TransferWise pride themselves on a transparent fee structure and excellent exchange rates. The online system is easy to use and users are almost unanimously satisfied. Read more about all aspects of the firm in this TransferWise review.
Pros and Cons
- 0.5% FX Margin for Most Currency Routes
- Same FX Margin for Transfers of All Sizes
- Clear and Professional Offering
- Very High Client Satisfaction
- Trustworthy and Safe - Largest Money Transfer Company Today
- Smooth Online System for Client Onoarding
- Top 10 Best Online Website and App for 2020
- Innovative and Exciting
- TransferWise Debit Card – Multi-Currency
- Send and Receive Money only with Mobile Number (Australia)
- Accepts Client from Brazil (New)
- No Dedicated Dealer Guidance
- No Discounts For High Volumes
- No FX Options Offered
- Does Not Handle Cheques
- There are Cheaper Options for Large Transfers
Top TransferWise CompetitorsAlthough TransferWise is a groundbreaking currency transfer company, and is completely safe to use, Money Transfer Comparison rated several companies with higher scores because we believes they provide a better solution for larger transfers. Below you can find some of the more prominent Transferwise competitors we have reviewed:
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 100
- Currencies Supported: 39
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, India, South Africa.
- Our Rating : 97.8%
- Most Global Offices and Reach
No Fees from Anywhere
96% Client Satisfaction
- Min Transfer: £/€ 1,000
- Currencies Supported: 121
- Our Rating : 95.4%
- Easiest Sign Up Process
Great Online Sellers Offering
Transparent Exchange Rates
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 50
- Currencies Supported: 120
- Offices : UK, EU, Australia, USA, HK, UAE, and South America
- Our Rating : 92.8%
TransferWise vs WorldFirstAs an example for our selection above, we have decided to delve into TransferWise vs WorldFirst. WorldFirst had been in the business for several years when TransferWise emerged, and until the TransferWise era they were considered the hip cross between financials and tech (not yet to be named FinTech back then). WorldFirst prides itself in a great online system and registration process, much like TransferWise’s, and has recently decided to offer new pricing for all FX transfers.
|Safe?||Yes, regulated by FCA and many more regulatory bodies. Transfers dozens of billions in foreign exchange each year, servicing millions of clients.||Yes, regulated by FCA and many more regulatory bodies. Transfers billions in foreign exchange each year, servicing millions of clients, and doing so for more than 15 years.|
|Fees||Ranging between 0.26% for CHF transfers to 2.01% for CLP (Chilean Peso). On average it is about 0.5%.||0.5% flat rate for transfers of all sizes above £1,000. Clients who move larger volumes can get 0.15%-0.25% margins.|
|Dedicated Dealer||No. You will get all the support for system issues/help you require but currency guidance is not offered.||Yes. You will be matched with one person taking care of your FX needs and you will be dealing with them exclusively. They will escort you through trades.|
TransferWise vs CurrencyfairSimilar to TransferWise, Currencyfair is another company we think highly of. When you look at Transferwise vs Currencyfair you will notice many similarities. Two innovative companies which are constantly getting market-share and offer tremendous rates. View the comparison below.
|Safe?||Yes, regulated by FCA and many more regulatory bodies. Transfers dozens of billions in foreign exchange each year, servicing millions of clients.||Yes, regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as well as by several other regulators. Transferred over £1bn since inception.|
|Fees||Ranging between 0.27% for USD transfers above $135,000 to 2.31% for the BRL. On average for popular routes it is about 0.5%.||As low as 0.15% FX margin if a transfer is matched through the online platform. If not, then reportedly 0.4% average margin of transfers of all sizes.|
|Dedicated Dealer||No. You will get all the support you require but currency guidance is not offered.||No. You will get all the support you require but currency guidance is not offered.|
More TransferWise Review Information
Is TransferWise Safe? Is TransferWise reliable?
