What is TransferWise?

TransferWise is a money transferring company that uses the inter-bank mid exchange rate to transfer money. The mid-exchange rate is the midpoint between the buyers (demand) and sellers (supply), and matches the rates you can see on Google and other currency search engines.

As TransferWise does not take the difference between the buy and sell rate, they will instead collect a small fee for each transfer.

Is Transferwise a Bank?

How is TransferWise Different?

TransferWise is different in a number of ways, including:

  • The use of the inter-bank mid exchange rate – compared to other money transfer companies that use the buy / sell rates
  • A borderless account (more on that below)
  • A debit card for use around the world
  • International banking details

What is a TransferWise Borderless Account?

Transferwise borderless account

A borderless account is one account that can be used to send money, receive money and spend money around the world, without having to cough up heave banking fees.

What you can get:

Specific account details including an:

  • Australian account number and BSB code
  • British account number and sort code
  • European IBAN and SWIFT/BIC
  • US account number and routing number

Currencies that you can hold in your wallet (at the time of writing) include:

British Pound, Australian Dollar, United Arab Emirates Dirham, Bangladeshi Taka, Bulgarian Lev, Swiss Franc, Chilean Peso, Czech Koruna, Danish Krone, Egyptian Pound, Georgian Lari, Hong Kong Dollar, Croatian Kuna, Hungarian Forint, Euro, Canadian Dollar, Indonesian Rupiah, Israeli Shekel, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen, Kenyan Shilling, Sri Lankan Rupee, Moroccan Dirham, Mexican Peso, Nigerian Naira, Norwegian Krone, Nepalese Rupee, New Zealand Dollar, US Dollar, Peruvian Sol, Philippine Peso, Polish Zloty, Pakistani Rupee, Romanian Leu, Russian Ruble, Swedish Krona, Singapore Dollar, Thai Baht, Turkish Lira, Ukrainian Hryvnia, Vietnamese Dong, South African Rand.

Investments

Nearly all of the p2p investment options that we discuss use TransferWise as a payment method. These include Mintos, Bondora, and Grupeer. See the page links for more information. Through your borderless account, you can send and receive money from these p2p platforms at a click of a button. I have used a combination of TransferWise and Revolut for all of my P2P investment purchases (found under My Returns)

Transferwise Borderless Account Fees

As with most money products, there are usually fees associated with accounts. Transferwise is no different in this regard. However, what is different, is that Transferwise is completely transparent about the fees that they charge.

Transferwise only ever charges the amount that it costs to send the money, plus an additional margin to improve the platform. Specifically, fees cover (calculated 2 August 2019):

  • Offices and running costs (12%)
  • Operations and customer support teams (14%)
  • Margin and growing TransferWise (18%)
  • Building our products (20%)
  • Banking partners and money-moving costs (36%)

If you want to see a specific example for you, you can visit the “fee structure” page on Transferwise. That is found here.

My Transferwise Borderless Account Review

I live in Europe, however, most of my day job income comes from Australia. After trying many different ways of transferring money (i.e. through a bank, through bitcoin, through other money providers), it was clear that TransferWise was one of the best options out there. I have since been using TransferWise for all of my transactions into Europe. The other great thing is that because I use a lot of different investment platforms (Africa, Estonia, UK, etc) I am easily able to transfer money without any problems. The other great thing about the card is that if you have multiple currencies in your account, any transfers will utilize the best exchange rate! For example, I was in Doha recently and wanted to purchase some food in QAR (Qatarisk riyal), but I didn’t have any of that currency. What I did have was money in Euros and AUD (Australian Dollars). As the QAR / EUR pair was a better match at the time, Transferwise used my EUR balance. What’s not to love about that? It takes all pressure away from me needing to sort out any money transfers that need to be made.

Every year I look for alternatives, however, I am still not able to find any that compare. It is important to note that EUR to EUR does also attract a flat fee through Transferwise (0.63EUR) for each transaction. Therefore, once I have transferred my money from AUD to EUR (with TransferWise), I will use Revolut to make any payments in EUR (as Revolut don’t charge a fee for that). Always make the most out of the platforms that are out there!

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