The important thing to remember is that there is only one ‘real’ exchange rate. Sometimes this is called the mid-market rate, interbank rate and spot rate amongst other things.
The mid-market rate is the mid-point between the BUY and SELL rates on the global currency markets and it constantly fluctuates. It’s the rate you find on Google, finance.yahoo.com, xe.com etc. and the rate that TransferWise uses. The real rate, the fair rate...the actual rate!
As we have a clever peer-to-peer system for all our transfers, we simply take in rate data from these sites and apply it when converting money (ie. when the deposit has arrived and conversion has begun). You're never locked to a rate (but you can set a rate limit). We’re not tied up with brokerages, in bed with spreads or any other nonsense.
But surely this is what you get from your bank right? Nope. Not even close. Believe us, we tried.
Banks and other money transfer companies don’t use this rate. They use their own rate. Fiddled so you pay more for less and they pocket the profits.
That’s why they’ve labelled TransferWise a ‘disruptive’ financial service. Because a business model that revolves around transparency and fairness ruins all their fun.
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