Transferwise Reviews 20-19: Is it Safe? Entire Guide with Pros & Cons

Transferwise Review — Is it Safe?

In a period not such a long time past, wanting to ship and get money to get a charitable foundation proved to be a economic and logistical nightmare. Aside from if you are using the community financial institution or some money transport company just like Western Union — you wouldn’t merely be used to significant penalties and prolonged flaws, nevertheless, also you’d also must register multiple records.

Fast ahead to 20-19 also it’s currently feasible to move capital over seas in the click of the button both cheaply and quickly. Some of many main internet programs within this regard is how TransferWise.

As these, in the event you’re considering making use of Transferwise to your own international transportation requirements, don’t forget to browse our comprehensive review. All of us’ve coated all you want to find out, like the way a system performs, prices, transport occasions, protection, regulation, and much more.

Let’s beginning with having a summary of exactly what Transferwise is.


What Exactly Is TransferWise?

Launched in 2011 and based by Taavet Hinriku and Kristo Krmann — Transferwise can be actually a currency transfer company that works only on line. The creators established that the stage with all the perspective of revolutionizing the Malaysian obligations industry, demonstrating which they required to attract far more competitive forex prices for ordinary consumers.

In order to reach thisparticular, the overarching notion of why TransferWise which they feature clients the midmarket exchange speed in their own preferred currency pairs. That really is in stark contrast to conventional finance organizations, that can allbut undoubtedly incorporate a percent in addition to the store speed they also get. We’ll make clear how it functions in greater detail farther down.

Transferwise Website

Neverthelessthe TransferWise stage has gotten so common that it serves 6million clients round 5 9 respective counties. With offices currently positioned in 1-2 distinct states, the stage additionally asserts it eases $4 billion value of worldwide transfers every month, and then saving clients $ 1billion each year — once they gone the conventional path.

As the corporation at the rear of TransferWise has increased in proportion, its solution scope has adopted lawsuit. 1 such instance of the is the Borderless Account providing. This produces the amount of money transfer procedure now is simpler, maybe not because accounts holders are going to have accessibility into a fullyfledged Prepaid Mastercard. Since we’ll talk farther down, as the Borderless Account comes with localized banking accounts amounts across various authorities, like the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

So today you are aware about exactly what it’s the fact that TransferWise does, within the future section we’re likely to unravel the method by which the stage has the capability to provide super-low prices.

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Why is TransferWise Much Cheaper?

First and foremost, so as to comprehend the way TransferWise is equipped to under cut conventional banking institutions and currency transfer providers, it’s crucial to acquire an comprehension of how Malaysian exchange prices an average of do the job.

Mid-Market Rates

Otherwise called the inter bank speed — that the midmarket speed may be that the difference medially your purchase and offer cost of 2 indigenous monies. In lay man terms, that really is just what a foreign exchange purchaser is well prepared to spend money on the money, contrary to the cost an institutional vendor is ready to market it to get. Afterall, it’s big scale banking institutions and finance institutions which fundamentally induce realtime money costs.

Let’s choose the US Dollar (USD) and British Pound for illustration money set (GBP/USD). Whether an institutional purchaser has been well prepared to cover 1.4 USD in opposition to GBP, along with also an foreign seller had been ready to market it directly in 1.6 USD in opposition to GBP, afterward your midmarket speed wouldbe 1.5 USD/GBP.

With that said should you find the preferred exchange speed in Google, the speed which you’re exhibited is actually in fact that the midmarket pace.

Transferwise Rates Compared

Do I catch precisely the Mid-Market Rate?

Although the gap medially your purchase and market will probably dictate the exact midmarket speed which largescale associations have the ability to buy — regrettably, that really isn’t the speed that regular consumers will probably buy whenever they move dollars overseas. To the other hand, you’ll cover a significant mark up with this speed, then netting banking institutions a marginally clean earnings.

