Seriously, have you ever seen a rebrand negatively affect a product? Rebrands have to be thought about retrospectively: you need to think whether it would make sense to go from the new to the old. Number26 for example rebranded to N26 and in retrospect it was an utterly obvious move.
Wise to Transferwise would make no sense especially if they are positioning themselves as more than a PayPal alternative. So this is a good rebrand.
And the generic name isn't a problem, any more than it was for Square. It's a shame $WISE is taken though.
I think there is an example in Europe. myTaxi has been rebranded to FREE NOW. The change has been dictated to free the brand from just the taxi business connection. But I believe it was unfortunate, at least for their taxi business. I don't have hard numbers, but the new name and logo seems to be random, completely unrelated to taxis, so when you see a car with it, you have no idea that the driver is a taxi driver. It's 2 years now with new name, but they iOS app is still named: FREE NOW (mytaxi). Me and my friends always have to ask someone "how mytaxi is called now?" because the app is no longer under M in the phone.
Worse for the company is that, since myTaxi was extremely catchy, there came a competitor called iTaxi, and many believe it might had take over some of the clients just because people trying to find myTaxi installed iTaxi instead, as FREE NOW looked cryptic and unrelated to taxis for them.
But in general, people used to a brand always cry out how rebranding will kill the brand and it truly has zero effect. I remember people saying that gmail's logo changing would kill it. Then it happened like two more times. Google rebranded Hangouts/Chat/Whatever like fifteen times and they still somehow have users. And in fintech I've seen tons of successful rebrands despite users doomsdaying them out. Simple, mentioned downthread, is a good example.
People just hate change. I mean look at some of the replies here… I hope they'll be able to read themselves a year from now.
On Android it's even more confusing. Some time ago it changed from "FREE NOW (mytaxi)" to "FREE NOW (Kapten)". At first I feared that they were undergoing another stupid rebranding (or tried to do one to Kapten and then went back on it and I missed that). Turns out that was a company they acquired from the UK, which I assume 90% of existing users never heard of before.
Wise is obviously a rebrand intended for IPO, along with their talks of being IPO ready. But Stripe? They dont seems to be making IPO preparation at all. I wonder when will it happen or they are happy now as they dont have to deal with the pressure of being a public company.
The pandemic coming along masked it, but I think the Realtimeboard to Miro rebrand did. They went from a clearly defined value proposition in the name to a nothing-word. For software that was installed on desktops, so the name and icon changed.
n=1 but I still have to stop and think which app I want to open for a realtime whiteboard.
Buy.com switching to Rakuten.com comes to mind.
Edit: A quick googling confirms they've indeed started talking about an IPO recently.
I think it’ll make searching a lot harder especially for an international service.
Wise? Waze? Whys? Ways?
But... it seems to have worked for “véz” so maybe this is just the “go big or go home” startup thing.
I have no idea if I’ll remember the name change a year from now, and as anything related to international money transfer is already sketchy, a rebrand is likely to make me wary.
also the logo, just so bad. I wonder who is behind such an ugly design, seems amateur to the extreme.
Anecdotal but I was somewhat reluctant to consider them as a "bank" due to their name (seemed like a service geared towards money transfer). The rebrand is not done for the existing customers, but for more easily capturing new ones.
Anyway, hope they stick around and eventually turn into a financial OS instead of folks needing a bank, plugging into underlying deposit accounts in the countries you need.
It wasn’t. So I guess there must be multiple apps called “Simple?”
"Wise" is very generic, and worse my guess is that they'll have a hell of a time defending that trademark.
But with Wise, for example there is already a MoneyWise, BudgetWise, etc., so "Wise" by itself may have issues with those other existing businesses.
Wise might be generic but encapsulates financial services well and fits in with all the other similar brands like Stripe, Square, Simple, Chase, etc.
Random aside - I'm carrying a transferwise card as my main payment card at the moment and just looking it doesn't say "Transferwise" on it, apart from in small print. It says "Hello World" on the front. I'd not actually noticed that till now in spite of having used it at least 100 times.
As you say yourself, the old name _waa_ "descriptive" but they have not been a simple transfer service for many years.
On the other hand, Amazon worked around it.
MLM House of Cards sequel where only diamond level and above members can unlock the final episode?
A shiny new top executive just trying to mark their territory in the best way known to humans and canines.
IMHO, not a good sign for where the company is headed.
The only way this makes sense is if they're intending to sunset the transfers in a couple of years, and are all in on their "we're not calling it a bank account, so who knows if we're actually regulated like a bank" product.
FWIW, I totally understand the bigger picture goals they describe in this post and I wish them every success.
- daily spending on goods and services
- electronic transfers to ewallets*
- any time someone needs to send me money, I use transferwise virtual account details so from their end it seems like a domestic transfer
- I even bought a motorcycle using Transferwise to do a local bank transfer. Tried it with my regular (foreign) bank first and it failed, tried it with Transferwise and it worked fine.
