WorldRemit Canada Review: The Star Trek of Global Money Transfers?

By Heidi Unrau | Published on 17 Jul 2023

WorldRemit Canada

    Ever wish you could just beam money around the world like Scotty from Star Trek? The science isn’t there yet (I know, bummer), but we do have the next best thing. WorldRemit in Canada is as close to teleporting your money as you can get, without defying the laws of physics!

    It’s not just another online payment system. WorldRemit is disrupting the traditional process of sending money overseas, making it faster, easier, and more cost-effective. Now you can digitally “zap” cash across the globe from the palm of your hand. Here’s what to know about WorldRemit in Canada, how to use it, and fees you can expect. 

    What is WorldRemit?

    WorldRemit is a digital platform and mobile app that lets people send money to others around the world. It’s like a futuristic Star Trek gadget for your money, delivering your cash to friends or family in other countries with a few taps of a button. Bonus points for being way faster and cheaper than traditional bank wires. 

    Birthed in the heart of London in 2010, WorldRemit is the brainchild of Ismail Ahmed. Inspired by his personal experience as a foreign student in the UK, Ismail was frustrated with the traditional, complex, and expensive process of sending money back home. So like every great entrepreneur, he decided there’s got to be a better way.

    Together with his co-founders Catherine Wines and Richard Igoe, the WorldRemit platform was crafted to cater to the needs of the global diaspora, promoting digital inclusivity and financial accessibility to people all around the world. Now, WorldRemit is in Canada, providing Canucks and newcomers a quick and inexpensive way to send money abroad.  

    Is WorldRemit a legitimate company?

    For those wondering, “Is WorldRemit just another online scam?” You can breathe easy. WorldRemit in Canada is a legitimate business. The company operates in over 130 countries, boasting almost 6 million customers globally. They are registered with and regulated by some of the world’s leading financial authorities including FINTRAC, Canada’s federal regulator.

    How does WorldRemit in Canada work?

    Imagine sending money overseas faster than trying to decide what to watch on Netflix. That’s WorldRemit Canada for you. Just sign up, choose your destination country, enter the recipient’s details, decide on the amount to send, and boom – the transaction is initiated. It’s a swift, no-hassle process. Money can be sent to bank accounts, as a cash pickup, to mobile wallets, and even as a mobile airtime top-up. And you can do it all from your couch (while watching Star Trek!).

    How much does WorldRemit Canada cost?

    The cost of using WorldRemit is as diverse as its global users. Rates vary based on the amount of money you’re sending, the destination country, and the type of transfer. However, compared to traditional bank wires and some other money transfer services, WorldRemit tends to be a more affordable option. Make sure to check their fees and exchange rates before making a transfer.

    Exchange rates & fees

    Every transfer you send abroad is subject to an exchange rate. Say you want to send money from Canada to England through WorldRemit. Your Canadian dollars (CAD) need to be converted into Great British Pounds (GBP) for your recipient. Now, if you went to the bank or checked online, you’d see that for 1 Canadian dollar, you’d get a certain amount of British pounds.

    But here’s the catch: banks and money transfer companies like WorldRemit aren’t giving you the best deal, they’re giving you a slightly less amount of pounds for your dollars. The best deal you could possibly get is called the “mid-market rate”. But nobody gets that, and here’s why.

    The mid-market rate is what the big banks use when they exchange money between themselves, kind of like the “wholesale price” at Costco where they sell things cheaper in bulk. But you’re never going to get the mid-market rate, because banks and money transfer businesses need to make a profit on the services they provide – otherwise, they couldn’t stay in business to provide those services. 

    So they charge a markup that can range anywhere between 1-3% above the mid-market rate. Then, on top of that markup, they charge an additional transfer fee to actually move your money around the world.

