The Complete Wise for Business UK Review
Wise is a global technology company focused on building the best way to move money around the world. Launched in 2011, today Wise is a publicly-traded company that serves over 10 million customers and moves over £70 billion annually. Customers range from consumers to freelancers and SMEs to enterprises like Google Pay and Xero.
With Wise for business, you can safely send and receive money domestically and internationally, make payments one by one or in bulk, and hold a balance.
With a Wise business account, you can add and manage user-level permissions, connect with major accounting platforms for automatic reconciliation, and automate your payment processes with their batch or API tool.
In this Wise business account review, we'll share with you all you need to know to help you decide if it's right for your business.
Wise business: Key points
Send money domestically and to 80+ countries
Receive money in 10 major currencies
Make multiple payments in one go with batch payments
Hold and exchange 50+ currencies
Get debit cards for your team
Withdraw money from platforms like Shopify, Stripe, etc
Add team members and manage account permissions
Connect with your accounting software
Automate your workflows with API
Price: typically one of, if not the, most cost-effective provider
Speed: 80% of payments are settled within 24 hours and 35% of the total are instant
Convenience: easily make payments one by one or through mass pay solutions
Transparency: full visibility on all fees, when you initiate a transaction you’ll receive a delivery estimate, plus granular payment tracking once you’ve made the transfer
Business friendly features including API, batch payments and Xero integration
Wise is not a bank - not all features you’d expect from a bank account are available
No cash deposits or transactions
No credit or business loan facilities on offer
No branch network - service available online, in-app and by phone only
Overall: The Wise business account offers a comprehensive range of features. Freelancers, entrepreneurs and business owners can receive, hold and send foreign currencies and see all balance and payment information at a glance. Pricing is transparent, and all currency exchange uses the mid-market rate which can mean payments are 6x cheaper than regular banks and 19x cheaper than PayPal. Wise is a safe provider, used by 10+ million customers and FCA regulated in the UK.
What is Wise for business?
Wise for business is a specialist service offered by Wise, a popular currency exchange provider.
Wise for business makes it super-easy for organizations to send money overseas and receive funds in a foreign currency. Wise's business accounts are fast and simple to use, and Wise's fees are among the lowest in the money transfer industry. They have millions of customers and handle billions in transactions every year.
Wise for business has been designed around convenience, so your organization doesn't spend tons of administration time on making or receiving payments. You can setup a business account in a few minutes, and get started with sending and receiving funds moments after that. Even better, Wise for Business offers the best exchange rates around. You'll get regular updates on the progress of your transfer and you can manage everything through their website or Apple and Android mobile apps.
Wise's business UK account offers a range of services, which has made them into a great choice for UK businesses to transfer and receive money with other organizations and individuals. On their website, they claim that they're up to 19 times cheaper than PayPal — wow! Their fintech currency exchange services are ideal for freelancers, sole traders, small and medium businesses, and enterprises.
Wise business accounts are available online and via the Wise app. There’s no set-up fee to send payments, hold and exchange 50+ currencies, get a business debit card and add team members to your account. With a low, one off charge of 16 GBP, customers can also access account details for 10 currencies, set up direct debits and get paid from third party accounts.
Wise business payments
Send payments through Wise locally in the UK, or to 80+ countries around the world. International payments use the mid-market exchange rate and a transparent fee which can be 6x cheaper than a regular bank.
Wise international transfers can be arranged by confirming the amount you want to send in pounds, or the sum you want the recipient to get in their home currency. You’ll always be sure what your recipient will get in the end, making it easy to pay overseas suppliers, contractors and staff accurately.
The recipient doesn't need to set up a Wise account, or even know you're paying them via Wise, as the funds are settled directly to their bank account. To make a payment to a recipient, you'll need to know their bank information, or alternatively you can use Wise's money-to-email feature.
Send up to 1,000 payments at a time, in as many currencies as you need. All you have to do is upload a file detailing the payments to be made. Batch payments make it convenient to run employee payroll or cover supplier invoices in just a few clicks.
Batch payment services are available off the shelf, ready to go in minutes, and come with no additional cost.
Use the powerful Wise API to automate your workflows, including collecting recipient details, making payouts, tracking and reconciliation. There’s no setup or integration fee, so you can start saving time and cutting admin with the Wise API right away.
Wise multi currency account and card
Wise business account holders can choose to open a free account focused on sending international transfers, or pay 16 GBP to access the full account features with no ongoing charges.
Customers who choose not to pay the 16 GBP fee still get an impressive range of features. You can use the Wise multi-currency account to add, hold, convert and send payments in 50+ currencies. International transfers use the mid-market exchange rate and a low, transparent fee. You’ll get a linked business debit card - the first one you order is free, and there’s a 3 GBP charge for each additional card. Add team members, integrate with your cloud-based accounting tools, get the Wise API and make batch payments - all with no upfront fee.
