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Transfer money abroad with TransferWise: Info & Review

Transfer money abroad with TransferWise: Info & Review

You are going abroad soon and want to transfer money to another country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand …), then TransferWise is undoubtedly one of the most economical solutions at the moment! Forget the banks that offer much higher transfer fees and exchange rates far below the market rate! To transfer your money with the minimum cost, we strongly advise you to go through a specialized platform. The procedure is simple and you save a lot of money! Here is an overview of the services offered by TransferWise, how it works, transfer fees, as well as our experience and the opinions of other users.

How does Transferwise work?

TransferWise is a peer-to-peer service specialized in international money transfers. When you transfer money to another bank account overseas, it automatically matches the amount you want to transfer with other users who want to send money in the opposite direction. With this system, the money actually never crosses the border. That’s the reason why TransferWise is able to offer you a better exchange rate and lower transfer fees.

The company will only use the mid-market exchange rate (the one you can verify on Google or XE) and no hidden charges are applied. The only cost is the fee stated in the calculator during the process of setting up a transfer. TransferWise typically charges less than what banks do because many banks add a margin to the exchange rate. The use of the mid-market rate and a low, transparent fee means that overall TransferWise is cheaper than banks.

With TransferWise, there are no surprises, you know the exchange rate applied, the fees charged and know exactly how much you will receive in your account. You only have one commission applied on the amount transferred.

Make a transfer with Transferwise: Summary in 5 steps

  • Register on the TransferWise website
  • Choose the amount to transfer and the currencies (sending and receiving)
  • Select a recipient
  • Go to your bank’s website, and add the TransferWise account as a beneficiary (European SEPA account, no bank charges)
  • Make a transfer to the Transferwise account for the selected amount by indicating a reference number (provided by Transferwise)
  • Receipt of funds. Once the funds have been received by Transferwise, they will convert them into the desired currency and transfer them to your destination account. The few costs related to the transaction will be automatically deducted from the initial amount.

The different transfer methods

Euros transfer (EUR)

To transfer euros there are 3 transfer modes. The transfer method depends on the amount you wish to transfer.

Transfer low costEasy transferQuick transfer
Maximum amount1 200 000€3000€2500€
Fixed costs0,49€0,49€0,49€
Variable costs0,41%0,53%0,82%
Payment methodsManual transfer from the bankSOFORT by KlarnaDebit/credit car

The most used transfer method is low-cost transfer because it is the cheapest and most convenient.

Low cost Transfer

The low cost transfer offers 3 possibilities for payments (bank transfer, iDEAL, Trustly) but the most common is the bank transfer. You can make this transfer in 3 ways:

  • Online
  • Via phone with your bank
  • Agency

You can make this transfer from your online bank by adding Transferwise as beneficiary. For faster processing of the transfer, you must indicate the payment reference in the reason for the transfer.

Variable costs are declining from €125,000. They go down to a maximum of 0.32%.

The other transfer modes:

Easy transfer

Easy transfers are made with the SOFORT by Klarna tool. This means of payment is made using your bank details. These transfers are only possible from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

Fast transfer

There are two ways to do a fast transfer:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card

This payment method is only possible for Visa and MasterCard cards. This transfer mode is practical because it allows you to make a transfer within a maximum of 24 hours, but it is the most expensive way.

Traveller Advice

If you need money quickly, plan your transfers at the start of the week. Banks are closed on weekends and you cannot receive money transfers. This can lengthen the transfer time.

Australian dollars (AUD) transfer

For transfers of Australian dollars there are 5 payment methods:

Bank transferPolishedPayIDDebit cardCredit card
Max amount$1800000$1800000$10000$18000$18000
Fixed costs$0,98$2,16$0,98$0,98$0,98
Variable costs0,47%0,47%0,47%0,87%1,49%

Bank transfer

You can make this transfer from your online banking by adding Transferwise as beneficiary. For faster processing of the transfer, you must indicate the payment reference in the reason for the transfer. You can also make this transfer via phone call or by going directly to your branch.

