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(Almost) instant international transfers with TransferWise

There are few things as frustrating in life as figuring out how to do an international money transfer. Trying to do a transfer via a bank account is difficult and takes a lot of time to go through. Transferring through Western Union / Moneygram / etc., the fees can be rough and depending on the country can take up to a week to go through. If I use PayPal then the recipient can’t withdraw funds immediately. Bitcoin is instant but then converting it to cash might be hard.

What the world has been needing for some time is international transfers that are easy, fast, and don’t cost a bucket load in fees. And that’s where TransferWise steps in.

What’s TransferWise?

TransferWise is a money transfer platform that makes international transfers simple. You can send and receive 20 currencies, including NZD, AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, SGD, CAD, and more, and send via local transfer to more than 20 others like CNY, IDR, INR, MYR, THB, and RUB. They’re always working to add new currencies, too.

How fast are transactions?

The speed of your transaction all depends on how you are sending your money and the currency it’s being converted to. For instance, if transferring via credit card or debit card from NZD to GBP, current estimates say that it will be received in under 16 minutes. However, via the same to EUR, it will arrive within 48 hours. Transactions are faster when sending by debit or credit card; bank transfers are slower.

How much are the fees?

Fees vary by transaction type, amount transferred, and by country. For instance, it currently costs $19.61 for a $1000 NZD transfer via debit or credit card, but bank transfers and POLi bank transfers are free. Compare this to an AUD transfer for $1000, which would attract a $5.96 credit card fee, but no fees for bank transfers or debit cards.

TransferWise borderless account

TransferWise is also rolling out their new “Borderless account” which is an account which lets you store money in up to 28 currencies with exchange rate conversions at any time. It also allows you to have personal accounts (with bank codes!) in USD, EUR, GBP, and AUD – which is perfect for using when you find you need to make purchases with a local bank account.

Transferwise is definitely worth checking out if you find yourself needing to make international transactions – especially since certain transactions are near instant.