Personal Features

TransferWise

50

TransferWise 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 TransferWise Borderless debit card backs on to their Borderless digital wallet allowing you to spend directly out of your multi-currency account balances.

What TransferWise 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

What TransferWise does not offer individuals

  • Personal account management
  • Regular transfers
  • Cash pick up or international bill payments

Currencies Direct

42

Currencies Direct provides international money transfer services for personal customers from different countries.
 

What Currencies Direct does

  • International money transfers.
  • Forward contracts and limit orders.
  • Regular transfers (conditions apply for US customers).
  • Multiple currency wallets.
  • Dedicated currency managers.

What Currencies Direct doesn’t do

  • Travel card.
  • Cash pick-up.

TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Personal Features category.

TransferWise
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Winner

Business Benefits

TransferWise

56

In addition to the services TransferWise offers the individual, there are some features only available for a business. Unfortunately, as TransferWise is online only, a business customer does not have support with currency fluctuations and trends. TransferWise does however offer easy to use transactional foreign currency receipts and payments.

What TransferWise offers businesses

  • Batch payments
  • Xero and Quickbook integration
  • FX optimised business debit card
  • Multi-user account access

What TransferWise for business doesn’t offer

  • Business account management
  • Risk management tools
  • Regular transfers

Currencies Direct

83

Specialized forex solutions offered by Currencies DIrect can benefit businesses and online sellers in different ways.

What Currencies Direct business account offers

  • Spot contracts, forward contracts, market orders and options.
  • Batch payments.
  • Receive payments.
  • Multi-currency collection accounts.
  • Easy integration with popular online marketplaces for online sellers.
  • Dedicated account managers.

What Currencies Direct business account doesn’t offer

  • FX-optimized business travel cards.

Currencies Direct wins!

Currencies Direct scores better in the Business Benefits category.

Currencies Direct
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Winner

Fees & Exchange Rates

TransferWise

54

TransferWise 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 TransferWise Borderless debit card. Fees are briefly summarised below. Read the detailed TransferWise review for more details on TransferWise fees.

TransferWise ServiceTransferWise fee
Simple International Money Transfer

0.4% - 2% 

Varies on currency and payment type

Adding to TransferWise Borderless account0.4% - 0.5%
Converting between Borderless account0.3% - 0.6%
Sending money out of Borderless accountLess 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


Currencies Direct

54

Currencies Direct fees

There are no fees for personal transfers carried out through Currencies Direct. Business customers might need to pay fees in some instances. For example, a 0.1% fee applies when receiving payments in collection accounts.
 

Currencies Direct exchange rates

You need to pay a nominal markup on existing interbank/mid-market exchange rates. This is typically less than 1%. In addition, the higher the transfer amount, the lower the margin.


It’s a draw!

Both equally compare in the Fees and Exchange Rates category.

It's a draw!
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Draw

Ease of Use

TransferWise

83

The TransferWise 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 TransferWise 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 - TransferWise has the broadest range of payment options. Local bank transfer, debit / credit card and country specific solutions such as POLi.


Currencies Direct

75

What Currencies Direct does well

Signing up - Sign up using the Currencies Direct website or app. Alternatively, register over the phone.

Payment options

  • Bank transfers
  • GBP and EUR debit card payments from the UK and European Union
  • Direct debits from the UK and European Union
  • Check payments from the US
  • Wire transfers from the US
  • ACH payments from the US

Phone transfers - You can set up phone transfers by speaking with your dedicated currency specialist.

Multilingual website - Use the Currencies Direct website in a number of languages.
 

Where Currencies Direct could improve

Transfer speed - Most transfers take 1 - 2 businesses days. Transfers in exotic currencies can take more time.

Transfer limits - You need to transfer at least £100/$100. The maximum limit for online transfers is £25,000.

Account verification - According to compliance requirements, you need to provide copies of your bank statement and passport.

Currencies Direct app - Available for Android and Apple - only for personal customers. Some customer reviews complain about its functionality on Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store.


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Ease of Use category.

TransferWise
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Winner

Support & Countries

TransferWise

88

TransferWise’s supported countries vary with different services having different supported customer countries and destination countries. These are detailed in the TransferWise 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.


Currencies Direct

88

What Currencies Direct does well

Supported destination countries and currencies - Currencies Direct carries out transfers in more than 40 currencies, to over 120 countries.

International offices - Outside of the UK, offices also in the US, Canada, India, Spain, Portugal and South Africa.
 

Where Currencies Direct could improve

More local settlement accounts - As of now, Currencies Direct has local settlement accounts only in the UK, European Union and the US. If you make a payment from anywhere else, you might end up incurring additional costs.


It’s a draw!

Both equally compare in the Support and Countries category.

It's a draw!
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Draw

Trust & Transparency

TransferWise

63

TransferWise is fully regulated by the FCA and their customer funds are segregated from their business banking activities.

TransferWise 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.

TransferWise 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.


Currencies Direct

88

Currencies Direct is a reliable international money transfer company. 

What Currencies Direct does well

Regulated - Currencies Direct is regulated by government bodies in the UK, the US, Spain, Canada and South Africa.

Safety of funds - Holds clients' funds in segregated bank accounts.
 

Where Currencies Direct could improve

Transparency in rates - While the exchange rate markup you need to pay is nominal, Currencies Direct can make its transfers completely transparent by informing customers about how much margin it applies.


Currencies Direct wins!

Currencies Direct scores better in the Trust and Transparency category.

Currencies Direct
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Winner

The Result

Winner ribbon iconWinner

 Currencies Direct

A close one across TransferWise and Currencies Direct with both scoring well overall but with Currencies Direct just edging out TransferWise.  With two draws across the Fees and Exchange Rates and Support and Countries categories, the advantage lies with Currencies Direct for its business services and trust and transparency.  TransferWise does slightly win in the Personal Features and Ease of Use sections mind you.