TransferWise is an online money transfer service, which lets you transfer money up to eight times more cheaply than with a bank. The system is beautifully simple. It bypasses pricey international payments entirely by using two local transfers instead of one international transaction.
If you want to convert your pounds to euros, you send the money in pounds to TransferWise’s UK-based account. The equivalent amount is then sent from TransferWise’s euro account to the recipient.
This smart system means that the money never actually moves across borders, and the currency conversion is done using the real mid-market exchange rate (as you would find in a newspaper or at xe.com). Doing things this way means that customers can avoid traditional banking fees altogether and they don’t lose money by transferring at an unfair rate (visit TransferWise).
What are the benefits of using TransferWise?
- Send money abroad eight times cheaper than using your regular high-street bank
- Transaction costs are always transparent, unlike some other providers which add a markup to the real exchange rate in addition to their fees
- TransferWise international payments on major routes from the UK and Europe are delivered within 24 hours – compared to 3-7 days for a regular bank. In fact, 25 percent of all transfers from the UK to Europe are delivered within seconds
- Arrange your transfer online for convenience
- TransferWise is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, just like a UK bank, and trusted by 3 million people around the world
- Your money is sent directly to your recipient’s bank account
- Suitable for both business and personal use
TransferWise has also built a borderless account. Like a multi-currency account, it lets you hold over 40 different currencies and send and spend money overseas easily using your contactless TransferWise debit Mastercard.
TransferWise fees: how much does it cost?
On a pound sterling to euro transfer, the upfront fee is 80p plus 0.35 percent of the transfer amount. So if you’re transferring £1000 into euros by bank transfer you will pay £4.29 for the service.
TransferWise exchange rates
Whenever you send money using TransferWise, the transaction is made using the real, mid-market exchange rate. That’s the one you’ll find if you Google your currency pairing. However, most banks don’t offer this rate to retail customers. Instead, they add a markup to the mid-market rate and keep the difference for themselves.
Is TransferWise safe?
TransferWise is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and just like large banks and financial institutions, verifies its users to protect against fraud and money laundering.
How to use TransferWise
Making transfers is easy. Go to the TransferWise website, type in your details and the recipient’s and how much money you want to transfer. You can then either type in your debit card details or send the money to TransferWise from your online bank account.
The money will then be sent straight to the recipient’s bank account, even if they don’t have a TransferWise account themselves. You will receive a confirmation email when the money has been received and another when it has been paid to the recipient.
Most transfers happen the same day – it normally takes a bank 3-7 working days to complete an international payment.
How long do transfers take?
Ninety percent of transfers to Europe from the UK are completed within one business day.
TransferWise for business
If your business transfers money overseas regularly, TransferWise can help save you money by giving you access to the real mid-market rate of exchange, and charging only a small, fixed fee for transfer. You can get a TransferWise multi-currency borderless account for business, which holds balances in more than 40 currencies, to send and receive payments all over the world.
Businesses also have the option of using TransferWise’s batch payments tool, which allows you to make up to 1,000 transactions with a single CSV file upload. That’s a great option if you’re regularly making payments abroad.
TransferWise will not only save you money on international payments, it is also a more efficient and professional service. You and the recipient will know exactly when money is due to arrive and you will receive an email confirmation for your financial records.
I’m a one-off or infrequent user, is it worth using TransferWise?
If you are making a big one-off purchase abroad, or sending money to a friend or relative, TransferWise can help. It is a fast and safe payment service with only a small usage fee (payments made from GBP to EUR cost 0.35% of the total amount + 80p). By signing up to use it, you will avoid the costly exchange rate levied by a traditional bank on your purchase. There is no lower limit on use, so even if you are not a frequent user, you could make savings.
I’m a freelance worker, how can TransferWise help me?
If some of your invoices are paid from abroad, TransferWise can help you to keep more of the money you have earned by avoiding costly bank rates. Simply arrange with your contractors to be paid through TransferWise and you won’t see your earnings eaten into by bank charges.
You might benefit even more if you open a TransferWise multi-currency borderless account. You’ll get local bank details to receive fee-free payments in GBP, EUR, USD and AUD, and can hold your balance in any of over 40 currencies within the same account.