You can upgrade to the full account to get all the above, plus your own local bank details for 10 currencies: GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, CAD, HUF, SGD, TRY and RON. This means you can receive third party payments from 30+ countries, and get paid through platforms like Shopify, Stripe, Adyen and Amazon.
Business account users and permissions
You can add users to your Wise business account, and manage their permissions so they can access the features they need. Wise business account user profiles fall into several different categories:
Viewer - can see the account and download statements
Employee - can get a Wise business card, spend up to pre-set limits, and view their own activity
Preparer - can set up single payments for approval and download statements
Payer - can make and manage payments, convert currencies and download statements
Admin - has overview of all activity, can use a Wise business card and can add and remove team members
You can integrate your Wise account with Xero and QuickBooks for easy reconciliation across multiple currencies. What this means is that any activity you make on Wise appears within your accounting software for you to then reconcile. This cuts down on admin time and makes it easier to keep track of income and outgoings.
Pros and cons of using Wise for business
Thinking about using Wise for business? Here's a quick breakdown of what works really well and other areas where you'll want to take a second look.
- Their UK currency conversion services are very easy for businesses to use.
- They're completely open and transparent about how much they charge, so there are no budgeting surprises.
- Their fees are really low, so your business funds go that much further.
- They use the real exchange rate, so you get to avoid unpleasant hidden exchange rate fees.
- They're introducing innovative features like the Wise Borderless Account.
- Wise also offers personal accounts for individuals.
- Their customers adore them.
- You can only pay for a business transfer by bank transfer, debit, or credit card — you can't fund your transfer with cash or a cheque.
- Wise for Business doesn't support all currencies or provide transfers into all countries.
- You can only send money to the bank account of an individual or business.
- For larger amounts of money (more than £10,000), a specialist foreign exchange provider might be a little cheaper.
When should you use Wise for Business for your transfer?
Here's how to find out if Wise for Business is right for your organization.
- Do you need to send or receive money quickly?
Excellent. Wise for Business lets you send and receive money with most countries within a couple of business days (Monday to Friday).
- Are you worried about getting ripped off?
Wise for Business tells you the cost upfront. Even better, they're often the lest expensive UK provider around.
- Do you want to make sure your money is safe?
We agree. Wise for Business is fully regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and other agencies around the world.
- Are you concerned it will take a while to create an account?
You can get a Wise business account within a few minutes.
- Do you want to pay by cash or cheque?
Wise for business doesn't let you pay this way, you can only fund your international transfers with a bank transfer, wire transfer, or a card.
Wise for business fees and exchange rates are low-cost
Wise for business fees and exchange rates are some of the best you can get from any money transfer provider. You'll be charged a low-cost percentage of the amount you're sending plus a small, fixed fee. The percentage and the fee that's added do vary between destination countries and different currencies.
How much does it cost to send money between the UK and Europe?
Transferring £500 between British pounds and euros:
- The base market exchange rate is 500 pounds to 601.66 euros.
- Wise charges £2.10 in transfer fees, so the recipient would get 597.09 euros.
- OFX charges £14 in transfer fees and offers a worse exchange rate, so the recipient would get 573 euros, or around 24 euros less.
Transferring £2,000 between British pounds and euros:
- The base market exchange rate is 2,000 pounds to 2,406.58 euros.
- Wise charges £7.63 in transfer fees, so the recipient would get 2,397.70 euros.
- OFX charges £14 in transfer fees and offers a worse exchange rate, so the recipient would get 2,346.26 euros, or around 50 euros less.
*All of the comparisons above include the fees charged by money transfer services, but don't include extra fees that might be charged by others, like credit card companies or bank fees. The base exchange rate is the market rate used by traditional banks when they exchange money, and is considered the best exchange rate you can get.
How Wise for Business works
Before you can send money from the UK, you'll need to create a business account with Wise.
- Head on over to the Wise sign up page.
- Sign up for an account using your email and a strong, unique, and secure password.
- Once you've signed up, Wise will send you an email for verification.
- You'll need to follow the instructions in the email.
- You're all set and you can make a transfer.
- In some cases, you'll need to send Wise your identity and business documents.
How to send money with Wise for Business
Once you've set up your business account, you can easily send money overseas. Here's what you need to do:
- Sign into Wise through the website or a mobile app and choose to send money.
- Provide recipient and bank details of where you'd like to send the money.
- Pay for the money transfer.
- Track your transfer as it goes through the system.
- Wait for the money to be deposited in the recipient's bank account.
