Is Transferwise Safe?

Moving money from one bank to another is expensive. Is there any way we can lower those fees while keeping high security?

That service is called Transferwise, and it seems to deliver on that promise. But this isn’t your typical transfer service. It uses a different method to send money to other accounts so that you barely pay anything.

All you need to do is open and fund your account. Next, you choose where you want to send that money. You choose the bank country and enter the banking details.

After you choose a payment method, you’ll be sending that money to Transferwise. And they will exchange the currency (if necessary) and transfer it to your account later. So the payment arrives a few business days later.

Other companies might be doing the same, but Transferwise is more trusted worldwide. You can confirm this statement by double-checking the positive reviews on Trustpilot as well.

Is TransferWise Safe?

Is TransferWise Safe

As you can see, many people say nice things about this service. It’s easy to understand, fees are transparent, and payments go through quickly.

But if you filter those reviews by the most critical, you can find an average of 3-4 people per day saying it’s a scam, or how they lost their money. No matter when you’re reading this, people are complaining every day, even though it represents 1% or less.

Should we worry? Is there anything wrong?

Well, Transferwise reminds us of bank and wire transfers. I don’t know about you, but I use those sparingly, depending on the transaction purpose. You don’t use them every day because:

  • They’re expensive
  • They take days to go through
  • Refunds aren’t possible

It’s effective when sending money abroad, but you must be meticulous with the details you enter. If you make a mistake on the address — or you send money to a scammer — that money is gone forever.

That doesn’t make the platform fraudulent though. Transferwise is one of the many payment methods people use.

Why do they use it? The selling point:

“Money transfer services at a much lower price than that of a traditional bank transfer.”

Nobody wants to pay for moving some money you already own. And Trasferwise offers the lowest price.

But that’s not what customer complaints are about. Here are the major concerns:

  • Customer support is too slow/doesn’t reply to my emails
  • The transfer didn’t complete, but I didn’t get my money back
  • They closed my account for no reason, but I still had a balance there

Understand that Transferwise is a big, automated platform. Whoever designed it already thought of every possible error, and they won’t let you in an unfair situation.

Customer Support

When it comes to customer support, people have wrong expectations about them. They think they’re some sort of tech team who can access anything in the platform. The reality is, they can only give you information and minor help. They may not even know what your problem is, let alone solving it.

And when problems come from the system, you’re not the only one who has them. Hundreds of users flood the support chats, and support can’t properly help all of them.

This happens in almost every international payments firm including Paypal, Venmo, Payoneer, Western Union, and others.

Failed Transactions

Although it’s not the rule, a system error could prevent the transaction from completing. But if the money doesn’t arrive, there’s a refund programmed to produce in a few business days.

If the money doesn’t appear anywhere, you create a support ticket, and the employees inspect the case. You can get information about what to do, but chances are customer support can’t speed things up.

More often than not, it’s the client who makes a mistake without realizing, who spends days wondering where their funds are. And the newest users are more likely to have those issues.

For example, you can send money from one bank to another using Transferwise. But when doing the bank transfer, you have to use the exact information that appears on the screen. Each order gives you a unique reference number, which tells Transferwise that you sent that money.

You have to add that to the “Description of Recipient’s Statement,” or they won’t recognize the funds. They will get the money, but they can’t send it anywhere because you can’t verify the transaction. You can still fix this mistake by providing proof of payment.

Deactivated Accounts

Like any other business, Transferwise needs profits to function. Typically, the Terms and Conditions make sure that they always benefit from the situation. But most people don’t bother to learn what those conditions are!

It’s not a surprise that you later find your account deactivated. And because you infringed TOS, there is no previous warning. What did you do wrong? Go ask customer support: they don’t know the answer.

It could be that the platform AI detected you doing something you weren’t supposed to do. But as most employees say, it’s much easier to forget the matter and open a new account. Re-activating an account could take 5+ months, knowing how slow these tasks are.

If you had any pending transactions, they may either complete or cancel. If it’s the last one, they return to your account in a week or two.

And here’s the classical: “They deactivated my account and don’t tell me why. I don’t know what to do to fix it, and my funds are still there!”

It’s not a scam. Almost every payment platform reserves the right to close your account anytime. That’s why you should never trust too much money to 3rd-party providers.

Even then, they always send the remaining funds to the bank account you choose. BUT you may need to pass KYC verification first, which is another legal requirement in ANY platform. Things like ID cards, bank statements, utility bills, and other proof.

Most people think Transferwise is stealing their money when in reality they didn’t pass the verification steps. It’s against the law to do business without verifying your customers.

Scam or Legit?

Scam or Legit

Transferwise is meant to move large amounts for little to no cost. And big bucks can lead to big mistakes if you’re not careful. Always double-check where you’re sending money.

Don’t send to people you don’t trust. And that means that if you make a mistake, you can request the person a refund, and you know they’ll transfer it back. You don’t pay just because an offer sounds really good.

  • Choose your funding source and amount
  • Choose who will receive the money: you (other accounts), a person, or a business
  • Get the institution and transit number to link your recipient’s bank. Add the bank account number
  • Confirm the transfer, which shows the flat fees you pay and mid-market conversion rates
  • Choose your payment method (debit/credit card, bank/POLi-bank transfer)

If you follow the steps, you’ll have no problems. Transferwise is even better than your bank. We recommend getting an account there sooner rather than later. Signing up through here even gives you a free international transfer as a first time user.

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