Tangerine international wire transfer: What's an alternative?

Diane Rekker

Tangerine is Canada’s leading direct bank - that is, a bank which offers services mainly online and by phone, rather than via brick and mortar branches. Established more than 20 years ago, originally as ING Direct Canada¹, Tangerine offers a broad range of products and services including accounts, loans and investments².

If you bank with Tangerine, you may know that it’s not possible to send or receive a wire transfer using your Tangerine account. However, with a range of alternative ways to arrange domestic payments and cross border wire transfers, this doesn’t need to cause a problem.

This guide takes a look at what Tangerine has to offer, as well as alternative solutions for when you want to make an international transfer.

Go straight to:

Send money abroad with Wise

If you’re a Tangerine customer and you’d like to make an international money transfer, you can use the services of Wise instead.

With Wise you can send money abroad for a fair and transparent price, and your money will be converted with the real mid-market exchange rate.

You can make your transfer in a few easy steps online, or on the Wise app.

Join Wise, and start saving money on your international transfers

What services does Tangerine offer?

There are no Tangerine branches - but you can access lots of different services online, via mobile apps, using the phone contact options, or by visiting a Tangerine Cafe in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal or Calgary³.

Tangerine products include²:

  • Savings accounts, including US dollar products and retirement savings accounts
  • Day to day checking accounts
  • Credit cards and other credit and loan products
  • GICs (Guaranteed Investment Certificates)
  • Business accounts in Canadian and US dollars
  • Investment funds
  • Mortgages and home equity lines of credit
  • RSPs (Retirement Savings Plans)
  • RIFs (Retirement Income Funds)

Does Tangerine offer (international) wire transfers?

You won’t be able to send or receive a wire transfer through Tangerine. This is because Tangerine doesn’t have a SWIFT/BIC code, which is the unique identifier used by many banks globally to make sure that wire transfers reach the correct accounts⁴.

If you’re looking to use your Tangerine account to send or receive money domestically, you have a couple of options available to get around this. You could use a cheque or bank draft, get an e-Transfer or link a local account, with another bank, in your name to your Tangerine account and move money via this account⁴.

However, if you want to send or receive money internationally, these options may not be available. More on this - and some alternative ways to send and receive cross border payments if you’re a Tangerine customer, in a moment.

Can you receive an (international) wire transfer to your Tangerine account?

You can not receive an international wire transfer to your Tangerine account.

When you set up an international wire transfer, your sender will ask for your bank’s SWIFT/BIC code to make sure the transfer arrives safely. As Tangerine doesn’t have a SWIFT/BIC code, it won’t be possible to have money sent to your account using a wire transfer⁴.

What are alternatives for your international money transfer?

If you’re a Tangerine customer, and you want to send money overseas for personal or business purposes, you’ll need to find an alternative. Here are some options.

Use a different bank

If you have another bank account in Canada, you could check if they provide international wire transfers. If they do, you’ll be able to move your money from your Tangerine account to your secondary bank account, and arrange your wire transfer from there.

It’s free to move money from your Tangerine account to another account using Interac e-Transfer®.⁷ However, it’s worth noting that traditional banks can have fairly high fees for international wire transfers, so this may not be your cheapest option.

Send cash or a cheque

You do have the option of sending cash or cheque, although this can be risky and create complications for the recipient. There’s always the chance that your money will go missing in the post - and even once it arrives safely, your recipient will need to work out how to access or exchange the payment.

If you’re sending a Canadian dollar denominated cheque they may struggle to pay it into a foreign account, or they could be faced with high fees to exchange cash locally.

Use an international payment provider

There are a range of international payment specialists operating in Canada. You could choose an international payment app, make a payment online, or visit a branch of a payment provider if you prefer to set your payment up in person.

Finding a payment provider isn’t too hard, but it’s good to know that the fees and services available do vary widely. That makes it well worth doing some research before you decide which to use. Here are a few resources detailing features and fees, to start you off.

Try Wise for low cost, safe cross border payments

A final smart option for sending money overseas, is to use Wise. With Wise you can make payments for personal or business purposes, or get yourself a Wise multi-currency account to hold, send and spend money all over the world. It’s also possible to get local account details to receive domestic payments in US dollars, euros, British pounds, Australian or New Zealand dollars, or Polish Zloty.

All international payments with Wise are made using the mid-market exchange rate, and you’ll only ever pay a low, transparent fee per transaction. This can work out much cheaper than using a traditional bank.

If you love Tangerine because of their convenient, low fee products, Wise may well be a great fit for you too.

See if you can save money with Wise

Sources used for this article:
1.About Tangerine
2.Tangerine products
3.Ways to contact Tangerine
4.Transferring funds with Tangerine
5.Interac e-Transfer® and Tangerine
*All sources checked on May 6, 2020

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.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location