TransferWise Review 2020 - Complete Guide & Info

TransferWise logo and mobile money transfer

TransferWise is a low-cost money transfer service, established in 2011 in the UK. Customers of TransferWise can use its services to send and receive money anywhere in the world at a low-cost rate, often beating fees and rates offered by traditional high street banks. But, is it the best way to transfer money? Find all the information you need in our TransferWise Review.


What is TransferWise?

TransferWise offers an online, low-cost way for customers to send money abroad and receive transfers throughout the world. Previously, customers would use their bank to send money overseas which, more often than not, came with low exchange rates because of banks buying and selling their own rates and pocketing the difference and then charging a fee to the sender. In our TransferWise review, we look into the serivces and fees that TransferWise offers to its customers to see if it lives up to hype.

Send money with transferwise

TransferWise calculates its conversion rates using the real-time exchange rate and makes your international money transfer using a local bank transfer in the recipient’s country.

Sounds complicated? Imagine you want to send £100 to a friend in France:

  1. You tell TransferWise you want to send £100 GBP to your friend in France.
  2. TransferWise provides you with a real-time exchange rate for you to see what your £100 works out as in Euros.
  3. Your £100 GBP is transfered to TransferWise’s GBP bank account.
  4. TransferWise then sends the money, in Euros, to your recipient via a local bank transfer from its French EUR bank account.

It is a clever way of bypassing the costs of sending money abroad because your money never leaves the country. By using 2x local bank transfers, one from the sender to TransferWise and one from TransferWise to the recipient, instead of 1x international bank transfer, customers avoid additional currency conversion fees and transfer fees often applied to international bank transfers.

TransferWise boasts that, on average, it is 8x cheaper than using lending high street banks.

TransferWise makes its money by charging a small fee to the sender based on a percentage of the amount you are transferring. It deducts this fee from the amount you transfer, so you pay nothing additional and you can view a full breakdown of your transfer rates and fees before you confirm your transfer, including:

  • The amount you are sending in your local currency
  • The TransferWise fee
  • The total amount to be converted (Minus the TransferWise fee)
  • The current exchange rate
  • The total amount the recipient will receive, in their local currency
 

TransferWise Reviews

Scales balancing a green tick and a red cross

Since its inception, TransferWise has become one of the most popular money transfer services on the planet. The majority of TransferWise reviews are overwhelmingly possitive, with more than 5 million customers throughout the world trusting TransferWise to send money to friends, family, and businesses.

Being such a popular service for money transfers, TransferWise has received numerous reviews and awards. Selectra has broken down some of the customer and industry reviews it has received for you take a look at.

Trustpilot Reviews

On review site Trustpilot, TransferWise has received over 80,000 reviews about its services from current and past users who have used its services to transfer money.

Customers of TransferWise have awarded it a score of 4.6 / 5.

Updated February 2020

As of January 2020, current and existing users of TransferWise rate it:

  • Excellent - 86%
  • Great - 8%
  • Bad - 3%
  • Average - 2%
  • Poor - 1%

“I’ve used [TransferWise] a few times now to move money and it has been done fast and securely. Saved me a large amount that I would have otherwise lost to currency exchange fees and poor conversion rates from banks - saving money is earning money! The customer service [has] been excellent as well, they give quick and helpful replies.”

Christopher Trustpilot

“Excellent way to transfer money to another country with online tracking system and email notification for you to keep track on the progress.”

Zee Trustpilot

Google Reviews

There are multiple TransferWise reviews left by customers on search engine, Google. Many customers have praised the money transfer giant for its mobile app, speedy transfers, and friendly customer service.

"The app is excellent and the support very friendly. Fast and reliable with the lowest fees. Never had any problem!"

David Duarte Google

"We make frequent , though relatively small fx European transfers and this service has proved both efficient and cost effective , saving us time and money."

James Haigh Google

Industry Reviews

In addition to being praised by its customers, TransferWise has received excellent reviews within the finance industry.

Forbes Magazine claims TransferWise is “The future of international money transfers” and money transfer comparison site, Monito awarded TransferWise 8.8 / 10, with its review describing TransferWise as “A top choice for international money transfers” whilst praising it for its great customer service and low-cost fees.

In addition to customer and industry reviews, TransferWise has received numerous awards over the years.

Awards

  • 2015 - Founders, Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus are named Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneurs of the Year.
  • 2017 - TransferWise is named Outstanding Product of the Year and Best Transfer Rates Award at the finder.com Money Transfer Awards.
  • 2019 - TransferWise is named Company of the Year at the UK Tech Awards.

Review of TransferWise Fees

Send money with transferwise

TransferWise deducts its fees from the amount you are sending in your local currency. It then converts the amount you wish to send, minus its fee, into the recipient’s currency, ready to transfer.

The fee that TransferWise deducts varies, depending on

  • The amount you are sending
  • How you pay
  • The exchange rate

The amount you are sending - TransferWise calculates its fee based on a percentage of the amount you are sending. Therefore, the more money you transfer the higher your transfer fee.

