We're waiving fees on $20,000,000 in donations to COVID-19 research

3 minute read

The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become one of the biggest global health issues we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Four months on from initial responses, we’re in a better place than we were, but we’re by no means out of the woods yet.

Our mission has always been to build the best way to move money around the world. Today, we want to ensure that our approach to moving money can benefit charities and organisations who are seeking to find, and distribute, a vaccine for COVID-19.

Currently, most banks and payment providers don’t exchange your money using the mid-market rate (the rate you would find on Reuters, and Google). They alter the rate in a way that is favorable to them, and pocket the extra money. So even if they say they have low fees or even zero fees, they’re taking an extra chunk of money through their rate.

That means that if you donate money to an organisation in another country, and your transfer provider doesn’t give you the real exchange rate, your full donation isn’t getting to that cause you support.

We think that’s wrong — especially during times of global crisis.

What are we doing to help?

As of today, Wise is partnering with 3 international organisations working to find and distribute a vaccine for COVID-19. When you donate through our platform, your donations will be exchanged via the mid-market rate, and we will waive our fee entirely.

That means your entire donation will reach these organizations which are working to help all of us. Put simply, it’s more money where it’s needed most, when it’s needed most.

And we’ll waive our fees on up to $20,000,000 in donations.

Which organisations are we working with?

United Nations Foundation (UNF)

The UNF powers the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, set up to support the World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners’ work in offering a range of initiatives to help countries all over the world prepare and respond to COVID-19. Their work includes sending essential supplies and test kits, developing multilingual courses and guidance documents, defining public health advice for health workers, schools and workplaces, combating misinformation, supporting vulnerable populations, coordinating research for treatment across more than 130 countries, and running clinical trials.

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI):

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, working to develop vaccines for future epidemics. CEPI has initiated nine partnerships to develop vaccines against COVID-19, and these partnership programmes will make replicating a vaccine cheaper and quicker for all involved. The aim is to develop multiple safe and effective vaccines which can be made available to those who need them most.

Before the emergence of COVID-19, CEPI’s priority diseases included Ebola virus, Lassa virus, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunity development against unknown diseases.

Gavi, the vaccine alliance:

Gavi has launched the Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 Vaccines (Gavi COVAX AMC). The alliance will use money from developed country donors to guarantee access to substantial volumes of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. It will then secure vaccines and assist in delivery for developing countries. These countries account for almost half of the world’s population, and without assistance, would struggle to access COVID-19 vaccines. Making sure vaccines are available to those at risk everywhere in the world is critical to ultimately stop the pandemic – and halt its impact on lives, trade, commerce and travel.

How do I donate?

Please follow these steps rather than sending money directly to your chosen organisation. This is the only way we can waive our fees, giving you the real exchange rate.

  1. From our landing page, choose the organisation you'd like to donate to
  2. You'll be prompted to log in to your Wise account, or to create a free account if you don't already have one.
  3. Select the currency you want to donate from, and the amount you'd like to send, then make your donation!

If you’d like to donate to any of these organisations, and waive your fees in the process, please click here.

From all of us at Wise, stay safe.

Wise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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