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What is Wise and how does it work?

July 7, 2022

Money transfers can be very useful in people's personal and business lives. Sending money from one bank account to another is typically fairly simple - until you want to send it overseas. That's where Wise comes in, helping make the entire process easier and cheaper.

So what is Wise, and what does it do? 

What is Wise?

Wise (which was known as TransferWise until recently) is an online platform that anyone can use to transfer money between two bank accounts, regardless of location. Making a domestic money transfer has always been relatively simple, but an international money transfer can be more tricky and comes with more fees.

In the past, the only viable way to do this was through an international wire transfer. The main issue with this is that it can take a long time, and banks rarely offer a good currency exchange rate.

What is Wise used for?

Anytime you want to transfer money internationally, Wise is one of the best solutions. You can use it to send money to someone else, or even another account of your own, in another country. Wise began at its headquarters in London back in 2011, but there are now offices all over the world.

A cross-border transfer made through Wise feels incredibly simple for the user, but there's actually quite a bit going on behind the scenes to make it work. Wise has various accounts in different countries, so when you make a wire transfer you send it to one of these accounts. Wise will then send the same amount of money from one of their other accounts in the recipient's country to the intended account.

For example, if you're sending money from the US to Australia, you'll send money from your US bank account to an account held by Wise in the US. They'll then send money from an Australian account that they hold to the recipient's Australian account.

How can Wise save you money?

Although Wise is used to send money internationally, they actually save you money by avoiding international wire transfers. The money you send them never leaves the originating country, so there are no international transfer fees, which can usually be quite significant.

Wise makes a profit by charging a small fee on every transaction. This is beneficial for you because this fee is always less than what you would pay for an international wire transfer through a regular bank.

You can see what fees you'll have to pay and how much you'll receive at the other end by using the calculator on the Wise homepage without even having to set up an account.

Competitive, transparent rates

Sometimes when an organization charges extra fees, they hide these so that people don't realize how much they're being charged. Wise makes it very clear how much you're charged in fees, and what they're for. They're confident in doing this as they boast prices that are up to 13x cheaper than other methods.

Wise currently supports both sending and receiving in 22 currencies, and sending (not receiving) in 27 additional currencies. Note that the fees can vary for different currencies, but these will still all be displayed when making a transfer.

When you're sending money, there's also a "guaranteed rate" feature. This locks in an exchange rate so that when you hit send, that's the exact rate you'll get.

Integrating Wise with a bunq account

As a mobile bank, bunq is easy to set up and offers various plans to meet the needs of any user. We also take pride in being one of the most sustainable banking organizations out there.

Wise is integrated into the bunq app, allowing you to directly use Wise features. This makes it incredibly easy to transfer money online domestically, or internationally. You simply send your money in the same way you usually would but choose the currency you want to send it in, then the app will handle the rest.

Banking with bunq and Wise

As a bunq user, you can handle everything from your phone. Choose from a variety of plans for business and personal accounts and get the perfect match.

Thanks to our integration with Wise, it's never been easier to send money internationally. You can get started with a free 30-day trial to try bunq out. Click here to download the app and get started.

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