We’re making our fees (even) fairer

TransferWise
02.04.19
3 minute read

Summary

We’re changing the way we work out fees. The new fees cover the specific costs of whatever you do on TransferWise. So depending on what you use us for, your fees might go up or down. Bottom line: We believe this is a fairer way to price. And it sets us up to drop fees faster in the future.

What is fair?

As you may well know – because we talk about it a lot! – TransferWise was founded on fairness. Our founders discovered that banks made it unnecessarily expensive to send money internationally, and they started a company to make it cheaper. And by default, fairer.

So that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve built ways to make money transfers more efficient, which has let us charge you lower, fairer fees than our competitors. At times, we’ve raised some fees, but it was always to cover our costs more closely. By the same token, we’ve lowered fees, too. In every case, we were confident we were being fair.

But we’re changing the way we calculate fees again, and we want to be very clear about the reason. Yes, it’s about fairness. But it’s also about making it easier to drop your fees faster in the future.

The price you pay is made up of lots of costs.

When you use TransferWise, we incur lots of little costs in the background. They’re the things that make your money move – like the fees we pay to our partners, or the cost of running our customer support. We also charge a small margin, which we use to improve and grow TransferWise.

Now you’ll only pay for what you use.

Of course, we’ve always had these costs. But in the past, we’ve spread some of them among our customers equally. Now, we’ve recalculated our costs so that customers pay fees that exactly cover their particular need. The fancy way of saying this is that we’ve decided to stop cross-subsidisation.

We worked out the new fees by adding up thousands of small costs – like how much it costs TransferWise when a customer calls about a transfer to euros, versus say, a transfer to Thai baht. Or what it costs us when a partner bank pays out a transfer in the US, versus in Hungary or Singapore.

It was a comprehensive and granular piece of work. We’ve looked at — and used — every data point we could to recalculate our prices, across all our currencies.

The result? Fair(er) fees that are easier to drop in the future.

For many of you, these changes will have little to no impact. For some, TransferWise will be more expensive, and for others, cheaper. In any case, we know that price changes can be frustrating, especially if you’re adversely affected.

But the bottom line is that you’ll now be paying the lowest possible fair price for everything you do on TransferWise. And most importantly, making this change means it’ll be easier for us to drop prices in the future.

Here’s an example to help this make sense.

Say you often send money to Australia. In the past, if it became cheaper to work with an Australian banking partner, it was difficult to pass those savings on to you. That’s because the price we charged to make an Australian transfer may have been covering costs elsewhere.

But now, the fee will be tied more closely to our costs in Australia – and less to other costs elsewhere. So if the costs to work with our Australian partner go down, your fees could go down too.

See how this affects the currencies you use with our price checker.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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