Perhaps you have relatives living abroad who send you money, or you work remotely as a freelancer, or you employ the services of a freelancer yourself or do business over the internet. The chances are that you’ve most likely heard about TransferWise. On the off chance that you know nothing about TransferWise, I will tell you what it is.
TransferWise is a FinTech company based in London. It was founded in January of 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Karmann, two Estonian guys whose names you probably did not care to know. At the core of it, TransferWise aims to perform the same function as PayPal et al., which is to transfer money (hence its name) between people in different parts of the world, who may or may not use different currencies. It does this perfectly, maybe a bit slower, but certainly just as efficiently as most other remittance companies or even banks, and at a much cheaper cost.
The company makes the bold claim of being eight times less expensive than international bank transfers and other remittance services. It achieves this by leveraging on the mid-market exchange rate of the transaction, rather than charging transaction fees from both the sender and receiver. Still, TransferWise is more, as will be shown in the following paragraphs.
Borderless Multi-Currency Account
TransferWise offers you the opportunity to own bank details. While this is not an actual bank account, you can use it in much the same way. Meaning that the holder of this borderless account can be paid as though he/she were a local, living in the same country. This method eliminates the tiresome processes of the sender having to register and provide proof of identity and waiting to get approved before he/she can send money. Freelancers who get paid salaries or royalties by big companies like Amazon will find that this is a more desirable option as it is a faster, cheaper, and easier way to receive their earnings. And did I mention that all monies received are at no cost to the sender or receiver?
But it doesn’t stop there; there is the multi-currency part to consider. An individual with a TransferWise borderless account can at any given time hold up to fifty different currencies, and convert between these fifty currencies in a matter of seconds, which means that for all intents and purposes, TransferWise offers you the opportunity to own accounts in fifty countries! You can receive money in Pounds and Naira, and in mere seconds have them on their way to your actual local bank account in Rupees. How great is that? And should you chose to do so, you can save your money with TransferWise (it is an account after all!)
The average bank account comes with a debit card. Well, so does a TransferWise borderless account! And even better, it is a Mastercard meaning one can use it on virtually any ATM in the world and get paid in the currency of the region the ATM is domiciled. This feature is excellent for ex-pats, travelers, and digital nomads as it eliminates the dual hassle of traveling with large cash sums and later converting to the local currency.
To conclude, TransferWise is indeed a way to send and receive money internationally. It is also a whopping fifty offshore bank accounts in one and a complementary shiny debit card!