TransferWise - Independent review

All you need to know before sending money with TransferWise

Mid-market exchange rates Competitive and transparent fees Excellent user experience

8.30/10 Very good
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TransferWise review by Monito

TransferWise acts as a secure intermediary in an international bank to bank money transfer. They charge a low and transparent transfer fee and convert your money at the true mid-market exchange rate. You can pay with a bank transfer, debit and credit card, or even with Apple Pay with the TransferWise iOS app in the UK. In most cases, the money will arrive within 1-4 working days on your recipient’s bank account.

TransferWise is a top choice for international money transfers between bank accounts, as evidenced by the dozens of thousands of excellent TransferWise reviews on Trustpilot. They can send 38 different currencies to 72 countries, and are one of the very few companies who can offer the true mid-market rate. Their low and transparent transfer fees make them extremely competitive.

The cherry on the cake? The TransferWise website and mobile apps offer a spectacularly great user experience, which make everything from signup to transfer simple and efficient.

  • You get the true mid-market rate
  • Low and transparent transfer fees
  • Fantastic user experience
  • Excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot
  • Limited number of supported countries
  • Transfer time can be a bit long depending on where you’re sending to
  • You can only send to a bank account

TransferWise has excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot, with close to 90% of the over 29’000 customers who have given their feedback rating the company 5 stars. Here’s a summary of what TransferWise customers have to say:

  • TransferWise is great value for money and cheaper than banks
  • Transfers are fast
  • The process is simple, efficient, and fully transparent
  • A few transfers took longer than initially announced
  • Some personal distaste of the website and money transfer process

Can I trust TransferWise ?

Our users often ask us, is TransferWise safe? Like all the companies on our site, they must meet several safety criteria which make them 100% safe and trustworthy.

TransferWise is a licensed Authorised Electronic Money Institution, and are therefore regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom. They offer institutional grade security for their service, including 256-bit SSL encryption with a 2048-bit signature.

As per FCA regulations, clients’ funds are held completely separate from TransferWise’s own business accounts, in so-called segregated accounts. Should the company have any financial difficulties, your money will therefore be safe.

TransferWise employs 600 people across its seven offices around the world. Employees give the company a close to 5 star rating on the employer review site Glassdoor, and describe team as a “great company that is doing an awesome job” full of “smart and motivated people”, a company that is “super customer-focused” with an “excellent culture” that is “something special, something different”. One employee wrote: “The product is honest so there's no trying to cheat customers -- it's work you can feel good about doing.“ Overall, it’s clear that employees love working there and that they feel that they are on a mission to make sending money as cheap and convenient as possible.

TransferWise has raised over $115M dollars from world-famous investors such as Richard Branson and Andreessen Horowitz, which has helped the startup sustain its phenomenal growth rate of approximately 15%... per month!

So, is TransferWise safe? Absolutely, we wouldn’t hesitate to trust them even with transfers of large amounts. In fact, we have used them ourselves for a lot of our own international payments.

Authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Firm Reference : 900507


How TransferWise works

  1. Create an account: Sign up for TransferWise in just a few moments. You can do this by connecting with your Facebook or Google account.
  2. Set up your transfer: Enter how much you're sending and where you’d like the money to be received. You can send to your own account abroad, or to another person or business.
  3. Send the money: Send your money to TransferWise with a local bank transfer, by paying with a debit or credit card, or by using Apple Pay.
  4. Conversion: TransferWise converts your money at the mid-market rate and, when possible, matches you with people sending in the other direction. That's why it costs so little.
  5. Money on its way: The converted money is sent to the recipient’s bank account. Everyone gets notified by email, so you always know where the money is.



TransferWise Exchange Rate & Fees

Transfer fees

TransferWise fees are low and fully transparent. They charge a percent of the transfer amount, with a minimum fee for small transfer amounts. The minimum TransferWise fees and percent depend on the currencies you are sending from and to.

For example, from GBP (British Pound) to EUR (Euro), you will pay 0.5% of the transfer amount with a minimum fee of £2. Sending to COP (Colombian Peso), currently the most expensive currency of TransferWise, will cost you 2.5% of the transfer amount with a minimum of 16,000 COP.

