Wise Business Review: Fees, Pros and Cons [2022]

Wise has disrupted the world of international payments, cutting costs and making money move more efficiently for customers. Now, Wise has over 10 million customers and offers multi-currency accounts for personal and business customers, as well as low cost international transfers with the real exchange rate.

The Wise for business account is designed for everyone with global aspirations for their business. Whether you’re just starting out or already running an enterprise level company you can open a Wise account to hold 50+ currencies and send payments to 80+ countries. You’ll also get your own bank details to get paid like a local from 30 countries, business debit cards for your team, and can cut your admin time with batch payments and a powerful API to automate payments.

Check out our Wise business account review for all you need to know about the Wise business account so you can decide if it’s right for you.

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Wise: Key points

Key features:

  • Full account features for a one-off 22 AUD charge – no monthly fee
  • Hold 50+ currencies, plus bank details to receive payments in 10 currencies
  • Send and receive AUD business payments and direct debits
  • International payments to 80+ countries
  • Mid-market rate currency exchange with low, transparent fees
  • International business debit cards for you and your team
  • Add and manage account permissions 
  • Batch payments – pay up to 1,000 people at once
  • Connect to Xero or QuickBooks for easy reconciliation
  • API integration

Pros:

  • Low start up fee, then only pay for the services you need
  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies, and send money to 80+ countries
  • Get paid for free by clients, PSPs and marketplaces in 10 currencies with your own local bank details
  • International transfers 19x cheaper than PayPal, 6x cheaper than normal banks
  • Save admin time, increase efficiency and cut costs
  • Enterprise level services available

Cons:

  • Wise isn’t a bank and doesn’t offer overdrafts, credit or loans
  • You can’t deposit cash
  • No branch network or in person service
  • Fees apply if you hold high value balances (A$23,000+)

Overall: Open your Wise business account online or in the Wise app, and get full multi-currency account features for a one time charge of 22 AUD. There’s no minimum balance and no ongoing charges – you just pay low, transparent fees for the services you use.

Accounts suit freelancers, entrepreneurs and business owners who have clients, suppliers or staff overseas, and need to transact in foreign currencies. All currency exchange use the mid-market exchange rate with no hidden fees.

Wise is safe to use, trusted by millions of customers and businesses globally, and overseen by regulatory bodies all around the world.

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What is Wise for business?

Let’s break down how Wise for business works. You can open your account online or via the Wise app. For free you’ll get a great range of options including:

  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies
  • Send low cost payments to 80+ countries
  • Get an international business debit card
  • Make batch payments and add team members to your account
  • Integrate with your cloud based accounting software for reconciliations

To unlock the full account features you’ll pay a low, one off charge of 22 AUD with no ongoing fees. That gets you all the above, plus:

  • Local account details for 10 currencies
  • Direct debits
  • Withdraw from marketplaces and platforms
  • Get paid from third party accounts

Wise business payments

Send local business payments  in AUD, and international transfers to 80+ countries around the world. It’s easy to pay your employees, suppliers or contractors, with money deposited right into their bank accounts for convenience.

Wise international transfers use the mid-market exchange rate and a low transparent fee. There are no high or hidden costs because Wise business payments don’t work like normal bank transfers. Instead of relying on old technology used by the banks, Wise built its own payment network. It’s cheaper – and very often faster than using a bank or alternative provider.

Arrange your transfer online or in the Wise app by entering either the AUD amount to send, or the sum and currency you want the recipient to get. The Wise payment calculator shows immediately what your recipient will receive, and exactly what you’ll pay.

Batch payments

Make a batch payment by uploading a single file detailing the amounts and currencies you need to send – for up to 1,000 payments at a time. It only takes a few minutes to get started, saving you precious time and making sure your suppliers and employees get their money as fast as possible.

Wise API

Cut admin time even more by automating workflows with Wise’s powerful API. Collect recipient details, make payouts, track transactions and reconcile your accounts automatically, so you can focus on the work that really matters.

Wise multi currency account

If you mainly need to send international payments you can do that with a free Wise business account. Or pay a one time charge of 22 AUD for full account features with no minimum balance or ongoing charges.

The free Wise business account lets you add, hold, convert and send payments in 50+ currencies. Currency exchange always uses the mid-market exchange rate and a low, transparent fee which means you can often save significantly compared to a traditional bank. You can also get linked business debit cards, add team members, make batch payments and manage your money on the go from the Wise app.

