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XE vs Wise

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XE vs Wise: Which Is the Better Money Transfer Service?

François Briod

Guide

Byron Mühlberg

Reviewer

Mar 23, 2022
Advertiser disclosure

Wise and XE Money Transfer are two excellent ways to send money internationally, which considerably outmatch the bank in terms of pricing and effectiveness. However, zooming in on the two, their services differ in crucial ways.

On the one hand, Wise is a UK-based online service that specializes in helping you send money between two different currencies. They charge highly competitive fees, but we think the most notable thing about Wise is that they don't make money on the exchange rate. On the other hand, XE Money Transfer is an older and better-established foreign exchange business. Although they primarily serve individuals and companies in North America, XE can transfer money your money between almost any two countries in the world.

Both are excellent choices, but Wise is generally more affordable because of their zero margins on exchange rates. In contrast, XE Money Transfer charges an exchange rate above the mid-market ("real") exchange rate. In some cases, however, XE Money Transfer might be a better option than Wise as the latter might not be available in some countries where XE Money Transfer operates.

XE Money Transfer
Wise
XE Money Transfer
7.8
Wise
10

Trust & Credibility

Background check

Background check
Background check

Owned by Euronet Worldwide Inc, XE Money Transfer is regulated by the FCA in the UK and is duly authorized in every region in which it does operates.

Licensed and authorised in the UK, US, Europe, and other countries.

Security & reliability

Security & reliability
Security & reliability

XE's platforms are fully secured and use top-notch security protocols, including segregated user accounts and HTTPS.

HTTPS, segregated client accounts, secure data storage and network.

Company size

Company size
Company size

Founded in 1993, XE Money Transfer is a fast-growing money transfer company handling around US$10 billion in transactions each year for some 500 thousand personal customers and 6 thousand businesses.

16 million customers, 4,500 employees, and $133 billion in annual volumes.

Transparent pricing

Transparent pricing
Transparent pricing

XE Money Transfer is not transparent in its pricing, failing to disclose that all (100%) of its fees are hidden in the exchange rate margin.

No exchange rate margin, only a low transparent fee.

XE vs Wise: Trust & Credibility

XE and Wise are trustworthy, fully licensed, and proven money transfer platforms that you can trust to deliver your money from A to B.

Wise is a large company regulated in the UK and all countries in which it operates. XE is also licensed and regulated in the UK (although based in Canada) and is run by Euronet Worldwide Inc, a major global financial services company. Both companies earned the full score for their licensing and authorisation, and we don't see a fundamental difference between XE and Wise in terms of security.

However, we scored XE slightly lower than Wise overall because, unlike Wise, XE does not display its exchange rate margin openly on its sending page, which is something we think can be somewhat misleading to some users who might now know that.

XE Money Transfer

Wise

🖊 Licensing

Subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide

  • FCA (UK)
  • NBB (EU/EEA)
  • FinCEN (US)
  • … and 11 others

📃 Founded

1995

2011

🔒 Segregated Accounts

💰 Profitable

📈 Publicly Listed

✔¹

Try XETry Wise

Last updated: 23/3/2022
¹ As Euronet Worldwide, Inc.

XE Money Transfer
8.2
Wise
8.7

Service & Quality

Opening an account

Opening an account
Opening an account

Opening an account with XE Money Transfer is easy enough to do, but it can take some time to complete.

No exchange rate margin, only a low transparent fee.

Making a transfer

Making a transfer
Making a transfer

With an XE account open and ready to go, making a new money transfer is a fast and simple process.

Very easy, can be done in just a few clicks.

Contacting support

Contacting support
Contacting support

Getting help when needed is a breeze with XE, with live chat features and around-the-clock support available.

Very easy, responsive live chat and phone support available 24/7.

XE vs Wise: Service Quality

When it comes to the ease of sending money, Wise has the edge over XE Money Transfer.

For example, we tested both platforms against the same user experience criteria and found Wise's platform provided a better all-around experience. 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 that it avoided complicated phrases and money transfer jargon.