Exchange rate

TransferWise will generally convert your money using the true mid-market rate when they receive and process your money. This means that the TransferWise exchange rate is the fairest exchange rate you can hope for.

In many cases, if you’re sending from or to GBP (British Pound), EUR (Euro) or USD (US Dollar), TransferWise will automatically lock the exchange rate for a time frame of 24-48h so you’re not exposed to exchange rate fluctuations (they call this the “guaranteed rate” feature). This is one way to ensure that your recipient receives a specific amount, which can be useful if you’re paying for bills for example. The only caveat is that your money must be received by TransferWise within the specified time frame, or else the exchange rate - and therefore also the amount received - will no longer be guaranteed.

Alternatively, if you’re sending from a certain list of currencies (see below), you can make a “specific amount transfer”. To do this, you will deposit a small exchange rate protection at the same time you make the payment to TransferWise for your transfer. After your transfer is made, TransferWise will return to you whatever was not needed to convert to the exact specified amount. Currently, the list of sending currencies for which specific amount transfers are available is: AUD, BGN, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HUF, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, SEK.

Other fees

In most cases, TransferWise uses local accounts to collect and send funds. This means that there should be no fees charged by the sending or receiving banks, and no intermediary bank fees.

If you’re paying by credit card, you will be charged a credit card fee of 0.3% - 2% depending on the currency you’re sending from and the type of credit card you are using. Debit card payments are free, unless you’re sending from AUD (Australian Dollar), CHF (Swiss Franc) or NZD (New Zealand Dollar) in which case you will pay a debit card fee of 1.2% - 2%.

TransferWise sends certain currencies via the international SWIFT network, which most banks will charge a fee to receive. If you’re sending to these currencies, make sure you check with the receiving bank how much they charge for incoming SWIFT payments. TransferWise SWIFT currencies are: CAD (Canadian Dollar) over $5000, JPY (Japanese Yen), USD (US Dollar) over ~$36’000, and ZAR (South African Rand).

TransferWise can also receive USD (US Dollars) via SWIFT. If you live in the US, you will not want to do this since your bank will likely charge you fees to make a SWIFT payment, and free or cheaper alternatives are available (domestic wire and ACH direct debit). You’ll only want to send USD to TransferWise via SWIFT if your payment is coming from outside the US.

TransferWise Brazil

Sending money to Brazil with Transferwise will cost you 1.5% (or 10 BRL for payments under 667 BRL), which includes a tax of 0.38% called IOF (Imposto sobre Operações Financeiras). The IOF is applied to any foreign exchange transaction in or out of Brazil and is not specific to TransferWise.

You have to transfer a minimum of 10 BRL but you can’t transfer more than 250,000 BRL per transfer. Due to Brazilian regulations, if you transfer more than 10,000 USD per transfer, 35,000 BRL per month or 70,000 BRL per year, you may have to provide TransferWise more information about the transfer. The receiving brazilian bank might ask for a power of attorney document (Procuração) as well as a registration form (Ficha Cadastral) to the recipient.

Sending money from Brazil with Transferwise will cost you 2.5% (or 10 BRL for payments under 667 BRL), which also includes a 0.38% IOF tax.

The maximum amount you can send from Brazil is 9,999 BRL per transfer AND per month.

Once your transfer is set-up, TransferWise will send you a Boleto which expires within one working day (expiry time is shown on the Boleto).

You will need to indicate your CPF number, the Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas (Portuguese for "Natural Persons Register"), when you set-up you transfer on TransferWise. It should be 11 digit and the same one you provided when creating your account.

Important: when you send money from and to BRL, Transferwise will limit the fluctuation of the exchange rate to 5%. It means that if the exchange rates drops by 5% or more between the time you create a payment to or from Brazil on TransferWise and the time TransferWise is completing your transfer, your transfer will be delayed until the exchange rate rise again below the 5% threshold.

Which documents will TransferWise require to verify my identity?

To comply with anti-money laundering regulations, TransferWise must verify your identity. They will ask for a copy of your identification documents, a proof that the adress you provided is correct and a reason for your payment.

