TransferWise, Europe’s leading consumer financial technology start-up, today announced the official launch of its peer to peer international money transfer platform in Canada.
TransferWise was founded in early 2011, and has quickly grown into one of Europe’s most successful tech exports with more than one million customers and moving almost CAD$1 billion a month, saving customers more than CAD$1 million a day. It has secured $91 million backing from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, former CitiGroup CEO Vikram Pandit and Paypal founder Peter Thiel.
The company has been recognised for its innovative approach by the World Economic Forum as a Tech Pioneer, included as a CNBC 50 disruptor, in the Forbes FinTech 50 list and its mobile app was recognised as Apple’s Most Innovative App, 2015.
3 million Canadians live abroad and almost 7 million people people live in Canada from overseas. They will now be able to send Canadian dollars to any of the 60 countries and 35 currencies on TransferWise’s international money transfer platform - giving them an alternative that is up to five times cheaper compared to a bank. International money transfers are far more expensive than banks let on. Even when they claim there are no fees, they typically use an inflated exchange rate to increase their profits. TransferWise charges just 1.2% - up to five times cheaper than Canadian banks.
In 2015, TransferWise expanded its service to every continent, including major markets such as the US, China, Brazil and Australia. Since its US launch one year ago, it has processed over 2 billion US dollar transactions - saving its American customers over $50 million in bank fees in 2015 alone.
TransferWise’s international money transfer platform is based on a peer-to-peer model, which gives users access to the real mid-market exchange rate. This allows them to avoid traditional banking fees altogether, which has never before been possible for Canadian consumers transferring money abroad.
The company started in 2011 with its two founders making transfers between just British pound and euro. It has since added a further 500 members of staff and operates across almost 500 currency routes.