b-sharpe Review: Transfer Fees, Safety, Alternatives, and Monito's Verdict

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
May 4, 2021

b-sharpe is a good money transfer service (8.1/10), recommended by Monito for international money transfers from Switzerland. Although not always the cheapest service of all for these transfers, b-sharpe's pricing is very competitive (10/10), meaning you can be sure you'll be getting a good deal with them. Despite being a smaller, local company that doesn't handle a lot of volume on an annual basis (7.3/10), b-sharpe does offer a clear and straightforward website and mobile app (7.7/10), and boasts excellent ratings from its customers on Trustpilot (8.3/10).

What Monito Likes About b-sharpe

  • Customer support is responsive, professional, and available in many languages;
  • Bank transfers arrive quickly at their destination;
  • Backed by Swiss retail giant Migros;
  • Exchange rates are fair and much better than those at Swiss banks.

What Monito Dislikes About b-sharpe

  • Exchange rates other than Euro and Swiss franc are less competitive;
  • Address needs to be manually verified, taking up to 24 hours;
  • Exchange rate margins are not currently displayed on pricing converter.
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A good option for sending money overseas from Switzerland, Monito recommends b-sharpe for reliably low-cost bank transfers between the Euro and the Swiss franc, as well as for EU residents who receive their salary in francs from a Swiss employer.

However, because it's very seldom the cheapest service of all, we recommend running a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine if you'd like to find a better deal instead.

Who Is b-sharpe For?

Especially ideal for people transferring money between the Euro and Swiss franc, b-sharpe offers competitive bank transfers to and from 21 major currencies around the globe, including the Swiss franc, US dollar, Euro, British pound, and Canadian dollar. Due to stringent financial regulations, b-sharpe doesn't accept new accounts from US citizens.

How Monito Reviewed b-sharpe's Services

As with all services reviewed by Monito, b-sharpe underwent a rigorous evaluation to assess the quality of its service. To begin with, our experts opened a b-sharpe account to test out its functionalities, including the ease of registration and speed of transferring money, which provided a well-rounded overview of the platform's strengths and limitations. Next, we weighed this score against several other key criteria, including customer reviews, percentage of fees constituted by exchange rate margins, pay-in options, access to customer service, and business and legal metrics such as volume transferred, appropriate authorization, and company size. Finally, we analyzed nearly 30 thousand searches on Monito's comparison engine to determine how often b-sharpe was the cheapest service and how often it was competitive against its rivals over the past three months, giving a reliable overview of the service's pricing in relation to the market. As with all Monito Scores, b-sharpe's score was peer-reviewed by at least one Monito expert.

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b-sharpe at a Glance

Trust & Credibility

7.3

Background check

b-sharpe is duly licensed as a corporation by the Commercial Register of the Canton of Geneva, where the company is based, and authorised by the Swiss financial regulators SO-FIT and FINMA.

Security & reliability

b-sharpe's website is fully secured and uses top-notch security protocols, including segregated user accounts and HTTPS.

Company size

A small and local Swiss transfer company, b-sharpe employs around thirteen people and services more than 18 thousand customers. It handles around CHF 720 million in transactions each year.

Transparent pricing

Because exchange rate margins are not displayed on the homepage, b-sharpe's homepage can potentially mislead users who do not navigate to the pricing page to believe they're sending at the mid-market rate

Can I Trust b-sharpe?

Moving around CHF 720 million across borders every year for some 20 thousand customers, b-sharpe may be a smaller player in the grander scheme of things, but it can still most certainly be trusted.

Based out of Switzerland, b-sharpe is a duly regulated financial services provider headquartered in Geneva, where it's organised as a corporation. Founded in 2006, the company is authorised by the Commercial Register of the Canton of Geneva and authorised by SO-FIT, the Geneva-based financial supervisory organisation which is itself licensed by FINMA, Switzerland's chief financial regulator.

Ultimately, b-sharpe is a small company compared to the likes of Wise and Western Union. This is because it's a local company whose services are primarily geared toward cross-border commuters and EU residents working and living in Switzerland. To this end, b-sharpe employs fewer than fifteen people and has handled a grand total of around CHF 1.9 billion in annual transaction volume to date.

