Transferwise is an online money-transfer company, offering the modern approach in order to beat the high-street banks’ fees and delivery speed.
The company uses the mid-market exchange rate (Whenever funds are sent abroad via a bank transfer, there are many hidden fees involved. The real exchange rate (mid-market rate) is considered the fairest rate of all according to Reuters), and relatively low transaction fees to send money abroad, on a bank to bank basis. The idea is that the sender sends funds to his local bank account and the receiver receives the funds from his local bank account.
TransferWise currently supports sending money to 71 countries and sending money from 43 countries, in 49 currencies. In terms of sending and receiving methods, for most currencies, TransferWise offers only one option: a direct bank-to-bank transfer.
The platform uses the peer-to-peer network to match transfers currency from a sender to a receiver. However, the system converts currencies using the mid-market exchange rate, thus alleviating one of the major pains of traditional cross border FX transfers with the banks.
This saves on currency exchange rate fees, bank fees, commissions, or international bank wires and the like. The process of transferring money is relatively easy. Simply navigate to the website and enter the amount you would like to transfer.
In addition to funding the transfer from your local bank account, for some currencies and countries’ combinations, you can also pay with a debit or a credit card (though paying by card employs an extra processing fee of up to 2% of the sending amount).
Apple Pay and Android Pay are also available for a number of limited currencies via TransferWise mobile apps.
With Transferwise, the one and only way of receiving a transfer is a local bank account. No cash pick-ups, virtual money or mobile top-ups are available.
Freelancers, infrequent users, regular users, and small enterprises will benefit from using Transferwise to send funds abroad. As a business, it is possible to transfer money overseas on a regular basis by using the services provided by Transferwise.
The mid-market rates are especially beneficial since they save money on international payments. Infrequent users can also benefit immeasurably from the money transfer services at Transferwise. It is safe, secure, and quick to transfer money abroad. Freelancers can also benefit from using Transferwise since many payments are made from abroad. The expensive bank rates and exchange rate fees are prohibitive when using traditional methods such as banks and PayPal. With Transferwise, freelancers can benefit from lower costs from contractors.
To avoid issues, make sure the money is coming from your own bank account, and make sure to include your membership number as the reference on the transfer. TransferWise does not accept cash or checks paid into their account, as well as doesn’t allow to receive the transfer in cash.
TransferWise uses the same exchange rate you will find on Google, XE and Yahoo, so it is completely independent of banks or currency exchange providers. The TransferWise currency converter allows you to check how much you should get when you convert your currency into another. The currency converter shows you the true mid-market exchange rate.
TransferWise charges a certain percent of the transfer amount, plus a flat fee for certain transfer routes (country combinations). The final fees and percentage are variable and largely depend on the currencies you are sending from and to and the total amount sent.
More so, an additional charge of 1.7% is applied for using business credit cards for transfers from EUR and GBP. This charge is supposed to equate the processing fee, that the card companies are going to charge Transferwise for your transaction.
TransferWise sends certain currencies via the international SWIFT network, which most banks will charge a fee to receive. If you’re sending to these currencies, make sure you check with the receiving bank how much they charge for incoming SWIFT payments.
While most customers and experts agree that TransferWise is among the cheapest services to send small amounts back and forth, when it comes to larger sums, the economy is fading out.
Typically, customers can expect the money to be transferred anywhere between 1 and 3 working days, however, it might take longer as well. The time taken to transfer money is dependent on the specific currencies involved, the hours of bank operation, and local bank procedures. Sending money from a credit/debit cards usually is faster than a bank account transfer, but employs additional fees. A bank transfer in some cases might take up to a week.
TransferWise is fully registered and authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (UK) under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011. The company is also licensed by the local financial regulatory agencies, such as Australia (ASIC), United States (FinCEN).
Following the regulatory requirements, TransferWise customers’ funds are held in segregated accounts, apart from the company’s own capital. The customers’ personal account data is stored in secured servers, and safeguarded by a 2-step login and verification procedures.
According to our colleagues’ reports, during the past few years, TransferWise only reported a minor data breach and one short downtime in the past year, so overall the service is safe and solid.
TransferWise is an internet company and as such, the user experience is generally modern and user-oriented, on both web and mobile apps. TransferWise apps can be downloaded from Google Play and Apple’s App Store. The Transferwise Money Transfer app has a 4,5 /5 rating from at the Google Play Store and a 5/5 rating at the App Store.
In 2016, Transferwise launched an updated version of its mobile app that incorporated biometric security and built-in chat capability. Its online calculators give you an easy means to find out how much your transfer will cost, and the company informs you of processing times in advance. You can check the status of your transfer at any time by using a simple online tool.
TransferWire’s latest feature enables users to make quick money transfers abroad to more than fifty countries across the globe. Borderless Accounts by TransferWire also give users a way to better manage multiple currencies in a single location, and can even hold up to 27 currency balances.
Borderless Accounts are sort of like a replacement to traditional banks, and a great tool for businesses that process international payments, while eliminating the need for bank fees, and exchange rate fees. The company does charge for transactions, with what it calls a “transparent fee.” This fee typically comes out to be significantly cheaper than that of competitors, and with no additional hidden fees.
Most queries can easily be resolved by clicking on the support center bar and typing in a question or a search term. The FAQs are comprehensive and include a wide range of technical, banking, registration and currency conversion solutions.
However, if an issue is not resolved through this process, clients can easily send an email or call the customer service line on the website.
However, the company is clearly focused on online, so phone support is very limited by the office schedule, languages, and quality of service, as many customers testify. The FAQ and help center are not translated into all languages as well.
Transferwise is internationally recognized as a safe and cost-effective mean of transferring money abroad, especially for relatively smaller sums. The fees are low, and there are no hidden charges tacked on. It is relatively easy to register, fund your account, and transfer money abroad. Since it is fully licensed and regulated with many global watchdogs, it is mostly safe and reliable to use.
However, when delivery speed is critical, you should take into consideration the fact that TransferWise is dealing exclusively with bank transfers, which is often coupled with bureaucracy and delays. Long waiting times are the single biggest complaint, seen over and over again in the TransferWise’s customer’s reviews.
If you are planning on moving larger amounts more than $7000 USD/ £4000 GBP/€4500 EU or simply prefer to speak to a customer service person throughout the process, there also may be better options.