Wise vs CurrencyFair

International money transfer providers have become very popular due to their low fees and fast transfer speeds. In this article, we do side-by-side comparisons of two of the most popular transfer providers, Wise and CurrencyFair. We consider factors like fees, speed, ease of use, security, and more. We also look at the pros and cons of each app and put everything together to help you decide which app may be a better option for you.

Summary: The main focus of the comparison is on features, fees, and speed. We also touch on pros and cons, ease of use, and safety to provide a more well-rounded picture of each of the apps.

Wise Vs CurrencyFair: side by side

FeatureWiseCurrencyFair
Multi-currency accountHold and convert more than 53 currenciesOnly business customers. Hold more than 20 currencies.
Debit cardYes, Wise debit cardN
Send money toMore than 80 countriesMore than 150 countries
Send money in MYRYN
Transfer to currencies5322
Transfer speed

0 - 1 business day

1 to 5 business days
RegulatedYY
Open a business accountYY
One-click paymentYN

Based on our comparison Wise offers more currencies and allows transfers in MYR, something which CurrencyFair does not. But while Wise provides transfers in  more currencies, CurrencyFair allows you to send money to more countries. 

Both services are regulated and both have multi-currency accounts, but Wise supports more currencies and is available to both businesses and individuals. CurrencyFair only offers multi-currency accounts to business customers. 

When it comes to transfer speed, Wise allows near-instant transfers on the majority of currency routes from Malaysia, but it can take up to three business days on rare occasions. While CurrencyFair does offer near-instant transfers, it is rare, and more transfers take between one and 3 days.

Go to WiseGo to CurrencyFair

The important bits


WiseCurrencyFair
RatesNo exchange markup0.45% exchange markup
Fees2.19 MYR + 0.61% of transfer amount2.50 GBP
Speed

0 - 1 business day

1 - 5 business days
ServiceOnline, Desktop browser and mobile appOnline, Desktop browser and mobile app
SafetyFully regulated and licensed Fully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot)4.5, Excellent, 173,013 reviews4.6, Excellent, 5,946 reviews
  • 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 2.19 MYR plus an additional 0.61% of the total transfer amount. CurrencyFair charges a fixed 2.50 GBP fee.

  • Speed: Transfers with Wise are often instant, but can take up to one day. CurrencyFair does not offer instant transfers and it can take between one and five business days to complete a transfer.

  • 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 Malaysia CurrencyFair is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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

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Pros and cons


WiseCurrencyFair
Pros
  • No hidden charges

  • Near-instant transfers

  • Multi-currency account (individuals & business)

  • 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

  • Online and mobile payments only - no branches

  • Transfer fees vary by destination country

  • Supports only certain currencies

  • Users in some countries can’t open accounts

  • No cash pickup option

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Wise Vs CurrencyFair: The verdict

When you’re looking for a provider to transfer money overseas, you have two main concerns — cost and speed. Both Wise and CurrencyFair score well when it comes to speed and both offer many advantages with few disadvantages. 

However, Wise is clearer regarding the fees they charge, offers more currencies and many transactions are near-instant. That said, CurrencyFair has no transfer limits and is available in more countries.

Both Wise and CurrencyFair are great providers, and it’s easy to see why they are popular. Both offer great value for money, they are easy to use, and provide security. Who you choose will ultimately depend on your needs and which features you value most.

Go to WiseGo to CurrencyFair

In the next part of the article, we will take a more in-depth look at Wise and CurrencyFair. We will explore their similarities and what sets them apart and make it easier to decide which provider is right for you.

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’s popularity can be attributed to its low fees, incredible user experience, and focus on transparency. One of the unique features of Wise is its multi-currency account which allows users to hold many different currencies in the same account.

CurrencyFair: CurrencyFair has been in the international money transfer industry for over a decade, but the company has gone largely unnoticed compared to the more popular apps in this article. However, the Dublin, Ireland-based service is growing in 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 drives the provider’s popularity.

How do they work?

Wise: Wise contrary to CurrencyFair, Wise has its network of bank accounts around the world. This allows them to transfer money quicker and easier. 

To make a transfer with Wise, you must create a Wise account and verify that it’s you. Once set up, verified, and logged, you choose where you want the money to transfer from, and choose the currencies to send to and from. You then 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 Malaysia, 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. At the moment CurrencyFair does not offer transfers from MYR, but it is possible to make transfers from other currencies.

To make a transfer, first, you have to create and verify an account. Once you have set up and logged into your account, set up a transfer from CurrencyFair’s dashboard and enter the amount, destination country, and currency, as well as the 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 such as bank’s SWIFT code and IBAN number. Once 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 flat fee of 2.19 MYR plus a fee of up to 0.61%* of the transfer amount. They don’t specify whether this fee is a conversion fee. Wise uses the mid-market rate when converting currencies.

Currency fair charges a flat fee of £2.50 (around 12.40 MYR)* 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

* Price and fees based on sending MYR to USD.

Wise vs CurrencyFair: which is cheaper? 

 It is often cheaper to send money overseas using international money transfer providers. Providers like Wise and CurrencyFair usually charge low fees and often use mid-market exchange rates.

Amount & CurrencyWiseCurrencyFairWinner?
GBP >1000 USD924.38 GBP923.10 GBPWise
GBP >5000 USD4,615.62 GBP4,613.00 GBPWise
GBP >1000 EUR889.39 GBP890.60 GBPCurrencyFair
GBP >5000 EUR4,466.84 GBP4,462.50 GBPWise

*Fees and rates correct at time of research - 30 September 2022

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Wise Vs CurrencyFair: which is faster?

With Wise, transfers from MYR to the most popular currencies take anything from a couple of minutes to one business day. Conversion to smaller currencies can take up to two business days. On rare occasions, it might take 3 business days for the money to transfer.

While CurrencyFair does not allow you to convert MYR, the majority of transfers take between 1 and 3 business days, with some transfers taking less than a day. Some transfers can take up to 5 business days.

Safety        

Both Wise and CurrencyFair use a host of 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. 

In addition, both providers are bank regulated. Wise is regulated in Malaysia by the Central Bank of Malaysia, while CurrencyFair is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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 complete the 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 10 MYR up to 30,000 MYR

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 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.

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Supported currencies         

Wise customers can transfer to more than 80 countries, and hold and convert more than 53 different currencies in a multi-currency account. 

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

Conclusion: Which is better Wise or CurrencyFair?           

Both Wise and CurrencyFair offer great advantages, with few disadvantages. Both offer relatively low fees, and favorable exchange rates and are easy to use. So how do you decide which is the best provider for you? 

It depends on what you value most and what will suit your needs better. Wise offers transfers in more currencies, but CurrencyFair can send to more countries. Wise also offers mostly faster transfers, provides more account sign-up options, and can be slightly cheaper than CurrencyFair. 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?

Wise is often cheaper than CurrencyFair, but not by 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 being delivered near-instant or within a couple of hours. CurrencyFair does offer near-instant transfers, but only on a limited number of routes.

How many currencies do Wise and CurrencyFair support? 

Wise supports 53 different currencies, while CurrencyFair supports up to 20. Wise also supports MYR, whereas CurrencyFair doesn’t. However, CurrencyFair is planning on supporting MYR in the near future.

Seyma Mektepli
By Seyma Mektepli
Updated 29 December 2022