Transferwise is shaking up its money transfer fees


Star startup Transferwise is shaking up its fee structure as it chases profitability, the latest fintech to look more closely at how it charges customers.

The cost of transferring cash from the UK to Eurozone countries, Switzerland, the US and Australia has been lowered by between 0.1 and 0.35 percentage points, while sending money to Bulgaria, Hong Kong and Poland will inch up by between 0.05 and and 0.2 percentage points.

A minimum fee of £2 has been changed to an unfixed flat fee, which it said will be as little as 50 pence in some cases, but will remain the £2 in others depending on the country, to encourage more smaller value transfers.

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It admitted that in some cases it could increase the cost of medium-sized transfers "to cover the real cost".

"We’ve done this because it’s the right thing to do — because we can, and because if we don’t take a stand in lowering the cost of sending money internationally, no one else will," it said of the change to UK fees, adding that it's "committed to getting these fees back down as soon as we can" for the rises to the three countries.

It follows changes to fellow fintech startup Monzo's costs last week. It crowdsourced with customers the best way to change its ATM fees which it had said were costing too much.

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The company said it's also lobbying for a change to interchange fees – that is, the amount charged by credit and debit card on transactions – which changed from a one-off 50p charge to a 0.2 per cent fee on debit and 0.3 per cent on credit cards.

The seven-year-old startup wants it capped "to a few pennies" and said it is now pushing customers to do bank transfers to avoid the charge.

Transferwise is one of the UK's most highly valued startups and said it turned a profit for the first time at the start of the year. Its eventual goal is to reduce the cost of money transfers to zero.

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