TransferWise

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Sending money abroad is deceptively expensive, thanks to the hidden fees we’ve all been forced to pay. The banks claim “free money transfers”, “0% commission.” Sounds like money’s already flowing freely, but far from it. It’s pure propaganda.

TransferWise removes all the wrongness, letting people send money abroad at the lowest possible true cost. Using only real exchange rates and tiny not-hidden-fees. Headaches averted, and a revolution sparked.

How it happened

Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann are two friends who believe that money is meant to flow freely. But in the absence of a global currency, it doesn’t. An epiphany saved them thousands of pounds.

Taavet was paid in euros, but living in London. Kristo was paid in pounds, but had a mortgage in euros and often spent time in Belgium. They devised a simple scheme. Each month the pair checked that day’s mid-market rate on Reuters to find a fair exchange rate. Kristo put pounds into Taavet’s UK bank account, and Taavet topped up his friend’s Belgian account with euros. Both got the currency they needed, and neither paid a cent in bank fees.

“There must be others like us,” the epiphany went.

And the rest is TransferWise.