Currency Transfer: An introduction for Africa
Online currency transfer to African countries is usually an extremely expensive exchange, some companies greedily shave a few dollars off your return. It can be ridiculously hard on your wallet, that's why selecting a fair currency exchanger is so important.
You can save a ton of money and ensure you're not getting screwed over by a money-hungry company, a little research is all that's needed.
There are a wide number of exchange companies specialising in African and Middle East countries, so there's bound to be some bad eggs as well as good ones in the wonderful basket of online currency transfer.
It's hard being an immigrant in a country and trying to understand its currency system but using the right currency exchange platforms, you can save a good deal of money.
I have these golden gooses underneath my wing and am glad to provide you with five of the best online currency transfer companies within the industry.
Currency Transfer by TransferWise
We begin with Transfer Wise, a currency exchanger who are known for their simple process of transferring one currency to another, specifically South African currency.
The method of transferring money with Transfer Wise is self-explanatory, you sign up for an account, select how much and where you want to transfer the currency to. You can use either bank transfer or credit card, there's no limits to Transfer Wise.
Transfer Wise has some of the fairest rates on the market, this is the "real rate" according to them. To be fair, this is completely justified as the rates are very reasonable and inexpensive compared to many other platforms. Transfer Wise doesn't sneak in surcharges or charges in general to their conversions.
South African currency rates is one of the best things about Transfer Wise as they offer a very competitive rate for the ZAR currency.
South Africa is the only country within the African continent that Transfer Wise transfer to but the ZAR currency can be used in other countries within the continent like Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
Transfer Wise is commonly regulated by the Financial Commission Authorities. Whilst a 1 EURO to USD conversion may be high at Transfer Wise, it's not that way for all currencies as conversion to and from ZAR currency costs a very reasonable rate.
Don't believe us? Numerous people have vouched for Transfer Wise's services.
1. Jake Brewer (on Twitter as @jakefbrewer) said he was impressed with the speed in which his money was sent to South Africa as well as the simplicity of the whole process.
2. Jan Leidecker (on Twitter as @jan_leidecker) was also surprised by the speed, noting that it took a mere two hours for her money to be transferred to South Africa.
3. Stefan Richter (on Twitter as @stefanrichter) also had positive things to say about Transfer Wise, saying he saved hundreds of pounds just by using the service.
4. Amy Hart (on Twitter as @amelialaurenh) perhaps had the stamp of quality by saying it was the best way of sending money while living abroad.
In addition to its wonderful support for South Africa, Transfer Wise's services expand to the Middle East with excellent rates for those converting to United Arab Emirates' dirham currency. Transfer Wise has you covered on all fronts, proving why it's one best exchange platforms on the web.
Currency Transfer by CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair is the less known competitor of TransferWise, but it supports much more countries in Africa. CurrencyFair is a great option for online currency transfer as well as traditional brokering services like Western Union.
CurrencyFair was once commended by reputable magazine "Financial Times" for enabling customers to gain a better deal through individual buyers of currency rather than banks and the use of SMEs for customers to access rates that were previously only available to major corporate banks.
International money transfer is a breeze with CurrencyFair's app and a wide range of countries within Africa and the Middle East. Some of these are Bahrain, Botswana, Bahamas, Cameroon, Cyprus, Israel, Madagascar, Qatar and many more listed on the official site.
You can also use transfer money from your mobile phone by using the convenient CurrencyFair app.
As for exchange rates, CurrencyFair is very generous with its rates as only a meagre 0.25% - 0.3% is charged from the total sum. If there are no competitive rates for your needed exchange, CurrencyFair will match it with a small increase, resulting in a still reasonable 0.4% - 0.6% rate instead.
This means depending on which method you're using to exchange and the amount of activity on the marketplace, you'll find yourself paying a fee as small as 0.1% to 0.6% plus an added €3 transfer fee which is far better than what major banks would charge in such a situation.
CurrencyFair has a nifty feature where you can check live rates through the currency calculator, this is an accurate and current exchange rate. This is a great benefit to users as they could use it as way to make valuable exchanges and lessen their out-of-pocket expense with a cheap online currency transfer.
Mobile Money Operators
Currency Transfer by WorldRemit
WorldRemit is our second fantastic solution to all your online currency transfer troubles. This site is known to be extremely kind, going as far to include users' first money transfer to be completely free of any extra fees. WorldRemit even has its own reviews section for users to share their experiences.