*my traditional bank doesn't support this. They only know how to deposit to a domestic ewallet, Transferwise can do deposits in ewallets internationally
Not all products are available in the markets TW is present in.
Are there tax implications in the US for doing this type of transfer monthly?
Businesses opening accounts with TW get real bank account details, that work in the traditional banking system, for each currency with little hassle, and good exchange rates to boot.
Also, top Google search is this: https://www.wise.us/
Unbelievably bad rebrand, shockingly so
Naming collisions is such an ugly state of affairs
The name collision isn't great, but then again Transferwise was already somewhat of a collision with the other Wise anyway.
I get why they'd want a rebrand to "wise", similar to "Apple Computer" -> "Apple" when Apple started doing than just computers but IMO it's a bit early as they're still only known for their core Transferring funds services. At the same time having a short company name & domain like `wise.com` does give the impression of a more global trusted brand for anyone who's never heard of them - so I'd say it's a good move for them overall.
I ran into KYC, which is only fair. They required proof of funds which included a letter from my accountant. They assigned a named case worker with a phone number, who I could call. 10/10 would do - and have done again, as recently as two weeks ago. I love this company.
I used the service for two years and just had the most surreal disastrous experience since the year flipped. I religiously send a the same (about 5k USD) to my home country every month so I can pay my mortgage and other bills I left when moved to NA.
2021 arrives, I start a transfer on January 27, days pass, nothing. I contact support 10 days later (of something that in the past 24 months took 3 days), they say I need to prove I’m the recipient so I ask them to cancel the transfer so I can start it from my personal account instead so both accounts match and no documentation is needed, another 10 days go by, still nothing.
I contact support again and found out that they withheld my deposit because they needed me to give, bear with me, POWER OF ATTORNEY among tons of other more resonable documentation to the destination country bank, so instead of signing my life away I cancel the transfer again: 26 days an counting TransferWise held my money which I will NEVER deal with again and tell this tale whenever I get a chance.
There support used to be bad, now it is atroscious.
The details of my situation are not important, however I was in contact with Christian Krabus - Head of Customer Care (https://www.linkedin.com/in/christian-krabus-075a7887/ who it appears no longer works for N26).
I would regular have to ask for status updates; email the managing directors and only then would things get progressed.
My issue stemmed from May 2019 right until Mar 2020; when he stopped responding (and according to linkedin, left the firm).
Basically, every support interaction required multiple pulling of teeth. That should not be how a bank interacts with you, especially when they have your money.
I now use another bank in Berlin, just a normal one, and the interactions are about average ( I ask a question; they take a week to get back to me -- but they *tell* me it will take a week).
No, I believe the parent is trying to tell us that they checked the employee's LinkedIn and noticed that the employee had changed jobs, so they arrived at a reasonable assumption: the employee may have stopped responding to their requests because he changed jobs.
I have done this once for my own account and a couple of times for others. They really do look into every detail and will award compensation if it's clear the bank was at fault.
Institutions that don't have this protection include Trasferwise and Revolut, both of which I have had issues with in the past.
Do you mean they don't subscribe to the 80k protection or something like that?
AIUI it would have to sign up to stricter regulation, and be treated as an actual bank account, or maybe as an investment (forex) account.
Transferwise are not in it and say they protect your money in other ways...
Good lord, how much money do you people make in the US?
It also has very high quality (Berkeley, UMich, etc) public universities where you won’t pay $40k per year in tuition.
And for healthcare, a good tech job will provide good coverage.
So it’s kind of a “eat your cake and have it too situation” for some.
Good tech job?
What about everyone else, are we that selfish?
And no, the education doesn’t cost $40k (that was my point) and the higher salary easily offsets the loans for a lot of careers.
And no, there are plenty of good paying jobs in the US, not just tech (I’m not in tech).
I know it's hard to imagine this if you've never experienced it, but be a little tolerable to the parts of the world where this happens, including where I'm leaving in right now
As Margaret Thatcher said, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.
It's easy to quote someone how was directly opposing the socialist movement and socialism and communism is not really the same thing, is it ?
I would gladly put ALL my savings into my own retirement plan instead of the government's money hole if I was allowed. But I am robbed of that choice...
I'll gladly pay my taxes knowing that the current retired people that didn't have the possibility to save up, can survive today. Also hoping that happens to me in case a horrible thing happens to my financial situation.
People like me, who take stress when it comes to such things, love European system but people who find it trivial to invest in markets and such find the American system better. I wonder how many people think like me and how many like Americans. I have met Americans who don't think like what I just categorized as the American mindset, and European which are opposite to. So I really cant just take the populations and answer my own question.
