December 28, 2017

How to wire money overseas via an app – easy, fast and at low-cost

by Jens Ischebeck

Speedy International Remittances to Africa and the Middle East

Online money transfer services have revolutionised how to wire money from overseas to loved ones. Bank transfers and money transfer operators were the preferred methods of sending international remittances for a long time. However, the speed and charges associated with sending money to Africa and the Middle East were not particularly favourable, not to mention the exchange rates that factor in every transaction.

Whether you are paying a contractor for renovations back home, clearing your sibling’s school fees or sending money for the holidays, smart apps offer the cheapest way to send money. The services vary from one provider to another, and some applications are more suitable than others.

Why Use Money Transfer Apps

The various web services that are available for overseas workers slash the time it takes for money to reach its destination. These apps offer convenience on multiple levels. With a mobile app, you can send money from anywhere and at any time, meaning you don’t have to take a break from work so that your loved ones can receive their tuition money in time.

The process of how to wire money has become simpler over the years when using online apps. Customers don’t need to spend a lot of time learning how to initiate transactions on the platforms. The apps offer more than one option of funding accounts such as credit/debit cards, bank accounts or mobile wallets.

The reduced costs associated with online money transfer services have fueled the growth of mobile apps. In instances where the recipient doesn’t have to use bank accounts, the service eliminates the various charges that accompany bank transactions like withdrawal fees or travelling to the bank.

How to Choose a Money Transfer App

As you research how to wire money from overseas to Africa and the Middle East, the sheer number of options out there will be overwhelming. The demand for effective currency transfer platforms has increased, and so have the providers. So, how can expats or immigrant workers find the most suitable option of how to wire money?

The first step is to narrow down your choices to the platforms that send money to a specific country. A mobile app may offer the best rates and secure connections but not be accessible in the region where you are sending money. A service that allows banks transfers is a safe bet because it means that you can send money to any account.

Authorisation and regulation by a recognised financial body are fundamental when picking how to wire money to the Middle East and Africa. Most providers operating in Europe will have FCA approval. However, registration with a central bank is sufficient. Always verify licenses by checking the registration number of the transfer service.

Information security is paramount when using an online application. As you send cash to your children or parents across the globe, you want assurances that your data will not be misused. Check the security measures provided by a transfer service before signing up.

The fees charged by a mobile app for international remittances will also determine if it is the best one for you. Typically, fees will include a standing charge and commission, which is usually a percentage. The exact amount will vary from one provider to the next. Compare at least three platforms to see what they offer. Consider deals like fee-free first transactions and ‘refer a friend’ discounts.

Provider suggestions for how to wire money

At, we provide several suggestions of how to wire money to and from regions in Africa and the Middle East. Our choices include:

WorldRemit - more and more well established in the African market, supporting transfers from USA & Canada

• Azimo - the market leader in Africa, strong for European transfers

Wise - leading for remittances to India and Nigeria

CurrencyFair - fast growing peer-to-peer network with very good service, covering many African countries

Payoneer - leading outward remittance provider


A money transfer app that uses the latest technology to improve transactions. WorldRemit covers 140 countries including Angola, Kenya and Ethiopia in Africa, and Armenia, Bahrain and UAE in the Middle East. The platform has a simple user interface, which is one reason it is a top choice when looking for how to wire money online.

Customers have four alternatives for how to wire money using WorldRemit, and these are:

a) Cash pickup – the service has pickup locations in different areas where recipients can go to get their money. The recipient will have to present identification and the transaction reference number to receive the money. Note that not every location where WorldRemit operates will have a cash pickup point, so confirm first before sending money.

b) Bank deposit – you send money directly to the recipient’s bank account, and then an alert is sent via email or text.

c) Mobile money – with this option of how to wire money, you send cash to the recipient’s mobile wallet using their phone number as the account.

d) Airtime top-up – WorldRemit lets you recharge airtime for loved ones in a matter of minutes.

Always check which of the four services are available in your country. Senders in over 50 countries can access WorldRemit.

The sign-up process for how to wire money is simple. Senders are required to set their country from which they are sending money during the sign-up process and their mobile phone number.

Licensing and regulations are critical considerations when picking the best smart apps to send money instantly online. WordRemit is regulated and Authorised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). It has PCI compliance in line with the security standards council, which makes it a trusted online service provider.

The fees charged for money transfer services are shown upfront so that customers don’t have to fret over hidden charges. Money transfers arrive instantly if there is no delay in the payment. Bank transfers can delay slightly, depending on the bank used.

WorldRemit asks for the mobile number and email address of both the sender and receiver to send notifications once transfers are complete. A physical address is not asked for, not needed.

Click here to get your first Worldremit money transfer for free!


Azimo is certified by TÜV from Germany to ensure that the platform protects customer data. Its Visa and MasterCard verification contributes to the legitimacy of the money transfer service. Azimo is FCA authorised with coverage of over 195 countries, including several in the Middle East and Africa. You can access Azimo if you are in the Eurozone, the UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

The provider offers several delivery methods that senders can select when making transactions, and these are:

a) SWIFT – an international payment network that allows you to send money to a bank account. Only selected banks have SWIFT services, so verify before using this option.

b) Home delivery – the money transfer service takes the money to a particular address once the transactions are complete. However, the home delivery service is limited to specific regions.

c) Mobile top-up, Mobile wallet, Cash pickups and direct-to-bank are other alternatives available to Azimo customers.

