Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

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YoMo2
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Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby YoMo2 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:45 pm

We've previously had various threads about currency exchange in which one of the favoured options was Transferwise. I was doing some browsing on this recently and it appears they have developed their service to the stage where you have IBAN details etc as if you had opened a "proper" bank account.

So, a third party could send you money in either sterling, euros, or dollars to what appears to be a bank account. Not sure if I'd want them holding significant amounts of my money. Anyone know any more? They don't appear to have a banking licence but are licenced by the FCA for "the issuing of electronic money". Whatever that means.

Andrew
"It's all in the implementation"

filippos
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Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby filippos » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:25 am

Just Googled Transfer wise and they state "Banks charge a lot for overseas transfers. We dont (sic)." and repeat the same several times throughout their site so their implication is clearly that they aren't a bank. If they have become a bank I can't see them criticising banks as using unfair 'tricks' to boost their charges, and being sly in various ways.
I think that different methods of transfer are charged at different rates so maybe using IBANs and SWIFT/BIC codes means that these are the cheapest means of transfer. (That's largely guesswork).
I use Currency Fair and generally use these codes.

Charliesangel
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Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby Charliesangel » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:17 pm

Hi Phillipos
I use Transfer wise...its cheap, easy to use, and fast. Its not a bank, just a money transer company, that offers better rates, and is endorsed by Richard Branson, amongst other celebs. My bank in the uk charges extortionate rates for transfers...

Kathleen
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Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby Kathleen » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:01 pm

I too use them having seen the early posts on this site about them and have since recommended them to friends over here. I tend to transfer funds during the year at a minimal level, because of the Greek bank insecurities, but the transfer is charged at such a low rate, about £5 for £1000 it is a bargain. They also offer a good rate of exchange which is also a bonus.

Kathleen

filippos
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Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby filippos » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:50 pm

Kathleen wrote:I too use them having seen the early posts on this site about them and have since recommended them to friends over here. I tend to transfer funds during the year at a minimal level, because of the Greek bank insecurities, but the transfer is charged at such a low rate, about £5 for £1000 it is a bargain. They also offer a good rate of exchange which is also a bonus.
Kathleen

Sterling / Euro transfers with Currency Fair are €3, regardless of amount sent - at least that's what I've paid on sums ranging from €2000 to €16,000.

SatCure
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Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby SatCure » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:24 am

This is what Transferwise say:-

It started with money transfers. Now it’s time for chapter two.

Seven years ago, the very first pounds and euros were sent on TransferWise. Since then, well over a million people, all over the world, have used it to send money.

But there’s more to fix — old-fashioned bank accounts only work properly in one country. And when you use them across borders, it gets painful.

So today, we’re launching the Borderless account

It’s a new breed of account designed to make living, travelling, and sending money internationally painless. It does that by working just like a local account, in many different countries.

It launches for businesses and freelancers today (May 23rd 2017), but you’re welcome to try it out while we put the finishing touches on the personal user version.

We can’t wait to see how you use it. Feel free to give us feedback. And watch this space — there’s so much more to come.

Taavet & Kristo
TransferWise Founders

https://transferwise.com/borderless

YoMo2
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Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby YoMo2 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:27 pm

Yeah, this is what I was hinting at. Something has changed. You now have an account with it's own IBAN. We're not talking about the IBAN you give them to make a transfer. The currency exchange service has not changed. But you now have an account with it's own IBAN that can be used to receive money from others.

I'm trying to decide whether this would meet my need for a euro account, or perhaps I could go with N26, a German licenced bank that lets you open an account over the internet. Barclays, my UK bank, require me to visit a branch in order to open a euro account..... Primitive or what? I cannot do this till I'm there in November, but I may need a euro account before then.

Anyone know anything about N26?

Andrew
"It's all in the implementation"

Kilkis
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Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby Kilkis » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:56 pm

Personally I don't think you can now characterise Transferwise as a bank. Banks offer lots of services that Transferwise does not offer. I suspect that is why they don't need or have a banking licence. They are a financial services company which is why they are regulated by the FCA. Currencyfair is also regulated by the FCA and it does not currently allocate IBAN numbers to accounts.

Logically you had your own accounts in various currencies before this change. Money could be deposited in any of your currency accounts from outside by depositing it in the Transferwise general account of that currency using your reference number. For my uses I cannot see that giving those accounts a separate IBAN number has any big advantage. Obviously others may find it advantageous depending on their needs. There again I do have two UK current accounts and two Greek current accounts so perhaps that is why I can't see a use for me.

Warwick

scooby
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Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby scooby » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:09 pm

Kilkis wrote:Personally I don't think you can now characterise Transferwise as a bank. Banks offer lots of services that Transferwise does not offer. I suspect that is why they don't need or have a banking licence. They are a financial services company which is why they are regulated by the FCA. Currencyfair is also regulated by the FCA and it does not currently allocate IBAN numbers to accounts.

Logically you had your own accounts in various currencies before this change. Money could be deposited in any of your currency accounts from outside by depositing it in the Transferwise general account of that currency using your reference number. For my uses I cannot see that giving those accounts a separate IBAN number has any big advantage. Obviously others may find it advantageous depending on their needs. There again I do have two UK current accounts and two Greek current accounts so perhaps that is why I can't see a use for me.

Warwick
Hey! don't forget that account in the Cayman Island.
Men in suits will always make you pay.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Transferwise are now a bank. Or are they?

Postby Kilkis » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:33 pm

I keep telling you it's BVI not Cayman Islands but you just don't listen do you?

Warwick


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