If I didn’t include the intelligence caveat, one could point out lower tax countries with less opportunity, such as how Somalia is the anarcho capitalists dream. Even if the US and Switzerland are more economically free than many other more socialist western nations, intelligent demographics is makes or breaks that effect.
The average American also makes more than the average European - not only in SF. In more economically free European countries this is not the case though, but these are few. Except for the highly regulated (thus inefficient) American Heath insurance market, having a regular job is a better deal there.
In my experience living here, it is the strong social security net (70% of your previous wage if unemployed), high minimum wage (up to 25$/hr in some areas), and general workers rights/protections.
"some areas" is doing a lot of heavy lifting in this sentence of yours. First of all, there is no Federal minimum wage, it is Cantonal. Second of all, the minimum wage of 20CHF only exists in 2 Cantons: Jura and Neuchatel. Third of all, once you PPP adjust that number, it's equivalent to about $10 USD/hour.
tl;dr: Switzerland got rich because of staying neutral and not asking questions about where incoming money originates from, not because of "free enterprise".
But instead Sweden chose the way of high tax on high income, high capital gains tax (which is zero in Switzerland), and a big “public sector” in order to make a large section of the people dependent on the state. The effect is fewer rich people who can invest in new companies, and more investment done via the state, which is inherently less efficient
Every attempt resulted in a message that the image wasn't clear enough. The delays bewteen messages were also days and weeks apart. Eventually I gave up and I no longer have access to the account. Thankfully, there was no money it.
In the US, you can file a small claims easily and without a lawyer. Some jurisdictions will even let you file 100% online, and the filing fees are very low.
After 2 months of Transferwises' excuses, they wired the full amount + legal fees to my account within a few hours of them receiving the notice.
Wasn't sure where to plug the recommendation
Here in Canada, the traditional way I could send money was going to a bank branch , fill out a very long form to be able to do a SWIFT transfer and pay through the nose for it.
Then came VBCE online, an FX company which was OK-ish except you needed to ask them to add everyone wiring you beforehands. And they demanded to have an up to date passport on file.
Then came transferwise and the world turned into a happy place.
However, it's still worse than TransferWise. If a wire transfer is sent via RBC online, the actual amount received by the recipient is frequently $25-27 less which is supposedly due to some random routing fee (it's not possible to specify an intermediary bank in RBC online). As a result, the total cost of a wire transfer ends up being CAD 45-50. In TransferWise a wire transfer costs C$6 to send and the received amount is always the same as the sent. The UI is simple, and the support is helpful (never had problems with them).
Don't get me wrong, I like IBKR and I do use it, but Transferwise is definitely more useful 90% of the time.
It's still mind-blowing to think IBKR charges $20 per million, when the airport Travelex will charge you $20 per hundred lol.
You'd open up a trading account, deposit funds from one country to it (generally free in EU/UK, can be done with a simple bank transfer, though can take 1-3 business days). Rather than the common use case of a brokerage account to buy stocks/invest, you place an order into their IdealPro order book they run to buy the currency you want (might have to jump through 2 trades, they don't run every single pair). Generally this is tailored at larger investors, so anything under $25k is subject to some additional fees due to being a small size (https://ibkr.info/node/1459), but still significantly less than the 0.35% TransferWise charges. The costs for you are commission (<0.2bps), potentially small size fee (1-2 bps), and crossing the bid/ask spread, which is ~0 for currencies). When that order has been filled you now have the desired currency in your account and you can transfer it back out (potentially to a different country or different account).
It's a free/cheap multi currency account with local bank details in 6+ countries, which give you 90% of the functionality you want, namely the ability to hold and transfer cash.
If you need more functionality you get a local bank account.
You are too young :-).
This also might change. German banks start again to take monthly fees for accounts, so why not for single transactions.
This said, I have to deal with accounts in NZ and Europe. Fees as well as speed for transfers between them is a whole other world when using TW compared to classic banking. These kind of costs have exist forever, SEPA conditions are the exception, not the rule, internationally.
TransferWises multi-currency account is a nice part of the package. I learned here today, this can be done even cheaper by using a Forex broker like IB, but I don't need this on a daily basis.
EDIT: 32p - https://transferwise.com/gb/pricing/borderless-send?source=G...
I apparently have to pay €0.28 per transfer in EUR with Transferwise. There are competitors (both in CHF and in EUR) that do this for free. I do something like 8 transfers per month, so that's 8*0.28*12 = €26.88 per year, for no added value. Not convincing.
their ACH fees does seem a little more expensive
That’s a dealbreaker for me, but I’m a happy customer of theirs for transfers.
e.g. I'm opening an account in France at the moment (as a French resident!) and it is taking literal weeks and lots of scanning documents, posting paperwork, phone calls etc. TW opened a Euro account for me in a few clicks.
