One of the most regular and consistent activities of being a regular traveler or living abroad (which I do: read why I moved here), is to transfer money abroad. I definitely like using safe, effective, and transparent online platforms with no hidden fees. After having a couple of very frustrating encounters to set up international bank transfers from Germany to India, I gave up and started to ask my friends to recommend me a service they found best.
That’s how I stumbled upon Transferwise.
For those of you who do not know what this is, Transfer wise is essentially a platform to transfer money from point A to B from one currency to another or one country to another. Essentially, it works like other services such as Moneygram but with the critical difference being that it is only online. This means you cannot send money to a physical, actual branch or person. However, this in my opinion also offers a great price advantage which we’ll talk about in a minute.
Great, so how does this thing work? Here’s a small video I found to be useful for an overview of how easy and fast it is to use Transferwise.
With that out of the way, here’s the reasons why I only use Transferwise to transfer money abroad:
1. It is the cheapest way to transfer money from Germany to India.
When I was first told about this platform, I didn’t believe that there was no hidden international exchange fees. You know the very annoying thing that happens, when you realise the week after that your account was charged X euros extra fees for the exchange or tax or whatever other fee even though you had no idea of it upfront. This is the biggest reason why I prefer using Transferwise because I am assured that I will know the upfront fees of transferring money which is a small amount when compared to other platforms.
2. It is easy to use and everything happens on a single page.
Call me spoiled, but I like stuff that wastes minimum amount of time. By comparison, to send money via Moneygram, I normally need to enter 5 steps in 5 different pages until I get to the point where I can estimate my fees. It’s also not the final fees that is charged which is quite frankly annoying. I prefer to see what I will be charged upfront and not have a second fee pop up on the 10th page of my transaction journey.
Here’s a screenshot of what I get when I enter the two currencies. It tells me everything I need to know to proceed with this homepage transaction in exactly one input on the “You Send” tab. Really, it is that simple.
3. I get the option to have and use a borderless account.
I guess I was one of the lucky ones, who got invited to test the beta borderless account which is now available in select countries. I mean, who doesn’t like free things? I’m cheap, I will gladly admit.
What is this thing called borderless account? Essentially it acts like a Paypal wallet, only better. I can save money in like 40+ currencies, transact easily online and even withdraw cash for free up to 230 euros/200 pounds anywhere, anytime with a borderless account debit card. The card looks pretty neat too and comes in a bright green color! I mean, why would any person who travels as much as I do(especially a broke student), not want to have this borderless account + free debit card with all it’s benefits for FREE?
4. I can use ALL of Transferwise through a neat app and it takes me 5 minutes to set up a transfer.
Like I said, I’m a stickler for time. I pretty much do everything on my phone, so why not transfer money too? Not only is the app well developed, it’s pretty neat too. The way it works is that I first set up a transfer and then do a transfer via online banking from my home account to the destination account. The money reaches the destination account on day 3. This might sounds slow to people in certain parts of the world, but from where I am sitting (*cough*Germany*cough), this is faster than a regular bank takes to do a domestic transfer. I know, I was surprised too. If you’re lazy like me and can’t bother to use a computer, get the app below and get started on cheap and quick money transfers!
5. I love supporting start-ups.
Having worked with a few, and with my love for technology, I love supporting causes that make the world a better place solving one little problem at a time. I get the amount of effort it takes to build a brand new company from scratch and how frustrating it is to make people understand why and how you can benefit from using them without sounding like a complete sell-out.
Transferwise started in 2011, by two friends who got tired of unfair charges by banks while transferring money between UK & Estonia. They decided to launch a fair platform, which would allow people to safely, securely and cheaply transfer money back home. It didn’t matter if they were studying, living, working or simply doing business abroad, this platform would work for everyone in all fairness.
Alright, I am a sucker for this stuff. I bought the story. But well, it also saved me a shit ton of money, so I’m not doing this review just from the goodwill of my heart, but because being a fellow traveler and expat, I KNOW what it feels like to use hundreds of euros in plain old banking fees without even realising why you lost it in the first place.
Why spend more on your transfers, when you have a better, cheaper, easier and faster way to send money abroad?
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