Is b-sharpe Safe?

Yes, b-sharpe is a safe and secure money transfer operator — one you can most certainly entrust with your money. Not only is the company fully authorised and duly regulated, as we saw above, but the platform itself is also protected using industry-standard security measures, as well as transaction insurance for all transfer up to CHF 5 million.

For example, when a customer transfers Swiss francs to Euros using b-sharpe, the francs will arrive in b-sharpe's Swiss bank account and immediately be dispatched from their European one, allowing the company to make fast and low-cost transfers that are, most importantly, digitally secure and above-board.

Is b-sharpe Transparent About Its Pricing?

Compared to most money transfer services and banks, b-sharpe is indeed exceptional when it comes to pricing transparency. On the website's "Pricing" page, for example, you'll be able to get a sense of just how much you can expect to pay for you currency exchange. This doesn't only include fixed fees, but also the exchange rate margins for various transfer amounts (a point which services seldom make transparent in our experience.)

The only issue we found with b-sharpe's pricing transparency is that these fees are not included on the homepage itself. As many customers will likely not necessarily navigate to the pricing page before making a transfer, this can potentially mislead users into believing that the "operating cost" (CHF 5 for transfers of under CHF 5'000 and CHF 0 for transfers above that amount) is the only fee associated with the service, and that exchange rate quoted is the "real" mid-market one.

Service & Quality

7.7

Opening an account

Opening an account with b-sharpe is understandable and straightforward, although the manual customer verification can take up to a day.

Making a transfer

Once you have a b-sharpe account set up, making a new money transfer is a fast and simple process.

Contacting support

Reaching out to customer service is very fast and straightforward using a dedicated hotline, email during business hours.

b-sharpe's Service Quality

Specialising in bank transfers, b-sharpe is an all-round easy and professional service to sign up and transfer money abroad. And while the lack of choice when it comes to pay-in options might be restrictive for some, we found that b-sharpe more than makes up for this by being a true specialist in international bank-to-bank transfers.

In terms of the scope of its service, b-sharpe is quite impressive for a small money transfer company. Using your b-sharpe dashboard, you'll be able to transfer money between any two of the following regions and 21 respective currencies:

  • Europe: EUR, CHF, GBP, DKK, SEK, HUF, NOK, PLN
  • North America: USD, CAD, MXN
  • Asia-Pacific: AED, AUD, JPY, ILS, CNH, HKD, NZD, SGD
  • Africa: ZAR, MUR

According to b-sharpe, bank transfers arrive in the beneficiary's account the same day or the next business day. However, while this is likely often to be the case for transfers from Swiss francs to Euros and vice versa, b-sharpe transfers between two more lesser-used currencies could take longer still.

Monito's Impressions During Our Test

Signing up for and transferring money with b-sharpe was easy, and our reviewers found the homepage and user dashboard design to modern, sleek, and easy to understand. While proof of identity was verified automatically in a matter of seconds, we found that proof of address was verified manually ⁠— a process which added to the time it took to set up the account (approximately two hours.) Also noteworthy was that we were required to sign a contract to use the platform digitally. However, despite this, we found the company to be very professional, and reaching out to customer assistance over email was fast, easy, and cordial.

b-sharpe Mobile App Review

b-sharpe's mobile app, which is available on both Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS, has been rated well by users, many of whom have praised it for its speed and ease-of-use. On Google Play Store, for example, b-sharpe's app has received 4.7 out of 5 stars, while on the App Store it received the full 5 out of 5 stars from a relatively low number of reviews — around 50 combined. Using the application, b-sharpe customers can send money overseas, view previous transfers, add and manage beneficiaries, and create exchange rate alerts.

Exchange Options for Cross-Border Workers

Geared toward cross-border commuters between Switzerland and the EU, b-sharpe also offers a rather unique service option, allowing customers to have their salary sent directly by their employer to b-sharpe's IBAN, after which it will be converted at real-time exchange rates and immediately deposited into a bank account of choice.

