Wise Review (2024) Is it Really Safe for Money Transfer?

Last Updated on April, 2024

Wise, formerly TransferWise, launched in 2011 to provide a cheap international money transfer service for everyone. Fast forward to 2024, and they have helped almost 20 million send money and receive money.

If you’re someone who sends and receives money from other countries and travels a lot, then Wise is something you can benefit from. 

I’ve been using this online multi-currency platform for over 2 years now for the exact same things I’ve mentioned above, and it’s been excellent and at the same time problematic. So in this Wise review, I’ll let you know whether you should use it or go for one of its competitors. 

Who Should Use Wise?

wise logo

As mentioned earlier, if you’re receiving and sending money from overseas and are looking for something that’s quick, Wise is for you. It’s comparatively cheap and super fast when it comes to money transfers.

Yes, you can check the fees and arrival time using the Wise Calculator (No need to sign-up). However, I wouldn’t say it’s the cheapest available; even Wise accepts that, but factoring in the time it takes for the transfers, it’s justifiable. 

When it comes to exchange rates, Wise does not increase them in order to make more profit, which is another plus. This is thanks to their use of the mid-market exchange rate, which is also what enables them to show the fees beforehand. 

How Much Money Can I Potentially Save By Using Wise?

You might already know that Wise is cheaper when it comes to transferring money, but by how much though?

Well, that depends on various factors, such as currencies and the location you’re trying to send the money to. To give you an idea, here’s how much you can save when using Wise to transfer money to someone in the UK compared to PayPal and Western Union.

Transfer Sum in USDWhen using Wise, recipient receives:When using PayPal, recipient receives:When using Western Union, recipient receives:
$1000783.09 GDP730.93 GDP (52.16 GDP Lower Than Wise)770.60 GBP (12.49 GDP Lower Than Wise)
$50003,917.52 GDP3,655.59 GDP (261.93 Lower Than Wise)3,532.00 GBP (385.52 GDP Lower Than Wise)
$100007,835.57 GDP7,311.40 GDP (524.17 GDP Lower Than Wise)Online transfers to GBP are limited to $5,000

*Updated Data on 12 December 2023

a screenshot of how much wise saves money during a money transfer to abroad

As you can see, there is a significant difference between the platforms. You need to know that most of Wise’s competitors apply exchange rate markups offered to customers. This makes Wise stand out, thanks to its mid-market exchange rate. The higher your transfer sum gets, the more money you’ll save. 

How Long Does it Take to Transfer Money on Wise?

Not many money transfer services get close to Wise when it comes to transfer speed. The majority of international money transfers are instant, just seconds, and the transaction is complete. 

You can also check how long it’ll take for the money to arrive before making the transfer. 

Even though most of the transfers are quick, some can still take up to 5 days, depending on the currency and the amount. However, due to regular updates, the process of sending money is getting quicker each day.

Also, with the app and Wise website, you can check the progress of your transaction right away. 

Read more about “how does Wise work” here.

Is Wise Safe?

a screenshot of the security benefits gained through wise payment

FinCEN in the US, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and ASIC in Australia all regulate Wise. Wise operates under the regulatory oversight of financial institutions in each country where it is active, not limited to only a few nations.

So, there is nothing to worry about Wise’s safety

Check out in what other country. Wise is regulated here.

Currencies Supported By Wise

Wise supports a variety of currencies, over 50; with that, it supports over 70 countries. However, it’s updated almost all the time; check out the updated list here.

Features of Wise

Wise is stacked with features. I’ve covered already covered some of them above, but that’s not all. Below are other features Wise brings to the table. 

Wise Card

a man putting a wise debit card inside his shirt pocket

Wise Debit Card can be super handy in times when you need a physical card the most. It works just like a normal debit card, and I use it whenever I don’t use cash.

If you’re in the U.S., UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and in most EEA countries, you can sign up for a Wise card. The process is straightforward too.

Apart from that, the card supports over 40 currencies, allowing it to be used in various situations. It can even help you save a little money in online shopping, and when connected to your multi-currency account, everything you spend in the same currency is free. 

That said, spending in a different currency will set you back a fee of up to 2.8% (mostly 1%) upon converting your money.

One more thing is that you’ll be able to withdraw money of up to $250 every month without any fees. Once that exceeds, there will be a 2% fee for all the withdrawals. The debit card also support Google Pay and Apple Pay Transactions. 

You’ll need a Wise-free account to get a Wise card, and the charge to get the card is $9, a one-time fee. 

QR Pay

This is something that’s new. Wise QR allows you to pay directly from your Wise account balance with just your mobile phone. It’s just like the Wise debit card, but the difference is that you don’t have to carry it with you all the time. 

Wise Multi-currency Account

This probably might be the highlight. A Wise Multi-currency Account allows you to send, receive, and store money from a number of currencies. 

Wise Business Account

a screenshot of the wise business account option

Wise business account, compared to a free account, has some benefits. This hands you every tool you need for business use, making international transfers much more convenient. 

