Monito.com logo
Menu

The Ultimate Wise Money Transfer Review: Transfer Fees, Safety, Usability, and Monito's Verdict

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
Apr 30, 2021

Wise (ex-TransferWise) is an excellent money transfer service (9.5/10) and one that the experts at Monito firmly recommend. Offering users a level of security and transparency almost unparalleled in the market (10/10), Wise Money Transfer provides a wide range of easy-to-use services and features (9/10), as well as some of the best fees and exchange rates available on the market (9.2/10). Taken together, all of this leaves Wise an extremely well-liked service in the eyes of its customers (9.7/10).

What Monito Likes About Wise

  • Consistently one of the cheapest money transfer services of all;
  • No exchange rate margin and fees are low and transparent;
  • A well-designed mobile app geared toward sending and receiving;
  • A large number of available pay-in options.

What Monito Dislikes About Wise

  • Cash pickup services are not available.
recommendation icon

Monito's Recommendation

Wise is a world-class option for money transfers overseas, one we recommend especially for small- to medium-sized transfers destined for foreign bank accounts. If you'd like to transfer money for cash pickup, or if you'd simply like to make sure you're getting the cheapest provider on your next transfer, then run a search on Monito's comparison engine to find the best deal in real-time.

Who Is Wise Money Transfer For?

With a global reach, impeccable reputation, and attractive pricing; Wise is the ideal service for those who are interested in opening an account with only one money transfer provider that, on average, offers some of the lowest-cost transfers available.

See How Wise Stacks Up

  • Monito's reviews are trusted by 100,000+ readers every month

  • We don't merely research. We probe and verify every statement.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

  • We only recommend what we'd recommend to our friends and families too.

info icon

Wise Is the New Name for TransferWise

Until March 2021, Wise had been formerly called TransferWise. The company decided to change its name to broaden its appeal and encapsulate the full range of service it offers.

While the name is different, it's important to note that the service is still the same. You're still able to use the service as usual with the same set of login details that you used on TransferWise. (If you use a password manager, you'll need to re-enter your login credentials the first time you sign in.)

Learn More

How Monito Reviewed Wise's Services

As with all services reviewed by Monito, Wise underwent a rigorous evaluation to assess the quality of its service. To begin with, our experts opened a Wise 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, as well as business and legal metrics such as volume transferred, appropriate authorization, and company size. Finally, we analyzed nearly 700 thousand searches on Monito's comparison engine to determine how often Wise Money Transfer 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, Wise's score was peer-reviewed by at least one Monito expert.

info icon

Reviews are written independently by Monito's editors and recommendations given are our own. Services you sign up with using our links may earn us a commission.

Learn More

Wise at a Glance

Category

Monito Score

Highlight

Trust & Credibility

10/10

Trusted by over 10 million customers.

Service Quality

9.0/10

Setting up a money transfer is fast and easy.

Fees & Exchange Rates

9.2/10

Among the best fees and exchange rates on the market.

Customer Satisfaction

9.7/10

An excellent 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Trustpilot.

Last updated: 23/06/2021

Trust & Credibility

10

Background check

Wise is duly authorised and regulated by the FCA and HMRC in the United Kingdom, as well as by the relevant authorities in all the countries in which it operates.

Security & reliability

Wise's website is fully secured and makes use of top-notch security protocols, including segregated user accounts and HTTPS.

Company size

Founded in 2011, Wise is a large and well-established company in the international money transfer world, touting over US$72 billion transferred in the past year, 10 million customers, and two thousand employees.

Transparent pricing

Wise Money Transfer is impressively transparent when it comes to pricing, offering the mid-market exchange rate and charging only a low, clearly-displayed fee on transfers.

Can I Trust Wise Money Transfer?

Moving more than US$70 billion across borders for more than 10 million customers every year, Wise is without a doubt a trustworthy choice.

Wise is a licensed Authorised Electronic Money Institution, which means it's regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) in the United Kingdom where it's headquartered, as well as by the relevant authorities in all the countries in which it does business. For example, Wise Ltd Australia is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). In the US, it's registered as Wise Inc with the Financial Intelligence Unit (AUSTRAC) as a money remitter, where it's authorised by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Wise Money Transfer is also licensed as a money transmitter in individual US states, meaning regulatory authorities fully supervise it in every state in which it does business.

Wise Money Transfer also employs more than two thousand people from over 60 nationalities across its nine offices worldwide. Employees give the company close to a five-star rating on the employer review site Glassdoor and describe the 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.” One employee wrote they are “Impressed by the professionalism everyone has, alongside an innate sense of trust and drive to achieve the mission”, and another said, “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 feel that they are on a mission to send money as cheaply and conveniently as possible.