In regard to the cost , this may often become a percent mark up, a horizontal rate, along with a mix of those 2. It’s perhaps not unusual for cash transfer organizations to give some thing across the traces of’0% Commission’ or”No Fee Markups’. But as you may not cover a commission per-say, you certainly do so with the particular exchange speed which you’re made available.

TransferWise on their own give an very simple instance of how this will impact one’s, which we now’ve emphasized down from:

  1. The present GBP/EUR midmarket speed is just 1 = 1.43
  2. As these, by transforming 1000 right into Euros, you ought to acquire 1,430.
  3. Howeveryou simply acquire 1,370, meaning you effortlessly get an interest pace of 1.37, perhaps not 1.43.
  4. The gap medially both speeds (1.37 and 1.43) could be that the benefit created with the inherent transport corporation.

So given you discover the way the midmarket speed performs — so you simply’ll on average obtain a many even worse market speed compared to that which conventional banks have the ability to purchase themselves, so permit’s research just how many TransferWise charges compared to

How Much Does TransferWise Cost?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to mention the particular service fees billed by TransferWise will change considerably according to many of important things.

Notably, it consists of the sum which you’re delivering, the money you’re delivering, the more money the lien is getting, and the way you want about financing the move. Therefore, the optimal/optimally method to judge precisely how many TransferWise charges will be always to check at several instances.

Example 1 ): Sending $1000 in the US into India

At time of creating, the midmarket speed on USD/IDR is now 71.2 Rupees for each and every $1 ) which you simply exchange. It follows a 1,000 exchange in the midmarket speed will return 71,200 IDR.

When making use of TransferWise to precisely the equal market, the lien would get 70,429 IDR. Eliminating down the fees, which comes with a $7.08 set commission billed by TransferWise as well as also a $ two ACH commission to invest in the move.

However, in the event you should utilize a cable transport, this might price ВЈ 5.34. More over, a debit card and charge card deposit could expense $7.44 and $32.88, respectively. Therefore, you’d certainly be advisable in order to avoid having a credit score card to invest in your TransferWise transfer.

US into India

Neverthelessthe above mentioned example illustrates you simply do in reality obtain the midmarket speed from TransferWise, not as the above $9.08 prices (far more in the event that you overlook’t use ACH) — which is then indirectly built into the exchange rate.

In comparison, the exact equal transfer with leading money transfer company MoneyGram would leave the receiver with just 69,425 IDR. This includes a $14.99 debit/credit card fee.

Example 2: Sending $1,000 to the UK

In our second ex
ample, we looked at how many it would cost to send $1,000 to the UK. At the time of the comparison, TransferWise quoted 0.81 for every $1 that you transfer. Built within this fee was a $7.21 TransferWise fee, which included the $2 ACH deposit.

With that being said, a $1,000 transfer would leave the beneficiary with 804.15. In comparison, although Western Union only charged a $2.99 fixed fee for the very equal transfer, the exchange rate that we were quoted was 0.76 per $1.

US to UK

As such, the beneficiary only receives 760.10. In comparison to using TransferWise, the Western Union transfer would leave the receiver with 44.05 less.

This example further highlights the point that we discussed earlier on hidden fees, insofar that although Western Union charges a lower fixed fee, they are actually more expensive as the exchange rate on offer is significantly less favorable in comparison to TransferWise.

Example 3: TransferWise vs a Traditional US Bank

Although the exact fees will vary depending on which bank you use, this is by far the worst way of transferring funds overseas. First and foremost, you will likely need to your local branch and sign a range of documents before the bank is able to execute the transfer. Next, as the bank will need to use the SWIFT network, the beneficiary will likely need to wait 3 working days before they receive the funds.

Finally — and perhaps most importantly, you’ll pay huge fees — both directly and indirectly. Firstly, financial institutions like Chase Bank will typically charge a fixed fee of $45 for facilitating an in-branch international transfer. Secondly, it would not be unusual for the bank to add 3%-5% on top of the mid-market rate that they are able to get.