Variable costs are declining from $190,000. They go down to a maximum of 0.38%.

Other means of payment:

Credit card & debit card

You can pay with Visa, MasterCard and Maestro cards which have a 16-digit card number. The principle is the same as an online payment and must respect the following conditions:
  • The name on the card must match the name on your Transferwise account
  • That the issuer has sufficient funds in his account
  • Define a receiver (can be the same as the issuer)
  • Enter the card number, expiration date and verification number
  • Do the authentication test if your bank requires it
  • The difference between the two cards is the variable fees which are higher for the credit card. These variable costs are declining from $ 5,050 and drop to 1.48%.

    PayID

    PayID is a simple transfer solution without having to use your account number and your BSB. This is very useful if you do not remember your bank details. A phone number, an email or your ABN is enough to make a transfer or have your money transferred.
    It is a simple solution especially since the fees are the same as a bank transfer:

    1. Configure your AUD transfer on TransferWise
    2. Choose the PayID payment option
    3. Connect to the website or application of your online bank
    4. Choose payment by email
    5. Transfer the amount to the address: aud@transferwise.com
    6. Enter the 15-digit number in the payment description field

    The first transfer with PayID and TransferWise is longer because the bank has to carry out checks. The next transfers will be instant.

    To use this service check that your bank uses PayID.

    POLi

    POLi is a payment system linked to your online bank. It is an alternative to the bank card and a more secure way to manage your payments online. POLi does not charge any additional fees if you use their service. However, the fees with Transferwise are higher. Check with your bank to find out if you can use this service.

    POLi payments can be made with the following banks:

    • ANZ
    • Bank of Melbourne
    • Bank of Queensland
    • BankSA
    • Bankwest
    • Bendigo Bank
    • Citibank
    • Commonwealth Bank
    • IMB Building Society
    • ING Direct
    • NAB
    • Newcastle Permanent
    • People’s Choice Credit Union
    • St. George Bank
    • Suncorp
    • Westpac

    Variable costs are declining from $190,000. They go down to a maximum of 0.38%.

    How much does TransferWise cost?

    TransferWise offers two options to meet your money transfer needs to Australia:

    Low cost transfer

    You can choose the transfer formula at a low cost. It allows you to save as much as possible by bank transfer. The transfer costs are then 0.41% on the amount to be transferred + €0.49.

    Transfer amountCostsTotal
    100€0.49€ + 0.41%0.90€
    200€0.49€ + 0.41%1.30€
    500€0.49€ + 0.41%2.53€
    1000€0.49€ + 0.41%4.57€
    5000€0.49€ + 0.41%20.90€
    10 000€0.49€ + 0.41%41.32€
    20 000€0.49€ + 0.41%82.15€
    50 000€0.49€ + 0.41%204.65€

    Fast transfer

    The rapid transfer formula is designed so that you can transfer your money as quickly as possible with TransferWise. It works through your debit/credit card. This option is however slightly more expensive! Or 0.82% on the amount to be transferred + €0.49.

    Transfer amountCostsTotal
    100€0.49€ + 0.82%1.30€
    200€0.49€ + 0.82%2.12€
    500€0.49€ + 0.82%4.56€
    1000€0.49€ + 0.82%8.63€
    2000€0.49€ + 0.82%16.79€
    2500€0.49€ + 0.82%20.86€

    1st free transfer with TransferWise

    Thanks to our referral link with TransferWise, you will not have to pay any fees for your first money transfer! The transfer will be free for the equivalent of £500 (approximately €600 – depending on the exchange rate). So for example, if you want to transfer 1000 EUR you will pay fees only on the difference (around 400 EUR) which corresponds to transfer fees of less than €3.

