Personal Features

TransferWise

50

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

Swift

17

17

SWIFT is an international settlement system. It stands for Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunication. SWIFT doesn’t offer services to individuals. Banks leverage the SWIFT network for international wire transfers.  SWIFT is a more expensive and long process compared to peer to peer money transfer systems.


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Personal Features category.

TransferWise
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Winner

Business Benefits

TransferWise

56

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

Swift

11

11

Similarly to comments in the Personal category, SWIFT offers international wire transfer settlement for banks, large institutions and sovereign nations.


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Business Benefits category.

TransferWise
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Fees & Exchange Rates

TransferWise

54

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


Swift

0

0

Banks need to use the SWIFT system to transfer money which normally adds up to a 5% markup on exchange rates. In addition, they also charge a fee that may vary from $10 to $25.


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Fees and Exchange Rates category.

TransferWise
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Ease of Use

TransferWise

83

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.


Swift

0

0

How SWIFT transfers work depends on the relationship between the banks involved. If the banks share a direct relationship, the sender’s bank sends a SWIFT message to the recipient’s bank. Then:

  • The sender’s bank debits the transfer amount from sender’s account.
  • The sender’s bank credits the transfer amount to the recipient bank’s account.
  • The recipient bank transfers the amount into the recipient’s account.

If the banks do not share a direct relationship, the sender’s bank still sends a SWIFT message to the recipient’s bank. Then:

  • The sender’s bank debits the transfer amount from sender’s account.
  • The sender’s bank asks an intermediary bank to debit the transfer amount from its account and transfer it to the recipient bank’s account.
  • The intermediary bank processes the transfer from the sender’s bank to the recipient’s bank for a fee.
  • The recipient bank transfers the amount into the recipient’s account.

TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Ease of Use category.

TransferWise
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Winner

Support & Countries

TransferWise

88

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.


Swift

0

0

Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT was created in 1973. It provides a secure network that financial institutions from different countries use to transmit information about transactions in a standardized manner. The system allocates unique Bank Identifier Codes (BICs) that help identify individual branches of different banks.


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Support and Countries category.

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Winner

Trust & Transparency

TransferWise

63

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.


Swift

75

75

The SWIFT network offers a secure and reliable way to transfer money between bank accounts held in different countries. 


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Trust and Transparency category.

Swift
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Winner

The Result

Winner ribbon iconWinner

 TransferWise

This is not really a fair comparison as TransferWise is a peer to peer money transfer provider while Swift is an internal settlement mechanism for transferring money.