Wise (formerly TransferWise)

I’m not sure that Wise actually has much control over this. I believe they do these transfers through the SWIFT network (at least for USD/TWD) and, again, it’s deliberately obfuscated. There doesn’t seem to be any way for the consumer to figure out expected intermediate bank fees.

It might depend on the currencies? I was transferring from my USD balance. The transaction I mentioned was in October 2021, but that was the first time I’d seen that option so I assumed it was a new feature at that time (within the previous 6 months or so).

It happened for the previous two or three USD transfers I did to Mega Bank. Again though, it’s not obvious (unless you ask) which is the intermediate bank fee and which is the recipient bank fee - all you see is the money missing from the amount received in the account…

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Looks like I am done with Wise for some time:

Did the next transfer (same amount) without Wise this time directly from my (German) bank account. No €15 “mystery fee” this time - just the €12.50 fee my bank charges (which is still lower than €15 + €3.83 Wise is charging). Also, I don’t need to transfer the money to Wise first, so overall more convenient.

In addition, when I tried to transfer money from my Wise account to another Wise account recently, I was shown a fee of €0.04 although their website says that transfers from one Wise account to another one are free. Asked their support via chat - they were surpised and asked for a screenshot and then promised to get back to me via email, but never did.

It was great when it started, but now - not so much… :unamused:


This seems to suggest that E.Sun doesn’t charge you at all for receiving foreign currency transfers? That’s strange - Mega Bank does.

If sending it directly from your bank doesn’t result in intermediary bank fees I agree that’s a better option. I don’t think there’s any way to know that without trying though (I guess it depends on the route from the sending bank to the receiving bank, and there doesn’t seem any way to predict that).

Ah, no - the E.SUN fee applies in both cases, so I didn’t mention it specifically in that post.

Like I said: Only for the last transfer using Wise, they started appearing. So my theory is that Wise changed their partner banks without really caring about any additional intermediate fees this would cause…

Or E.Sun did…how would you know?

Well, then my latest transfer using my German bank account should have incurred the same fee, I would assume.

Also, there was a change in the “匯款銀行” line as shown by E.SUN:
2022/02/08 (no additional fee): “WISE PAYMENTS LTD”

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I mean that the need for an intermediary/correspondent bank is dependent on the relationship between the issuing bank and beneficiary bank. It’s possible that your bank has a relationship with E.Sun that doesn’t require an intermediary bank whereas Wise and E.Sun don’t (anymore), which depends on both parties. The opposite might be true for some combinations of overseas banks/Wise and Taiwanese banks.

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Wise are raising fees and now charging negative interest on some balances

Xe.com will do an incoming TWD transfer. Based on the number Google gives and their current exchange the difference is about 2.7%

Sorry if this is off on a tangent, I’ll try to keep it as relevant to the thread as possible…

What are the circumstances where a temporary expat would need to set up a system with Wise (or revolut, etc). Just trying to plan properly, but I’m wondering if I can simply get by with my US credit cards and Charles Schwab debit for fee-less ATM withdrawals. I’m not running any Taiwan business, my rent is likely to be paid through credit card (airbnb) or PayPal (my potential landlord accepts this)…am I in the clear or should I still set up a Wise account before leaving the US?

You can still set it up after arriving here.

The reason would be lower fees for transferring USD/EUR to a local bank account (most ATMs / banks have daily / weekly / monthly limits for cash withdrawals). YMMV depending on how much your bank would charge.

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I think he can get the visa debit card if he set it up in the US. Although as usual, this is probably against their TOS if you actually moved into Taiwan. Risks them disabling the card. But it seems they are not that stringent about checking the address, they are not a bank after all.

Anyways, after reading this thread and the help pages. It seems you can only use Wise to transfer/receive USD, EUR, etc. to/from Taiwanese bank account in USD, EUR, etc. Through SWIFT with its associated charges. You can’t do the same thing with TWD.

You can convert currencies to TWD in transferwise, but you can only transfer it to TWD bank account in approved countries. Like Singapore, not Taiwan. Unless the debit card actually able to withdraw the converted TWD in Taiwan ATMs. edit: Just checked, no TWD option unfortunately. Could be different depending on your residence. Dunno.

Fun fact. Just checked USD transfer requirements from outside the US. Wise will return USD payments from Asian countries not listed here: China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates. So that’s nice.

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Have you guys looked into using American Express? I’m not sure if it’s just for business but I’ve started to use them and their rates are really favorable. I’m also starting to utilize forward contracts in certain situations.

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what’s that?

If I know I need 1,000,000,000 VND in 1 month to pay my supplier. I can lock in a forward rate today with AMEX. Regardless of what the spot rate is in 1 months time, they are obligated to sell me 1,000,000,000 VND at the forward rate we agreed on regardless of the spot rate at that time.

It’s basically a way to hedge currency risks. But of course you would miss out if the spot rate is actually more favorable to the forward rate you agreed to but this way I can hedge currency exchange risks since I pay all my suppliers in currencies other than the one I earn in.

I used to do this for my clients in wealth management. Someone wants to buy a house in France might want to lock in a forward contact for their down payment in 6 months time while all the paper work is being done. A sudden fluctuations for in currency rates in 6 months can make it really hard to plan for. That down payment that is equivalent to 1m USD can suddenly become 1.1M in 6 months if you don’t do it.


ah ok. forward contracts are an option for AMEX? Or generally available with all the banks? (don’t think this will be necessary for me anyway but just curious)

I was leaning towards not setting up a Wise account, figuring I can do everything I need to do via US no-foreign-transaction-fee credit cards and the Charles Schwab no-ATM-fees debit card.

However a company in Malaysia wants to pay me and I’m thinking a Wise account might be better for me to receive payments in MYR.

  1. Is this the best option? (or revolut?)
  2. Are there any referral links someone wants to share?


For me, it seems like the MYR account wouldn’t have bank account numbers:

I am actually not sure what that means exactly - but I think you won’t be able to receive MYR directly into that account. So they’ll probably get converted into USD / EUR / … or whatever the currency is of the receiving account.

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I think it probably means you can receive MYR over Wise but not withdraw it, so would need to convert it to another currency first before withdrawing?

Edit: Looks like I was wrong - it seems you can just convert/add it yourself from another currency, with no option to receive.

  1. I guess the Malaysian company could just use Wise to pay you in USD or whatever?
  2. I’ll PM you mine in case @qwert_zuiop hasn’t already. :grin:
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Go ahead - for me, it says I would need to invite 3 people before receiving anything :man_shrugging:

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