OrbitRemit, a New Zealand based online foreign exchange company specialising in spot transfers, calls itself the world’s simplest transfer company. Founded in 2009 by 3 former real estate agents Tommy Heptinstall, David Platt and Robbie Sampson, their firm was launched in order to challenge especially high transfer rates in New Zealand. The company has reduced remittance fees for migrant workers sending remittance home and families transferring money abroad for university fees, and has also streamlined New Zealand government payments with its online platform.
OrbitRemit currently transfers approximately $25 million monthly with about 30,000 transfers. 80,000 customers send money ‘home’ in 19 currencies to total roughly $300 billion annually.
OrbitRemit Remittance Services:
Inland Revenue Department and New Zealand Ministry of Justice and Social Development Payments:
OrbitRemit works in partnership with the New Zealand Government and was the first non-bank company to provide payment services to the IRD. Through OrbitRemit, in a typical month, $100m is paid to the IRD in 250,000 transactions which pay student loans, child support and other tax obligations.
Approximately 56,000 support questions on government payments were answered by OrbitRemit Wellington’s customer service team the first month the IRD service became available.
Workers can also send free work and income payments to The New Zealand Ministry of Social Development.
Additionally, New Zealanders can use OrbitRemit to pay fines to The New Zealand Ministry of Justice.
Simple services are presented with an easy, straightforward pair of options. Home page calculator shows the only 3 currencies transfers can be made in: AU$ NZ$ and GB£, clearly limiting the company’s global service possibilities. Making remittance is the priority service and also OrbitRemit offers easy options for paying IRD and New Zealand Ministry payments.
A cheerful video instructs registered clients to use an ‘Invite Friends’ tab which they’ll use to promote OrbitRemit socially. The reward for this referral is a bank deposit of £50 or AU$/NZ$ deposit of $100.
Rates Compared to New Zealand Banks:
Using data from World Bank remittance data, comparing remittance rates when sending remittance to India from New Zealand, OrbitRemit was the 3rd cheapest company with a cost of NZ$7.02 for a transfer taking 2 days. Bank of New Zealand charged NZ$30.20 for the same transfer, taking 3-5 days.
OrbitRemit can send remittance ( in GB£ or NZ$, or AU$) to any Eurozone country, to specific destinations in Asia including Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India. Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, The Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and the US are also destinations OrbitRemit can transfer to. Although the company clearly doesn’t have a global reach, they send remittance to most of the destinations in which New Zealand workers require remittance payments.
OrbitRemit has a respectable 9.4 rate on TRUSTPILOT with 11,426 reviews. The speed of service is consistently praised by most of the satisfied OrbitRemit clients. Few mentioned the ease of sending government payments, which likely means the payments are being made so seamlessly users have little reason to mention what has clearly been a valuable service that saves money over the charges banks had imposed. Unfortunately when problems with the online platform surfaced clients found little customer service support – and certainly not 24/7 support as advertised. Delays in transfers weren’t always, in practice, able to be tracked.
OrbitRemit was initiated for the purpose of shaking up the limited services for migrant workers sending remittance home to The Philippines. One indicator of their improvement was that Western Union lowered its high fees in New Zealand when OrbitRemit offered a better alternative. Saving workers money is an excellent service to provide, and assisting citizens to make government payments without fees only adds to the company’s excellent money saving service reputation. 4 out of 5 stars.
A great local transfer service for workers residing in New Zealand or Australia and a convenient way for Kiwis to pay fines and social service payments.
Not a global provider, since there aren’t (yet) any services available in currencies other than GB£, AU$ or NZ$.