Fees & Exchange Rates

10

Transfers to a bank account

While b-sharpe was the cheapest option in a minority (14%) of available Monito searches for bank transfers over the first three months of 2021, it was competitive on nearly all of them (97%).

b-sharpe's Fees & Exchange Rates

Although b-sharpe offers competitive fees and exchange rates, it's seldom the cheapest money transfer service of all on Monito's comparison engine for transfers from Switzerland. In effect, this means that while you'll always be getting a good deal with b-sharpe (at least compared to the banks!), you are seldom getting the best deal of all.

The fees and exchange rates charged at b-sharpe are quite straightforward. For transfers of under CHF 5'000, you'll be charged a CHF 5 fixed fee, and for transfers over that amount, the fee will be waived. In addition to this (and making up the entire fee for larger transfers) is an exchange rate margin, which is the difference between the exchange rate that b-sharpe charges and the mid-market exchange rate. At b-sharpe, this margin is always between 0.5% and 0.12% of the value of your transfer for those between Swiss francs and Euros, and become lower the larger the transfer according to b-sharpe's "Pricing" page.

All in all, this makes b-sharpe a very well-priced service for sending money between Switzerland and the Eurozone ⁠— especially if the amount sent is above CHF 5'000. For example, if you were to send CHF 7,500 to a friend in Belgium, you'd pay no fixed fee and just CHF 38.03 in exchange rate margin fees, according to Monito's comparison engine at the time of writing. This quickly makes b-sharpe one of the most competitive services for transfers between Swiss francs and Euros.

For sending outside of SEPA, however, will incur a charge of CHF 5.00 at b-sharpe.

Compare b-sharpe's Fees & Exchange Rates Now

Customer Satisfaction

8.3

Customer review score

With a 4.8/5 star rating on Trustpilot, there’s no doubt that b-sharpe has made an overwhelmingly positive impression on its customers.

Number of positive reviews

Many find the service reliable and reputable, with nearly two thousand reviewers on Trustpilot awarding four- or five-star to b-sharpe.

Customer Reviews of b-sharpe

Although it doesn't have a large number of reviews under its belt, b-sharpe customers generally rate the service very highly, giving it a 4.8 out of 5-star average on Trustpilot. In general, b-sharpe customers reported the following feedback:

Positive

  • Transfers are fast and arrive quickly;
  • The website and mobile app are easy-to-use;
  • Customer service are professional, fast, and friendly.

Negative

  • The exchange rate margin isn't indicated;
  • A fee for transfers of under CHF 5'000 makes small transfers expensive.

How b-sharpe Works

  • Step 01

    Check b-sharpe's Rates

    Use Monito's comparison engine to see how b-sharpe’s fees and exchange rates weigh up against the rest and make sure that they're indeed the cheapest option for your international money transfer. There, you'll be able to discover both the cheapest ways to fund your transfer and have the money received.

  • Step 02

    Create a b-sharpe Account

    You can sign up for b-sharpe on the web or using the mobile app using your full name, email address, and mobile phone number (which doesn't have to be Swiss.) You’ll also need to provide b-sharpe with your residential address, nationality, and birth date.

  • Step 03

    Check the Legal Boxes

    Next, you'll be asked a few questions about the origin of your funds, the reason for your transaction, and whether or not you're not a US citizen. On the next page, you'll need to snap a photo of your photo ID for automatic verification and enter an SMS confirmation code which serves as an acceptance of b-sharpe's service contract. Finally, you'll need to upload a valid proof of residence, which will be manually reviewed and can take several hours to a day.

  • Step 04

    Add Bank Accounts

    Once you're verified, go to b-sharpe's dashboard and select the 'Accounts' tab, from which you'll be able to add your own banking details and those of your beneficiary or beneficiaries, including their full name and physical address.

  • Step 05

    Set Up a Transfer

    In the next page, specify how much money you'd like to send and between which currencies, and then click 'NEXT' to choose which bank account you'd like to send to. You'll also have the option of adding a new bank account at this step, too.

  • Final step

    Review and Pay For Your Transfer

    After selecting your bank account, you'll be directed to the 'SUMMARY' tab, whereupon you can review and confirm the details of your transfer. If all's in order, instruct the transfer and send money from your online banking to b-sharpe's banking details which will be presented in the final page.

    Try b-sharpe
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Global Impact Finance Ltd
Avenue de Montchoisi 35
1006 Lausanne
Switzerland

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