Wise Business Account (Formerly TransferWise)

In this article:

Is the Wise Business account a bank account?

The Wise Business account is an Electronic Money account and is different from a bank account. The main benefit of using your Wise Business account over traditional bank accounts is that you won’t be charged outrageous exchange rates or international transaction fees for receiving payments in foreign currencies. It’s also very convenient for those trying to open an account overseas as a non-resident.

It’s different to a traditional bank account as:

  • You won’t be able to get an overdraft or loan
  • You won’t earn interest on your account
  • Although your bank details are unique, they don’t represent real bank accounts, but simply ‘addresses’ for your Electronic Money account, meaning you can receive payments much like a real bank account
  • Your money is protected and safeguarded, but not guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) that you may get with a bank account. However they do hold your money in established financial institutions like JP Morgan Chase and Barclays. Where your money is depends on which country your Wise Business account address is in — if your account address is in the UK, for example, they keep your money in Barclays, or other financial institutions in the EEA. Because your money is always kept separately from the accounts they use to run Wise, it wouldn’t be affected if they were to become insolvent. They would return all of your money to you.

What are the benefits?

The great thing about a Wise Business account is that you can use it just like a bank account in many cases; such as making payments to other business accounts and receiving payments from clients using the unique account details attached to your multi-currency accounts.

The main benefit of using a Wise Business account over traditional overseas bank accounts is that you won’t be charged international transaction fees for receiving that currency, or inflated exchange rates when you need to convert the money. It’s also super convenient for those needing access to international business account details as a non-resident of that country. You can open an account online in minutes. They also offer a debit Mastercard for business customers resident in the UK, US, Europe, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Japan so you can spend money at the mid-market exchange rate and enjoy low conversion fees all over the world. 

How does Wise Business keep money held in their multi-currency accounts safe?

Wise is an authorised Electronic Money Institution. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and EEA, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the US, the National Bank of Belgium in Belgium, and many other regulators around the world. The address on your Wise account determines which regulator you’re covered by. 

Wise is required to safeguard your money at leading financial institutions (such as JP Morgan and Barclays). Customer money is held in separate accounts from Wise’s money and in the unlikely event that something were to happen to Wise your money would be returned to you.  
Over 10 million customers trust Wise with their money. They move over £4 billion around the world every single month, and take the safety and security of their customers’ money very seriously.

Wise also has great customer support; you can reach them any time by phone, email, or social media. 

How does the Wise Business account work?

We’ll send you an email when you select Wise Business during the incorporation process. Once your company is formed, you’ll need to follow the link in the email and create a free account. This will need to be verified so you’ll need to have your company details (eg. Companies House registered number, business proof of operating address and ID) readily available for upload. You may also be contacted to provide additional details on your actual business operating address.
Next, select the currency account you wish to activate. You can get unique account details for the UK, US, Eurozone, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Hungary and Poland (more currencies are always being added). You will need to pay a one-time fixed fee to activate any number of those details. This is £45 or local currency equivalent. You can pay via debit or credit card. Once activated, you can receive payments in those currencies for free and hold and convert over 50 other currencies with one click. Money will always be converted at the mid-market exchange rate saving you on fees. 

You can add money into your multi-currency account. You can top up via debit card or bank transfer. You can either fund in the same currency or with different currency. Once you’ve set up your Wise Business account you're ready to:

  • Convert money between currencies in seconds whenever you need, at the real exchange rate with low conversion fees.
  • Send money directly from any currency in your account to pay suppliers, invoices, employees overseas and more.
  • Receive money with account numbers and IBANs. Get paid like a local in AUD, NZD, EUR, GBP, USD and SGD in your account with zero receiving fees.

Am I guaranteed a Wise Business account?

Unfortunately, access to borderless account details are not available in the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo Republic
  • Crimea (sub-territory)
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Sevastopol (city)
  • Somalia
  • Republic of South Sudan
  • State of Libya
  • Sudan
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Territories of the United States
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

US states that can't get a borderless account

  • Hawaii (HI)
  • Nevada (NV)

Full list of country restrictions are outlined here.

Wise also are unable to open accounts for some business customers that operate in specific activities such as exchanging of cryptocurrency and tobacco products. Please review their acceptable use policy here

For more information on Wise, visit Wise's Website

Can I apply for an account if I didn't take up the offer during the formation process?

Yes, you can apply directly by following this link.

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