Trans-Fast Remittance was founded in 1988, by Francisco Dematos, thus pioneering remittance services for immigrants in NYC. Now the London based company offers remittance service as well as very limited bureau de change services. In April 2007, current CEO Samish Kumar partnered with GCP Capital Partners to acquire Trans-Fast. The UK based company seeks to be highly accessible towards its immigrant clients by providing services in languages including English, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Russian and Italian.
With over 26 years of experience and a global presence in over 60 countries, Trans-Fast is dedicated to provide fast and easy services for employees who work abroad and sent remittance back to families in their home countries. Trans-Fast is licensed and regulated in multiple global regions. The company’s extensive global money transfer network includes over 300,000 payment agencies in over 90 countries across the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe.
Trans-Fast seeks to become the first company overseas workers think of when sending their remittance abroad. In addition to the headquarters in London, Trans-Fast has agencies in Madrid and Rome. The original office in New York isn’t listed as a Trans-Fast agency by the UK agency and identifies itself as the company headquarters, which the London office also states. The disconnect continues as the US office provides services through offices in Canada, India, Philippines, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates which the UK based company doesn’t offer.
Trans-Fast focuses primarily on fast remittance money transfer services, with some limited Bureau de Change services as well. Online platform makes transfers super easy. After registering clients provide passport or other identification and utility bill or other proof of address. Payment is made by debit card or bank transfer and a receipt is emailed to clients.
Fast Remittance Money Transfer Services:
Regular Transfer Services:
Trans-Fast does not have dedicated currency dealers, or a range of services that would be seen with a more traditional currency exchange firm. They offer clients the option of establishing regular payments for transferring pensions or making payments abroad.
Bureau de Change Services:
At three of Trans-Fast agencies ( in London, Madrid and Rome) Trans-Fast offers walk-in money exchange services without the need to register for amounts under £600 or equivalent. Registration is required ( for compliance purposes ) for larger amounts and the company would prefer clients telephoned in advance for larger amounts to insure the funds will be made available.
Trans-Fast offers money changing services for 3 currencies: US dollars, Euros and Real and will also accept and cash traveler’s cheques.
Trans-Fast Sets varied Exchange Rates :
Trans-Fast decides what its exchange rate will be at 10am each business day by setting a rate that’s comparable with its competitor’s rates at that time. This has the advantage of giving clients a rate for the day that won’t fluctuate, but when the rate might have changed in the clients’ favour mid-afternoon, this method would not be as competitive as one based on the real, live FX rate ( which their competitor’s will be adjusting). The advantage, should clients have an eye on the market, is getting a better rate if the market has changed in their favour and Trans-Fast was still promising a rate based on their morning’s exchange rate.
Trans-Fast also utilizes this customized approach for each of the 51 destinations clients can send remittance to, resulting in a range of rates that seek to provide a competitive exchange rate. This is good when the competition has low rates Trans-Fast wants to challenge, not so good when larger, more costly companies dominate the market because the company isn’t motivated to make remittance more inexpensive in all destinations. Take the Philippines, for instance where Trans-Fast is a slightly less expensive remittance provider, the company has set it’s rates just a tad lower than the large, expensive providers like Western Union and MoneyGram that dominate the market. Trans-Fast offers good rates for sending remittance to China in both dollars and renminbi. For Mexico, it is the cheapest provider for sending money from a linked bank account to cash. For India, where there’s more competition Trans-Fast isn’t the cheapest, despite the low fees, due to the exchange rates the company set daily.
The lack of a currency calculator immediately makes it difficult to say that Trans-Fast offers transparent rates. Since the rates vary for currency pairings based on rates decided that morning, the company would do well to post those rates, giving clients the option of comparing them. The UK site ( which has no synergy with its newer US and Canada site) seems designed to over simplify transfers for immigrants by listing popular countries to send money from London to as:Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Bureau de change services and regular payment options are also seen only on the UK site. The US site, however has a completely different list of countries remittance can be sent to ( focusing on its immigrants services) and doesn’t offer the same rapid transfer options.
The US/Canada site notes that services aren’t available in all states without making that list of regions and states available, which leads to time wasting by those attempting to use the on-line transfer platform. When boasting of their excellent low fees, Trans-Fast used comparisons to the industry’s most expensive international companies Western Union and MoneyGram which is hardly a competitive rate for remittance. In a case by case, country by country comparison, Trans-Fast offered the same poor value as Western Union and was sometimes beaten by expensive remittance offered by MoneyGram.
TRUSTPILOT rating is 7.8 out of 10 with 2,159 reviews. As Trans-Fast grows, customer service standards are seen to be changing, noted many long time clients. The once super fast and easy service most reviewers recalled have slipped, recently. Customer service and compliance verification calls are being outsourced to an Asian country where employees lack good communication skills. Customers report receiving calls that rudely request further documentation after years of having very pleasant service standards. Given the importance of sending remittance home, clients reporting delays are unhappy with the inability to track their payments. When transfers are delayed over 11 days, clients who call to inquire about remittance that’s sorely needed at home are reporting long phone wait times and rudeness by customer service.
There’s no rate transparency because Trans-Fast doesn’t show clients what its daily rate is. Especially in places where Trans-Fast sets its rate to match the poor rates offered by the largest global remittance companies, the company just doesn’t save immigrants their hard earned wages. The rapid on-line platform isn’t supported by good tracking systems so when delays occur, clients have to rely on phoning a customer service representative that isn’t well trained to assist them. It’s hard to say the company is trustworthy when their rates aren’t easy to compare and their customer service can’t speed transfers along.
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?