This TransferWise review post will share my findings of TransferWise. As you read through this article, you will learn the major features and benefits you can gain by using their service. Plus, this review reveals the experiences that actual users had with TransferWife, which is one of the most objective ways to judge a product or a service.
I reviewed numerous products and services of large multinational companies and startups. A lesson that I learned is that we can make a judgment by looking at numbers and stories. The TransferWise website has an about page that shares history and big numbers. It says that TransferWise has served over 4 million customers. More than $4 billion dollars move across borders every month, and their service allows them to save $4 million in bank fees every day.
Richard Branson, a British business magnate, and Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, PayPal founders, invested in TransferWise. The firm has 11 offices with 1,300 employees across 4 continents. Among the figures, I was impressed by the number of customers and savings in bank fees. You cannot have that many customers with so-so service and product. With these stats alone, we can guess that many people like them and keep using TransferWise.
Their business grew with the money transfer service. What makes them so special and different from similar companies? What comes to my mind first was transparency as I researched their service.
Receipt Amount and Time Estimation
I could see that they tried to maintain transparency in terms of fees and time – the two most critical factors in money transfer. If you visit their homepage, you will see the calculator. The design is quite straightforward that you can simply type the amount to send and the sending and receiving countries. Once you do that, the calculator will show you the total fees, the net amount you will receive after fees, and estimated arrival date.
In addition, as you use the calculator, you can see the exchange rate that’s applied to the calculation.
No Hidden Fees
I don’t like the fees not because it is money out of my pocket, but because I had some bad experiences with fees. It happened everywhere – health insurance, car rental, hotel booking, so on and on. You may also have a similar experience. As I emphasized first, TransferWise keeps transparency in the fees. They clearly stated, “We charge as little as possible, and we always show you upfront. No hidden fees. No bad exchange rates. No surprises.” Simple!
You can create an account using their website. Once you sign up, you will be guided to the steps to follow for transfer.
- Amount – you will put a transfer amount. Then, the web page will calculate the fees and the receiving amount after the fees. It also shows you an exchange rate.
- You – next, you will be prompted to select either Personal or Business. As I selected the Personal option, it required me to fill my details such as my name, phone, birthday, and address.
- Recipient – In the Recipient stage, you will select one of the three – Myself, Someone else, and Business or charity. As I selected myself, I had to put my birthday, bank name, and account number. When I selected Someone else, it had more details such as country, address, email, and more.
- Review – this step shows you the details you’ve entered. It again shows you total sending amount, fee, net sending amount after fee, exchange range, receiving amount, and estimated arrival date.
- Pay – this is the last step. For the trial, I chose the Australian dollar currency.
- Credit card: $20.92AUD for 1-hour arrival
- Bank transfer: $12.08AUD for around 2 business day arrival
- POLi: $13.25AUD for 1-hour arrival
- Debit card: $16.03AUD for 1-hour arrival
Please note that the fee in the Pay stage is not the amount in addition to what you see in the Review stage. This is the only fee, and if you change the payment options, you will be able to see the fee also gets changed. If you want the cheapest option, the bank transfer is the lowest, but it takes the longest time for arrival.
As we just discovered, TransferWise made an international transfer very simple and cheap. Sending money is not their only service. They have a service called Borderless Account. What it does is giving you an ability to create local accounts all over the world. For example, I am in Australia, but using the service, I can create a bank account in the U.S. When you have accounts, you can use them to spend, transfer and receive money just like normal bank accounts.
If you create a US bank account, you will be given an account number, ACH routing number, account holder name, and wire routing number. These details will change by country. For an Australian account, you will get BSB code, account number and account holder details. So anyone in that country can send you money using your local account without fees. Currently, TransferWise supports 30 currencies.
When you have multiple accounts in different countries, you can switch currencies with the real exchange rate. As TransferWise explains, they will just the same rate as you see on Google. No hidden rate or fee. You will only pay a small conversion fee. If you want to find about this more, please check the link at the bottom of the page. I put the link to a YouTube video that explains borderless account.
TransferWise Debit Card
I mentioned that you can use borderless accounts to spend money. How? On the TransferWise homepage, they announced TransferWise Platinum debit Mastercard. I was impressed by their smart technology. This card is linked to your borderless accounts. Let’s say you use this card in the U.S., and you have a US borderless account. Then, the money you spend will be withdrawn from the US account. If you don’t have a balance in the US account, TransferWise will deduct the amount from another account that will incur the lowest conversion fee.
