TransferWise Borderless Account:
The Complete Review
TransferWise Borderless Account:
The Complete Review
TransferWise is one of the most used platforms for sending money abroad. Its multi-currency and borderless account is ideal for expats, digital nomads, frequent travelers, and freelancers.
The account allows you to send and receive money in many currencies without having to open bank accounts in those countries. If you open a TransferWise account and upgrade it to the Borderless account, you get a virtual credit card with which to spend your money.
Below is a comprehensive guide on Transferwise’s Borderless Account; how it works, where it can be used, and who can open one.
If you are in this article, chances are, you know a thing or two about TransferWise already. So, feel free to skip this section if that’s the case. For everyone else:
TransferWise is a UK-based company that was founded in 2010. The fintech firm is a revolutionary platform to send money overseas with very low fees and super fast transfer times. It does so by eliminating SWIFT as the middlemen. Instead TransferWise has bank accounts in each country it operates in.
Mind you, as we will later cover in the FAQ, TransferWise is not a bank. It is, however, authorized as an Electronic Money Institution by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company has 2,200 employees in offices across 15 different locations, serving over eight million users globally.
The borderless account is a virtual multi-currency account. It allows you to keep and exchange more than 50 currencies and switch between them in merely seconds. Most importantly, it allows you to convert them at the real mid-market exchange rate to whatever currency you need, whenever you need it, and wherever you need it.
This means you pay little to no fees and the whole process is completely transparent.
The borderless account can be linked to your TransferWise debit MasterCard. You can then get personal account numbers in GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, and NZD, PLN, SGD, HUF, and RON. With your account number and bank details, you can receive transfers from other accounts all around the world.
Some of the benefits of having a TransferWise Debit MasterCard are:
Some of the main advantages and benefits of the borderless account include:
You may be asking if these very low to no fees come with a string attached. Interestingly, TransferWise applies no fees to hold and receive payments in your borderless account. The only exception is if your account is in USD. There are certain limitations.
Even then, the USD money that you add to your account or convert from another currency are exempt from the restrictions and limitations. They only apply to payments you receive from third parties. So, what are these limitations on USD:
TransferWise borderless account has no account opening fee or maintenance fee. What you can do for free:
TransferWise does not charge any fee when you order a debit card or when you link it to your borderless account. It does ask you to add a minimum deposit before the card can be requested. The minimum deposit is around $ 20 and this balance is added to your card. So, it is not really a fee.
The fees associated with the use of your TransferWise Debit MasterCard are:
We will cover the currency exchange later on in this section.
TransferWise charges you two fees for sending money from your borderless account to a bank account in another currency.
TransferWise charges a currency exchange fee that ranges between 0.35-3.00% for international transfers.
If you want to add money to your account through direct debit, TransferWise charges a top-up fee of 0.2%.
As of October 19th, 2020, sending money from your balance to any currency will cost you less, with same-currency transfers dropping up to 45%. Converting money between balances will be cheaper for 85% of their currency routes.
However as of December 19th, 2020, it will cost $ 7.50 to receive USD wires to your USD bank details. TransferWise is also adding a 0.4% fee to hold more than € 15,000 in EUR as a personal customer, or € 70,000 as a business customer.
TransferWise allows you to use more than 50 currencies at once and have them converted in seconds. For a complete list of currencies that is available, check out the ‘What Currencies does TransferWise Support?’ question the Frequently Asked Questions section below.
TransferWise is relatively a new financial service with a disruptive approach to the traditional finance sector. Particularly for this reason, many people are suspicious about their low fees and “too good to be true” value proposition. It is natural to be on the safe side when assessing a non-traditional institution to hold your money.
TransferWise is not a bank, so it cannot provide you with the same deposit protection schemes that traditional banks do.
It is important to point out that TransferWise is regulated by the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia. The fintech company uses reputable local banks in order to store the client funds.
This regulation means that the company does not hold your money and you have certain assurances to get your money back in case of insolvency. Mind you, this is not a certainty, but a partial assurance.
If you’ve survived until this point in the review, then you have probably made up your mind on whether or not the TransferWise borderless account is right for you. If you’re interested in opening an account, below you can find a step by step process.
Once you activate your borderless account and receive your account and bank details, you can start to receive and send local and international money transfers in the designated currencies.
It is important to understand that a TransferWise borderless account is not an actual bank account. It is a virtual account that has some of the features that a bank account has.
You can send and receive money in different currencies in a cheap and easy way. You cannot accept cash or checks, get interest, get insurance coverage, or get covered by federal deposit assurance programs.
