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Old 15.09.2015, 17:16
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Transferwise - any experience?

We're moving to the US and I'm exploring options for transfering money from my CH accounts to a US account.

One tool I've come across is Transferwise.

I'm just testing it out now - but wondering if anyone has previous experience with it? Sounds a bit too good to be true.

What am I missing? I can't seem to find the catch. People say if the fees are low then they must be using a crappy exchange rate - but i see the fees low and today's exchange rate?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 15.09.2015, 17:20
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

Not used it but heard good stuff about it.

I use CurrencyFair and I highly recommend it.
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Old 15.09.2015, 17:28
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

I have used this atleast more than 10 times in the last 1 year though for a different currency and I would highly recommend this. Another similar service is Xendpay but have no experience with that.
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Old 15.09.2015, 17:45
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

We have used this service a few times as well but to a different country. Even have the option of cancelling the transfer if the minimum amount set by us to transfer at wasn't achieved. All in all very easy to use and over board in our case. There was a huge saving on the transfer fees for us.
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Old 15.09.2015, 18:10
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

Hi,

I have used it very recently and I am in full favor of it.

Converted some CHF to GBP.

a) Exchange rate is amazing. It peeked my interest as to how can they manage to give a rate so close to the market. Google helped me understand it, quite an interesting/creative way

b) Customer Service is amazing. Had issues with some dumb things I did and wanted to fix it. The Cmr service was quite quick to respond and fix it.

c) their transaction fees is down right minuscule. but once your realize how can they do it, it makes sense.

d) I have even started to layer my transfer to get a balanced transfer rate portfolio. And I can only do this as their fees is very very very close to being linear vs the amount you are transferring, as long as you transfer more than 300ish CHF.

All you have to do it, get your passport's scanned copy and your bank statement which helps them to create your account. Transfer money to their account and then they ''transfer'' money to your recipient bank.

Hope this helps.
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Old 15.09.2015, 18:26
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

Transferwise is great, I´ve also used currencyfair.

Personally I perfer currencyfair.

Considering you're US-bound, you should maybe also look into revolut. They don't have a CHF-interface yet, but you can charge them from CHF via currencyfair/transferwise.
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Old 15.09.2015, 18:31
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

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What am I missing? I can't seem to find the catch.
The catch is their fee. Which they charge both the buyer and the seller as it's peer-2-peer. It might look small but it's around 0.5% from what I calculated so would soon add up.

There are cheaper ways to conduct this transaction but this is as good as you gonna get as a retail customer.

You could get a similar rate by opening an account with Swissquote. It's not really a currency exchange platform but you could use it to exchange currency no problem.

If you want to dabble with professional level tools. You could open an account with Interactive Brokers. It's not really a currency conversion either platform but could also be used to exchange money from one currency to another at the lowest level I've ever seen.

It all depends on how much you're transfering? 10k? (go with transferwise or swissquote) 100k and up? Might be worth opening an IB account (savings around CHF500.-.
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Old 17.09.2015, 12:16
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

don't use transferwise for huge amount of money because the fee is in %.
Currencyfair has only a fixed fee... And it's not a must to use the fixed rates but the market place instead where you can find much better rates (especially if it's not urgent you can just wait for a better rate).

One more thing: I don't really know how safe they are. I mean there is no real guarantee which says your money will be transferred. No bank behind, etc... Normally it works fine, I also use it, just to get a clear picture
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Old 17.09.2015, 12:22
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

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don't use transferwise for huge amount of money because the fee is in %.
Currencyfair has only a fixed fee... And it's not a must to use the fixed rates but the market place instead where you can find much better rates (especially if it's not urgent you can just wait for a better rate).

One more thing: I don't really know how safe they are. I mean there is no real guarantee which says your money will be transferred. No bank behind, etc... Normally it works fine, I also use it, just to get a clear picture
Waiting will not necessarily get you a better rate, I have been waiting a long time hoping to get 2.4 CHF for £1, the best I got was nearer 2.60.

Having a bank behind means very little, fx is unregulated so no protection if they go bust.
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Old 17.09.2015, 12:24
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

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...I don't really know how safe they are...
From what I gather, all these Fintech companies (currencyfair, transferwise, revolut etc...), who do not have a banking license themselves, need to have a license to issue "electronic money" (at least when they're registered and licensed in the UK).

