TransferWise Review: is it safe, Pros and Cons

Subject: TransferWise Review: is it safe, Pros and Cons

You can register with TransferWise as an individual or a business. The company has customers in all five continents. If you use a smartphone or a tablet, you can use the money transfer app provided by this company. TransferWise lets you transfer funds internationally for most legitimate purposes, which can include:

  • Sending money to family or friends
  • Paying utility bills
  • Making mortgage payments
  • Paying tuition fees
  • Making payments towards international invoices

TransferWise gives you the ability to receive money – for personal and business reasons. Unlike some international fund transfer companies, it does not offer cash pick-up as an option.

At a Glance – TransferWise Money Transfer Services

Signing up with TransferWise requires that you follow a simple process. You can pay for your transfer in different ways, including debit cards and credit cards. The company offers bank-beating rates consistently, relying completely on the mid-market rate provided by Reuters. The fee you have to pay for your transfer is nominal. However, it can vary depending on the destination country, hence it can’t be regarded as a fixed fee service. The company provides high levels of customer service, offering support through different mediums.

Details About TransferWise

Most reviews of TransferWise tell you that this company functions as a peer-to-peer platform. What exactly does this mean? In simple terms, TransferWise matches the transfers its customers make with each other.

Consider this… You want to transfer money from the UK to Spain. At the same time, someone from Spain wants to make a transfer to the UK. What TransferWise essentially does is match both of these money transfers. In this case, the money transferred from Spain makes it to your bank account in Spain. Your money simply moves it to a local UK bank account, never leaving the country, similar to conventional bank transfers.

Fees

There is more to TransferWise than its peer-to-peer system. Aspects discussed below require your attention as well.

From the U.S to the UK:

PAYMENT METHOD TRANSFER AMOUNT FEES
Bank debit (ACH) U.S. $100 U.S. $1.79
U.S. $1,000 U.S. $6.90
U.S. $10,000 U.S. $57.98
Wire transfer U.S. $100 U.S. $6.91
U.S. $1,000 U.S. $10.23
U.S. $10,000 U.S. $43.41
U.S. $100,000 U.S. $375.18

TransferWise provides different transfer methods for residents of the UK, and fees vary accordingly, hence this is not a fixed fee service when it comes to sending money.

From the UK to Australia:

PAYMENT METHOD TRANSFER AMOUNT FEES
Low cost transfer GBP 100 GBP 0.75
GBP 1,000 GBP 3.89
GBP 10,000 GBP 35.28
Fast and easy transfer GBP 100 GBP 0.95
GBP 1,000 GBP 5.88
GBP 10,000 GBP 55.17

From the UK to the U.S.:

 

PAYMENT METHOD TRANSFER AMOUNT FEES
Low cost transfer GBP 100 GBP 0.92
GBP 1,000 GBP 3.97
GBP 10,000 GBP 34.46
Fast and easy transfer GBP 100 GBP 1.12
GBP 1,000 GBP 5.96
GBP 10,000 GBP 54.36

You might have to pay additional fees if you use a debit or credit card. A dedicated TransferWise Fees page provides more details about TransferWise fees.

TransferWise Exchange Rates

TransferWise exchange rates are the same as mid-market rates provided by Reuters. Unlike many fund transfer companies, TransferWise does not add any markup to this exchange rate. Instead, it charges a transparent transfer fee, which, in most cases, is nominal. The calculator found on the TransferWise homepage gives you an easy means of checking prevailing mid-market rates. This page provides more details about the TransferWise guaranteed exchange rates, enabling you to assess overall costs when you send money abroad.

How Do You Sign Up With TransferWise?

You can simplify the process of signing up with TransferWise by using your Google or Facebook account. Alternatively, you can use your email address along with a unique password. At some stage before you can start transferring money or receiving funds, you will need to verify your identity. You can get your account verified ahead of time by uploading your ID and address-related documents, and sending TransferWise an email.

How Do You Initiate a Money Transfer Through TransferWise?

You can initiate your transfer by using the TransferWise website on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Using the company’s international money transfer app is also an option. No matter which alternative you choose, the process is basically the same in respect of sending money abroad.

  1. Provide details of recipient. TransferWise gives you two ways to go about this. You can provide the recipient’s bank account details or an email address. If you provide just an email address, the recipient then provides local bank details.
  2. Enter transfer amount. You can enter the amount you wish to send or the exact amount you want the recipient to receive. If you opt for a specific amount transfer, you have to pay an extra 3% deposit, in the event there is a fluctuation in the real exchange rate. Once the transfer is complete, you get a refund of any leftover amount.
  3. Make payment. The final step is to make your payment using any of the available methods. These can vary depending on where you live.

