Personal Finance

Top Money Transfer Apps in Europe: Which Are Most Popular with Consumers?

As evidenced by the phenomenal growth of startups like Revolut, money transfer platforms are capturing more of the $160 billion of remittance flowing out of European countries each year. With dozens of services competing for consumer's attention, including household names like Western Union and PayPal, which money transfer companies are having the most success in Europe? Is there a product that consumers like the most? We took a look at the data to find out.

While detailed data on remittances is quite limited, we were able to measure the relative success of many of the top money transfer services in each country by looking at their mobile app's download rankings on the Apple App Store. It turns out that PayPal, relative-newcomer Revolut and TransferWise are winning in nearly every country, but there are exceptions. For example, Skrill ranked in the top 5 in 24 countries. With a dozen other mobile apps rounding out the top 5 across all the countries, it seems competition for low-fee money transfer apps is still fierce.

Top Money Transfer Apps by Downloads: PayPal, Revolut and TransferWise

Of the 31 countries we studied from Iceland to Russia, PayPal was the most downloaded money transfer app in 22 areas including the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain—the European countries from which people send the most money abroad. Revolut was the second most downloaded money transfer app overall, and ranked 1st for downloads in seven countries: Poland, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania. TransferWise was the third most downloaded app.

Number of European Countries an App Ranked 1st, 2nd, etc.1st2nd3rd4th5th
1Paypal Mobile Cash228100
2Revolut716410
3TransferWise011494
4Skrill004119
5Western Union04110
6WorldRemit00244
7Yandex.Money01212
8TransferGo00215
9QIWI Wallet20100
10WebMoney00021
11Neteller00004
12Ecopayz01000
13MoneyGram00010
14Payoneer00001
15Pingit00001
16Remitly00000
17Azimo00000
18Small World00000
19WorldFirst00000
20Xoom00000

Download Rankings of Top Money Transfer Apps by Country

While PayPal, Revolut and TransferWise were quite dominant overall, there were some notable local money transfer services that competed closely. For example, in Russia and the Ukraine the QIWI app ranked 1st in terms of money transfer download ranking.

Chart showing the top money transfer app in each European country

Rounding out the top 5 in each country was quite a wide array of money transfer companies, including Skrill, Western Union, WorldRemit, Yandex.Money, TransferGo, QIWI Wallet, WebMoney, Neteller, Ecopayz, MoneyGram, Payoneer and Pingit. Below you can see the top 5 money transfer apps in each European country in our study, including each app's download rank in the Finance category (in parentheses).