The one off 22 AUD fee lets you do all this, and also receive third party payments, withdraw from marketplaces and platforms, and get local bank details for 10 currencies. Make it easy for clients to pay you by local transfer from 30 countries, and use your bank details to get paid from Shopify, Stripe, Amazon, and more.

Business account users and permissions

Chances are you’re not going to build your business alone. That’s why Wise business accounts offer multi-user access (MUA) so you can add team members, and manage what they see to make sure they have the features required to do their jobs properly. User profiles include the following categories, so you can customise your account permissions to suit your team:

  • Viewer – can see transactions and download statements
  • Employee– can view their own activity
  • Preparer – can set up single payments for approval and download statements
  • Payer – can make and manage payments, convert currencies and download statements
  • Admin – has overview of all activity, and can add and remove team members

Reconciliation

Integrate your Wise account with your favourite cloud based accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks, for easy reconciliation across multiple currencies. It’s one less admin task to worry about, so you can concentrate on growing your business.

How does Wise (TransferWise) work?

Maybe you’re wondering what exactly Wise does differently to regular banks, to be able to offer faster and cheaper international services.

Wise was created to make it easier to send international payments, by founders who spotted that the way big banks did it was broken.

Traditional banks rely on the SWIFT network to send payments overseas. SWIFT is a secure messaging system which launched way back in the 1970s, to allow banks to work together to move money abroad.

When you make a SWIFT payment, one or more correspondent banks are likely to be involved in the transfer, passing the money along until it arrives where it’s needed. That’s not a fast way of moving money – and even worse, each correspondent can take a fee while it processes the payment.

To remove inefficiency and unnecessary cost, Wise built its own payment network made up of local accounts around the world.

When you arrange a Wise business payment you send your money to Wise’s local AUD account. Wise then pays out the equivalent amount in the currency you need from their local account in the destination country.

No money actually crosses borders, so there are no intermediary costs. It’s faster, cheaper – and refreshingly simple.

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Is Wise safe for businesses?

Yes. Wise is a safe provider, and because it trades globally, it’s overseen by a range of regulatory bodies the world over.

In Australia, Wise is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), as well as a PPF licence. Wise is also registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

To keep customers safe, and comply with legislation around the world, Wise takes a number of steps including  safeguarding customer funds, auditing regularly and maintaining high levels of operating capital.

When it comes to online and mobile account safety, Wise is an industry leader. Both automatic and manual systems are in place to keep accounts safe, including thorough verification processes, 2 factor authentication and fraud prevention measures.

Wise business account fees

Get all the features of the Wise business account for a 22 AUD one off charge. There’s no monthly fee and no minimum balance – you just pay a low, transparent fee for the services you use.

Wise fees

Wise doesn’t hide or bundle any of the costs of international transfers into the exchange rates used. Instead, payments use the mid-market exchange rate with a couple of transparent fees:

  • Fixed fee: covering the fixed costs associated with the transaction. For major currencies this is likely to be in the region of 0.55 AUD to 0.80 AUD
  • Variable fee: covering the cost of the currency exchange. For major currencies this can be around 0.45% of the transfer value

Before you set up any payment you can see the fees you’ll pay, and the rate applied. Let’s take a look at the Wise transfer fees for a few major currencies as an example:

Sending 1,000 AUD to Variable fee (AUD) Fixed fee (AUD) Total fee (AUD)
USD 4.48 (0.45%) 0.78 5.26
GBP 4.48 (0.45%) 0.66 5.14
EUR 4.48 (0.45%) 0.52 5.00
CAD 4.58 (0.46%) 0.72 5.30
SGD 4.57 (0.46%) 1.03 5.60

*Fees correct at time of research 8 March 2022

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Wise exchange rate

When you send an international transfer, spend overseas with your debit card or convert a currency within your account with Wise you’ll always get the mid-market exchange rate. That’s the one you’ll find on Google or using a currency converter tool.

This is in line with Wise’s mission to be radically transparent and drive down the costs of currency exchange.

On the other hand, most banks and many other currency exchange services bundle their fees by adding a markup – an extra fee – to the exchange rate used. That’s hard to see and pushes up the costs overall.

We will add a table in with currency pair, Wise exchange rate, real exchange rate in, updated automatically

Large business payments with Wise

Wise supports high value business payments. If you’re paying in AUD you’ll usually be able to send up to 1.8 million dollars by bank transfer and POLi, with lower limits for transfers arranged by card and PayID.