Here is a complete overview of TransferWise’s investment rounds:
Index Ventures (VC), IA Ventures (VC), The Accelerator Group (VC), Kima Ventures (BV), Seedcamp (VC), Max Levchin
|Series A …||$6,000,000|
SV Angel (VC), Valar Ventures (VC), Peter Thiel
|Series B …||$25,000,000|
Valar Ventures (VC), Peter Thiel, Richard Branson, Index Ventures (VC), IA Ventures (VC)
|Series C …||$58,000,000|
Anderson Horowitz (VC), Index Ventures (VC), IA Ventures (VC), Seedcamp (VC), Valar Ventures (VC)
|Series D …||$26,000,000|
Anderson Horowitz (VC), Valar Ventures (VC), Baillie Gifford (PLC Company)
|Series E …||$280,000,000|
Andreessen Horowitz and Mitsui & Co.
|Total to date …||$396,368,400|
Anderson Horowitz (VC), Index Ventures (VC), IA Ventures (VC), Seedcamp (VC), Valar Ventures (VC), Peter Thiel, Richard Branson, The Accelerator Group (VC), Kima Ventures (BV), Seedcamp (VC), Max Levchin, Mitsui & Co.
October 2017 update: TransferWise raised another $280,000,000 making it one of the most funded startups ever with a total of $440,000,000.
Secondary Share SalesIn May 2019 TransferWise announced it raised an additional $292 million through a secondary share sale – at the time valuing the company at $3.5 billion – the most valuable FinTech startup in Europe. Total funding in the company now stands at $689 million and it’s reported TransferWise is closing in on another $300 million secondary share sale in 2020 which will value the firm at $5 billion.
What they didn’t take into consideration is how volatile the market is and the fact people normally want to trade money instantly. Similarly, if there are large payments that TransferWise customers wish to make or there are significant flows into certain currencies (say EUR for example) , it is difficult or even impossible to match those flows in the opposite direction. Long story short, TransferWise dumped this way of marketing themselves, and over recent years has made no reference on their website to the terms “peer to peer money transfer” or “peer to peer currency exchange”. The sheer volume TransferWise transacts these days (at least £4billion a month) means it will access cheap liquidity from its banking partners.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t peer to peer money transfer companies out there! Competitors Currencyfair (appearing on this page under “TransferWise vs Currencyfair”) is definitely putting the idea into practice. Using the Currencyfair money transfer , clients have the choice to either make a normal transfer for a rate provided to you by Currencyfair, or try to find a match and only trade if the peer-to-peer model is successful and currency flows in the opposite direction to yours (in which you will pay as little as 0.15% of your transfer).
Its campaigns were so effective, and so memorable, that even large banks began noticing them. The old slogan “YOUR BANK IS SECRETLY OVERCHARGING YOU ON INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFER” was adjudicated by The Advertising Standard Authority, following complaints from these banks.
Update: TransferWise has suffered additional obstacles as a result of its advertising campaigns. In May 2016, the advertising watchdog commanded TransferWise to be more specific about the savings it offers in each route, in comparison to banks, rather than saying that it helps clients save 90% of transfer costs. TransferWise has also been mocked by the AmericanBanker magazine, as the company is now seeking bank funding. Our take on this? TransferWise is catching fire because it is growing at such rapid pace. As a Branson-backed company, it appreciates any form of attention – positive or negative, and it works out perfectly.
You can’t knock TransferWise for their transparency either – sure they can be rather punchy with their marketing campaigns but there’s an obvious reason why TransferWise are happy to publicise their exchange rates and fees online but mainstream banks aren’t. TransferWise has nothing to hide – no wide spreads or sneaky payment fees.
WEF Tech Pioneer in 2015
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK 2015
FT’s Boldness in Business Award, 2014
Best European Startup, Europas European Tech Startup Awards, 2013
Its low rates, transparency, great on-boarding process, and mind-blowing advertising campaigns have gained it a status as one of the largest payment providers in the world, as early as 5 years from its launch. This is a “startup” that is already moving billions across the globe and fighting with industry giants like Western Union and Moneycorp.
There is absolutely nothing to be concerned about when you use TransferWise to move money abroad. TransferWise is safe as can be.It has a sound financial structure, a solid business model, and it is the absolute epitome of client transparency. After many years of focusing on client acquisition and growth it has turned profit for the last three years and investors more keen than ever to get on board. The company is now available in more than 71 countries and is on track to move £36bn this year alone, with millions of clients from around the globe with an extremely high level of satisfaction.
