Published On: Tue, May 1st, 2018

FinTech Takes Another Leap: Say Hello to the TransferWise Borderless Account

TransferWise has been in the news off late. The company popularly known for its bank-bashing advertisements has branched out by launching a new service that aims to disrupt how cross-border fund transfers are carried out, again. Only, this time they’re doing it in partnerships with banks.

photo/ Gerd Altmann

In 2016, TransferWise partnered with Raphaels Bank, becoming the first FinTech company to get a foothold in the UK’s Faster Payments Service. Now, it will rely on banks to operate accounts and the soon-to-be-launched currency cards through its latest offering, the Borderless account. Taavet Hinrikus co-founder of TransferWise, referred to the move as a “logical extension of our services”.

What’s on Offer?

The TransferWise Borderless account is basically a non-interest bearing digital wallet that lets you receive payments and hold funds in multiple currencies. While this account has similarities to the Payoneer Global Payment Service, the former comes in a way more refined package and for a fraction of the cost. About this account, Hinrikus has said, “I don’t think anyone can provide that even if you pay a lot of money for it.”

What you get once you register are bank account details from the US, the UK, and the European Union. This gives you a quick and cost-effective way to receive payments in US dollars, British pounds, and euros. You may receive payments and hold funds in your account in up to 27 currencies. There are no limits on how much you may hold in different currencies, with the exception of US dollars. You get to transfer funds out of your Borderless account to more than 50 countries, in as many different currencies.

If you’ve used N26 or Revolut, you’ll have no problems with the Borderless account interface. Activating new currency balances is a breeze and just about all the information you need – such as pricing details, bank routing (ABA) numbers, and SWIFT codes – is no more than a few clicks away.

Sending money from your Borderless account works in the same way as a normal TransferWise transfer. What helps is you may add funds to your account on your own, using a bank transfer, a debit card, or a credit card.

It’s Easy on the Pocket

You’ll pay no account opening or ongoing maintenance fees. Receiving money comes at no cost. You’ll pay no currency conversion fees when you receive payments in matching currency-specific accounts. When sending funds in a different currency or moving funds between currencies within your account, you’ll get mid-market rates that TransferWise offers for all its transfers. You’ll need to pay a nominal fee when you withdraw funds from your Borderless account to a bank account.

Can You Sign Up?

In its current avatar, the Borderless account is meant for small to mid-sized businesses, online sellers, sole traders, and freelancers. You may sign up for a Borderless account from all countries except:

  • Afghanistan
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo Republic
  • Crimea (sub-territory)
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Hong Kong
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Libya
  • New Zealand
  • North Korea
  • Sevastopol (city)
  • Singapore
  • Somalia
  • Republic of South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syrian Arab Republic

Buzz About the Currency Card

The online grapevine is buzzing with talk about TransferWise launching a multi-currency card toward the end of 2017. Once this happens, the company will make further inroads into the neobank territory, much to the dismay of other FinTech companies such as Revolut that aim at providing mainstream banking experiences. While there are scores of multi-currency cards out there, it’s expected that TransferWise will create more than ripples in this realm primarily because of its pricing strategy.


The Borderless account gives you the means to do away with managing multiple online wallets and accounts, and it can become your one-stop-shop for international fund transfers until a better alternative comes along.

Author: Anwar Hossain

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