Every TransferWise borderless account holder will have the option to apply for a prepaid debit card. You need to apply for it manually, however it only takes a couple of minutes to do so. You can then link the debit card to your borderless account.
You will have a four digit pin code to be able to use the card in person.
The debit card is a MasterCard and allows you to:
In order to add money to your TransferWise borderless account, you need to:
You can top-up through:
In our experience, one area where digital banks and fintech institutions excel in comparison to traditional banks is customer service.
If you need to get in contact with the TransferWise customer support team, you have a number of channels available to you. These include:
The support is not available 24/7, however, we generally had a positive experience with the customer service.
There are many services that have overlapping features to TransferWise. Though the fintech startup is quite ahead of the game in terms of sending money from one bank account owner to another bank account owner in another country, potentially in another currency. TransferWise is always the fastest, cheapest, and most straightforward to use.
Nevertheless, below are some of its main alternatives:
Monese is a UK based fintech company that offers checking accounts and money transfer services. The mobile-only service provides accounts in GBP, EUR, and Romanian leu. It is available in 31 countries across Europe. It has over two million users.
N26 is a neobank based in Germany. Unlike TransferWise, it is legally a bank and offers deposit protection to users. It currently services 23 countries, including most countries in Europe and the United States. N26 recently partnered up with TransferWise for currency exchange and multi-currency transfers.
Revolut is a British fintech company based in the UK. It offers banking services to its clients digitally through a website and an app.
The Transferwise Borderless Account provides a convenient solution to most of the multi-currency account issues. It is:
If you are an expat, a frequent traveler, a digital nomad, an international student, or a seller on a marketplace, then this account is ideal for you.
On the other hand, it is not a real bank and it does not provide the users with the fancier services that a traditional bank does.
You can use TransferWise for currency transfers, even if you do not have a Borderless Account. Just sign up and start enjoying the services offered by this disruptive fintech startup.
What are the main benefits of using TransferWise Borderless Account?
Its main benefits are:
Who is TransferWise Borderless Account made for?
The account is particularly useful for travelers, nomads, expatriates, and international students. It can also come in handy for the merchants in e-commerce marketplaces, serving internationally.
How to Direct Debit My TransferWise Borderless Account?
In order to set a Direct Debit, provide the sender with your TransferWise bank details. It will then take a day or two to set it up.
How to Send Money to TransferWise Borderless Account?
Create a balance in whichever currency you want to receive funds in. Click on ‘get bank details’; complete the requirements that are being asked for. You will be given your bank details including an IBAN and a SWIFT or a BIC. You can then provide these details to whoever will send you money.
How to Withdraw Money fromTransferWise Borderless Account?
Use your TransferWise card to withdraw money at ATMs all around the world. Just like you would with any bank card, really. Depending on where your card was issued, up to a certain amount of withdrawal is free every month: £ 200 or $ 250.
Who Can Open a TransferWise Borderless Account?
The borderless account is primarily for travelers, expats, and freelancers. You may, however, open the account, as long as you are from one of the many countries TransferWise provides service in.
How to Pay Rent from a TransferWise Borderless Account?
By setting up a direct debit.
How Fast is TransferWise Borderless Account Transfer Speed?
It is very fast. Well, converting your money can take a maximum of 2 working days. But, in our experience, that is extremely rare. The speed of your transfer depends on how quickly your recipient’s bank can process your money.
Is TransferWise a Bank?
No, TransferWise is not a bank.
What Are the TransferWise Account Types?
TransferWise only offers one account type to its users. So, you don’t need to choose between different plan types and prices. The same pricing structure is applied to your account, based on your primary currency.
What Currencies does TransferWise Support?
(1)You can send money to and receive money from these currencies:
(2) You can only send money via local transfer to these currencies:
Can I use the debit card internationally?
Yes. It is possible to pay with the TransferWise debit card, called a borderless card, anywhere that accepts a Mastercard.
The card does not work in the following countries: Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea, Cuba, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Central African Republic, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, Syria, Palestinian Territories and Venezuela.
Do I get access to European bank details?
Yes. When you register for TransferWise’s Borderless account, you will have access to European bank details.
This means that you can already send money to this account, through a bank transfer or by debit/credit card payment. You can also enjoy your purchases with the debit card almost internationally.
Are there any fees for using the TransferWise Borderless Account?
Yes, you can find a list of these fees in our above ‘Fees’ section. Although there are some fees, all of them are transparent. So, there are no hidden fees or abusive prices.