Wise (TransferWise) launches its Borderless account in Australia
The account can hold 27 currencies and comes with 4 sets of international bank details.
Wise has today officially launched its Borderless account in Australia, which is initially being offered to businesses, sole traders and freelancers. Wise is already a market leader for its online international money transfer service, which offers consumers the real exchange rate and highly competitive transfer fees, and its new product will certainly add even more pressure on the local banks to up their game.
The Borderless account is like a multi-currency account and will allow customers to hold up to 27 currencies. Account holders can switch between currencies instantly and on the go while accessing the real exchange rate and paying no commissions. Instead, Wise will charge a small, transparent transfer fee.
When sending and receiving international payments, account holders won't need to worry about losing a large chunk to exchange fees as they can simply use the correct currency in their account and, therefore, no currency conversion is required.
Going one step further, it will also allow account holders to have local bank account details for the UK, US, Europe and Australia. Account holders will receive these instantly with no-set up fees, and no need for a residential address in those countries.
Having easy access to so many different currencies and local bank account numbers will allow businesses to make international payments quickly and hassle-free. There are no costs for receiving international payments, so account holders can receive euros, pounds, US and Australian dollars fee-free. The company says it will almost be like having a local account actually set up in those countries.
Wise chairman and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus said, "Business banking is notoriously expensive and difficult to set up and manage, even alternatives like PayPal are expensive for small businesses. It’s even worse when you’re doing business internationally: there are high fees and exchange rate mark-ups every time that a business is paid by a client or customer abroad, or when they organise their funds across country borders."
The new Wise Borderless account is available to Australian businesses, including sole-traders and freelancers, from today and will be launching to consumers in 2018. The consumer launch is also set to come with a debit card which is sure to provide a real threat to the big banks.
I'm sure a consumer product in the form of a bank account will be warmly welcomed by the Australian public. In August, Wise called out the banks for hitting consumers with poor exchange rates and excessive commissions and fees, which are costing Australian consumers $3.1 billion a year.
"We’re building one of the few new global financial services brands that are coming out now. With the unique platform we’ve built, we’re looking forward to creating a new kind of financial services for the future," said Hinrikus.