Making Wise Easier for US Military

Jenny Miller

The U.S. Armed Forces have nearly 200,000 members stationed abroad across the world. They’re paid in USD, but usually have to spend their money in the local currency — and that’s where the problem lies. Independent research found that service members stationed overseas lose $301 million yearly to hidden exchange rate markups.

Our family, friends, and loved ones serving our country shouldn’t be slammed by expensive banking fees just to manage their money.

They should have affordable ways to make global payments, so instead of enlarging the coffers of old-school banks through unfair rate markups, they keep their well-earned money to themselves. Read more about Wise's efforts to support U.S. service members abroad here.

Introducing APO Address Capabilities

Those stationed abroad with an Army/Air Post Office (APO) Address, can now take advantage of Wise’s cross-border payments service and the multi-currency account, allowing them to send, hold and receive funds in over 40 currencies.

Bringing Wise to military bases will now allow those serving our country to use money like a local no matter where they’re stationed. It will let them:

  • Send money to and from 70+ countries
  • Always get a low and transparent fee
  • Receive money for free with local account details in 9 different currencies
  • Always get the mid-market rate

We’re calling on regulators to end hidden fees

Each year, service members and their families lose hundreds of millions of dollars to hidden fees in inflated exchange rates. This is because banks and payments providers can mislead service members and their families on pricing — advertising “no fees” or “$0 fee” — while marking up exchange rates and pocketing huge profits. Current law still allows for hiding cross-border fees by increasing the exchange rate on a transaction, but Wise is fighting to change this.

Specifically, we’re encouraging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to change their Remittance Rule to ensure full cost disclosure in international payments, including disclosure of exchange rate markups. We also continue to push payment providers to be clear and upfront about any cross-border fees, and better educate consumers so that service members stationed abroad are aware of the real prices of their transactions.

It’s long past time to end the $301 million hidden fees on our service members. Read more about Wise's efforts to support U.S. service members abroad here.

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