wise money transfer

How Does Wise Money Transfer Work

May 5, 2022

Wise (formerly TransferWise) is a financial company based in Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom. The institution started its operations under the leadership of Estonian business persons named Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus in January 2011. It is one of the major money transfer companies in the United States. But how does Wise money transfer work? We will be checking how the system works later so that if you are planning to use the service, you know where to start.

For your understanding, Wise is among the fast-growing companies in the money transfer sector. In March 2020, it reported total revenue of £302.6 million and a profit of £21.3 million. That is a clear indication that its services are excellent and many people prefer sending and receiving money via the platform. Currently, the company has over 3.7 million account holders. Despite the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns worldwide due to pandemic, the number of personal customers grew by 28%, a significant milestone for the company.

Wise works with various banks when it comes to sending and receiving money. Usually, you have to fund your Wise transactions using your bank or a PayPal account. The recipients also require bank accounts to receive funds. You can receive money from over 40 nations and 20 currencies worldwide with the platform. That makes it a bit convenient for many people across the world. The service works similarly to Western Union and MoneyGram.

How does Wise money transfer work?

Before opening your account, I am sure that you are willing to know how the service works. It operates in a simple manner as you are about to see, making it one of the best services to use. Most people are used to banks where you can accept ACH payments instantly as well as wire transfers. However, companies such as Wise are making a big difference.

Wise mainly facilitates international money transfers. When sending money abroad with Wise, the money smoothly moves from your linked bank account into your recipient’s account. Even though there are a lot of activities going on behind the scenes, they usually do not involve you as your work is to send and receive money.

You can move money using your local currency with your Wise’s local account to send money abroad. Once you do so, the Wise in the country you are sending money to pays the recipient account in the local currency. The truth is that the funds you send do not cross the borders to the person you intend to send money to. The concerned systems communicate with each other to facilitate the transfer.

When sending money, you have to part with some transaction fees. You can see before sending the money to plan effectively the total amount you would like to send. When sending money, for example, from the US to the UK, you will use the US dollars and a US bank to fund the transaction. Once you complete your transfer, the US account will alert the Wise account in the UK, which will deposit the money in the recipient’s account in GBP.

Also, you can use Wise to send money between US banks. Wise eliminates the need to transfer money using the routing number and account number between banks.

How to open a Wise account?

wise money transfer

Wise operates online, and thus you can get started by opening your account online. You only need to visit the Wise registration page and enter the required details. When you click on the registration link, you will land on a page requiring you to enter your email address to get started.

You can also use your Gmail, Facebook, or Apple account to create an account. Once you enter your email address, click Next to proceed. You will need to choose the kind of account you would like to open on the page. There are two types of Wise accounts. They include;

  • Personal account – to spend, send and receive money worldwide for less.
  • Business account – to do business or freelance jobs internationally.

You can create one type of account and add another one later on. Once you choose the best account for you, the next thing you should do is enter your country name, then hit continue. Enter your phone number and tap the ‘Send Verification Code’ tab.

Every time you transact, you will be getting the code on your phone to prove that you are the one doing a transaction. That prevents fraud to a significant extent. Once you enter your code, you can follow other prompts to complete the account creation.

What are the features of Wise?

There are various features that you can enjoy at Wise. They include the following.

1) Competitive and transparent money transfers

There are no hidden charges when sending money on Wise. Everything is apparent as you can enter the amount to send and see the fees you should pay right on the screen. Furthermore, Wise uses the live exchange rates when sending money to international transfers.

2) Multiple accounts

You can open a personal account and a business account later. That way, you can separate business transactions from personal ones. Keeping business transactions separate from personal accounts helps you calculate your profits effectively and prevent paying excess taxation.

3) Multi-currency transactions

Wise supports sending and receiving money with over 22 currencies of the world. Also, as I said earlier, the platform allows you to send money in your local currency, whereby the recipient gets the funds in their local currency.

How to send money through Wise?

Like any other money transfer platform, there is a process you should use when sending money. Remember that Wise can act as a medium to transfer money from a debit card to another debit card. That is because debit cards connect to checking accounts.

Therefore, if you send money from a checking account linking to your debit card to another checking account linking to the recipient’s debit card, you will indirectly move money between the two debit cards. You can also utilize a debit or credit card to fund your Wise transfers.

The process to transfer money through the platform is as follows.

1) Sign up with Wise

If you have not created your Wise account, you should begin by creating one. As I showed you earlier, you can begin by entering your email address and creating a password. It is also possible to sign up using your Google or Facebook account.

If you already own a Wise account, you can then proceed to transfer money as indicated in the next step.

2) Type in how much you want to transfer

You can enter the amount you want to send in the spaces provided with an active account. If you want the recipient to get a particular amount of money, type it in the recipient box, and you will know how much you should send.

3) Let Wise know what kind of transfer you’re making.

You can either use your bank account, debit card, credit card, SWIFT, etc. Bank accounts are the most familiar sources of funds when sending money through Wise.

4) Fill in the necessary details

Next, you should enter your particulars, such as your address and other necessary details.

5) Tell Wise the recipient of your money

You need to give the recipient details to be able to send them money. You can provide their bank details for Wise to do the transfer. If they are on Wise, you can also present their email address, and they will still get their funds.

6) Review the details

Check if everything is okay before transferring the funds. That way, you can avoid sending money to the wrong people.

7) Choose the transfer type and how to pay

The last thing is to choose the transfer type to use. It is cheap to pay for the transaction from your bank account compared to other sources. Once you finish all that, you can wait for our money to reach your recipient. Wise will also send you and the recipient a confirmation message of the transfer.

How long does it take to transfer money on Wise?

The duration taken to transfer money depends on the currency you use. For example, it takes one working day to get a wire transfer and 1 to 3 working days to receive funds sent by ACH. Again, it usually takes 4 to 5 working days to receive finances sent from outside the US. It can take 1–2 working days to receive finances from SEPA countries, while it takes up to one working day to receive SGD. You can see how the kind of currency used affects the transfer time.

However, it can take longer because of the time differences and multiple intermediary banks. There may be multiple banks between transfers, unlike when you send money with a checking account number from your bank account to another bank account within the same branch.

Bottom line

Wise is a financial technology company based in Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom. The institution started its operations under the leadership of Estonian business persons named Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus in January 2011.

The platform allows you to send money to international recipients using your bank account, debit card, credit card, or SWIFT. It operates online, and you have to create an account to use the service.

Posted by Spencer Tierney
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Spencer Tierney is a writer and expert on certificates of deposits at transfermone.com. His work has been featured by USA Today, MSN, SF Gate, the Los Angeles Times, NerdWallet and more. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at UC Berkeley.