Focused on creating bank-to-bank global transfers, TransferWise is cheaper than your typical local bank to send money overseas and is transparent regards the exchange rate and what applicable charges apply. What about TransferWise currencies? There is 22 currencies available to send and receive although you can send the money to another 27 foreign currencies.
TransferWise may not be the best choice in some circumstances to send money internationally, but it will be the right choice for many especially regards saving money on banking charges.
Ideally, choosing the best overseas money transfer provider begins with a helpful service that has offices in your country of residence due to the intrinsic benefits of service and safety. TransferWise, however, does have headquarters in the United Kingdom (UK), the United States and Estonia (covering Europe).
Besides their international money transfer service after signing up, you can make use of the TransferWise borderless account card that allows you to accept GBP, EUR, USD and AUD money and keep up to 40 currencies, it’s a lot like having a local bank account in the US, UK, EU, Australia and many other countries and it is easy to fund.
What are TransferWise Rates and fees and are there hidden costs?
TransferWise is extremely transparent avoiding hidden fees associated with other competitors and is clear about precisely what you’re paying for, which means you can readily see what transaction fees will be regards a wire transfer. The problem is that varying quantities, certain foreign currencies and different nations banks can add to the cost of these in some cases.
Each transaction is subject to fees based on three things – the sum you are sending, the method with which you are paying for the transaction, and the mid-market exchange rate.
This means quite simply that the more money you send, the more you will pay in fees. Our fees are a percentage of the sum you are sending. That percentage varies depending on where you are and where your money is being sent. Different currencies incur different fees.
If you are sending a nominal sum of money, you will always pay our minimum fee. This is cheaper than the fee other services out there charge. This nominal sum amounts to a £2 fee for transfers up to £400. For anything over that, the fee is 0.5% of the amount sent./p>
p>The method with which you pay for your transfer also has a bearing on how much you pay in fees. Transferwise fees for each of the various methods of payment that you may use are displayed when you schedule your transfer.
The mid-market rate is the same rate banks use to perform their own trades. It is highly competitive. You can see the current mid-market rate by searching for it online. We do not mark up this fee so the recipient of your money gets more of what you send.
The mid-market fee fluctuates all the time, but for some currencies, we offer to lock in that rate for you. You are guaranteed this rate as long as you send your money within 24 or 48 hours.
TransferWise is an authorised money institution under the Financial Conduct Authority. It maintains strict adherence to all FCA standards and strives to make each transaction as safe and secure as possible.
Here are 3 Simple steps to see the cost and compare what you’re paying for
Specify the currency you want to convert and the currency you want to convert to with your opened widget. The currency to be transformed is in the panel called “You send,” and the resulting quantity is in the panel called “Recipient receives.”
Check the breakdown of the fee between the two panels.
To get the proportion of fees you pay, divide the “Total Fees” by the “You Send” quantity and multiply by 100.
Compare the values with the other services that you are considering so that you can make an informed judgement over which service to use.
Here are some rates from the following service suppliers for cash transfer:
- Banks – 3%-7%
- PayPal – 6%-8%
Other International Money Transfer Companies – 0.5%-1.8% (variable on the amount and currencies involved)
The rate of 0.845% offers low fees compared to others and is very competitive. Please note, however, that based on a number of variables this proportion will alter, which is why we recommend following the helpful measures above./p>
TransferWise provides the mid-market exchange rate (mainly the highest exchange rate anybody can get) and is transparent about the precise charges you are paying so you’re off to a good beginning.
But if the foreign currency exchange rate is not guaranteed, this can be worthless.
The price they give you is not guaranteed by some services. This implies that you are at the mercy of changes in the exchange rate that can readily go either way by 1 percent or more every day.
TransferWise guarantees the rate, depending on the currencies you choose, for 24 or 48 hours and you can fund the transaction in some currencies with a debit card or credit card.
TransferWise state that, “As long as we receive your cash within the defined time period, that’s the rate you’re going to receive. If your money does not reach us in time, we will still convert your funds as soon as possible, but at the time of receiving your money, we will use the mid-market rate valid.”
Reviews have shown that TransferWise exchange rate promise holds up to scrutiny even if transfers are made at the weekend with the funds not received by the recipient until the beginning of the working week.
How do I Sign Up to TransferWise Money Transfer Service?
It is very straightforward to initially sign up for TransferWise multicurrency account especially if you have your ID and bank details to hand.
Here are the steps:
It can be done in a couple of ways, for example:
- Register directly via TransferWises website. For further guidance, click here.
- Register with either your Facebook account or your Google+ account. For more information on how to do this, click here.
- Email and mobile verification
TransferWise will send you a text with a safety code and an e-mail as part of the TransferWise account authentication process.
Once these are checked, you can set up your first transfer using their app by entering a safety code and clicking the email link.
This is where the sum you want to transfer is finalized. You’ll see an estimate of when the amount arrives. They will also guarantee the rate they offer you for 24 or 48 hours (which in our view is very important given the volatility of some foreign currencies).
Who Sending Money To
Next you enter the recipients bank account where the cash is going to.
To verify your identity, TransferWise will ask you to upload images of your ID. (Pictures can be taken from a smartphone, shared with your laptop and uploaded to their site in just a few clicks.)
Although they say this might take 2-3 days, many of their customers have discovered this to be instantaneous. For all reputable money transfer providers, this is the normal practice these days.
