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Wise (formerly Transferwise) Review: Is it legit, safe and trustworthy for UAE citizens and residents?

Wise was established in 2011 with the intention of simplifying, speeding up, and lowering the cost of making international money transactions. In point of fact, the goal is to continue to push costs down until someday it will not cost anything to conduct a cross-border transfer using Wise.
Today, more than 12 million consumers put their faith in Wise, and the company is responsible for the monthly transfer of payments totaling over 8 billion dollars to more than 80 countries across the world. Visit Wise Website.

In this analysis, we help you determine whether or not using Wise is the most effective and secure choice for you to make.

Principal attributes:

You may create a multi-currency account to keep and trade more than 50 different currencies, or you can send money to foreign countries.
Pricing that is completely open and honest; there are no markups applied to the mid-market exchange rate, and you can see the whole cost of every transaction before you commit to it.
A cutting-edge method for transferring money across international borders - Instead than depending on the antiquated SWIFT network, which is the one that banks prefer, Wise has developed its own payment network.

Important data:

12 million users, monthly transfers in excess of $8 billion, and savings of around $4 million each month in comparison to utilizing traditional banks
Send money to more than 80 countries with delivery times that outperform the market average.
Your Wise multi-currency account, available to both individual consumers and corporate clients, allows you to hold and spend 54 different foreign currencies, including UAE Dirhams.
Wise users with personal accounts may apply for an international debit card that is compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay and use it to make purchases and withdrawals in 200 countries.
With your own US routing number, UK account number, euro IBAN, and more, you may receive payments in ten different currencies just like a native would.

Wise's advantages and disadvantages, broken down:

Fees that are low and transparent, as well as the absence of any additional expenses that are included into the exchange rate. Wise is typically one of the lowest accessible providers, if not the cheapest altogether.
Forty percent of all transactions are completed immediately, while eighty percent are completed within twenty-four hours.
Registered with FinCEN, with industry-leading measures to safeguarding the financial information and assets of customers
You may access all of our services through our website or through the Wise app, and we offer help in several languages through our website, our app, and over the phone.
There is availability for personal, corporate, and enterprise level services.
Due to the lack of a branch network, it is not possible to deposit cash payments.
There are various costs and restrictions to consider, depending on the country of travel.
Accounts do not accrue interest on their balances.

Wise was developed to make it simpler, quicker, and less expensive to move money to other countries. In order to make this a reality, Wise has established its own payment network, which eliminates the inefficiencies and unnecessary fees that are normally associated with the process of transmitting money across international borders.

Because Wise's objective is to give reasonable prices while also continually driving down expenses, the company's pricing mechanism is entirely open and accessible to customers. There is no bundling of fees nor is there any attempt to hide them; the prices that you are responsible for are always displayed up front when you finance your Wise payment. You might also benefit from the Wise multi-currency account, which is available to both individual customers and corporate clients, if you frequently need to receive, retain, or exchange several currencies. You will always receive the actual rate of exchange, and you will be able to hold and transact in more than 50 different currencies simultaneously.

Wise is well-known for having reasonable and openly disclosed pricing. But how much money may you potentially save by going with Wise rather than one of the many other specialty providers available?

When making foreign payments, it is nearly always more cost effective to use a specialized provider as opposed to a conventional bank. However, the amount of money you can save will be determined on the exact service you use, the currencies that are involved, and the location to which you are transferring the money.

Your receiver will receive a greater benefit by using Wise. The difference in prices associated with utilizing Wise in comparison to those associated with other providers is often determined by the exchange rates that are available. Because Wise always gives its clients the mid-market exchange rate, but other providers add a percentage markup to the rate they give their customers, the amount of money you can save by using Wise increases in proportion to the amount of money you send.

Wise was established in 2011 by two friends as a means of making international money transfers quick, simple, and inexpensive. They have become one of the largest suppliers of international money transfers in the United States and the world as a result of a combination of factors, including sleek and impactful branding as well as some of the lowest costs available in the currency exchange sector.

Wise is used by over 12 million people and organizations all around the world. These users range from consumers who use the service on occasion to make little payments to corporate level clients that move millions of dollars each month.

The Wise service was developed with the goals of maximizing speed, simplicity, and openness. It is really simple to open an account and send money with this service. Recipients may anticipate receiving their money fast once a payment is made, and this service provides the best exchange rates in its industry.

Additionally, Wise's communications are of the highest quality, and the company offers fully functional mobile apps for both Android and iOS-based smartphones.