Is Wise Safe?

The short answer is yes, Wise is safe indeed. Offering institutional grade security for their service and take preventative measures, such as 2-step login and verification procedures, Wise holds its clients’ funds completely separate from their own business accounts segregated accounts, as per FCA requirements. Should the company have any financial difficulties, then your money will be safe.

Wise Money Transfer has raised over US$396 million from major investors, including Virgin Group / Sir Richard Branson, Andreessen Horowitz, IVP (Institutional Venture Partners), Max Levchin of PayPal, Sapphire and Seedcamp, which has helped the start-up sustain its phenomenal growth. For example, in 2016, they saw a growth rate of approximately 150%, and in the 2017 fiscal year, their revenues more than doubled! Overall, the company reported revenues of £67 million (US$94 million) for 2017 and made an adjusted operating profit of £2 million.

So, is Wise safe? Absolutely. We wouldn’t hesitate to trust them even with transfers of large amounts. In fact, many of our team at Monito have used them ourselves for our own international payments.

Service & Quality

9.0

Opening an account

Opening an account with Wise is quick and intuitive thanks to the platform's clean user interface, helpful prompts, and lack of information overload.

Making a transfer

Transferring money with Wise Money Transfer is fast and straightforward, regardless of whether you're a first-time or seasoned customer.

Contacting support

Wise makes it easy to find help when needed, providing a detailed FAQ, a live chat feature, and phone support, all available around the clock.

Wise's Service Quality

Opening and managing an account, contacting customer service, and funding a transfer with Wise is very convenient, although receiving options are quite limited.

Monito's Impressions During Our Test

Wise's website and mobile app — which was fast, user-friendly, and simple to use — particularly impressed us with its clean user experience and helpful prompts and tips. We found the website to be approachable, and we liked the fact that it avoided complicated phrases and money transfer jargon. Aside from this, the other major feather in Wise's cap was its excellent transparency; we were impressed by the mid-market exchange rates and clear fee breakdowns on Wise's homepage, giving us a lot of confidence in the service.

What Is Wise?

Wise is an innovative international money transfer service that is often dubbed the “Robin Hood” of the money transfer industry. They focus on making bank transfers more affordable than traditional banks by charging low and transparent transfer fees and converting money at the mid-market exchange rate. In other words, Wise charges no exchange rate margin, something that sets them apart from most other services. (As a comparison, banks usually give customers an above-market rate, the margin is part of their fees, and in general, they are not transparent about this.)

Wise Money Transfer currently supports sending money to 71 countries and sending money from 43 countries. The company covers 1000+ routes (country combinations) across 57 currencies, and they are also one of the few companies offering the true mid-market rate.

Most currencies supported by Wise offer one option: a bank transfer from one bank to another. For some currencies, you can pay with debit and credit cards or use a SOFORT transfer option. Apple Pay or Android Pay is also available for certain currencies via Wise iOS and Android apps. In most cases, the recipient will get the money within one to two business days.

Wise Mobile Apps Review

Wise's mobile app has great ratings on Apple’s App Store (4.8/5 stars from 38,700 ratings) and Google’s Play Store (4.5/5 more than 118,200 ratings.) According to many Wise customers, the app is "an invaluable tool for anyone moving money internationally".

Fees & Exchange Rates

9.2

Transfers to a bank account

Wise was the best deal on one third (33%) of available Monito searches for bank transfers over the first three months of 2021.

Wise's Fees & Exchange Rates

Wise is consistently one of the cheapest and most competitive on Monito’s search engine results.

Wise's Exchange Rates

What's perhaps most noteworthy about Wise's pricing is that the service will convert your money using the mid-market exchange rate. This means that the Wise exchange rate is the fairest, most accurate exchange rate you can hope for, with the only way the service makes its money being the commissions and fixed fees noted above.

What's more, Wise will automatically lock the exchange rate for a specified time frame (24 hours for most countries and 48 hours for several others), meaning you'll not be exposed to exchange rate fluctuations after having confirmed your money transfer. All in all, while this is a reliable way to ensure that your recipient receives a specific amount, be aware that Wise Money Transfer must receive your money within the specified time frame, or else the exchange rate (and therefore also the amount received) will no longer be guaranteed.

Wise's Transfer Fees

Wise fees are low and fully transparent. They charge a commission fee (i.e. a percentage of the transfer amount) and a fixed fee for some country combinations. The minimum Wise charges depend on the currencies you're sending from, and to and certain currencies have variable fees depending on the total amount being sent.

