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Wise hits 16m customers and reveals rebrand to bolster global expansion

“£1bn saved. £180bn to go.”

a man standing in front of a green sign

Kristo Käärmann/Wise.

The fintech formerly known as Transferwise is continuing its evolution as it rolls out its rebrand today.

Wise’s new look, which comes as it hits 16 million customers worldwide, was created to reflect its global reach, drawing inspiration from the currencies, languages and places it serves around the world.

With around six million active customers moving a massive £100bn per year, the company is onboarding 100,000 new users every week as it works on its mission to make move “move faster, more conveniently and eventually for free”.

“Our new look is inspired by the millions of people and businesses worldwide that use Wise today,” Wise co-founder and CEO Kristo Käärmann said.

“It draws from where they come from, but also represents the excitement of the world open for them to conquer.”

The new logo and app feel were designed so customer experience is consistent regardless of where in the world users are or what language they’re using — whether that’s English, Japanese or Czech.

“It’s a really fresh, current new look and we think it really reflects where we are today as a company,” Wise’s chief product officer Nilan Peiris told AltFi.

“We’re much more than transfers, which is our heritage, and with more and more of our customers adopting our international account, the new look really supports [that] and promotes it visually.”

The shift from Transferwise to just Wise in 2021 was clearly just the first step for the company in repositioning itself as more than a money transfer app.

Now, 12 years after it first launched, it is continuing to broaden its suite of products, with its business accounts making up 30 per cent of customers — and growing twice as fast as its consumer segment.

But Wise’s roots as a money transfer businesses are a key driver to understanding the business now, Peiris explained, as 70 per cent of the company’s new customers since the start has come through word of mouth.

“That’s something we’ve really focused on internally,” Peiris said.

“How do we build a product that’s so great that people want to recommend it?”

This is clearly a bit more difficult in the B2B section, so instead, they’re driving business with an ever-expanding range of products, including Wise Account, Wise Business and Wise Platform.

More than 60 banks and businesses, including GooglePay, Monzo and N26 use the latter to offer customers international payments powered by Wise.

“It's a kind of a no-brainer for [neobanks],” Peiris said. 

“So if you're [a neobank], and you want to offer cross-border payments to your customers, [you] can integrate with Wise in six weeks. 

“And then they get Wise, which is an incredible, fast, cheap product. It's directly in their app and the same price, the same speed, the same ease of use.”

graphical user interface, application

Despite being a small part of Wise right now, Peiris said it is the fastest-growing part of the business, and major banks including BPCE France, South Korea’s second-largest bank Shinhan Bank and, as of today, Indonesia’s largest bank by assets, Bank Mandiri all offer their customers Wise.

As Wise rolls out its new look worldwide, its global expansion continues, with three major markets left to break — Russia, China and India.

Clearly one of those is off the table, but according to Peiris, Wise is at the very early stages of working with China at the moment and is live with an early beta in India, which leaves the potential to add a significant number of new users to their existing 16 million.

According to Peiris, one of the big things that motivate Wise is the amount of money customers can save through their platform.

It currently saves customers £1.5bn per year, and is on a mission to solve the issue that people and businesses are still losing more than £180bn in fees every year to banks, which typically charge significantly higher fees for international transfers and payments.

The combination of new markets, an expanding product range, rapidly growing B2B use and, of course, a snazzy new look, means the potential to chip away at that £180bn should only continue to grow.

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