Xoom vs TransferWise: Fees and Features Compared 2023
Picking between Xoom and TransferWise for your next international payment? This Xoom Vs TransferWise review has all you need to know. We’ll cover:
- A full side by side feature comparison
- Which provider is cheaper?
- Which is faster?
- Which is safer?
- Which gets better customer reviews?
Summary: Xoom - which is part of the PayPal family - offers convenient, fast transfers, especially for cash payout. TransferWise (now known as Wise) is a specialist in international payments to bank accounts, with multi-currency account products for individuals and businesses. In our comparison covering USD and EUR transfers to a bank account, Wise was cheaper, with a more transparent fee structure. Both providers are licensed by the FCA.
Xoom Vs Wise: side by side
|Send payments to||160+ countries||80+ countries, 50+ currencies|
|Multi-currency accounts||N||Available for 54 currencies|
|Debit card available||N||Y|
|Cash payout available||Y||N|
|Mobile phone reload||In select countries||N|
|Bill pay||In select countries||N|
|Fully licensed and regulated||Y||Y|
|Open a business account||N||Y|
So, to summarise:
- Xoom supports payouts to more countries compared to Wise
- Wise has a multi-currency account and card to support 50+ currencies - Xoom does not have that option
- Xoom offers payouts for cash collection, mobile phone top ups and bill pay - Wise does not
- Wise has business account options - Xoom is for personal use only
- Both providers are fully regulated by the FCA in the UK
Xoom and Wise offer some overlapping services, but they’re very different businesses. Xoom is super quick and convenient for personal payments, especially when you need cash payouts, or if you want to pay a bill or top up a mobile phone. You can log in with your PayPal account for convenience too. Wise is a specialist in international transfers to bank accounts. If you want to send a personal or business payment to a bank, Wise offers the mid-market exchange rate which can mean lower overall costs.
The important bits
|Rates||Exchange rates include a markup||Mid-market exchange rate with no markup|
|Fees||Varies by destination and payout method||Low fees, varies by destination|
|Speed||Cash collection can be ready in minutes, bank transfers depend on destination but can be ready in hours||40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours|
|Service||Online, in app and by phone||Online, in app and by phone|
|Safety||Fully regulated and licensed||Fully regulated and licensed|
|Reviews (TrustPilot)||3.8 star, Great, 22,000+ reviews||4.6 star, Excellent, 134,000+ reviews|
Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate, whereas Xoom adds a markup to the exchange rates used
Fees: Both providers have variable fees which are based on the destination country. Xoom fees also change based on payout method
Speed: Xoom cash collection payments may be ready in minutes - bank transfers depend on destination but can arrive in hours on major routes. Wise payments can be instant, with 80% arriving in 24 hours
Service: Both providers offer multilingual service in a range of languages, online, in-app and by phone
Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated
Reviews: Wise scores an Excellent review rating on Trustpilot, Xoom has a lower, Great rating, with fewer posted reviews
Pros and cons
|Pros||Send money to 160+ countries Great range of payout options including cash collection and bill pay Many payments arrive almost instantly Pay easily using your PayPal balance or any payment method linked to PayPal already||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||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|
Xoom Vs Wise: The verdict
Whether Xoom or Wise win for you will depend on the specific services you need.
Xoom offers fast and convenient transfers and can payout to bank accounts, for cash collection, to top up phones or pay bills. It’s easy to use - and even easier if you have a PayPal account already. Xoom covers 160+ countries, and can be really handy if you need to get cash to someone overseas quickly. However, exchange rates and fees aren’t market beating, and paying with a card can be particularly costly.
Wise is a specialist in transfers direct to bank accounts, and offers the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees. Wise also offers a multi-currency account with a linked international debit card.
In our comparison, Wise international transfers came with better rates and lower overall costs compared to Xoom. If Wise supports payments to the country you’re sending to, and you want your transfer to be delivered to a bank account, they may be your best bet.
About Xoom and Wise
Xoom was founded in 2001, and is now part of the PayPal family. You can use Xoom by logging into your PayPal account - making Xoom convenient for PayPal’s 377 million account holders around the world. You can send payments to 160+ countries with Xoom.
Xoom is a person to person payment service only - you can not open a business account or make a commercial payment through Xoom.
Wise was launched as TransferWise back in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider. 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 Xoom you’ll need to create an account or log in using your PayPal account. Using PayPal can be handy if you already hold an account, as your linked payment methods will transfer over so you don’t need to add them again.
