TransferWise unveils two new offerings to businesses and consumers

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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO at FXcompared and has numerous years of experience in the international finance world, especially within the media, technology and property sectors. Daniel is passionate… Read more
  • Batch payment support for corporate and payroll transactions
  • Borderless, multi-currency debit card in Canada and the US

UK-based fintech cross-border payments company TransferWise has this week unveiled two new offerings: batch payment support for payroll and corporate transactions, and a forthcoming rollout for its borderless debit card (which lets customers hold balances in multiple currencies) to Canada and the US.

The batch payments solution can facilitate as much as 1,000 payroll and supplier payments simultaneously, enabling small and medium sized businesses to pay staff, freelancers and vendors across borders using a single file.

TransferWise Business Product Lead Stuart Gregory explained that the solution is designed to help SMEs manage their business more effectively across international borders.

He added: “Not only will it help them save money, but also time, which any entrepreneur will tell you is just as important.”

The move is seen as another step by the fintech upstart into territory traditionally occupied by banks. It is also rumoured to be working on an API that will allow integration between its service and enterprise accounting systems to simplify international money transfers.

Meanwhile, the firm’s new borderless credit card (which was launched in the UK and the Eurozone a fortnight ago) allows customers to store and spend multiple currencies at home or abroad, with significantly lower exchange fees than conventional banks.

Describing the card as useful to frequent business travellers, expats and snowbirds who spend a good deal of time both inside and out of Canada, CEO and founder Kristo Kaarmann said: “When people go out of the country, they are inevitably spending money. They're booking hotels, they're booking flights, often in other currencies, and that's where banks scoop the hidden fees.”

With the new borderless card, there will be no transaction fee for any purchase in the currency the balance is held in. If the money on the card has to be converted into another currency, a small conversion fee of between 0.6% and 1% will be charged (as Kaarmann was quick to point out, this is well below what the banks apply).

TransferWise already offers Canadians a borderless account, which was launched there in August last year. The new borderless debit card is expected to be available in 2019 and there is no limit on the amount of money that can be held on the linked borderless account.

Canada is among TransferWise’s ten biggest markets and has just become its sixth fastest-growing market for money transfers. Since its launch in 2016, the company’s platform has facilitated the transfer of around USD $2.2bn in and out of the country.

While the big banks are investing significantly in technology in response to customer preferences for digital banking, they’re facing keen and growing competition from fintech providers of payment services like TransferWise.

In April, TransferWise became the initial non-bank money transfers provider to obtain a settlement account in the Real Time Gross Settlement system of the Bank of England, allowing it to complete payments directly without the intermediary of a retail bank.

The company added business services to its consumer financial services offerings in 2016, introducing a corporate account service last year to allow firms to deposit funds in different currencies and ease the process of getting paid in different jurisdictions.

In addition to the Canada initiative, the company said it plans to launch a cross-border payment card in the US, too.


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