All of these factors have contributed to its meteoric rise in popularity as a means by which people in the United States can send money to their loved ones and friends. Even better, utilizing them is far less expensive than sending money through your local bank, Western Union, or PayPal. Let's take a look at each of these three key focal areas that Wise is now concentrating on one at a time.

Customers of Wise have the ability to transfer money to more than 80 countries across the world. Payments can be made online or through the Wise mobile app, and they will be paid directly into the bank account of the beneficiary. This implies that, in contrast to the case with some other providers, your receiver won't be required to set up an individual account with Wise in order to obtain their money.

When opposed to the usual ways of transferring money across borders that are used by banks, the costs of moving money with Wise are much cheaper since the company employs its own payment network. Wise eliminates the need for the middlemen that are often involved in international money transfers, which means that your money may arrive sooner. These cost savings are then passed on to clients in the form of reduced service costs.

Entering the amount that you want to transfer or the amount that you want your receiver to obtain in the end is required in order to set up a savvy payment arrangement. The payment will be funded by you paying dollars to Wise's account, and then Wise will transfer the same amount in the recipient's currency from their account in the destination country to your recipient's account. It is also economical and risk-free. You will always be able to trace your money as it travels, either online or in the Wise app, and all of Wise's services are subject to the oversight of regulatory agencies located all over the world.

Beneficial for: Anyone who has to send money to a country outside of the country. You might save money with Wise money transfers whether you are sending a one-time payment as a present to someone located abroad, making recurring transfers to cover an international mortgage, or providing financial help to family members located in different parts of the world.

Transfers made with wisdom are quick. In most cases, a great deal more quickly than banks. In point of fact, forty percent of Wise's international transactions are immediate (meaning they are sent in fewer than twenty seconds), while eighty percent are delivered within twenty-four hours.

The final time it takes for your Wise money transfer to reach its destination will be determined by the types of currencies and nations involved, as well as the volume of the payment, how you pay for the transfer, and how you pay for it. If you make your transfer outside of normal business hours or if there is a holiday in the nation to which you are transferring money, it is possible that the money will take a little bit longer to reach on some routes.

Before you make the arrangements for your payment, you will be provided with an expected delivery time. After that, you will be able to monitor the progress of your money inside the Wise app.

Wise allows you to send money to over 80 different countries from the UAE, and it supports a total of 54 different currencies. The list of supported nations and currencies is always being expanded; for the most recent information on which nations are now supported by Wise, see this page.

If you enjoy traveling or shopping online with foreign stores, or if you need to receive or send regular international transfers, a Wise multi-currency account might make it easier and more cost-effective for you to handle your money across borders.

You may keep and trade 54 different currencies in a single account by opening a Wise account, which can be done quickly and conveniently online or with the Wise app. You may acquire a connected worldwide debit card that allows you to spend and withdraw money anywhere in the globe, view all of your balances at a glance, and transfer money to more than 80 different countries. Get local account details in 10 different currencies (GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, CAD, HUF, SGD, TRY, and RON) so that you may effortlessly receive payments from more than 30 countries without incurring any costs. All of this comes without a recurring monthly service charge, and there is no required minimum balance.

People who live, work, or study abroad, people who travel regularly, or people who have overseas income or outgoings are the perfect candidates for this card. Check out the Wise multi-currency account to see how simple it is to hold, convert, send, and spend in a wide variety of different foreign currencies. Perhaps you are a freelancer who is paid by clients located in other countries, or perhaps you have a vacation home and need to cover your costs while you are away from home.

Customers of Wise Business are able to create a business account that can hold several currencies and make international payments. They enjoy a wide variety of business-friendly features, in addition to many of the incentives that are offered to individual Wise users, including the following:

One-time payment of 31 USD for full account functioning, after which there are no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements.
Carry out transactions on a global scale. 6 times less expensive than traditional banks, and 19 times less expensive than using PayPal
Receive payments using the information of your local account in one of ten different currencies, and withdraw funds from Amazon, Stripe, and other payment service providers and marketplace platforms.
You may modify user rights and add members to the team.
Make payments in batches, which allows you to pay up to a thousand individuals in a variety of currencies by submitting a single file.
Easy reconciliation made possible because to compatibility with cloud-based accounting platforms such as Xero and Quickbooks
API for the purpose of automating workflow.

Ideal for: Any and all companies that do business on a global scale, whether in terms of consumers, suppliers, or workers. Check out Wise Business if you are thinking of starting a business, expanding an existing one, working alone or hiring others, or if you are already conducting business at the corporate or enterprise level.

