Paysend Vs TransferWise: The Ultimate Comparison

Wondering whether Paysend or Wise (formerly TransferWise) is the best option for your next international payment?

This Paysend Vs Wise review will help you decide. We’ll cover all you need to know, including:

  • Features compared side by side
  • Fees and exchange rates
  • Payment delivery speed
  • Security and regulation
  • Customer feedback and satisfaction

Summary: Paysend is a global payment company which focuses on card to card transfers through partnerships with Visa, Mastercard, China Union Pay and other local card networks. From the US you can also send transfers to bank accounts with Paysend.

Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is a specialist in international payments to bank accounts, with multi-currency account products for individuals and businesses.

In our cost comparison Wise came out cheaper and had a better exchange rate for international transfers to bank accounts.

In the US Paysend services are offered through a partnership with the Central Bank of Kansas City. Wise is registered with FinCEN and authorized to operate in most US states. In some states Wise operates as a service provider to Community Federal Savings Bank.

Go To Wise

Paysend Vs Wise: side by side

FeaturePaysendWise
Send payments to100+ countries80+ countries, 50+ currencies
Multi-currency accountsNAvailable for 54 currencies
Debit card availableNY
Fully licensed and regulatedYY
Open a business accountNY

So, to summarize:

  • Paysend supports payouts to more countries from the US compared to Wise
  • Wise has a multi-currency account and card to support 50+ currencies – Paysend does not have that option in the US
  • Wise has business account options – these are not available from Paysend in the US
  • Both providers are fully authorized and regulated for the services they offer in the US

Paysend has a broad range of services available globally, including merchant and business services, and a multi-currency account. However, most of these services are not yet available in the US. Within the US you can use Paysend to send money to and from bank and card accounts, with a fixed transfer fee and fast delivery time.

Wise services include international transfers to bank accounts, and multi-currency accounts and cards for personal and business customers. In our cost comparisons, Wise was cheaper than Paysend, with transparent fees and the mid-market exchange rate.

The important bits

PaysendWise
RatesExchange rate includes a markupMid-market exchange rate with no markup
Fees2 USD for international payments
2 USD for domestic payments under 200 USD, 1% for higher value transfers
Low fees, varies by destination
Speed30 minutes to 3 days depending on the destination country40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours
ServiceOnline, in app and by phoneOnline, in app and by phone
SafetyFully regulated and licensedFully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot)Trustpilot score: 4.7/5, Excellent rating, from 28,000+ reviewsTrustpilot score: 4.6/5, Excellent rating, from 143,000+ reviews

Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate, whereas Paysend adds a markup to the exchange rates used

Fees: Paysend uses flat 2 USD fees for all international transfers, while Wise has variable fees which are based on the destination country

Speed: Most Paysend transfers arrive in 30 minutes, although bank transfers can take up to 3 days based on the destination country involved. Wise payments can be instant, with 80% arriving in 24 hours

Service: Both providers offer multilingual service in a range of languages, online, in-app and by phone

Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated

Reviews: Paysend and Wise both score an Excellent review rating on Trustpilot, although Paysend has fewer posted reviews

Pros and cons

PaysendWise
Pros
  • Fast transfers to card accounts
  • 100+ countries covered from the US
  • Secure and convenient
  • Mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees
  • 80+ countries covered
  • Multi-currency accounts offered
  • Business services available
Cons
  • Exchange rate markups apply
  • Not all services are available in the US
  • No cash services offered
  • No branch network
  • Fees vary based on payment destination and value

Go To Wise

Paysend Vs Wise: The verdict

Paysend’s niche in the US is in card to card payments, which can be set up online or through the Paysend app, and which usually arrive very quickly. Low, fixed fees apply for international payments, although the exchange rate does include a markup. Domestic transfers are also available.

Wise is a specialist in transfers direct to bank accounts, and offers the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees. Wise also offers a multi-currency account with a linked international debit card.

In our example transfers, Wise had better rates and lower overall costs compared to Paysend. If Wise supports payments to the country you’re sending to, and you want your transfer to be delivered to a bank account, they may be your best bet.

Go To Wise

About Paysend and Wise

Paysend was founded in 2017 and serves over 4 million customers globally. In the US, Paysend provides domestic and international transfers to bank accounts and cards. Elsewhere in the world Paysend also offers multi-currency accounts and business services.

In the US you can send Paysend transfers to 100+ countries across the Paysend global network.

Wise was launched as TransferWise back in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider. These days, Wise has upwards of 10 million customers, and also offers personal and business accounts to hold and manage currencies, accept payments and spend using a linked debit card.

With Wise you can send payments to 80+ countries, in 50+ currencies.

How do they work?

When you use Paysend for the first time you’ll need to create an account, and link your payment method. It’s pretty easy to do this with just some basic personal information, and you can get started making low value transfers without needing to get verified. Once you send over 999 USD, or make 5 transactions, you’ll need to complete verification steps to continue using your account.

