Most Popular Money Transfer Companies Worldwide

Money transfer companies (also known as money transfer providers or specialists and sometimes as international payment companies) play an integral role in today’s global economy, facilitating the movement of funds in all manner of currencies, across international borders for individuals, businesses, and other entities.

Money transfer companies specialise in remittances, business payments, and currency conversion and have earned their place in today’s busy competitive financial services market by providing a more efficient and cost-effective service than that offered by traditional banks. In this post we will offer up an in-depth look at how many transfers work, why banks are often the worst possible way to handle them and then we will finish with a pretty comprehensive list of the top money transfer providers in the world today.

How Many Transfers Work

When somebody instigates a money transfer, funds need to be sent from one country to another and more often than not they need to be converted from one currency into another along the way too. Typically, the money transfer goes process runs something this;

  • The sender instructs his chosen financial services provider to send the money. The sender can either specify how much they want to send in his own currency, or how much they want the recipient to receive in their own currency.
  • The sender’s financial services provider then converts the currency from the sender’s currency into the recipient’s currency.
  • The funds are then sent internationally (usually via the SWIFT system) to the recipient’s bank account.

Why You Should Avoid Using Banks For Money Transfers

As we set out, the process of transferring money internationally involves converting one currency to another and sending the amount to the recipient in another country. But whenever a customer uses their bank to handle a money transfer, the banks charge fees and make profit at every stage of the transaction.

Firstly, the bank will charge their customer a transaction or SWIFT fee. This may be a fixed amount (in the US this ranges from $2.75 – $20) or a percentage of the value of the transfer. Then, when the bank handles the currency conversion, they use a “marked up” foreign exchange rate which favours the bank at the expense of their customer.

These mark-ups and international money transfer fees can significantly inflate the cost of sending or receiving funds. This has led to the rise of specialised money transfer companies who provide more competitive solutions by offering lower fees and better foreign exchange mark ups.

In the next section we will look at some of the best money transfer services in the world today,

Top 10 Best Money Transfer Providers

The money transfer provider market is a vibrant and buoyant one with many different firms competing for business. In this section though, we have picked 10 of the most popular money transfer companies in the world.

Western Union

  • Founded: 1851
  • Based in: Denver, USA
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $82 billion
  • Individual Customers: 150 million

Western Union is a true global giant in money transfers, known for its extensive network of over 550,000 agent locations in 200 countries and 130 currencies. While this accessibility is a major strength, Western Union charges notoriously higher fees and offers less favourable exchange rates compared to online-only services. However in many geo-locations. Western Union is the only viable way to send or receive money.


  • Founded: 1940
  • Based in: Dallas, USA
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $28 billion
  • Individual Customers: 150 million

Dallas based MoneyGram offers both online and in-person services, dealing with 200 countries and dealing in 50 currencies. Its global presence and wide variety of payment methods make MoneyGram a very popular choice. However, some customers may find the fees and exchange rates less competitive for larger transfers.


  • Founded: 2001
  • Based in: London, UK
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $15 billion
  • Individual Customers: 40 million

While not amongst the biggest money transfer companies, Skrill is fast growing. The company provides online money transfer, payment gateway and digital wallet services, handling 40 currencies across 100 countries. While it offers instant transfers to many locations, some users may find its fee structure and customer support less appealing.

Ria Money

  • Founded: 1987
  • Based in: California, USA
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $40 billion
  • Individual Customers: 30 million

Ria’s story dates all the way back to New York in 1987 when they opened as a traditional wire service. The 1990’s saw them spread across the globe and today, they mostly operate online in 160 countries. If Western Union is the grandaddy of money transfers, Ria is the older brother – more mature but less cool.

World Remit

  • Founded: 2010
  • Based in: London, UK
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $15 billion
  • Individual Customers: 8 million

World Remit specialises in online remittances, serving 150 countries in 90 currencies. Its user-friendly app and variety of delivery methods are strong points, but fees may be less competitive for certain currency routes.


  • Founded: 2010
  • Based in: London, UK
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $42 billion
  • Individual Customers: 6 million

Plucky upstart Wise (formerly TransferWise) has fast earned favour among travellers, freelancers and online sellers for its transparent fee structure and real-time exchange rate offerings. With the ability to send money to over 60 countries and deal in 50 currencies, it’s particularly strong for consumer-to-consumer payments. One drawback is that it may not be suitable for business transfers in some regions and Wise’s customer service can be frustrating.


  • Founded: 2005
  • Based in: New York
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $
  • Individual Customers: 5 million

Popular among freelancers, e-traders and online businesses, Payoneer offers cross-border transactions in multiple currencies. It aims to provide a smooth and seamless way to send and receive money internationally. Payoneer operates a similar business model to fin-tech companies like Wise although some users have remarked that its interface is not as efficient.

Xoom (Paypal)

  • Founded: 2001
  • Based in: San Francisco, USA
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $10 billion
  • Individual Customers: 3.2 million

Xoom offers quick and easy international money transfers, with the backing of its parent company, PayPal. Xoom customers appreciate the user-friendly interface and competitive exchange rates. The company deals with over 130 currencies and transfers to 160 countries, but fees can be prohibitively high for smaller transfers.