For starters, Wise Business lets you provide access to your accountant and other team members. You can control their permissions. Next is batch payments, which allow you to send money to up to 1000 people in one go by simply uploading a spreadsheet, no matter their currency. 

Wise Business provides you access to Wise’s API. This allows for the automation of standing orders, invoice payments, recurring transfers, and much more. Another benefit of Wise Business is that you can integrate accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks to keep track of payments and manage spending. 

Is Wise Easy to Use?

Using Wise is straightforward; both the app and the website are very well-optimized, with no crashes or other technical errors. I use it mostly via the website, and it’s been great. Opening a Wise account isn’t difficult either. 

When it comes to transferring money, Wise is, again, super easy; it won’t take more than 15 seconds, plus it is affordable too. That said, if you’re new to these exchange rates and related stuff, you can find it a little confusing at first. 

Customer Support of Wise

a screenshot of the wise homepage

Customer Support for Wise is non-existent. Wise’s claim on not using automated systems to answer customer support sounds great, but they might have to think again about this one. Basically, there are zero ways to contact them; no live chat or even a support email. 

Instead, their way of supporting customers is through writing a bunch of not-so-helpful articles and FAQs and letting the customer find a solution on their own by reading those. 

Wise’s help center can be helpful at times, but in most cases, you’ll be staring at a message similar to something like: 

a screenshot of the Business Support delay message in wise

If you manage to get in touch with the support team, they’ll most probably sort out your problem. The problem is that it’s not easy to do. 

Wise Money Transfer Fees

As you may already know, you’ll need to pay a fee if you send money using Wise, be it an international money transfer or a local transfer. Wise transfer fees depend on many factors, such as the recipient’s bank account location, amount, and payment method. 

What’s great about Wise is that you’ll be able to see the full fee even before making the transaction. On top of that, the charges are usually very competitive, not always higher or lower.

That said, international money transfers with Wise include two distinct and transparent fees: 

  • Variable Fee: which compensates for the expenses incurred in currency exchange. This fee usually equals about 0.48% of the total amount being transferred, especially when dealing with major currencies.
  • Fixed Fee: which accounts for the consistent expenses related to the transaction. Generally, for major currencies, this fee ranges from $4.17 to $4.31, particularly for payments made via wire transfer.

With all that out of the way, below is the Wise money transfer fee you can expect if you send $500 (USD) to other popular currencies on Wise. 

EUR 🇪🇺

  • Variable Fee (USD): 2.42 USD (0.49%)
  • Fixed Fee (USD): 4.17 USD
  • Total (USD): 6.59 USD

GDP 🇬🇧

  • Variable Fee (USD): 2.47 USD (0.5%)
  • Flat Fee (USD): 4.18 USD
  • Total (USD): 6.65 USD

INR 🇮🇳

  • Variable Fee (USD): 3.01 USD (0.61%)
  • Flat Fee (USD): 4.25 USD
  • Total (USD): 7.26 USD

CAD 🇨🇦

  • Variable Fee (USD): 2.61 USD (0.53%)
  • Flat Fee (USD): 4.33 USD
  • Total (USD): 6.94 USD

AUD 🇦🇺

  • Variable Fee (USD): 2.32 USD (0.47%)
  • Flat Fee (USD): 4.25 USD
  • Total (USD): 6.57 USD

*Updated Data on 29 December 2023

Read more about Wise Exchange Rate here.

BEST FOR INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFER

As already mentioned, there can be a difference in the charges based on the country you choose to transfer. 

Other’s Verdict on Wise

a screenshot of all the places where wise is available

There are over 20 million Wise users worldwide, and looking at the Wise reviews from its customers, it’s largely positive. With over 200,000 reviews, Wise has a 4.2 star rating on Trustpilot. After scraping through a lot, below, we’ve listed the most useful you’ll need to know before creating a Wise account. 

I’ll list the Negative Reviews first. Most of the complaints were on transaction delays, account suspensions and customer support. 

I have been using wise since a year and was so happy with them until they randomly decided to deactivate my account for no reason without giving the possibility to appeal Be careful! don’t put too much faith in them.

This problem has been surfacing around lately. Wise has been suspending many account without notices, not sure why though?

Just an absolute sham of a company. Terrible customer service in the case of fraud with a card. No response. They should be taken to court. If you’re going to charge fees, you’d better provide a level service. When I have reported fraudulent charges it takes ages to get a response and the company gives zero assistance. This has happened multiple times and they give no assistance. Better to use a credit card. Please only use their services for withdrawal of cash in foreign currencies.

This review from John shows how Wise’s customer support can be a hit or a miss. It is an area they’ll need to improve on asap. 

Now, let me list the Positives. Out of the 200,000 reviews, 83% of them are 5 stars, so that says a lot about Wise’s quality. Majority of the praise come for Wise’s low and transparent fees, swift transfers and great exchange rate. 

