Remitly Nears $1B Mobile Money Transfer Mark

Remitly, a U.S.-based mobile payments service, is nearing its next milestone.

The company announced yesterday (Jan. 12) that its money transfer growth grew more than 400 percent in 2015, giving it close to $1 billion in annualized mobile money transfers. The company noted that December was a record month for the company.

As the largest independent digital remittance company in the U.S., the company is setting the tone for global money transfers. Data from World Bank indicates remittances hit $588 billion in 2015, with 74 percent of these remittances going to developing countries. Remitly, which works on Android, iOS and Web, enables P2P international transfers from the U.S. to many emerging regions.

Remitly, which offers money transfers from the United States to the Philippines, India and Mexico, accounts for more than 35 percent of all remittances originating in the United States. With its mobile-first transfer service growing in global popularity, it continues to help money be transferred at a much lower fee than most money transfer companies.

Some data shared by Remitly about its recent usage:

  • In 2015, people transferred the most money using Remitly on Monday, Dec. 14.
  • The most common receive cities throughout Remitly’s operating corridors included Tijuana, Mexico; Hyderabad, India; and Quezon City, the Philippines
  • The top sending cities by corridor included Las Vegas to the Philippines; Jersey City to India; and Houston to Mexico.

In an interview with PYMNTS in October, Remitly CEO Matt Oppenheimer shared that despite being worth over $500 billion dollars annually, remittances are an oddly invisible part of the payments ecosystem to most people — even those who otherwise know it quite well. We all might know that money may make the world go around, but what makes money go around the world is just a little bit more mysterious.

“It’s actually hard, even for industry experts, to get to know the business, because most people who are in the industry or writing about it don’t actually use the products and send money,” Oppenheimer said in the interview.

Oppenheimer came up with the concept for Remitly while working for Barclays in Kenya, when he realized that the process of sending money, particularly in the developing world, was both expensive and painful but also absolutely necessary.

“I saw how far that money went once it was sent back to developing countries,” Oppenheimer noted. “So, I moved back to the U.S. in May 2011 to start the business.”

Offering a much lower cost for money transfers (about 2 percent, as opposed to the normal 6.3 percent to 14 percent offered by its competitors, like Western Union or Citibank), Remitly has quickly found and grown its user base.