Kristo Käärmann, Co-founder and CEO of Global Fintech Wise, Reveals Company Continues to Lower Cross-Border Transfer Fees

Kristo Käärmann, Co-founder and CEO of Wise (previously dba TransferWise), which aims to make money work without borders, notes that they’re building the world’s most international account.

Kristo recently shared Wise‘s Q2 Mission Update.

He reveals that the Fintech, which recently completed a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on its Main Market, has grown to 2,600 professionals now.

Kristo also revealed how much progress they actually made towards money without borders, with Wise Transfer, Wise Account, Wise Business and Wise Platform. He shared the ups, downs and “sideways moves” during the past 3 months.

Kristo also mentioned that they managed to “push the fees down.” He confirmed that 830,000 customers and 19 currencies saw “transfer fees go down on Wise – bringing the overall average to 0.67%.” He added that the “light at the end of the Mission Zero tunnel is shining a tiny bit brighter.”

He further noted that this drop came down to three main things:

  • Reducing the cost of local integrations in 🇸🇪🇳🇴🇺🇸
  • Building new partnerships in 🇮🇳🇧🇷
  • Improving how we manage money all over the world

For instance, transfers to Japan got significantly more affordable as global Fintech Wise created a cheaper setup in Japan in order to hold Japanese Yen (JPY). Sending 5,000 Euros to Japan “used to cost €32.06 and we brought it down to €26.43,” he revealed.

Kristo added:

“Same level of instant, yet slow transfers got faster. Every transfer should be instant. But in Q2, the share of payments reaching your recipient in under 20 seconds stayed at the same level as in Q1 – at 38%.”

He continued:

“While we enabled instant transfers in Malaysia and for instant banks in Australia, we also faced some challenges. We weren’t prepared enough for bank closures during Ramadan, which led to transfer delays.”

Kristo further noted that the speed of support is improving as well, however, they are not quite there yet. He also shared that 69% of queries were answered “on time”, which means “15 sec for phone calls, 60 sec for chats, [and] 15 hrs for emails.” He confirmed that during the previous  quarter they “only got to 63% on time.”

He also mentioned that the Wise account is now “smoother for good guys and harder for baddies.”

He revealed:

“We’re twice as fast at catching the bad guys trying to use Wise, and 40% more accurate in identifying them. We now also identify when you’re balance is low, and remind you to top it up.”

Kristo further noted that account numbers experience “got an upgrade, with 10% more customers receiving into their new account within 7 days.” He added that they introduced “some sweet new features too: direct debits on Canadian accounts, and over 1,000,000 of you opted in to receive money with just an email.”

He also mentioned that Indian residents can “finally send money to 40+ countries at the real exchange rate, and with even lower and transparent fees.” And, until July 31st, they are donating the fees from INR transfers “to Covid-19 relief efforts in India.”

He further revealed:

“We launched transfers to Fiji! (i’ve never been) Increased transfer limits for sending to China. More banks keep bringing Wise to their own customers in their apps. We launched in Shinhan Bank in South Korea, Fortu in United States, YAPEAL in  Switzerland as well as Temenos and Thought Machine; and expanded integrations with EQ Bank in Canada and Deskera.”

He also noted that it’s now just banks, Wise is in Google Pay now as well.

He pointed out that £150 billion is the amount people all over the world “still pay unknowingly in hidden fees (every year).” Kristo also mentioned they need assistance. They are looking for another 198 people – makers, designers, operators.

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