Transferwise is described on their official website as offering the “clever new way to beat bank fees”, which is the kind of promise we all like to read. But how does it work exactly and how does it save you money? These are the questions we will be answering in this TransferWise Review.
The idea behind this service is that you get to avoid potentially expensive charges when sending money abroad. In fact, anyone who has ever sent cash from their bank to a foreign country before will already know that the commonly seen claims of “free transfers” or “0% commission” aren’t always as impressive as they sound. They often hide some sort of charge or commission that makes it poorer value for money than it first appeared.
With Transferwise, the idea is that you get the lowest possible exchange rate, a small fee and absolutely no hidden costs. The story behind it is that 2 friends called Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann found a way of passing money to each other between the UK and Estonia in order to meet their differing currency needs. The service sprung from their initial idea and now covers a number of countries and currencies across the globe.
How It Works
As with most of the best ideas, TransferWise works on the basis of a very simple approach. First of all you need to enter details of how much you are sending and where it is going to. Of course, you can send money to your own account abroad or to someone else. You then pay for the transfer in your local currency using your bank card or by making a normal bank transfer.
After this, TransferWise will give you the mid-market conversion rate to ensure that you get a fair deal. The clever part is that your transfer is then paired up with one going in the opposite direction. This is what makes is so cheap and it is exactly the same idea that those two founders of the site used to sort out their own currency issues.
This means that the only charge is a small fee that is described by the firm as a “fair service fee”. This amount varies according to the countries and currencies involved. You can see the full list of fees on the TransferWise site.
The money you sent then arrives to the receiving bank account within 1 to 4 working days. The exact length of time you have to wait will depend upon the transaction you are making, the currencies involved and the countries. Security checks may sometimes slow the transfer down, as the company has to meet with standard financial regulations.
At the time of writing, the TransferWise service has grown to cover the following currencies for both sending and receiving; Euro, Pounds Sterling, US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Swiss Franc, Polish Zloty, Swedish Krona, Norwegian Krone, Danish Krone, Hungarian Forint, Czech Koruna, Bulgarian Lev, Georgian Lari and Romanian Leu.
In terms of currencies that they can send, these are; Indian Rupee, Pakistani Rupee, Turkish Lira, Singapore Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Malaysian Ringgit, Philippine Peso, Brazilian Real, Chilean Peso, Nigerian Naira, Moroccan Dirham, Emirati Dirham, Thai Baht, Ukranian Hryvna and Indonesian Rupiah.
They can also send and receive SWIFT transfers in Japanese Yen.
The first thing you need to do to get started is set up your profile on TransferWise. Due to the financial regulations in place all around the world, you need to ensure that you only put in correct details that you can verify if asked. At some point you are likely to be asked to verify your identity. This can be done by giving them a copy of your ID, proof of your address and a reason for the transfers you have made.
Be sure to spend some time getting the details right, as you can’t change your name or date of birth once it is set up. You also need to ask the company to change your address if you move or get it wrong at the first attempt.
After this is done, you can carry out your first transfer very easily. Future transactions will then use the same profile, so be sure to remember your password for the next time you want to send money.
As the TransferWise service grows we can see more and more users putting their reviews of the process online. The vast majority of them are positive at this time. In particular, we can see that people are impressed with how good the exchange rate is and how easy it is to send money in this way.
In fact, we can see a great many 5 stars reviews for the money transfer service. Words like “awesome”, “brilliant”, “amazing” and “excellent” have been used in a number of the reviews, giving us a good idea of how impressed the users are.
The main issue that some users have flagged up is over the time that transfers sometimes take. One of the few customers to have left a negative review said that the transfers take too long. In this case, someone from TransferWise entered a reply on the review site confirming that things get faster after your first transfer, which is good to know.
Overall, the overwhelmingly positive reaction from the public suggests that many people have been waiting for a cheap money transfer service like this and are delighted with it. It is relatively rare to see so many positive reviews for a service, so they are clearly doing something right.
This is far from being the only service around for sending money from one country to another. However, the clever system that TransferWise uses ensures an excellent exchange rate that is hard to beat elsewhere. The fact that there is only a small service fee and no hidden charges mean that it is easy to work out how much sending money around the world will cost you.