I remember the app used to show two sets of US bank details, and that the routing number for receiving wire transfers was different from the one used for receiving ACH transfers. But that seems no longer to be the case.
I know if the ownership details don’t match up exactly there are extra steps, but it was pretty painless for me.
My view is mostly that customer service is broken. Everywhere. A few days ago I wrote and published a "corporate memo" where I make the case that a company such as Stripe could tackle this problem and solve it .
I really hope that someone will eventually find a way to provide proper customer service, without resorting to these terrible practices when something gets weird.
TransferWise takes customer support extremely seriously with an in-house team of support reps who are trained in all of our features. On top of that each team may have one or more CS "champions" who are the bridge between product teams and customer support. These champions usually know the product inside-out, and are in slack channels with the dev teams.
So when an issue is not a customer misunderstanding something, and turns out to be an actual bug, the CS rep will work with the engineers to find a workaround, and to get a fix deployed as fast as possible - all while the customer knows exactly what's going on.
Bottomline is that I agree that customer support is hard, and very expensive. But it doesn't have to be broken, and I don't think it is at TransferWise (well, Wise now)
It's interesting to see things like https://jimmymow.medium.com/announcing-strike-global-2392b90... and https://pagofx.com/
I really wish them all the best with the new brand and am excited for the new products! Even when I’m just being a tourist, the debit card and borderless card make working in different currencies a breeze.
My only wish is that the debit card issued to us citizens didn’t default to dollar payments but could intelligently mark itself as the local currency. Remember that when a foreign terminal tries to bill you in USD, the bank the card reader is connected to makes profit from marking up exchange rates.
To obtain their debit card, one of the requirements is that I add money to my account. So far so good. When I am on that page where I can enter the amount I want to add, there is always a minimum amount given. This is not in itself a problem. The problem is that - to my surprise - this varies by a LOT, and I have no clue why. Sometimes it is 5 USD, sometimes it is 20 USD. As in, sometimes I can add 5 USD or above, but not less, and sometimes I can only add 20 USD or above, but not less.
By now I went through: 5 USD -> 20 USD -> 1 USD -> 5 USD. Why does this happen?
I do not know the actual values as I was using another currency, but you get the point.
 I kept checking only for 2 days, so those values were changing this way within those 48 hours max.
It’s to TW advantage to have a higher minimum deposit, but the drop off is likely higher at higher amounts. They probably test high amounts regularly.
But as a single customer you shouldn’t have seen different amounts. That’s just confusing.
I checked just now, it is back to the initial value, the value that I encountered first.
The competition in this space is large, but there are a ton of trade offs between various services and in many countries (hungary, for one) the local alternatives simply suck.
Nothing could be more representative of modernity than the fact that typing wise into your browser bar will now direct you to a financial services company.
TW for sure reports to my country's financial intelligence agency (AUSTRAC).
I get paid in foreign currency via TW and it's pretty amazing.
I have it good authority , that quite a few local Australian banks report when the threshold is 1000 or more.
For international transfers any amount must be reported:
: My father works there.
Plus you're not doing international wire - they transfer from their local account (not 100% sure how it's accounted tho).
This is what I want to know
In South Africa for example, they've been partnered with exchange4free (dodgy name but legit) but recently changed to Bidvest. If TW isn't reporting, these third parties are. You have to sign mandate forms once a year explicitly for reporting purposes.
I also wonder if they tried to rebrand to "Transfer" as that would at least describe themselves and give them some interesting opportunities, e.g. money.transfer, coin.transfer
Later: Appears they have lowered the threshold to £20000 now (see https://transferwise.com/help/articles/2961856/tips-for-gett...)
Saved > 35kEU in rates - the local bank FX rates were daylight robbery.
Concretely there should be no difference, but your spirit would be less impacted.
I did this when I first used TW many years ago, when I had no idea if the service was reliable and the transfers would take days.
Opening a new account, the happy path steers the user to 2FA via SMS (which can't be disabled once enabled). The only other option is via their proprietary iOS or Android app.
Please, please give us at least TOTP, if not FIDO U2F or Webauthn.
SMS is inherently insecure (arguably worse than e-mail) and I'm not going to download your app.
Nonetheless, not a bad idea, as companies grow they all want the shortest possible brandable .com domain. I remember seomoz.com rebranded to moz.com for few million $$.
Fidelity, for example, charges no fee but a 1% spread, which is a "hidden" fee.
FirstRepublic charges .01% (and thats because we are "small" by institution standards ~50k / transaction).
Most banks are badly set up for consumer size transactions, unless they are by default multi currency (Revolut and Starling come to mind).
The traditional banks may be "no-fee" - but some have charged as much as 2%.
Still nothing on the ultimate rip off - the foreign currency ATMs at airports - fee +5+% spread...