XE vs Wise: Fees and Features Compared 2022

Not sure whether to use Xe Money Transfer or TransferWise for your next international payment? This Xe Vs TransferWise review has got you covered. We’ll look at:

  • A full side by side feature comparison
  • Which provider is cheaper?
  • Which is faster?
  • Which is safer?
  • Which gets better customer reviews?

Summary: Xe supports more countries and currencies than TransferWise (formerly Wise). However, Xe transfers can take a while to arrive, and come with a markup added to the exchange rate. Wise is usually faster and has more transparent fees. In our comparison, Wise came out cheaper in both USD and EUR payments. Both providers are licensed by the FCA.

Go to Wise

Xe Vs Wise: side by side

FeatureXeWise
Send payments to 220 countries, 139 currencies

80+ countries, 50+ currencies

Multi-currency accounts N Available for 54 currencies
Debit card available N Y
Fully licensed and regulated Y Y
Open a business account Y Y
Currency risk management for businesses Y N

So, to summarise:

  • Xe supports more countries and currencies
  • Wise has a multi-currency account to support 50+ currencies, while Xe doesn’t offer this for personal customers
  • Wise has a debit card on offer for customers - Xe does not have that option
  • Wise and Xe both offer business services - Xe has currency risk management options for businesses, which Wise does not
  • Both providers are fully regulated

Wise offers a faster service and more straightforward charging on the payment routes they cover. However, Xe has a more extensive global reach. If you’re looking for a payment to an exotic currency, Xe may suit your needs. But if you need a multi-currency account or you’re looking to make a speedy transfer in a major currency, Wise may work better for you.

Go to Wise
Go to XE

The important bits

XeWise
RatesExchange rate includes a markup Mid-market exchange rate with no markup
Fees2 GBP for transfers worth less than 250 GBP Low fees, varies by destination
Speed

1 - 6 days depending on destination and payment type

40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours
ServiceOnline, in app and by phone Online, in app and by phone
SafetyFully regulated and licensed Fully regulated and licensed
Reviews (TrustPilot)

4.4 star, Excellent, 48,000+ reviews

4.6 star, Excellent, 134,000+ reviews

Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate, whereas Xe adds a markup to the rate used

Fees: Xe charges 2.50 GBP for transfers under the value of 250 GBP. Wise has variable fees which are based on the destination country

Speed: Xe transfers can take a few days to arrive, Wise payments can be instant

Service: Both providers offer multilingual service in a range of languages, online, in-app and by phone. Wise has more languages covered than Xe.

Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated

Reviews: Both providers score Excellent review ratings on Trustpilot - but Wise has significantly more listed customer reviews showing

Pros and cons

XeWise
Pros Impressive range of currencies and countries covered

Transfer online and in-app for convenience

Business services include currency risk management solutions

Mid-market exchange rates + low fees

Transparent pricing

Send to 80+ countries

International accounts for personal and business customers

Hold and manage 54 currencies

Cons Exchange rate markups apply

Transfer fee applies to low value payments

Delivery times are not market beating

Online and mobile payments only - no branches

No option for cash payments

Transfer fees vary by destination country

Multi-currency accounts are not interest bearing

Xe Vs Wise: The verdict

Whether Xe or Wise win for you will probably depend on the specific services you need, and where you’re sending money.

Xe’s stand out feature is the sheer number of currencies and destination countries available. You can send even unusual currencies - and more or less every corner of the globe is covered. For business customers, Xe also offers some services not available from Wise, including currency risk management solutions.

However, Wise tends to be faster for international transfers, and in our comparison was also cheaper. If Wise supports payments to the country you’re sending to, they may be your best bet.

Finally, Wise also offers a multi-currency account with a linked international debit card, to help you cut the costs of international transactions online and when you travel. Xe doesn’t provide this option for personal customers.

Open a Wise Account
Open a XE Account

About Xe and Wise

Xe was founded in 1993, and is now part of Euronet, one of the largest money transfer companies on the planet[9]. You can send payments in 139 currencies with Xe. Aside from money transfer services, Xe is famous for providing tools to monitor and track exchange rates - these are available online and in the Xe app.

Xe business accounts offer some extra services as well as international transfers, including currency risk management solutions and mass payments.

Wise was launched as TransferWise back in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider[10]. These days, Wise has upwards of 10 million customers, and also offers personal and business accounts to hold and manage currencies, accept payments and spend using a linked debit card.

With Wise you can send payments to 80+ countries, in 50+ currencies.

How do they work?

To use Xe you’ll need to register an account - once you’re up and running you can make transfers all around the world easily online and in the Xe app:

  1. Sign into your account
  2. Select your starting currency and recipient currency
  3. Enter the amount you want to send to get a quote
  4. Add your recipient’s bank details
  5. Pay by card or bank transfer
  6. Check the details, then hit Confirm to send the payment
  7. You’re all done - you can now track the payment in the app

To use Wise you’ll need to create an account, and depending on the type of payment you want to make you might need to provide some ID for verification.

