In this review, we will take a closer look at TransferWise money transfers. Let’s figure out a few things: how to register and get a free money transfer? How to send and receive funds? Will you need to go through the account verification process? Is the service cost-effective to use? Let’s look at its fees, exchange rates, and limits.
How to open a multi-currency account and how to replenish it? How to open a business account? Can you trust this company? Is there a decent alternative to TransferWise?
Money Transfers via TransferWise
TransferWise is an online service for sending money abroad fast. It’s the brainchild of two Estonians, founder of Skype Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarman. Based in London, the company is functioning since 2011. The goal of the creators is to make international money transfers cheap and easy. That’s why customers choose TW to transfer more than $4 billion worldwide every month.
This financial service is suitable for travelers, foreign students, freelancers, and even businessmen. With this payment system, you can send money to your family, friends, and colleagues, as well as receive payouts from the most remote corners of the planet.
You can manage the account through the website and via the mobile app. The company operates in 59 countries worldwide.
What makes the service unique is its use of the Peer-to-Peer method for money transfers from country to country. Transferred finances don’t cross borders. TW matches people making transactions in one direction (there and back). What happens is currency exchange between users, meaning no intermediary bank charges are involved, ensuring the low cost of transactions.
How to register with TransferWise
Registration is required for those who want to send funds or use a multi-currency account. Register here to receive a free transfer for up to €600.
The registration process is very simple: you will need a passport, email address, and phone. A personal account is intuitive to use. Below I explain what you need to do in order to create one.
- Start registration. Visit the registration page. To register, you can use either email address, Facebook, or Google account. Further, we will review the registration process via email. Choose an account type: personal or business. Enter your email address, password, and country of residence. Click “register”.
- Determine the purpose of the account. Choose how you want to use your account: to send, receive, or store money on a multi-currency account. If necessary, you can select all options as you will be able to change the settings later on. Click “continue”.
- Create a personal profile.
- Click on the person icon. In the drop-down list, click on “create a personal profile”. Enter your first and last name in Latin letters, as indicated in the passport. Then enter your date of birth and mobile number. You will be asked to confirm the number. Now enter your postcode, country, city, and address of residence. Save the data.
- Set up a personal profile. Confirm your email by following the link in the confirmation email. Activate a 2-step authentication process to protect your account. And you are good to go!
To make TransferWise money transfers, you will need to pass our verification process. I will describe it in more detail below.
TransferWise account verification
Here I will explain the process of personal data verification. This function enables the transfer of payments with no delay. You will receive a notification about the need to complete verification. It may be required after making one or several transfers.
Account verification is necessary to make sure your funds are safe and to prevent the legitimization of illegal earnings. You will need to verify your identity and address. For each type of verification, you will need different documents. You won’t be able to use just a passport.
- Have you been asked to verify your identity during a money transfer? The verification process will take up to 2 days. The transaction will be suspended and resumed after 2 days.
- Did you send the documents in advance? Verification can take up to 7 days. As soon as the TW support service completes the documents check, you will receive an email notification.
- Does the sum of your payment exceed £80,000? You may need to provide proof of address or source of funds.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules. No confirmation is required if you transfer up to €15,000 from your bank account.
We recommend that you verify your identity before making the first transfer. This will ensure there are no delays in the transfer process. For this, you can use an international passport or driver’s licence. Internal passports are not supported by the system. Refugees may use a travel ticket or a foreign passport.
To verify the address of residence, you can use a bank statement or a utility bill. Here is a complete list of eligible documents. As with identity verification, you will need to take a picture of the document, which must be less than 3 months old. Your address and name must be the same as those you used when creating the account.
Transferring money with TransferWise
You can use TW to transfer money from your bank account. In most cases, you can use a debit or credit card for this. All countries support payments in euros and dollars, even if their local currency is different.
It’s possible to transfer money to an account set up in any country. However, the bank account must be registered in your name. Your TransferWise account must also be registered in your name.
Please note that:
- payments get processed from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00;
- bank intermediaries may charge an extra fee for a SWIFT transfer. This means the amount received will be slightly less than expected;
- for card payments in a currency different from that of your country of residence, a 3.3% conversion fee will apply;
- TransferWise supports regular payments;
- for payments in USD by a card issued outside the US, a 0.8% fee for EU residents will apply; for residents outside of the EU, a 4.55% fee will apply;
- TransferWise supports donations.
Payment by international card
You can create transfers from a card denominated by a currency different from that of the transfer, or issued in a country not supported by TransferWise for payments. This applies to all currencies TW support, except British Pounds and European currencies. For example, the service allows using a card issued in Russia to pay in NZD.
A 3.3% fee will apply to the cost of the transfer, and your bank may charge extra fees. If you pay in USD with a card issued outside of the US, TW additional commission will be 0.8% if you are registered within the European Economic Area (EEA), and 4.55% if you are registered outside of the EEA.
Below I will explain fees, limits, and the exchange rate in detail.
Instructions on how to transfer money
Start your money transfer in a few quick and easy steps!
- Start the transfer. Enter the amount. Select the currency for sending and receiving the transfer. Click “continue”.
