Wise vs CurrencyFair

Transferring money overseas is becoming easier and cheaper thanks to international money transfer providers like Wise and CurrencyFair. In this article, we explore these two apps by doing side-by-side comparisons. We compare features like fees, speed, security, ease of use, and more. To help you choose the best provider for you, we also look at the pros and cons of each app.

Summary: In our comparison we found that Wise has more reviews on TrustPilot than CurrencyFair and you can send money in INR, whereas CurrencyFair does not allow you to send money in INR. However, you can send money to more countries with CurrencyFair than with Wise.

Wise vs CurrencyFair: side by side

FeatureWiseCurrencyFair
Multi-currency accountNY. Only business customers. Hold more than 20 currencies.
Debit cardNN
Send money toMore than 40 countriesMore than 150 countries
Send money in INRYN
Transfer to currencies2522
Transfer speedmax 3 days

1 - 5 days

RegulatedYY
Open a business accountYY
One-click paymentYN

As it shows in the comparison, the two providers are fairly even on key features, however, Wise offers more currencies and allows transfers in INR. CurrencyFair only offers transfers to INR. Wise may offer more currencies, but CurrencyFair allows you to send to more countries. The Wise Multi-Currency Account is not available to Indian customers, while CurrencyFair offers the service to business customers only. 

Wise and CurrencyFair are evenly matched on speed. That said, CurrencyFair allows near-instant transfers near-instant transfers on very few routes, but it can take up to 5 business days with some others. More than %50 of transfers with Wise are instant transfers, most transfers are completed within one business day. The longest time it takes for Wise transfers is 3 business days.

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The important bits


WiseCurrencyFair
RatesNo exchange markup0.45% exchange markup
Fees4.25 USD + 0.69% of transfer amount*1.45 USD
Speed

Can be Instant - up to 3 days

Can be instant on certain routes
ServiceDesktop browser and mobile appDesktop browser and mobile app
SafetyRegulated. Two-factor authentication, 3D Secure verification, Two-factor authentication, SSL 256-bit encryption
Reviews (TrustPilot)4.5, Excellent, 173,013 reviews4.6, Excellent, 5,946 reviews

*based on transferring 1,000 USD to INR

**converted from INR at 82.84 INR / USD

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  • Rates: Wise uses mid-market rates and doesn’t charge an exchange markup, whereas CurrencyFair charges up to 0.45% markup.

  • Fees: Wise charges a fixed fee of 132.67 INR plus an additional 2.04% of the total transfer amount. CurrencyFair charges a fixed 3 EUR fee.

  • Speed: Transfers with Wise take up to 3 days, depending on the route and other factors. CurrencyFair does offer instant transfers, but only on a few selected routes. It can take up to five business days to complete a transfer through CurrencyFair.

  • Service: Both Wise and CurrencyFair can be accessed online via desktop or mobile, or via their respective mobile apps.

  • Safety: Wise is regulated by the Central Bank of India and employs many cutting-edge safety features. CurrencyFair is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and features industry-leading safety standards.

  • Reviews: Both Wise and CurrencyFair are rated as ‘Excellent’ on TrustPilot, with CurrencyFair beating Wise by 0.1 points out of five. However, Wise has received a significantly larger number of reviews than CurrencyFair.

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Pros and cons


WiseCurrencyFair

Pros


  • No hidden charges

  • 1 - 3 day transfers

  • Transfers in IND

  • Advanced security

  • Easy to use

  • Good exchange rates

  • Peer-to-peer exchange marketplace

  • No transaction limits

  • Used in more than 150 countries

Cons
  • No cash pickup option

  • Variable fees

  • No banking services

  • Supports only a certain number of currencies

  • Users in some countries can’t open accounts

  • No cash pickup option


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Wise Vs CurrencyFair: The verdict

Most people consider mainly two factors when choosing an international money transfer app — cost and speed. Both Wise and CurrencyFair score well on both of these and are evenly matched in both departments albeit. When it comes to pros and cons, both offer many advantages and few disadvantages. However, Wise is clearer regarding the fees they charge, offers more currencies and users can transfer from INR. That said, CurrencyFair has no obvious transfer limits and is available in more countries. 

Ultimately, while Wise and CurrencyFair are very evenly matched, Wise edges out CurrencyFair since they allow transfers in INR from India, and CurrencyFair does not.

Wise and CurrencyFair are both great providers, and offer fairly low fees, easy-to-use user interfaces, and security. Which of the two you choose will depend on which features are most important to you.

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In the next part of the article, we will take a more in-depth look at Wise and CurrencyFair. We will look at their differences and similarities to make it easier for you to decide which provider to use for your next international money transfer.

About Wise and CurrencyFair

Wise 

Formerly known as TransferWise, Wise was founded in 2011 by financial consultant Taavet Hinrikus and VoIP pioneer Skype’s first employee, Kristo Käärmann. Over the past 11 years, more than 13 million customers trusting Wise to transfer funds overseas. Wise has become popular mainly due to its low fees, great user experience, and transparent fees. One of the features that sets it apart from CurrencyFair is the ability to transfer money from India.

CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair has been in the international money transfer industry for more than 10 years, but they are not as popular as providers like Wise. However, the Dublin, Ireland-based provider is gaining popularity and has securely exchanged more than 13.5 billion Euros since its launch in 2009. CurrencyFair’s low exchange fees, zero transaction cap, and innovative peer-to-peer exchange marketplace are big contributors to its popularity.