As such, irrespective of where you are sending money to and for how many, TransferWise will always be cheaper.

How Does the Money Transfer Process Work?

So now that you know how many cheaper TransferWise is in comparison to traditional banks and established money transfer companies, let’s take a look at how the process typically works.

How it Works

Step 1: Enter transfer details

Your before all else port of call will be to head over to the TransferWise homepage and choose the currency that you are sending, and the currency that the beneficiary will be receiving. For example, if you’re looking to send money from the US to your friend in Germany, then you’ll need to select USD and EUR.

The great thing about TransferWise is that they are very transparent on how many they charge. As such, when you enter the amount that you want to send, TransferWise will not only show you how many the beneficiary will receive, but you can also break the fees down by clicking on’See Calculation’.

If you’re happy with the rate offered on screen, click on the’Get Started’ button.

Step 2: Enter the details of the beneficiary

The next stage will require you to enter the bank account details of the person you want to send the money to. Much in the equal way as any other bank transfer, you’ll need to enter the receiver’s full name, BIC number, and IBAN. You will also be prompted to enter a reference number of your choosing.

Make sure that these details are correct, as TransferWise will not be held responsible in the event that the funds are sent to the wrong account.

Step 3: Choose your payment method

You will now be demand how you would like to fund the payment. Don’forget, TransferWise can be a online-only corporation, therefore that you won’t be able to deposit funds in-person. Nevertheless, the specific payment options available to you will depend on where you are located. If you’re based in the US, then you can pay via ACH, wire transfer, debit card, or credit card.

As we briefly noted earlier, ACH is by far the cheapest option, as it only costs $2 per transfer.

Step 4: Transfer the funds

If you are using a debit or credit card, then you simply need to follow the on-screen instructions, as the entire process is facilitated by TransferWise. However, if you’re looking to pay via ACH or a bank wire, then you’ll need to complete the process externally.

TransferWise will give you the account details that you need to send the funds to, alongside a unique reference number. It is imperative that you include the reference number within your transfer, otherwise, this will delay the transaction. Moreover, you also need to ensure that the name associated with your bank account matches the name you entered with TransferWise, and the amount that you transfer needs to match the TransferWise amount to the’penny’.

Step 5: Wait for email confirmation

Once you have made the required transfer (or paid by debit/credit card), TransferWise will notify you via email once the funds have been received. Once they have, TransferWise will then execute your transfer. We’ll discuss time-frames in more detail in the next section.

How Long do TransferWise Payments Take?

Once again, the amount of time that it will take for the beneficiary to receive the money will depend on a number of factors. As per the TransferWise platform itself, this covers four main metrics.

Location of sender and receiver

The main factor that will influence the transfer time is the location of the sender and receiver. Firstly, this covers the specific currencies involved. For example, if you were sending US dollars, and the beneficiary was receiving British Pounds, then the transfer would be ultra-fast, not least because both USD/GBP are major currencies.

On the contrary, if you were transferring funds from the US over to Kenya, then this could take up to 2 working days to execute, as the Kenyan Shilling is an illiquid currency.

TransferWise also notes that the transfer time can be influenced by the beneficiary’s respective bank. For example, while some financial institutions have the capacity to credit customer deposits instantly, others only do this once a day.

Nevertheless, when you go through the TransferWise payments process, the platform will give you an estimated time-frame.

Payment Method

If you are funding your TransferWise payment with a debit or credit card, the payment will be taken instantly. This means that the platform will execute your transfer straightaway, subsequently speeding up the transfer by some distance.

On the other hand, paying with ACH or bank wire will take many longer. Not only do you need to wait for your bank to transfer the funds, but you also need to wait for TransferWise to confirm receipt.

Ultimately, when it comes to payment methods, you need to weigh up whether you want to prioritize fees or speed. While a debit/credit card deposit is many faster, it is also many more expensive.


There might come a time where TransferWise requires additional information from you before they are able to execute the transfer. In most cases, you will be able to transfer funds without needing to upload any verification documents, as TransferWise can validate your information via third-party sources.

