Wise (TransferWise) review April 2021: Complaints, fees, rates | Finder HK
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Review: Wise (TransferWise) money transfers – April 2021

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Wise offers a low-cost way to send money overseas with an easy verification process.

  • Good for transparent fees and no margin on the exchange rate.
  • Not so great if you need to transfer to less-popular currencies.

USD 10

Min. Transfer Amount

USD 1,200,000

Max. Transfer Amount

1 - 2 days

Transfer Speed

Details

Product NameWise (TransferWise) International Money Transfers
Min. Transfer AmountUSD 10
Max. Transfer AmountUSD 1,200,000
Transfer MethodsOnline, Bank Account to Bank Account
Transfer OptionsOne off payments
Transfer Speed
Minimum transfer time
1 - 2 days
Customer ServicePhone, Email
Available CurrenciesAED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, BRL, BWP, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, GEL, GHS, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, KRW, LKR, MAD, MXN, MYR, NGN, NOK, NPR, NZD, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, RON, RUB, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, TZS, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, VND, XOF, ZAR, ZMW
Exchange Rate UpdatesReal time
Online Transfer Fee0.7%

Expert review

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Review by


Zak Killermann is a writer at Finder. He’s ghostwritten hundreds of articles on fintech, finding his love for publication at St. Cloud State University. Traveling internationally for nearly half his life — and getting burned once by an OTC money exchange — Zak's vowed not to settle for anything short of the mid-market rate again.

Expert review

Wise, unlike a lot of its competitors, makes it crystal clear how much you are paying in fees before you transfer. Money transfer companies can often try to hide fees and exchange rate markups from the user, making Wise a breath of fresh air. Wise offers accounts for both standard users sending to other individuals as well as business accounts with extra features like Xero integration.

When it comes to online transfers, I would be surprised to see big names like MoneyGram and Western Union offering better rates, but keep in mind that other online-specific companies may offer better deals than Wise. If you find yourself traveling overseas frequently or receiving payment in foreign currencies, be sure to look into the Wise Borderless account to see if it fits your needs.

Must read: TransferWise has rebranded to Wise

As TransferWise has expanded beyond international money transfers, the company has changed its name to Wise. As a user, not much will change for you – you’ll be redirected to Wise and can still access your account the same way as normal.

Why should I consider Wise?

  • Easy to use. We signed up for an account and initiated a transfer through the website in less than three minutes.
  • Affordability. When compared to a bank, Wise’s fees and exchange rates will almost always be better.
  • Access to the mid-market rate. Wise offers the mid-market rate on all transfers sent through its network. All you have to think about are fees when comparing transfers.
  • High daily sending limits. A cap of 10,000,000 HKD per transfer is in place, but some sending methods and locations may lower that limit.
  • Multiple payment options. Pay with a debit card, credit card or bank account. When using the Wise mobile app, you can also pay with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

What to be aware of

  • Bank account transfers only. Funds must be sent to the recipient’s bank account; there is no option for cash pickup.
  • Two-step process. You’ll first send the money to Wise, and then Wise will deposit the money into your recipient’s bank account. This extra step can sometimes add time to your transfer.
  • Fees. Because Wise offers the mid-market rate, it relies on fees to make a profit.

Wise’s fees and exchange rates

Fees are determined by the following:

  • Amount. The more money you send, the higher your fees will be. This is because the fees are based on a preset percentage. Each currency uses its own percentage.
  • Payment method. You can pay by bank account, bank wire transfer, debit card or credit card — each uses its own fee based on the amount you are sending, but the percent will typically be the same no matter how much you send.

Wise fees explained

When we checked on 30 Jan, 2021, Wise’s fees tended to be as follows, based on the type of payment method you are using:

Payment feeWise feeTotal fees
Bank transfer0.00%0.5% – 1%0.85% – 1.35%
Debit card2.64%0.5% – 1%3.18%
Credit card2.64%0.5% – 1%3.18%

To give this more context, here is what sending $5,000 HKD to Australia through Wise looks like on 30 Jan, 2021:

Payment feeWise feeTotal fees
Bank transfer0.0027.50 HKD27.50 HKD
Debit card131.92 HKD26.91 HKD158.83 HKD
Credit card131.92 HKD26.91 HKD158.83 HKD

Wise exchange rates explained

Wise 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. 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.

Calculate your transfer with Wise

Choose your currency and desired transfer amount. Exchange rates change frequently, so visit Wise’s site to get a final quote.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 10 1 - 2 days HKD 140.00 0.129 USD
1,270
以透明的匯率,低收費及低最低金額的網上服務作匯款。 Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Check if there are any Wise promo codes available

How long does a Wise money transfer take?

Wise transfer speeds are dependent on how much you are willing to pay in fees and when you send your transfer.

  • Fastest option — instant
    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. Your credit card might charge you an additional cash advance fee, further increasing the cost of your total transfer.
  • Cheapest option — up to four business days
    Making a bank transfer through your bank account to pay for your transfer is typically the cheapest way to send money through Wise, but it’s almost always the slowest. It typically takes two days for Wise to receive your money and an additional two days to transfer the funds to your recipient’s bank account.

What currencies can I send with Wise?

