Makes sense

Transferwise has consolidated its status as one of Britain’s biggest private technology start-ups with a $5 billion valuation.

It’s good at what it does. Anyone working in more than one currency should at the very least check it out.

If you haven’t then do so here.

Yes, there is a referral fee if people start to use it. But it is a good product – I use it extensively. And Bloke in Spain sings the praises too.

13 thoughts on “Makes sense”

  1. It’s a proper series of bank accounts in as many different currencies as you like. You can get a multicurrency debit card on it. And FX rates are always mid-market rate. I’ve not used XE so don’t know but Transferwise definitely does the job.

  2. Yes, a good product, the debit card is very useful for making small payments without excessive fees on every transaction.

  3. I use ofx.com and find it satis.
    travelfx.co.uk for spending cash, they send the moolah to your door so no faffing at a window.
    All the fx outfits are much the same, and much better than banks.
    Unless you use it often and spend a lot the debit card is a bit of a gimmick.

  4. The Pedant-General

    I use it for irregular/infrequent but large payments (e.g. to transfer to my sister in Oz, pay for villa in France etc).

    Vastly, vastly cheaper than using bank.

  5. No I don’t work for them.

    Their outstanding and, for the banking industry, novelty advantage is that if you get a problem & ring them, you will find a real human being who speaks recognisable english who will helpfully & quickly sort it out for you.

    But I’d certainly consider it.

    (You money grabbing b’stard Mr Worstall!)

  6. Just to add:
    They’re not just for shopping money. Back when they’d just got the multiple currency accounts going I asked them about transferring serious money. Not a million but not far short. Problem being the UK bank was restricting me to a time window. Failing flying up to the UK and going in a branch, an over-the-phone authorisation would need 48 hours notice for security checks and only be valid for a short time. Question being, could Transferwise accept that sort of sum? It’s not obvious if you know how the banking industry works. Helpline girl listened & understood. Miracle! I’d spent nearly an hour with the Brit bank trying to get past the Indian to talk with someone competent. Then another hour with them, most of it being told what I wanted to do was impossible. Until I said; OK, I’ll close the account. Now! Someone from T/W rang back in half an hour & said; give them notice when I wanted to start the transaction & they’d watch it go through, make sure it didn’t bounce back.
    Professionals! Service! Amazing!

  7. TW better than Revolut by the way. I’ve got both. Revolut appears to have issues with KYC and AML checks. They held our funds for weeks on spurious ‘proof of source of funds’ grounds after a sale of Swiss listed shares resulted in a large transfer of CHF into my account.
    R – ‘ah but where did the money to buy the shares come from?’. Err. Work?
    R – ‘Ah but prove you had the money when you bought the shares.” Err. They were a bonus from 15 yrs ago.
    R – ‘so you can’t prove source of funds..’.

    Right pain in the arse. Thing is my wife did the same thing at the same time and got exactly the same hassles.

  8. Those money laundering checks are a real pain but they serve their purpose, which is to frustrate normal people while doing SWEET FA to deter money laundering. Like most regs, really, cf mask-wearing, passport checks,ID checks

  9. “Unless you use it often and spend a lot the debit card is a bit of a gimmick.”

    I find it very useful: one transfer in at a good rate, can use as a normal card without transaction fees every time, no problem using for tolls, shopping etc.

    The bank account feature is also useful for dealing with German companies online who prefer bank transfer to card transactions.

  10. @djc ” no problem using for tolls, shopping etc.”

    That’s one problem I’ve had. Spanish road toll slots won’t take it. I think it may depend on where the account was opened. Mine was in the UK and it feeds off a British bank. I’ve had a similar problem with other transactions. The Spanish road toll system reads it as a Brit card and tries to debit in GBP.(capturing a profit on a lousy exchange rate) TW baulks because it reads it as a Spanish transaction, should be in euros. Had no problem on the peage in France, but Spanish cards don’t work on that. So, if you’re coming here, carry another card.

    Another nice TW wheeze is you can opt to authorise on-line payments by SMS’d PIN. I keep a little Mars Bar fone & SIM just for that. So there’s no chance of anyone hacking my fone & getting a transaction to complete.

  11. Would it make any sense to use them to store cash savings in a low interest very hard currency like CHF?

    Are they covered by any kind of deposit protection mechanism?

  12. That’s a very good point, Oblong. I’d never thought about it. TW started as an exchange service. Matching exchange transactions so the only time it troubled the ForeX market was for the balance differences. Why they could do it so cheap. Theoretically it was never holding any money. Now they hold deposits I don’t know what they do with them. Banks do maturity transformation but TW don’t even offer a credit card. Anyone any ideas?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *