Wise provides a simple easy to use international money transfer service with digital wallet capabilities. Their digital wallet, or Borderless account also gives the individual local banking details in 6+ currencies including, EUR, SGD, NZD, USD, GBP and AUD. Their Wise Borderless debit card backs on to their Borderless digital wallet allowing you to spend directly out of your multi-currency account balances.
What Wise offers individuals
International money transfers
Borderless multi-currency receiving accounts
Borderless Debit Card - FX optimised debit card
Android and Apple apps
Send money to email address
Scheduled and recurring transfers - sufficiently funded Borderless account required for this to work.
Azimo gives individuals easy access to international money transfers with a variety of payout methods. There are only a handful of currency exchange and transfer companies that provide such services. Azimo doesn’t just transfer money to a payee’s bank account, but also uses foreign agents for cash picks, payment into foreign mobile wallets and mobile credit top ups.
A unique service that Azimo offers is the ability to send money into China’s Alipay. This could be the decision maker for individuals comparing Azimo and who need to transfer money home to China.
What Azimo doesn’t offer is more of the advanced money transfer and currency exchange services that some individuals may need. Azimo does not provide services such as currency risk management tools, regular transfers or personal account managers for those large money transfers. You may want more of the personal touch instead of an online only money transfer service.
What Azimo offers
International money transfers
Cash pick ups
Mobile wallet and mobile airtime top ups
Home delivery (only in the Philippines)
Payments to AliPay in China
What Azimo doesn’t offer
Currency hedging tools
Unique local multi-currency accounts
Wise scores better for individuals compared to Azimo as they offer more than just basic international money transfers. Wise offers solutions to send, receive and spend internationally. What Azimo offers that Wise doesn’t is a cash pick up service. If you are comparing both Wise and Azimo but need to send mobile top ups or cash pick ups, then Azimo is the better option.
In addition to the services Wise offers the individual, there are some features only available for a business. Unfortunately, as Wise is online only, a business customer does not have support with currency fluctuations and trends. Wise does however offer easy to use transactional foreign currency receipts and payments.
Scheduled transfers is a recently added feature. This can reduce admin for those standard monthly, weekly payments to suppliers and staff. A sufficient balance in the Business Borderless account is required. Wise will remind the account owner to make sure there is sufficient funds in the multi-current account. What is not supported is standing orders from a business bank account through Wise. This may mean that businesses need to alter their business structure to ensure continuous sufficent Borderless account funding.
What Wise offers businesses
Xero and Quickbook integration
FX optimised business debit card
Multi-user account access
Regular and scheduled transfers
What Wise for business doesn’t offer
Business account management
Risk management tools
Azimo's services for business clients are limited to basic money transfer services. What they do offer is a lower exchange rate margin (think hidden fees) for larger money transfers. Azimo doesn’t provide business centric services that businesses with a global presence need to reduce their ongoing money transfer costs and reduce administration. For example, accounting solutions (e.g. Xero) integration is not available which increases booking keeping administration. Nor does Azimo offer solutions for online sellers operating in a foreign market or unique international receiving accounts for foreign clients to pay locally.
A list of what Azimo do and don’t offer businesses is below.
What Azimo for business offers
International money transfers
Better rates for transfers over £1,000
What Azimo for business doesn't do
FX-optimized travel cards
Currency hedging tools
Unique local multi-currency receiving accounts
Solutions for online sellers
Wise provides more options and benefits to businesses than Azimo. Azimo offers businesses just a basic international money transfer service. Wise’s benefits to businesses far outweigh Azimo.
Fees & Exchange Rates
Wise offers the real time exchange rate at the time of your transfer. Therefore fees are visible in addition to the transfer amount. The fee structure is complex as it differs depending on the currencies you are sending from and to. Fees also apply to the type of Borderless account transaction. Fees can also apply on the use of the Wise Borderless debit card. Fees are briefly summarised below. Read the detailed Wise review for more details on Wise fees.
Simple International Money Transfer
0.4% - 2%
Varies on currency and payment type
Adding to Wise Borderless account
0.4% - 0.5%
Converting between Borderless account
0.3% - 0.6%
Sending money out of Borderless account
Less than 0.1% in most cases
Borderless Account Debit Card
No fee for card issuance
Fee free cash withdrawal limit of US$250, 2% thereafter
Zero cost on spend from existing currency balance, 0.24 - 3.69% fee if there is no existing balance
Azimo’s exchange rate fees and additional fees are higher in comparison. Azimo’s exchange rate margin (the additional percentage on top of the current real exchange rate) is also quite high. There are some justifiable reasons why fees to send money for cash pick up as 3rd parties are involved. The lowest cost transfer by making payment through local bank transfer and sending to a foreign bank account will end up costing more.
