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TransferWise Canada Review: The Best Way to Send Money Online & Internationally?

Money transfers from Canada to other countries can be costly and take a long time.

TransferWise (now Wise) is a service that will help you save money on your transfers while making them quicker.

transferwise-canada-review

TransferWise is one of the most popular and convenient services for sending money abroad. The company provides a quick and easy way to transfer funds without any fees or hidden charges. 

TransferWise offers competitive exchange rates with no hidden fees, making it one of the cheapest ways to send money abroad. The company has been very successful in other markets, and they have now expanded into Canada.

This TransferWise Canada review will discuss the benefits of using TransferWise Canada as well as the fees associated with their services so that you can decide if it’s right for you!


In-Depth TransferWise Review

What is TransferWise (now Wise)?

Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international money transfer service that focuses on transparent fees. Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus founded Wise in 2011. The company is based in London, with offices in other countries around the world, including Canada.

The notion for Wise originated when its two creators discovered that they could save money on international money transfers by paying each other’s bills. Hinrikus paid for Käärmann’s mortgage with his money in Estonia, and Käärmann sent payment to Hinrikus with his money in the UK. 

By keeping money transfers within the country and utilizing domestic accounts to reduce the distance that money travels, Wise avoids international transfer costs.

So, Wise is a quicker and less expensive way to transfer money across borders than conventional methods like PayPal and bank wires. In addition to offering the lowest possible fees and avoiding hidden costs, you can send money to over 70 countries all around the world using Wise.

Wise currently serves millions of customers that move up to $6 billion each month. It is funded by well-known investors such as Max Levchin, Richard Branson, Index Ventures, David Yu, and others.


How Does TransferWise Work?

Wise allows you to transfer money, receive money, and spend it internationally (to more than 70 countries) at a low fee. They operate openly and transparently, so you can always check their website for current exchange rates. Wise’s currency exchanges are done at the mid-market rate.

The mid-market rate is the price at which a trade may occur between two currencies. Wise always charges the mid-market exchange rate, whereas banks add a margin to increase profits on an exchange transaction.

The mid-market rate is regarded as the most reliable exchange rate between two currencies. Aside from fees, this is another reason why you’ll save money on transfers through wise rather than bank wire transfers.

Wise connects the currency rates posted on XE, Google, and Yahoo directly to their website so that you may check and compare them at any time. After the currency has been exchanged, Wise makes a local transfer to the individual you wired the funds to on the other side.

Wise takes a small percentage of the transaction instead of making you pay a bank transfer fee or a credit card transaction charge, thereby saving you money. Bank transfer fees can be as high as 5% in hidden fees, and Wise is eight times cheaper than banks.

Because of its innovative technique for keeping currencies local, so they don’t have to cross the border, Wise can afford to offer lower rates.

For example, Let’s assume you want to send CAD 10,000 to a person in the United States. Wise adds your Canadian money to their Canadian account and sends your intended recipient USD 10,000 from their US account in the United States rather than transferring cash across the Canadian/U.S. border.

If someone in the United States wants to pay a recipient in Canada, they pay through Wise funds already available in their Canadian bank accounts and keep the USD in their US bank accounts.

This technique eliminates the need to move money across borders (transfers stay local) and thus reduces transfer expenses.


How to Use TransferWise to Make Your First Transfer

  1. Set up your free account. It just takes a minute or two to complete. You can begin the transfer after you’ve created your account.
  2. Enter your basic information and the money’s recipient’s bank details, as well as any additional financial data you may have. The recipient does not need to be a Wise user, and they can even be a business or charity.
  3. Upload the required ID and proof of address to verify your identity. Wise will request that you upload pictures of your ID or a photo of you displaying your identification to authenticate yourself. Taking photographs from a smartphone, uploading them to their site, and sharing them with your computer is all it takes to do this quickly. The entire verification process may take you up to two days, so make sure to finish this step before you intend to send funds.
  4. Fund your transfer. These are the options on how to fund your Wise account and pay for your transfer:
  • Direct debit
  • Bill payment
  • Wire transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card

5. Track your transfer’s progress. The bulk of the work is now over to Wise to ensure that your gift reaches its intended recipient. Wise allows you to follow the transfer’s progress until it gets to its destination.