    So you will always pay two fees:

    1. An exchange rate to convert your Canadian dollars into the recipient’s local currency 
    2. A transfer fee to physically send the money to your recipient

    Here’s an example

    A good friend of mine is from Zambia. She and her husband decided to move back there for the winter. As a coffee snob, I know that Zambian coffee is exploding in popularity and I’m dying to try it straight from the source. So I need to send $100 to my friend in Zambia so she can buy some coffee beans and bring them back to Canada for me.

    According to the mid-market rate on xe.com, $100 CAD converts into $1,437.3123 Zambian Kwacha (ZMW). 

    But remember, WorldRemit in Canada charges a slight markup above the mid-market rate, which means my $100 CAD will actually convert into just $1,346.62 (ZMW). And the fee for a mobile money transfer is $1.99 CAD. 

    Payment methods for WorldRemit in Canada

    You can pay for your transfer using a variety of methods including bank deposit, debit card, and credit card. Choose the option that fits you best, and with a few taps, your transfer is ready to trek off to its destination.

    Bank Deposit

    This method lets you pay straight from your bank account, with no sneaky or additional charges tagged on by WorldRemit Canada. The total amount you need to pay is shown when you set up the transaction.

    The exception: If your bank usually slaps a fee on you for bank transfers, this charge will vary based on the bank – it is not imposed by WorldRemit. Also, the payment needs to come from your own bank account, not anyone else’s. As a company under financial regulation, WorldRemit needs to know who their customers are, and that includes knowing where their payment funds are coming from. 

    Debit Card

    Most kinds of debit cards are welcomed by WorldRemit Canada. Typically, when you pay with a debit card, no additional charges pop up beyond what’s specified when you make the payment.

    The exception: If you’re using a card issued from a different country than where your WorldRemit account is registered (like using a card from Canada while your account is in the US), your card issuer might tack on a foreign exchange fee. This potential fee would depend on your specific card agreement and is not a charge from WorldRemit.

    Credit Card & Prepaid Card

    WorldRemit Canada accepts most kinds of Visa or Mastercard-issued credit cards and prepaid credit cards. Generally, when you pay by credit card, there aren’t any extra charges levied by WorldRemit Canada apart from what’s disclosed when you make the payment.

    The exception: Some credit card providers might impose a fee since the transaction is considered a cash advance. The amount of the fee depends on your individual card’s terms and conditions and isn’t a fee applied by WorldRemit Canada. 

    Cash advances on credit cards are usually subject to a higher interest rate, and the interest-free grace period does not apply. That means the transaction starts accumulating interest right away.

    WorldRemit in Canada does not accept the following credit cards:

    • American Express (Amex)
    • Diner’s Card
    • Union Pay 

    How long do transfers take from WorldRemit in Canada?

    With WorldRemit in Canada, the waiting game is almost non-existent. Many transfers are instant or take just a couple of minutes, although some might take a bit longer depending on the destination and type of transfer. Bank transfers, for example, can take up to 2 business days while mobile money transfers are instant.

    The four different delivery methods

    Think of these delivery methods like different types of vehicles, each with its own unique features and purpose, ready to transport your funds across the world. Here’s a closer look at the quartet that makes WorldRemit money transfers a breeze for your recipient:

    Airtime Top Up 

    Time: usually instant

    This is basically gifting talk time or data directly to someone’s pre-paid mobile phone plan – but from abroad! Select the recipient’s country and phone number, choose the amount you want to send, and voila! The recipient’s phone balance gets an instant boost.

    Bank Transfer

    Time: 1-2 business days

    The classic choice, this method involves transferring money directly into the recipient’s bank account. To find out if you can use this method, visit the WorldRemit Canada website or app and click on your recipient’s country. 

    Once you’ve provided the necessary banking details and confirmed the transfer, the funds will travel through a global banking network and deposit directly into the recipient’s account. For this method, you need to provide the following information about your recipient:

    • Name
    • Address 
    • Phone number
    • Bank name
    • International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
    • Bank Identifier Code (BIC)/SWIFT code

    Cash Pick Up

    Time: usually instant

    This method is ideal for recipients without bank access. Cash Pick Up allows your recipient to physically pick up their money from a designated location. You send the amount and the recipient gets a notification or a code they’ll need to present at the pick-up point to collect their cash. The recipient will also need to present:

    • Photo ID that exactly matches the information provided by the sender
    • Reference number, received via SMS

    Mobile Money (Digital Wallet)

    Time: instant

    A gem in the digital age, this method lets you send money directly to a recipient’s mobile money account. Sometimes their mobile money account number is the same as their mobile phone number, but not always.