Making a payment
After you check the details of the transfer you set up like the bank account and the amount you would like to send, you will be given a number of options in respect of delivery options.
Track the progress
You can monitor the progress online via your desktop computer or mobile app just to make sure everything runs smoothly, but you will also receive an email with the topic “Transfer Sent” at every significant step.
How does TransferWise Perform?
To keep the cost down to all parties, the greatest secret of Transferwise is that they transfer your cash without any cash actually being transferred.
Transferwise is a service of peer-to-peer (P2P). What this means is that they match individuals wanting to pass one currency to another with individuals wanting to exchange the reverse (as much as possible anyway).
For instance, if you want to swap 1000 GBP to EUR, Transferwise will simply add your 1000 GBP transfer amount to their GBP pot and send the equivalent amount of EUR from their Euros pot to the recipient. All of this can done via their app.
This implies that the money is not effectively traveling across boundaries, which implies that they can save you cash on transfer charges.
From those who have reviewed the service it is clear TransferWise fees and exchange rates are a leader in almost every significant currency and quantity regards sending money and receiving international payment when compared to using your local bank account or other transfer money services.
Perhaps the reason you should look at other alternatives is their greatest strengths. As we have seen, the business model of TransferWise includes swapping payments with others and doing everything online to maintain reduce costs.
However, this may not be the best option in these two instances.
Larger quantities are becoming harder for P2P services to deal at the minimal price offering and velocity benefits compared to other comparable services.
Therefore, many choose money transfer companies that are not based on P2P for larger amounts ($7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD AUD) or if you want lots of telephone support.
In respect of customer experience, a few customers have reported that they are not always easy to get hold off on the phone which is not entirely helpful (some 24/7 compared to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays), but they do offer a personal service eg call you back and are extremely responsive during transfers and account setup.
For bigger quantity payments or more telephone-based services, rather than the growing trend of using mobile apps, check out our other suggested supplier reviews to compare the actual cost of each service.
Is TransferWise trustworthy and what reviews you should believe?
Regardless of which review site you are looking at, most reviews are very complimentary, especially when using their mobile app which is available on Apple and Android devices. Trustpilot, for instance, averages the results and finds Transferwise “excellent” based on 47,742 reviews with a 9.1/10 score.
But nothing is ideal, and there is a lot to be learned in the bad reviews. However, the problem with reading individual reviews is that one can be forgiven that this is how TransferWise operate . Therefore, always balance this by reading the good reviews (vast majority) which given the high overall score is highly recommended.
After looking through 100s of TransferWise customers reviews, two issues appear to stand out amongst all others as shown below:
- Borderless Accounts disabled after a transfer (30%)
- Money Delay payments (30%)
- Better Rates Elsewhere (10%)
- Customer Service Experience (10%)
- Problems With Card Service (10%)
- Other (10%)
Accounts Deactivated After a Transfer
If the transactions reach certain thresholds, TransferWise appears to have a policy of requesting additional ID. This is certainly linked to the fulfillment of regulatory demands. Perhaps TransferWise could improve their communication here and provide clearer instructions as those affected can get frustrated.
A substantial number of problems are related to delayed cash. Some people think that the cash was lost. This appears to be a large issue, but this usually has nothing to do with TransferWise at all and is more about the banks at both ends taking their time to process transactions.
Is TransferWise quick?
If you’re using debit and credit cards, choosing TransferWise to send money is a smart choice as it may be one of the fastest services around, however, given the additional costs, exchange rates, card fees etc, you have to carefully weigh up their services.
On the other end, it may take time for the P2P method to match your funds with others, particularly with less common currencies and/or bigger sums.
TransferWise claims it can take up to two working days to convert your cash, but the experience of most is that it’s very uncommon that it takes that long. The truth is that most international money transfer companies are very good at transferring money very rapidly at both ends and are often much quicker than the banks. How long it takes to get into your account will often come down to your bank, not the transfer provider itself (which can vary enormously).
Is this exchange service safe and secure?
The fact that TransferWise is a peer-to-peer (P2P) service might leave you concerned about the service’s safety. What’s going to happen if you send your money and your “peer” isn’t doing the same thing?
While it’s peer to peer, TransferWise literally doesn’t match you on the other side of the globe with another individual. They have big quantities of all the currencies in which they deal, and the cash will be transferred by the business itself.
As well as this, TransferWise is strongly regulated like most significant financial firms. Each nation in which TransferWise works has its own regulatory board to abide by.
It is therefore regulated by, amongst others, by boards such as the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (Australia), Customs and Excise Department (Hong Kong), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK and Europe), and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (USA).
As a company, they are heavily regulated and take measures to prevent money laundering and as such, you shouldn’t have any problems with sending money when using this service.
Final verdict of TransferWise
For many TransferWise is an outstanding money transfer provider.
Its brilliance is in its internet simplicity and being very upfront about what they charge and how much cash you get when you create a transfer. This means they enjoy a loyal customer following.
Nevertheless, if you want to transfer larger amounts of money and prefer to talk to human agents at critical times, rather than rely on a mobile app, non-P2P services may be better.
For business transfers, additional features, bigger quantities, or more telephone-based services, check out our other suggested money transfer industry suppliers.
As our TransferWise review has shown, to send money abroad in smaller quantities is definitely going to be far cheaper than your traditional bank.
Click here to sign up today or read our other reviews.