For example, from transfers from British pounds to Euros, you'll pay around 0.35% of the transfer amount with a fee of £0.80. In the reverse Euro to British pound transfer, the pounds will cost around 0.5% of the transfer amount with a flat fee of €2. When sending Danish kroner to Euros, you'll be charged around 0.5% of the transfer amount on the initial DKK 50,000 and then and 0.3% on anything over that amount.

To get a sense of how costly Wise's fees are, take a look at their dedicated fee calculator tool, or see the table below for a rougher idea of how the platform applies fixed and commission charges on a US$2,500 transfer (or currency equivalent) to several destinations around the world:

Wise Fees

Destination

Currency

Fixed Fee (USD)

Commission on US$2,500.00 Transfer (USD)

Total Fee on US$2,500.00 Transfer (USD)

India

Indian rupee

US$6.28

US$13.15

US$19.43

Canada

Canadian dollar

US$6.32

US$11.67

US$17.99

Mexico

Mexico

US$6.52

US$29.32

US$35.84

Colombia

Colombian peso

US$7.10

US$49.36

US$56.46

Philippines

Philippine peso

US$6.64

US$14.13

US$20.77

Quoted: 27/05/2021 12:00 GMT +01:00

Other Fees at Wise

In most cases, Wise uses a savvy network of local accounts around the globe to collect and send funds, thereby skipping the SWIFT network and its pricey steps and waiting times. As a result, you can expect to incur no charges from the sending or receiving banks and no correspondent bank fees along the way.

If you’re paying by credit card, you will be charged a credit card fee of between 0.3% and 2% depending on the currency you’re sending from and the type of credit card you are using. Debit card payments are free from certain currencies but sometimes incur a debit card fee of between 0.15% and 2%.

Despite the bank account network mentioned above, Wise does transfer some 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. The currencies concerned are the Japanese yen, the South African rand, and outbound transfers of US dollars. If you live in the US, we recommend avoiding receiving payments via the SWIFT network as your bank will likely charge you hefty fees to get the job done. You’ll only want to send USD to Wise via SWIFT if your payment is coming from outside the US.

Compare Wise's Fees & Exchange Rates

Customer Satisfaction

9.7

Customer review score

Earning 4.7 out of 5 stars from more than 100 thousand reviews on Trustpilot, it should go without saying that Wise's service consistently delights its customers.

Number of positive reviews

Having earned more than 107 thousand four- or five-star reviews on Trustpilot so far, Wise is without a doubt a trustworthy and reliable service in the eyes of its customers.

Wise.com Customer Reviews

Wise has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from customers across all platforms. On Trustpilot, around 85% of 116 thousand customers who gave their feedback rated the service five out of five stars. Among the hundreds of Wise.com reviews we surveyed, the following key themes emerged from Wise customers:

Positive

  • Trustable service;
  • Fast, transparent, and inexpensive;
  • Simple, easy-to-use, and self-explanatory;
  • User-friendly and with no hidden fees;
  • A helpful and knowledgeable customer service.

Negative

  • Sometimes there is a delay;
  • Some frustrations with the required documentation required to verify identities.

How Wise Money Transfer Works

  • Step 01

    Check Wise's Rates

    Use Monito's comparison engine to see how Wise’s fees and exchange rates weigh up against the rest and make sure they are 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 Wise Account

    You can sign up for Wise on the web or using the mobile app using your email address. You’ll need to provide Wise with your full name, residential address, and your date of birth.

  • Step 03

    Set Up a Transfer

    Enter how much you're sending, the destination country and currency, and delivery method. With Wise Money Transfer, you'll always be able to find your transfer with an ordinary bank transfer, but often, you'll also have the choice of using a debit or a credit card.

  • Step 04

    Add a Beneficiary

    Enter your recipient’s details, including their name (matching the name on their bank account), email address, and bank information. If you’re sending money within the Eurozone, you'll only need your recipient's IBAN, but if you're sending between other countries (even when one is in the Eurozone), you'll need to provide a SWIFT / BIC code and a bank account number.

  • Final step

    Review and Pay For Your Transfer

    Once you've entered all of your recipient's bank information, you'll be asked to review your transfer details, including the amounts sent and received, exchange rate, expected arrival time, and your beneficiary's details. If all is in order, click "Confirm and continue" and then send money from your bank account to the banking details you'll find on the following page.

    Try Wise

Frequently Asked Questions About Wise

Monito.com

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Avenue de Montchoisi 35
1006 Lausanne
Switzerland

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.