Innovations in Identity

Online money transfer remittance

Top 12 Ways to Send Money Online

Online money transfer remittanceEvery year, billions of dollars are transferred to various countries – particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America – using remittance services. According to the United Nations, over 231 million people lived outside the country of their birth in 2013, and the World Bank reported that migrants from developing countries sent home $414 billion during the same year. This amount is expected to rise to $540 billion by 2016.

For many years, foreign workers that wanted to send funds back to their families had little choice but to resort to going to banks, post offices, or a limited number of remittance service providers located in physical office buildings. Today, there are numerous options available to anyone who wants to send money anywhere in the world, in person or online.

What are the world’s top money transfer service providers? Here are 12 of the most popular and up-and-coming online payment services, in no particular order:



PayPal – mainly associated with providing payments for its parent company, eBay – was originally founded in 1998 as a provider of fund transfers for Palm Pilot users. Therefore, it seems logical that the company has branched out into the world of online remittance. PayPal makes it very easy to send money to someone using either the recipient’s email address or mobile phone number. It offers the ability to transfer funds to almost anyone in the world with competitive service fees.


Western Union

What originally began in 1851 as a telegraph company has become perhaps one of the best-known name brand names for money transfer. In addition to offering services over traditional service counters, Western Union also lets customers transfer funds by telephone, mobile phone, online banking, or through their website. Their mobile phone option allows transfers to mobile wallets to emerging markets, including Kenya’s M-Pesa.


Amazon Payments

Amazon, a well-known eCommerce company that started as an online bookstore, offers Amazon Payments to leverage its already large customer base and offer online and mobile payment services for online retailers. Its solution bears a strong resemblance to PayPal, as Amazon Payments also allows users to pay without having to re-enter payment and shipping information already stored by Amazon. Currently, Amazon Payments is only available in the US, the UK, India, and Germany.


Google Wallet

Google’s mobile payment solution, Google Wallet, allows users to send or request money via Gmail. Any money received and stored in the Google Wallet can be spent immediately or withdrawn from an ATM using the Google Wallet card. The funds can also be spent by using an Android phone to tap and pay at a participating store, spent online, transferred to the owner’s bank account or to someone else.



MoneyGram International’s history dates back to 1940, when it began with money order processing and electronic payments. MoneyGram is now the world’s second-largest money transfer company with over 347,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries. In Canada, MoneyGram has partnered with Canada Post to provide money transfer and bill payment services from Canadian postal outlets.



Beginning operation in 2000, Hyperwallet is a Canadian online global money transfer service company based in Vancouver. It offers international money transfers from Canada to 28 countries and email money transfers to Canadian and US recipients as well as foreign exchange, mass business payments, and mobile airtime transfer. Hyperwallet is also a trusted payment provider to over 200 credit unions since 2000, providing members with easy access to money transfer services through their credit union accounts.



WorldRemit was created in 2010 in the UK when its founder sought to shake up the remittance industry by improving service to customers by providing more convenient options for money transfer along with lower fees. It is an online money transfer service available to senders in 50 countries and offers transfers to over 110 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas.



Xoom, founded in 2001, is an online international money transfer service based in San Francisco that allows users to send money to friends and family in 30 countries from the US using their computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Recipients can receive funds by traditional bank transfer, electronically, or through select money transfer partners. The company began being traded publicly in early 2013.



Venmo began in 2009 as a startup created by two students at the University of Pennsylvania to build PayPal alternative that would be more appealing to the younger market. They were bought by Braintree in 2012, which was then acquired by eBay last year. Venmo combines a basic social media platform along with an easy-to-use interface. Currently, this service is only available in the US.



TransferWise, another UK-based online remittance company, was founded in 2011 by two Estonian ex-patriates living and working in the UK. It is vying to be a major disruptive force in the British remittance industry by charging considerably lower fees than most major remittance companies. TransferWise’s service is currently available in Western Europe, the US, and India.



S-Money, a new money transfer service from French banking group Group BPCE, was launched on Twitter in mid-October that allows French Twitter users to send money to each other using tweets. Some have expressed concerns about the public nature of transactions, since they are done using normal tweets. However, no sensitive information is ever disclosed through Twitter, so the concern would lie more with the public being able to read the transactions that have occurred. Since this is relatively similar to Venmo, this may not be a problem for those who choose to use this service.


