TransferWise is the clever new way to convert money to send abroad. The idea is very simple.
Instead of making one international transfer, two local transfers are made. For example if you want to send pounds to euro, instead of making one international transfer with high fees, TransferWise makes two local transfers. So you will send your pounds to our sterling account in the UK, and then we will send your money out to your euro account from our euro account, so the money hasn’t actually travelled internationally.
Banks have been treating people unfairly for decades. Many charge you huge fees when you convert your money to other currencies, then hide more fees in unfair exchange rates.
TransferWise has found a simple way to bypass the international transfer fees from banks and make international money transfers transparent and fair as they should be.
The pricing is transparent, the exchange rate is the real one, the small fee is easy to spot, and we pay out locally in most cases meaning no receiving fees*.
It costs up to eight times less than what your bank really charges. It’s a little revolution.
TransferWise was born of frustration
Sending money abroad is deceptively expensive, thanks to the hidden charges we’ve all been forced to pay. The banks claim “free money transfers”, “0% commission.” Sounds like money’s already flowing freely, but far from it. It’s pure propaganda.
TransferWise removes all the wrongness, letting people send money abroad at the lowest possible true cost. Using only real exchange rates and tiny not-hidden-fees. Headaches averted, and a revolution sparked.
How it happened
Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann are two friends who believe that money is meant to flow freely. But in the absence of a global currency, it doesn’t. An epiphany saved them thousands of pounds.
Taavet had worked for Skype in Estonia, so was paid in euros, but lived in London. Kristo worked in London, but had a mortgage in euros back in Estonia. They devised a simple scheme. Each month the pair checked that day’s mid-market rate on Reuters to find a fair exchange rate. Kristo put pounds into Taavet’s UK bank account, and Taavet topped up his friend’s euro account with euros. Both got the currency they needed, and neither paid a cent in hidden bank charges.
“There must be others like us,” the epiphany went.
And the rest is TransferWise.
Founder and CEOKristo lived and breathed the world of finance from the inside. At PwC and Deloitte, he helped banks and insurers bring their processes and systems into the 21st century. But stunned by the inefficiency of financial institutions, he wanted to do more. At TransferWise, he is in charge of all operations activities, technology, development, compliance and regulatory issues.
Founder and ChairmanTaavet likes things that are simple, reliable, and cost no more than they should. As Skypes first employee, he helped build a company that has changed hundreds of millions of lives. He’s since helped various companies as an angel investor and advisor. At TransferWise, Taavet looks after marketing, product development, PR, and investor relations.
TransferWise is backed by a fantastic team of smart investors who believe that there’s a dire need for innovation in financial services. In addition to the great institutional investors below, we’re supported by private individuals who founded or are building Virgin, PayPal, Skype, Betfair, Simple.com and others.