Once your account is up and running make payments online and in the Wise app:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
  3. Enter the recipient’s details - bank account number or email
  4. Check over the details
  5. Fund your payment using a card or bank transfer
  6. Confirm and your money will be on the move

Wise transfers are made through Wise’s network of local bank accounts, so they arrive faster and don’t incur intermediary fees. When you want to pay for your transfer in pounds you’ll send the money to Wise’s local UK account. Then Wise will make a payment of the equivalent amount in your preferred currency, from their account in the destination country. No money actually moves across borders, so it’s faster and cheaper than traditional international payments.

Try Wise
Try XE

Xe Vs Wise Fees

Xe charges a flat transfer fee of 2.50 GBP on transfers under 250 GBP. There is also an exchange rate markup - a fee added to the rate used to convert your payment. That’s not uncommon - but it can make it harder to work out the true cost of your payment.

Wise doesn’t hide any fees in the exchange rates used, but instead has a couple of different transparent costs:

  • Fixed fee: covering the fixed costs associated with the transaction. For major currencies this can be in the region of £0.20 - £0.40
  • Variable fee: covering the cost of the currency exchange. For major currencies this can be in the region of 0.35% to 0.45% of the transfer value

Xe Vs Wise: which is cheaper?

Choosing an international payment specialist is almost certainly cheaper than sending money using your bank. However, as fees and rates do vary, it still pays to compare a few providers before you pick.

Let’s look at how a few different payments from Xe and Wise work out. This table looks at how much in GBP it’ll cost you to send a payment to a friend in USD or EUR:

Amount & CurrencyXeWiseWinner?
GBP>1000 USD 757.06 752.46 Wise
GBP>5000 USD 3,779.58 3,750.35 Wise
GBP>1000 EUR 850.92 842.84 Wise
GBP> 5000 EUR 4,248.09 4,213.40 Wise

*Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 24th November 2021

As you can see, on all our comparisons, Wise worked out cheaper. However, for the lower value payments there’s a relatively small difference, so choosing between these providers for small transfers may ultimately come down to speed and convenience.

Xe Vs Wise: which is faster?

Xe payments can take several days to arrive - you’ll see an estimate of the delivery time when you set up your transfer. Delivery speed depends on a range of factors:

  • How long it takes for your funds to be received by Xe. Card payments are fastest, bank transfers could take up to 3 days to be received, depending on your own bank’s processes
  • How long it takes for your funds to clear - this may take a day or so
  • How long it takes for the funds to arrive at the recipient’s bank - this can take up to 3 days depending on the processes in place at the receiving bank

40% of Wise payments get to their destination instantly, and 80% arrive in 24 hours. However, the exact delivery time will depend on where you’re sending money to, and how you want to pay. You’ll see an estimated arrival time when you set up your payment.

Safety

Both Xe and Wise are fully licensed and regulated, and use both smart technology and dedicated service teams to keep customer money safe.

Xe money transfer is provided via HiFX, trading as Xe. HiFX is regulated by the FCA in the UK, making it a secure provider.

Wise is regulated by the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US, and other global regulatory bodies around the world.

Ease of use

  • Creating an account: Create your account online or in app with both Xe and Wise
  • Making a transfer: Both providers allow customers to fund payments with a bank transfer or card. Wise also allows Apple Pay payments
  • Ways to send money: Send payments to your recipient’s bank account directly with both Xe and Wise
  • Languages: Xe services are available in 10 languages, with multilingual customer support. Wise offers 15 languages, plus multi-lingual support services
  • Minimum & maximum amounts: Sending limits can vary by destination country, and based on your account type

Supported currencies

Xe supports 139 currencies on major payment routes which cover over 200 countries. Wise supports 50+ currencies, and lets you send payments to over 80 countries.

Conclusion

Both Xe and Wise allow international payments direct to bank accounts. Xe has a broad global reach and allows transfers to almost every country in the world, in an impressive range of currencies. However, depending on where you’re sending to, Xe’s processes can slow down delivery times.

Wise on the other hand has its own approach to processing international payments which makes it faster - and usually cheaper, too. If you’re sending money on a currency route supported by Wise you’ll probably find you get a better deal and a faster transfer with them. However, if you want an exotic currency, Xe may suit you better.

Finally, Wise has its international account which isn’t an option with Xe. If you want to spend while you travel, make ATM withdrawals and shop online with international retailers with no foreign transaction fees, the Wise multi-currency account could work well for you.

Go to Wise
Go to XE

FAQs

Is Xe or Wise cheaper?

For instant payments, Wise is cheaper, as it offers the real exchange rate with no markup, and low transfer fees.

Is Xe or Wise faster?

Wise is usually faster than Xe - exact delivery times depend on a range of factors for both providers.

How many currencies do Xe and Wise support?

Xe supports 139 currencies and Wise supports 54 currencies.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated 4 May 2022