Launching in the UK this summer, the service will enable customers to make transfers from the UK across the 35 currencies available in the TransferWise app, including the euro, US dollars, Indian rupees and Australian dollars. TransferWise and Starling Bank said the partnership is an attempt to “revolutionise an outdated financial industry” and provide “a fair, transparent banking experience for consumers”.
UK banks typically charge an upfront fee for international payments, plus an exchange rate mark-up. Starling Bank customers will benefit from foreign currency payments at the real exchange rate with only “a small upfront fee”. TransferWise told WIRED that this small upfront fee will be the same as the GBP pricing in the TransferWise app. So for most routes its 0.5 per cent of the transfer amount, or a minimum fee of £2 for transactions under £400.
“TransferWise is about making it fast, low cost and convenient for people to send money abroad, and Starling Bank shares that commitment to giving people access to fair prices that let them move their money as they choose,” said Scott Miller, head of partnerships at TransferWise, said in a statement. “People will now be able to send money internationally using the real exchange rate and knowing upfront what the costs will be, all within their current account. That’s a real first for British consumers.”
Miller explained that the partnership is also another example of how the TransferWise API can be used to integrate TransferWise into any UK or EU bank and business payment system. Starling Bank accesses the same API that TransferWise’s business customers use to make thousands of monthly international and domestic payments.