Wise Review 2022: Pros, Cons and Overview

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: Wise, formerly TransferWise, is a money transfer and exchange service that allows people to send and receive money between 70 countries. Clients benefit from transparent pricing, ease of use, excellent customer support and low-cost exchange rates. However, it is pricier and slower than some of its competitors.
  • Features
    4.3
  • Pricing
    4.6
  • Ease of Use
    5.0
  • Customer Support
    4.2
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Easy to use, intuitive application and website interface
  • Low-cost exchange rates with no hidden fees
  • No subscriptions or monthly fees
  • Dedicated fraud detection team
  • Convert and hold over 50 currencies in one borderless account.
  • The Wise debit card allows you to make payments anywhere.

Cons

  • Not the cheapest or fastest option among competitors
  • No cash delivery options to your home or business
  • Money transfers only available in 70 countries
  • You cannot deposit cash into your account.
  • 2% ATM fees on withdrawals over $100.00 a month + $1.50 per withdrawal
  • Cannot fund cryptocurrencies, CFDs, options and Forex currencies

Product Overview

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a global FinTech firm established in 2011 by Kristo Karmann and Taavet Hinrikus. The company ranked No. 8 on the CNBC 2015 Disruptor 50 list and went public in 2021 on the London Stock Exchange. In its latest annual report, Wise claims that 49% of user transfers are instant and that it facilitates 3.5% of personal transfers worldwide.  

The App is available for download in 170 countries and supports the conversion, sending and spending of 50 currencies. Sign-up is fast, it’s free to have an account, and there are no hidden fees and exchange rate markups. The company partners with banks and companies such as Monzo, Bolt, and GoCardless to provide seamless international banking options for customer convenience.

The founders have three fundamental beliefs:

  1. Markups and hidden fees are unfair.
  2. Sending money should be stress-free.
  3. Transfers should be as fast as sending an email.

While the company delivers on the first two promises, most transfers take time.

Money Transfers With Wise

With Wise, money transfers are made easier and faster for users. Take a look at some of the reasons why.

Features

Seamless sign-up and identity verification, transparent exchange pricing, debit card option, supports multiple currency exchange. You can hold money in different assets and money conversions based on desired FX rate.

Pricing

Transparent, upfront pricing with no hidden costs. Instant transfers between some regions. Customers can avoid extra transfer fees using SWIFT. Low exchange rate.

Ease of Use

Simple to use with an uncluttered interface. Approval controls for company accounts. It offers an easy verification process for individuals and businesses.

Customer Support

Wise provides a personalized customer experience, a dedicated help center, and multi-language support to serve worldwide users better.

What Else Does Wise Offer Users?

Here are more details about Wise.

Seamless Sign Up And Identify Verification

Wise offers a seamless sign-up and identity verification process. You don’t need to pay to sign up for an account. Some currencies require that you send a photo of a suitable ID to send money. The verification process takes a few days, and you can send the funds as soon as you are clear.

Transparent Exchange Pricing

The company’s main selling point is the lack of hidden fees and that customers receive a mid-market exchange rate. Customers can use the online money calculator to see how much the bank transfer costs, the fee Wise incurs, and the total fees spent. The calculator also shows you the full amount converted, the guaranteed rate of conversion, and when the funds should arrive.

Wise Debit Card

The Wise Debit card allows users to spend money anywhere. If the account contains the local currency of the country you are in, the card uses it. For non-local currencies, the card auto-converts the funds at the real rate for a fee. The card also has 0% transaction fees compared to Bank of America, PayPal, Chase and Wells Fargo.

Multiple Currency Exchange

Consumers can choose from 50 currencies and convert them in seconds. Moreover, they can receive money in 10 currencies internationally with no fees. The company has a mission to reduce these fees to zero despite increasing prices on some routes during the second quarter of 2022.

Transfer Options Available on Wise

Once you create an account and verify your information, you have the following transfer options:

  1. Debit card
  2. Bank Transfer
  3. Credit Card
  4. Funds available in your Wise account.

How Wise Stands Out

Wise reduces typical transfer and exchange fees and has no rate markups. Since banks and money transfer providers sometimes charge exorbitant rate markups, consumers lose more money using this traditional method. Wise charges a midmarket rate and avoids these costly exchange rate markups.

Comparable Product Options

These are other comparison money transfer platforms you might be considering. See how they compare against Wise.

PayPal

PayPal has 209.3 million users currently. It offers instant money transfers and money conversions. Moreover, it supports more countries than Wise does. However, PayPal is pricier than Wise since it has a cross-border fee, and the company adds a 3.5%- 4% markup on top of the mid-market rate.  

Remitly

Remitly has 2.8 million users as of this writing, a 50% increase from 2020. Remitly offers express transfers that take seconds, compared to some Wise transfers that take two to three business days to complete. Like Wise, the company opened in 2011. Remitly charges lower fees, doesn’t apply variable charges and offers more payout options for consumers.

How To Apply

Open the platform online or download the App through iOS or Android. After selecting “Register,” enter your email address, input a secure password, and choose your country of residence.

You must fill out personal information through the prompts, such as your name and date of birth. You can also log in using your Google, Facebook or Apple account.  

How To Transfer Money via Wise

  1. Once you sign up for a Wise account, navigate home and click on the “Send Money” option.
  2. Input the amount you want to send or how much you want your recipient to receive.
  3. Choose what kind of transfer you want to make, such as a Personal Transfer from a bank account.
  4. Enter your details and address for compliance reasons.
  5. Input the recipient’s bank details.
  6. Review the information.
  7. Choose the transfer and payment type.
  8. Click send, and you’re done.

Who Wise Is Best For

Although Wise is not the cheapest option, it is secure and doesn’t charge users unfairly to increase its bottom line. Wise processes billions in international transactions monthly and has millions of users. It’s a good platform for people who live abroad and must send money to others overseas frequently. However, since there are limitations to the places you can send the funds, always check to see whether your desired locations are part of the company’s network.

Final Take

Wise offers unmatched transparency options and low pricing, though you can only send money to some countries, and transfers take longer than some competitors.

Furthermore, Wise is not as popular as other money transfer services, though it is quickly rising in the FinTech industry. The company stands to become a serious contender for its competitors as it continues to streamline its mission and reduce pricing. With more people looking for transparency in companies, Wise sets the bar higher for customer expectations and overall satisfaction.

Wise FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Wise.
  • Is Wise a reputable company?
    • Wise is a reputable, fully-legitimate online money transfer company with over 13 million users. The company maintains consumer trust and compliance through regulations by the FCA and independent auditors. Moreover, Wise has SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, PCI DSS and ISO 27001 certifications and GDPR compliance.
  • How does a Wise transfer work?
    • After creating an account, you can send money easily using its transfer option. Remember that you must undergo a simple identification process for some currencies by uploading your ID through the platform.
  • Is Wise or PayPal better?
    • Wise is cheaper than PayPal. However, PayPal offers faster money-sending options and allows transfers to more countries.
  • How much does Wise charge for a transfer?
    • -Wise charges 0.41% to send money.
    • -2% ATM fees on withdrawals over $100 a month + $1.50 per withdrawal
    • -2% on account funding transactions
    • -0.41% to convert money
    • -$4.14 to receive USD wire payments

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Hiba Boutary is a freelance writer with a public relations degree from her native Beirut. She has been ghostwriting for over a decade, covering various topics such as finance, software, real estate, human resources, business and legal. Hiba is the co-founder of a digital agency and is based in Brooklyn, New York. She frequently travels to Beirut and New Delhi and is working on a debut collection of short stories.
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