I loved the way they make it transparent and reasonable. There are more features in the debit card. It will not charge you with foreign transaction fees or annual fees. In addition, you can withdraw $350 every 30 days without withdrawal fees. You can use the TransferWise free app to see your balances and convert currencies across borderless accounts. Signing up for a new card is free.
How People Think About TransferWise
When you see product introduction from a company, you will always hear great things about it. No company will reveal any weaknesses or defects of the product, obviously. So, as a consumer, it is wiser to doubt what they say and do your own research before making a final purchase decision. In this section, we will learn how actual users think about TransferWise. How can we measure these? We can do this by using data analysis techniques called sentiment analysis.
You don’t have to be scared by the technical term. I did the technical part and you can just look at pretty graphs. In this section, I will show you two types of graphs – word cloud and customer sentiment chart. For the analysis, I’ve compiled more than 60,000 customer reviews from TrustPilot and conducted analysis to summarize them. I will show you the result in a word cloud and a customer sentiments chart. And, lastly, I will share a TransferWise’s Google trend result that shows the level of interest from people.
Word cloud is one of the great and fun ways to understand customer sentiments toward a product or a service. In a word cloud, you can see specific words in different sizes. The larger it is, the more people used that word to describe the product. For this word cloud, I used the titles of the reviews, since people put the essence of their opinions in the title. The 60,000+ reviews allowed me to generate an interesting word cloud that let me reach a positive conclusion. Let’s have a look!
Understanding the word cloud is easy. Just follow your eyes and see what you see. You will see that most of the big words are all positive. This means that customers have had a positive experience with their product and service. People used words like “fast”, “easy”, “excellent”, “good”, “quick”, and many more positive terms to describe this transfer platform.
In the word cloud, I could find that people also often mentioned “reliable” and “cheap”. In my opinion, these descriptions are very important since this service deals with real money. Having these words means that we can trust their service. Plus, “cheap” supports what TransferWise claims in terms of fees.
In the word cloud, we were able to observe what descriptive words people used to talk about TransferWise. As mentioned, the word cloud is based on the titles of customer reviews, but the sentiment analysis graph was generated by the contents of the reviews. In the sentiment analysis, we will see more specific types of feeling that people showed in their review. In the analysis, you can see 10 different sentiments such as positive, negative, trust, anticipation, joy, fear, sadness, anger, surprise, and disgust.
The technology behind the chart is straightforward. The analysis algorithm holds 10 different lists – each list containing words that are mapped to one of the 10 sentiments. When this algorithm runs, it checks and matches with one of the sentiments. When matched, it is counted as one and is categorized in one of the 10 sentiments. My analysis on the positive reviews appears as below.
The chart is also not difficult to understand. You can see that the positive sentiment is ranked number one. The first rank is followed by “negative”, “trust”, “anticipation” and “sadness”. It does have some negative opinions, but overall, people expressed more positive sentiments than negative ones. So my customer review analysis told me that many people have a positive experience with this online platform.
As the final segment of analysis, let me share the trend of TransferWise. I used Google Trend to check how frequently “TransferWise” is searched on Google over the past 5 years. Google Trend is a useful tool to measure the interest of people. The more frequently people search on Google, the more popular or trendy it is. The Google Trend (may not visible on a mobile phone) of the money transfer platform below shows that people have increasingly shown an interest in TransferWise over that period.
If this trend continues, the level of interest is likely to go up in the future as well. Please note that the trend is from the world. If I divide it by country, we can see that the largest interest came from Estonia. To check the country rank, find the list icon on the right bottom and click it. It will turn to a country ranking list. It tells that the second biggest interest came from the St. Helena followed by Malta, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.
I think that TransferWise offers a great set of services and features. As they claim, I found that many people consider their fees as low. Their borderless account and TransferWise debit card will expand our financial reach to a global level. My customer reviews analysis and Google trend charts told me that most of the actual users were satisfied with TransferWise. If you are considering to use it, I will highly recommend their service.
- The TransferWise borderless account – How it works: YouTube
- Go to the main page to simulate fees and currencies: click here
- You can create a new TransferWise account and start your transfer: visit here
- Create a new borderless account: go to here
- If you want to check my other reviews on similar transfer services: