Europe paves the way for payments that work for everyone

Brigit Carroll

It’s not the first time we’ve celebrated good political decisions coming out of the European Union. After European policymakers put more transparency for international payments into law, they are now keen to tackle other flaws in the payment system.

Last week, the European Commission set out their ambitions for retail payments in Europe: making payments cheaper, faster, convenient and more transparent for consumers - a mission that the Wise team have been working towards since 2011.

Instant is the new normal

Today, 25% of transfers via Wise arrive in under 20 seconds, but unfortunately, that’s far from being the norm. Encouraging more banks to adopt instant payments will make this a reality for more people.

However, that would only solve one part of the problem. The other issue is systemic. There is plenty of competition in the financial sector from newer players, like Wise, for consumers to see. But behind the scenes, the banks still hold a monopoly on access to the payment infrastructure in Europe.

The European Commission has now put a question mark next to that monopoly. Consumers can benefit from instant payments quicker and more universally when non-banks like Wise can directly participate in payment systems. Read all about it here.

Transparent, and eventually free

Transparency has been one of the key pillars of our mission here at Wise, a goal we share with the World Bank, who cite a lack of transparency as the main reason the cost of remittances remain high. Today, the average cost of remittances is 6.82%. The Wise average is 0.7%. Lowering that cost to under 3% of the amount sent overseas globally is considered so crucial, it’s part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The European Commission has now committed to playing its part in achieving that goal and we can only encourage them to hold banks to account when they are overcharging and under-communicating.

You can too. If you want to hold your bank to account and get involved in campaigning for more transparency globally, sign up here.

Want to hear more about our policy positions? Find out more.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location