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  • Writer's pictureMagdalena Gołębiewska

TransferWise annual report (2019) - it's good!

TransferWise mission is to become irreversible and financially independent, as well bring the cost of sending money close to 0. Seems it is happening.

Key takeaways:

  1. 6 million customers

  2. £4 billion TOV every month.

  3. In the summer of 2018, company had 3 million customers, transferring £2 billion monthly.

  4. Profit, with a 53% growth in annual revenue to £179 million.

  5. Over £1 billion in borderless account deposits.

  6. Partnerships with challengers like BPCE, Monzo and Bung

Key milestones for the company which influenced such incredible performance below.

Going borderless & global expansion

The borderless account launched in 2017, allowing customers to hold their money in more than 45 different currencies and giving them multiple local bank account numbers in countries including the UK, Europe and the US. The accompanying borderless Mastercard debit card launched in Europe in 2018, and in the USA, Australia and New Zealand this year. Right now, customers trust TransferWise with over £1 billion in borderless account deposits.

TransferWise for Business

The 2019 financial year saw major new features added to TransferWise for Business, including the launch of a borderless Mastercard debit card for businesses, an integration with SME accountancy software Xero, and open access to the TransferWise API. The launch of the open API makes it cheaper for enterprises needing to process large batches of transactions. Since these enhancements were announced, 10,000 new business customers have signed up to the service every month.

TransferWise for Banks

This year brought an opportunity to the smartest and fastest banks in Europe. These banks use TransferWise’s API to send customer payments via our network, while customers remain in the bank’s own app. The benefit is faster, cheaper, more convenient payments for the bank’s customers. Unsurprisingly, all of them became the most efficient bank for international payments in their country overnight. The last financial year saw partnerships announced with France’s second largest bank BPCE, which has over 15 million customers, UK challenger Monzo, which has over two million customers, and Dutch neo-bank Bunq.

Mission zero

Bringing down the cost of sending money across borders is still a huge problem to solve. Every year, it’s estimated that people and small-to-medium businesses transfer $10 trillion internationally and lose $200 billion in bank fees. Traditional bank networks are local, making international transfers expensive, slow and inconvenient. Because most of these fees are hidden in marked-up exchange rates, it’s impossible for regular people to compare costs and find a good deal.

TransferWise has lowered average price globally, from 0.73% of the transfer amount in 2016, to 0.67% of the transfer amount in 2018. Over 20% of transfers are now instant, meaning they’re delivered in 20 seconds or less.

While pricing has overall changed for the better, TransferWise has also had to raise fees a few times when a route turned out to be more expensive than forecasted. However, they are committed to reduce these numbers in the longer-term, in their mission to bring the cost of sending money around the world to near zero.

2018 brought some indications that the entire industry is moving towards a fairer approach. In the latter half of the year, a landmark ruling came through the EU’s Cross-Border Payments Regulations, stating that people must know the full costs and charges of international transactions upfront. This is the first time that a regulator has mandated transparency, and is a very positive sign that the industry could be moving towards TransferWise’s transparent model.

What comes next?

The year has been a big step forward for TransferWise. 99% of the world is still moving money with expensive, intransparent providers, and for the £1 billion TransferWise is stating to save for customers every year, hundreds more billions are wasted in hidden fees. The company plans to reduce this number!

You can download our full annual report at this link.

Source: TransferWise

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