Airwallex vs Wise (ex. TransferWise) Business in Australia

Roberto Efflandrin

Owning a business brings with it its own set of challenges. One of these challenges is finding the most appropriate business account that allows you to manage your business finances how you want and need. This article will review and compare two business account providers on the market, Airwallex and Wise (ex. TransferWise).

💸 Looking for a stress-free international business account to pay abroad like a local? With multiple cards, AUD and foreign currency account details?

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Who is Airwallex?

Airwallex is a multinational fintech company that was established in 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. Although an Australian based company, Airwallex now has offices across 11 countries and offers customers online multi-currency business account and API software solutions.

Read more: Airwallex Business account in Australia. The lowdown.

Who is Wise (ex TransferWise)?

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a global fintech company founded in 2011 that provides online money transfer services, particularly targeted to international transfers. Wise also offers customers online personal and business multi-currency accounts.

Airwallex vs Wise main business features

When you’re a business owner, it’s always good to look for business accounts that offer features that align with your specific business needs. Airwallex and Wise both offer several of their own associated account features. Let's compare below.

Service Airwallex¹ Wise
Ability to sign up online Yes Yes
Domestic and international account details Yes account details in 11 currencies Yes account details in 10 currencies
Foreign Exchange (FX) services Yes Yes
Physical and/or virtual business cards Virtual company cards² and physical employee cards can be created Both a physical card and virtual cards
Make online payments Yes Yes
API integrations, accounting software, online financial management Yes

Access and linking capability to Xero³

Other API and management options accessible through separate platform product

Included in both account access options

API integrations include

N26, Monzo, Xero, GoCardless, Deel, Remote, Emburse, Preply, Gameflip + others (region dependent)

Mobile/Web App Yes Yes
Direct debits, recurring payments, batch payments Yes Yes

As seen on 2nd October 2022

Airwallex Business vs Wise business — the fees

It is important to know and understand the fees associated with having and managing your business account with any given provider. Let’s compare the fees of an Airwallex Business vs Wise Business account below as an Australian customer.

Fees* in AUD Airwallex Business³ Wise Business
Sign up fee Free Two options: Free account option for sending money or one time $22 set up fee to get local account details
Account maintenance fee None None
Domestic transfer fee Free Flat fee of 0.57 AUD
International transfer fees Free using Airwallex payment network or $10 AUD using SWIFT network Starting at 0.41%, varies by currency

$4.14 USD to receive USD via SWIFT or wire transfer into your USD balance.

Fee is calculated and offered upfront (check out the Wise pricing calculator here)

Foreign currency exchange rate fees 0.3% or 0.6% above the interbank rate (currency dependent) Mid-market rate
Card management fees Virtual Company card: Free

Physical Employee cards: $9 AUD per month, per cardholder⁴

First card on account is Free

$6 AUD per additional cardholder thereafter

ATM fees Physical employee cards do not currently work in ATMS⁵ Free for two withdrawals collectively up to $350 AUD per month each card

1.75% + $1.50 AUD per withdrawal over the $350 per month limit

Accounts fees for holding large amounts Undisclosed Annual fee of 1.6% once account surpasses threshold of $23,000 AUD (limit varies by currency held) and is charged on the amount over the limit.

As seen on 2nd October 2022

Go global with Wise

Exchange rates used

If you need to make payments in other currencies, another type of fee can come from a margin or commission included in FX rate conversions. Let’s look more closely at how Airwallex and Wise compare here.

Airwallex³ Wise
Interbank rate with a margin of 0.3% to 0.6% depending on currency being converted. Keep an eye on this margin as it adds up based on how much you send. No margin, FX rate based on the mid-market rate like the one you see on Google.

As seen on 2nd October 2022

Accepted money transfer pay in and pay out methods

Now lets compare the different types of payment methods to receive and pay recipients with the Airwallex and Wise business accounts.

Airwallex¹ Wise
Pay in options
  • Generate unique payment links
  • QR codes
  • Embed links in invoices, SMS and emails
  • Receive payments into global currency accounts in 11 currencies
  • Online payments from linking API payment methods to business websites
  • Bank transfer
  • Debit/credit card
  • AusPost POLi
  • PayID
  • Send from other Wise account balance
Payout options
  • Card payments up to $10,000 USD⁶
  • Local and international bank transfers
  • Free transfers to within Airwallex network
  • Local bank transfer
  • Transfer between Wise accounts

As seen on 2nd October 2022

Airwallex platform product allows business customers access to more pay in or pay out options.⁷

Airwallex Business vs Wise business supported currencies

As these services both work with foreign currencies, we’ll now compare supported currencies that each company offers below.