Top Money Transfer Apps (Finance Download Rank)1st2nd3rd4th5th
AustriaPaypal Mobile Cash (4)Western Union (15)Revolut (38)Skrill (58)TransferWise (71)
BelgiumPaypal Mobile Cash (6)Revolut (29)TransferWise (43)WorldRemit (63)Skrill (86)
BulgariaPaypal Mobile Cash (8)Revolut (8)TransferWise (18)Skrill (47)WebMoney (103)
CroatiaPaypal Mobile Cash (6)Revolut (18)Skrill (38)TransferWise (77)Payoneer (121)
Czech RepublicRevolut (10)Paypal Mobile Cash (11)Yandex.Money (20)TransferWise (44)Skrill (51)
DenmarkPaypal Mobile Cash (8)Revolut (45)TransferWise (58)WorldRemit (78)TransferGo (149)
EstoniaPaypal Mobile Cash (6)Revolut (12)TransferWise (22)Yandex.Money (25)Skrill (29)
FinlandPaypal Mobile Cash (10)TransferWise (54)Skrill (58)Revolut (68)WorldRemit (86)
FrancePaypal Mobile Cash (1)Western Union (18)Revolut (20)MoneyGram (50)TransferWise (58)
GermanyPaypal Mobile Cash (2)Western Union (26)Revolut (66)TransferWise (70)TransferGo (120)
GreecePaypal Mobile Cash (6)Revolut (8)TransferWise (41)Skrill (41)Neteller (108)
HungaryPaypal Mobile Cash (8)Revolut (10)TransferWise (14)Skrill (54)WorldRemit (93)
IcelandPaypal Mobile Cash (10)Revolut (26)WorldRemit (31)Skrill (38)TransferGo (52)
IrelandRevolut (1)Paypal Mobile Cash (3)TransferWise (11)Western Union (17)Skrill (44)
ItalyPaypal Mobile Cash (5)Western Union (26)Revolut (45)TransferWise (79)Skrill (102)
LatviaRevolut (5)Paypal Mobile Cash (9)QIWI Wallet (16)TransferWise (36)Yandex.Money (39)
LithuaniaRevolut (3)Paypal Mobile Cash (8)TransferGo (22)Skrill (32)TransferWise (34)
NetherlandsPaypal Mobile Cash (7)Revolut (54)TransferWise (59)Skrill (69)WorldRemit (113)
NorwayPaypal Mobile Cash (8)Revolut (47)WorldRemit (59)Skrill (59)TransferWise (67)
PolandRevolut (5)Paypal Mobile Cash (9)TransferGo (34)TransferWise (38)Yandex.Money (48)
PortugalRevolut (3)Paypal Mobile Cash (4)TransferWise (27)Skrill (33)Neteller (49)
RomaniaRevolut (2)Paypal Mobile Cash (13)TransferWise (34)TransferGo (35)Skrill (37)
RussiaQIWI Wallet (3)Yandex.Money (10)Paypal Mobile Cash (21)WebMoney (37)Skrill (188)
SlovakiaPaypal Mobile Cash (9)Revolut (15)Skrill (41)TransferWise (62)Neteller (117)
SloveniaPaypal Mobile Cash (6)Revolut (6)Skrill (27)TransferWise (71)Neteller (116)
SpainPaypal Mobile Cash (5)Revolut (26)TransferWise (57)Skrill (115)WorldRemit (125)
SwedenPaypal Mobile Cash (12)Revolut (60)TransferWise (67)WorldRemit (75)Skrill (116)
SwitzerlandPaypal Mobile Cash (9)Revolut (15)TransferWise (56)WorldRemit (104)Skrill (210)
TurkeyPaypal Mobile Cash (79)Ecopayz (115)TransferWise (121)Skrill (154)TransferGo (202)
UkraineQIWI Wallet (8)Paypal Mobile Cash (12)Yandex.Money (16)WebMoney (16)TransferGo (27)
United KingdomPaypal Mobile Cash (1)Revolut (12)Western Union (36)TransferWise (36)Pingit (36)

A number of apps in our study were not in the top 5 downloads for any European country: Remitly, Azimo, Small World, WorldFirst, Xoom, Venmo, OFX, TorFX, Currency Fair and Xoom.

These apps are free to download and typically offer free or low-cost exchange or transfers. Startups money transfer apps have been particularly successful in Europe by charging significantly less than traditional banks to make an international money transfer, and completing the transfer in a shorter time. To learn more about the amount of money that flows in and out of countries in Europe, please see our related article Remittance Flows in Europe: Where Does the Money Go?

Methodology

In order to quantify the popularity of money transfer apps across Europe, we gathered Apple App Store data on daily download rankings in the "Finance" category in each country for each app. As the download rank of an app can vary quite a bit from day to day, we gathered data covering 30 days (3 March 2019 to 1 April 2019), which we then averaged to get the most accurate representation of an app's popularity.

To determine the overall app ranking, we first determined the number of countries (out of 31) in which an app ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th. We then weighted these results according to the following system: 1st got a weight of 5, 2nd got a weight of 4, and so on. The app with the highest total score ranked 1st overall.

Study limitations: Of course, there is no download data available for Apple Pay as it comes ready on iPhones. Whilst ideally we could include Apple Pay in this analysis, it was not possible. Nonetheless, the analysis still is useful for comparing independent money transfer apps in each country, and for seeing how startups such as Revolut are taking ground from incumbents like PayPal and Western Union. And while we did not gather Android data, there's reason to believe the relative download stats would be comparable across platforms, yielding the same popularity results.

Here is a list of the money transfer apps analysed as part of this study for which we could find data:

  • Azimo
  • Currency Fair
  • Ecopayz
  • MoneyGram
  • Neteller
  • OFX
  • Payoneer
  • Paypal Mobile Cash
  • Pingit
  • QIWI Wallet
  • Remitly
  • Revolut
  • Skrill
  • Small World
  • Square's Cash App
  • TorFX
  • Transfer Wise
  • TransferGo
  • Venmo
  • WebMoney
  • Western Union
  • WorldFirst
  • WorldRemit
  • Xoom
  • Yandex.Money

Here is a list of the countries we covered:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

Note: while Monese was not a part of this study, it is also another good option for money transfers for those in the UK and the EEA.

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