    Before choosing this method, you need to confirm the recipient’s correct mobile money account number. Then, you make the transfer and the recipient gets a digital notification saying they’ve received funds – no bank or cash collection necessary.

    How to send money from WorldRemit in Canada

    Just like Kirk’s Voyage Home, every journey requires some planning and prep. Moving money abroad is no different. Here’s how to send money through WorldRemit in just a few simple steps: 

    Step 1: Sign Up

    Visit the WorldRemit Canada website or app to create an account– your portal to global money teleportation. Fill in your personal details, email, and create a secure password.

    Step 2: Choose Your Destination

    Once you’re in, it’s time to choose a destination. Select the country where your money is going. Whether it’s a friend in Fiji or a cousin in Cameroon, WorldRemit’s got you covered.

    Step 3: Select the Delivery Method

    Now, decide how your recipient should receive their money. Will it be a classic bank deposit? Or perhaps a techy mobile wallet transfer? Maybe you want to kick it old-school with a cash pickup? Choose the delivery method that best suits the person receiving the money.

    Step 4: Enter the Recipient’s Details

    Next, enter details about the person you’re sending money to. Make sure you’ve got the right info because we wouldn’t want your money taking a wrong turn and getting lost in Deep Space Nine. The specific details you enter will depend on the delivery method you’ve chosen. 

    Step 5: Enter the Amount to Send

    Time to decide exactly how much cash you’re transferring. Remember, the exchange rate and fee will depend on the amount you’re sending, how you’re sending it, and the country it’s going to. You’ll need to do some quick math to ensure everything adds up.

    Step 6: Review, Confirm, and Pay the Fee

    Before your money defies the space-time continuum, make sure you review the details. Once you’re sure everything’s in order, the information is correct, and you’re ok with the transfer fee, hit “Send”. There you have it! Your money is on its way, hurdling through cyberspace to its destination.

    Step 7: Keep Track

    WorldRemit isn’t just about sending, it’s about staying in the loop too. Track your money’s journey with updates and notifications. You can sit back, relax, and watch as your money makes its epic journey across borders. Share the tracking number with your recipient so they know when to expect their windfall.

    How to receive money from WorldRemit in Canada

    Now, let’s flip the coin and look at the equally thrilling side of this space flight – receiving money through WorldRemit. Just like parallel parking or landing the USS Enterprise, there’s a knack to getting it just right.

    Step 1: Communicate With the Sender

    Your first step is to confirm the transfer method and when the money will be sent. Then once your sender initiates the transaction, sit tight and prepare for the arrival of your money. With WorldRemit, you won’t be waiting long.

    Step 2: Prepare for Arrival

    Now, based on the transfer method chosen by the sender, such as a bank transfer, mobile wallet, or cash pickup, ensure you are ready to receive. If it’s a bank transfer, keep an eye on your account.

    For a mobile wallet, make sure your account is active and ready for a top-up. And if it’s a cash pickup, make sure you’re available to step out and grab your funds.

    Step 3: Ding! You’ve Got Money

    The sweetest notification of all. Once the money arrives, you’ll get a notification. It’s like opening a digital present, isn’t it? Enjoy the moment!

    Step 4: Verification for Cash Pickup

    If you’re collecting cash, you will need to show proof of identification and/or a transaction number at the collection point. It’s a bit like a secret password to the vault. Make sure you have all the necessary details with you before heading to the pick-up location. 

