Cheap international money transfers (Transferwise)

Many of you sooner or later encounter the problem of how reliably transfer your hard earned money from your overseas accounts over to the account held in your home country. Many institutions and banks are dealing with international money transfers nowadays. So we need to apply a set of several main criteria we are interested in: total costs, speed, simplicity, clarity, trustworthiness.


First of all, I remove all banks from the selection, as their international transfer fees are astronomical and the transfer times are incredibly long.


As an example I mention, that I visited a Canadian branch of BMO ​with a request to transfer X dollars without a necessity of conversion from a Canadian account to a British account. The clerks did not have a clue to the extent that the matter was quickly escalated to the branch manager. Unfortunately, she was unable to cope with the European format IBAN either. After an indecisive discussion, we decomposed the IBAN code into the individual parts that the manager then entered in the system. After paying a fee of 35 CAD, my transfer was declined and returned to my Canadian account a few days later anyway.


The entirely unreliable system of banks and the outdated SWIFT system (from the '70s) do not allow fast and cheap international money transfers.


Online services such as Transferwise, Worldremit, Currencyfair, etc., are very skillful and flexible in comparison to traditional banking institutions.


In my experience, after many years of using these individual online services, I can definitely recommend the unbeatable Transferwise.

This highly dynamic company with more than a million satisfied customers and with an annual turnover of about 100 million GBP transfers one billion GBP each month through its platform. Over the last 7 years of its existence, it has become the market leader, has substantially perfected its processes and has been tested by countless customers worldwide.

Transferwise works on the real mid-market-exchange rate basis facilitated by the interconnected network of local bank accounts. Let's suppose you plan to transfer money from Canada to the Czech Republic. Via a credit card or bank transfer, you transfer your money in local currency (CAD) to the local Canadian Transferwise account. If you choose a Bank Transfer or Direct Debit method, you don't pay any fees (or fees are minimal), and the money arrives in the Canadian Transferwise Account within 1-2 business days. Upon receipt of the funds, Transferwise informs you about the progress - conversion and sending phase. The conversion takes up to several hours, and the money is sent from the Czech Transferwise account to your Czech account. This type of transfer usually doesn't take longer than 1-2 business days. During the entire transfer process, anytime you can check the status in your online account, and Transferwise will also keep you updated about the progress of the transaction via email at the same time.


How do I start using Transferwise?

Sign up on Transferwise website

If you would like to have your first £ 500 transfer at no charge, please use my referral link (

To successfully complete your registration, you may be required to upload a copy of an official document (ID, passport). Once approved, you can use the service without any restriction.


Note: According to the changing legislation (as per country), it is likely that during the transfer of a particular currency, Transferwise may require further verification or documents. For example, if you transfer more than 1000 CAD, Transferwise will require double authentication. Sending multiple payments up to 1000 CAD each separately should bypass this verification.

Read more here (


As I have already outlined above, the individual regulations and requirements differ from country to country and currency. You're free to double check the current conditions on the Transferwise website. Eventually, you'll receive a message during the payment process itself.

Sending NZD from New Zealand is not as complicated yet, and just a copy of  ID or passport is sufficient (just a photo, not necessarily officially verified).

The process of sending money

The whole process is very straightforward and simple. Once you have registered, click Send money.


Choose the sender's currency and the recipient's currency. After entering the amount and currency, the system will show you a precise calculation of the funds received and the total fees. I appreciate on the Transferwise service no hidden charges (fees displayed on this page are final fees) and the real mid-market exchange rate offered (fixed for 24 hours, with no additional bank spread).

Unlike Transferwise, regular banks, apart from high international transfer fees (30-50 CAD), operate with exchange rates that include a certain percentage extra (spread) above the real mid-market exchange rate.

On the same screen, Transferwise will inform you of the expected delivery date. International money transfers Transferwise


Choose who sends money. Choose whether it is you, a private individual or a legal person (business). International money transfers Transferwise


Fill in the recipient account information. Enter the account number in local format (enter Czech bank account number following the format being used in the CZ). After a successful transfer completion, recipient details will be automatically saved for any additional transactions. International money transfers Transferwise


On the next screen, you will find the transfer final summary. International money transfers Transferwise


On the last page, choose a payment method. Again, the list of methods and fees vary from country to country. In general, bank transfer and Direct Debit are free of charge. While debit card payment from an Irish account is free of charge, debit card payment from a Canadian account is charged (11.37 CAD per 1000 CAD).

The payment method significantly affects the transfer processing time. Payment by debit and credit card is instant, and the money will arrive sooner than when executing bank transfer payment.

From my own experience, I can confirm that payment from the Canadian BMO via Direct Debit has reached my Czech account within 3 business days. Payment by bank transfer from the New Zealand ANZ to a Czech account was completed within 1 business day. International money transfers Transferwise


I have used Transferwise countless times, and every time the money arrived reliably and at a pre-announced time in my account. There has never been a delay, I have never been charged more on fees than they have stated beforehand, and the real mid-market exchange rate has always been followed.

Over the course of 7 years, Transferwise has launched a number of innovations (Borderless Account with embossed debit Master Card), they have significantly sped up the international money transfer process, they have been expanding support for new foreign currencies every year and, through close cooperation with financial institutions worldwide they have broadened up the use of local payment methods. Only during 2017, Transferwise has expanded Direct Debit support from 3 Canadian banks to incredible 14!


I can definitely recommend this service!