£150 billion in hidden fees every year

Kristo Käärmann

Ten years ago we started Wise. We were both sick of losing money to our banks when making cross currency payments. We wanted to end that.

That’s a story that, by this time, you might know well. But today we can share something new. And that’s the sheer size of the problem we’re solving.

According to new, independent research,the world still pays £150 billion in hidden fees to the banks every year…¹ . Amid the excitement of our listing today, it’s worth reminding ourselves that that’s the number that matters most. That’s money unknowingly spent by people and businesses on foreign currency.

Over the last ten years, we’ve grown from a simple money transfer service into an international account. We’re helping a community of over 10 million people and businesses manage their money across the world. We’ve expanded to new countries, launched new features, and are still fighting as hard as ever against hidden fees.

Today we save Wise customers £1 billion a year. But the clock is ticking and every day people are paying money they don’t need to in hidden fees. It still leaves us with another £149 billion every year to tackle, before this mission is complete.

So what’s next for Wise?

Today, we will complete the first direct listing on the London Stock Exchange. We’re taking this as an opportunity to work even more closely with our customers through the launch of OwnWise, which has now had over 125,000 pre-applications. Customers who take part will share in our journey, not just through lower fees, but as owners of the business. The closer we can involve the people who use our service in our work, the more likely we are to create products and services that make moving money easier for them.

We’re still in the early stages of making our mission a reality, but we know what we need to do, and we have an amazing team of over 2,400 dedicated people working to make it happen.

We have every faith that we’ll continue to make serious changes to the way the industry makes payments across currencies over the course of the next ten years, to achieve money without borders for everyone.

So - thank you to everyone who has got us this far. I hope you’re as excited as we are for solving the next £149 billion.


Kristo & Taavet

¹Edgar, Dunn & Company, January 2021

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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.

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