How TransferWise works: Your step-by-step guide

2 minute read

TransferWise is the new way to move your money around the world, as easily as possible, for as little as possible. We’re building a better, cheaper, fairer system for anyone who lives, travels, or does business across borders.

With TransferWise, you should find that your fees are always fair, and you get the real exchange rate. The same ones big corporations and banks get. But with TransferWise, you get those rates, too.

To see how to make your first transfer, read on.

1. Check our fees and exchange rates and find out yourself if we’re cheap

Use our calculator on the TransferWise homepage to tell us how much money you want to send, and where you want to send it. You'll see our fees and exchange rate upfront, even without logging in. So you can always check to make sure you’re getting a great deal.

We use the real exchange rate – it’s the rate you’ll find on independent sources like Google, XE, and Yahoo Finance. (Our fees are as low as 0.4%.)

For some currencies, we also have a price comparison tool that can help you make an informed choice.

Like it so far? Send money now.

2. Create your free account

It’s free to create an account with TransferWise and your recipient doesn’t need to use TransferWise for you to send money to them. You can sign up as an individual and, if you have a business, you can add your business to your TransferWise account – on desktop, mobile, or with our apps.

Depending on the country you're sending from, we might need to have you verified. Verification will take 1-3 days. See when you need to be verified.

3. Tell us where your transfer is going

Tell us who you’re sending the money to, along with their local bank details. You can send money to yourself, someone else, or a business, depending on the country.

Your recipient doesn’t need a TransferWise account to get their money. Just a bank account.

4. Pay for your transfer

Pay by credit or debit card or make a local bank transfer to TransferWise’s bank account in your country. You don't have to link your bank account to TransferWise (unless you’re sending from Canada or the US).

Depending on the country you're sending from, you might have other payment options.

5. Leave the rest to us

Our smart technology links local bank accounts in countries all over the world. So often we’re able to use money from a TransferWise user sending money the other way around. Once we get that sorted, we'll give you an estimate of when your money will arrive – usually it’s much faster than a bank transfer.

If you provide your recipient’s email address, we'll also give your recipient a heads up to let them know your money is on the way. It will go right into their bank account.

Ready to start saving? Send money now.

If you have more questions, check out our smart TransferWise Help Centre.


Inviting friends is key to the TransferWise revolution. The more people send money on TransferWise, the better it is for everyone. Earn real money when you refer friends who become TransferWise users.

Invite your friends.

How can TransferWise be so cheap?

Banks overcharge you when you send money abroad. But you already knew that.

So now you're wondering how TransferWise can be up to 8x cheaper?

We've made a video explainer, to explain.. just that:

Banks and brokers hide their fees on foreign currency transactions.

This means that when you buy holiday money or make an international payment, the bank adds a secret fee by offering you a poor exchange rate.

These hidden charges are on top of the stated charge, which is sometimes advertised as ‘free’ or ‘0% commission’.

Most people have no idea how much they’ve paid to access their own money.

TransferWise is campaigning to stop banks and brokers hiding their fees.

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

Find out more

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