Is Wise Safe and Legit? [2024]

Learn why Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is safe to use to send or receive money overseas.

Wise is safe to use for the services they offer - from sending and receiving overseas payments, to multi-currency accounts for individuals, freelancers and companies, and international debit cards for convenient spending. 

In fact, Wise is already trusted by 16+ million people and businesses, and regulated by a range of authorities all over the world. That means that no matter which currency you’re holding, sending or spending, you know your money, your account and your transactions are safe and protected by manual and automatic security processes.

In this review we will cover

Wise is Safe

  • Regulated around the globe
  • Use encryption and 2FA for logins
  • By law they have to 'safeguard' your money
  • Use 3DS for card payments
  • In-house security team to monitor fraud

Wise's rating: 4.2 / 5.0

Learn more

Is Wise (formerly TransferWise) safe to use?

Yes Wise is safe to use. Wise customers transfer over 10 billion dollars every month, and millions of individual, business and enterprise level customers hold funds in Wise personal and business accounts. As a global business, Wise is regulated by a number of bodies around the world, and also employs industry level security measures to keep customers and their accounts safe.

Wise is regulated in the US by FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) and renews its registration annually. To find out more about each state license it holds as a money transmitter click here. Wise is also supervised by regulatory authorities in each of those states. In states and territories where Wise does not hold a license it offers services through a partnership with Community Federal Savings Bank.

By law Wise need to 'Safeguard' your money. This means they need to keep customer money separate from their own working capital. Funds are held in trusted banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Barclays and Citibank, and in liquid assets like government bonds. Safeguarding is in place to make sure that customer money is safe even in the unlikely event that Wise was to suffer financial problems.

How safe is Wise?

It is very safe.

Wise offers bank grade security and their own in house fraud and support teams. They make sure all your money and data are protected from fraudulent activity or logins.

They use HTTPS encryption and 2FA or two factor authorization to protect your transactions. 2FA is required every time you log in, and every time you make a transfer, Wise will ask you to verify that it’s you by text message, fingerprint or face recognition.

Here’s a quick Wise fact-file as an overview:

Year founded: 2011

Regulation: Regulated globally, FinCEN registered in the US

Number of customers: 16+ million customers

Services available: Transfer to 160+ countries, hold 40+ currencies in a Wise account

Card services: Spend in 150+ countries around the world with a Wise card

Is Wise money transfer safe?

Wise is a safe provider to send international money transfers with. As well as being FinCEN registered in the US, Wise has a range of security measures in place to protect customer funds and ensure payments are safe.

Before you can use Wise you’ll need to log into your Wise account using your secure password and 2-factor authentication processes for safety. Wise will then follow all local and international compliance rules when processing international transfers, including getting all required verification from customers prior to initiating a transfer.

Finally, Wise generally has no need to hold customer funds when processing an international transfer. However, if there is any requirement for Wise to hold your money - while verification checks are being completed for example - it will be safeguarded by being deposited at a top tier bank for security. 

Is Wise as safe as banks?

Wise is not a bank - however, for the services Wise offers, it is as safe as a bank.

Banks are often subject to more regulation compared to international money transfer companies, because they also offer extra services like credit cards and loans. For international transfers, Wise is as safe as a bank, but often cheaper and faster. Learn more: Wise vs international bank transfer

Is Wise (formerly TransferWise) a bank?

Wise is not a bank. Wise is licensed as a money transmitter in many US states and territories, and in others it offers services through a partnership with Community Federal Savings Bank. For the services it offers, Wise follows similar rules and regulations to banks, including having its own dedicated teams to protect customer funds and prevent fraud.

How does Wise keep your money safe?

Wise uses a broad range of approaches to keep customer money and data safe. Here are the key features:

  • Customer funds are safeguarded at top tier institutions
  • Licensed and regulated around the world
  • Dedicated 24/7 anti fraud technology and support team
  • 2 factor authentication for your account and card
  • Transaction alerts every time a payment is made with your Wise card
  • Independently audited with regular testing to check and fix any vulnerabilities
  • High levels of data protection

Learn more about Wise

Why is Wise asking for my social security number (SSN)?

Wise asks for your social security number to comply with local regulations, including the USA Patriot Act and as part of an added layer of security when you are transferring money domestically or internationally. Like traditional banks, Wise is a regulated financial institution, and verifying customer identities, including their social security numbers, is a requirement when issuing debit cards in the United States.

Why is Wise asking for my bank statement?