One way to spend less with Azimo when looking for how to wire money online is the fee-free first transfer. When you download the application, the first transaction doesn’t cost you anything. You get to evaluate the functionality of the platform without incurring service charges. If you don’t have a smartphone, the website version is easily accessible from a desktop or laptop.

The transfer tracking capabilities of Azimo apps let you keep an eye on all transactions from your account. Customers should expect regulatory checks for all transactions, which is one way that the provider guarantees secure currency transfers.

Click here to get your first Azimo money transfer for free!


Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) uses the mid-market rate when sending money from abroad, which makes it relatively cheaper than banks, which set their own rates. However, the rate is only guaranteed if the sender pays the money within 48 hours. Regular customers can sign up for rate alerts to their emails to take advantage of the best prices.

Customers can sign in to their Wise accounts through Google, Facebook or email. Such convenience saves you from having to remember your account password every time you want to send money. The money transfer services ensure credibility by verifying every account so users should provide accurate personal information.

If your transactions are business-related, the borderless account is an excellent way to send money online instantly. The account offers multi-currency capabilities- you manage 28 currencies on one platform. Customers get 4 different international bank details, which are the EUR, AUD, USD and GBP. A borderless account allows you to send money to over 50 countries, including several in Africa. The only charges incurred are for the conversion to different currencies; no monthly or receiving fees apply.

Wise has recently made it possible to fund accounts using Apple Pay, which simplifies how to wire money from your bank account or credit card. The smart money app can only send money to local bank accounts, so ensure that your recipients know that. Wise is a bank account to bank account service, no cash or cheques.

Because Wise sends to bank accounts, it operates during regular banking hours. Therefore, consider this when deciding how to wire money to loved ones. The service is suitable for customers sending to Africa. You can look up the supported currencies to see if your country receives Wise services.

Wise is the leading provider for inward remittances to India! UK - India is one of the biggest remittance corridors worldwide.

Click here to get your first Wise money transfer for free!


CurrencyFair has iOS and Android native apps that customers can use to send money online instantly. The average transaction time for CurrencyFair transfer is 24 to 48 hours.

The 0.4% average commission charged by CurrencyFair contributes to how much it costs to wire money back home. There is a fixed €3 or currency equivalent transfer fee. Depositing money into your CurrencyFair account is free but your bank may charge for the transaction. The money app provides live rates so you can keep up with the pricing.

The setup process for a CurrencyFair account is only a few minutes long. You only have to signup, input the amount being set and wait for the transaction. Because it is a financially regulated service – by the Central Bank of Ireland – customers have to undergo electronic verification. CurrencyFair can ask for copies of your documents like ID and proof of address when necessary.

CurrencyFair keeps client money in segregated accounts, which increases the security of your account. It means that an independent financial institution is responsible for guarding the money in your customer account. 2-factor authentication ensures that user information remains protected during transactions. The service provider also verifies all changes in personal data before implementing them.

Customers get access to a history of past actions, which helps to monitor your account activities. The in-built customer support on CurrencyFair mobile apps ensures that clients get assistance on how to wire money. Besides currency transfer, you can opt to save money using CurrencyFair.

The transfer service has partnered with international banks, which allow it to transfer money seamlessly between institutions. Expatriate with small businesses abroad can use this network of banks to collect and make payments.

Click here to get your first CurrencyFair money transfer for free!


Payoneer has grown into one of the biggest cross-border money transfer services in the world. Its low fees and fast transactions rival most of the online services available on the marketplace. The US-based provider has an uncomplicated platform that takes the hassle out of sending money from abroad. It also presents the ideal solution when looking for how to wire money in bulk. Say you have several recipients with different accounts across regions. Payoneer lets you transfer cash en masse, saving you time.

With your Payoneer account, you can send money to Africa and the Middle East, into another Payoneer account, a bank account or prepaid MasterCard debit card. The global currency transfer service has a bank network that allows it to provide services in more than 150 currencies, to customers across 200 countries.

Payoneer has multi-jurisdictional licenses to guarantee compliance in various parts of the world. A clear electronic disclosure policy is provided for clients so they can understand the permissions being granted to the online service. Payoneer is PCI compliant as well, guaranteeing a secure platform that safeguards customer data.

Opening an account is free, and if the transaction is from one Payoneer customer to another, then it is free. The transfer service offers you a choice of withdrawing money in the same currency or a local one. When withdrawing in the same currency a fee of 1.50 USD/EUR/GBP applies.

The options for how to wire money online are limitless given the increasing number of platforms entering the market. Whether you are an immigrant worker or expatriate sending money to Africa and the Middle East, the above smart apps present fast, secure and cheap alternatives.

Click her to earn your Payoneer Refer a friend bonus!

For further information, check our detailed descriptions of the money transfer service providers: 

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