Wise Business Account Review [2022]

Wise was launched in 2011 with a mission to build a better way to move money around the world, making international payments cheaper, faster and more convenient. Today Wise has over 10 million customers and moves 95+ billion USD annually. As well as low cost international transfers with the real exchange rate, you can also get a Wise account for personal or business use to hold and convert 50+ currencies.

With a Wise for business account, you can send payments to 80+ countries, and get paid like a local from 30 countries. You’ll also get business friendly features like batch payments, adjustable user-level permissions, automatic reconciliation with cloud based accounting software and a powerful API to automate payments.

In this Wise business account review, we’ll share with you all you need to know about the Wise business account to help you decide if it’s right for your business.

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Wise: Key points

Key features: 

  • Full account features for a one-off 31 USD charge – no monthly fee
  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies
  • Domestic USD business payments and direct debits
  • International transfers to 80+ countries
  • Mid-market rate currency exchange with low, transparent fees
  • Add and manage account permissions
  • Bank details to receive payments in 10 currencies
  • Batch payments – pay up to 1,000 people at once
  • Connect to Xero or QuickBooks for easy reconciliation
  • API integration

Pros:

  • Low start up fee, no monthly cost and no minimum balance
  • Hold 50+ currencies and pay suppliers in 80+ countries
  • Local bank details to get paid by clients, PSPs and marketplaces in 10 currencies for free
  • International transfers 6x cheaper than old school banks
  • Business friendly features to save admin time and cut costs
  • Enterprise level services available

Cons:

  • Wise is not a bank and does not offer credit facilities or loans
  • No linked debit cards available
  • No cash deposits or transactions
  • No in person service – get support online, in-app and by phone only

Overall: The Wise business account can be opened for a one time payment of 31 USD, and offers a multi-currency account with business friendly features. With no minimum balance and no monthly fee the account suits freelancers, entrepreneurs and business owners who need to receive, hold and send foreign currencies.

Currency exchange always uses the mid-market rate with low, transparent fees for international payments which can be 6x cheaper than regular banks and 19x cheaper than PayPal.

Wise is a safe provider, used by 10+ million customers and registered with FinCEN in the US.

What is Wise for business?

You can open a Wise for business account online or via the Wise app. There’s no set-up fee to send one off and batch payments, hold and exchange 50+ currencies, integrate with your accounting software and add team members to your account. With a low, one off charge of 31 USD, you can also get local account details for 10 currencies, set up direct debits and get paid from third party accounts.

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Wise business payments

Customers can send payments through Wise domestically in the US, or to 80+ countries around the world. Your recipient won’t need their own Wise account as the money will simply be deposited into their normal bank account directly.

Wise was set up to facilitate low cost international payments – so all international transfers use the mid-market exchange rate and a low transparent fee. To allow this to happen, Wise built its own payment network to move money without incurring high – and unnecessary – international transfer fees. That means your payment will often be cheaper and faster than using a bank or alternative provider.

To make your payment online or in the Wise app just enter the amount you want to send in dollars, or the sum you want the recipient to get in their home currency. You’ll see immediately what your recipient will get in the end, making it easy to pay overseas suppliers, contractors and staff accurately.

Batch payments

Cut admin time when you pay suppliers or employee payroll by using Wise multi-currency batch payments. Upload a single file detailing the payments to be made to make up to 1,000 payments at a time, in as many currencies as you need.

Batch payment services are available off the shelf, ready to go in minutes, and free to all Wise for business account holders.

Wise API

Wise offers customers a powerful API to automate workflows and cut admin time further. Use this to collect recipient details, make payouts, track transactions and reconcile your accounts. All with no setup or integration fee.

Wise multi currency account

Open a free Wise business account focused on sending international transfers, or if you’d rather, you can pay 31 USD to access the full account features with no minimum balance or ongoing charges.

Whether you choose to pay the one off fee or not you can use the Wise multi-currency account to add, hold, convert and send payments in 50+ currencies. You’ll always get the mid-market exchange rate and a low, transparent fee, so you know you’re getting the best available deal. Add team members, integrate with your cloud-based accounting tools, make batch payments and manage your money on the go from the Wise app – all with no upfront fee.

If you need to get paid in foreign currencies you can upgrade to the full feature account to get all the above, plus your own local bank details for 10 currencies to receive third party payments from 30+ countries. Give your details to clients to get paid directly, or withdraw to your Wise business account from platforms like Shopify, Stripe and Amazon. Cut your international costs and connect with more customers all over the world.