A bank is not what Wise is. But in terms of the services it offers, Wise is regulated in a manner that is fairly comparable to that of a traditional bank. That indicates that it is equally risk-free.

Wise is registered with FinCEN and holds licenses to operate as a money transmitter in the majority of states and territories in the United States. It is still able to provide its services in jurisdictions in which it does not possess its own license.

In addition to adhering to the safety requirements that are mandated by law, the company Wise uses a variety of human and automated procedures to safeguard the money of its customers. Among these are two-factor authentication, routine audits of procedures, and an anti-fraud operation that is active around the clock.

It is simple and extremely apparent what they are costing you, which implies that there are no additional costs that have been concealed from you. Nevertheless, it is of the utmost need to have an understanding of the two distinct sorts of fees that they charge:

1. Fees Associated with Card Payments: Wise will charge you a fee if you want to pay for your USD transfer using a card. They charge 1.25 percent for personal payments made with debit cards and 3.8 percent for personal transfers made with credit cards. Business card payment costs are different. Debit cards will incur a fee of 1.1 percent, while credit cards will incur a fee of 4.33 percent.

Wise will impose a fee of 0.8 percent if your card was issued in the European Economic Area (EEA), and a fee of 4.55 percent if your card was issued outside of the EEA when you use a card from a country other than the United States to transmit US dollars.

If you make your payment using a bank transfer, you won't be subject to these costs.

2. Service Fees The service fee that you will be charged by Wise is comprised of a flat fee in addition to a percentage of the total amount that you transfer. This changes based on the destination of the money transfer as well as the currencies that are being converted.

If you use the Wise Fee Calculator, it won't be difficult for you to figure this out even if you don't sign up for a Wise account beforehand.

If you are interested in learning more, you may read our comprehensive post on the costs charged by Wise or visit the fees page on the Wise website.

Wise is a service that operates on the peer-to-peer (P2P) model. The procedure is quite smooth, and it is over in what feels like no time at all.

After you have made a payment to Wise in US Dollars in order to send money to Europe, the company will keep your cash in a local account in the United States until they discover another customer who wants to send a comparable number of Euros to the United States.

When they have located a suitable match, Wise will transfer the EUR that was paid by the other client to your European bank account.

The exchange of money takes place through the several local accounts that Wise has across the world. This allows the company to realize significant savings on transaction fees and currency rates.

They have millions of consumers and process billions of dollars worth of transactions each and every year. They are subject to independent regulation by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the United States as well as by other authorities located in different countries all over the world. They employ cutting-edge security technology to protect all of your information and have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from previous clients. Check see our comprehensive essay about wise safety if you still have questions after reading it.

Where can one find Wise's governing body? The following is the list:

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and being registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit (AUSTRAC) as a money remitter are the relevant authorities in Australia.
The National Bank of Belgium (NBB), which operates inside the European Economic Area (EEA), is recognized as an Authorized Payment Institution and has powers to issue passports within the EEA.
Canada: Registered as a Money Service Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), and given the registration number M15193392.
Hong Kong: The Customs and Excise Department (CCE) of Hong Kong is in charge of enforcing the relevant laws.
Approved for the purpose of facilitating external remittances from India by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in accordance with the parameters outlined by the RBI.
Japan: Authorized as a licensed provider of funds transfer services and supervised by the Kanto Local Financial Bureau.
Bank Negara Malaysia, often known as the Central Bank of Malaysia, is the regulatory body in Malaysia, and the company holds a Remittance (Class B) license.
The Department of Internal Affairs is in charge of monitoring Wise because it is considered a foreign business that operates in New Zealand (DIA).
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in Singapore regulates this company as a money transfer company (MAS).
The United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA): Authorized as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and granted passports privileges within the EEA.

They pose relatively little risk. Wise protects your private information with sophisticated security and encryption measures, and you have the option to utilize two-factor authentication for an additional layer of defense. Your Wise account requires that you use a password that is both unique and secure at all times.

You need to send money from the United States to someone located outside of the country, and Wise appears to be a viable alternative; however, how can you tell whether it will work for you? Simply said, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you have a pressing need to send the money to the receiver as soon as possible? If this is the case, Wise is an excellent option because money transfers to the majority of nations are completed in only a few of business days (Monday to Friday).

