Wise (TransferWise) review
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.
Min. Transfer Amount
Max. Transfer Amount
|Product Name||Wise (TransferWise) International Money Transfers|
|Min. Transfer Amount||USD 1|
|Max. Transfer Amount||USD 7,000|
|Transfer Methods||Online, Bank Account to Bank Account|
|Transfer Options||One off payments|
Minimum transfer time
|Customer Service||Phone, Chat, Email|
|Available Currencies||AED, ARS, AUD, BDT, BGN, BRL, BWP, CAD, CHF, CLP, COP, CRC, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, FJD, GBP, GEL, GHS, HKD, HRK, HUF, IDR, 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 Updates||Real time|
|Online Transfer Fee||0.8%|
- No minimum transfer amount
- No hidden commissions or unexpected fees
- Uses the mid-market exchange rate to give you the best possible deal
- Not all currencies supported
Zak Killermann is a writer 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 (like yellow papers) for the average folk to digest on their morning commute. Before diving into all things crypto, Zak contributed to Finder’s money transfers vertical.
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.
Why should I consider Wise?
- Easy to use. We were able to sign up for an account and initiate 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 RM30,000 per day is in place, but some sending methods and locations may lower that limit.
- Multiple payment options. Pay by bank transfer, FPX online banking or debit card. 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 pick-up.
- 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.
- Requires identification. You’ll have to provide your government-issued ID and possibly other details before sending your first transfer through Wise.
- Fees. Because Wise offers the mid-market rate, it relies on fees to make a profit.
Wise’s fees and exchange rates
As long as you are sending Malaysian ringgit, Wise’s fees are the same no matter what country you are sending to from Malaysia. 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 transfer, FPX online banking or debit 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.
- Location. Transfers sent from different places in Malaysia should all use the same fee table, but those may change if you are traveling abroad and sending money from other countries.
Wise fees explained
When we checked on 16 November 2020, Wise’s fees tended to be as follows, based on the type of payment method you are using:
|Payment fee||Wise fee||Total fees|
|Bank transfer||RM0||0.5% – 1%||0.5% – 1%|
|FPX online banking||RM1.10||0.5% – 1%||RM1.10 + 0.5% – 1%|
|Debit card||3.19%||0.5% – 1%||3.69% – 4.19%|
To give this more context, here is what sending RM5,000 to the US through Wise looks like on 16 November 2020:
|Payment fee||Wise fee||Total fees|
|FPX online banking||RM1.10||RM30.88||RM31.98|
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.
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 debit card, you’ll pay more in fees, but your money can arrive instantly in your recipient’s bank account. An affordable option is to use the FPX online banking. With a more reasonable fee, your payment is also processed immediately by debiting your Internet banking bank account.
- Cheapest option — up to two business days
Making a payment through bank transfer is typically the cheapest way to send money through Wise, but it’s almost always the slowest. It typically takes one to two days for Wise to receive your money and 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 from Malaysia. 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
Must read: Temporary sending limit to Mexico
As of 20 Jan 2021, a temporary limit of US$980 (or the same amount in Mexican pesos) has been placed on transfers to Mexico by Wise. We’ll update this information once the limit has been lifted.
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?
Malaysian customers can pay using the following methods:
- Debit card. These payments are processed immediately.
- FPX online banking. This method is also processed immediately by directly debiting your Internet banking bank account.
- Bank transfer. This option usually takes one to two working days for your money to get to Wise, depending on the currency.
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:
- Register. Create your free account online or through the mobile app.
- Enter your sending amount. Look at the fees and delivery time.
- Add recipient’s bank account information. Make sure to include the routing and account number.
- Verify your identity. Have your passport or valid driver’s licence ready.
- Pay. Enter your bank account, debit card or digital wallet details to pay.
- Track your transfer. Check the status online or in the mobile app.
Does Wise have a mobile 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 16 November 2020|
|Google Play Store||4.2 out of 5 — based on 91,969 customer ratings|
|Apple App Store||4.7 out of 5 — based on 530 customer ratings|
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 clicking Calculate.
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?
No. Wise does not offer its business services for users in Malaysia.
Does Wise have a debit card?
While Wise does have a debit card in the UK, it isn’t available in Malaysia just yet. If you have one of these cards already, you can still use it in Malaysia. You can find out more about our experience with it in the video below.
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.
What is Wise’s customer service like?
Wise has a searchable help centre but if you need to speak to someone directly, you can live-chat or send an email.