TransferWise Grasps Goal of Instant Payments and Lowered Fees

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

TransferWise has been making big moves this year. Recent reports show this UK-based Fintech firm and stealth bank has grasped its 4th year of profitability, processing £67 billion in transfers over the past year. But it’s the latest report that has the industry buzzing. 

In its recently published Q3 2020 report, TransferWise goes over how the company has focused its efforts on its goal of “building money without borders”. According to TransferWise, the aim is to make money “move instantly, transparently, conveniently and – eventually – for free.”

Essentially, Transferwise is an online account that lets users send money, get paid and even spend money internationally. The company was born out of a need to have a means of sending money abroad, minus being deceptively expensive like other options on the market today. Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, two friends, built the company based on the belief that money is meant to flow freely.

Kristo Käärmann, co-founder and CEO at TransferWise, recently shared that the global money transfer service now has around 8 million customers. And went on to say that TransferWise is helping customers move more than 4 billion pounds per month. He went on to say that Q3 2020 was very busy, shipping more than 30 changes to its products. All of this is pushing TransferWise closer to its goal.

“On price, we dropped our average fee to 0.74% and fees were lowered for 76% of our customers at the end of the quarter,” Käärmann confirmed. 

“If you’re sending from the US or UK or from anywhere to most of Asia, the average fee went down 15%. On speed, 32% of payments are now instant (up 4%) – thanks to a direct integration to Hungary’s central bank and improvements to transfer speed in the US. Half of all payments now arrive within an hour.”

Käärmann went on to explain that “We rolled out a more convenient way to save money, bank account details in Hungary, the multi-currency account in Japan (debit card coming soon), and direct debits in the US. For businesses, you can now send from the UAE and integrate with FreeAgent accounting software (adding to existing QuickBooks and Xero solutions). We went live with Australia’s fastest growing neobank, Up!”

There are many other steps the company is taking to fight for greater transparency across the globe. Banking institutions across Europe and Australia have been put “on notice”. The company has also integrated directly with Magyar Nemzeti Bank, the reserve bank of Hungary. (This move will enable the firm to speed up customers’ payments, and all payments “below 10 million HUF are now instant.”)

A fight has also begun in the United States for more transparency in payment processing. According to TransferWise, the U.S. financial system is outdated. The Fintech firm explains that, every year, U.S. residents are losing more than $8.7 billion to “hidden exchange rate markups and only 9% of the Americans can identify the true cost of sending money abroad.”

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