Trans-Fast Remittance is a London based company offering remittance service and limited currency exchange bureau de change services. Founded in 1988, by Francisco Dematos, Trans-Fast pioneered remittance services in New York. In April 2007, current CEO Samish Kumar partnered with GCP Capital Partners to acquire Trans-Fast.
Now present in more than 60 countries, with over 26 years of experience, Trans-Fast’s primary focus is services for employees who work abroad and sent remittance back to families in their home countries. Trans-Fast is licensed and authorized in multiple global jurisdictions. Their proprietary money transfer network includes over 300,000 points of payment in over 90 countries across the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe.
The UK company prides itself on being highly accessible to London’s immigrant community, with trained staff who speak English as well as Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Russian and Italian.
Trans-Fast seeks to become the first company workers think of when sending remittance abroad. In addition to the headquarters in London, Trans-Fast has agencies in Madrid and Rome. An office in New York isn’t listed as a Trans-Fast agency by the UK agency although it identifies itself as the company headquarters (as does the London agency) listing offices in Canada, India, Philippines, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.
Trans-Fast UK Services include Quick Transfers, Currency Exchange and Transfer services for expats purchasing overseas property.
Online process is very easy. After registering clients provide passport or other identification and utility bill or other proof of address. Payment is made by bank transfer or debit card. Receipt is emailed.
Trans-Fast customers can make currency changes without paying commission at any of Trans-Fast’s three agencies in London, Madrid or Rome. After the first £600, registration with Trans-Fast is necessary, additionally Trans-Fast suggests clients phone ahead if wishing to exchange large amounts of currency to avoid disappointment at agency
Trans-Fast can currently change:
Exchange Rate calculation: Trans-Fast determines its daily exchange rate by checking the rates at which their closest competitors are trading at approximately 10am Monday through Friday, and they set their rate accordingly. Even if the rate should change during the course of a working day, Trans-Fast’s rate would still reflect the morning’s rate. This is seen as a guarantee to clients who will know to expect the day’s rate to be locked-in.
Trans-Fast has a customized approach for each of the 51 destinations it serves and send-receive remittance option. For Mexico, it is the cheapest provider for sending money from a linked bank account to cash. For India, it is about in the middle, pricing-wise. And for Philippines, Trans-Fast is also one of the cheapest providers, with rates similar to big providers like Western Union and MoneyGram.
For countries like China, Trans-Fast provides generally better prices for sending money in both dollars and renminbi:
Property and other Regular Remittance Services:
Trans-Fast UK (but not US) offers an alternative to transferring money through UK banks to make re-locating abroad easier for expats.
The UK website simply doesn’t match the newer US and Canada site creating a sense of disconnect as if Trans-Fast were two companies not one. The UK site presents popular countries to send money from London to as: Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Currency Exchange and regular payments are only promoted on the UK site. The US site, however has a completely different list of countries remittance can be sent to. Trans-Fast US has a blog featuring videos made by clients sending remittance to The Philippines and tax information for people remitting to India.
Both sites suffer from a lack of any currency calculator although the UK site expedites the transfer process more rapidly than the US/Canada site (which notes that service isn’t available in all states). On one Trans-Fast blog the company compared its own rates and margins compared to Western Union and MoneyGram when sending remittance to Mexico, The Philippines and India. Trans-Fast offers the same value as Western Union and both performed more poorly than MoneyGram.
TRUSTPILOT has a 7.8 rating out of 10 with 2,159 reviews. Once considered fast and easy by most reviewers, something’s changed at Trans-Fast. A rash of customer service complaints have been made recently by US clients who find Trans-Fast service standards have changed. Compliance verification calls have been outsourced to China with the result that long standing clients are receiving calls from very poor English speakers with abrupt communication skills. All complaints handled by this new service team were described as ‘rude with very long hold-times’. Also transfers are sometimes delayed 11 days or longer. Given the company’s commitment to helping families receive remittance from workers, these issues are driving clients away.
Trans-Fast simply doesn’t offer the best exchange rate for sending remittance abroad, even if it can beat competitor’s rates to what it terms ‘popular countries’. Without showing clients the daily rate it has decided upon plainly on its site, clients can’t compare Trans-Fast’s rates, so there’s simply no transparency involved. The company offers 2 separate brands; Trans-Fast literally has 2 faces. Their (UK) moto is: A money transfer company you can trust, begging the question: which one?
2.5 out of 5 stars for lack of transparency/customer service
Depending on country remittance is sent to, Trans-Fast can offer competitive rates and fast service.
Especially in cases where clients are using Trans-Fast to purchase overseas property, Trans-Fast’s lack of transparency is a distinct disadvantage. How can clients compare rates?