Will Facebook put everyone out of business?

| Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Transferwise Facebook Messenger Western Union Chart

Yesterday TransferWise announced a new collaboration with Facebook that allows Facebook Messenger users to make international payments inside the app. The announcement has received quite a bit of buzz, likely due to the immense user base the integration gives TransferWise access to. 

Here's how FB messenger's user base compares to that of TransferWise (pre-integration) and Western Union.

Interestingly, Facebook Messenger is only one of Facebook's messaging platforms - the company also owns WhatsApp, which also boasts over a billion active users. No word yet on if a TransferWise expansion there is in the works. 

Fees for everyone

In November we showed you the (often complex) fee structure used by U.K. banks and brokers for international payments (read it here). Recently we conducted a deep dive on fee structures for U.S. banks. We've included a summary table below and you can read our overview here

US Bank Wire Fees
In contrast to the U.K., most U.S. banks employ a flat fee structure. Easier to understand, but not necessarily cheaper (especially for customers making low-value transfers). We also track FX margins across U.S. banks.  

The latest in international payments: Our favorite news and articles

Feeling lucky. On March 11, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee is set to either approve or deny the first bitcoin ETF, and interested speculators can now bet on the outcome of their decision (naturally, with bitcoin). Reminder: this ETF is the work of the Winklevoss twins from Social Network fame. Bloomberg.

Also in bitcoin. Bitcoin's public ledger system (commonly known as the blockchain) holds the potential to streamline numerous financial services products. Apparently it also holds the ability to serve as a great law enforce tool. The Next Web.

The Brexit march. Approximately 1 million UK citizens live in Europe, and 3 million EU citizens reside in the UK. With no systematic register of when the majority of these immigrants arrived, sorting out these citizens rights and residency standing is due to be a challenge. Financial Times

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