devices. Their website is available in a variety of languages including English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.

Fee Structure

Xoom allows for money to be sent directly to a bank account or to a location to be picked up as cash. As an example, sending $200 from the USA to Ghana has a $2.99 fee for a bank deposit for every method of payment. When sending to a cash payment location, it costs $4.99 when paying via your PayPal balance or direct transfer and $5.99 via debit or credit card.

1 USD = 5.2312 GHS so if you send $200 the recipient gets 1046.24 GHS.


Since Xoom is owned and operated by PayPal, it is one of the most secure apps available. It has received a high number of positive reviews and features secure end-to-end encryption backed up with full security certification.

A large number of customers use Xoom daily without issue and over $5,000,000,000 has been transferred on behalf of Xoom’s customers without issue.

Delivery Options

Since the money can be sent to a cash pickup point or a mobile wallet, the recipient does not need a bank account. The money will be available within minutes of sending it.


  1. Xoom’s transactions are among the fastest available.
  2. The app is incredibly intuitive and easy to use.
  3. There is an excellent customer service team available at all times to assist with any queries.


  1. Xoom requires that particular documents be sent before certain payments can be made which can be frustrating.
  2. The fees are higher than many other apps.
  3. The exchange rate is worse than many other apps.

2. WorldRemit


WorldRemit allows customers in over 50 different countries to send money to 150 countries worldwide. Depending on where the money is sent from and to, it can be sent to bank accounts, cash pick-up locations, mobile wallets or as an airtime top-up.

There are also a wide variety of payment methods available depending on the sender’s location. These include payment by debit or credit card, bank transfers, SOFORT, Apple or Android Pay, Interac, ACH, Poli and Trustly.

WorldRemit costs less than most other money transfer services and offers both online and app services for maximum convenience. There are no physical locations and this keeps the costs low for the customers.

Fee Structure

WorldRemit allows for money to be sent directly to a bank account, to a location to be picked up as cash, as an Airtime Transfer or as a Mobile Money Transfer. As an example, sending $200 from the USA to Ghana has a $6.99 fee for a bank deposit, a $6.99 fee for a cash pickup, a $3.99 for a mobile money transfer and a $0.00 fee for Airtime top-up.

1 USD = 5.19144 GHS so if you send $200 the recipient gets 1038.29 GHS.


WorldRemit is considered to be totally secure by its customers. It has received many positive reviews based on its security performance and is fully licensed and authorised with the strongest end-to-end encryption available.

A large number of independent third-party sources have rated WorldRemit as secure and it has been used to transfer in excess of $5,000,000,000 without incident.

Delivery Options

The recipient does not need a bank account to receive money via WorldRemit. All of the options allow for instantaneous transfer with the exception of a direct transfer which takes 2 business days.


  1. WorldRemit is one of the fastest money transfer services available.
  2. The fees and exchange rates are better than many of the competitors.


  1. In isolated incidents transfers were delayed due to reasons beyond WorldRemits control.

3. Wave


The Wave money transfer app, also known as SendWave, specialises in providing fast money transfer services to Africa. While this means there is a limited number of countries money can be sent from and to, it comes with reduced fees and an intuitive, user-friendly app.

It is only possible to send money via Wave using their dedicated money transfer app that is available for both Android and Apple smartphones. Money can be sent from the UK, the USA and Canada and it can be received in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. Wave plans to expand these lists of countries as their company grows.

Instead of charging fees, Wave makes money by offering a slightly worse exchange rate and this ranges from about to 1.5 to 5% lower than the base rate. This can make Wave more expensive than other money transfer apps when sending larger amounts.

Money can only be sent using a debit card that is linked to a US, UK or Candian bank account or any other Wave-approved country. The mobile payment app can be used anywhere so long as the bank is based in one of the aforementioned countries.

There are limits on how much money can be sent. The daily send limit is $999 and the monthly send limit is $2,999. By sending a copy of your photographic ID to Wave, these limits can be raised to $2,999 per day and $12,000 per month.

Fee Structure

Wave sends money directly to a mobile wallet. There are no fees for sending money to or from any country using Wave.

1 USD = 5.2GHS, so if you send $200 the recipient gets 1040.00 GHS.


Wave is the leading currency exchange provider for both East and West Africa with over 100,000 customers. Wave uses strong end-to-end encryption to ensure that all transfers adhere to the industry’s best practices.

Delivery Options

The recipient receives all money sent in their mobile wallet and does not need a bank account. Wave advertises that any money sent will be received within 30 minutes.


  1. Wave transfers are very fast and the vast majority arrive within 30 seconds.
  2. The mobile money transfer app is intuitive and easy to use.
  3. Despite the lack of fees, the exchange rates are still competitive.


  1. Money can only be sent to and from a limited selection of countries.
  2. The exchange rate will never be perfect and can be significantly worse than some competitors when sending to or from certain countries.
  3. The service can only be used with the money transfer app, there is no way to send money via a website. 

By Jens Ischebeck

Edited by Jenna Delport

Follow Jenna Delport on Twitter

Follow IT News Africa on Twitter

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