Wise asks for your bank statement when you send a large amount of money as part of a regulatory requirement. This verification process helps ensure the security and integrity of Wise's services by confirming the source of the funds being transferred. Providing a bank statement or other relevant documents, such as investment or savings certificates, serves as proof of the legitimate origin of the money, complying with financial regulations and safeguarding Wise for all users.

Is the Wise Account safe?

Yes. The Wise Account is safe to use to hold, spend and exchange currencies. If you hold a balance in a Wise Account it is safeguarded by Wise, which means it is held in a top tier bank or invested in liquid assets like government bonds. This means that Wise customers can always get their funds easily, but they’re never mixed with Wise’s own working capital.

When you use your Wise account you’ll notice some safety features too. To log into Wise you’ll use 2-factor authentication processes, and you’ll be able to review your balances with just the Wise app. Use the app to freeze and unfreeze your linked Wise debit card, and to receive transaction notifications so you’re always on top of your money.

If you ever have any problems with your Wise Account you can initiate a chat within the app, to get support from a member of the Wise team. 

Is Wise safe to keep money with?

It’s safe to hold funds in your Wise account. Whenever you deposit money into your Wise account, it is safeguarded in a leading financial institution. This means your Wise account balance is secure and is always held entirely separately to Wise’s own money.

Is Wise safe for savings?

Any money held in your Wise account is safeguarded away from Wise’s own working capital. That means your money is protected even in the unlikely event that Wise got into financial difficulties. That said, Wise accounts are not interest-bearing, so if you're looking for that specifically, you may find another provider that suits you better

Is it safe to connect your bank account to Wise?

Yes. Wise was built with security in mind, which means that your personal and financial information is secured by cutting edge technologies, as well as automatic and manual processes to spot and stop fraudulent or criminal activity.

Is the Wise business account safe?

The Wise business account is safe to use. Wise business accounts are also managed under the same regulations as personal accounts, with funds fully safeguarded for customer security.

The main difference between using a Wise business account and a business account from a traditional bank is likely to be cost. Wise offers international transfers and currency conversion with the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees, which can work out cheaper than using your regular bank.

What personal data does Wise collect?

Wise collects personal data from customers which can include information you give them, and information collected from you, such as your IP address and the way you use Wise services. Wise may also collect information from third parties, for example, to help in the account verification process.

You can ask Wise not to contact you for marketing purposes by changing your marketing settings within your account, or sending the customer service team an email. 

Wise may be required by law to retain some information about you. The length of time that data is retained will depend on the specific information and the applicable laws. However, Wise will not hold customer data for any longer than is necessary for practical or legal purposes.

Do I have to verify my identity on Wise?

Yes, customers have to verify their identity when using Wise - and for good reason. While not a traditional bank, Wise is still an official financial institution and, as such, operates under strict rules and regulations to ensure the security of its services. Just as providing identification is mandatory when opening and using a traditional bank account, Wise also requires identity verification to know who is using their platform. This process is crucial when it comes to ensuring the safety of customer funds and combating money laundering. 

Luckily, Wise's verification process is straightforward. Depending on where you're sending money from and the amount you're sending, you might be asked to verify your identity. The ID that Wise accepts includes your passport (photo page), national ID card (excluding US military IDs), and a photo driver's license (electronic driving licenses are not accepted). 

Customers may also have to provide additional documents such as proof of address. Accepted documents include bank or credit card statements as well as utility bills and even vehicle registration documents. You might also be required to take a photo of yourself holding your ID or a selfie to help with the verification process. 

While generally quick, the time that it takes to verify your identity will depend on various factors, including the amount of money you're sending, the currency you're sending, and how many transfers you've made. However, Wise aims to complete the process within 2-3 working days from the receipt of your transfer. Once your identity has been successfully verified, your transfer will automatically resume, and you'll be notified via email.

Are Wise accounts FDIC insured?

Wise is not a bank, and so deposits are not FDIC insured by Wise in the same way that some bank deposits are. However, Wise is regulated as a financial service provider, and licensed as a money transmitter in many regions around the globe. That means that Wise follows strict safeguarding guidelines which are enforced by regulators around the world to keep customers and their money safe.

Is Wise safe for large amounts?

Yes it is.

Wise is regulated around the globe, and uses encryption and 2FA for logins, passwords to transfer money, and 3DS for card payments. By law Wise has to 'safeguard' your money - plus, Wise has an in-house security team to monitor fraud and keep your money and data secure.