Are you concerned that you could be taken advantage of? Wise is transparent about the low prices of their services; in the United States, they are frequently the least priced supplier available, and they are virtually usually in the top three least expensive. You will also receive the actual exchange rate, which indicates that you will not be subject to the sneaky fees that certain businesses demand.

Do you wish to guarantee the safety of your financial resources? The good news is that government authorities all across the world are adequately supervising Wise's operations. Because the most recent encryption and security methods are utilized by Wise, you do not need to be concerned.

Are you afraid that the process of creating an account will take a while? Wise makes it simple to register an account online, which ensures that users can have everything set up and operating in a short amount of time.

Are you seeking for a solution that may be utilized in a straightforward manner? Wise has got you covered with hassle-free and quick money transfers, a variety of payment options, and constant contact as well as alerts that keep you up to date.

Which method of payment do you prefer, cash or check? Wise does not support this kind of payment, and the only other options for funding foreign transfers are bank transfers, wire transfers, or credit cards. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Does the recipient of your payment have a bank account that you may use? If this is not the case, you will need to go elsewhere because the only way to send money using Wise is to another bank account. A Wise Borderless Account is required, unless you already have one.

Does the person you are delivering the money to prefer to receive it in cash rather than a check? Oops, there is nothing else that can be done with Wise; it's solely for accounts.

You are going to need to sign up for an account with Wise in order to be able to send money from the UAE.

Don't be concerned; it's actually more simpler and quicker than it seems.

Go ahead and register for Wise on their website.
Register for an account by providing your email address and coming up with a password that is both unique and safe.
You also have the option of registering by using your existing Google or Facebook account.
After you have completed the signup process, Wise will send you a verification email.
You are required to proceed in accordance with the directions provided in the email.
You are in the clear to initiate a transfer at this time.

Because Wise is responsible for the safety of everyone's money, the verification of your identification is required. When you first register your account or when you make a transfer, they may question you about your identification and ask for proof of who you are in order to satisfy a legal requirement. We are aware that this can be a bit of an inconvenience; nonetheless, those are the requirements, and every currency provider needs to be aware of who you are.

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You may be required to produce a document that verifies your identity as well as a proof of address, although this will depend on the amount of money you are sending and where it is going.

Sending money with Wise is as easy as:

Make sure you sign up for your free account online.
Make the necessary arrangements for the transfer, and determine how much cash will be sent into the foreign bank account.
Send proof in the form of digital copies of your identification.
Share the bank information of the person who will be receiving your payments from outside the country.
Check the summary one more time. Wisely supply, then click the "Confirm" button.
Pay the transfer fee and keep track of the international money transfer.

When you make a transfer, you will be required to give Wise with information on the destination of the money that you are sending. This information will be available to you from the individual who is receiving the money; in the event that they do not know all of the specifics, they will be able to obtain them from their bank.

Wise also offers an alternative option called "Money to Email" that may be used if you want the receiver to supply information. All you have to do is enter the recipient's email address, and Wise will get in touch with them and ask for the necessary facts.

The following is what Wise anticipates you will provide:

The total amount of cash that you will be sending.
The nations in which you are sending and receiving money.
The currencies that you are exchanging one another when you transfer money.
Name and address of the intended receiver
The recipient's account information, including their bank data

The information regarding your bank account that you will require may vary depending on the country you are located in; nevertheless, in most cases, you will be required to supply the sort code or routing number as well as the account number. In some circumstances, Wise will inquire about your SWIFT code or IBAN (International Bank Account Number.)

Wise has a number of payment options that you can choose from in order to fund your international transfer, including the following:

A transfer of money to an account held with Wise
A debit card that is connected to the bank account you use.
A credit card

You are able to make payments using the vast majority of debit and credit card brands, including Mastercard and Visa.

Wise advises that you wait to transmit payment until after you have made the necessary arrangements to send money if you are paying using a bank transfer or wire transfer. They will then provide you the relevant bank account information as well as a reference code to ensure that your money is sent to the correct location. They are willing to take payments made through CHAPS, Bacs, or Faster Payments.

It is possible that your provider will put a "cash advance" charge on your credit card if you pay for a card using a credit card. This can result in higher interest rates for you, and it might also mean that you have to start making interest payments on the amount right away. Check with the company that issued your card to see whether something like that may happen to you.

A payment made from a bank account has a lower price than a payment made with a debit or credit card, which has a little higher fee. Wise does charge somewhat varying amounts for its services depending on how you choose to pay for your transfer.

