Is Wise Safe?

Wise is known as one of the most cost effective providers of international money transfers, serving over 12 million customers globally. 

When it comes to sending money abroad, price and convenience are important. However, the crucial question for many customers will always be: is my money safe with Wise? 

This guide covers all you need to know about how Wise is regulated, how they keep customer money safe, and whether or not Wise is a safe provider to use.

Quick summary

  • Safe service trusted by 12+ million customers

  • Excellent rating from customer reviews on Trustpilot

  • Works with local banking partners under the approval of the Reserve Bank of India

  • Registered and regulated by global authorities as required

  • Account verification, and leading edge security used

  • Anti fraud technology and teams to protect customers

Read our Full Wise Review to learn more. 

Is Wise safe?

Yes. Wise is a safe provider of online and mobile money transfers around the world. 

In India Wise works with local banking partners to deliver money transfer services, with the approval of the Reserve Bank of India. Wise is also regulated by global authorities including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, ASIC in Australia and FinCEN in the US.

Year founded: 2011

Regulation: operates under the approval of the Reserve Bank of India

Number of customers: 12+ million customers

Services available: Transfer to 40+ countries

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How is Wise regulated?

Wise works with Indian banking partners to deliver money transfer services, with the approval of the Reserve Bank of India.  Wise is also registered with regulators in countries around the world to comply with global financial services legislation.

Wise will not normally hold customer funds - instead transfers will be immediately processed and your payment deposited with the recipient. However, if there is ever a need to hold customer money for a short while (for example while verification checks are completed) Wise keeps customer money safe through safeguarding funds. 

The safeguarding process means that customer funds are always held separately to Wise’s own money for security reasons. In addition, Wise must hold a fixed amount of capital to fulfil the terms of its operating licences globally, and conduct regular stress testing to make sure the business is robust enough to protect consumer funds.

Is Wise as safe as traditional banks?

Wise is not a bank - however, for the services Wise offers, they are 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.

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Is Wise a bank?

Wise is not a bank. Wise works with Indian banking partners to deliver money transfer services, with the approval of the Reserve Bank of India, and for the services it offers Wise follows similar rules to banks. Like banks, Wise is subject to local and global financial security regulations, and has 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 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 

  • Independently audited with regular testing to check and fix any vulnerabilities

  • Data protection processes in place

Is Wise safe to transfer money?

Wise is a safe provider to send international payments with. As well as being licensed and working with banking partners under the approval of the Reserve Bank of India, Wise has a range of security measures in place to protect customer funds and ensure payments are safe.

Is Wise safe for large amounts?

Wise is a safe way to send high value payments. Transfer limits may apply and are set according to the destination country and currency.

Before you arrange a high value payment with Wise you may want to take a few sensible steps to make sure everything goes through smoothly:

  1. Verify your account. If you have a new account you’ll need to complete a verification step to get started. You may also be asked to verify your account at a later stage, based on the transfer value and type.

  2. Confirm the recipient’s bank details.  Make sure you have all of the required details to process your payment safely. You’ll always need your recipient’s full name and bank account number, along with other region specific details like an IBAN, routing number or sort code. 

  3. Double check your transfer limits. Check your own bank’s transfer limit and whether there are any bank fees to pay for funding your Wise transfer through your bank account or card.

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Is Wise legit?

Wise is a legitimate, safe provider which already serves over 12 million customers around the world. 

Compared with regular banks, Wise is typically cheaper. That’s because Wise takes a different approach to international payments, offering the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees. No smoke and mirrors, and no shady business practices to worry about. Read Wise vs. International bank transfers comparison to learn more. 

Customer reviews on Trustpilot

Trustpilot is a handy resource when you’re checking out which international payment provider will be best for your transfer. Read reviews from previous customers to make sure you feel comfortable and are selecting a legit service. 

Here’s what previous Wise customers say about the services on offer:

Trustpilot rating: Excellent

Score: 4.6/5 

Total number of reviews: 141,000+

Where security comes up in the comments left on Trustpilot customer reviews, it tends to be because of additional verification checks required to keep Wise accounts safe. These verification steps are typically required by law, and would be necessary whether you’re sending a payment with Wise, your normal bank, or any other provider.

Can you get scammed on Wise?

Unfortunately fraudsters and scammers are active on all sorts of platforms including Wise and traditional banks, too. However, staying safe in most cases requires little more than a few sensible steps and common sense. Here are some tips:

  • Never share your account details or password with anyone

  • Don’t log into any site other than the Wise official homepage - check the secure site symbol before you begin

  • Don’t transfer money to anyone you don’t know and trust

  • Check your recipient’s account details before you make any transfer

  • Be aware of common frauds and phishing scams - these evolve and change over time, so staying aware is crucial

Can I avoid falling victim to fraud?

Should you be unlucky enough to fall victim to fraud while using your Wise account, you can report the issue to both Wise and the police.

To report fraud to Wise, log into your account and make your report there. If it's possible to stop the transaction, the Wise support team will help you. 

If your payment can not be stopped or has already been received by the fraudster, you’ll need to report the fraud to the police. Wise can then pass on the transaction information to the police to support your case.

Is your personal data safe on Wise?

Wise protects customer personal data in line with global best practice rules, and has a duty to keep any sensitive data safe. Information is collected and used to process transfers, comply with legal requirements and improve Wise services. For more information, read How does Wise work.

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.

How to get started on Wise?

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 paperwork to get started. You’ll be able to open your account with your Indian passport or driving licence, along with your PAN number. 

In some cases, you’ll be asked for further identification and paperwork when you make a transfer. This tends to happen when sending high value payments, and is  often required by law.

Once your account is up and running make payments 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

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Conclusion

Wise is a safe international transfer provider, which is popular thanks to its convenient service and low overall transfer fees. Read Wise Fees to learn more. 

Wise has a number of features to keep customer money safe, including thorough account verification, and 24/7 anti-fraud controls. 

In India Wise works with local banking partners to deliver money transfer services, with the approval of the Reserve Bank of India. Wise is also licensed and regulated by global regulatory bodies everywhere services are offered.

FAQ

Is Wise safe?

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

How is Wise regulated?

In India Wise works with local banking partners to deliver money transfer services, with the approval of the Reserve Bank of India. Wise is also authorised and regulated by other regulatory bodies around the world, including the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US and ASIC in Australia.

By Seyma Mektepli
Updated 5 August 2022