How you pay - You can pay by credit or debit card, bank transfer, or online payment. Each payment method has a different fee.

The exchange rate - TransferWise uses real-time exchange rates, and you can view a full breakdown before you confirm if you want to make the transfer.

How much does it cost to use TransferWise?

It is free to be a TransferWise customer and to use its services. It deducts a small fee from any transfers you send, which you can review before confirming if you want to send the transfer.

How do I transfer money?

Sending money via TransferWise is simple and transparent. Depending on the payment method you use, your transfer can reach the recipient in seconds, meaning someone in London could send $100 to their friend, located all the way over in New York, quicker than it would take them to order a cup of coffee.

You can access TransferWise via its website or through its mobile app and it is available 24 hours, 365 days a year.

Sending money with TransferWise is easy:

two hands holding a world globe
  1. Visit the TransferWise website
  2. Log in to your account
  3. Select your local currency you the currency you wish to send
  4. Enter the amount of money you want to send
  5. Enter your details and the recipients
  6. Enter either your credit or debit card details, or send the money to TransferWise using your online banking.

How do I register?

The first step to becoming a TransferWise customer is to register on its website:

  1. Visit the TransferWise website
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Create a password
  4. Confirm your country of residence

You can make money transfers immediately by following the on-screen instructions or you can log out to make a transfer at a later date.

Send money with transferwise

How do I log in?

To log in to the TransferWise website:

  1. Visit the TransferWise website
  2. Click ‘Log in’ in the top right-hand corner
  3. Enter your email address
  4. Enter your password
  5. Click ‘Log in’

You can opt to register and log in using your Facebook or Google credentials for an even quicker sign up / login process.

How long do transfers take?

Transfers are normally processed instantly. However, there are a few factors that can sometimes delay the payment, such as

    A mobile phone money transfer
  • The countries you are sending money from and to - Once TransferWise has sent the money, it is then down to the recipient’s bank to deposit the money. Depending on who they bank with may affect how long it takes for the money to clear into their account.
  • How you pay - Card payments are normally instant. However, if you pay via bank transfer, it can take a little longer while it is processed, depending on who you bank with.
  • What time you transfer - TransferWise can only move money during normal banking hours, so it may take a little longer if you request a transfer outside of these hours or if the country you are sending money to has a national holiday.
  • Security checks - On some occasions, TransferWise may need to carry out a security check, such as verifying your ID, address, or where you got the money from.

TransferWise delivers over 80% of transfers within 2 hours of the estimated time it provides you with. Most transfers happen the same day, as opposed to banks which can sometimes take up to seven working days to complete.

Track your transfer

Keeping things honest and transparent seems to be TransferWise’s mantra. Therefore, it is no surprise that it keeps you informed of the status of your transfer from the moment you hit send, to the second it reaches the recipient’s bank account.

TransferWise will email you when it has received and sent your money to the recipient. You can also access your TransferWise account to view further details.

  1. Visit the TransferWise website
  2. Log into your account
  3. Click on ‘Activity’
  4. Select the transfer you want further information on

If you wish to keep the recipient informed of the status of the transfer or provide them with proof that it has been sent, you can do so by visiting your TransferWise account and downloading a PDF receipt, which you can send to the recipient.

Contact TransferWise

If you have any issues with a transfer that you have sent, you should contact TransferWise for further assistance.

Contact Method TransferWise Contact Information
Email support@transferwise.com
Phone +44 (0) 203 6950 999
Mon - Fri 08:00 - 18:00

FAQs

We have answered some of your frequently asked questions about TransferWise and its services. Review the information below to find the answer to your question.

How safe is TransferWise?

TransferWise moves over £4 billion of money across the word each month!

It keeps every single penny safe because it follows the guidelines and rules set by the regulatory agency in each country it operates in. In the UK, for example, TransferWise is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and in the US, it is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen).

You can view a complete list of the agencies TransferWise is regulated by, for each country, on its website.

Does the person I am sending money to need a TransferWise account?

No, not at all. The recipient receives your transfer directly into their local bank account and they do not need a TransferWise account.

Do I need a bank account for TransferWise?

You can send money with TransferWise using a few different payment methods:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Bank transfer
  • Online payment

It is entirely possible to use TransferWise without a bank account if you use alternative banking methods, such as a prepaid debit card. You can top up your prepaid card and use it with TransferWise to make your international transfer. However, your recipient will need a bank account to receive the transfer.

TransferWise does not accept cash transfers or cash collections, as it is an online service with no branches.

Will my bank charge me to use TransferWise?

When you send money to somebody using TransferWise, your bank will class it as a local bank transfer. This is the same transfer used when sending money to another UK bank account. If it is free to send a local transfer with your bank, then it shouldn't charge you for sending money with TransferWise.

Find information on the UK and international transfer fees charged by your bank. (Coming Soon)


We receive a commission for some of the products and or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide. All of our content and opinions are non-biased.

Updated on