On the other hand, we found XE's web and mobile interface slightly less easy to understand, particularly for registering (which took us quite a lot of time) and contacting customer support. We also weren't impressed with the fact that nearly all of XE's fees are in the exchange rate — something that's not communicated clearly on the sending page.

XE Money Transfer

Wise

📥 Pay-In

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit/credit card
  • Bank transfer
  • Debit/credit card
  • SOFORT

📤 Pay-Out

  • Bank deposit
  • Bank deposit
  • Mobile wallet deposit

⬇ Min. Transfer

1

1

⬆ Max. Transfer

500000

$1,000,000¹

💱 Currencies

98

57

💬 Languages

English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Arabic

English, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, Portugese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish

Try XETry Wise

Last updated: 23/3/2022

XE Money Transfer
10
Wise
9.6

Fees & Exchange Rates

Transfers to a bank account

Transfers to a bank account
Transfers to a bank account

Extremely cheap and competitive on Monito's comparison results.

Extremely cheap and competitive on Monito.

XE vs Wise: Fees & Exchange Rates

Both Wise and XE are cheap ways to transfer money overseas and far better deals than the banks. However, Wise is generally the more affordable option of the two, and despite its reasonably competitive pricing, XE Money Transfer is seldom the cheapest money transfer service of all for bank transfers.

This is because, unlike XE, Wise charges no exchange rate margin (exchanging money at the mid-market rate) and makes its money by adding a small variable or fixed fee onto every transfer. These fees are transparent and can be seen on the sending page or Wise's dedicated fees calculator.

Take a look at the table below to get a better picture of how this works:

XE Money Transfer

Wise

💱 Exchange Rate Margin

0.4%-1.6%

0

💸 Additional Fees

  • USD 3
  • EUR 2
  • AUD 4
  • HUF 850

0.4%-2.8%

🏦 % Cheapest¹ (Bank)

0.16

0.33

🏦 % Competitive² (Bank)

0.59

0.6

💵 % Cheapest (Cash)

💵 % Competitive (Cash)

Try XETry Wise

Last updated: 23/3/2022
¹ How often the provider was the cheapest on Monito (Apr-Jun 2021).
² How often the provider's fees were below 1.5% for a $1,000 transfer on Monito (Apr-Jun 2021).

However, it's well worth keeping in mind that neither Wise nor XE transfer money to cash pick-up locations, so if you'd like to send cash abroad, you'll need to compare money transfer providers instead:

Compare Wise & XE To Top Alternatives

XE Money Transfer
7.8
Wise
9.5

Customer Satisfaction

Trustpilot reviews

Trustpilot reviews
Trustpilot reviews

With a 4.1/5 star rating on Trustpilot, XE customers are generally very satisfied with their service.

Very good reviews on Trustpilot.

App Store reviews

App Store reviews
App Store reviews

XE got an excellent 4.5 out of 5-star rating from around 5,200 reviews on the Apple App Store.

Outstanding App Store reviews.

Google Play reviews

Google Play reviews
Google Play reviews

Google Play reviewers were lukewarm about XE, giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars on average across over 112 thousand reviews.

Very good reviews on Google Play.

XE vs Wise: Customer Satisfaction

Based on how customers review Wise and XE, it's pretty clear that both platforms impress their users.

XE is very popular with users, earning a 4.4- out of five-star rating on Trustpilot from over 50 thousand reviews. More impressive still is Wise, which has received overwhelmingly positive reviews on Trustpilot, with around 85% of 116 thousand customers rating the service five out of five stars.

While we think Wise slightly outdoes XE in this area, it's fair to say that both platforms deliver on their promises and satisfy their users.

Wise vs XE: Which Is Better For You?

In most cases, we recommend Wise over XE, particularly for small- to medium-sized bank transfers (up to $10,000) destined for international bank accounts because Wise is exceptionally well-priced for these transfers. As we've seen, Wise is the more accessible and cheaper way to send money in general. (If you'd like to learn more, we recommend checking out our in-depth Wise review and XE review.)

We only recommend using XE over Wise when it's the cheaper option, which can happen from time to time. Therefore, we recommend comparing money transfer providers on Monito's real-time comparison engine to find the best deal for your transfer in real-time.

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

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