TransferWise Review 2021 – Transfer Money Internationally Without High Transfer Fees
Started by entrepreneurs who wanted an easier way to transfer money, the company claims to have helped more than six million people send money around the world.
What is TransferWise?
TransferWise is a way to send money internationally. It’s like a wire transfer, but without the exorbitant fees (as long as the amount you transfer doesn’t exceed $ 10,000).
The company was started in 2010 by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus in order to reduce the fees they paid to send money from London to their home in Estonia. The company started transferring money in 2011 and claims it transfers over $ 5 million per month.
TransferWise is a European FinTech company that gets a lot of good press – it’s one of those rare FinTech startups that seems to be making money, even in these turbulent times.
Their clients are both individuals and businesses. Businesses can use it to pay their employees or their expenses in over 70 countries.
The business of the day: Chase is now offering a $ 225 cash bonus when opening a Total Checking® account. No minimum deposit and all deposits are FDIC insured up to a maximum of $ 250,000 per depositor.
How TransferWise works
You will need to create an account. Once you have this you can start transferring money.
The time it takes to send money depends on where you are and where you are going. Converting money can take up to two days. But how quickly the recipient receives the money depends on the speed of their bank. I’ve found that transfers generally take less time than the estimated arrival date the company gives me when I initiate a transfer.
If you are using TransferWise as a business, you will need to create a Business account. Once you are set up on the platform, you can start transferring money to your employees or paying bills. You can even automate payments.
TransferWise does not actually transfer the money. Instead, they have bank accounts in countries around the world. When you go to transfer $ 1,000 to Europe, you pay into one of TransferWise’s US accounts. Then TransferWise pays the equivalent of $ 1,000 into one of its European accounts. This reduces both the expense and the time it takes to move money.
That’s the gist of what TransferWise does – the company lets you send money from one country to another. There are several types of wire transfers to choose from when transferring money from the United States: bank debit, wire transfer, debit card, and credit card.
If your business needs to transfer money internationally, there is a business option where you can set up recurring payments.
TransferWise also offers a debit card that allows you to spend or withdraw money with the actual exchange rate. If you travel often and are hit with low conversion rates, this card will help you avoid them. The cost to order a card is $ 9.
If you want to use TransferWise to save some of the money you move around the world, the company offers jars. These are places to store money. If you need to access the money in one of your pots, you can transfer it to any of your accounts. Jars don’t earn any interest – it’s just a place to store money.
Prices and fees
One of the main advantages of using TransferWise is the exchange rate. The company claims to never gross them up. Instead, it uses the actual rate (or the mid-market rate). This is the midpoint of the prices at which bankers and traders buy and sell currencies, meaning users get rates that are usually reserved for bankers. On the other hand, your bank may use a mark-up to the mid-market rate (and may or may not disclose it). TransferWise uses exchange rate data from Reuters, which updates rates in real time.
When you compare TransferWise to other services, it is worth paying attention to the exchange rate used by each company. Instead of just looking at what fees a bank or service charges for sending money, you want to look at the total cost of sending the money – so if another service has “zero fees,” be sure to understand the exchange rate. If you get a low exchange rate, you are probably paying too much for the service.
TransferWise charges fees for transfers – these fees depend on where you’re sending money.
For example, at the time of writing this article, sending $ 1,000 from the US to Europe costs $ 8.24 with bank debit (the cheapest option) and the recipient will receive 841, € 56. Looking at Reuter’s exchange rate data for the same day, the exchange rate was between 0.8463 and 0.8490 (which means somewhere between € 846 and € 849). The difference between the actual exchange rate and the amount received is the commission.
For this same transaction, the other options were more expensive. They understand:
- Bank transfer – $ 10.48
- Debit card – $ 11.56
- Credit Card – $ 42.45
While bank debit was the cheapest, if you had to pay for something with a card, TransferWise gives you that option.
Likewise, sending $ 1,000 from the United States to Hong Kong costs $ 11.28 and the recipient would get HKD 7,679.99 with a fee of $ 9.04.
- $ 1,000 Australian dollars – $ 6.01 Australian dollar fee, recipient receives $ 714.43
- £ 1,000 – charge of 4.25 GBP, recipient receives $ 1,296.57
- 1000 Canadian dollars – fee of 11.78 CAD, recipient receives $ 753.56
- 4,000 UAE dirhams – fee 40.47 AED, recipient receives $ 1,077.99
TransferWise always shows the fees and how they are calculated.
They even show the cost of some of their competition.
But, if you transfer a larger amount, TransferWise’s fees become exorbitant.
Suppose you want to transfer $ 250,000 to the United States. At this point the fees are over € 800 and you’d be much better off using a wire transfer through your bank.
Registration is relatively straightforward.
You’ll need to answer a few simple questions: whether you’re signing up for personal or business reasons, your email address, a new password, and your country of residence.
Next, TransferWise will ask you how much you want to send. Make sure you choose the right currencies. If you are just signing up to check out the platform, choose the currency and continue the process until you actually need to confirm that you want to send money.
You will be asked if your transfer is for personal or business reasons.
Next, you will be asked to provide identifying information including your legal name, date of birth, phone number, and address.
TransferWise will then ask you who you’re sending the money to and the recipient’s bank account information.
Next, you will need to upload a photo of your driver’s license, passport, or national ID card. For obvious reasons, TransferWise needs to make sure that you are who you say you are. The company will verify your ID and send you an email when you are approved. It only took a few minutes.
TransferWise claims to use HTTPS encryption and has bank-level data security. They use a two-step connection to protect customer transactions.
The company is regulated by FinCen in the United States, as well as similar regulatory institutions in Australia, European Economic Area, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. In the United States, TransferWise has state licenses in 48 states (not including Nevada and Hawaii).
Communications with the business over the Internet are encrypted using asymmetric encryption. The company may share personal information with third parties – users who wish to know with whom their data has been shared can request the list by sending an email to [email protected]
The company claims to move more than $ 5 million each month
Mobile assistance and accessibility
The mobile app works as well as the desktop app.
If you sign up for two-factor verification, it means that when you do an online transfer, you will be asked to verify it with the app on your phone.
Making a transfer with the app is easy. Like the website, the app is easy to navigate.
Related: Best payment apps to send money
Customer Service & Support
TransferWise does not make it easy to find their contact details on their site. If you click on their help button, it will take you to a page with FAQs.
If you need to contact TransferWise, you can email them through their online portal. You can go to https://transferwise.com/help/contact and choose your problem.
Depending on your situation, TransferWise will give you the choice of an email through its online portal, a chat box, or a phone number.
For the United States, customer service lines are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.
For personal customers, you can also call them at 1-888-908-3833.
For business customers, you can call them at 1-888-829-3669.
But you’ll want to go through their online form to find your membership number, which they’ll request from you over the phone.
Instead of sending your money by wire transfer on international lines, TransferWise has accounts in countries around the world. When a customer wants to transfer money from the US to England, they deposit their funds into one of TransferWise’s US accounts. Then TransferWise withdraws the money from its UK account to the recipient’s UK bank account.
The company is regulated in each market in which it operates. For example, in the United States, it is regulated in 48 states (not including Nevada and Hawaii).
Just use their site to indicate the amount you want to transfer. The company is transparent about its prices.