Sending money from Canada takes 1-3 business days, depending on the payment method. The following are some transfer restrictions to be aware of:

  • Direct debit CAD transfers: CAD 9,500 per day and a bi-weekly cap of $30,000
  • Local wire transfer: CAD 1.5 million per transfer
  • Credit and debit cards: CAD 3,000 per transfer

These banks support automatic debit from your bank account to Wise in Canada:

  1. Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  2. Bank of Nova Scotia
  3. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  4. TD Bank
  5. National Bank of Canada
  6. CIBC
  7. Simplii Financial
  8. HSBC Bank Canada
  9. Tangerine Bank
  10. La Caisse Centrale Desjardins Du Quebec
  11. Vancity Bank

Currencies You Can Receive and Send Through TransferWise (Wise)

  • AUD – Australian Dollar
  • BRL – Brazilian Real
  • BGN – Bulgarian Lev
  • CAD – Canadian Dollar
  • CZK – Czech Koruna
  • CHF – Swiss Franc
  • DKK – Danish Krone
  • EUR – Euro
  • GBP – Pounds Sterling
  • HKD – Hong Kong Dollar
  • JPY – Japanese Yen
  • USD – US Dollar
  • HRK – Croatian Kuna
  • HUF – Hungarian Forint
  • NOK – Norwegian Krone
  • NZD – New Zealand Dollar
  • PLN – Polish Złoty
  • RON – Romanian Leu
  • SEK – Swedish Krona
  • TRY – Turkish Lira

Currencies Wise Can Send to Your Local Bank Accounts

  • AED – Emirati Dirham
  • ARS – Argentine Peso
  • BDT – Bangladeshi Taka
  • INR – Indian Rupee
  • KRW – South Korean Won
  • KES – Kenyan Shillings
  • CLP – Chilean Peso
  • COP – Colombian Peso
  • CNY – Chinese Yuan
  • EGP – Egyptian Pound
  • GEL – Georgian Lari
  • IDR – Indonesian Rupiah
  • ILS – Israeli Shekels
  • LKR – Sri Lankan Rupee
  • MAD – Moroccan Dirham
  • MYR – Malaysian Ringgit
  • MXN – Mexican Peso
  • NGN – Nigerian Naira
  • PHP – Philippine Peso
  • PEN – Peruvian Sol

Wise Transaction Fees

Our next stop in this Transferwise Canada review is the fees. When you transfer money, there are usually three components to a Wise transaction. The following is how the fees break down:

Payment Fee

Wise deducts a fee when you send money to your Wise account for payment. You have a choice of five payment options, depending on the currency: direct debit, credit card, debit card, wire transfer, or bill payment. The least expensive method is to send a direct debit. The payment option may restrict the maximum amount you can contribute in a single transaction.

Transfer Fee

The transfer fee is often a percentage of the money being sent, although typically less than 1%.

Real Exchange Rate

The third component is currency conversion. Wise will always convert your money at the mid-market or real rate. This is the actual exchange rate without any 1-4% spread or hidden charge, which your bank or broker generally adds. If you frequently exchange funds, you can save a lot of money by using Wise.


How Long Does a TransferWise (Wise) Transfer Take?

The delivery time will vary depending on the payment method chosen:

1. Debit Card

Transfers through debit cards get delivered almost instantly, although you’ll need to have a Visa debit card.

2. Credit Card

It takes just a few minutes to complete. However, note that your credit card company may charge this as a cash advance.

3. Direct Debit

The money will arrive in approximately 10 hours, and Wise will deduct the cash from your bank account as soon as the transaction is completed.

4. Domestic Wire Transfer

Domestic wire transfers usually take less than 24 hours.  Wise will deduct the cash from your bank account as soon as the transaction is completed.

5. Online Bill Payment

In most cases, less than 24 hours. This is an intriguing alternative; you may include Wise as a bill payee in your online banking portal and send the funds to them the same way you would pay a bill.


TransferWise (Wise) Multi-Currency Account

Wise provides a multi-currency account that makes it simple to get and send payments in various currencies at the actual exchange rate with no cost or minimum balance requirements.