Transfer fees - The Azimo transfer fee varies depending on the currencies involved, the mode of payment, the transfer method and the transfer amount. Additional fees are approximately €12 (or currency equivalent).
Cash pick up fees - Sending money to an Azimo cash pick up location is typically more expensive than transferring it to a bank account.
Credit / debit card payment fees - Payments made via bank transfers tend to be more affordable than credit/debit card payments.
Fee-free transfers - New personal customers get two fee-free transfers, and the number increases to five for new business customers.
Exchange rate margin - Azimo applies a margin on existing mid-market exchange rates, which can be between 1.5% and 2.25% depending on the currencies being traded.
Wise is cheaper than Azimo for international money transfers. Azimo has hidden and additional fees that can make money transfers more expensive than Wise. However, Wise’s service can become more costly if you choose faster payment methods or if you choose to pay Wise with a credit card. As long as you stick to paying Wise with local bank transfers. Wise will remain cheaper than Azimo.
Ease of Use
The Wise app design and user experience of their technology is great with simple, intuitive processes.
Registration - Fast and easy account creation
ID verification - Instant in some countries
Transfer speed - It can be instantaneous in some countries. Fast payments to Wise comes at an additional cost.
Minimum transfer amount - $1
Mobile app - Simple and easy to use. Probably the best designed app of the international money transfer companies.
Payment options - Wise has the broadest range of payment options. Local bank transfer, debit / credit card and country specific solutions such as POLi.
Azimo has an ease to use system. It is easy to register, prove identity and start your first transfer. As a basic money transfer service you would expect just that. Their speed of transfers are relatively fast with multiple pay in and payout options.
Signing up - Register using the Azimo app or website.
Payment options - Bank account transfers, debit cards, credit cards, SOFORT and iDEAL.
Speed - Up to 2 business days, although it can be more in some instances.
Multilingual website - Use the Azimo website in different European languages.
Mobile apps - Available for iOS and Android.
Azimo is very easy to register, verify identity and use in general. However, Azimo cannot compete with Wise. Wise has been built from the ground up with customer process and user experience at its core.
Support & Countries
Wise’s supported countries vary with different services having different supported customer countries and destination countries. These are detailed in the Wise Countries and Currencies article and is summarized below.
Send from - 23 countries plus the Europe SEPA countries
Send to - Over 60 currencies
Borderless account and debit card - Over 6 countries can sign up to their Borderless services.
Azimo has good global coverage for supported destination countries. Most destination countries support cash pick and mobile top-up. Only the Philippines is supported for cash delivery to the home.
Supported destination currencies - Carries out transfers in more than 60 currencies.
Customer support - Multilingual support provided via email and chat.
Both Wise and Azimo support a wide range of destination countries. And both Azimo and Wise support multiple languages which is great to see. Not all of the top money transfer companies provide multi-language customer support and website / app experiences. However, Wise supports more countries to sign up as customers. Azimo and Wise are adding more registration and destination countries each year.
Trust & Transparency
Wise is fully regulated by the FCA and their customer funds are segregated from their business banking activities.
Wise is rated on TrustPilot as Excellent. Unfortunately there have been some poor reviews on TrustPilot indicating sudden account closures with funds being returned with no explanation.
Wise continues to raise capital through private funding. This could be a concern for the future when the shareholders are looking for aggressive growth and / or a return on their investment.
Azimo is a regulated financial entity within the UK and conducts millions of pounds of funds transfers for individuals and businesses every year.
Regulation - Regulated by financial regulatory bodies in the UK and the Netherlands.
Customer service - Gets a rating of Excellent on Trustpilot. However, there are reviews by customers that complain about not getting adequate customer care.
Exchange rate transparency - Azimo does not have a transparent fee structure. The margin on existing exchange rates can exceed 2% for some currencies.
It's a draw!
Azimo and Wise are both registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and both ensure their customers funds are safe and segregated. Both companies are experiencing some poor reviews for different reasons but not too many to be concerned with comparing Azimo and Wise.
Overall Wise is better than Azimo. Fees are lower and there are more benefits to individuals and businesses. Azimo cannot compete with Wise’s solutions to send, receive and spend with the Borderless account. The only reason why someone would choose Azimo is if they needed to send money internationally for cash pick up or mobile top ups. This is something that Wise just doesn’t offer.