XE vs Wise
XE vs Wise: Which Is the Better Money Transfer Service?
Co-Founder of Monito and money transfer expert, François has been helping Monito’s users navigate the jungle of money transfer fees, bad exchange rates and tricks for the last six years.
A writer at Monito, Byron possesses a keen interest in the intersection of personal finance and technology. A former journalist, he strives to bring complex information to life in a way that can be widely understood and appreciated.
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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.
Where are they available?
|XE Money Transfer||
Trust & Credibility
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.
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
XE's platforms are fully secured and use top-notch security protocols, including segregated user accounts and HTTPS.
Wise's website is fully secured and makes use of top-notch security protocols, including segregated user accounts and HTTPS.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Service & Quality
Opening an account
Opening an account with XE Money Transfer is easy enough to do, but it can take some time to complete.
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
With an XE account open and ready to go, making a new money transfer is a fast and simple process.
Transferring money with Wise Money Transfer is fast and straightforward, regardless of whether you're a first-time or seasoned customer.
Getting help when needed is possible with XE, but live chat features and around-the-clock support are lacking.
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.
XE vs Wise: Service Quality
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.
⬇ Min. Transfer
⬆ Max. Transfer
English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Arabic
English, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, Portugese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
|Try XE||Try Wise|
Fees & Exchange Rates
Transfers to a bank account
XE was the cheapest option in a minority (16.1%) of available Monito bank transfer searches over the first three months of 2021, and competitive on over half (59%) of them.
Wise was the best deal on one third (33%) of available Monito searches for bank transfers over the first three months of 2021.
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:
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
Customer review score
With a 4.6/5 star rating on Trustpilot, there’s little doubt that XE customers are overwhelmingly fond of the service.
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
Earning around 42 thousand four- and five-star reviews on Trustpilot, XE Money Transfer is much-loved in the eyes of its customers.
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.
XE vs Wise: Customer Satisfaction
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.
Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.
Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.
Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.