It was formerly called the TransferWise Borderless Account. The account is ideal for freelancers or businesses that conduct commercial transactions with other enterprises in other countries. When you open a Wise multi-currency account, you’ll receive these for free:

  • Canadian account number
  • US account number and routing number
  • British account number and sort code
  • New Zealand account number
  • Australian account number and BSB code
  • European IBAN
  • Turkish Lira account and IBAN
  • Singapore dollar account
  • Hungarian forint and account number

This implies that you can receive these nine currencies and many others with the same ease as if you had a local bank account, and you won’t have to convert currencies. You may also send money overseas to individuals in more than 70 countries.

If you want to convert currencies in your multi-currency account, you will be charged a small up-front cost by Wise. The exchange rate is also maintained at the mid-market rate.

The multi-currency account is fantastic since, rather than creating a US Dollar bank account in Canada and individual accounts for different currencies, it provides you global access to numerous foreign bank accounts that operate like local bank accounts even if you stay in Canada.

The fee savings can be significant when you combine your multi-currency account with a Wise debit Mastercard. The Wise debit card is now accepted in the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

The Wise debit card is not available in Canada.


TransferWise Customer Service

If you need assistance with Wise, you should first visit their Help Center, which is accessible from their website. They have a plethora of articles dedicated to addressing almost any issue.

If you’ve gone through the Wise FAQs and still have concerns, Wise makes it simple for consumers to contact them at any time of day or night. In Canada, phone contact hours are Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Alternatively, you may submit your query by email on the website.


Pros and Cons of Using Wise 

Pros

Some of the benefits of using Wise are:

  • Convenient and cheap transfers abroad and you can do them at the comfort of your home.
  • Transfer money at the mid-market exchange rate
  • Low, transparent fees 
  • Excellent customer support
  • Versatile mobile app
  • You get access to a free multi-currency (borderless) account capable of holding balances in more than 40 currencies.
  • Wise is ideal for use by individuals, freelancers, and businesses
  • You can send money to more than 70 countries
  • They offer high transfer limits compared to the competition
  • You don’t need to go to your local bank to transfer funds
  • Currency conversion merely takes seconds
  • You can link your account to Paypal and Amazon

Cons:

The most common issues reported by customers online include:

  • Account deactivation without prior notification
  • Account verification delays
  • Limited customer support on weekends
  • No option for cash pickup

Transferwise Canada & EQ Bank Partnership

For those in Canada who wish to send money to friends and family abroad, EQ Bank has teamed up with TransferWise Canada (now known as Wise) to provide low-cost international money transfers. This means you’ll get two financial institutions known for providing low- to no-fee banking services with EQ Bank and Wise. 

Wise recently released its Wise for Banks API, making it simple for banks and credit unions to connect with their online platforms and provide low-cost international money transfers to their customers.

EQ Bank is the first Canadian bank to connect with Wise’s API. Customers of the bank may now send money abroad for significantly less while also earning excellent rates on their savings account balance (1.25% * current interest rate as of this writing).

You can complete your transaction with EQ Bank’s mobile app or your online account, and it generally finishes instantly or in a few days, depending on its destination.

You can use the calculator on EQ Bank’s website to figure out how much sending money from the US to another country would cost. The Wise fee is transparent, and you can see the exchange rate that was used. When it comes to using Wise, here are the variations in pricing between EQ Bank and other Canadian banks:


TransferWise Canada vs Remitly vs Paypal

Transferwise Canada vs Remitly

Remitly, like Wise, is a firm that was formed online and has developed quickly. Unlike Wise, however, they specialize in sending smaller amounts of remittances to countries in South America, Africa, and Asia.

Remitly provides two payment choices: “Express” and “Economy.” Express is quicker, but it comes with a higher fee, whereas Economy is less expensive but might take longer to complete.

Their site is similar to Wise’s, and their charges, exchange rates, and services are detailed at each stage of the transfer process.

Transferwise Canada vs PayPal

You may have considered using PayPal to send money internationally if you already have a PayPal account. They are one of the most popular payment systems for buying goods and services throughout the world. It’s a handy method to transfer money between individuals who both use PayPal.

If you’re considering using PayPal instead of Wise, there are a few things to consider. To begin with, the recipient must have a PayPal account. Second, keep in mind that Wise is usually less expensive than PayPal.

Paypal is ideal for domestic transfers, but it might be costly to use it for international transfers.

Read More>>> Transferwise vs Paypal

TransferWise Canada vs Other Money Transfer Services

For a brief comparison of Wise against other money transfer services. Let’s look at this screenshot from the comparison tool on the Wise website.