Verification checks may be needed when you send high value payments, to comply with legislation around the world and keep accounts safe from fraud. This may mean you’re asked to upload images of documents before a large transfer is processed, such as written confirmation of the source of funds for a high value transfer.

If you’re asked to provide additional paperwork to facilitate your payment, a member of the Wise team will guide you through the process.

How long does Wise take?

Wise transfers are typically fast. In fact at present 40% of Wise’s international transfers are instant (delivered in less than 20 seconds), while 80% are delivered within 24 hours. Wise is working towards increasing the number of instant payments for customers until all transfers can arrive in minutes.

Before you confirm a Wise international transfer you’ll be able to see an estimated arrival time – and you can track your money through the Wise app or desktop site. Delivery times can vary based on factors like how you pay, the currency and country you’re sending to and the value of the transfer.

How to use Wise for business

Once you’ve set up your Wise business account you can make a business transfer online or in the app in just a few steps:

  1. Choose where you’re sending from – your linked payment method or Wise balance
  2. Enter the payment value or how much you want the recipient to get
  3. Add the recipient’s details and check everything over
  4. Choose your payment method and confirm the transfer
  5. Your money is on the move

Funding methods

The funding methods normally available from Australia include:

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit or credit card
  • POLi
  • PayID
  • Sending from your Wise account balance

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Payout methods

Most Wise business transfers are sent directly to the recipient’s bank account for convenience. However Wise does support other payout methods depending on the destination country.

How to create a Wise business account

Open your Wise business account online or in the Wise app. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Wise homepage or app
  2. Click Register
  3. Follow the prompts to enter information about yourself and your business
  4. Get verified
  5. You’re ready to go

What documents you’ll need

Legislation in Australia and around the world requires Wise – like other financial service providers – to complete verification checks before you can use your Wise for business account. This is to keep your money safe and prevent account fraud.

The information and documents required can depend on your business entity type and structure. You’ll usually need to confirm the names, date of birth, and country of residence for any directors and shareholders who own 25% or more of the business. You’ll also be asked about your business registration and the type of work you do.

You’ll be guided through the verification process when you register your account and don’t need to enter all of your verification information at once. Just save and exit the process and pick it up again later if you need to.

How long does verification take

Once you’ve entered all your information, the Wise service team will work on verifying your account, and aims to complete verification within 2 days.

If any more information or documentation is needed after you apply for your Wise business account, a member of the Wise team will be in touch to talk you through the details.

Wise (TransferWise) limits

Wise business accounts allow customers to make high value payments. If you need to send more you can also contact Wise customer support to increase your limits.

Here are the Wise transfer limits for a few major currencies as an example:

Sending  Maximum payment
EUR 1.2 million EUR
USD 1.6 million USD
AUD 1.8 million AUD
CAD No limit
SGD 2 million SGD

Supported currencies

Wise supports 50+ different currencies and lets you send to over 80 different countries. The countries and currencies available are being updated all the time – for latest info check here.

Conclusion

The Wise for business account suits anyone – from a freelancer to an established business owner – who wants to make it easier and cheaper to connect with customers, suppliers or employees overseas.

Send payments in dozens of currencies, and hold and exchange 50+ currencies all in the same account, with easy on the go access through the Wise app. All accounts offer linked debit cards, batch payments, accounting integrations and a powerful API to cut admin time.

You could unlock even more features from the Wise business account with a one time 22 AUD charge, with no minimum balance, and no ongoing fees to worry about. With the full feature account you can easily get paid by clients and withdraw from platforms, PSPs and marketplaces in 10 currencies.

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FAQ

How much does Wise cost?

Open a free Wise business account for low cost international payments, or pay a one off fee of 22 AUD for full account features. There are no monthly or ongoing charges and you only pay a low, transparent fee for the services you need.

How long does Wise take to transfer funds?

The majority of Wise international transfers arrive instantly or within 24 hours.

Is Wise safe?

Yes. Wise is regulated by ASIC and holds an Australian Financial Services Licence and PPF Licence. Wise is also registered with AUSTRAC. Accounts are secured by advanced technology to prevent fraud and keep customer funds secure.

How does Wise apply exchange rates?

Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup, no margin and no hidden fees.

Does Wise have a mobile app?

Get the Wise mobile app on both Apple and Android phones.

How does Wise work?

Open a Wise business account online or in the Wise app, to send and receive payments, and hold and exchange 50+ currencies.

How many currencies does Wise support?

Wise offers payments to 80+ countries in 50+ currencies.

 

By Ileana Ionescu Updated March 29th, 2022