Wise Multi-Currency Account Review

Wise was launched in 2011 and makes it cheaper, faster and easier to send international transfers, thanks to a radical new payment model. 

Today, Wise serves over 12 million customers with cross-border payments, and the Wise multi-currency account - the world’s most international account. If you receive, send or spend foreign currencies, the Wise account can help you save money with low, transparent fees and the real exchange rate.

This guide covers all you need to know about the Wise multi-currency account to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Wise Account: Key points

Key features: 

  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies

  • Spend and withdraw in 200+ countries with your linked debit card

  • Send money to 80+ countries

  • Receive money fee free from 30 countries with your own local bank details

  • See account balances in a glance, and manage your account in the Wise app 

  • Instant transaction notifications for security

Pros:

  • Price: No monthly fee, and low transaction charges - often the cheapest option available

  • Exchange rate: No exchange rate markup or foreign transaction fee applied 

  • Speed: 85% of payments arrive within 24 hours and 45% of the total are instant

  • Convenience: make payments online or in the Wise app in just a few clicks

  • Transparency: full visibility on all fees, plus a delivery estimate when you make a payment

  • Security: licensed and regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia, with manual and automatic anti-fraud processes

Cons:

  • Wise is not a bank - not all features you’d expect from a bank account are available

  • You can’t pay in cash to your account

  • No credit or overdrafts available

  • No branch network - service available online, in-app and by phone only

Overall: The Wise multi-currency account has a broad range of features, with no ongoing charges or minimum balance. Hold and exchange 50+ currencies, send payments to 80+ countries, and spend all over the world with the mid-market exchange rate using your linked Wise card. Unlike banks, Wise offers international payments and currency conversion with low, transparent fees and no exchange rate markup - so you can save up to 3x.

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What is the Wise multi currency account and how does it work?

The Wise multi-currency account is an easy, low-cost way to receive, exchange and send foreign currency payments. 

You can also spend and make cash withdrawals with your Wise international debit card, which is Google Pay and Apple Pay compatible for mobile payments around the world. Because Wise offers the mid-market exchange rate without markups, and without foreign transaction fees, you’ll often find the overall costs are market beating - up to 3x cheaper than a regular bank.

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Receive money with Wise

When you open your Wise account you’ll be able to get local bank account details for 10 currencies including MYR, GBP, USD, EUR, AUD and NZD. Give these account details to people who want to send you money from overseas, to receive payments into your Wise account fee free from 30 different countries.

Hold money with Wise

You can use your Wise account to hold 53 different currencies, and you’ll see all your balances in a glance on the Wise app or by logging into your account online. It’s always free to spend any currency you hold with your Wise international debit card, and you can also exchange between currencies with the mid-market rate and low, transparent fees as and when you need to, in just a few clicks. 

Wise is a fully authorised and regulated provider, which means your funds are safeguarded for security - no matter what currency you’re holding.

Spend with a Wise card

Spend and withdraw in 200 countries with no foreign transaction fees, with a Wise international debit card. You can order your physical card for a one time fee of 13.7 MYR, and get started transacting right away with a Wise virtual card. Add your card to Google Pay or Apple Pay for easy mobile payments. 

Smart auto-convert technology means that you’ll always pay in the local currency wherever you are. If you don’t hold the right balance your card can convert it for you in the cheapest possible way, to make sure you don’t get caught out by hidden fees applied by merchants using dynamic currency conversion. You’ll also get instant transaction notifications when you spend and you can freeze and unfreeze your card in the Wise mobile app for security. 

Transfer from your account

If you hold a Wise balance you can withdraw it to a local account or make international payments to 80+ countries. If you don’t have the currency you need for your transfer, you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate when you send your payment, with low, transparent transfer fees. Simply log into your account and tap Send money to get started.

It’s good to know you can also set up GBP, EUR and AUD direct debit payments to set it then forget it for recurring bills around the world.

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Convert money on Wise

Within your Wise account you can convert between 50+ currencies instantly using the mid-market exchange rate with no markup. You’ll just pay a low currency conversion fee which is typically around 0.48% - 0.6% of the value of the transaction for major currencies.

Wise multi currency account and debit card fees

Here are the key fees you’ll want to know about when you open a Wise multi-currency account:

ServiceWise fee
Open your Wise multi-currency accountFree
Hold 53 currenciesFree
Get local bank details for 10 currenciesFree
Hold a balance of over 3000 EUR0.07%
Get a Wise debit card13.7 MYR for a physical card, virtual cards are free
Spend currencies you hold using your cardFree
ATM withdrawals First 2 withdrawals/month, to the value of 1,000 MYR are free. 1.75% + 5 MYR per withdrawal fee after that
Convert a currency using your card

Low fee - around 0.5 % is common for major currencies

Receive money in MYR, GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, CAD, HUF, SGD, and TRYFree
Receive USD by ACH or bank debitFree
Receive USD by wire4.14 USD
Send international payments

Low currency conversion fee - around 0.5% is common for major currencies + fixed fee which varies by currency

GBP, EUR and AUD direct debitsFree

Get a full rundown of the Wise multi-currency account and debit card fees here.