    To start your registration, indicate the currencies and the amount you wish to transfer then click on “Registration”:

    Comparison: Transferwise vs Banks

    EUR to AUD transfer

    Here is an example with the low cost formula:

    • You wish to transfer €1000
    • You pay 0.41% + €0.49 fees or €4.57
    • The market rate (theoretical – April 2020): €1 = $1.66761
    • The rate proposed by TransferWise very close to this rate (a bit below): $1.66172

    So for €1000 you will have approximately: $1661.72 – $7.59 (€4.57 × 1.66172) = $1654.13

    Whereas if you make a transfer through your bank:

    • You wish to transfer €1000
    • You don’t pay transfer fees (but often there are)
    • The market rate (theoretical – April 2020): €1 = $1.72010
    • The rate offered by your bank will probably be around: 1.60 AUD

    So for €1000, you will have less than $1600

    AUD transfer to EUR

    For a transfer of $1000 on TransferWise is between €26 to €32 cheaper.

    Transferwise money transfer

    Other Transferwise tools & services

    The Borderless Account

    The Borderless Account is a new feature in Transferwise. It is a multi-currency account allowing you to have money in more than 28 currencies. You can convert them whenever you want at the average market exchange rate.

    This Transferwise feature is completely free. Once you have registered, you must activate the “Borderless account” function. You will need to verify your phone number using a code sent by SMS. This feature is very useful if you have to make transfers in several currencies ($, AUD $ or even £). The fixed fee for sending money is around €0.60 (depends on the currency). Note that once you have registered for a multi-currency account, you will receive a TransferWise MasterCard debit card.

    You can receive payments from more than 30 countries, and receiving payments from these countries is completely free.

    For more information on available currencies visit the TransferWise website.

    Transferwise Debit card

    This card allows you to make purchases anywhere in the world at the real exchange rate. The conversion costs are very low (between 0.35% and 1% maximum) and there are no transaction costs. Withdrawals are free up to $200 per month. Once you exceed this amount, a fee at a rate of 2% applies.

    To obtain the Transferwise bank card, you pay €6. These fees cover the creation of the card, verification of your identity, customer service and delivery costs.

    Visit the website to view the conversion fees when using the card.

    Email alerts on best rates

    An email alert to obtain the best rates is also available to allow you to benefit from the best rates for your transfer.

    Our experience with TransferWise

    The TransferWise user interface is very ergonomic and registration is quick and easy. We have already used their services many times. Once your account is created and the first transfer is made, the procedures are even faster. In just a few clicks you can transfer your money with TransferWise.

    There are several methods to transfer money with TransferWise. Online payment by credit card and bank transfer. However, payment by card may be limited by the ceiling authorized by your bank.

    How long does a transfer take?

    In terms of time to make your first transfer, there are three parameters to take into account:

    1 – The time imposed by your bank to add a beneficiary for your transfers, this time can vary from 24 to 72 hours.
    2 – The time required to make your transfer with your bank. In general 1 working day, so if you make the transfer on weekends you will have to wait for Monday.
    3 – The time required to make the transfer by TransferWise to your account. In general 1 working day, so if you make the transfer on weekends you will have to wait for Monday.

    As an example when we made our first transfer:

    • Monday: We signed up and added TransferWise as a beneficiary to our bank the same day.
    • Wednesday: We were able to transfer to the TransferWise account.
    • Thursday: TransferWise informed us of the receipt of our transfer and a few hours later we received an email from them to inform us that the transfer was underway.
    • Friday: The money was in our Australian account.

    So it took us 5 days for our first transfer. Next transfers took approximately 2 business days.

    TransferWise User Reviews & Comments

    In general, the opinions on Transferwise are positive. The main benefits of, according to user feedback, are:

    • The simplicity,
    • The speed of transfers,
    • Low fees compared to banks and other competitors.

    TransferWise has the advantage of offering an application available on Android and iOS. This allows you to make your transfers easily and follow your money step by step.

    In terms of negatives, it seems that some transfers took longer than expected for some users, and other people did not like the interface. Identity verification may take a while to set up your account.

