TransferWise takes on Revolut by launching 'borderless banking’

By Daniel Lanyon on Tuesday 9 January 2018

Digital Banking

The firm has gone live with a ‘private’ launch of consumer borderless account and debit card.

The firm has gone live with a ‘private’ launch of consumer borderless account and debit card.

TransferWise has today announced the private launch of its consumer borderless account and Mastercard debit card.

From today one thousand existing TransferWise customers have access to the new service, and several thousand more will receive invitations to test the debit card in the coming weeks. The service will be launched publicly later in the first quarter of 2018.

The new service allows users to hold local bank details for GBP, EUR, USD, AUD and get paid from countries around the world, in the local currency, with zero fees as well as hold money in 28 currencies and convert between them in seconds with “the real” exchange rate and low fees.

Taavet Hinrikus, chairman and co-founder, TransferWise says the launch is  a ‘major milestone’“ on the firm’s mission to help money flow across borders without friction. 

“The borderless account is a game changer for anyone living or working between countries. Opening a bank account abroad is incredibly difficult without a local proof of address, but the borderless account can be opened in minutes. For expats, second home owners, freelancers, sole traders and more the borderless account is invaluable.

“One day anyone will be able to send and receive money, in any currency, from friends, customers or companies anywhere in the world, and spend anywhere, never worrying about the exchange rate again. That’s the vision for the borderless account. Today’s launch is a huge step towards realising that future.”

The international money transfer service recently raised $280m in a Series E round led by asset management firm Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI) and Silicon Valley venture capital firm IVP.

The company now employs 900 people globally in nine offices and holds 15 per cent market share in the UK, its most mature market. TransferWise grew over 140 per cent last year and became profitable for the first time.  Over two million people use TransferWise’s international money transfer platform to send over £1.5bn every month

During the private launch TransferWise’s Mastercard debit card is available to selected customers within the European Economic Area. A public launch of the debit card will take place later in Q1 2018. In the meantime customers in the UK and Europe can sign up to the borderless account.

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