More than money transfer: TransferWise rebrands to Wise

UK-based fintech TransferWise this week announced its decision to rebrand to ‘Wise’, in a move to reflect how it’s now expanded beyond international money transfers (IMTs).

The fintech, which began operating in Australia in 2015, said its product range has since grown to meet the international banking needs of consumers and businesses by offering a “cheaper, faster and more pleasant” alternative for sending, spending, receiving and holding money overseas. 

“For generations, banks have been defined by borders. Traditional bank accounts trap our money in one country, making international lives more difficult and expensive than they need to be. We shouldn’t have to accept this status quo,” Wise’s chief executive officer and co-founder Kristo Käärmann said. 

“[This week] our name catches up with who we’re already building for - a community of people and businesses with multi-currency lives,” he added. 

“We’ve evolved to fix more than just money transfer.” 

How Wise is disrupting the banking space

Having already launched its very own multi currency account available for 55 currencies as well as a debit card and a ‘savings jars’ feature, Wise has positioned itself as a challenger to traditional banks. As of last year the fintech holds a restricted banking licence in Australia which gives it direct access to the New Payments Platform (NPP). 

Wise’s major point of difference is cost, with users able to receive income, pay bills or shop online internationally without being stung by foreign transaction fees or exchange rate markups. In fact, Wise says its customers have saved almost $AU2 billion a year on IMTs, compared to using their existing bank for the same transaction. 

Efficiency is its other big piece, with the Wise account allowing users to send money overseas instantly with PayID. Wise also revealed last year that it has reduced money transfer speeds to a number of Asian countries - Thailand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Japan - to under 40 seconds. 

And to cater for businesses going global, Wise has a corporate account as well, which includes a bunch of features to address business banking needs including:

  • Bank feeds: where businesses can integrate their Wise account and all of their IMT activity directly into accounting software like Xero, Quickbooks and FreeAgent. 
  • Mass payments: where businesses can pay recurring invoices or salaries in multiple currencies with a click of a button. 
  • Multi-user access: where businesses can add other users and assign roles to manage their Wise account.

For more information check out our Wise international money transfers page. Or to weigh up Wise’s exchange rates and fees against other IMT providers in Australia, head on over to our international money transfers comparison hub.