Once you’re logged into your account:
- Select the pay in and pay out currencies
- Set either the amount you want to pay, or the amount you want the recipient to get
- Check the pay out options, exchange rate and fees that will apply
- Choose how you want the recipient to get the money
- Click Send Now and enter your recipient’s details following the on screen prompts
- Confirm the payment and your money is on its way
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:
- Log into your account
- Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
- Enter the recipient’s details
- bank account number or email
- Check over the details
- Fund your payment using a card or bank transfer
- 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.
Xoom Vs Wise Fees
Xoom fees vary based on the destination you’re sending money to, how you want to pay, and how your recipient will get the money. There are a few costs you may run into:
- Transfer fee - this may be waived for bank transfers and when paying with a PayPal balance
- Exchange rate markup
- Third party fee - especially when you use a credit card
When you set up your transfer with Xoom, the amount you’ll pay, and the amount your recipient will get are made clear.
You’ll also be able to see the exchange rate available, which will include a markup - a fee added to the rate being offered. That’s pretty standard across providers, but can make it harder to work out the true cost of your payment.
Xoom won’t necessarily be able to tell if you’ll pay third party costs, though - that’ll depend on your card provider.
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
Xoom 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 Xoom 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. Payments are funded by bank transfer and delivered to the recipient’s bank account:
|Amount & Currency||Xoom||Wise||Winner?|
|GBP>1000 USD||759.41 GBP||752.97 GBP||Wise|
|GBP>5000 USD||3,797.08 GBP||3,751.47 GBP||Wise|
|GBP>1000 EUR||852.44 GBP||843.39 GBP||Wise|
|GBP> 5000 EUR||4,262.21 GBP||4,216.16 GBP||Wise|
*Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 18th November 2021
As you can see, on all our comparisons, Wise worked out cheaper. As Xoom’s fees and rates vary by payout method, costs for a transfer for cash collection may vary - but Xoom’s speed and convenience may make them a good pick for cash transfers even if they’re not the absolute cheapest option out there.
Xoom Vs Wise: which is faster?
Xoom payments for cash collection can be available in minutes. Bank transfers can take anything from a few hours to a day or two - delivery time depends on where you’re sending money to, and the recipient bank’s processing times.
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.
Both Xoom and Wise are fully licensed and regulated, and use both smart technology and dedicated service teams to keep customer money safe.
Xoom is part of the PayPal group, and is regulated by the appropriate bodies around the world - including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Wise is regulated by the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US, and other global regulatory bodies.
Ease of use
- Creating an account: Create your account online or in app with both Xoom and Wise. With Xoom you can also log in with a PayPal account
- Making a transfer: Xoom payments can usually be made using bank transfer, PayPal balance, credit or debit card. You’ll see the funding options available when you set up your transfer. Wise typically allows bank transfers, card payments and Apple Pay payments
- Ways to send money: Send payments to your recipient’s bank account directly with both Xoom and Wise. Xoom also offers payments for cash collection, mobile phone reloads and bill pay services in select locations
- Languages: Xoom services are available in 16 languages, with multilingual customer support. Wise offers 15 languages, plus multi-lingual support services
- Minimum & maximum amounts: Wise sending limits can vary by destination country. Xoom limits are based on your account type - fully verified account holders can send up to 25,000 EUR or currency equivalent by bank transfer daily, with a 100,000 EUR 180 day maximum
Xoom supports major payment routes which cover over 160 countries. Wise supports 50+ currencies, and lets you send payments to over 80 countries.
Both Xoom and Wise have some interesting features which will suit different customer needs.
Xoom is extremely convenient and offers a way to get money to 160+ countries around the world. Transfers for cash collection are very fast and can be perfect if you’re sending money to someone who doesn’t have a bank account.
Wise on the other hand is a specialist in sending payments direct to bank accounts. On the payment routes it serves, Wise is generally cheaper with a better exchange rate compared to Xoom.
Finally, Wise has its international account which is also available for business customers, while Xoom is for personal transfers only. If you want an international debit card to avoid foreign transaction fees when you travel or shop internationally, this can be a god choice.
For payments to bank accounts, Wise is cheaper, as it offers the real exchange rate with no markup, and low transfer fees.
Xoom cash collection transfers are usually available in minutes, while bank transfer times vary based on destination. 80% of Wise transfers arrive in 24 hours. Both offer an estimated delivery time when you arrange a payment, so you’ll be able to compare the speed for your particular transfer.
Xoom supports payments to 160+ countries and Wise supports payments in 54 currencies to 80+ countries.