For anyone who lives or has lived abroad, you may be familiar with this situation. You want to send money abroad (or even better, receive it 😉 ) and you are considering what would be the most practical and cheapest way. The few options available to you are either:
A) super expensive; and/or
B)offers very bad exchanging rates.
As these situations usually take us by surprise, there were no greater options. The only way is to make the transfer anyway and leave almost 10% of the transfer’s total to the operator company.
This has happened to us before. At that time, we sent via Western Union, which despite being efficient and all over the countries, it has a very high conversion rate.
But don’t lose your hope just yet!
The good news appeared last year, when we came across this new start-up called Transferwise. What the two Estonian born guys behind it did is so simple and revolutionary that they have already received huge investments from people like Sir Richard Branson (that eccentric Englishman who has so much money to spend that he could easily adopt us and our whole family). To get a sense of the magnitude of it, the market value of Transferwise already exceeded US$ 1 bi!
The bottom line is simple: Transferwise does not transfer money between countries but instead, they leave the money inside the country and use in local transactions, thus cutting the banks’ fees. A great way to send money abroad!
For example, let’s suppose that we, here in England, need to send U$100 to Natalia, a friend who lives in Brazil. Meanwhile, another person, let’s call her Camila, who lives in Brazil, must send U$100 to her daughter, Maria, who also lives in England. Transferwise will then take Camila’s U$ 100 and deposit into Natalia’s account in Brazil; and it will get our U$100 here in England and deposit it into Maria’s account, also in England. Can you see how simple is that?
The investment of large business men behind Transferwise allows them to keep high financial reserves within more than 50 countries, ensuring they will never have to actually transfer money from one country to another.
The idea is great and we have even already used it! The money went from one account to another in less than a week and using a quite fair conversion rate.
And how to use transferwise?
To transfer money with Transferwise you need to register onto their website (check here) and fill up some details, like card’s number, address, date of birth and so on. According to its creators, it is in order to avoid money laundering and other frauds.
If you are still not 100% though, take a look on the internet and you will find lots of positive stories about these guys. And enjoy it while you can, because we don’t think such initiative, which makes life simpler, cheaper and allow us to avoid bank charges, will last much longer.