How to Transfer Money Using TransferWise

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Transferwise is a new type of financial company launched in 2011 by two Estonian friends who realised that they were paying too much for international money transfers. Since then, they have revolutionised the way in which people transfer money across borders and have been backed by investors who believed in their idea, such as Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel and Virgin’s founder Richard Branson.

More than one million people around the world use TransferWise and they send $1.5 million every month. By doing so, they save $2 million every day because TransferWise’s technology allows them to transfer money overseas using the real exchange rate and a small, upfront fee. It is cheaper to use that other providers because the transfers are actually made through local bank accounts, which means that money doesn’t actually cross borders.

Because of this, more people are exploring how to transfer money using TransferWise, and we’ll show you how to do that in this guide.

Is it an alternative to PayPal?

Transferring via PayPal costs a minimum of 4.5% when transferring money across borders. MassPay, their cheapest method charges a 2% fee and then adds an additional 2.5% currency transfer fee.

Yep, that’s a total of 4.5% that you are charged with the transfer fee and the currency transfer fees, which most times you’ll find out about after you make the transfers.

If you send $1000 abroad PayPal charges you $45. By using TransferWise you are only charged a maximum of 1% for the transfer and no hidden fee for the currency exchange which means the total cost is $10. That’s quite a difference!

Here’s how the money transfer market works

Every bank and almost every money transfer company such as Western Union make their money from a hidden currency exchange fee. TransferWise does not have any hidden fees and they declare all their fees upfront:

  • 1% for transfers from the US in USD
  • 0.5% for most other transfers
  • 1% for some currencies, such as the Philippine Peso

More about hidden currency exchange fees. If you’re not sure what I mean by “hidden currency conversion” check out our explanation in this article.

Which countries can you transfer money from and to? (updated July 2017)

United KingdomCroatiaNorway
EuroCzechiaPoland
United StatesDenmarkRomania
AustraliaHong KongSingapore
BrazilHungarySweden
BulgariaJapanSwitzerland
CanadaNew Zealand

Here are the countries that you can transfer to:

BangladeshMalaysiaSouth Korea
ChileMexicoSri Lanka
ChinaMoroccoThailand
ColombiaPakistanTurkey
GeorgiaPeruUnited Arab Emirates
IndonesiaPhilippines Ukraine
IndiaRussia Vietnam
IsraelSouth Africa

How does it work?

It’s really simple! What you have to do is go to their website, set up a transfer and create an account. You can start here by using the calculator below.

Then they will confirm the transfer amount and show you the exact exchange rate then add your details:

Transfer Money to the Philippines with TransferWise

You can select a previous recipient or add a new recipient:

Transfer Money using TransferWise - Add recipient

The last step is for you to send the money to TransferWise.

There are a few ways you can do this, each with their own benefits and disadvantages.
The fastest option is paying by debit or credit card. The money will get to TransferWise almost instantly so they can start converting it for you right away. There is an additional fee for credit cards, however, and this method can only be used for amounts up to $1,000.

You can also pay by direct debit, which allows you to connect your online banking directly to TransferWise. This method comes with no extra fees and it’s pretty convenient. You’ll verify your details using your online banking username and password and, in some cases, micro-deposits sent to your account. Direct debit will get your money to TransferWise in anywhere from 1-3 working days and can be used to send up to $10,000.

If you want to send more than $10,000, you’ll have to make a local wire transfer. The downside to this is that your bank will probably charge you an additional fee when you have them wire the money from your account to TransferWise’s, but it’s pretty fast; your money will get to TransferWise in a few working hours. You can also send up to $1,000,000 per transfer when you’re sending your money by wire.

Whether you choose banks, Paypal or better alternatives to Paypal, there are different options available. However, if you want a reliable and fairly priced provider which will save you money, we recommend you Transferwise.

Leave a reply

  • Elisabeth

    Hi if I want to transfer to U.K. From japan ,, can I use Japan post or something else?
    UpVote Reply 1 Upvotes
  • Meg

    Can you send mass payments through Transferwise? How does Time Doctor Integrate with it? I need to send weekly payments to about 30 Philippines contractors. Right now I'm using PayPal but would love a better option.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Carlo

      Hi Meg,It's possible to use Transferwise and it's not a lot of effort to enter the amounts for the 30 people into the Transferwise site. You can also get a Philippines assistant to do this because they will not control the actual money transfers.We are currently creating an integration which will make it even easier where you can download a CSV and then upload it to Transferwise to send the payments. That integration should be completed soon.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Irene Weltman

    Is it possible to transfer from Israel to Brazil through Transferwise? I can see that it is only possible the opposite. Is that correct?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Carlo

      I'm afraid it is only the opposite for now, Irene.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • RAJAS

    CAN I TRANSER MONEY FROM MALAYSIA TO UK USING TRANSFERWISE
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Carlo

      You can transfer from UK to Malaysia. But, unfortunately not the other way around for now.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Sapna Kumari https://trupay.in/

    Wow!! Thanks for sharing this article because this article is very usefull...
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Neville

    Is there any real integration between TD and Transferwise. At month end I want to send multiple payments to PH, and would like to be able import or link my TD to Transferwise to make these payments seamless and easy - any info out there?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson

      Hi Neville, unfortunately there is no API available which can do this. However the effort involved in sending payments once you have set them up the first time in Transferwise, is not that great. It would take for example 10 minutes to send 30 payments. So as long as you don't have hundreds of staff it's probably ok.
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • no one

    You can no longer send money from Turkey via TransferWise. You can only send into Turkey.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Naleena Akmal

    Hi if I have a Usd account to transfer to my Malaysia Ringgit account. .is it possible to use transfer wise? I am staying in Malaysia. Both the accounts are opened in Malaysia. Appreciate your feedback. Thanks. Naleena
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • eugene

    hi, i want to know if transferring money from Thailand to the Philippines is possible thru Transferwise. My boss is actually an Australian based in Thailand. I am not sure if he uses a Thai, or an Australian Account/Card. Do you think transferwise is a good option?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      If they are transferring from Australia it's possible but if it's from a Thai account to the Philippines it's not possible currently as far as I am aware
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • sheila menor transfetwise

    How can I get the money in the phillippines because i dont have any bank account.my employer sent me money thru transferwise
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
    • Rob Rawson www.timedoctor.com

      Unfortunately it is necessary to have a bank account if you are using Transferwise. There are some other options that work without a bank account such as Ko Kard or Payoneer. Or you can get a bank account?
      UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
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