TransferWise is not a scam, although some people tend to think it is because of the ultra-friendly rates, while in fact, it is one of the most credible companies in this industry.
More recently you may have spotted TransferWise has opened an office in Belgium. The firm took the pro-active decision to gain a European license in Belgium so even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, where UK financial services firms lose their ‘EU passporting’ rights, they can continue to offer the same great service they do today.
Do Clients Like TransferWise ? TransferWise Reviews from Across The Web
Less than 5% of these reviews are complaints, and 94% of them are glowingly positive.
A small amount of the reviews seem to be placed by marketers who are promoting the service (trying to push their discount codes), but the amount is rather insignificant. Seemingly, TransferWise’s superb advertising campaigns have paid off and gained it such serious recognition.
It appears that the main appeal of TransferWise for clients, even more than the superb exchange rates it offers, is the smoothness of the entire experience. An automated online on-boarding process is a huge advantage for the younger generation, and they have become avid users. The words that keep popping up in client reviews are ‘quick’, ‘efficient’ and ‘painless’.
The smaller number of complaints we have encountered do appear to contradict the very things most clients praise about the service.
For example, some are complaining about the rudeness of the customer service. There are however thousands of reviews that are glorifying how kind and respectful the support was. Given the sheer growth of the company it is possible some staff are not as well trained as others. It must also be considered the support team are not foreign exchange specialists – they can guide you through the TransferWise platform but won’t discuss external factors that could impact the rate you achieve – if you’re looking for this then you should consider Currencies Direct or WorldFirst.
The same goes for the unpopular opinion that transfers are often delayed – this seems to be related to a specific problem at a specific time for a specific client, rather than an across-the-board problem. The most common reason it looks like these payments are being delayed is for compliance purposes as more information about the payment is required. This is certainly not an issue individual to TransferWise and is common across both banks and other money transfer providers.
Whether it’s for proof of payment or for opening an account, those complaining about excessive documentation appear to be unaware of the strict Anti-Money Laundering regulations that these sorts of companies must comply with. If additional documents are required, it is simply because the local regulator for the required jurisdiction (such as the FCA) demands that from the firm. Similarly if you’re required to send supporting documentation for a payment (this is usually quite rare) then it is simply the firm ensuring they are not facilitating an illegal transaction.
The critics that complain of unsupported currencies are somewhat justified, as TransferWise doesn’t support as many currencies as some of its competitors like Currencies Direct, but we can’t downgrade TransferWise score based on that, as it’s very clearly stated on their website which currencies are handled and which ones are not. Clients who are complaining about this have simply failed to read the information that is readily available.
Meaning that overall, TransferWise doesn’t make any more or less on fees than it did before. The cost is just spread around differently. Most importantly, a decision was made by the firm that prices would be based purely on the costs incurred relevant to the particular currency/country you are looking to pay. Rather than subsidising certain routes with income made from other currencies.
So any cost savings TransferWise can make in Australia for example can be passed onto savings for consumers purchasing AUD. Transferring money from around the world incurs variable fees with TransferWise but they are as low as under 1 Euro for most destinations from Europe, and less than $3 for anywhere from the USA. The US is notorious for having high payment fees – whether you pay by ACH or wire transfer. Just be sure to fully understand the pricing structure for your currency corridor, particularly if you are trading any exotics.
The pricing is so carefully modelled that not only is the size and speed of payment considered, TransferWise also alter their payment fee depending on where your destination of payment is. So any cheaper payout method the firm can employ, TransferWise can then pass this saving onto the consumer too.
Exchange Rates: Here is the complete fee structure for payments sent in GBP and converted to the currency specified in the table below (note payment fees and spreads can vary slightly depending on where money is being sent so be sure to use TransferWise’s online calculator first):
Please note these are simulated prices and not the real rates and mistakes can occur in calculation or in our foreign currency exchange rate feed
The exchange rates offered by the TransferWise currency transfers are among the best in the business, and in no way comparable to other remittances companies (i.e., companies with low minimum transfers used by overseas workers to transfer money abroad to facilities). For instance Ria Money Transfer and Transfast’s margins are at around the 2-3% mark!
In some particular countries, TransferWise is cheaper (for example, the UK), while in Australia and NZ, it is great, but not as cheap as in other countries. TransferWise is a good option for sending money to some traditionally difficult markets for remittance, such as India and Brazil where brokers will traditionally charge you a much higher fee.
