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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).