December 28, 2017

Wise – P2P marketleader for best currency exchange rate!

by Jens Ischebeck

Background of Wise

Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is a UK based peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace which enables money transfer services available on online platforms.

This mobile application enables users to send money across borders at cheaper rates.

It provides multiple currency exchange media, as well as the ability for multi-currency accounts.

TransferWise currency exchange marketplace peer-to-peer


The pioneer of the Wise service provider was the Wise UK branch. The experiences of Estonian natives Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann led them into the innovation.

Trading between UK and Estonia, they started directly depositing money in each other’s account in the required currencies, thereby saving a significant amount that banks would have charged them.

Intended Use

Wise app was introduced to reduce the cost of money transfer, especially the case with multi-currency denominations. It sought to match people with others in need of their currency without using interbank exchange rates. The providers of this service would charge only a small amount of commission. Also, this service has eliminated the issues of buy and sell; where banks used to charge higher rates.

The developers of this application decided to provide a solution to the challenges they had experienced when transferring funds across borders. Precisely, their goal was to get rid of the issues of high money transfer costs across borders. Indeed, the app provides ultimate services than any other money transfer service provider.

Interbank Rates: P2P with lower rates

If you are working or studying abroad and want to send money back home to Africa, you will find the transfer fees charged by traditional banks are very costly. However, many people are discovering innovative, digital money markets such as Wise which offers an inexpensive alternative.

Every day the world's largest international banks are buying and selling money as they trade with each other in various currencies in a global financial market. Different currencies are constantly being compared causing the value or interbank rate between them to fluctuate several times a day.

Whatever the interbank rate happens to be when you make a money transfer, banks add a fixed fee which contributes to their overheads and profits. In addition, they charge a percentage of the amount of money you wish to transfer. The process of clearing funds through a centralized system takes several days to complete.

Beside other P2P marketplaces such as CurrencyFair Wise has developed a system that involves using local bank accounts to act as inexpensive peer-to-peer money marketplaces. The use of P2P or peer-to-peer technology means currency exchanges are made directly without having to wait for the money to go through a centralised bank. Only minimal fees are charged based on a percentage of the amount you are sending.

Traditional banks with a physical presence have much greater overheads and occasionally borrow money to ensure they have enough funds to manage daily cash transactions. As online entities, CurrencyFair and Wise can offer low fees as they only need minimal funds to operate. They don't even need a separate centralised fund as currencies are exchanged directly between you and other customers.

Wise have organised local accounts in more than seventy countries covering every continent. Transfers of money take effect through a simple exchange between localised customers. The mid-market or interbank rate is used as a 'real' exchange rate with only a minor transaction fee added.


Trustpilot ranks Wise as an excellent service provider.

It is rated at 9.3 by Trustscore.

If this is anything to go by, this is one the best result among the top providers in the industry.

  • Best currency exchange rates available
  • Cheap transfers from bank account to bank account
  • Excellent service
TransferWise review on Trustpilot

How it works

Rather than directly transferring money to the recipient, Wise channels the money to a recipient with a similar need but with an equivalent amount, only conversely. That's the main principle of a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace.

The recipient’s money would subsequently be rechanneled to somebody with an equivalent amount and need. The system avoids transfer across borders and the need for currency exchange.

TransferWise currency exchange rate working principle

Procedure of money transfer

Create a Wise account

The first step is to create an account by signing up on the Wise Website

Upon login, the user can choose the service of choice. From the profile, you can initiate a transfer.

The online money transfer process 

can be summarized as follows:

  • Login
  • Initiate transfer by providing recipient’s bank details
  • Deposit money in your country’s bank account to Wise’s local currency account.

Easy for the sender

The procedure is easy for the sender. Once a transfer has been initiated and completed on the part of the sender, Wise converts the money at the real exchange rate and pays out the result in a foreign bank account to the recipient as required by the sender. In a way, Wise is the intermediary in money transfer; hence, a cheaper option.

This provider has incorporated the use of debit and credit cards, bank accounts domestic wire transfer, SWIFT international transfer among other media for convenience. Besides, it can work with almost every available payment platform.

Fee Structure

The fees charged to send money is negligible. Mainly, Wise is 83% cheaper than the conventional bank money transfer systems. There is no need to use banks in this case since the service facilitates deposits in others accounts in any preferred currency and vice versa.

Wise does not charge an explicit transfer fee, but a small commission for its services. Also, its tax exemption in the UK has made it cheaper.

Borderless account

The Wise Borderless account was launched in May 2017. This new service will further improve the services offered to account holders; businesses and private individuals after being fully operationalized on a global scale. 

Wise in India

Wise India is arguably the cheapest way to send money to India.

The process is so simple that all one has to do state the amount of money to send and the recipient. The user then deposits in his/her local bank account and transfer the money to TransferWise account.

Subsequently, Wise converts the money at the best rate available before sending to the recipient, of course with a little deduction of commission.

The process is fast and more transparent. Indian expatriates can use this service to transfer money to their homeland, as well as around the globe.

TransferWise for online money transfers to India

Benefits with Wise money transfers

Repeat Transfer

Interesting and attractive to Wise users is the option to repeat a transfer without necessarily starting afresh. On the Wise profile page, one can click on the transfer they intend to repeat and then click the repeat transfer button. Upon satisfaction with the details, they can submit.

The same can be done on both the transfer and payments confirmation pages.

Customer care/ support

In case of a problem with a transfer or inquiry, there is a customer care desk to assist. One can send an email with the transfer number to the support team and receive timely feedback, amazingly between three to five hours!

Other avenues of communication with Wise also exist. Call numbers for different countries are availed on the website. Also, the user can live a chat message to the support.


Users of Wise receive prompt communication, emails, every step of the way.

For example, confirmation messages are sent when one sets up a transfer, sends the money to Wise and when payment to the recipient is made.

The process is transparent.

Wise Performance

Wise review points out to the fact that the service provider is profitable enough. Having brought a much-needed solution to the problem of money transfer across borders with lower charges, many established companies and banks in this field are set to collapse. The transparency being demonstrated by Wise in money transfer, as well as its convenience, is commendable.

In the past years of operation, since 2012, Wise has achieved a niche in the money transfer market, taking its predecessors by storm. The use of modern technology, the internet, is known for its efficiency, as well as convenience.

Being eight times cheaper than interbank money transfer is promising to many people. Offering such high-quality services at lower rates than banks makes Wise an option that cannot be overlooked by any individual with the need to transfer money to Africa.

Ease of Use

The use of the Wise app is so easy that no special skills are required. All one needs is an account that can be set up for free in a matter of seconds.

Practically, all the work is done for the user. They only need to provide details of the recipient, deposit money to Wise account and then wait for it to be transferred cheaply.

TransferWise is a great service. I have been using Transferwise for the last 3/4 years to transfer money to various countries and I absolutely love their service.

If you want to transfer money to one of the supported countries, I can definitely suggest using Transferwise. It is one of the best online services out there.

Chetan Basuray ... Transferring money internationally for over 5 years

Money Transfer with Wise

Wise has convinced me for money transfers to and from African countries: online and as app


  • Best Currency Exchange Rates Available
  • Cheap Transfers From Bank Account To Bank Account
  • Some African Currencies Available
  • Excellent Service
  • Excellent Reviews And Ratings


  • Bank Account Needed
  • Longer Transfer Times Than MTOs
  • Only few African countries covered


Wise is the leading peer-to-peer marketplace providing best and lowest currency exchange rates for African countries. It offers many possibilities for sending and receiving money. With these possibilities, it matches very good the needs of many African based consumers.

For me, Wise offers a really good product!