  • Founded: 2011
  • Based in: Seattle, USA
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $6 billion
  • Individual Customers: 2 million

The smallest money transfer provider on this by far, Remitly is known for its simple and affordable remittance services, covering 85 countries and 10 currencies. Its strength is in serving developing countries with competitive rates, but limited currency options may be a drawback for some users.


  • Founded: 2012
  • Based in: London, UK
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $5 billion
  • Individual Customers: 1.5 million

Azimo’s strength lies in its low-cost remittance services across 200 countries and 60 currencies. While praised for its affordability, some may find the platform less intuitive.


  • Founded: 1962
  • Based in: London, UK
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $35 billion
  • Individual Customers: 1 million

The London transfer giant MoneyCorp is one of largest money transfer companies in the world by far. They offer various forex and payment services to over 190 countries in 120 currencies. Its strength lies in flexibility, with solutions for individuals and businesses alike. However, the fee structure might be less competitive for smaller amount holders.

If you want to know about money transfer companies then these are some great resources to check out;

More Notable Mentions

As we said above, the money transfer specialist space is busy, even maybe a bit crowded and there are far too many different options out there for us to be able to cover them all in a single post. However, here are 4 more money transfer companies that did not quite make our money transfer companies list.

XE Money Transfer

  • Founded: 1993
  • Based in: Ontario
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $115 billion
  • Individual Customers: 150,000

Founded in 1993,  the Canadian company is primarily for providing currency exchange rate information and currency conversion tools on its website.However, they also offer money transfers  in a variety of currencies, often at more favourable exchange rates than traditional banks offer.


  • Founded: 1998
  • Based in: Sydney, Australia
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $100 billion
  • Individual Customers: 1 million

The Australian based OFX offers 24/7 support and competitive rates, dealing in 55 currencies across 190 countries. Though appreciated for large transfers, smaller transfers might encounter higher fees.

Currencies Direct

  • Founded: 1996
  • Based in: London, UK
  • Amount Transferred Annually: $35 billion
  • Individual Customers: 210,000

Currencies Direct offers tailored solutions for individuals and businesses, dealing with 60 currencies and 200 countries. Its zero-fee structure is a notable strength, but limited customer support hours might be a drawback for some international clients.

Currency Brokers

One alternative to using a money transfer provider is to use a currency broker instead. Currency brokers are specialised financial service providers who offer foreign exchange services to both individual and business clients. Unlike traditional banks or money transfer companies, currency brokers focus specifically on the exchange of currencies at competitive rates.

Currency brokers can utilise their leverage to offer and more favourable exchange rates than traditional banks, particularly for large volume transactions. Currency brokers may also provide additional services like forward contracts, allowing clients to lock in an exchange rate for a future date, thereby managing the risks associated with fluctuating currency values. 

For businesses engaged in international trade and individuals with foreign financial interests, currency brokers can be a powerful tool in managing foreign currency exposure and optimising international financial transactions.

Multi Currency Accounts

In recent years, Multi-currency accounts have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional money transfer providers.

A multi-currency account allows users to hold, pay, and receive in various currencies, all within a single account (the different  currencies are held in sub-accounts or ‘pots’).  This means that instead of converting money and sending it across borders with potential losses due to exchange rate fluctuations and transfer fees, users can maintain balances in different currencies and then use the currency as and when they need to.

Having a multi currency account allows users to make payments or conversions between those currencies at favourable times, often getting better exchange rates and lower fees (sometimes even zero fees) when compared to traditional money transfer providers. 

For businesses operating internationally or individuals working, living, or travelling abroad, this flexibility can translate into significant cost savings and convenience.

The following companies from our list of money transfer companies also offer multi-currency accounts:

  • Wise (formerly TransferWise): Offers a multi-currency account known as the Wise Borderless account, which allows holding and converting money in over 50 currencies.
  • MoneyCorp: Provides multi-currency accounts designed for businesses, allowing transactions in various currencies.
  • Skrill: Offers a multi-currency digital wallet that lets users hold and spend in different currencies.
  • Stripe Square: Through its Stripe Atlas platform, offers multi-currency accounts for businesses, making it easier to handle international transactions.

Final Thoughts

The landscape of international money transfers has evolved significantly as more and more companies take more and more customers away from the traditional banks. 

By offering more competitive rates and fees, specialised services, and user-friendly platforms, money transfer companies have created opportunities for cost savings and convenience that far surpass what banks ever provided. 

However, this rich and varied landscape is not without its obstacles. Each provider offers unique strengths and potential drawbacks, (such as limitations on the number of currencies or countries they can deal with) which can make choosing one difficult. Ultimately choosing the best provider comes to individual needs, Western Union offers a broad reach whereas the fintech innovator Wise offers an easy to use interface.

In summary though, the options for managing international monetary dealings have never been more plentiful.