Two years ago we looked at how major remittance and money transfer players compared when it came to the best online app store and Trustpilot ratings from customers. Now we’re returning to the topic to see how they’ve changed, and which companies remain the standouts.
Customer ratings have always been important to businesses, but for apps in particular they are a critical driver of downloads. They are therefore a vital part of the marketing for any money transfer or remittance company’s digital strategy.
Two years ago, we looked at how leading money transfer and remittance companies’ apps compared when it came to customer ratings. By combining the average customer ratings on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store in the US and the UK, and then mapping this against their Trustpilot ratings, we profiled the best-performing brands in terms of online customer ratings.
Back then, digital was a vital focus for all companies, but it was not the primary source of revenue for some of the traditional players, rather acting as a niche part of a wider business. However in 2023, digital money transfers are the primary source of growth for almost all money transfers and remittances players, with even those who are still highly cash-based including digital as a key part of their future strategies.
As a result, returning to this same metric gives us a fresh look at how money transfer and remittance companies are performing in terms of customer ratings – and provides some insight into the types of companies that are doing the best in this space.
The money transfer companies with the best customer ratings in 2023
Out of the money transfer and remittance companies we looked at in 2023, the majority performed strongly.
Seven of the 12 companies we looked at achieved over 4 out of 5 in both the average app store rating and Trustpilot rating: these were Remitly, Revolut, Wise, MoneyGram, TransferGo, Small World Financial and Paysend. However, two – Ria and Xoom – had a very strong average app store rating but scored below 3 on Trustpilot.
Interestingly, there was some convergence when looking at the differences between the Apple and Android app stores, as well as the US and UK versions. On the Play Store, five companies had the same ratings in the US and UK, whereas only WorldRemit had the same scores in the US and UK on the App Store.
10 of the 12 companies reviewed performed better on iOS, which may reflect a greater development focus on this platform. In both the US and the UK, iOS has over 50% market share for mobile phones.
For both Google and Apple, the average ratings were also higher in the US than they were in the UK, with seven of the 12 doing better in the US. This may be due to differences in expectations of money transfers between the two countries. UK residents are more likely to have a greater understanding of exchange rates and similar, potentially making them more price-sensitive than their US counterparts.
The money transfer companies with the best customer ratings in 2021
While there are some companies that we included for 2023 that were not included in 2021, we have reproduced our original research from two years ago to provide a sense of how things have changed.
Overall, the ratings in 2021 were more clustered, with eight of the 11 reviewed scoring over four on both average app store rating and Trustpilot rating. These were MoneyGram, Revolut, Remitly, Xoom, Wise, Paysend, WorldRemit and TransferGo.
The companies with the biggest changes over time
Looking at how the companies have changed over time, slightly more companies have seen decreases in ratings over the past two years than have seen increases, at 10 decreases versus nine increases.
Interestingly, there does not seem to be a strong correlation between app store and Trustpilot movements. Ria, for example, saw the biggest increase in its average app store rating, going from the weakest in 2021 to one of the leaders in 2023. However, its Trustpilot rating dropped the most.
Xoom also saw a significant drop in Trustpilot rating, but its app store rating has not changed and it still has one of the best-rated apps. Remitly, WorldRemit and Wise also saw their Trustpilot ratings go down while their app store ratings went up, while Small World was the only company to see the reverse.
Notably, only three companies saw both ratings move in the same direction. Paysend saw both drop, while MoneyGram and Western Union saw both increase. The latter are both considered remittance incumbents who have increasingly looked to digital for future growth, so this may be a reflection of increased investment in the space.
For many, however, a good app store performance does not guarantee a good Trustpilot rating and vice versa. As more customers switch to digital, ensuring customer satisfaction is becoming more nuanced, and companies will need to adopt a broad strategy to keep their ratings up across the board.