New TransferWise debit card set to launch


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO and has 20 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely quoted as an expert… Read more
  • Personal account customers set to get card with over 40 currencies accessible, as well as corresponding account
  • New card can be accessed today, and follows in footsteps of European alternative
  • “We’re excited to be releasing the card in the U.S”, says firm’s CEO


Payments service TransferWise has announced that it intends to make easier cross-border payments a reality thanks to a new debit card service.

It will now offer its US customers a MasterCard-powered debit card with a multiple currency account, called TransferWise Borderless.

As part of the new international money transfers card, more than 40 currencies will be accepted – and there will be no balance limits.

In addition, the conversion fee used on the card will be derived from current exchange rates at the time of the transaction.

At present, the card is only available for personal account customers. It has been launched this week. Business account customers, however, will have to wait a bit longer for their equivalent to be launched.

TransferWise already offers a similar card in a number of other markets around the world. Customers in Britain and the European Union, for example, can access cards like these.

When a TransferWise customer either in the US or further afield signs up for this card, they will receive an international bank account number as well as a routing number.

There is also a function to synchronise the new account with Google Pay, Apple Pay and other similar systems.

Other features including a currency routing system, through which TransferWise automates the conversion process to ensure that the most cost-effective alternative balance is chosen.

For those who worry about losing their card while abroad, it is possible to suspend the card remotely even if it is lost.

According to TransferWise’s CEO Kristo Käärmann, the ultimate aim for the firm is to provide “the world’s first global account”.

“TransferWise is working to remove some of the financial barriers keeping people from traveling, living, and working across borders”, he said.

“The international bank details are a key feature that truly set us apart. Our goal is to offer bank details for every country in the world through one account — the world’s first global account — and we’re starting with five of the world’s top currencies. The 40-currency debit card completes the package, so we’re excited to be releasing the card in the U.S.”

It has been a long time coming, TransferWise already provides cards like these to British and European markets and accessing the US market was obviously a strategic goal. Sometimes, card-related developments take a longer time to occur in the US. Contactless, for example, has not taken off in quite the same way as it did in other developed markets. However, by creating this card and finally getting it out to American users, it’s clear that TransferWise has reached what it must consider to be a long-term goal.

Firms such as TransferWise are clearly making waves in this sector. Learn more about what other firms provide and why over at our magazine page.

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