Shirley Liu is Finder's global program manager. She was previously the publisher for banking and investments and has also written comparisons for energy, money transfers, Uber Eats and many other topics. Shirley has a Master of Commerce and a Bachelor of Media, Journalism and Communications from the University of New South Wales. She is passionate about helping people find the best deal for their 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.
Wise is one of the few services that offers its customers the mid-market rate. This is the rate you can see on Google or Reuters and it’s what your money’s actually worth on the global market, compared to another currency.
While you might see that the quoted exchange rate from other money transfer services is different to the mid-market rate, this won’t happen with Wise. Other services make their money from this margin added on to the exchange rate, but Wise only charges a fee.
Wise’s fee is usually a combination of a percentage and a fixed flat-fee of a few dollars. You can see what your transfer would look like with Wise by using the calculator below, which offers real-time exchange rates and fees.
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
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.
What types of transfers can you make with Wise?
With Wise, you’ll only be able to make transfers to a bank account, so you can’t send to a cash pick-up location or mobile wallet just yet.
Wise also doesn’t offer some of the forex products its competitors do, like forward contracts and limit orders, but there is a service specifically for business. You can read more about it in our full review.
If you’re sending money to China, you’re now able to pay directly to your recipient’s AliPay ID. This means the money will appear instantly in their linked bank account.
Which payment methods does Wise accept?
You can pay for your transfer a few ways, including:
Apple or Android Pay
Keep in mind that a bank transfer will usually cost you the least. Paying by credit card ends up adding a percentage fee on top.
How long does a transfer with Wise take?
Transfer time depends on what currency you’re sending.
As a general rule, it’ll be anywhere between one and two business days. But if you’re sending to the UK, for example, your money should arrive in minutes.
On the other hand, sending to USD will take around two business days.
Transfers typically take
1 - 2 days
Is Wise safe to use?
Security and regulation: Government-regulated, two-factor authentication (2FA)
Number of customers: Over 4 million*.
Reviews: TrustPilot gives Wise a score of 4.6 out of 5, based on roughly 85,000 reviews*
Investors Virgin Group, JP Morgan, LHV Ventures, NatWest Bank
According to Wise and Trustpilot on 03 April 2020.
Wise uses 2FA, meaning that when you log in, you’ll need to go through two levels of verification to access your account. This gives you extra protection for your account. Since Wise is government-regulated, it keeps its clients’ money separate from its own funds. This means if Wise runs into financial hardship, your money will be safe.
How to register an account and send your first transfer
You’ll have the option to sign up in top right-hand corner.
Choose whether you’re planning to use this for a business or by yourself, then add in an email and password. You’ll get an email after this asking you to verify your email address.
You’ll be shown the guaranteed exchange rate, fees and an estimation on how long your transfer will take to arrive.
You’ll need to fill in your full name, date of birth, phone number and address.
You have the option of adding their bank details later if you don’t have them on you. If you’re sending to yourself, you don’t have to add your address in again.
You can upload either your passport, driver’s licence or national ID card.
First, choose which way you’d like to pay for your transfer. Keep in mind that different payment methods come with different prices. You’ll be given an estimated time of arrival for each type of transfer, as well.
If you’re paying with bank transfer, you’ll be given Wise’s bank details to make a transfer to. Once this is confirmed, your transfer will go through.
What is Wise?
Wise was founded in 2011 when two friends, Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, devised a way to transfer funds overseas without losing any of their money. Wise now has 11 offices, including the headquarters in London and other offices in New York, Sydney and Singapore.
In a nutshell
Offers the mid-market rate. This is the fairest exchange rate you’ll be able to find.
Transparent fee structure. You can find out exactly what fees you’ll be paying without having to sign up for an account.
Fast registration. The verification process is incredibly quick, so you can sign up and make your first transfer within 10 minutes.
Very low minimum transfer limit.The smallest amount you can send is $1, making it super accessible.
Fees can add up. Since most of the fees come from a percentage of the transaction, you’ll find they may add up if you’re sending a lot of money. Compare your other options for large transfers.
Receiver has to have a bank account. You won’t be able to send to a cash pick-up location or mobile wallet.
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