Money Transfer Companies: Circumventing International Bank Payments Since 1979


Money transfer operators, as the name implies, are basically financial companies that, besides banks, act as facilitators of international payment transactions.Most of the named money transfer companies transact either through their own internal system or by using any other cross-border banking network.

Though the exchange of services and goods is as old as civilization itself, it was only in the 19th century when the first monetized telegram was sent. Methods may have changed since then, but wire transfer has always remained the most successful model of sending money across the globe.

The internet brought us new payment solutions, facilitating currency exchange convenience and high delivery speed. As a result, several private financial institutions proliferated by offering a better service as compared to the highly expensive and slow banking environment.

Remittance Market Companies leaders

The rapid expansion in the fintech and global payments market has been capitalized upon profitably by several remittance market leaders. The nuance of privacy and transparency provided by transacting using only a smartphone has caught the fancy of modern money senders and this has further increased the utilization of these remittance services.

The importance of money transfer companies is growing at a rapid pace, both for small businesses and major international investors. Based on the needs of the individual, the following leading money transfer companies are good for affordable and specialized transfers.

Western Union: 

Without doubt, this is one of the oldest money transfer providers but not necessarily the most popular. Still, its strength cannot be underlined as for most migrant workers, Western Union is their only hope.

The company supports as many as 145 different currencies and offers remittances in hard cash, even in the remotest of towns and villages in over 200 countries. This is made possible because of an unmatched network of pickup and delivery offices worldwide, even in such places where traditional banks don’t exist.

That said, though the company is trustworthy, its transfer rates are the highest in the industry. But since they have been operating since 1851 they have cornered a sizable share of the money transfer market.

Recently it grabbed the attention of the financial institution world when it announced a tie-up with the leading digital wallet service Saudi Telecom Company, or STC Pay, for $200m and 15% ownership.

Since STC plans to extend beyond Saudi Arabia, Hikmet Ersek, CEO Western Union, foresees a strong potential for growth in Saudi Arabia and the additional surrounding markets as well.

TransferWise now Wise:

With growth of $1.5 billion in 2020 alone, TransferWise is the biggest among the new money transfer companies which have entered the market. Because of its fixed currency exchange rate and a minimum transfer amount of $1, TransferWise offers the cheapest International transfer rate, ideal for small amounts.

TransferWise is highly secure and regulated by many financial authorities. Its transparent pricing and user-friendly mobile app have gained a lot of customer satisfaction.TransferWise business customers can now connect their accounts with QuickBooks, the most asked for integrated accounting tool.

Considering its unmatched rates and rising popularity, TransferWise is expected to increase its global reach significantly in coming years to bring it on par with other competitors and ultimately become the #1 money transfer operator in the world.

It is widely expected in the market that TransferWise will be launching a $5 billion initial public offer(IPO) in 2021, spearheaded by Wall Street’s two biggest players, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.


Founded in 1940, MoneyGram is another reputed company in the money transfer industry that has continued to grow, despite the recent global economic crises. 

Though its charges are a bit on the higher side,(can reach10% in remote countries like Ethiopia) the wide global reach and cash pick-ups in over 58 currencies have made it one of the leading international money transfer companies.

There is no minimum transfer fee, which makes MoneyGram well-suited for small amounts. Since it is regulated by many financial authorities, including FCA, you can be sure your money is 100% secure, if not slightly expensive.

In March 2021, MoneyGram launched a new business line ‘MoneyGram as a Service’, to allow other companies to connect with its money transfer network through some of the best technology available.

This new venture should represent a wonderful opportunity for MoneyGram to grow as its market is estimated to rise to  $17 billion in 2024 with a CAGR of around 24% over the three-year period.


Supporting 79 currencies across 131 countries, Xoom, a PayPal service, has carved a niche for itself as a great money transfer provider for remittances, no matter how small. Cheaper charges and a user-friendly mobile app adds to its popularity.

Initially Xoom only operated in the USA and Canada, but even within these two countries it had become popular with those wanting to make small personal transfers. The service is extremely fast and reasonable, but the charge increases with the transfer amount.

This makes Xoom very good for small remittances, but not for large business or investment transfers. However, Xoom allows its US customers to send up to $50,000 in a single transaction to over 30 countries around the world.

Together, PayPal and Xoom are expanding and improving financial participation for billions of prospective customers worldwide. After it launched its services in Europe, the rollout will help in grabbing a major chunk of the billion-dollar remittances market by building upon its earlier services from the United States and Canada.


With headquarters in London, United Kingdom, Azimo offers online money transfers in 80 currencies to 190 countries. The company excels in fast and secure transfers, with unique stress on cost-cutting charges to remit money over its platform.

Azimo looks to challenge banks and other financial institutions with low fees and delivery times ranging from fast to instant for countries like Thailand and China.

As a leading fintech company, Azimo services are soon intended to reach Canada, with all new customers to get first two transfers free once they begin using the service. Additionally, CEO Richard Ambrose wants to reduce the average remittance cost of 5% from Canada which is seen as exceedingly high.


WorldRemit is another leading UK company, founded in 2010 by Ismail Ahmed, which allows you to send money online through a smartphone, computer or their app. Some of the reasons why WorldRemit is great at:

  • Cash pickup available in 70 countries.
  • No minimum amount limit.
  • Direct to mobile wallet services in 22 countries
  • 24×7 customer support in 20 countries.
  • Competitive rates.

WorldRemit has partnered with Mukuru, a prominent fintech company based in Africa to further expand its services to Southern Africa. As of March 2021 WorldRemit is mulling taking its $1.5 billion listings to the US by merging with an unnamed special purpose acquisition company before they go public.

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