Wise is an international money transfer service and payment network that offers transfers to 80 countries with zero markup on the exchange rate. Wise also offers a multi-currency account that lets you pay for purchases as well as receive, hold and convert funds in multiple currencies.
After more than a decade of enormous success in the fintech space, Wise is rumoured to be exploring plans to go public. But it has yet to announce and official IPO.
Pros and cons of Wise Money Transfer
In our Wise (formerly TransferWise) review, we looked at fees, features, transfer options, ease of use and more. Here’s a quick snapshot of the benefits and drawbacks we found:
Easy to use. You can sign up for an account and initiate a transfer within minutes.
Affordability. Compared to banks, Wise’s fees and exchange rates are almost always better.
Zero markup exchange rates. Wise offers the mid-market rate on all transfers sent through its network. All you have to think about are transfer fees.
High sending limits. Send up to $1.5 million CAD if you pay by online bill payment or wire transfer. The limit if you pay by bank transfer is $9,500 CAD daily or $30,000 CAD weekly. The limit for debit/credit payments is $3,000 CAD.
Multiple payment options. Pay by Interac e-Transfer, debit, credit, bank transfer (direct debit), online bill payment or wire transfer.
Low minimum transfer amount. Depending on the sending and receiving currencies, you can send as little as $1 CAD or less.
Bank account transfers only. Funds can only be delivered to bank accounts. Cash pickup is not an option.
Requires ID verification. You’ll have to provide your photo ID, proof of address and/or a picture of you holding your ID to start using your Wise account.
Transfer fees. Because Wise offers the mid-market rate, it relies on transfer fees to make a profit. There are no fee-free transfers.
Cannot pay from wallet. Users in Canada cannot pay by Apple Pay or Google Pay.
How much are Wise’s transfer fees?
Wise is very upfront about its fees. Its transfer fee is usually a fixed fee (under $1 to over several dollars) plus a variable fee (a small percentage of the sending amount). The total varies based on the transfer amount, payment method and sending and receiving currencies.
We found that variable fees are cheapest for online bill payment and wire transfer payments, while credit card payments comes with the highest fees. We also found that the variable fee tends to go down as the transfer amount rises.
Here’s what you might pay if you send $1,000 to the following countries (information current as of August 26, 2022):
Example: Sending money to Hong Kong
Here’s how much you could pay to send a $1,000 CAD money transfer from Canada to Hong Kong. The fee is deducted from the amount sent, not paid on top of it. The actual cost could change based on the transfer amount and exchange rate at the time of your transfer.
Pay by Interac e-Transfer
Pay by debit
1 CAD = 6.01895 HKD
1 CAD = 6.01895 CAD
117.91 more HKD
117.91 less HKD
Within 15 mins.
Within 10 minutes
How are Wise’s exchange rates?
Wise is unusual as it uses the mid-market rate for transfers and also allows you to lock in a rate for a day or more to complete your transfer. Most money transfer providers will add a markup to their exchange rate in order to make a profit.
When we checked Wise’s rates against the mid-market rate on Google and Xe, they were similar. Wise’s rates update multiple times a day.
What your Wise transfer could look like
Use the table below to find out more details about what making a money transfer with Wise looks like. Click the Go to site button to visit Wise’s site and get a quote for your transfer.
What are the ways I can send money abroad with Wise?
Wise only supports bank account transfers, but the transaction is easy to complete online.
How to send money transfer online with Wise
Follow these 6 steps to have money sent in as little as a few minutes:
Create your free account online or through the mobile app.
Look at the fees and the delivery time when you have entered how much you want to send and in what currency.
Input your recipient’s bank account information including routing or transit number and bank account number.
Have your passport or valid driver’s license ready and provide evidence when prompted.
Enter your bank account, debit or credit card details to pay.
Check the status of your transfer online or via mobile app.
Case study: Katia's experience
I began using Wise when I moved to the US from Australia a few years ago. I tested a few money transfer services and Wise was—and still is—my favourite for a couple of reasons:
It’s transparent. As soon as you enter the amount of money you want to send, you’ll see the real, mid-market exchange rate as well as Wise’s fees. The rate changes so much that if I get distracted and come back to the site a few minutes later, it may have already changed. That’s how I know it’s current.
The fee is small. Especially compared to the traditional banks—as someone who regularly transfers money between two continents, I appreciate this. The funds usually appear in my account in 24 hours, but it can take longer if I hit send just before the weekend.
What are Wise’s payment options?
Customers using Wise in Canada can pay using the following methods:
Online bill payment
The funds are deposited directly into your recipient’s bank account once Wise receives your payment. Wise allows you to make secure one-off transfers but currently has no option to set up recurring transfers.
How long does an international transfer with Wise take?
Wise’s money transfer speeds are dependent on how much you are willing to pay in fees and when you send your transfer.
When using a credit or debit card, you’ll pay more in fees, but your money can arrive instantly in your recipient’s bank account. However, keep in mind that your credit card might charge you an additional cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.
Making a bank transfer is typically the cheapest way to send money through Wise, but it’s almost always the slowest. It typically takes 2 working days for Wise to receive your money. Then it’s usually another 2 working days to transfer the funds to your recipient’s bank account.
Transfers typically take
2 business days
Is Wise safe to use?
Wise was founded in 2010 and serves millions of customers a year. It is fully registered and accredited by many global agencies, using the following global standards to protect your money:
Follows regulatory guidelines. In every country where Wise operates, it is registered with the appropriate regulatory agency and follows the strict rules that are set out.
Bank-level data security. Encryption and data storage at Wise are handled in the same way as your bank.
Two-factor authentication. Protect your account with 2FA and with optional biometric locks on the Wise mobile app.
In-house 24/7 digital security team. A security team works around the clock to monitor transactions for suspicious activity and accounts for fraudulent logins.
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Authorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF)
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Financial Intelligence Unit (AUSTRAC)
Belgium and the European Economic Area (EEA)
National Bank of Belgium (NBB) as an Authorized Payment Institution
Customs and Excise Department (CCE) of Hong Kong
Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
Kanto Local Financial Bureau
Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia)
Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA)
UK Financial Conduct Authority, The Information Commissioner’s Office
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)
Does Wise have an app?
Wise has a mobile app on both the Google Play and Apple App stores. The app makes it possible to do the following:
Quickly repeat a transfer. See a complete list of past money transfers and send to past recipients in a few taps.
Log in with biometrics. On phones that support face scanning and thumbprint reading, use these features to lock your Wise account.
Get rate updates. Waiting for the perfect exchange rate? Set up rate tracking to get updates when the price is in your favor.
Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
Yes, Wise has a debit card in Canada. With it, you can spend any currency on your card at the real exchange rate and use it to withdraw money across the world for free (up to $350 CAD per month).
To cancel your Wise money transfer, login to your account, navigate to the pending transfer and select the Cancel transfer button. This will work if the money is still being sent to Wise or if it's being converted.
However, once Wise pays your recipient, there's no way to get it back. If the details are incorrect, the money will usually bounce. Wise will let you know in this case, so you'll have the opportunity to update the details or cancel the transaction entirely.
Yes. TransferWise rebranded to Wise in February 2021.
Zak Killermann is a publisher at Finder who’s been specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for four years — covering everything from ICO booms, crypto winters, memecoins and more. He’s mined and minted cryptocurrencies, and remembers the days when DOGE was just for fun. Zak’s focus is in breaking down technical concepts into approachable nuggets of information. Before diving into all things crypto, Zak contributed to Finder’s money transfers vertical.
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