Setting up a Paysend transfer takes just a few steps:

  1. Log into your Paysend account
  2. Choose the transfer method
  3. Enter the currency you want to send and the payment value
  4. Enter payment details for yourself and the recipient
  5. Check everything over and confirm

To use Wise you’ll need to create an account, and depending on the type of payment you want to make you might need to provide some ID for verification.

Make payments easily online and in the Wise app:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
  3. Enter the recipient’s details – bank account number or email
  4. Check over the details
  5. Fund your payment using a card or bank transfer
  6. Confirm and your money will be on the move

To make it cheaper and faster to process payments, Wise built a network of bank accounts around the world. When you want to pay for your transfer in USD you’ll send the money to Wise’s local US account. Then Wise will make a payment of the equivalent amount in your preferred currency, from their account in the destination country. No money actually moves across borders, cutting out many of the costs and waste involved in traditional international payments.

Paysend vs Wise Fees

Paysend has a flat fee of 2 USD for payments which include currency exchange[8]. However, there’s also an exchange rate markup which does push up the overall price you pay. You’ll be able to see the exchange rate available for your transfer before you confirm the payment.

Paysend domestic transfers in the US cost 2 USD if they’re under 200 USD in value, with a 1% charge for larger payments.

Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no hidden costs. Instead there’s a transparent fee which varies based on the transfer destination and type, which you’ll be shown when you calculate your payment online or in the Wise app.

Paysend vs Wise: which is cheaper?

Sending international payments using a specialist provider is almost always cheaper than using your normal bank. However, different providers have different fees and exchange rates, so comparing a few is still the best way to find the cheapest deal for your international transfer.

Here’s how Paysend and Wise match up for a few example payments:

Amount & CurrencyPaysendWiseWinner?
USD>1000 GBP1,364.03 USD1,350.46 USDWise
USD>5000 GBP6,812.14 USD6,749.76 USDWise
USD>1000 EUR1,135.45 USD1,123.63 USDWise
USD> 5000 EUR5,669.25 USD5,616.04 USDWise

*Rates and fees correct at time of research – 31st January 2022

As you can see, Wise was cheaper for all of the transfers we modeled. While Paysend has a low, flat transfer fee, the exchange rate markup pushes up the overall cost you pay. It’s also harder to figure out the exact price you pay because this charge is wrapped up in the exchange rate you’re offered. Wise, on the other hand, uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees which you can see clearly before you confirm your transfer.

Paysend Vs Wise: which is faster?

Paysend payments to card accounts can be extremely fast – most arrive within 30 minutes of being processed. However, transfers to bank accounts tend to be slower. Depending on the destination country and the specific payment you’re making, bank payments may take up to 3 days to arrive.

Wise payments can arrive in seconds on some currency routes, and most transfers arrive within a day. You’ll see the estimated delivery time when you set up your transfer, and can always track it online or in the Wise app.

Safety

Paysend is globally licensed and registered. In the US Paysend services are offered through a partnership with the Central Bank of Kansas City.

Wise is registered with FinCEN and licensed as a money transmitter in most US states. In some states Wise operates as a service provider to Community Federal Savings Bank.

Ease of use

  • Creating an account: Wise and Paysend accounts are opened and operated online or using the provider’s app
  • Making a transfer: Paysend and Wise both offer international payments which can be made online or in-app
  • Ways to send money: Wise and Paysend transfers can be funded by bank transfer or card
  • Languages: Both providers offer global support in a range of languages, online, using the app, and by phone
  • Minimum & maximum amounts: Paysend customers can send up to 5 payments or 999 USD prior to verifying their account – after this you’ll need to complete some verification checks to send Paysend transfers. Transfer limits are set according to the level of verification on your account. Wise limits depend on which currencies you send to and from, and how you pay. However, you can make several smaller transfers if your ideal transfer amount exceeds the limit for the specific payment

Supported currencies

Globally Paysend covers payments to over 100 countries.

With Wise you can send money to 80 countries and hold and convert 54 currencies in your Wise account.

Conclusion

Whether Paysend or Wise is best for you depends largely on the destination country and the specific service you’re looking for.

In the US Paysend is a specialist in transfers to card accounts, which can be sent to 100+ countries and may arrive within just 30 minutes. International transfers have a low 2 USD fee, but the exchange rate also includes a small markup which increases the overall cost.

Wise international payments are sent directly to bank accounts around the world, using the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees. In our comparisons, Wise was cheaper overall – which may mean Wise is the better bet for your payment if they serve the country you’re sending money to.

Go To Wise

FAQ

1. Is Paysend or Wise cheaper?

In our cost comparisons, Wise was cheaper than Paysend, with a better exchange rate available.

2. Is Paysend or Wise faster?

Paysend transfers to bank cards usually arrive in 30 minutes, although bank transfers may take a couple of days depending on the destination country. Wise payments can arrive instantly, with most being delivered within 24 hours.

3.How many currencies do Paysend and Wise support?

Paysend international transfers can be sent to over 100 countries around the world. Wise customers can send payments to 80+ countries, and hold and manage 50+ currencies in their Wise accounts.

By Ileana Ionescu Updated March 28th, 2022