    Step 5: Enjoy Your Funds

    You’ve made it! The funds are now safely in your hands, on your phone, or tucked neatly into your bank account. Whether it’s for a celebration, an investment, or simply making ends meet, the money is yours to use.

    What countries can you send money to with WorldRemit in Canada?

    Oh, Canada! Your options are vast with WorldRemit. As a Canadian user, you can send money to over 130 countries, spanning all corners of the globe – from Australia to Zambia and many places in between.

    What currencies are supported by Worldremit?

    WorldRemit is a true reflection of a globalized world supporting a wide variety of currencies. At the time of writing, WorldRemit Canada supports over 70 currencies. For the most accurate and updated list of supported currencies, it’s best to check their website or app.

    Here are some of the most popular:

    What are the pros & cons of WorldRemit in Canada?

    As with everything, WorldRemit comes with its own set of ups and downs.

    ProsCons
    Accessibility: Can send transfers anytime via desktop and mobile app. Rates are not always competitive: Other money transfer sites, like Wise and Western Union, tend to charge a lower exchange rate.
    User-friendly Website: Account creation is swift and easy. Assistance is available via phone, email, live chat and a FAQ section. Varying Fee Structure: While base fees range from $1.99-$5.99, actual fees can fluctuate based on factors like destination country, how you pay, and delivery method. Bigger transfers tend to incur higher fees.
    Fast Transfer Speed: Some transfers such as cash pickup, mobile money transfers, and airtime top-ups are processed nearly instantly. Transfer methods vary: Not all transfer methods are available in every country
    Easy Transfer Options: Accepts payments via bank transfer, debit, credit, and prepaid card. Maximum Transfer Limits: Canada transfers are capped at $40,000 CAD per 24-hour period and $4,000 CAD per transaction.
    Four Delivery Methods: Supports bank transfers, cash pickups, mobile money, and Airtime top-ups.
    Lots of Supported Countries: Enables customers from over 50 countries to send funds to recipients in more than 130 countries.
    Lots of supported Currencies: Enables users to send funds in over 70 different currencies
    No Minimum Transfer: Easy to make small transfers due to a flexible fee structure and no minimum transfer limit.

    Is WorldRemit in Canada safe to use?

    Your hard-earned money deserves the best security, and WorldRemit understands that. The platform uses top-notch technology to protect your transactions and personal data. 

    It’s also regulated by significant financial authorities worldwide, ensuring adherence to international money transfer rules and regulations. Registered as a Money Services Business, WorldRemit Canada is authorized and regulated by: 

    • Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)
      Registration number for eastern provinces: M19255682
      Registration number for western provinces: M19043501
      Registration number for Quebec: M11556765
    • Autorité des marchés financiers
      Registration number: 900044

    Is WorldRemit worth it?

    Deciding on the “best value” for international money transfers can be quite subjective as it depends largely on your individual needs, how much money you need to send, the urgency of the transfer, the fees involved, and overall convenience. Let’s compare three different global money transfer companies:

    WorldRemitWiseWestern Union
    Exchange Rate
    $1 CAD =
    13.46 ZMW14.48 ZMW14.04 ZMW
    Transfer Fee$1.99$6.02Free
    Transfer Time10 min or less Unknown. Transfers to Zambia no longer supported7-10 business days
    Transfer MethodMobile Money Transfer
    (Mobile Wallet)
    Unknown. Transfers to Zambia no longer supported.Mobile Wallet
    Destination Countries130+50+200+
    Supported Currencies70+50+130+
    Maximum amount per transfer$1,000* 9,500 CAD per day and 30,000 CAD weekly by direct debit.
    * Up to 3,000 CAD per transfer by debit or credit card.
    * Up to 1.5 million CAD by online bill payment and wire transfer.
    * Up to 25,000 CAD by eTransfer.
    $999

    WorldRemit: Unfortunately, this company had the worst exchange rate. But given its low transfer fees and swift delivery time, WorldRemit appears to be the best option for relatively small, frequent transfers. The upper limit of $1,000 CAD per transfer does restrict larger transactions, but for regular, smaller amounts, WorldRemit would likely be the most cost-effective and efficient option.

