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TransferWise and Up partnership: Up bank launches cheap international money transfers

Young man in the city checking cell phone in the evening

Man in the street looking at his smartphone Digital bank Up will link to TransferWise's API to allow customers to send money overseas in 52 currencies with the real exchange rate from within the Up app.

In an Australian first, local digital bank Up has partnered with international money transfer fintech TransferWise to offer customers cheap, fast overseas money transfers. Up will connect to the TransferWise for Banks API to allow customers to send money overseas in more than 50 currencies. Although the service will be powered by TransferWise, Up customers won't need to leave the Up app.

Thanks to the collaboration, Up customers will be able to send money abroad using the real exchange rate with no margins added on top. The real exchange rate is the one you can see on Google, but banks add their own margin on top of this when transferring currencies for customers. Previous research by TransferWise has revealed Australians are wasting more than $1 billion a year in exchange rate markups.

Instead of an exchange rate markup there's a small, transparent transaction fee to send money overseas. Up customers will see this within their app at the time of the transfer. They'll see exactly what they'll pay in fees, and exactly how much their recipient will get in the foreign currency.

Listen: Up co-founder Dom Pym preview what's next for the bank

Even with this transfer fee, TransferWise research has shown it can be up to 10 times cheaper than the big banks when sending money abroad. TransferWise head of banks Murali Akella said this partnership has instantly made Up one of the best choices for Australians looking for a cheap way to move money globally.

"By plugging into our API, Up just became the fastest and cheapest to use in Australia for international payments. In fact, Australians staying with traditional providers could end up paying between 5-8x more than Up customers, who will have a seamless, low-cost TransferWise experience without leaving the Up app."

Up already doesn't charge customers any international transaction fees when using their Up debit card to make purchase overseas. This latest integration with TransferWise makes Up even more cost-effective for customers who not only travel a lot, but regularly send money abroad too.

TransferWise also launched its own debit card in Australia in August, allowing customers to hold more than 40 currencies and pay overseas with the real exchange rate.

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