TransferWise is peer-to-peer international money exchange platform, where it pairs buyers and sellers of different currencies. It offers a helpful online calculator to help you determine the fees incurred for exchanges across borders.

PayPal transfers 1.6 billion payments each quarter. PayPal might not be thought of as a traditional foreign exchange payments provider, but if you manage a business that trades or exports outside of the UK (or any other country for that matter) you may already be exploiting the PayPal platform to support those payments.

Much like TransferWise, PayPal does not operate in the way that a traditional currency broker does. Accounts are free to set up, although there are fees involved if you would like to open a business account to set up frequent payments. There are also fees associated if you make payments by direct debit or credit card during a foreign currency transaction due to currency conversions. Fees are pre-advised by PayPal; we have provided details below. However, please note that these are subject to change.

TransferWise enjoys some stellar feedback from their customers, with over 40,000 reviews on Trustpilot earning them the maximum 5-star rating. Common negative comments are concerned with how and when user identity is verified. This process could negatively affect transfer timescales. Therefore, it is best to check with TransferWise to determine whether or not an identity verification is necessary before commencing large transfers with a strict or urgent deadline. PayPal scores low in terms of customer services on Trustpilot, with a 1-star review from under 2,000 reviews.

 

TransferWise
Amount Received
£ 200.00
EUR234.60
USD264.47
CAD348.80
AUDn/a
£ 13.19 Avg. Saving vs. Banks ?
Go to site
PayPal
Amount Received
£ 200.00
EURn/a
USDn/a
CADn/a
AUDn/a
£ 0.00 Avg. Saving vs. Banks ?
Go to site
?
Est. 1998
TransferWise
Fee: ? 0.5% to 1.5%
Bank Partner: ?
Speed: ? 1-5 days
Local Settlement: ? Europe
Transfer Methods ?
Phone and online transfer services
Regulated By: ?
FCA, FinCEN
General Notes Get your free multi-currency account, to pay and get paid around the world with the real exchange rate. Say bye bye to crazy bank fees for good.
Country Notes When you pay by debit or credit card, most banks charge an additional fee. These processing fees vary depending on the kind of card you use and where it was issued.
PayPal
Fee: ? Sending or receiving money between friends and family within the UK (in GBP): Free when funded by the sender’s PayPal balance, bank account or debit card. If you use a credit card to send money, a fee of 3.4% + 20p applies.
Bank Partner: ?
Speed: ? 1-3 days
Local Settlement: ? Global
Transfer Methods ?
Phone and online transfer services
Regulated By: ?
FCA, FinCEN
General Notes It’s free to use PayPal to buy something unless it involves a currency conversion.
Country Notes Sending or receiving money between friends and family within the UK (in foreign currencies): Currency conversion fees apply. If you are using a credit or debit card, a fee of 3.4% + 20p will also apply.

TransferWise Features

  • Peer-to-peer platform
  • Nominal fees on transfers
  • Transfers completed within 1–4 days
  • Borderless accounts without overseas address requirement
  • Offers four currencies: AUD, EUR, GBP or USD
  • Single payment or repeat payment options
  • Provides rate information and fees prior to transfer via online calculator
  • Payments via debit card, Apple Pay, SWIFT transfers and bank transfers
  • Secure payments function available via TransferWise feature in Facebook Messenger
  • 5-star Trustpilot rating from over 40,000 reviews
  • Uses mid-market rate supplied by Reuters

PayPal Features

  • Trade globally with functionality for buying and selling online
  • Collect and make international payments
  • Easily accessible, user-friendly platform
  • One-touch payments
  • Buyer protection, fraud protection and data encryption
  • Mobile app for on-the-go payments
  • Website available in several European languages as well as Japanese

 

The pros and cons of using TransferWise

pros

Make transferring on the go simple, with their new TransferWise bot available through Facebook Messenger

Offers the ability to carry out batch payments to up to 1000 recipients – useful for regular payments to self-employed contractors or freelancers.

The main website is available in: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

cons

Difficult to compare easily to other providers due to the fees, but does make them

transparent and details them all at the start, so there are no surprises

Cannot accept out bound payments from Hong Kong

Customers have voiced concerns about the specific point at which Transferwise verify your identity as this may not be your first transfer. This could impact your transfer timescales, so best to confirm directly with them if you do have an urgent, large transfer due.