How do they work?

Wise

Unlike CurrencyFair, Wise has its own network of international bank accounts, allowing them to transfer money quickly and easily. 

To make a transfer with Wise, create a Wise account and go through the verification process. Once this is complete and you have logged in, choose where you want the money to transfer from, and choose the currencies to send to and from. Select the amount you want to send or how much you want the recipient to receive, as well as how you’d like to fund the transfer. In India, you can pay by bank transfer. Once everything has been set up, you’re ready to send the money.

CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair has partnered with local banks around the world and uses their networks to transfer money.

To make a transfer, you have to first create and verify an account. When you have set up and logged into your account, set up a transfer from CurrencyFair’s dashboard and enter information like the amount, destination country, and currency. Also, include your chosen delivery method. In some cases, you may be required to provide the reason for the transfer. You then add a beneficiary by providing details like name, email address, banking details, and SWIFT or IBAN numbers. When all these have been completed, the app will ask whether you’d like to transfer via bank deposit or card payment (if available). 

Wise vs CurrencyFair Fees

Wise charges a fixed fee of 132.67 INR plus an additional 2.04% of the total transfer amount.* Wise does not specify whether the percentage fee is a conversion fee. Wise uses the mid-market rate when converting currencies.

Currency fair charges a flat fee of 3 EUR, as well as up to a 0.45% conversion fee. Conversions are based on the mid-market exchange rate.

Both providers are transparent about their fees, and customers know exactly what fee they will be paying.

Wise vs CurrencyFair: which is cheaper? 

Sending money overseas using international money transfer providers is often cheaper than with traditional banks. Providers like Wise and CurrencyFair usually charge low fees and often use mid-market exchange rates.

Amount & CurrencyWiseCurrencyFairWinner?
1000 USD > INR81,932.85 INR82.246.50 INRCurrencyFair
5000 USD > INR411,074.34 INR411,712.50 INRCurrencyFair
1000 GBP > INR99,244.97 INR99,141.00 INRWise
5000 GBP > INR496,198.09 INR496,185.00INRWise

*Fees and rates correct at time of research - 23 December 2022

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Wise Vs CurrencyFair: which is faster?

With Wise, transfers from INR to many popular currencies take only one day, however, conversion to smaller currencies can take up to 3 business days.

CurrencyFair does not allow you to convert from INR, the majority of transfers take between 1 and 3 business days, with some transfers taking less than a day. Transfers to smaller currencies can take up to 5 business days.

Safety        

Both Wise and CurrencyFair use many security features to protect transactions and customer data. These include two-factor authentication, instant transaction notifications, and dedicated anti-fraud teams to monitor systems and keep money safe. Both providers are also bank regulated, which provides extra protection. Wise is regulated in India by the Reserve Bank of India, while CurrencyFair is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Related: Is Wise safe?

Ease of use        

Wise

Creating an account: Sign up with email, your Google or Facebook accounts, or your Apple ID.

Making a transfer: Select the amount to transfer, select currency, complete your details followed by the receiver’s details, and choose the type of transfer and how to pay for the transfer, then transfer.

Ways to send money: Send from your bank account or with an online payment.

Languages: Choose between 16 languages (including UK & US English)

Minimum & maximum amounts: Send as little as 3,000 INR up to 750,000 INR.

CurrencyFair

Creating an account: Sign up using email or Facebook account

Making a transfer: Set up the transfer including currency and amount, add recipient details, choose deposit method, and transfer.

Ways to send money: Send from a CurrencyFair account to the recipient’s bank account.

Languages: English only

Minimum & maximum amounts: Send a minimum of 10 USD with a maximum according to local regulations.

Supported currencies         

Wise customers can transfer to 25 different currencies, while CurrencyFair allows transfers to 22 different currencies. CurrencyFair business customers can hold more than 20 currencies in a multi-currency account.

Conclusion: Which is better Wise or CurrencyFair?         

Both Wise and CurrencyFair are great international money transfer providers. Each of them offers many advantages, with few disadvantages. Wise and CurrencyFair both charge relatively low fees, offer favorable exchange rates, and are easy to use. How do you decide which of the two is the best provider for you? 

It depends on what features are most important to you. Wise offers transfers in INR and in more currencies, but CurrencyFair can send to more countries. Both offer relatively fast transfers. Wise gives more options to set up an account and can be slightly cheaper when transferring certain currencies. However, CurrencyFair has no to very high transfer limits, while Wise has a set limit. These are all things you should consider when choosing the transfer provider that is best suited to your needs.

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FAQs on Wise vs CurrencyFair

Is Wise or CurrencyFair cheaper?

It depends on the currency route, since Wise is cheaper than CurrencyFair on some routes, but not on others. However, the difference is usually not much. Both use mid-market exchange rates for conversions and charge low fees.

Is Wise or CurrencyFair faster?

Wise is generally faster than CurrencyFair with most transfers within one day to 3 business days. CurrencyFair does offer near-instant transfers, but only on a very limited number of routes, and can take longer on certain routes.

How many currencies do Wise and CurrencyFair support? 

Wise supports 25 different currencies, while CurrencyFair is limited to 22. Wise also supports INR, whereas CurrencyFair doesn’t. However, CurrencyFair may add transfers from INR in the future.

Seyma Mektepli
By Seyma Mektepli
Updated 30 December 2022