Identification Documents

It can be a Passport, National ID card or a Driver's Licence.

Proof of address

In order to verify your address, TransferWise will need to be able to see a document from a reliable insitution showing your name and your adress. This document can be a utility bill (Gas, landline phone, Eletricity), a Bank or credit card statement, a Tax bill, a vehicle registration, a Driver's licence indicating your adress or any other document from the government or a financial institution.

Proof of funds

You may be required to provide a reason for your payment. Examples include: "Purchasing an overseas property", "Sending money back home to family" etc..

Mobile apps

TransferWise offers mobile apps for both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The TransferWise app, which provide a fantastic user experience and are very convenient, are rated 4.6 / 5 on the Google Play Store and 5 / 5 on the Apple App Store.

With the TransferWise apps, you can send money abroad from anywhere, check the status of your transfers or cancel them. You can make debit or credit card payments directly within the TransferWise app, or if you prefer to make a bank transfer to TransferWise, the app will provide you with the information you need to make your transfer through your online banking platform or at your local bank branch. With the TransferWise iOS app, you can even pay for your transfer by using Apple Pay!


Additional services

TransferWise can also help businesses make international payments to suppliers, freelancers and employees. The fees and exchange rate and fees are the same as for private customers, however there are some restrictions on certain currencies for business customers. The list of TransferWise currencies with restrictions for sending from or to a business account are the following: AUD, BRL, CAD, CNY, INR, LKR, PKR, RUB, TRY, UAH, USD.

TransferWise provides some helpful tools for you to use. The TransferWise rate tracker helps you monitor the evolution of the mid-market exchange rate, and you can choose to receive rate alerts every day or when the mid-market rate reaches a certain level. The TransferWise SWIFT / BIC code toolkit lets you easily find and verify the SWIFT / BIC codes of banks around the world, so you can make sure you’re entering the right information when you set up your money transfer. Finally, the TransferWise currency converter tool lets you convert one currency into another currency at the real exchange rate, which is the exchange rate that TransferWise will offer you when you use them to send money abroad.


The story behind TransferWise

TransferWise was founded in 2010 by two Estonian migrants, Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, who were living in London. Taavet needed to send money from Estonia to the UK, while Kristo was making regular transfers from the UK to Estonia. After realizing that they were both sending money in opposite directions, they developed a clever peer to peer model to avoid having to do costly international bank transfers. Kristo would make a local transfer of GBP (British Pound) from his UK bank account to Taavet’s account in the UK, while Taavet would do the same in EUR (Euros) between his and Kristo’s Estonian bank accounts. As for the exchange rate between GBP and EUR, they simply used the current true mid-market rate that they found online. Since they were not sending money internationally and were both getting the mid-market rate, they quickly saved thousands of pounds on their transfers.

When they realized that this could be helpful to the hundreds of millions of migrants worldwide making regular money transfers abroad, they decided to create TransferWise. Today, the company sends $750 million around the world every month, employs 600 people, and has raised over $115M dollars of investment. The company is headquartered in London and has additional offices in Tallinn (Estonia), New York and Tampa (USA), Cherkasy (Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary) and Tokyo (Japan).


Offices around the world


United Kingdom

186-188 City Road, 2nd Floor
London EC1V 2NT
United Kingdom


Veerenni 24 (entrance A)
10135 Tallinn

Tampa (USA)

4012 Gunn Highway
Suite 250 (2nd floor)
Tampa, Florida, 33618
United States

New York (USA)

WeWork Soho West
175 Varick Street
New York 10013
United States


Pushkina 100, office 5
18000 Cherkasy


Lajos Utca 126-130
1036 Budapest


Ginko Kyokai Building
1-3-1 Marunouchi
Chiyoda-kum, Tokyo
100-0005 Japan



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Key facts about TransferWise

Service information

Time to open an account A few minutes
Minimum amount -
Maximum amount -
Available languages
Required documents -

Company information

Type of service provider Online money transfer operators
Active since 2011
Headquarter London, United Kingdom
Regulated by FCA

Contact information

Contact support -
Service hour -
Twitter @transferwise
Facebook transferwise
Youtube transferwise