In some countries, like Brazil however, it seems that TransferWise isn’t particularly competitive to send money from. These are currencies that are usually more expensive to transfer money from (“exotic”) and at 2.5% the offering is pretty much in line with the market. As always TransferWise tries to give you savings where possible though – a payment from the UK (GBP to BRL) attracts a spread of 1.20%, whereas flip this and make a payment from Brazil (BRL to GBP) and you’ll see a spread of 2.66%. That’s why it’s always worth using the TransferWise free payment calculator so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll need to pay.
Is it possible to beat TransferWise’s rates with popular currencies like Euro, USD, AUD?The fact that TransferWise is transparent and straightforward is generally very positive, but it is the company’s disadvantage when it comes to high volume transfers. Due to the fact that other companies like Currencies Direct have flexible pricing models, if the transfer is over GBP 25,000 (or equivalent in another currency), it is likely that they could offer cheaper rates than TransferWise. However. it’s always recommended to use TransferWise as a benchmark before you approach other recommended companies and negotiate your price.
TransferWise First Trade FreeTransferWise offers new clients the chance to conduct their first trade for free up to a certain cap (the purpose of this is to check how the system works rather than moving tens of thousands abroad without paying a dime).
Booking a Trade? Pay Attention to the Exchange Rate LockTransferWise does offer a guaranteed rate for all of its transfers and will guarantee a clients rate for 24 hours for every currency except: AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, EUR, HKD, HRK, JPY, RON, and SGD, where the rate is guaranteed for 48 hours. As long as TransferWise receives your money within that period, you’ll get the guaranteed rate.
Sometimes, however, it’s important for the recipient of a transfer to know exactly how much money they will receive even if you pay after the expiry of the guaranteed rate.
In order to secure the rate you see online you’ll have to ensure the amount lock icon is displayed on the TransferWise online platform and pay a 3% deposit of the total value of the transfer. If you don’t do this, and funds arrive to TransferWise later than 24/48 hours (depending on the currency), the rate will be determined at the time the money arrives at TransferWise, and not when the transfer was initiated. This means that due to fluctuations (and TransferWise is not even benefiting in this situation either) you could achieve a worse rate than you expected. TransferWise would then use some of your 3% deposit to make up the value of the transfer and ensure the same amount is received.a Otherwise payments could end up lower than the agreed sum, which will require a second transfer or even cause a payment to be void.
On the flipside, if the rate improves after the initial 24/48 hour settlement period has expired, then TransferWise will refund the 3% deposit and possibly even more depending on how much the rate has changed.
On the flipside, if the rate improves during this time, TransferWise will refund the 3% deposit and possibly even more depending on how much the rate has changed.
With some destinations, it is not necessarily the cheapest even for smaller transfers, but as long as the margin is at 1% or less, it will be around what other companies are offering.
For large transfers their pricing system is definitely beatable by traditional FX institutions, such as Moneycorp. Furthermore, some destinations like Canada, Australia or New Zealand have transfer limitations that prevent sending large amounts with TransferWise (or sending it in several instalments).
To summarise, this is a very good choice for remittances and small transfers. The company specialises in European corridors.
Global Reach & Service
Translations: Italian, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Turkish, Japanese.
Accepts Clients: Listed Below.
Currencies Handled: 49 – 21 you can both BUY and SELL + an additional 28 currencies BUY ONLY (i.e. send money to)
Client Reviews: Love the support team.
That creates a situation in which TransferWise is a great solution for people who want to conduct smaller transfers and is a valid solution for those who need to move large amounts abroad – but not every person who wants to move big volumes is happy to do the entire transaction online.
New on TransferWise :
- TransferWise is now supporting the USD / MXN Corridor
- TransferWise is now accepting Canadian clients
- TransferWise has a new office in Australia (Sydney)
- TransferWise has a new office in Brussels (Belgium)
- TransferWise has a new pricing model
|Europe||Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK|
|America||All US states except Hawaii and Nevada, Brazil, Canada|
|Australia and Oceania||Australia, New Zealand|
|Asia||Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE|
|Africa||Morocco, South Africa|