TransferWise Review

TransferWise Review

These days, money transfer services are a dime a dozen. However, as you are probably well aware, many of these services aren't up to scratch. They are either too expensive, inefficient, or don’t have the kind of global reach that you are looking for.

Some services like TransferWise, though, have emerged far ahead of the competition. So, is this service as good as everyone says? Should you be the next customer? Check out this in-depth analysis of TransferWise to answer all your questions.

TransferWise is the brain child of Estonian-born Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus. It was first launched in 2011 and has steadily grown over the last decade.

TransferWise is based on three principles:

  • Transparency: the company takes great strides to be wholly upfront about the costs involved in the money transfer process. This means that customers are able to know ahead of time how much a transfer will cost them. TransferWise is also quite open about how the money is spent.


  • Low Cost: TransferWise goes to great lengths to be one of the more affordable transfer services around. They aim to provide lower rates than banks, financial institutions, and other money transfer companies.


  • No Premium Products: there are no premium products at TransferWise. Instead, everyone is expected to pay the same amount and receives the same level of dedication and quality as every other customer.

At the moment, TransferWise has an estimated 8 million customers around the world. As a result, they are responsible for money transfers of around $5 billion every month. The company currently boasts 14 offices around the world.

According to the company, TransferWise allows their clients, as a whole, $1.5 billion.

The oversight and regulation of money transfer services can get tricky. Since these businesses operate in so many different regions and jurisdictions, figuring out whether or not they are fully regulated can be tricky. This isn't the case with TransferWise, however.

TransferWise is licensed in the following regions:

  • Australia: regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit (AUSTRAC) as a money remitter.


  • Belgium and the European Economic Area (EEA): regulated by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) as an Authorized Payment Institution, with passporting rights across the EEA.


  • Canada: registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) as a Money Service Business (MSB). They also have an MSB license with the Authorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).


  • Hong Kong: regulated by the Customs and Excise Department (CCE) of Hong Kong and is licensed as a Money Service Operator (MSO).


  • India: approved by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for facilitating outward remittances from India under the guidelines set out by RBI in the FED Master Direction No. 19 2015/2016.


  • Japan: regulated by the Kanto Local Financial Bureau and licensed as a Funds Transfer Provider.


  • Malaysia: regulated as a remittance business under the Money Services Business Act 2011.


  • New Zealand: operates as a foreign entity and is supervised by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).


  • Singapore: incorporated under the laws of Singapore. Is regulated as a remittance business by The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).


  • United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA): authorized as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) by the UK Financial Conduct Authority with passporting rights across the EEA.


  • United States: registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).


  • United Arab Emirates: regulated by the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). Its parent company, TransferWise Ltd, is an authorized Electronic Money Institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

As mentioned, TransferWise has expanded its operations outside of the UK. At the moment, these services are available in Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, and North and South America. These are the countries that you can send money to:



  • Argentina      
  • Australia      
  • Bangladesh      
  • Benin
  • Brazil      
  • Bulgaria       
  • Burkina Faso      
  • Canada
  • Chile       
  • China       
  • Colombia      
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic       
  • Denmark       
  • Egypt       
  • Europe
  • Georgia       
  • Ghana       
  • Guinea-Bissau      
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary      
  • India       
  • Indonesia       
  • Israel
  • Ivory Coast       
  • Japan       
  • Kenya       
  • Malaysia
  • Mali      
  • Mexico       
  • Morocco       
  • Nepal
  • New Zealand       
  • Niger       
  • Nigeria       
  • Norway
  • Pakistan       
  • Peru       
  • Philippines       
  • Poland
  • Romania       
  • Russia       
  • Senegal       
  • Singapore
  • South Africa       
  • South Korea       
  • Sri Lanka       
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein       
  • Thailand      
  • Togo      
  • Turkey
  • Uganda      
  • Ukraine      
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay      
  • Vietnam      
  • Zambia


This isn't an exhaustive list of the countries that you can send money to. If the recipient that you wish to send money to has an account that is denominated in GBP, EUR, or USD, you may be able to send money to them.

The money transfer process with TransferWise is quite simple. It is streamlined and efficient, requiring minimum effort and documentation. As a result, you are able to send money to recipients that much faster.

It is absolutely free to register with TransferWise. You can sign up online – you simply require an email address or a Google or Facebook account.

Then, you simply have to determine how much money you want to send and select the currencies. At this point, TransferWise will show you a breakdown of the costs involved. These are the only fees that you will be expected to pay for the entire process.

