How to make an international transfer with TransferWise

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Having made my fair share of international transfers, I was mildly blown away by the speed and simplicity of TransferWise. For this very type of transaction, it blows banks, Paypal and yes (with the limited liquidity in markets) Bitcoin out of the water and is part of the reason I’m convinced Bitcoin isn’t a viable solution for remittances yet.

I decided to take step-by-step screen grabs of the process. In this example I sent 100 GBP from the UK to the US.

  1. Sign up with TransferWise (2 minutes)
  2. Enter the currency you’re sending it from (GBP) and the currency/recipient bank you’re sending it to (USD)
  3. Review the details of the transaction:
    Transferwise review
  4. Make deposit to TransferWise’s UK account via online banking or debit card.
    (note that online banking would have taken a day or two to reflect in their account, so I went with instant debit card)
    Transferwise online banking
    or
    Transferwise debit card
  5. Ta-daa! The funds appeared in the recipient’s bank account in two days.
    Transferwise success

My alternatives would have been:

  • Online banking from UK bank account (too costly, bad exchange rate)
  • PayPal (bad exchange rate, high fee)
  • Bitcoin (inconvenient for recipient without Bitcoin account with linked a US bank account)

Obviously, there are times when Bitcoin would be a brilliant mechanism (like if it got sent to a place where bitcoin is trading at a premium or for micro-transactions), but I’m convinced I’ll use TransferWise again.

Give it a go and let me know if you got stuck!

About the author

Werner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at the fast-moving Bitcoin Exchange, Luno (South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Europe). Currently travelling and doing research on a round-the-world trip.

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About me

Werner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at the fast-moving Bitcoin Exchange, Luno (South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Europe). Currently travelling and doing research on a round-the-world trip.