Review: Does TransferWise the “bank” make all your money disappear?
In an age where technology reigns supreme, plenty of financial institutions are popping up, with promises of being the full banking experience except digital. As you try to find a digital only bank, you may have come across Wise, previously known as TransferWise. However, you may want to check reviews of TransferWise before you open an account.
Founded in 2011 by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, Wise was meant to be an alternative to wiring money and international transfers. Making it cheap and easy to send money abroad, it was appealing to many users who perform such transactions on the regular. But it’s clear many people are finding more bad than good with using Wise.
Many reviews share stories about how TransferWise, for one reason or another, put a hold on their account looking for more information. In the case of Reddit user MassiveDoughnut, this was TransferWise looking for proof the money being sent was in regards to an inheritance.
However, MassiveDoughnut also shares in his review TransferWise came back looking for extremely personal information to further prove the money was legitimate. After talking with a lawyer, he realized the info he was looking for, including “a complete accounting of every single asset my relative had, how the executor processed each asset, and how each asset came to be in my possession.”
After conversing with his lawyer, MassiveDoughnut decided to cancel the transfer as it was unsafe for him to give out that info and risk identity theft or fraud. However, TransferWise still took days for his money to get back to him, and that’s only because he got the lawyer involved in the transaction.
On Trustpilot, there are even more reviews of people trying to use TransferWise to send money and never receiving their funds. Marco Madre, for example, sent $75,000 to someone for a property purchase. A month later, the recipient has yet to receive a cent of the transaction.
Ram Chatha shares a similar story with their TransferWise review. After trying to stop a 50 thousand pound transaction, TransferWise has yet to return his money. Out of anger, Ram Chatha closed his account with TransferWise, and now they claim the company refuses to return the money.
Alex also is struggling to get his money back after cancelling a transaction. Initially sending money to another account, Alex cancelled the transaction after fifteen days of waiting. Yet now Alex is waiting for the cancellation to go into effect.
Need money to stay afloat?
The timing of these incidents and TransferWise’s name change cannot be ignored as well. Most of the TransferWise reviews above were posted in 2021, after TransferWise changed their name to Wise.
It also cannot be ignored that TransferWise announced their plans to go public as an IPO around this same time as well. While there is no proof these incidents are connected to TransferWise’s introduction to the stock market, it’s worth noting.
No help whatsoever
One story that really resonates in these TransferWise reviews is the lack of help from customer service. With the bank being completely digital, it’s disappointing to hear that TransferWise has a lack of customer service techs to help with issues.
On Consumer Affairs, Raymond of Tucson, AZ shares how TransferWise customer service has kept telling him to wait for further assistance yet refuses to give him any. “Several chats and phone calls to their customer service center over the last five days have failed to resolve the issue. They keep saying their “tech team” is looking into it and I should expect an email in a few days.”
Anthony of New York, NY also makes a valid point of their shady business tactics. Worried TransferWise was not a legitimate bank, they asked for proof from a customer service rep. “That’s why I asked them to prove their identity, by providing a company registration certificate and the first and last name of the employee that answered by email. But they have refused to identify themself. That’s very suspicious behavior.”
Avoid at all costs
Even with a new name and business strategy, the reviews of TransferWise, or Wise, speak for themselves. The company may offer cheap rates, but it’s clear that issues are more common than not, and if you have an issue, it won’t be getting resolved anytime soon by TransferWise.
You might want to yourself a favor and find a different online banking service to complete your international transfers. If these stories are true, your money, clients, and accountant will thank you later.