Business account users and permissions

Multi-user access (MUA) allows you to add users to a Wise business account, with the permissions they need to access the features required to do their jobs properly. The Wise business account lets customers select a range of user profiles across the following categories:

  • Viewer – can see transactions and download statements
  • Employee– can view their own activity
  • Preparer – can set up single payments for approval and download statements
  • Payer – can make and manage payments, convert currencies and download statements
  • Admin – has overview of all activity, and can add and remove team members

Reconciliation

Cut down on admin time and make it easier to keep track of income and outgoings by integrating your Wise account with Xero and QuickBooks for easy reconciliation across multiple currencies.

How does Wise (TransferWise) work?

Wise is not a bank. While traditional banks tend to send cross-border transfers using the SWIFT network, Wise built its own payment network to be faster, cheaper and more efficient.

Firstly let’s take a look at the SWIFT system favored by traditional banks. SWIFT is established and reliable but can also be slow and expensive. This is largely because there can be several banks – known as correspondent banks – involved in a single payment. Each bank involved in the payment can deduct their own fee as they process the transfer. Because you won’t always know in advance which correspondent banks will be used, you may not know the final cost you’ll pay until after the transfer completes. That can leave the recipient with less than you expect.

Wise works differently. Wise international payments use a network of local accounts instead of relying on SWIFT. When you send a Wise business payment you fund it using a local payment to a USD account. Wise then pays out the equivalent amount in the currency you need from their local account in the destination country.  That means you’ll know in advance exactly what you need to pay, and exactly what the recipient will get in the end.

Because no money actually crosses borders there are no intermediary costs. Wise passes on the savings to the customer so you get a cheaper payment which often arrives faster than with a bank.

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Is Wise safe for businesses?

Wise is a safe and trusted provider, fully registered and authorized in the US and also covered by regulatory authorities around the world.

Wise US Inc. is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). It’s licensed as a money transmitter in some US states while in other states it offers services through its partner financial institution the Community Federal Savings Bank.

To keep customer money safe Wise follows strict safeguarding processes to hold customer funds separate from its own operating capital.

Wise was built with security in mind, and is at the cutting edge of online and mobile account safety. That means your account security is also protected by dedicated anti fraud teams and technology, instant transaction alerts and 2 factor authentication.

Wise business account fees

To access the full Wise business account features you’ll pay a 31 USD one off charge. After that the account has no ongoing fees, you simply pay for the services you use.

Wise fees

Wise international transfers use the mid-market exchange rate with no markup and no hidden costs. Instead, there are a couple of transparent fees:

  • Fixed fee: covering the fixed costs associated with the transaction. For major currencies this starts from around 1.40 USD
  • Variable fee: covering the cost of the currency exchange. For major currencies this can be around 0.35% – 0.44% of the transfer value

You’ll always see the full fee before you confirm the transaction. Here are the Wise transfer fees for a few major currencies as an example:

Sending 1,000 USD toVariable fee (USD)Fixed fee (USD)Total fee (USD)
CAD4.36 (0.44%)4.829.18
GBP4.26 (0.43%)4.779.03
EUR4.26 (0.43%)4.678.93
AUD4.26 (0.43%)4.769.02
SGD4.36 (0.44%)5.049.40

*Fees correct at time of research 15 February 2022

Wise exchange rate

Wise international transfers and currency exchange always use the mid-market exchange rate – the one you’ll find on Google or using a currency converter tool. That applies whether you’re sending a transfer, converting between currencies within your account or spending in a foreign currency.

This is a different approach to most banks and many other currency exchange services. It’s common for providers to add a markup – an extra fee – to the mid-market exchange rate to calculate the rate they pass on to customers. That’s not transparent and it can push up the costs overall.

We will add a table in with currency pair, Wise exchange rate, real exchange rate in, updated automatically

Large business payments with Wise

Wise supports high value business payments. For most areas of the US you’ll be able to send up to 1 million USD per transfer.

Depending on the type of payment you’re making, Wise may need to ask for more documents to complete verification checks when you send high value payments. These may be required by US law, or by legislation in the country you’re sending to.