Details for transferring money or making international payments
If you're completing a money transfer or sending an international payment, you'll need to provide information about where you want the money to go. You can get this from the organization or person receiving the money, and if they don't know all the details, they can get them from their bank.
If you'd prefer to have the recipient provide details directly, Wise has a "Money to Email" service — just provide the recipient's email address and Wise will contact them and ask for the relevant information.
Here's what Wise for Business expects you to provide:
- The amount of money you're sending.
- The countries you're sending money from and too.
- The currencies that you're sending money between.
- The recipient's name and address.
- Bank details of the recipient's account.
The bank account details you'll need vary between countries, but typically you'll need to provide the sort code or routing number and the account number. In some cases, Wise will ask you for a SWIFT code or IBAN (International Bank Account Number.)
How you can pay for your transfer
Wise for business offers several payment methods that let you fund your overseas transfer:
- Bank transfer to a Wise account.
- A debit card linked to your bank account.
- A credit card.
If you're paying by bank transfer / wire transfer, Wise requests that you don't pay until you've arranged to send money. They will then provide bank account details and a reference number so that your payment goes to the right place. They accept payment by Faster Payments, Bacs or CHAPS.
If you make a card payment via credit card, your provider may charge your card as a "cash advance." This can mean higher interest rates, and could also result in you starting to pay interest on the amount immediately. Check with your card provider to see if that's likely to happen to you.
You can pay by most types of debit or credit card, including Mastercard and Visa. Wise does charge slightly differently depending on how you choose to pay for your transfer, with a payment from a bank account having a low fee, and debit or credit cards charging slightly more.
Is Wise safe for businesses?
Wise is a safe and trusted provider, fully regulated by the FCA in the UK and also covered by regulatory authorities around the world.
As an FCA authorised provider, Wise follows strict rules on how it protects customer’s money. These include regular stress testing to check plans and processes are robust, and maintaining a set amount of capital on hand at all times. Customer funds are safeguarded at top tier financial institutions, or used to buy government backed liquid assets like government issued bonds. That means your money is kept separately from Wise’s own funds, and can be easily accessed whenever you need it.
Wise is also at the cutting edge of online and mobile account safety with dedicated anti fraud teams and technology, instant transaction alerts and 2 factor authentication to keep customers' money secure.
Wise personal accounts
Wise also provides currency exchange and money transfer services for individuals. We cover Wise for individuals here.
This means you can use Wise for you personal and business needs and this gives you the flexibility to set up your account in the way that best suits you.
The Wise for business account allows customers to send and receive payments, and handle multiple currencies all in the same place.
There’s a one off fee to activate all account features, with no ongoing charges or minimum balance requirements. Account holders also get time saving features like batch payments and access to the Wise API. Wise is fully FCA regulated and trusted by millions of customers and businesses around the world.
The Wise business account is especially suited to entrepreneurs and businesses who have customers, contractors and suppliers overseas. Receive payments like a local with bank details for 10 currencies, manage international payroll and supplier charges using the mid-market exchange rate, and withdraw money from ecommerce platforms around the world.
Fees are low and transparent, and you could save 6x compared to regular banks and 19x compared to PayPal.
Yes. Wise as a whole has millions of customers and processes billions in transactions every year. They’re regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and by other agencies around the world. They use state-of-the-art security to keep all of your information secure, and they have excellent reviews from customers.
Extremely safe. Wise has strong encryption and security to protect your personal and business information. You can also use two-factor authentication for extra security. You should still use a unique, strong password for your Wise for Business account.
Typically, it takes anything from a few minutes to a few business days for Wise to get money to your recipient. The actual length of time depends on the currencies and countries you’re sending money between, how you’re paying, when you pay, and if you need to verify who you are. You can easily see how long it’s likely to take by using their calculator. In most cases, it takes fewer than two business days. Note that payments with UK bank transfers can take slightly longer to clear, which may delay things.
As we’ve mentioned above, Wise has very low fees, and you can check out how much they charge using their calculator. They charge a small percentage of the overall transfer amount, then add on a fixed fee. Their charges do vary depending on where you’re sending money. In most cases, the percentage fee will be around 0.5 to 1 percent of the total you’re sending, plus an additional fee of £1 or £2. You may also pay a little more if you’re paying for the transfer with a debit or credit card.
Wise uses the base, mid-market rate for calculating exchange rates. This is the best exchange rate available.
Yes, the Wise app is available for both Android and Apple devices. The app is fully featured and well-reviewed, scoring 4.4 (Android) and 4.8 (Apple) out of 5. The app is very easy to use and you can make transfers, access your Borderless Account, and manage your Wise debit card.