TransferWise makes push for the mainstream with TV ad mocking banks

TransferWise makes push for the mainstream with TV ad mocking banks

With an overhauled website and mobile app to show off, London-based currency exchange startup TransferWise has stepped up its assault on the banking industry in its first TV ad.

Three-year old TransferWise has handled more than £1 billion in foreign currency transfers on behalf of users, who side-step bank fees by performing peer-to-peer currency exchanges at the mid-market rate.

The startup claims that it is now moving beyond the 'early adopter phase' and is ready to challenge the high street banks for mainstream customers.

Following the lead of one of its investors, Richard Branson, TransferWise delights in aggressively mocking the incumbents it seeks to displace. In its first TV ad, a greedy banker strolls through his decadent office explaining how he makes a killing on transactions, before settling down to move some of his own money using TransferWise.

Earlier this year the firm posted a hidden camera stunt on YouTube in which a bar tender, representing banks, pulls pints for customers taking scoops off the top for himself. The camera tracks the astonished reactions of punters as the barman gets progressively drunk on the surcharge.

Meanwhile, a website redesign promises to onboard customers twice as fast as before and an iOS 8 app overhaul makes the most of touch-ID login and deepens integration with the iPhone contacts book.

Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder, TransferWise, says: "We believe that just being a little better isn't enough, so we strive to offer something that's ten times easier, faster and better than the banks to make mainstream consumers aware of alternative finance providers like us."

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