Financial tech start-up introduces its service as key part of ambitious global expansion
Wise, Europe’s leading financial technology start-up, today announced the official launch of its service in the United States. Customers in the U.S. are now able to send U.S. dollars to any other currency on Wise’s international money transfer platform.
This makes it eight times cheaper, on average, to send money abroad compared to using a bank. The stateside rollout comes on the heels of a $58M Series C funding round last month led by Andreessen Horowitz for the purpose of global expansion. Wise’s international money transfer platform is based on a peer-to-peer model, which gives users access to the real mid-market exchange rate. This allows them to avoid traditional banking fees altogether, which has never before been possible for American consumers transferring money abroad.
Users have already transferred $4.5 billion globally using the platform, saving them over $200M to date. International money transfers are far more expensive than banks let on. Even when they claim there are no fees, they typically use an inflated exchange rate to increase their profits. Wise charges one percent for transactions below $5,000 and 0.7 percent for amounts over that – eight times less expensive than banks on average. The company will also be opening its United States headquarters in New York City, headed by newly appointed U.S. general manager Joe Cross. Joe was one of Wise’s first employees, and previously headed its marketing operation.
Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise:
> “We came up with this idea to save ourselves money, and we’ve continued to grow and expand our platform because we believe that people who live, work, study, or do business abroad shouldn’t be ripped off when they transfer their money,” said Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Wise.
> This launch means that expats living in the States no longer need to go along with the traditional banks’ old and unfair way of doing things.”
Wise started in early 2011 with its two founders making transfers between just British pound and euro. It has since added a further 250 members of staff and 292 currency routes, and continues to grow between 15-20 percent a month.
The company aims to add an additional 300 currency routes this year, and now also allows U.S. customers to send money to Brazil, the Philippines, Canada, Malaysia and Nigeria.
Wise has attracted $91M from some of the world’s leading investors. Most recently, this includes Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson and Peter Thiel. For more information and to start transferring your money abroad, visit www.wise.com.
Wise is an international money transfer platform. It makes it up to 8 times cheaper to send money abroad compared to using a bank. Developed by the people who built Skype, it uses peer-to peer technology to get rid of all the charges banks and brokers have kept hidden for decades.