    TransferWise has received a score of 9.2 / 10 on 85,142 reviews on Trustpilot.

    transferwise review
    transferwise rating

    History of TransferWise

    TransferWise is a company launched since January 2010. It has its head office in London and has 11 offices around the world. With more than 4 million customers worldwide today, this platform transfers more than $4 billion every month!

    Historically the company was created by two Estonians who worked at Skype. As they were both working abroad, they soon encountered the problems of transferring money internationally. At the time, they transferred their money through their bank, but the process was often complicated. In addition, they regularly lost money on the exchange rates and bank charges that were applied. They then decided to remedy all this by creating a new concept!

    In terms of security, by the nature of its activity, TransferWise is highly regulated. The company is accredited by the British Financial Conduct Authority. For each country where it is present, the company is registered with the competent authorities. The transfers, therefore, meet all the security and anonymity criteria allowing you to transfer your funds with confidence.

    The principles of Transferwise

    Transparency

    Transferwise is completely transparent about its fees and profits.

    Lower charges

    Transferwise wants to differentiate itself from other companies with costs reduced as much as possible.

    Premium Service

    Transferwise believes that a Premium service should be standard.

    transferwise fees

    FAQ

    How long does a transfer take?

    You can estimate the duration of a transfer with the Transferwise calculator .

    The duration of a transfer depends on 4 elements:
    1. Countries of departure and destination: In general, whatever the currency, the conversion takes 2 days maximum. The speed of the transfer also depends on the means of payment available in your starting currency and the processing of incoming transfers by your beneficiary bank.

    2. Your payment method: The speed of the transfer depends on your choice of payment method. Transfers from a credit or debit card are instant. Bank transfers take longer. You can get an idea of ​​the duration of the transfer when you choose the payment method. Please note that fast transfers are subject to more fees.

    3. Payment time: Transfers are only processed during the working hours of Transferwise and the banks. Public holidays and weekends must also be taken into account.

    4. Security checks: Following the creation of your account during your first transfers Transferwise may require the verification of your identity document, your address or the source of your money, This step aims to guarantee your security and may extend the duration of the transfer despite the initial estimate.

    Is it possible to cancel a transfer?

    It depends on what stage of the transfer you are in. You can cancel the transfer if you have not yet made the payment or if the money has not yet been transferred to the beneficiary account . To find out if you can cancel it, check the transfer status.

    Follow the steps below to proceed with the cancellation:

    1. Go to the Activity section of your account
    2. Find the current transfer you want to cancel
    3. Click on Cancel Transfer (on Android you can access it from the 3 dots in the right corner of the transfer page)
    4. If you haven’t paid yet click on I haven’t paid then on Cancel transfer
    5. If you have already paid click on I have paid and enter your bank details if necessary

    You do not need to provide your bank details if you have made a credit transfer. In this case the amount will be directly refunded to your card.

    What happens if there is an error on the beneficiary account?

    As long as the money has not been sent to the beneficiary account you can still cancel the transfer.

    If the money has been sent and the bank details of the beneficiary account are incorrect, their bank will reject the transfer and return the money to Transferwise. In this case Transferwise will contact you to ask if you want to update the beneficiary’s bank details and return the money or get a refund.

    If the beneficiary has received the money, the transfer can no longer be cancelled. In this case you must directly contact the beneficiary to ask him to return the money to you. Unfortunately Transferwise cannot intervene in this kind of situation.

    Is Transferwise reliable?

    Yes since 2011 Transferwise is used by more than 6 million customers in 71 countries. Each month the total amount transferred is £ 4 billion.

    Transferwise Inc is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) under the money service registration number 31000065314305. It is licensed as a money issuer in the states listed here and is supervised by the regulatory authorities in each of these states.

    How are TransferWise fees determined?

    The cost of a transfer depends on the amount you send, your method of payment and the exchange rate. TransferWise fees depend on three things: how much you send, how you pay, and the exchange rate.