- Fill out the email address of the recipient. Now you don’t have to know their bank details or mobile number. To enter an email address, uncheck the box “I know the recipient’s bank details”. Confirm the action.
- Notify the recipient. This is not a required action, but it will come in handy if the recipient rarely checks their inbox. Just let the recipient know that they should be expecting an email with instructions on how they can enter their banking details. It’s important to explain that this function is only valid for 7 days from the date of receipt. And you are done!
How much is the money transfer
On average, the recipients receive payments within a couple of minutes. Delivery speed depends on several factors:
- duration of transaction processing by the recipient’s bank;
- payment from a bank account. SWIFT transfers usually take 2 to 5 days;
- payment on weekdays or weekends. TW processes payments only on working days;
- sending funds to certain countries may take up to 2 days, due to currency conversion;
- verification by the sender before or after the start of the transaction.
How to track a transfer
To track the location of a transfer, go to the “operations” menu. Click “view data”. You can save the document to forward it to the recipient.
How to cancel a transfer
To cancel a transfer, check its status of payment processing in your account. A transaction can be canceled if the payment status is either “on its way to us”, “being processed” stage. Refund can’t be requested if the status is “sent out” or “complete”.
Fees, exchange rate and limits
This service offers low-cost transfers with transparent fees, and most importantly, with a very lucrative exchange rate! What’s the transparency? Everything is very simple. From the moment you create a payment, it is possible to immediately see the full cost of the transfer. The same applies to the exchange rate. It should be noted that the fee on the part of TransferWise does not change after the payment is made.
Intermediary banks will apply extra fees to SWIFT payments. TransferWise doesn’t have access to this information and is not able to track it. For this reason, it’s impossible to confirm the cost in advance.
The rate depends on the transfer amount, conversion rate, and method of payment for the transfer. The larger the amount, the higher the commission costs. For example, for sending from EUR to CAD:
- 10 EUR you will pay €0.62;
- 100 EUR you will pay €1.42;
- 1000 EUR you will pay €9.45.
“This company cuts off huge banking rates for sending finances across the border”.
Now consider the individual user limits for each bank. The maximum amount can be much lower.
- Minimum amount: €1/$2.
- Maximum amount: €1,200,000/$1,000,000.
The company uses an average real-time exchange rate listed on Google, XE, Yahoo Finance, or Reuters. This makes TransferWise money transfers the most profitable on the market. Compared to its competitors, this payment system does not charge extra for the exchange rate.
This service is 14 times cheaper than PayPal! This is because PayPal uses its own exchange rate.
TransferWise has a fixed exchange rate. Immediately after creating the transfer, you will see how many hours it’s been fixed for. You will need to deposit funds within the specified time. Payments are fixed for 24, 48, and 72 hours. It all depends on the destination. For example, the EUR → CAD rate is fixed for 48 hours. Fixation occurs until the full amount is paid.
Subscribe to changes in the currency pairs.
Receiving money transfers with TransferWise
You don’t need to have an account to receive a transfer as it is possible to send money to a bank card or account. Different banks are supported by various countries. You will only need to provide the sender with an email address, which will be used to send you the instructions on how to enter the bank details yourself.
The name of the recipient must correspond to the name of the bank card owner.
“It took only 90 minutes to receive 250 euros to my account. No huge commissions, only 2,5 euros”.
The minimum and maximum amount of the transfer depends on the country where you are sending and receiving the funds. They can range from 1 to 1,200,000 euros. TransferWise fees are paid by the sender, and all payments are made online through your bank card within the specified time frame. This company has no branches. The service doesn’t offer cash transfers.
Speaking of timing. To ensure there are no payment delays, make sure that the sender has verified the documents before making the transfer. Only then the money will arrive on time. Otherwise, the verification process may take up to 2 business days. In addition, the sender must make the payment during business hours on working days (from 9:00 to 17:00).
Check the countries from which you can receive a transfer.
Is it safe to use TransferWise?
Now we will raise the question of reliability. Is it possible to trust this company with your money? Let’s look at how secure this service is.
TransferWise is a reliable money transfer company, and here are the main reasons why:
- a Russian speaking support service available;
- track transfers available;
- two-step authentication to protect accounts;
- a huge number of positive reviews on TrustPilot;
- obligatory account verification process.
TW offices are located all over the world: in Ukraine, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Great Britain, and Hungary, as well as in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Estonia, and Japan. The number of employees totals more than 1300 people! The main European accounts are located in the British bank Barclays, and the American ones are in Wells Fargo.
In 2019, statistics showed that $4 billion has been transferred every month, indicating a tremendous trust of their users. Its key investors such as Richard Branson, PayPal founder Max Levchin and Peter Thiel are also worth mentioning.
This service doesn’t work with tax authorities and doesn’t share information with third parties.
TransferWise money transfers are not subject to taxes whether it’s sending or receiving funds. The user doesn’t have such expenses. Depending on the size of the transfer, local banks may require declaring income and pay taxes. This applies to both the sender and the recipient. TransferWise doesn’t control these processes since it’s only an intermediary.