Wise is trusted by individuals and businesses to hold and send large value payments. Wise transfer limits for sending from USD are:

  • $1,000,000 USD per transfer on personal and business accounts
  • $50,000 USD per day using bank debit (ACH), or $250,000 over a 60 day period on your personal account. On your business account, you can send up to $400,000 over a 60 day period.
  • $2,000 USD per 24 hours and 8,000 USD per 7 days using debit or credit cards

With Wise the USD receiving limits are:

  • Up to $1 million per local transfer
  • Up to $1.6 million for SWIFT transfers
  • Up to $6 million when sending from a Wise USD currency balance

Related: Wise money transfer review

TransferWise Safety large amount transfers

Learn More

Where does Wise keep money?

Wise keeps customer funds separately to its own working capital, in either cash deposits or secure liquid assets. Here are the key institutions used:

  • Cash deposits - Barclays Bank, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase
  • Secure liquid assets - US, EU and UK government bonds

Holding customer funds like this means money is secure and easily accessible by Wise customers as and when it’s needed.

What personal data does Wise collect?

Wise collects personal data from customers which can include information you give them, and information collected from you, such as your IP address and the way you use Wise services. Wise may also collect information from third parties, for example, to help in the account verification process.

You can ask Wise not to contact you for marketing purposes by changing your marketing settings within your account, or sending the customer service team an email.

Wise may be required by law to retain some information about you. The length of time that data is retained will depend on the specific information and the applicable laws. However, Wise will not hold customer data for any longer than is necessary for practical or legal purposes.


Wise deposit protection

Funds held in a Wise account are not FDIC insured as they may be with a traditional bank. However, Wise has an obligation to safeguard all customer funds, which means that your money is held at a top tier financial institution, or in liquid assets like government bonds - and kept separately from the money Wise uses to run its business. Safeguarding processes ensure that even if Wise were to become insolvent, customers' funds are protected in an account held at a reliable banking partner, and can not be used for the day to day running of Wise.

Data Security - What happens with debit card and credit card information?

3D Secure (3DS) technology is an extra layer of security for online payments made with your Wise debit card. Once you have entered your card details you will be directed to approve your payment by entering a password or code. This is to stop fraud and check transactions are only being made by an authorized user.

Protecting you and your data is important for them, and they won't share your data with third parties unless required to do so by law. While Wise are required by law to keep your data, they never sell your personal information.

How is Wise regulated?

Wise is registered with FinCEN in the US, and holds relevant licenses for many US states. In the states and territories where Wise does not hold its own license, it offers services through a partnership with Community Federal Savings Bank. Wise is also registered with regulators in countries around the world to comply with global financial services legislation.

Here’s a summary of how Wise is regulated around the world:

Australia - Wise Australia Pty Ltd. is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) 

Belgium and the European Economic Area (EEA) - Wise Europe SA, is a Payment Institution authorised by the National Bank of Belgium.

Brazil  - Wise Brasil Corretora de Câmbio Ltda. is an exchange brokerage firm authorised by the Central Bank of Brazil. Wise Brasil Pagamentos Ltda. is a payment institution, issuer of electronic money, not yet subject to authorisation by Central Bank of Brazil. Wise Pagamentos is part of the prudential conglomerate led by Wise Corretora.

Canada - Wise Payments Canada Inc. is registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and  the Authorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) as a Money Service Business (MSB) 

Hong Kong - Wise Payments Limited is regulated by the Customs and Excise Department (CCE) of Hong Kong and is licensed as a Money Service Operator (MSO)

India - Wise Payments Limited is approved by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for facilitating outward remittances from India 

Indonesia - PT Wise Payments Indonesia is licensed by Bank Indonesia as a Fund Transfer Operator 

Japan - Wise Payments Japan K.K. is regulated by the Kanto Local Financial Bureau and licensed as a Funds Transfer Service Provider.

Malaysia - Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. is regulated under the laws of Malaysia by the Bank Negara Malaysia as a licensed remittance, money-changing and e-money issuance business.

New Zealand - Wise Payments Ltd. is supervised by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) for anti-money laundering purposes.

