Ever since TransferWise launched the Borderless Account earlier this year, there has been considerably chatter about it. It has managed to find a large number of takers in a relatively small time period, which leads many to wonder what’s on offer. If you need to send money overseas or receive funds from other countries, knowing how this new offering works might be in your best interest.
What is the Borderless Account?
The TransferWise Borderless account is basically a digital wallet or an electronic money account. It’s not the same as a bank account because you’ll earn no interest and it does not offer overdraft protection. When you open an account, you’ll get bank account details from the U.S., the UK, and Europe. While these bank details are unique, they’re not real bank accounts. Instead, they’re distinct addresses, so to speak, within your Borderless Account.
While your funds are protected and safeguarded, the account is not backed by the U.S. Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). What’s similar to bank accounts is that you may use these to make and receive payments. If the profile address you provide TransferWise is from the U.S., your funds are stored in TransferWise bank accounts in the U.S. If you live elsewhere, the company holds your funds in its banks accounts in the UK.
Other than providing you with three distinct bank account details, the Borderless Account lets you receive payments and hold your money in up to 27 currencies. These include:
|Australian dollar||Hong Kong dollar||Romanian leu|
|British pound||Hungarian forint||Singapore dollar|
|Bulgarian lev||Israeli shekel||South African rand|
|Canadian dollar||Japanese yen||Swedish krona|
|Croatian kuna||Mexican peso||Swiss franc|
|Czech koruna||New Zealand dollar||Turkish lira|
|Danish krone||Norwegian krone||Ukrainian hryvnia|
|Euro||Peruvian sol||United Arab Emirates dirham|
|Georgian lari||Polish zloty||US dollar|
There is no limit to the maximum amount you may hold in different currencies other than US dollars. In addition, you may transfer funds from your Borderless Account to over 50 countries in their local currencies.
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You may sign up for a Borderless Account as a small to mid-sized business, a sole trader, an online seller, or a freelancer. The account is available to residents of most countries the world over. Existing exceptions include:
|Australia||Democratic Republic of the Congo||Sevastopol (city)|
|Canada||Iran||Republic of South Sudan|
|Central African Republic||Iraq||Sudan|
|Chad||Japan||Syrian Arab Republic|
|Crimea (sub-territory)||New Zealand|
Can it Help You Save Money?
Consider this. You’re an online merchant who has customers in different parts of the world. You receive payments in different currencies and end up paying a tidy sum as fees. There’s a good chance you get to deal with multiple overseas money transfer companies, and there’s no telling how favourable or unfavourable an exchange rate you get.
With the Borderless Account, you pay no account opening or account maintenance fees. You pay no fees when you receive money in your Borderless Account. When you receive payments in your matching currency accounts, you pay no currency conversion fees. If you add funds to your Borderless Account via a bank transfer, you pay no extra fees. Adding funds to your account using a card, transferring funds to bank accounts, and converting money between currencies require that you pay nominal fees.
The mid-market rate you’ll get through TransferWise is independently provided by Reuters, without any markup. This is the same rate you see through sources such as Yahoo Finance, XE, and Google.
The Soon-to-be-Launched Multi-Currency Card
TransferWise is set to launch a multi-currency card to accompany the Borderless Account by the end of 2017. This will give account holders easy access to their money as and when they need it. International travellers may benefit by using this card too.
The TransferWise Borderless Account may work well for people who have international financial dealings. Not only can it serve as a one-stop-shop for cross-border fund transfer needs, it may lead to considerable savings as well.