Your guide to TransferWise currency exchange

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Written By Mahmoud Sarvari

TransferWise is a foreign currency exchange service that makes life a little easier for expats.

Changing money between currencies is always a hassle and most expats feel hard done by because they are trapped into paying fees and commissions that they often feel they cannot avoid.

TransferWise is a new, disruptive technology that has swept away the rules of currency exchange and aims to revolutionise the industry.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the service:

What is TransferWise?

TransferWise is an online foreign currency exchange service that simply switches cash between different currencies as quickly and cheaply as possible

Is my money safe with TransferWise?

The company says that security is one of their top concerns.  Online transfers are encrypted, the company is regulated and complies with the rules for the sector laid down by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and customer cash is kept separate from the company’s accounts.

What currencies can I switch?

TransferWise can convert 34 major currencies, including the US dollar, UK Pound and Euro.

Popular expat currencies such as the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars are also available.

Does it matter which country I am when I request a transfer?

The service is not available in every country – here’s a list of supported countries

What are the costs?

Fees vary slightly between currencies – a full list of fees is available on the TransferWise web site

How does the system work?

Users transfer the cash they want to convert into a foreign currency direct from their bank account to TransferWise.

The firm then uses the Reuters mid-market rate for transfers, unlike banks which advertise 0% commissions or no fee transfers and set their own exchange rate with a built in margin to give a profit.

With TransferWise, customers always know the exchange rate by checking with Reuters.

The transfer then takes place and the money is sent to the destination bank account with any fees deducted. The receiving bank may charge a fee.

Transfers mostly take place in under 24 hours.

Costs are kept down because the company does not accept cash or cheques and operates as an online business, not in the high street or at airports.

Can I get help?

Yes – TransferWise offers phone and email support in English, Spanish and German