Transferwise Canada Review

In this example, you’ll see that Wise and EQ Bank (as part of their collaboration with Wise) are the only firms providing a mid-market exchange rate. While their fee is the highest on the list, you’ll come out ahead by around $16 if you use them.

READ ALSO >> OFX vs TransferWise


More on Tranferwise Canada Review

How does Wise Make Money?

Wise makes money in two ways: (1) through a transaction fee and (2) a small margin on currency conversion. These are both minor expenses since they move $5 billion across the world every month.

When paying by a bank transfer (ACH) or bank wire, fees are usually minor. Debit cards may be helpful, but they can be expensive when sending money internationally. Finally, paying for a transfer with a credit card is the most expensive option.

The exchange rate used for conversion is extremely close to the real exchange rate. They are generally less than 1%. Banks and money changers usually charge +3%, which is known as the ‘retail rate.’ Purchasing foreign currency at airports costs more and is typically +6%, referred to as ‘above retail rates.’

Wise makes money on currency conversion costs and adds funds to each separate currency account in the Borderless or multi-currency accounts. Although the currency conversion fees are pretty low, Wise earns revenue because so many of these transactions occur across the world every day by millions of consumers.

How do You Receive Money from Wise?

The money is sent to the recipient’s local bank at a mid-market exchange rate. It’s simple and free to receive money from Wise. The receiver does not need to have a Wise account to accept the payment; simply establish one. 

The recipient must have a bank account to accept the funds. Give the person sending you the money your bank details, and you’ll get the money in your bank account within two days. Sometimes, it can be as fast as a few hours.

Can I Use Transferwise Canada as a Business Bank Account?

A Trasferwise business account includes functions such as invoice payments that are considerably less expensive than Paypal. These payments have a 50 percent chance of being immediate, with the remainder being received within an hour.

The account enables you to make payments in batches, precisely as entering information into a spreadsheet. The Wise business account also has links with online vendors such as Stripe to transfer money more quickly.

Creating a Wise business account is free, except you want the extra feature of international bank details (which comes at a one-time price of CAD 42.00). The account also provides discounted fees for mass-batched payments. 

What Services does Wise Provide for Businesses?

  1. A multi-currency account for sending, receiving, and keeping over 50 different currencies.
  2. A chance to get free transfers through your own local bank account details.
  3. For tax purposes, you’ll receive a monthly statement containing your transactions.
  4. An easy system for foreign contractors to receive payment.
  5. The chance to invoice your foreign clients with close to nothing.
  6. A global supplier e-commerce payment platform to pay foreign suppliers and accept Amazon and Stripe payouts without charge.
  7. With the assistance of the Wise API, payment automation is possible.
  8. An international debit card that can be used locally in many countries.
  9. There are other online options for sending payments directly to family and friends without any costs or misrepresented market rates.

Is Transferwise Safe?

Wise is a reputable business authorized by the relevant authorities in each of the countries where they do business. For instance:

In Canada: Transferwise Canada is overseen by the Authorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) as a money service company. They are also registered with FINTRAC, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

In the United States: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has registered them in the United States. Their money is kept at banks that are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

United Kingdom: The UK Financial Conduct Authority has authorized them as an Electronic Money Institution.

Australia: Wise is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission with AUSTRAC in Australia.

Japan: The Kanto Local Financial Bureau licenses and regulates their service.

India: The Central Bank of India has given it its approval.

Also, to secure your accounts and personal information, Wise employs two-factor authentication. This is comparable to the level of online security you would get with your main bank and ensures only you can access your account.

Like other financial institutions, Wise has a fraud team that is constantly working to keep your money safe from scammers.



FAQs on Tranferwise Canada Review


Final Thoughts on Transferwise Canada Review

High international bank transfer fees and currency exchange rate markups might significantly reduce the amount of money you send abroad. If you are looking for a cheaper way to transfer money from Canada, this Transferwise Canada review has shown that Wise is an excellent option. 

With a service like Wise, you will save money by paying lower fees upfront. This translates to more cash in your pocket. A dependable and less expensive money transfer service will make your life simpler, whether you’re paying bills, sending funds to friends and family, or getting money for services provided.

As seen in this Transferwise Canada review, Wise has been successful in other markets, so it’s worth checking out if you’re transferring funds between countries!

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