If you approve of the cost, the next step involves adding the bank details of the recipient. The service can find out these details if you do have the relevant features with you. If you are trying to send a large amount, you may be expected to provide a copy of your ID card. This is true for certain currencies as well.

You can pay for your transfer and then the transfer will be set in motion. You can track the transfer via your account. TransferWise will inform your recipient of when the money is due.

What truly sets TransferWise apart from the rest of the financial institutions and money transfer services are the rates. To be more specific, the mid-market rates.

Now, as you may be aware, most banks and money transfer services make their money by setting their own currency rates. Due to this, the rates at these institutions are far higher than the mid-market rate. With TransferWise, though, this isn't the case.

TransferWise gets the mid-market rate from Reuters and pays close attention to any and all updates. The service gives you the opportunity to track the rate and see how it has performed over the last thirty days. This proves that the mid-market rate is both accurate and fair.

TransferWise goes one step further with the rates. It gives customers the opportunity to set up alerts. Thus, you will be alerted when the mid-market rate hits a particular price. This allows you to send money with the lowest cost for you.

Naturally, there are other costs associated with the transfer – this is how TransferWise and other money transfer services make their money. In most instances, these services are rather hazy about the cost involved. Thus, the average customer ends up paying much more than they anticipated. This isn't something that you have to be worried about with TransferWise.

The additional fee charged by transfer rate depends on the amount of money being sent. If you are sending a minimal amount, your fee will be small as well. Larger sums will incur a larger fee, but it is still quite affordable in comparison to other services.

Where TransferWise really shines, however, is with how upfront they are regarding their fees. From the moment that you select your preferred transfer sum, you will be shown the fees you are required to pay. You will also be able to see the exact amount that the recipient will be getting as well.

Even better, TransferWise shows you what other banks and financial institutions are charging at any given moment. Therefore, you can compare prices and even see how much you will be saving by using TransferWise.

You should note that TransferWise doesn’t have control over the fees charged by banks. As such, it is possible that your recipient may be required to pay an additional fee when withdrawing the money.

Although you don’t need an existing TransferWise account to send money, having one can speed up the process quite a bit. To begin with, you can have a list of recipients attached to your account. This comes in handy if you have people that you send money to on a regular basis.

Then, you don’t have to go through the entire process of filling out their details. Instead, you simply choose the recipient that you would like to send the money to.

Having an account can also give you the chance to set up alerts. So, unless your transfer is an emergency, you should be able to set up transfers when the rates favor you the most.

One of the newer features of TransferWise is the multi-currency account. Here, you can keep money in over 50 different currencies. Thus, when exchanging them, you will be able to use the real rate and keep costs low.

You will also be able to send money to other bank accounts. You will only be charged a fixed fee if you aren't converting the currency. If you need to convert the currency, then there will be a conversion fee.

The payment options available to you will depend on the country that you are trying to send money from. Across the board, though, bank transfers are accepted. Although these can take a longer period of time, they do have the added benefit of being more cost effective.

If you want to pay via a bank transfer, there are three methods you can use. You can make payment through online banking or via telephone banking. You also have the option of making the payment in person at your nearest branch.

The money does have to come from your own bank account. However, if you have a joint bank account, you can send money through this as well.

TransferWise will allow you to pay via credit card or debit card from some companies. The most commonly cards accepted are Visa and MasterCard. Certain Maestro cards with 16 digits may also be accepted as well, but there is no guarantee.

Needless to say, customer support is quite important when it comes to money transfer. TransferWise has managed this rather well. First off, there is a comprehensive Help Center. Here, a wide variety of topics, questions and issues are tackled.

The Help Center is very searchable and allows you to find the information that you are looking for rather easily. There are step-by-step guidelines along with all the tips that you may require.

If you can’t get the help that you need here, then you can always contact a customer service agent directly. To do this, however, you will need an account with TransferWise. This is because you need to log in for personalized support.

The good news, though, is that you don’t have to worry about having to deal with an automated system. Instead, you can get through to a real-live customer agent. This is possible because TransferWise has offices around the world. As such, you should be able to get help regardless of the time zone that you are in.

It should be noted that the TransferWise website is available in various languages. As such, you can find information in a language that is familiar to you. Once again, this should potentially decrease any issues that you will have.

This is a detailed description of TransferWise. It is clear that this is one of the best money transfer services currently available. The most admirable things about this service is that they are completely transparent about how they run their business.

As such, you have a proper understanding of all the fees and costs involved in the process. Furthermore, this money transfer service is quite widespread. Most countries will be able to send and receive money as needed. If you are looking for a new service, you can virtually guarantee that TransferWise will provide you with the experience that you are looking for.