Wise has a number of payment options that you can choose from in order to fund your international transfer, including the following

Wise does have some sending restrictions, but they are fairly high, so you often won't need to worry about it unless you send a really large amount of messages. Depending on how you choose to pay for the money transfer, you have the ability to send up to one million United States Dollars ($1,000,000). For instance, there are restrictions imposed when you pay with a credit card.

Wise accounts provide users with simple means to save, transmit, spend, and receive dozens of different foreign currencies. In addition, Wise accounts offer amazing choices for sending low-cost and rapid international payments.

When you use Wise to make a currency exchange, you will always receive the mid-market exchange rate with no markups added on. This ensures that you will never pay more than a reasonable amount for the services that you make use of, and that you will always be aware of the whole cost of your transaction before you make a final decision. As a result of this ground-breaking approach to pricing, Wise is frequently one of the most affordable providers, if not the most affordable overall, on the market.

Wise generates revenue in two different ways: first, through a transaction charge; second, by a tiny profit on currency conversion. Both of them only need to be quite modest given that they move $9 billion around the world each month.

Cost Considerations When Making a Bank Transfer
Paying Fees Wisely Using a Debit Card
Credit Card Charges That Make Sense

The fees associated with each type of transaction are as follows: a bank transfer will cost $8.24, a debit card will cost $16.68, and a credit card will cost $42.45.

When making a payment through bank transfer (ACH) or bank wire, the transaction costs may be rather low. When transferring money internationally, debit cards might be handy, but they can also be expensive. Credit card payments are, in the end, the method of payment that will cost you the most money. Here you may learn more about the fees that Wise charges.

The profit margins on the currency conversion are extremely close to the actual exchange rate. In most cases, they are less than one percent. The'retail rate' is commonly referred to as the fee that is added on top of the wholesale rate that is charged by financial institutions and money changers. The most costly place to purchase foreign currency is at an airport, which often charges an additional six percent, which is regarded to be "above retail rate."

In the Borderless account, also known as the multi currency account, Wise generates revenue from the costs associated with currency conversion as well as the addition of funds to each of the many currency accounts. Although the costs for currency conversion are relatively minimal, Wise is nevertheless able to turn a profit since there are so many of these transactions taking place throughout the world on a daily basis by millions of clients.

Wise was first referred to as TransferWise when it was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann. They were sick of having to pay such a high fee to transfer money back to their families in the United States.

According to Crunchbase, Wise has successfully completed 11 investment rounds totaling over $1.1 billion in venture capital. The most recent investment round took place in July of 2020 and brought in a total of $319 million for the firm, which is currently valued at $5 billion. Techstars, BlackRock, and J.P. Morgan are among the companies that have invested in the firm.

There are regulations in place all around the world to govern the usage of bank-grade security. Transferring money through their website is protected by HTTPS encryption as well as two-factor authentication (2FA) for logins and passwords.

Your funds must be "safeguarded," which implies that they must be protected "one hundred percent" of the time. This requirement mandates that they store your funds in separate accounts with first-rate financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, and Deutsche Bank.

Last but not least, they utilize 3DS for card payments and have their very own in-house security team to keep an eye out for fraudulent activity and ensure that your money and data remain safe.

Getting paid via Wise is a simple and cost-free process. Only the sender of the funds has to have a Wise account in order for the recipient to be able to receive the money; it is not necessary for the receiver to have one.

It is necessary for the individual who will be receiving the money to have a bank account. You will need to provide the individual sending you money with your bank information and then wait for the funds to be deposited into your bank account. The money transfer will often arrive within two days, although there are situations when it can come in as little as a couple of hours.

Wise has broadened the scope of its commercial operations by enabling mobile phone users to send and receive money. The days are long gone when sending money internationally in a bank required you to stand in line during your lunch break and work your way through the wait.

Sending money using their smartphone app, which prioritizes the user experience, is both easy and safe. Wise has implemented a large number of time-saving shortcuts, such as the creation of fresh transfers using previously used data and recipients, in an effort to make the procedure as streamlined as is humanly feasible.

In addition, you have the ability to check the current status of your transfer, send in your papers for verification, and pay using a debit card or credit card. Wise has mobile applications available for download in the Apple App Store as well as Google Play for Android users.



Reviewed by Arpita Singh

Arpita SinghArpita Singh is the main writer at As a senior investment professional with 10+ years of experience working at top-tier Private Equity and Sovereign Wealth Fund; she is also responsible for fact-checking concepts, reviews, and related details about brokers and exchanges listed on this website. Full Bio.