Good news! We have improved the experience of sending US dollars to bank accounts that are denominated in USD outside the US. USD is sent to bank accounts outside the US via the SWIFT payment network. This is different from a regular Wise transfer and, unfortunately, in some cases the transfer has unexpected fees, meaning that the receiver sometimes gets less money than sent by you. We have acknowledged that this is not a good experience and we now offer you a way to protect your payment from these unexpected charges.
While we wish we could eliminate these fees entirely, we're trying to make it as transparent and cheap as we can for Wise customers.
Why is this happening?
SWIFT is a cross-border payments network used by more than 11,000 banks across 200+ countries in the world. In a SWIFT transfer (also known as “Wire Transfer/Telegraphic Transfer), banks do not transfer funds to one another. Instead, a message called a payment order is generated from one bank to the other.
If our partner has a correspondent bank account with the receiver’s bank, then the transfer happens directly. Funds to the recipient are settled from the correspondent account of the sender’s bank.
However, SWIFT being such a huge network of banks, our partners don’t have a direct financial relationship and need to use an ‘intermediary bank’ to complete the transaction. In these cases, unless the payment is protected, the intermediary banks can charge a fee (usually $20-$50). Unfortunately, we don’t have any visibility about this fee before the transfer is sent out and then have no control over it.
How did we solve the problem?
You can now add protection to your payments before you send money. To do this, Wise pays an additional fixed fee to our partner so that they instruct the intermediary banks to charge any fee directly to them rather than taking it off the payment that you send. It’s more transparent for customers and it ensures that your receiver always gets the full amount you sent.
How do I opt in?
When you create a USD transfer to a receiver with a bank account denominated in USD outside the US, you’ll see this screen and can select the option to protect your payment or send it normally.
Your fee will depend on the country where the payment is made to. Please note that this is only available on web for now but we are working hard at making this available on mobile as well.