    The amount you send
    TransferWise fees are set as a percentage of the amount you send. The percentage varies from currency to currency. The exception to this is if you send a small amount of money, in which case there is a minimum transaction fee.

    Payment method
    There are different ways to pay depending on the country of origin. You can see how much each payment method or type of transfer costs when you set up your transfer.

    Exchange rate
    You will always get the average market rate on the stock exchanges and this is the rate that banks use to trade with each other. The average market rate is still changing, so be sure to watch it on the price page.

    TransferWise offers guaranteed rates on certain currencies .

    Is it possible to have multiple accounts?

    Even if you have multiple addresses and bank accounts you only need one personal account. The bank account from which Transferwise receives the deposit must simply be in the same name as the Transferwise account.

    If you wish to have a professional account separate from a personal account you must create a new account with another email address. When registering check the “company” box You will have to provide your personal information again and Transferwise will automatically distinguish between the 2 accounts.

    What documents do I need to provide to open a multi-currency account?

    When registering to verify your identity, you must provide an identity document, proof of address and / or a photo of yourself in possession of your identity document. This verification process takes approximately 2 working days.

    What to do in case of fraud?

    The first thing to do is to contact customer service by logging into your account. Transferwise can cancel the transfer if it has not yet been carried out.

    You must also file a complaint with the police. Transferwise will intervene to provide information to complete your file.

    Which currencies are supported?

    You can transfer money to and from these currencies:

    • Euro (EUR)
    • Dollar: American (USD), Australian (AUD), New Zealand (NZD), Canadian (CAD), Hong Kong (HKD), Singapore (SGD)
    • Book serting (GBP)
    • Crown: Czech (CZK), Danish (DKK), Norwegian (NOK), Swedish (SEK)
    • Indian Rupee (INR)
    • Emirati Dirham (AED) (local and international reception) (only sent to UAE)
    • Bulgarian Lev (BGN)
    • Brazilian Real (BRL) (only individuals)
    • Swiss franc (CHF)
    • Croatian Kuna (HRK)
    • Hungarian Forint (HUF)
    • Japanese Yen (JPY)
    • Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
    • Polish Zloty
    • Romanian Leu (RON)
    • Turkish lira (TRY)

    Sending euros with Transferwise is made to SEPA-compliant bank accounts in the SEPA area and to bank accounts denominated in euros with an IBAN outside the SEPA area. It is also possible to receive euros via SWIFT from outside the SEPA zone.

    You can only transfer money to these currencies (local bank transfer):

    • Peso: Argentinian (ARS), Colombian (COP), Mexican (MXN), Filipino (PHP), Uruguayan (UYS)
    • Bangladeshi Taka (BDT)
    • Botswana Pula (BWP)
    • Chilean Peso (CLP)
    • Chinese Yuan (CNY) (limited transfer currency)
    • Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
    • Egyptian Pound (EGP)
    • Georgian Lari (GEL)
    • Ghanaian Cedi (GHS)
    • Rupee: Indonesian (IDR), Sri Lankan (LKR), Nepalese (NPR), Pakistani (PKR), Ugandan (UGX)
    • Israeli Shekel (ILS)
    • Shilling: Kenyan (KES), Tanzanian (TZS)
    • South Korean Won (KRW)
    • Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
    • Nigerian Naira (NGN)
    • Peruvian soil (PEN)
    • Russian Ruble (RUB) (Except Sevastopol and Crimea)
    • Thai Bath (THB)
    • Ukrainian Hryvna (UAH)
    • Vietnamese Dong (VND) (Only for individuals)
    • West African CFA Franc (XOF) (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo)
    • South African Rand (ZAR) (Only with SWIFT network and by local transfer)
    • Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)

    For more details on the conditions of use of currencies go to Transferwise site .

    Updated on 07/05/2020. Initially published on the 14/05/2019.

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