Supported Countries & Currencies

TransferWise lets you sign up from most countries the world over. It operates dedicated sources for residents of several countries, which include:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • United States

Supported TransferWise Peer to Peer Countries

You can use the services of this company to send and receive funds from different countries. It does not support peer-to-peer transfers for all countries. However, it continues to make additions to its list of fully peer-to-peer supported countries, with examples such as Australia and New Zealand. The partial list of countries TransferWise supports includes:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam

TransferWise Supported Countries – Including Non Peer to Peer Support

Understand that you cannot make peer-to-peer transfers to and from all TransferWise-supported countries. For example, while TransferWise can deliver funds to bank accounts in India, it does not yet transfer funds out of India. If you wish to pay for your transfer in U.S. dollars, TransferWise receives your funds in its USD depositing account in Europe, via ACH bank debit, domestic wire transfer, or SWIFT. The TransferWise list of supported currencies varies depending on where you live and the desired currency. You can send and receive these currencies using TransferWise:

EUR Euro Sends and receives Euros anywhere within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
GBP Pounds Sterling Within the UK including Gibralter, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man
USD US dollar Sends USD to checking accounts in the US. TransferWise can receive USD via ACH Bank debit, dometic wire, and international SWIFT payment.
AUD Australian dollar Sends and receives AUD via Australian local transfer.
CHF Swiss franc Within Switzerland and Liechtenstein
CAD Canadian dollar Within Canada – make transfers over $9,500 only via SWIFT
PLN Polish ztoty Within Poland
SEK Swedish krona Within Sweden
NOK Norwegian krone Within Norway
DKK Danish krone Within Denmark
HUF Hungarian forint Within Hungary

TransferWise can only send out these currencies, via local transfer:

INR Indian rupee Sends INR via RTGS, NEFT, or TPT to INR-denominated accounts in India
HKD Hong Kong dollar Within Hong Kong
MYR Malaysian ringgit Within Malaysia
PHP Philippine peso Within Philippines
PKR Pakistani rupee Sends payment to private recipients within Pakistan
MAD Moroccan dirham Within Morocco
THB Thai baht Within Thailand
AED Emirati dirham Within UAE
UAH Ukrainian hryvnia Within Ukraine
IDR Indonesia rupiah Within Indonesia
COP Colombian peso Within Colombia
GEL Georgian lari Within Georgia
TRY Turkish lira Within Turkey and Northern Cyprus (Provided the IBAN begins with TR)
MXN Mexican peso Within Mexico
RUB Russian rouble Within Russia (except Sevastopol and Crimea, because of EU sanctions)
KRW South Korean won Within South Korea
CNY Chinese yuan Within China, from a limited list of countries
LKR Sri Lankan rupee Within Sri Lanka
BDT Bangladesh taka Within Bangladesh
VND Vietnamese dong Within Vietnam

The TransferWise Mastercard is currently available for Borderless account holders in:

  • The UK
  • The U.S.
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland

All countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) except Greece

Businesses may get a TransferWise Mastercard in all of the countries listed above, except the U.S.

Speed

How long does TransferWise take to process international fund transfers? Most reviews of TransferWise will tell you that the process can take one to four working days. The method of payment has an effect on the turnaround time, as does the destination country. For example, while debit and credit card payments tend to reach TransferWise immediately, bank and SWIFT transfers usually take longer.

Products

Personal Transfers

Individuals can use the services of TransferWise to send and receive funds. You can pay for your transfer in major and exotic currencies. This peer-to-peer online money transfer company gives you an easy means to transfer funds into overseas bank accounts, for various reasons. The company operates dedicated websites for residents of different countries.

Business Transfers

Businesses can use the services of TransferWise to send money to 59 countries, as of now. You can send money directly to a bank account, or transfer it to an email account. In case of the latter, the recipient then provides bank account information. You can make single or mass payments. The online platform for business accounts lets you track and manage your transfers, track transfer history, and set-up alerts.

Features

  • Global multi-currency account. TransferWise now offers local banking details in USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, NZD, and PLN through the Borderless Account. Receive transfers as if you are within the region’s national borders, and transfer out at a very low cost. Check this easy to read infographic explaining the TransferWise Borderless Account.
  • Debit Card. The TransferWise Debit Card gives you easy access to funds in your Borderless Account. The card comes with no foreign transaction fees and offers free worldwide ATM withdrawals. Adding the TransferWise debit Mastercard to your Google Pay wallet is simple. You may also use it with Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. Whether or not you can link your card with these wallets depends on where you live.
  • Direct debits. TransferWise now offers direct debits through the Borderless account. You may set up direct debits in GBP and EUR. For direct debits in EUR, your IBAN should start with BE.
  • Online support – The help section of the TransferWise website provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, you can contact a TransferWise representative via chat, during working hours. You can also contact TransferWise via email. If you wish to use a smartphone or a tablet that runs on Android or iOS, you can use the TransferWise money transfer app.
  • Phone support – Depending on where you live, you can speak to a TransferWise representative over the phone. The company provides dedicated phone support to residents of the UK, Germany, the U.S., Canada, Spain, France, Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Austria.
  • Payment options – TransferWise accepts payments through debit and credit cards, for payments made in different currencies. Paying via bank and SWIFT transfers is possible. For some euro payments, you can turn to SOFORT. You can also make payments using Apple Pay, Apple’s digital wallet.
  • Repeat transfers – TransferWise does not let you pre-schedule transfers yet. However, you can repeat transfers made to recipients in the past quite easily.
  • Ease of use – You can sign up with TransferWise by using your Google or Facebook account. A simple four-step process keeps things simple. If you use TransferWise for personal and business purposes, both of your accounts remain under a single profile.
  • Multilingual Website – Access to the TransferWise website comes in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese.
  • Batch transfers – Make up to 1,000 transfers easily and quickly using TransferWise Batch Transfers. TransferWise provides you with a batch payments or transfers template that you can easily update and then upload to TransferWise through simple wizard driven batch transfers. This feature might work well if you have to transfer money regularly to multiple third parties such as supplies or freelancers. Check out the video on TransferWise batch transfers.

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