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Is it safe to keep money in Wise?

Wise is fully regulated by the Central Bank of Malaysia and also covered by regulatory authorities around the world. There are many different manual and automatic processes in place to keep customers and their money safe, including:

  • Customer funds are safeguarded and kept separately from Wise’s own funds

  • Wise holds a fixed level of capital on hand at all times

  • Regular stress testing exercises to check plans and processes are robust

  • 24 hour support with dedicated anti fraud teams and technology

  • Account verification processes and 2 factor authentication

  • Instant transaction alerts, with the option to freeze your card in the Wise app

Is TransferWise a bank?

Wise is not a bank, but for the services they offer, they’re just as safe as a bank. 

Wise is authorised by the Central Bank of Malaysia , just like your normal bank will be. That means it’s subject to the same regulations as other financial services providers, both in Malaysia and in all the other countries it operates in. And as a financial technology company, Wise has built its services and platforms with security in mind, to keep customers safe while offering an intuitive way of managing your money.

Wise Pros

  • Hold 50+ currencies and see them all at a glance

  • Mid-market exchange rate and low transparent fees when you send or convert

  • Spend and withdraw with your physical or virtual Wise card

  • Get paid like a local from 30 countries

  • Overseas payments to 80+ countries

  • Safe and regulated provider in Malaysia and overseas

Wise Cons

  • No branch service - online, in-app and by phone only

  • No cash deposits

  • Transaction fees may apply

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Who is the Wise multi currency account for?

Wise personal multi-currency accounts may suit customers who: 

  • Travel often, and need to pay for goods and services in foreign currencies

  • Shop online with international retailers

  • Get paid from overseas - freelancers and contractors for example

  • Pay regular bills internationally, like an overseas mortgage on a holiday home

  • Manage their money online and on the move

How to open an account

Opening a Wise multi-currency account is easy and can be done entirely online. 

  1. Open the Wise homepage or app

  2. Click Register

  3. Follow the prompts to enter your personal details

  4. Get verified

  5. You’re ready to go

What documents you'll need

To comply with the law in Malaysia and around the world, you’ll need to get verified when you open a Wise account. This helps keep customers and their money safe by preventing fraudulent or criminal use of accounts. The exact steps you need to take can vary based on the information you provide - but a member of the Wise team will always guide you through if you need help. You can also save and exit the process if you don’t have everything on hand at first.

Usually for a personal account you'll just need your passport or MyKad to get started. You may be asked to take a selfie with your documents to show your identity matches your paperwork.

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How long does verification take

Account verification can happen on the same day or even instantly for many customers. The Wise service team aims to have all accounts verified within 2 days and will be in touch if any more information or documentation is needed to get your account up and running.

Wise (TransferWise) limits 

Customers around the world trust Wise with high value international payments. As such, the Wise transfer limits are set fairly high, at the equivalent of about 1 million GBP per transaction for most currencies. If you need to send more you can always contact the customer service team for guidance. 

Here are the Wise transfer limits for a few major currencies as an example:

Sending Maximum payment
EUR1.2 million EUR
USD1.6 million USD
AUD1.8 million AUD
CADNo limit
SGD2 million SGD
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Conclusion

The Wise multi-currency account offers flexible, low cost ways to hold, send and receive foreign currencies. Because Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate and low fees, the overall costs are often the cheapest on the market for international payments - and thanks to Wise’s modern approach to processing payments, they’re often among the fastest, too.

How much does Wise cost?

There’s no cost to open a Wise account, and no monthly fees to pay. Some transaction charges do apply, which are low and transparent.

How long does Wise take to transfer funds?

Many Wise transfers are instant or arrive within 24 hours. You’ll see a delivery estimate when you arrange your payment.

Is Wise safe?

Wise is a safe and fully regulated provider. Wise is authorised by the Central Bank of Malaysia, and is also covered by a range of other regulatory bodies overseas for enhanced consumer protection.

How does Wise apply exchange rates?

All currency exchange with Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with a low conversion fee. This can be around 0.5% for major currencies.

Does Wise have a mobile app?

Yes. Get the Wise app on both Apple and Android phones.

How does Wise work?

Open a Wise account online or in the mobile app to hold, send and receive foreign currencies. You can also get a linked Wise debit card to spend and make withdrawals around the world.

How many currencies does Wise support?

Send payments to 80+ countries, hold 50+ currencies, and get bank details to get paid like a local in 10 currencies to your Wise multi-currency account.

General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions. We compare currency exchange and money transfer services in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. We only display reputable companies which we have researched and approved.