You may be asked – for example – to show the source of the funds you’re sending. This can be done simply by uploading an image of a bank statement showing your business received the money you want to transfer, or written proof of where the funds came from. If you’re asked to provide additional paperwork to facilitate your payment, a member of the Wise team will guide you through the process.

How long does Wise take

Because Wise uses its own payment network, transfers are typically fast. In fact at present 40% of Wise’s international transfers are instant (delivered in less than 20 seconds), while 80% are delivered within 24 hours. Wise is working towards increasing the number of instant payments for customers until all transfers can arrive in minutes.

When you send an international payment the delivery time will vary based on a few things including how you pay, the currency and country you’re sending to and the value of the transfer. However, you’ll always be shown an estimated delivery time before you confirm your transfer and you can easily track your payment once it’s on the move.

How to use Wise for business

Using Wise for business is straightforward. Here’s how to make a Wise business transfer:

  1. Choose where you’re sending from – your linked payment method or Wise balance
  2. Enter the payment value or how much you want the recipient to get
  3. Add the recipient’s details and check everything over
  4. Choose your payment method and confirm the transfer
  5. Your money is on the move

Funding methods

You’ll see the available funding methods when you set up your transfer. Usually these include:

  • Bank debit (ACH)
  • Wire transfer
  • Debit or credit card
  • SWIFT

The cheapest – and often most popular – way to pay is using a bank transfer from your linked business bank account.

Payout methods

Most Wise business transfers are sent directly to the recipient’s bank account for convenience. However Wise does support other payout methods depending on the destination country.

How to create a Wise business account

Opening a Wise business account is easy and can be done entirely online.

  1. Open the Wise homepage or app
  2. Click Register
  3. Follow the prompts to enter information about yourself and your business
  4. Get verified
  5. You’re ready to go

What documents you’ll need

As with banks and other providers, you’ll need to get verified before you can use your Wise for business account. This is to keep your money safe and comply with laws in the US and globally.

Exactly what information and documents you need will depend on your business entity type and structure. It will usually include the names, date of birth, and country of residence for any directors and shareholders who own 25% or more of the business.

You’ll be guided through the verification process when you register your account and don’t need to enter all of your verification information at once. Just save and exit the process and pick it up again later if you need to.

How long does verification take

The Wise service team aims to have all accounts verified within 2 days  –  and often accounts are verified within just one working day. If any more information or documentation is needed after you apply for your Wise business account, a member of the Wise team will be in touch to talk you through the details.

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Wise (TransferWise) limits

Wise business accounts allow customers to make high value payments. If you need to send more you can also contact Wise customer support to increase your limits.

Here are the Wise transfer limits for a few major currencies as an example:

Sending Maximum payment
EUR1.2 million EUR
USD1.6 million USD
AUD1.8 million AUD
CADNo limit
SGD2 million SGD

Supported currencies

Wise supports 50+ different currencies and lets you send to over 80 different countries. The countries and currencies available are being updated all the time – for latest info check here. (we will provide a relevant link)

Conclusion

Wise business customers can send and receive payments, and handle multiple currencies all in the same account. You can manage your money online or on your mobile device for convenience.

To get full account features you’ll pay a one off 31 USD fee, but there are then no ongoing charges or minimum balance requirements. That makes the Wise account equally suited to freelancers and entrepreneurs, as well as business owners and enterprise level organizations.

If you need to pay or get paid from abroad, the Wise account might suit you. Get paid like a local from 30 countries, and manage international payroll and contractor invoices with batch payments in just a few clicks. Because all currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate and low transparent fees, you could save 6x compared to regular banks and 19x compared to PayPal.

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FAQ

How much does Wise cost?

Open a free Wise business account for low cost international payments, or pay a one off fee of 31 USD for full account features. There are no monthly or ongoing charges and you only pay a low, transparent fee for the services you need.

How long does Wise take to transfer funds?

The majority of Wise international transfers arrive instantly or within 24 hours.

Is Wise safe?

Wise for business is safe and registered with FinCEN in the US and a range of global regulatory bodies around the world.

How does Wise apply exchange rates?

Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with no markup, no margin and no hidden fees.

Does Wise have a mobile app?

Get the Wise mobile app on both Apple and Android phones.

How does Wise work?

Open a Wise business account online or in the Wise app, to send and receive payments, and hold and exchange 50+ currencies.

How many currencies does Wise support?

Wise offers payments to 80+ countries in 50+ currencies.

By Ileana Ionescu Updated March 7th, 2022