Many transfers made within the WorldRemit platform arrive instantly plus they support a wide range of receiving methods like Bank Deposit, Cash Pickup, Airtime Top-Up, Mobile Money and Home Delivery. WorldRemit also has a convenient list to check exact transfer times for all supported countries.
WorldRemit has a range of options for the African continent with transfers allowed to Kenya, Cameroon, Lesotho, Burundi, Congo DRC, Iberia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Tanzania and Tunisia. Middle Eastern countries are also well cared for with support for countries ranging from Lebanon to the United Arab Emirates.
WorldRemit is backed by Finder.co.uk with an excellent five star user rating, so you're bound to be in for a good service. In addition to Finder.co.uk's (a reputable comparison site) fantastic rating, here is what other people have been saying about WorldRemit:
1. Janette used WorldRemit and described it as a quick, reliable and safe way to transfer money overseas. She also complimented the simplistic approach and customer service.
2. Adelle Jazz said she was kept notified of the process through the wonderful tracking system and was very satisfied with the service overall.
3. Michael said that other currency platforms pale in comparison to WorldRemit in regards to transfer times, whereas others would take a ridiculously long time to transfer, WorldRemit was instant with its transfer.
All these remarks were from confirmed customers of WorldRemit's services as per the reviews section.
WorldRemit's secret weapon
That is its tracking service, WorldRemit allows you to conveniently track the status of your transfer through SMS notifications, you'll receive messages throughout the process as well as a final message to notify you that the transaction/transfer has been completed.
Currency Transfer by Azimo
Azimo is another great option for those looking to transfer money to Africa and the Middle East. Azimo's standout feature is the sheer number of countries and ways you can send your money, there's a selection of over 190 countries and 80 different currencies.
Azimo offer multiple ways of receiving money, these include regular cash pickup, bank account transfer, mobile account transfer and home delivery. Both regular cash pickup and bank account can be done at 270,000 locations and 20,000 banks respectively.
Azimo caters to migrants sending money back to their homeland, they have 10 contact and viewing languages for those who are more comfortable speaking their native language. Fees and exchange rates are much better than major banks in most cases and TrustPilot has Azimo listed with many positive reviews from satisfied customers.
Azimo is regulated and licensed by The FCA (The Financial Conduct Authority) and the HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenge and Customs) in the UK, so you know your information is safe and protected. Azimo also has incorporated the latest SSL certificates into their app for added security.
Unlike the other platforms mentioned in this article, Azimo operates solely on a dedicated app/software. This makes for a fleshed out and smooth experience for users as apps are usually more stable than their website counterparts.
Currency Transfer by Payoneer
Last but not least in our list of online currency transfer companies is the New York-based Payoneer. The company was founded in 2005, they currently serve over 200 countries and 150 currencies. Payoneer are known to have fantastic 24/7 support available in the form of live chat and telephone contact options.
Payoneer is the perfect solution for those with international business as it happens to be the preferred payment method by professionals. Studies have shown that users of Payoneer save up to 70% compared to other platforms. Payoneer doesn't even charge any fees when you're transferring to another Payoneer customer.
Online currency transfer within the Middle Eastern and African regions isn't forgotten by Payoneer, they have the most diverse list of supporting countries. Some of which aren't even supported by the other platforms within this article like Algeria, Angola, Benin, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Jordan, Kuwait, Niger, Oman and Saudi Arabia, among others.
So if your business involves any of the above countries then Payoneer may not only be your best option but your only option as well. Payoneer prides itself on multinational acceptance as seen by its wide range of supported countries.
Eliana, a travel blogger and photographer, said Payoneer gave her a great reach to work with customers all around the world. She loves the freedom Payoneer offers and how much it suits her online-based lifestyle.
Currency Transfer Providers for Africa: Conclusion
The choice is up to you.
There have been five stellar payment platforms presented here, all of which could provide way to conduct online currency transfer and now it's up to you to choose one that suits your needs in life and work.
Are you an immigrant? Well, all five have you covered with money transfers to countries all over the African and Middle Eastern regions.
You have to be ready for online currency transfer, that includes selecting a platform that satisfies needs on the service, support and reliability front.