If a tax is added to the transfer, you will see it when making a payment. The tax fee will not affect the amount received.
How to open a Borderless account
A multi-currency or borderless account is not a bank account. It offers users bank details in 6 currencies, in which you can receive TransferWise money transfers with 0% commission. The transfers should come from the bank accounts of your partners.
Just open an account and store 50 currencies. Unlike in a regular bank, you won’t be able to get a loan. No interest is charged for the storage of funds.
It’s possible to replenish the account balance. If you have several balances, convert the currency between them. TransferWise supports payments in currencies that are not included in the account. In this case, the conversion rate will be applied. For example, a fee of €4.88 is charged for receiving 1000 EUR in PLN.
“TransferWise is London’s largest fintech startup. In addition to a simple international money transfer, it provides a currency account”.
To receive payouts in a borderless account, add the balance in the required currency. It’s really easy to do.
How to add the balance
- Log in to the account. Find the “balances” menu.
- Add balance. After opening this the page, click “add balance”.
- Select the balance currency. Click “open balance” on the page where you need to enter the currency in which you want to open the balance.
- Activate the balance. First, replenish the account with €2, and then complete the identity verification process. To do it, click on the created balance. Choose “get bank details”. Then enter the amount and choose currency. Click “next”.
- Select the payment method. Choose the payment method: credit card, debit card, or bank account. Click “proceed to payment”. The fastest way to make a deposit is to pay by a bank card. The payment will be credited to the account within seconds.
- Make the payment. Enter the bank card number, its expiration date, and CVV code. Click “pay”.
- Verify your account. Upload a photo of your passport and wait for verification. And it’s done!
How to replenish the account
Replenish your account in the currency selected for the balance using any banking operator.
As soon as you add the bank details in one of the currencies, click on it. Then click “get bank details.” After this step, you must follow steps 4, 5, and 6 described in the instructions for creating a multi-currency account.
How to receive a transfer in a borderless account
The process is very simple. First, go to the “balances” menu. Choose the currency used for the expected payment. Then click on the currency to find out the bank details. Next, share them with the sender. And that’s it!
Receive payments only in the same currency as your balance. Transfers in USD outside the US can be sent via SWIFT.
Here is a list of currencies accepted for payments via TransferWise.
Multi-currency account fees
- creating and maintaining the account: €0;
- transfers from balance to balance in the same currency: €0;
- sending funds from balance to bank account in EUR: €0.63;
- receiving: €0;
- replenishing the account in EUR: €0;
- currency conversion: you will pay €4 for converting 1000 euros to British pounds.
There are no limits to receiving funds. Most transfers to a borderless account arrive within 1-2 days.
How to withdraw money
If you want to withdraw money from the balance, make a transfer from the received currency to the card. For example, a commission of €4.78 will be applied for a withdrawal of 1000 EUR in GBP from a balance.
“They offer a unique borderless account”.
Multi-currency card by TransferWise
Having opened a multi-currency account, you can order a TransferWise MasterCard. This feature is available to those who have personal and business accounts. They can receive the card in the EU, England, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland. Contactless payments are supported.
To order a card:
- log in to your account;
- go to the “debit card” menu;
- click “order”;
- after receiving the card, activate it by entering 6 digits from the front of the card. Done!
- payment in the currency of an existing account: €0;
- currency conversion depends on the payment amount and currencies. Transferring 100 EUR to GBP will cost €0.4;
- withdrawal from an ATM up to €200 for every 30 days – €0; withdrawal from €200 onwards is charged at 2% of the amount.
How to open a business account
TransferWise business accounts can be used by legal entities. One of the main privileges of having this account is the ability to make batch payments in different currencies.
The business account is available both for the beginners and for registered users. Other conditions apply for registered individuals. Log in to your account, click on the name (next to the person icon), and go to the “create a business profile” page.
- Fill out the details of the company. Enter the country, name, type, your position, registration number, and website of the company.
- Define the focus. Select a category and subcategory.
- Indicate the location. Enter the address, city, and postcode.
If you don’t have a personal account, visit the register at TransferWise page.
Then select the “business” status. After this, fill out your email and country of residence. It’s easy to sign up using Google+ or Facebook account. Then complete all the steps described in the previous instruction.
Before you can send payments and activate balances, your profile will be checked during 4 to 7 days. Once the data is verified, you will receive an email notification from the support team.
- profitable exchange rate for TransferWise money transfers;
- fixed exchange rate;
- no hidden fees, all fees can be seen live at the time of creating the transfer;
- a huge number of good reviews on TrustPilot;
- positive personal experience of using the service;
- fast and reliable payments;
- intuitively simple account navigation;
- a business account available;
- it’s easy to get help from the support team, both via chat and phone;
- a mobile app is available;
- the website and mobile app are available in Russian.
- no option to receive cash;
- if verification is not completed before funds are sent, there will be a delay of 2 working days;
- you can’t top up your mobile number and pay for public services, such as utility bills.
TransferWise money transfers are the most cost-effective in their niche. For alternative ways to send funds, check out the money transfer company comparison service.