2019 TransferWise Australia Review
Our biggest, most comprehensive review of TransferWise, one of the most popular money transfer companies in Australia and the world.
What is TransferWise?
TransferWise is an online money transfer company that offers a cheaper and faster way to send money internationally.
The company was founded in 2010 by two friends. They were both working away from home and wanted an efficient and affordable way to transfer money where they needed it.
Now TransferWise transfers more than $5 billion dollars every month across 71 countries for their customers.
Pros and cons using TransferWise
- Clear and simple online registration process
- Extremely competitive rates
- Various payment methods available, including credit card
- No minimum transfer size
- Additional products like their Borderless Account and Debit Card are very unique in foreign exchange
- They can support both business and individual customers
- Cannot pay via cash or cheque
- Limited customer support
- Watch out for the percentage fee if you're making a large transfer
- TransferWise is still fairly new, they don't support all global currencies yet
When to use (and avoid) TransferWise to transfer money overseas
TransferWise charge a percentage based fee, which means they are great for Australians transferring smaller amounts, but may not be a good option for transfers greater than $40,000.
If you're also looking for a foreign currency account for multiple currencies and linked debit card, TransferWise is a great option. The only limitation is that you need to be comfortable doing everything online, as they have limited customer support.
However, if you are transferring above $40,000, it may be worth looking at some other money transfer companies like OFX, that may be cheaper.
How to use TransferWise
There are three main steps to setting up an account with TransferWise, which we have outlined below. You can also watch our video tutorial for a complete step by step guide. Before you start your transfer there are a few things you will need as well.
- ID to set up your account
- Name and details of your recipient
- Details of your payment method
Step 1: Register
Register your details through the TransferWise website. This will include the type of account you need, your details and the currencies you'll transfer. Once you provide some ID, TransferWise will let you know when your account is ready.
Step 2: Transfer
After you have a quote for your transfer, you will go ahead and fill in the details of the person you're sending the money to. If you're sending it to your own international account, fill in your own details.
Step 3: Pay
TransferWise only accept payment by POLi pay, bank transfer and debit card. They will also accept credit card for smaller transfers, but will charge a higher fee.
If you would like a more in-depth guide on how it works,
click on these guides:
TransferWise Customer Reviews
TrustPilot TrustScore: 9/10
Is TransferWise Reliable?
On TrustPilot, TransferWise have five stars and are considered an "excellent company" to use.
Generally customers speak favourably about their experiences with TransferWise. A lot mentioned how easy and quick it is to make the transfer, and how efficient the process is. Customers also said they offer excellent exchange rates.
The most common complaint about TransferWise that we could find was about limited customer service and that sometimes ID took a long time to be verified, which held up transfer times.
Can I trust TransferWise?
So is TransferWise legit? Yes.
TransferWise is completely regulated in Australia. They also have an Australian Financial Services Licence, and are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). There are very stringent guidelines that TransferWise must follow in order to send your money.
Where is TransferWise regulated?
Being a global company, TransferWise are also regulated in countries in addition to Australia. These include:
- United Kingdom - Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Canada - Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)
- United States - Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Regulatory authorities vary by state
- Hong Kong - Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department
- Singapore - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
How safe are my login details when I use TransferWise?
In terms of online security, TransferWise protects your personal data from fraud and theft. TransferWise use 2FA, giving you extra protection. This means that when you log in, you go through two levels of verification to access your account. They also encrypt your sensitive data and create secure connections with your website browser when you're providing your personal details and identification.
In addition, TransferWise adheres to a strict customer agreement. You can email TransferWise to find out more.
How long does TransferWise take to transfer funds?
Once you have set up your transfer with TransferWise, they are able to transfer money overseas securely and quickly.
It can be instant or take up to 2 days for a money transfer.
However, the speed of transfer depends on multiple factors:
- The countries you're sending money to and from. Every currency and country is different and timing depends on how quickly your recipient's bank can process your money.
- How you pay. Card payments are instant but bank transfers take longer.
- What time you pay for your transfer. TransferWise can only handle your money during normal banking hours.
- Security checks. Verification process can add time to your transfer.
In 2018 TransferWise changed their fees for Australian transfers. Fortunately, in most cases it made sending money cheaper, but there were a couple of exceptions.
It's simple to work out how much TransferWise is going to cost for your international money transfer. Because they don't put a margin on their exchange rates, you just have to look at the fee they charge. You can also easily get a quote for an AUD transfer without signing up for a TransferWise account.
It's easy and very clear what they are charging you which means there are no hidden fees. However, it's still very important to understand the 2 different types of fees they charge:
1. Card Fees
If you want to pay for your transfer by card, TransferWise charge a fee. The charge 0.15% for a MasterCard Debit, 0.30% for a Visa Debit, 0.55% for a MasterCard Credit, 0.75% for a Visa debit and 1% for business cards.
You can avoid these fees by paying via a bank transfer.
2. Service Fees
The service fee that TransferWise charge is made up of a fixed fee and a percentage of the amount you send. This varies depending on where you are sending the money:
TransferWise Exchange Rates
TransferWise is one of the few money transfer companies that cannot be beaten on the exchange rate they offer. They offer the interbank, or 'real' exchange rate. This means the rate that you see on Google or XE, is the rate you receive for the transfer.
Don't take our word for it. TransferWise have an exchange rate calculator on their site, which accurately estimates the cost of your transfer.
Alternatively, you can compare the exchange rates that TransferWise offer against other banks and money transfer providers using our exchange rate comparison tool below.
Does TransferWise have an App?
Yes. When you have an account with TransferWise, you can make transfers through their website, or through their iOS and Android apps. This means TransferWise is available to both Apple and Android users.
Like their website, TransferWise's app is very easy to use. There are updates constantly made to ensure it's working at its best. Having the app makes transferring money on the go much easier.
TransferWise Borderless Account and Debit Card
The TransferWise Borderless Account is a multi-currency account with a twist. As well as being able to hold many different currencies, it also lets you have local bank details in the US, UK, Eurozone, NZ and Australia.
This means you can use TransferWise to make and receive money in those countries as if you had a personal bank account there.
In addition, TransferWise has also released a Debit Card linked to your Borderless Account that is being introduced to Australia and New Zealand this year. It has officially been released for UK and European customers.
It's a perfect companion for frequent travellers or for international businesses.
TransferWise Business Products
TransferWise can provide business support for your international transfers.
When you initially set up your account, you will be asked if you need it for business or personal reasons. This gives you the flexibility to set up your account in the way that best suits you.
Some business customers use TransferWise's Borderless Account. The account allows you to receive and make payments in the UK, Europe, Australia, NZ and the US like you have local bank details there.
Read about the Borderless Account account here.
Ready to go?
Your currency knowledge centre
5 Cheaper Ways to Transfer Money Overseas
Using a bank is one of the easiest ways of transferring money overseas, but can also be the most costly. There are alternatives that can make the whole process cheaper.
International Money Transfer Comparison and Reviews
Find the best international money transfer exchange rates to send money overseas from Australia. Compare the rates and fees from leading banks and money transfer services.
5 Safe Alternatives to TransferWise
TransferWise is a transparent and easy-to-use money transfer option. But it can still be worth looking at TransferWise’s competitors to see which is the best option for you.