I’ve been using the international money transfer service TransferWise for well over a year now, and I only have extremely positive things to say. It’s extremely easy to use, perfectly transparent about fees and the timing of transfers and significantly cheaper than other options
What is Wise?
Simply put, TransferWise is an online service for sending money across borders. Founded in London, the company’s growth has exploded since launching in 2011; the demand for such cheap, easy international money transfers continues to grow as we become more interconnected and financially interdependent across borders.
How does Wise work?
Wise’s unique approach to currency exchange has completely cut out the middle man and allowed them to charge significantly less than anyone else. Here’s a video that explains how they can charge so much less than traditional money transfer methods.
Their unique innovation is that they’ve got large stores of different currencies scattered all over the world. Rather than actually exchanging your $1,000 USD when you send it to someone in Canada, TransferWise just adds your $1,000 to their USD pot and pays the recipient the equivalent amount of Canadian dollars out of their Canadian dollar pot. This eliminates most of the legwork of the transaction, as well as the costly intermediaries, allowing them to offer a much better exchange rate. In fact, your transfers happen at the bank rate, which is the best possible exchange rate at the time of your transfer. Wise, unlike many other methods for transferring money internationally, also has a fully transparent fee structure. You’ll know exactly how much you pay in fees every time you make a TransferWise transfer, and for most currencies, TransferWise also guarantees the exchange rate, so you also know exactly how much your recipient will receive. Other banks can guarantee exchange rates, too, but they charge a significantly higher rate in order to offer that (not the bank rate).