Wise offers money transfers to over 50 different currencies. You can check out the full list of the currencies above, but the following are some of the more popular ones:

  • CNY Chinese yuan
  • EUR Euro
  • GBP British pound
  • INR Indian rupee
  • MXN Mexican peso
  • LKR Sri Lankan rupee
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • VND Vietnamese dong

Case study: Katia's experience

Katia Iervasi profile photo
Katia Iervasi
Writer

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 favorite 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.

Is Wise safe?

Wise was founded in 2010 and serves millions of customers a year. Wise is fully registered and accredited by many global agencies, using the following global standards to protect your money:

  • Follows strict rules set by regulatory agencies. In every country where Wise operates, it is registered with the appropriate regulatory agencies when necessary.
  • 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, 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.

Wise reviews and complaints

As of October 2020, Wise’s reviews are moderately positive overall, with 86% of reviews on Trustpilot ranking it as Excellent, which is better than many competing money transfer companies. Overall, Wise’s clear fee structure and transparent rates make it easy to trust, but that doesn’t mean it is perfect. Customers often complain about slow customer service and turnaround times as well as the fact that missing a dash in your transfer account number can heavily delay your transfer.

How can I pay for my Wise transfer?

HK customers can pay using the following methods:

  • Debit or credit card. These payments are processed immediately.
  • Bank Transfer. You’ll need to allow one to four business days for your funds to reach Wise. You may also pay via FPS by sending the money to hkd@wise.com and most likely the funds will arrive on the same business day.
  • Google Pay and Apple Pay. These services can be used through the Wise mobile app and are processed straightaway. However, these payment methods may be charged as a cash advance.

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 to a range of destinations around the globe. However, there currently is no option to set up recurring transfers.

How do I send money through Wise?

Follow these six steps to have money sent in as little as a few minutes:

  1. Register. Create your free account online or through the mobile app.
  2. Enter your sending amount. Look at the fees and delivery time.
  3. Add recipient’s bank account information. Make sure to include the routing and account number.
  4. Verify your identity. Have your passport or valid driver’s license ready.
  5. Pay. Enter your bank account, debit, credit card or digital wallet details to pay.
  6. Track your transfer. Check the status online or in the mobile app.

How do I reach Wise’s customer service?

Wise offers support in two ways:

By email

To contact Wise by email, visit the Contact Us page and enter your email address, select the topic of the question and provide as much detail as possible about your problem.

By phone

Wise provides phone support in 12 regions but not Hong Kong. Here is the number in Singapore. Get your membership number ready as you’ll be asked for it on the phone.

  • Standard users call +65 3165 5681

Does Wise have a mobile app?

Screenshot of Wise's 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.
  • Increase your payment methods. Pay for your Wise transfer with Apple Pay and Google Pay while using the mobile app.
Ratings accurate as of April 13, 2020
Google Play Store4.4 out of 5 — based on 76,666 customer ratings
Apple App Store4.7 out of 5 — based on 19,100 customer ratings

More on the best money transfer apps

Compare Wise to other transfer services

See how Wise stacks up against the competition by entering the amount you want to send, selecting your destination and choosing Calculate.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 10 1 - 2 days HKD 140.00 0.129 USD
1,270
以透明的匯率,低收費及低最低金額的網上服務作匯款。 Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 10 1 - 2 days HKD 25.00 0.128 USD
1,272
新客戶可享有首三個月無限次免手續費匯款。New customers get 3 months of unlimited free transfers.
可用15+種貨幣匯款,享有超越銀行的匯率以及快速轉賬時間。 CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
SGD 1 1 day HKD 42.00 0.129 USD
1,283
你首兩次港幣$15,000或以下的匯款,手續費全免。Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to HK$15,000.
象徵式收費以及中間價匯率,可匯款至高達30多個國家。 SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
USD 50 1 day HKD 35.00 0.129 USD
1,284
快捷又簡單的國際匯款服務,大部分匯款收取固定的0.5%手續費。部分貨幣更不設保證金率。 InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour HKD 20.00 0.128 USD
1,280
提供現金提取、銀行戶口之間轉賬與及Airtime匯款選擇的網上匯款服務,。 WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups. Go to site Show details
USD 100 1 day HKD 15.00 0.127 USD
1,267
非Finder客戶將獲得較昂貴的匯率。 Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
可用45種貨幣匯款。 OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
GBP 5,000 1 - 2 days HKD 0.00 0.127 USD
1,269
可匯款至20+個國家,無手續費。 CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace. Go to site Show details
USD 2,000 1 day HKD 0.00 0.127 USD
1,269
TorFX保證提供最佳的匯率。需受條款約束。TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate.
以30種貨幣匯款到全球。登記後,將會有一個客戶經理提供支持和引導。 TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Want to compare Wise with other services side-by-side?

Bottom line

Wise is a straightforward company that presents fees and exchange rates alongside your transfer. Given that you can lock-in your transfer rate for many hours after first seeing it, it’s worth checking Wise’s prices first before exploring the competition. If you are ready to make your transfer with Wise now, head on over to get started by creating your free account.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use Wise for business payments?

Yes. Set up a business profile with Wise to begin saving on business payments. If you’re interested in Wise for your e-commerce store, read our review of the features on offer.

Does Wise have a debit card?

Yes. Wise has a debit card but currently not available to Hong Kong residents.

How can I cancel my Wise transfer?

In your account, navigate to the pending transfer and there’ll be a button called Cancel transfer. 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.

Always make sure you trust the business or person you’re sending a money transfer to.

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