The pros and cons of using PayPal

pros

Great for global purchases

Simple to shop without carrying out separate foreign currency exchanges

Easy to transfer money to family and friends

iOS and Android apps available

Send invoices from business accounts

Card reader available

cons

Unfavourable for large transfers such as buying a property abroad

Complicated fee structure

No easy way to contact customer services by telephone

cons

Difficult to compare easily to other providers due to the fees, but does make them

transparent and details them all at the start, so there are no surprises

Cannot accept out bound payments from Hong Kong

Customers have voiced concerns about the specific point at which Transferwise verify your identity as this may not be your first transfer. This could impact your transfer timescales, so best to confirm directly with them if you do have an urgent, large transfer due.

cons

Unfavourable for large transfers such as buying a property abroad

Complicated fee structure

No easy way to contact customer services by telephone

TransferWise
Amount Received
£ 200.00
EUR234.60
USD264.47
CAD348.80
AUDn/a
£ 13.19 Avg. Saving vs. Banks ?
Go to site
PayPal
Amount Received
£ 200.00
EURn/a
USDn/a
CADn/a
AUDn/a
£ 0.00 Avg. Saving vs. Banks ?
Go to site

Price Comparison

TransferWise

 There are no fees for bank transfers incurred by TransferWise. Fees are applicable, however, when paying through debit or credit card. Payments are only allowed to the country or region registered on the card.

 

 

Currency

 

Maximum Amount

 

Card Fees

 

Business Card Fees

GBP

£2,000

Debit – 0.2%

Debit – 75p

Credit – 0.3%

Credit – 1.7%

 

An additional 3% is charged to hedge against exchange rate fluctuations for specific amount transfers. Fees are paid according to the calculated charges on the original amount inputted for transfer.

 

PayPal

The seller can select who gets charged for the PayPal fees during the transaction, which is usually the buyer. It is either one or the other and it cannot be both. This is usually £1.99 or £3.99, depending on the receiving country. Money sent using a debit, credit or prepaid card are charged with a fixed fee at 3.4% of the total amount +20p. Conversion fees are added for payments which involve foreign currency conversion. This ranges between 3% to 4% above the base exchange rate.

Using PayPal balances for cross-border payments will incur different fees corresponding to the location it is sent to.

 

International Presence

The borderless accounts option by TransferWise can accept payments through four currencies: AUD, EUR, GBP or USD. PayPal, on the other hand, supports a much wider foreign currency selection and is able to accept payments made through 27 currencies. Both global companies support 27 currencies. TransferWise has personal and business accounts options available to 50 countries. PayPal has a much wider scope, being able to access over 200 countries.

   

Ease of Use

TransferWise allows new users to open an online account quickly. Their website is easy to navigate and utilising their account functions is intuitive. Google or Facebook accounts may be used to set up a new account. Its Facebook Messenger enabled TransferWise bot makes transfers simpler. Hassle-free regular payments can be made through their borderless account functions using USD, GBP, EUR and AUD. Customer services are available during office hours from Monday to Friday. Clients can contact the company via live chat through their website, telephone and email.

PayPal has a very accessible website with a wide global reach. It has a vast amount of businesses accepting or offering the platform as a mode of payment. The platform has a simple login interface with the ability to perform one-touch payments. PayPal is available on iOS and Android apps. The platform can be linked to a Slack account allowing funds to be sent to friends and co-workers.

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Other International Money Transfer Quotes

OFX (US)

?
Est. 1998

OFX provides secure and speedy international money transfers to over 300,000 people in 55 currencies at better-than-bank rates.

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OFX provides secure and speedy international money transfers to over 300,000 people in 55 currencies at better-than-bank rates.

Amount Received
GBP £152.51
USD $30.26
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Average US Bank

Average of the top US Banks costs as compiled by our own FXC Intelligence group

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Average of the top US Banks costs as compiled by our own FXC Intelligence group

Amount Received
GBP £150.39
USD $27.54
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WorldRemit

?
Est. 2010

WorldRemit is an online service that lets people send money to friends and family living abroad, using a computer, smartphone or tablet.

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WorldRemit is an online service that lets people send money to friends and family living abroad, using a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Amount Received
GBP £152.53
USD $30.28
saved vs. banks

MoneyGram

?
Est. 1940

MoneyGram is a leading remittance provider serving countries across the globe.

 

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MoneyGram is a leading remittance provider serving countries across the globe.

 

Amount Received
GBP £155.84
USD $34.53
saved vs. banks

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FXcompared.com is an fx money comparison site for international money transfer and to compare rates from currency brokers for sending money abroad. The website and the information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer, solicitation or advice on any financial service or transaction. None of the information presented is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended.  FXC Group Ltd and FX Compared Ltd does not provide any guarantees of any data from third parties listed on this website. FX compared Ltd expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from (i) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (ii) any action resulting therefrom.