Currency services Airwallex⁸ Wise
Local currency account details (receive in local denominated currency) AUD, EUR, USD, GBP, NZD, SGD, CAD, CNY, CHF, HKD, JPY AUD, GBP, NZD, EUR, UDS, SGD, RON, CAD, HUF, TRY
Currencies supported to send and convert transfers in 150 countries in 40 currencies³ 80 countries and in 53 currencies
Add and hold supported currencies Add in 8 currencies⁹

Hold funds in 11 currencies

Add money in 21 currencies and hold money in 53 currencies. See list here

As seen on 2nd October 2022

Sending money abroad – Airwallex vs Wise

The ability to send money abroad is one of the key services offered by Airwallex and Wise. Here is how you set up an international transfer with each service.


To send money abroad with Airwallex, you must open an Airwallex account and be verified. You can create a new international transfer by following these steps.¹⁰

  1. Log into your Airwallex account
  2. Click on “New Transfer” in the top right hand corner of the transfer tab
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your transfer

For Australian Airwallex account customers, this process may differ, so check with an Airwallex representative if you are having trouble setting up a transfer on your Australian account. .


Now we’ll go through the process of making an international transfer once you open a Wise business account and it is verified.

  1. Log into your Wise Business account
  2. Click on “Send Money” to set up your transfer
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your business transfer

One of the main differences between Wise and Airwallex when it comes to sending money abroad is that with Wise, you can be a personal customer or a business customer to access international money transfer services.

Pros and cons of using these services

Knowing the pros and cons of using these services will also influence whether it's suitable for your Australian business. We’ll do this now.



  • Easy to set up with quick account verification turnaround times of 1-3 business days¹¹
  • Free transfers within the Airwallex payment network and low $10 fee for SWIFT transfers
  • Mobile App and Web app supported on IOS and Android


  • Physical cards cannot be used in ATMS for cash withdrawal⁵
  • Online payment methods from connected websites incur an extra set of fees for payouts between 2% - 4%¹²
  • Currency conversion margin fees based on currency being sent from 0.4% -1%³



  • No margins or commissions taken on currency conversions, and upfront pricing on transfers
  • Physical cards available for use in ATMS worldwide
  • Can use Wise as a personal or business customer to make international transfers
  • API integrations included in both business account level options


  • Fees associated with holding amounts over $23,000 AUD
  • Cannot pay-in or pay-out with physical cash, meaning transfers are purely electronic based
  • Verification to open a Wise business account can take 4-7 business days

What about safety?

Airwallex and Wise are not banks. However, this does not mean that having an account with either company means your money is less secure or safe. Let's see how these companies compare on safety for Australian businesses.


Airwallex is regulated globally by meeting the specific requirements set out by governing bodies for each country they hold legal entities in. In Australia, Airwallex meets the requirements set out by the Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and holds a valid Australian financial service licence (AFSL licence number 487221). Airwallex is also registered with the Australian Transactions Report & Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) (account number 100516662).¹³


Similarly, Wise is globally regulated and meets the specific requirements set out by each country Wise has operations. In Australia, Wise holds a Australian Financial Services licence (AFSL licence number 513764) and authorised as a Purchased Payment Facility (PPF) provider by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Online reviews for Airwallex and Wise

Online reviews are important to gauge the experience other people have had with companies or services. Here are the current Airwallex and Wise Trustpilot ratings for existing and past customers.

Airwallex reviews¹⁴ Wise reviews¹⁵
AU Trustpilot rating: 4.1./5 from 381 reviews Trustpilot rating: 4.5/5 from 173,616 reviews

As seen on 2nd October 2022

As you can see, Wise has a higher average rating, with significantly more reviews. One reason for this will be from Wise being in operation for longer. Nonetheless, both ratings are derived from their global customer base.

Customer support options

Here are some ways to contact Airwallex or Wise as an Australian customer about your business accounts.

  • You can contact Airwallex in Australia by calling +61 13 32 99 between 9am - 6pm AEST or submit a support request here
  • You can contact Wise via phone, chat or email by logging into your account and visiting the help page.

Wrapping up

After this review, Airwallex is a great service for business customers in Australia looking for an alternative business account option with better rates for currency conversion, free to low costs international bank transfers than business accounts offered through traditional banks.

Wise is a comparable service but with more options to pay international transfers and more supported currencies to hold and convert funds at the real exchange rates with low fees shown upfront.

Wise also offers account options for personal use, and the ability for non-account holders to send international transfers.

So there you go, with the details and numbers presented to you, the choice is yours to make. Both companies offer solid features and services and based on your needs, the choice shouldn’t be that difficult to make.

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  1. Airwallex Business account features
  2. Airwallex business cards
  3. Airwallex FX transfer rates
  4. Airwallex cards
  5. Airwallex ATM eligibility
  6. Airwallex card payment limits
  7. Airwallex platform option
  8. Airwallex global accounts
  9. Airwallexpayment links and currencies
  10. Airwallex send money abroad
  11. Airwallex account verification time
  12. Airwallex online payment methods fees
  13. Airwallex Australia regulated
  14. Airwallex Trustpilot Rating
  15. Wise Trustpilot Rating

Sources checked on: 02 October 2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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