Founded in 1988 by Francisco Dematos, Trans-Fast pioneered remittance services in New York. Trans-Fast Remittance is a London and US based company offering remittance and limited currency exchange bureau de change services. In April 2007 current CEO Samish Kumar partnered with GCP Capital Partners to acquire Trans-Fast.
With over 26 years of industry experience and currently available in more than 60 countries, Trans-Fast’s central focus is remittance services for an international work force that regularly require an easy transfer service to their home countries. Their proprietary money transfer network includes over 300,000 points of payment in over 90 countries across Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa. Trans-Fast is licensed and regulated by several worldwide authorities.
The UK based company intends to be as highly accessible to London’s immigrant community as possible with trained staff who speak English as well as Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Russian and Italian.
Trans-Fast has the goal of being the first company workers think of when sending remittance abroad. In addition to headquarters in London, Trans-Fast has agencies in Madrid and Rome. An office in New York also identifies itself as the company headquarters, like the London agency does, and it lists offices in Canada, India, Philippines, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.
Trans-Fast UK Services include:
Quick Transfers, Currency Exchange and Transfer services for clients 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.
Bureau de Change Services:
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.
Regular Remittance Services:
Trans-Fast UK offers an alternative to transferring money through UK banks.
The UK website has no synergy with the newer US and Canada site adding to the confusion that Trans-Fast might be two companies and not one. The UK site presents popular countries to send money from London to as: Brazil, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria and Cyprus. Bureau de change and regular payments are also only offered on the UK site. The US site, however, has a completely different list of countries remittance can be sent to – but it remains to be seen if UK workers can access these destinations for their remittance payments.
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 to Western Union and MoneyGram when sending remittance to Mexico, The Philippines and India – which isn’t a positive comparison since those companies have the very highest fees and worst exchange rates seen worldwide. Trans-Fast offers the same value as Western Union and both performed more poorly than MoneyGram depending on the location. Other companies in each region have more competitive rates.
Exchange Rate Calculations:
Trans-Fast calculates its daily exchange rate by checking the rates at which their closest competitors are trading at approximately 10am Monday through Friday, setting 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, but it wouldn’t work in their favour if the rate changed midday. Perhaps that’s a profit margin the company has seen the benefit of.
Trans-Fast has a customized approach for each of the 51 destinations it serves to send and receive remittance. For Mexico, it is the cheapest provider for sending money from a linked bank account to cash. For India, it is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive. And for Philippines, Trans-Fast has set its rates high where little competition exists, which is a similar tactic used by the 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.
Trans-Fast has a 7.5 rating out of 10 with 2,280 reviews on TRUSTPILOT. Recently clients have complained that something has changed at the company which has radically eroded the quality of the service. Once considered fast and easy by most, customers are angrily describing new practices that are sending them away. US clients who recall having fine customer service standards have bristled when finding calls are now outsourced to Chinese agencies. Compliance verification calls are also outsourced to China resulting in loyal clients receiving calls from confusing foreign speakers abruptly asking for more detailed security information – this in turn leads clients fearing their data may not be secure. 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. With the pressing need for remittance payments to be sent quickly, issues like delays and time consuming wait times as well as changes in compliance procedures are a hassle immigrants don’t need. Other remittance companies are likely to profit by these Trans-Fast issues.
If only Trans-Fast offered immigrants the best exchange rate for sending remittance abroad. In the years since the company pioneered remittance, however, leaner online only platforms have been developed that have no difficulty beating Trans-Fast’s rates which once only had the high Western Union rates to compete with. The concept of setting a daily rate would go down better if that rate was immediately available so it could be compared to those seen at once on competitor’s sites. What’s the most troubling aspect of the firm is the outsourcing of both customer service and compliance calls. While no remittance company offers the dedicated dealer’s full service which foreign exchange companies provide, many take greater care of clients accounts. How are the trained staff speaking so many languages at Trans-Fast’s London office supposed to assist those whose customer service complaints are re-directed to China?
2.5 out of 5 stars for lack of transparency and recent customer service issues.
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?