April 18, 2013 by Andrew Minalto - 11 Comments

TransferWise.com – A Simplified PayPal for Business Banking?

  1. Quicker international bank transfers!
  2. Better currency exchange rates!
  3. Lower fees than any bank can offer!

Sounds terrific, right? Well, it is! Welcome to the 21st century of banking via TransferWise.com!

No, it’s not actually a bank and doesn’t offer super profitable deposits or loans. But they do specialise in one thing, and it’s something that we business owners face on a regular basis – international bank transfers.

If you buy stock for your eBay business from abroad, quite often you’ll need to make international money transfers. Now that’s ok if your supplier is happy to take card payments or PayPal but quite often the only way to pay is by sending a wire transfer via your bank.

So that means either visiting your local branch OR sending the payment through online banking, paying a small fortune in fees while receiving the worst exchange rate imaginable. If we’re talking about a payment of a few thousand pounds or more, then you lose out – big time.

And even with PayPal or a credit card, when you’re paying in a different currency than your base account, chances are the exchange rate you’re getting is far from the best. Plus most companies will charge extra if you pay via PayPal or credit card as they have to cover the payment fees at their end.

TransferWise fixes all of these problems! Now you can send money to international bank accounts without leaving your office and most importantly without overpaying in fees!

Here’s what TransferWise currently offers:

  • Quick (2-3 days, usually less than a day) bank transfers to all Euro Zone countries, USA and many more!
  • Super low fees at just 1 pound for payments below £200 and 0.5% for anything above. This means, a £2000 payment would cost you just 10 quid and that’s WITHOUT considering the savings you make with better currency exchange rates.
  • Real time, mid-market currency exchange rate. This really is their strongest feature and often the saving you make with the exchange rate offsets the transfer fee altogether!

Unfortunately China is not yet in the list of supported countries, and neither is Hong Kong. But I’m sure it’s just a question of time as from the TW blog you can see that they’re introducing new countries all the time and it is very unlikely that China will be left out.

Of course, if you mainly do simple EUR transfers to other European countries AND your income/bank account is in EUR, this service is not much use to you as banks do offer cheap & fast EUR transfers within the EU. BUT if you need to transfer Euros from a GBP bank account, check out TWs exchange rate as I’m almost certain it will be better than what your bank offers.

I have personally started using Transfer Wise for USA payments – as most US wholesalers prefer to receive payments via wire transfer. So if you’re doing any wholesale transactions with US based suppliers, you should definitely check this service out!

Lastly, a quick reminder that you should only pay via wire transfer to companies you trust 100%. Companies you have made multiple orders with, or established European and American companies. If at all possible, try avoiding wire transfers for your first order even if it means paying a bit more in fees. PayPal and credit cards are still significantly safer than wire transfers, which offer no payment protection at all.

To sum it up – yet another great service coming from the creators of Skype & PayPal! I’m almost certain that in the upcoming years TransferWise.com will become a household name for international bank transfers and ‘real’ banks will have to change too because of this, simply to stay competitive in this market.

Thanks,
Andrew

P.S. As for the safety of your money – you really do not need to worry about that. Transfer Wise is a 100% legit, genuine company and fully FSA regulated. As I said, the company was launched by the same people who built Skype & PayPal and has received millions upon millions of dollars from investors so far.

11 Comments
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  1. Hey Andrew; thanks for all the great info You have posted !!

    One question, if i sell on amazon.com (FBA), could i use transferwise to receive my payments; currently i am using payoneer but according to my country’s authorities (colombia), this is not good, i MUST involve the bank system for this business model to be completely legal; that is why i am looking for other options…..

    Thanks in advance !!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      I don’t think it will work, no.

      Amazon will ask you to verify bank account but you can’t do it via Transferwise.

      Andrew

  2. Anil Kumar Ahuja

    Transfer is a scam company…they are just making you to send them more and more money and when they have big amount of you,they refuse to transfer that to you giving you different dodgy excuses like money laundering act or due to anti-fraud and thus they simply eat your hard earned money.With £1 flat fee they are just attracting the customers to transfer the money with them but in end they will eat your huge amount of money.We make few small transactions first to test a new company and when we are confident in any company we make big transactions with them.It is a normal human behaviour.Transferwise scammers know this fact.So they allow you to make starting few small transactions and the day you start making big transactions first few payments they will hold giving you reasons like bank is off,or server slow and when they have enough money of yours,they simply block your account by giving wrong reasons and steal your whole deposit.Someone should report this to the Fraud Squad and FCA.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi There,

      I simply don’t believe you.

      I have made tons of payments via Transfwerwise with no issues whatsoever.

      And I don’t believe that they would steal money from their customers. There are certain laws in place in European Union which they must follow to verify identity etc., – if you’re not doing something dodgy, those checks shouldn’t cause you any problems.

      Andrew

  3. I’m using Transferwise for half year to send my salary from Gibraltar to Spain. During all this time I sent quite a lot of money through them and got “Bank Killer” status 🙂 I had no any problem so far and all my payments was processed faster that estimated. Normally you get money same or the next day depending on how much you send.

    They take a small buffer only in case if your recipient need to get the exact amount of money.

    I never tried their express transfer service because was happy with speed of regular transfers. Did anyone try this?

    If you use their service a lot they will give you fee free transfers from time to time.

    One small thing nobody mention. Once you get 10,000 GBP transferred through you account (in total, not necessary single payment) they’ll ask for a copy of your passport.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Ruslan,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

      Yes, I also can verify that their speed of transactions are SUPER FAST! I often get money transferred on same working day, within EU accounts.

      Thanks again,

      Andrew

  4. Transferwise was great, unlike others they take a small buffer of cash as you don’t lock in the rate at the time but I got more than my buffer back as the rate increased in my favour. (It could go the other way but is likely to be minimal)
    It took three days to transfer unless you get the rapid service. All in, easy, quick excellent, best rates of all I checked and I will certainly use them again.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks John for sharing your experience!

      Andrew

  5. “When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master.” XD

    Ive done that few times without any issue.
    Ive windraw $2000 payment without any problem to HK account, i just aded account of my supplier, there was no other veryfication as far as i remember.
    EU money laundering laws/regulations I think you need to be verify, your address, bank account etc.

    I had to send money fast few times that why i use it that way.
    Im not doing that on regular basis as most my suppliers are using ali escrow.

    Ive just used TransferWise.com only to check and it seems to be cheper than Skrill.
    Will see how fast money will get to my bank acount.

    Thanks

  6. Hi,
    Im using Skrill.
    You can easily windraw money to any account including in China 😉

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Adrian,

      That’s an interesting idea – I also have Skrill account but have n ever thought about using it that way.

      You’re adding supplier’s bank accounts under your bank account list? Is that ok with Skrill T&Cs?

      I thought you can only add your bank accounts and that you have to verify them? Otherwise it sounds like against the EU money laundering laws/regulations…

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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