If you are traveling or are settling in another country for some time, you will probably need to transfer money from your account to your foreign account sooner or later. Normal banks usually have high fees or the money is converted at worse rates. Fortunately, there are companies that specialize in international transfers – such as Wise. Wise offers a better exchange rate than banks and charges less. In our Wise Review you will learn why we recommend the service, how it works and what other users think about it.
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- Wise is a very good provider for overseas transfers. The transfers are easy, convenient and secure. The most important thing is that the transfers are also much cheaper than with the bank.
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Wise was founded in January 2011 by 2 Estonians who previously worked for Skype. Since they were both working in the UK, they soon had the problem of transferring money from Estonia to the UK (and vice versa). The process was often expensive, complicated and took a long time. This challenge gave them the idea to rethink the whole process and shortly thereafter Wise was born. Headquartered in London, Wise also has offices in Tallinn, Estonia and New Work.
Wise – what’s that?
Wise is a banking app that gives you your own multi-currency account. The opening of the account is of course free of charge. You can then use this account like a normal account, because you will receive a regular IBAN on which you can transfer funds. In the same way you can make free transfers of this account in Euro again. But the app offers yet another way that makes the account attractive for mile collectors. You can easily charge your account there by credit card. Sorry, no American Express credit cards are working here.
To charge your account with a credit card, simply go to the app’s Account Point. There you choose then the credit and after a click on ‘Add’ you can select the desired amount. Then you select the desired payment method and directly see the Wise fee for the selected payment method. Then you add the desired credit card, verify yourself by entering the card verification number (CVV) and your account will be charged. After a few seconds, the desired amount should then be booked and you can dispose of it.
This is how transfers work
After you have charged your account, you can dispose of the money and pay it by bank transfer. To do this you have to go back to the account in the app and send it to. Here you can now add a recipient and select the desired amount and the currency. In addition, you will see the fee directly here. Then you can send the transfer and this is usually after one or two days arrived at the recipient. You usually also get a local IBAN. This is a big advantage over other banking apps because you can easily pay your rent without your landlord wondering about the foreign IBAN.
Wise fees – how high are they really?
You can request a Mastercard free of charge. Also, the payment with the Mastercard in the currency of your account is free of charge, as well as the cash withdrawal at the machine. However, this is only up to a value of 200 pounds (about 225 euros) within a month for free, then you paid 2 percent of the withdrawal amount. If you only pay in euros, there are actually no fees.
Is Wise safe?
To put it succinctly: Yes, Wise is safe! Registered in England and Wales (Company Number: 07209813), the Company is headquartered at 186-188 Seat Road, London EC1V 2NT, United Kingdom and is a so-called Money Service Business of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. (HMRC) registered. It is also controlled by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Wise is also accredited in all countries where it operates. In Australia, Wise trades through a branch with ABN 168 331 191 and holds an Australian Financial Services License (“AFS License”) number 456295 issued by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (“ASIC”).
The provider is not to be seen as a bank, yet he must have a regulation and licensing, so that he can provide financial services. Security standards are in line with bank standards. The regulation is therefore regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as Wise is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Through regular checks, the FCA can determine if any irregularities occur. If this is the case, checks and inspections are carried out. A withdrawal of the license is also possible.
The transfer via the service provider takes place exclusively via the own account. A cancellation of the transfer is possible until the money is received by the recipient. The customer has the opportunity to see in detail in his account, where the money is currently located and what status has his transfer. By selecting a secure password, users of the transfer service provider can increase their own security once again.
So if you use Wise, you can be sure that all security criteria are met and you remain anonymous.
Wise Review – How Does It Work?
Wise uses a so-called peer-to-peer system. It’s basically a platform where you share currencies with other users. As soon as you want to exchange your money (for example Euro) into another currency (for example AUD), Wise will automatically find another user who wants to convert money (AUD) into your currency (Euro). With this system, Wise manages to keep the money in the same country. This makes it possible to charge only small fees and to offer you a good exchange rate.
Usually, international transfers are very expensive, as they often include hidden fees. The bank, for example, speaks of “free international transfers,” but the reality is often different. Wise swaps your money to the real price and communicates the actual charges.
Your money will not be exchanged at the rate at which you transfer to Wise, but at the rate at which the money is transferred to your other bank account. In the event that the price changes significantly within this short time, there is the possibility to cancel the transfer. You can also use the so-called “lock” function. The transfer will only take place if the price is only slightly different.
How long does the transfer take?
The duration depends on 3 factors:
- Your bank must register Wise as a beneficiary. This usually takes 24 to 72 hours and depends on your bank.
- From the time the money from your bank has arrived at Wise. This usually takes one business day. If you make the transfer on the weekend, then this is processed only on Mondays.
- The time until the money from Wise arrives at your other bank account. This usually takes a business day as well.
You can even download Wise as an app to your smartphone. This makes the transfer even easier!
The identity check on Wise
If money is to be transferred, verification is always necessary. This alone serves to protect against money laundering and fraud, but is also a security for the customers themselves. The verification at Wise is a basis for the use of accounts. If a large amount to be transferred, it is possible that the provider once again performs an identity test. The verification itself is a classic process. The required documents are uploaded via the internal area. This can the identity card, but also a passport is accepted.
In addition to the pure identity determination is also still a verification of the address. Necessary for this is a valid document with the following information:
- Full name
- full address
- date of issue
- Name or logo of the sender
- Type of document
For example, invoices or bank letters are accepted. The documents must not be older than three months. It is important to make sure that the address matches the information in the account at Wise. A PO box as an address is not accepted by Wise.
Note: Refusal of documents during verification is possible. There can be different reasons for this. A short communication with the support helps to successfully carry out the verification.
When transferring very large amounts, additional verification of the account may be necessary. In that case, it is possible that the transfer service provider wants to check the asset source.
Wise Review – Advantages and Disadvantages
Here are some benefits that have been mentioned by other users:
- It’s easy.
- It goes fast.
- Compared to other banks and competitors, it is cheaper
- There is an app for Android and iOS
However, a few disadvantages were mentioned. Some users have complained that especially the first referral took a bit longer and they did not like the interface very much. In addition, some users found it annoying that the exchange rate can not be set when transferring to TransferMate.
But these are just a few things.
Wise is still a great option if you want to transfer your money from Estonia to Australia or from Australia to Estonia.