TransferWise is a company I’d heard about a couple years back but didn’t really need at the time. They offer international transfers and claim to always be cheaper than bank rates.
Cut forward to the present and occasionally I need to send money from the UK to my local bank accounts whilst I travel. Over the months and years I’ve thought of everything from SWIFT bank transfers, to exchanging via Bitcoin, pre-paid debit cards and even just using a UK card to withdraw money abroad.
By far the easiest and quickest is simple withdrawals from your home bank account but with fees typically running at a couple percent per transaction, with minimum fees and maximum withdrawal amounts the charges can quickly stack up.
Eventually I remembered hearing about TransferWise and decided to give it a go. They offer both mobile apps and an easy to use website which was an instant bonus, and within 5 minutes sitting at a café on the other side of the globe I’d managed to arrange a transfer for a fraction of the cost of any other method I’ve tried.
They advised it would take a couple of days and with the time zone differences (literally 12 hours) and it being just before the weekend I figured it would be a couple days more. It was much to my surprise then when I woke up the next day with notifications that both sides of the transaction had been settled within less than 24 hours.
Hopefully the service levels are consistent when visiting other countries and sending to other accounts but if this first experience is anything to go by, I’ll be using and recommending TransferWise for a very long time!