Facebook Messenger

Rumors have been circulating on the Internet since early October that a new person-to-person money transfer feature will be added to Facebook Messenger. However, Canadian bank RBC Royal Bank has already rolled out a service using Facebook. Rather than using Facebook directly, RBC Royal Bank integrates with the social media platform using its own apps, allowing users to send funds to Facebook friends, who will then be notified by Messenger.

UPDATE: On March 17, 2015, Facebook announced that is indeed launching a payment service using its Messenger app, starting with the U.S.


In a blog post written earlier this year by World Bank economist Nikola Spatafora, foreign workers transferred more than $410 billion in 2013 to their home countries, more than three times the amount of official development assistance sent to those same nations. Suffice it to say that the remittance industry plays a vital role in the global economy, as the funds sent to families in emerging markets is then spent in those local economies, supporting local merchants and businesses. Thanks to the ingenuity of innovative entrepreneurs and developers, there are now more affordable and efficient options for moving money around the world than ever before.

Competition in this space continues to grow with new and existing companies looking to gain greater market share. As a result, the need for anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) compliance, required by law for all remittance companies, will also increase. GlobalGateway, Trulioo’s online identity verification service, can help remittance companies keep up with the ever-evolving regulatory requirements of the industry.

What do you think the next innovation in remittance will be?

Disclaimer: Trulioo provides no warranty that the information contained in this document is accurate, up to date or complete and in no circumstance does such information constitute legal advice. Any person who intends to rely upon or use the information contained herein in any way is solely responsible for independently verifying the information and obtaining independent expert advice if required.

  • Yakov Kofner

    Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for starting this important discussion. Just to add a bit more insights, the “top” way to send money depends on 2 aspects:
    – person’s preference among cost, speed, and customer service
    – particular transaction: destination country, sending amount, receiving currency (some countries like China or Philippines allow to receive in both local currency and USD), sending and receiving method (bank account, plastic card, cash)

    What makes the best choice even more complicated is that prices, especially FX markups, are fluctuating daily; plus, there are new providers entering the marketplace, but they might not be offering all required options. Finally, each destination has its best providers during this moment and not all providers, except Western Union and MoneyGram, serve all destinations.

    We built this simple tool that compares across providers and tries predicting the least expensive one on a daily basis:

    February 19, 2015 at 10:33 am Reply
  • Deepika@bankingdb

    Great information. Thanks for sharing.Sending money online, whether you’re splitting the check at lunch, paying your share of the bills, or buying something via Craigslist, is easier now than it’s ever been.

    September 10, 2015 at 4:55 am Reply
  • Sabina

    Great info thanks for the details! Will defo use one in the near future.

    April 12, 2016 at 6:41 pm Reply
  • Carol L. Jamieson

    How does the person in the country receiving the money have access to the money? What if they don’t have a bank account? Can they get the money through their cell service in Bangkok, Thailand?

    September 8, 2016 at 8:12 am Reply
    • lisa godfrey

      hi carol – i had the same Q re: How does the person in the country receiving the money have access to the money? What if they don’t have a bank account

      did u get an answer? if so – kindly share with me



      October 23, 2016 at 11:14 am Reply
  • Dawn Gribble

    Online money transfer has now become an integral part of everyday life. It is no longer the daunting challenge it once was. The major challenge now is to figure out which option to choose from based on what your needs are. There are a few points that you’ll need to consider before you decide on the best transfer option for you.
    Check out this article that discusses what those questions are

    October 14, 2016 at 10:50 am Reply
  • Sapna Kumari

    Thanks for sharing in this article!! Nice information related to send money online to bank accounts…..

    April 6, 2017 at 2:40 am Reply
  • app for transferring money

    The fact of being able to make transfers by Internet is a great advance. Is a fast and fast way to send money or make payments online without having to move.

    July 6, 2017 at 1:47 am Reply
  • Robert Israch

    You should consider adding Tipalti to this post. Tipalti is used by hundreds of companies including Amazon, Twitter, Houzz, GoPro, GoDaddy, Roku, Zumba to send mass payments to 190+ countries in 120+ currencies while decreasing payment errors, fraud, tax and regulatory risk.

    August 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm Reply
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