However, if they are unable to do this, then you might be demand to upload a copy of your government-issued ID (passport or driver’s license) and proof of address (utility bill, tax statement, bank account statement, etc). Although this will delay the funding process, you will only need to verify your identity once.

Time of Transfer

Finally, the time and day that you execute the transfer can have an impact on the transfer time. From the perspective of TransferWise themselves, the platform can only transfer your funds during standard working hours. As such, payments made in the evenings or over the weekend will be delayed.

At the other end of the spectrum, you also need to factor in public holidays in the receiver’s home nation. This is beyond the control of T
ransferWise, so be sure to check this with the beneficiary before executing the payment.

TransferWise Borderless Account

With the challenger banking space hotting up in recent years, TransferWise has decided to enter the sector with it’s Borderless Account. The account is ideal if you have a requirement to send and receive funds internationally on a regular basis, as it supports up to 40 different currencies.

When you register for an account, you will have access to local bank accounts in five different counties. This includes the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe (SEPA). In doing so, you’ll be given a unique account number, subsequently allowing you to accept payments with ease.

Moreover, the Borderless Account also comes with a fully-fledged MasterCard. This not only allows you to make purchases online and in-store, but you can also withdraw cash from ATMs worldwide.

Borderless Account

With everything facilitated via the native mobile app (Android and iOS only), whenever you make an international transfer you’ll benefit from mid-market rates. In even better news, you will not be required to pay any monthly fees, nor does it cost anything to open — other than an initial $20 deposit.

In terms of ATM withdrawals, you can take out $250 every month without incurring any fees. However, after this you will be charged 2% of the transaction amount.

Take note, although you will benefit from mid-market rates when making a bank-to-bank transfer, you will pay a fee when using your MasterCard in a currency other than your own. This can vary from just 0.45%, up to a whopping 3% — so do check this before making the payment.

TransferWise vs. UK high street banks

Compare the costs Transferwise Barclays Lloyds Santander
Send 250 to EUR 1.54 7.89 18.73 23.55
Spend 250 on debit card in EUR 83p 15.66 17.43 16.91
Withdraw 250 / month cash in EUR 1.76 17.14 18.40 20.64
Receive AUD, EUR, GBP and USD into your account Free N/A N/A N/A

Is TransferWise Safe?

You should have no concerns regarding safety when using TransferWise. Firstly, the UK-based institution is authorized and licensed as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This ensures that the platform has a stringent regulatory watchdog overseeing its operations.

Moreover, the company is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the US, and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). TransferWise also notes that it keeps client funds in segregated bank accounts, meaning that your money is safe in the event that the entity collapsed.

Finally, you will also benefit from two-factor authentication (2FA) when accessing your TransferWise account, which adds an extra layer of security on your funds.

Transferwise Card

TransferWise Review: The Bottom Line?

In summary, although TransferWise isn’t the sole on-line currency transfer system that’s revolutionized the abortion obligations strategy it’s surely up with all the most useful of these.

No more can you have to pay for extra expenses when delivering money over seas, nor can you really need to await days on end for your own transport to become implemented.

On the opposite, TransferWise gets got the capacity to help save a considerable volume of profit swap prices, most which are done in the click of the single button. In addition, we enjoy the simple fact which you own lots of cost options to select from, for example ACH, bank cable, or even perhaps a debit/credit card.

Finally, it’s well worthwhile considering the TransferWise Borderless Account should you own a prerequisite to ship and get funds globally over a normal foundation. Perhaps not only are you going to gain from midmarket exchange speeds around-the-clock but also you’ll additionally be supplied a localized banking accounts at several distinct nations.



Transferwise Review

Ease of Use8






Customer Support





  • Great Exchange prices
  • Competitive & Transparent Fees
  • Fully Licensed & Authorized
  • Great Coverage All-around World


  • Large transfers may be restricted
  • minimal transfer charge