    Wise: Although Wise has the best exchange rate and allows for significant transfer amounts, they recently discontinued transfers to Zambia. Therefore, I could not choose a specific delivery method to get an accurate fee and delivery time. I only had access to an estimated fee. Coupled with their higher transfer fees makes it a non-starter in this specific scenario. However, for transfers to other supported countries, especially for larger amounts due to its competitive exchange rates, Wise could be a good choice.

    Western Union: With the most extensive global reach (over 200 countries and 130 currencies), Western Union is a solid option for sending money to countries less frequently served by other providers. However, the 7-10 business day transfer time and the lowest limit of $999 per transfer can be inconvenient.

    WorldRemit in Canada – the verdict

    If you frequently send smaller amounts of money and need the transfer to be extremely fast, WorldRemit is likely your best option. For larger amounts, and if you have the luxury of a slower transfer process, Western Union’s global reach makes it a reliable choice. However, if Wise reinstates its service to Zambia, its competitive exchange rates and high transfer limits may make it an attractive option, particularly for larger amounts. However, their competitive exchange rate is offset by their high transfer fees.

    FAQs about WorldRemit in Canada

    Does WorldRemit work in Canada?

    Yes, WorldRemit works in Canada, allowing Canadians to send money to countless countries across the globe, often within minutes!

    Is WorldRemit safe?

    Absolutely! WorldRemit is a secure platform that uses advanced technology to protect your money and personal details. In Canada, WorldRemit is registered as a Money Service Business with FINTRAC and the Autorité des marchés financiers.

    Is WorldRemit legit?

    Yes, WorldRemit is a legitimate company that is regulated by many financial authorities worldwide, including FINTRAC in Canada.

    Can I cancel my WorldRemit transaction?

    Yes, you can cancel a WorldRemit transaction provided it hasn’t been completed or picked up by the recipient. You’ll need to contact WorldRemit’s customer service for assistance. You can do this online or through the app by selecting the transfer you want to cancel and pressing ‘Request Cancellation.’

    Can I get my money back from WorldRemit?

    Yes, if you cancel a transaction before it is completed, you can request a refund from WorldRemit’s customer service. Refunds can take up to 7 business days depending on how you paid. 

    Can I send money from Nigeria with WorldRemit?

    No, you cannot send money from Nigeria. Currently, only users in Rwanda and South Africa can send money abroad with WorldRemit. 

    Can I use a credit card on WorldRemit?

    Yes, WorldRemit accepts most major credit cards for payment, except American Express.

    Can the receiver track WorldRemit?

    Yes, recipients can track the status of a WorldRemit transfer using a transaction reference number issued when the sender initiates the transaction. 

    Does WorldRemit accept American Express?

    No, WorldRemit does not accept American Express (Amex), Diner’s Card, or Union Pay.

    Does WorldRemit accept debit cards?

    Yes, WorldRemit accepts most types of debit cards for payment.

    Does WorldRemit accept prepaid cards?

    Yes, as long as they are issued by Visa or Mastercard.

    Does WorldRemit work on weekends?

    Yes, WorldRemit operates 24/7, allowing you to send money and contact customer service at any time, including weekends.

    How can I contact WorldRemit?

    You can contact WorldRemit through their website’s “Contact Us” page or through the customer service option in their app. The number for English-speaking Canadians is 1-833-596-0890. The number for French-speaking Canadians is 1-833-719-0499.

    How do I delete my WorldRemit account?

    To delete your WorldRemit account, you will need to contact their customer service and request account deletion.

    How long does a WorldRemit transfer take?

    Transfer times vary based on the method chosen and the destination country. Most transfers are completed within minutes, but some can take up to 2 business days.

    How much does WorldRemit charge to send money?

    WorldRemit’s fees vary based on where and how you’re sending money. You’ll be able to see the exact fees when setting up a transfer in the WorldRemit app or on their website.

    Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.