The Philippines - Wise Pilipinas Inc. is licensed by the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) as a Remittance and Transfer Company (RTC) 

Singapore - Wise Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd. is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) 

United Kingdom - Wise Payments Limited is authorised as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) 

United States - Wise US Inc. is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and renews its registration annually. It is licensed as a money transmitter in many US states, and supervised by regulatory authorities in each of those states. In other US states and/or territories, money transmission services are offered by our partner financial institution Community Federal Savings Bank, which is supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Wise Nuqud Ltd. is regulated by the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) 

Wise customer service

Wise provides accessible customer service that’s available to help customers with their queries or problems via chat, email and phone. 

If you need help, you’ll find a wide range of helpful information at the Wise Help Centre, which you can access on the online website. Topics include how to send your money, managing your account, information about using Wise cards and more. You can also use the Help Centre for more tailored solutions and is a great resource for solving common issues and questions while helping you make the most of your Wise account. 

If you still can’t find the answer that you’re looking for or have a more complicated or confusing problem, simply share the details of your query with the Wise team online, and they’ll connect you to the appropriate team to help you.

Wise’s support team may also send you helpful emails regarding your account or transfers which often contain self-help options to address any problems you may be experiencing, so it’s also always a good idea to keep your eye on your registered email address. 

Is Wise better than PayPal?

TransferWise Safety - Using TransferWise with low exchange rate is better than PayPal for transfers over $200

Wise and PayPal have both been built to put customer safety first. Which is best for you will depend on what you want to do. 

Wise offers low cost international transfers to bank accounts, which use the Google exchange rate, and can be a great choice if you’re holding, exchanging and spending in foreign currencies regularly. 

PayPal is available for transfers to almost every country in the world, with funds deposited instantly in the recipient’s PayPal account. Fees may apply, which can be quite high once you take into account currency conversion.

Read Wise vs PayPal comparison to learn more.

Customer Reviews from TrustPilot

Wise gets an Excellent 4.2 out of 5 star average on Trustpilot, from over 196,207 reviews posted. At the time of writing, 83% of customers posting reviews give Wise a 5 star rating.



TransferWise Safety - Customer service when sending money internationally with a TransferWise account is great.

Conclusion: Is TransferWise Safe?

Wise is a safe multi-currency account and international transfer provider, which is popular thanks to its convenient service and low overall transfer fees. 

Wise has a number of features to keep customer money safe, including thorough account verification, 2 factor identification for accounts and card use, and 24/7 anti fraud controls. 

Like banks and most other financial service providers in the US, Wise is registered with FINCEN and regulated by global regulatory bodies everywhere services are offered.


FAQs: Is Wise money transfer safe?

Is Wise safe to transfer money?

Yes. Wise has robust processes in place to make sure customer funds are safe when you make an international transfer, including thorough account verification and 2 factor authorization processes. Wise is also authorized and regulated by regulatory bodies around the world, including FinCEN in the US, the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia.

Is it safe to keep money with Wise (formerly TransferWise)?

Yes. Wise safeguards all customer funds in top tier banks and government bonds. This means money is safe and held separately to Wise’s own working capital.

Is it safe to connect Wise to your bank account?

Wise holds all customer data securely and in line with local and global data protection regulation. That means that if you use your bank account to add funds to Wise, your data will be safe.

How secure is Wise?

Wise is a safe provider for account services and international transfers. Customer funds are safeguarded, and accounts are protected by thorough verification processes and anti fraud technology.

Is the Wise (TransferWise) app secure?

The Wise app is secure. It’s available in multiple languages, and has a 4.6 out of 5 score from thousands of reviews on the Apple App Store. It also scores 4.2 out of 5 on Google Play.

Is it safe to give Wise my social security number?

Wise protects all your sensitive personal and financial information, in line with globally approved best practices. 

Is Wise (TransferWise) FDIC insured?

Wise is not a bank and therefore is not FDIC insured. Instead, any money held with Wise is safeguarded, which means it’s deposited in a top tier financial institution or held in liquid assets like government bonds. This ensures customer money is safe - and means customers can get their funds whenever they need them.

Is Wise a US bank?

Wise is not a bank, it’s a financial technology company which offers international payments and multi-currency personal and business accounts. For the services it offers Wise is as safe as a bank, and must follow similar regulations to banks around the world.

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Claire Millard
Fintech Content Writer
Claire Millard is a content and copywriter with a specialty in international finance. Her work has featured in The Times and The Telegraph, as well as industry magazines and leading personal finance blogs.
Read more
Seyma Mektepli
Seyma is an experienced content writer and editor-in-chief at Exiap, delivering informative articles on personal finance, and money transfers.
Read more
Last updated
January 24th, 2024