I have been using Wise for about 5 years now largely for EUR and AUD transactions. The rates are excellent, charges are low and transfers happen promptly. I have also used my Wise card extensively in Europe and Australia without any problems. Currently in Oz where I’m using it daily and topping up as necessary. Highly recommend

Julie, praises Wise for its excellent exchange rates, low charges, and prompt transfers, particularly for EUR and AUD transactions.

I really appreciate the speed of transactions. I also like that they made me to trust them. It’s very easy to use WISE and I really enjoy also the use of prepaid cards and how easy is to create one. But mostly I appreciate their security in all transactions. Thank you very much WISE for your effort and please keep going the great job you do.

This review from Konstantinos just sums up Wise, it’s fast, easy to use and most importantly, secure. Wise receives a spectrum of feedback. It’s highly regarded for competitive fees, fast and secure transactions, and user-friendly experience, especially in foreign currency dealings.

However, it’s main criticism is the customer service, if you can manage that, you can’t go wrong with Wise. 

Pros and Cons of Wise

a screenshot of the currencies that are supported in wise

Below are all the pros and cons you’ll need to know before using Wise.

Pros

Cheap International Transfers with cost-effective solutions for sending money abroad
Fast Transactions with the majority being instant for swift service
Transparent Fees with all charges displayed clearly before transactions
Multi-Currency Support with over 50 currencies, enhancing versatility
User-Friendly platform that is easy to navigate and use
Safe and Regulated by multiple financial authorities ensuring safety
Good Exchange Rates using mid-market rates for fairer exchanges
Wise Card offers convenience for users, functioning like a normal debit card and supporting over 40 currencies
QR Pay Feature allows for easy and quick payments directly from the Wise account using a mobile phone
Wise Business Account provides tools for business use, including batch payments and integration with accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks

Cons

Higher transfer fees in some cases, and WIse acknowledges that too
Customer Support Issues due to lack of direct contact options, leading to service gaps
Transfer Time Variability where some transfers may take up to 5 days

Wise Vs. Its Competion

wise vs paypal, ofx and revolut

There are a variety of other services similar to Wise, you might already know some. Here’s how Wise stacks up against them.

Wise Vs. PayPal: If you know Wise, the chances are that, you already know PayPal. PayPal has been around for a while and it is the go-to when it comes to international payments and transfers.

It’s reliable and does almost all the things Wise is capable of, in a better way on some occasions (not looking at you Wise customer support team). However, there are differences. If you’re sending money with PayPal, the recipient will need a PayPal account too.

Moreover, it can be expensive, this can be the single main reason for most shifting to use Wise. Also, you’ll be seeing exchange rate markups here. PayPal wins when it comes to availability though, it allows to send to accounts in 200 countries. That said, Wise allows you to hold over 50 currencies compared to PayPal’s 25. 

Wise Vs. Revolut: Both share mostly the same attributes. Both have their own Debit Cards, plus both are Fully licensed and regulated and what’s more? Each has it’s own business account creation. That does not mean there are no differences, some of the most obvious ones are payment fees and availability.

Revolut add fees up to 5% based on the type of account and the value of the transaction. That compared to Wise is much higher, which starts from 0.47%. Availability wise, Revolut is available in 155+ countries. 

Wise Vs. OFX: Both Wise and OFX provide excellent services in their own rights and which one you go with depends on your needs. OFX is available in over 190 countries, this compared to 150+ Wise is available in, is a little higher.

Another important factor to note is that OFX does not add up transfer fees, but includes markups exchange rates. That puts Wise clear. OFX offers something unique though: specialized broker services and solutions for currency risk management, including forward exchange contracts and target rate orders.

Services which Wise do not offer. Apart from those, Wise allows for multi currency accounts and offers a debit card. Services which OFX do not offer. 

Other related guides & online banks compared to Wise:

Final Thoughts

Wise is excellent when it comes to international money transfers. Its commitment to transparent fees, competitive exchange rates, and rapid transaction times has made it a must try. While it may not always be the cheapest option, the balance of speed, cost, and convenience makes it a compelling choice for many.

FAQs

Yes, Wise is widely considered a trusted and reliable platform for international money transfers.

The downsides of Wise include variable fees, exchange rate fluctuations, and variability in transfer speed.

Yes, Wise is often recommended due to its transparent fees and real exchange rates, making it a good option for many people.

Money can be transferred from a Wise account to a bank account through their app or website. Simply enter the bank details and the amount to complete the transfer.

Yes, transfers through Wise are often viewed as bank transfers. However, they function more as an electronic money institution.

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Allen Morning
I'm Allen Morning, with a background spanning over 15 years in international finance and education from Harvard and Stanford. I founded Currenciap with a vision to demystify and streamline global financial transactions. My journey in finance has fueled my commitment to creating a platform that is both user-friendly and efficient, making international finance accessible to everyone. You can find more about me here.

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