Client's funds are parked with a "real" bank, while the Fintech manages your balance through their respective channel / webinterface / whatever their business is.

The Fintech does not have any direct access to these accounts. As such, should the fintech go bust, client's would receive their balance back.

Therefore, the safety of funds boils down to the question how safe the used bank is.

I´d love to know more details though, if anyone has any. After all I´m not sure about the above, that was my understanding after 10 minutes research.

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 17.09.2015 at 12:35.
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Old 17.09.2015, 12:54
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

I use transferwise monthly for a small amount transfer to asia (less than 500). As others have mentioned the charge is by %, I'd rather use my bank if transferring more than 2000 CHF.
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Old 17.09.2015, 12:55
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

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You could get a similar rate by opening an account with Swissquote. It's not really a currency exchange platform but you could use it to exchange currency no problem.
-.
Can you elaborate on this a little?
Swissquote offer Peer to peer model or the offer mid market exchange rate with low fees?

I need to transfer SGD to CHF but transferwise & currenyfair don't cater to that pairing.
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Old 17.09.2015, 13:09
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

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...I need to transfer SGD to CHF but transferwise & currenyfair don't cater to that pairing...
Somewhere" (I seem to remember currencyfair or transferwise website) it sais that Singapore doesn't allow funds to leave the country this way. As you can see with both mentioned services, it is possible to send money into Singapore this way, but not from there.

It seems to be some regulatory thing. I fail to understand what Singapore tries to achieve with this, especially since the country is usually quite open to all sort of financial matters.

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 17.09.2015 at 13:25.
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Old 17.09.2015, 15:17
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

The higher the amount the higher you pay them
They also tend to delay the transaction when they find that the rating is moving in their favour
I transferred at the same time One direct from Bank to bank transfer and through Transfer wise

a) I got better exchange rate in Bank to Bank
b) I got the money 1 day early through Bank

I would not recommend transfer wise
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Old 17.09.2015, 16:33
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

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Can you elaborate on this a little?
Swissquote offer Peer to peer model or the offer mid market exchange rate with low fees?

I need to transfer SGD to CHF but transferwise & currenyfair don't cater to that pairing.
Swissquote doesn't allow customers to hold funds in SGD AFAIK. Only EUR, CHF, USD, GBP and CAD. So this will also not help you.

I just had a quick look and IB allows customers to hold funds in SGD. I would have a chat with them first to be 100% sure what the requirements are for Singapore residents / citizens. more info: here
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Old 17.09.2015, 16:37
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

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...hold funds in SGD...
Currencyfair, ironically, allows to hold funds in SGD.

You can exchange whatever you have into SGD; you can then either change it back into whatever you like, or transfer it into an SGD account.

The only thing I found impossible is to "feed" currencyfair from an SGD-account in Singapore.
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Old 17.09.2015, 16:44
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

Currencyfair is a good option to transfer. I did it too few months back. I recommend it but i never tried transferwise
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Old 17.09.2015, 17:03
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

I've used transferwise, it's nice.....but am a heavier user of currencyfair.

Currencyfair is the best choice in my opinion.

A cool thing I do with currencyfair; you can set up recurring transactions, so you can feed cross-border accounts on a regular basis at their great rates. I do this from a CHF (Swiss) account to a GBP (UK) account, starting with a standing order from my Swiss account to currencyfair, who then do the rest and deposit the GBP each month into my UK account without me doing anything.
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Old 17.09.2015, 17:07
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

For larger transactions Swissquote is pretty good. You get a money market quite to buy into the currency for transfer, then you can send it. Bear in mind wire usually costs about 30CHF.
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Old 17.09.2015, 17:08
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Re: Transferwise - any experience?

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For larger transactions Swissquote is pretty good. You get a money market quite to buy into the currency for transfer, then you can send it. Bear in mind wire usually costs about 30CHF.

I never tried this but I heard of it. Do they give you the live rate or a marked up rate but marked up a little better than their online rate?

I was under the impression that if you ring their trade desk they still mark up the interbank rate but not as much as their online platform does and obviously speaking to them on the phone attracts a minimum fee that you mentioned or thereabouts.
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