The simple answer is….. ‘VERY SAFE’

We have been asked several times on how easy is it to send money to a bank account in Thailand and decided to explain just how easy it is.

We have reviewed around 10 most spoken about companies that offer this service available from your country (we have checked all of the big ‘Farang’ visiting countries) and one company in particular came out on top overall in our opinion, including the exchange rates, ease of setting up an account, transfer fees and speed of the transfer itself. We have tested with transfers and done the groundwork for you.

Want to try TransferWise?

You can make the first transfer free of charge!

Read On….

How to use TransferWise and start saving money

Making payments with Transferwise is very easy. I will try to explain how to use TransferWise and also share my suggestions to make transfers cheaper and faster. First, you need to create an account (assuming you are a new user). You can do it on your laptop or a mobile device, they have apps both for iOS and Android. You also have a nice option to sign up with your Google or Facebook account. The signup form is soo minimalistic that it will take you less than a minute to create an account. If you don’t want to signup with a social account then you will be only asked to provide your email and choose a password for your TransferWise account. You can start sending money immediately:


Another great thing about the TransferWise App is that you can follow the progress of the transfer from the moment you send it until the moment it reaches the recipients bank. They display the money received from you, the point of currency exchange, the moment of sending it to the recipients bank and the point at which it is deposited into their account. Not only that but it also tells you the number of hours it should reach their bank.  It is so straight forward.

Available Free From Your App Store

Don’t have TransferWise account?
Sign up and make your first transfer for free!

Step 1: Enter the amount you want to send and the currency you are sending from and to. The exchange rate and total fees will be displayed instantly. You will also see:

How much you will save comparing to a regular bank transfer
The estimated delivery date and time
If the exchange rate guaranteed for 24 or 48 hours. More on that a bit later.
Option to compare TransferWise fees with other similar payment providers

Honest opinion on changes in TransferWise fees

(Exchange rates correct at time of publishing)

Recently TransferWise announced various changes in their fees under very catchy title: “Mission Zero”. What does it mean for us who are their customers? Despite of the title you can actually get even slightly higher fees depending on currencies you convert and money upload method you use. These are main points to cover in this review post:

Lower fees for most popular destinations with minimal fee removed
Fees for debit and credit card payments increased
Fees for several destinations increased in January 2018
Let’s dive into details.

Lower fees for the most popular routes
Fees for the most popular currency pairs got reduced and these is definitely good news. Also TransferWise team decided to change structure of the fee itself. The minimal fee got removed so that smaller payments become a bit cheaper. Also there is noticeable reduction in fees when you send relatively big amounts. There is an example with different amounts transferred from GBP to EUR. As you can see your actual savings significantly depend on the amount you send. Also there is a point where old and new fees are almost same or event a bit higher.

PayPal vs TransferWise: Which is better for money transfers?

If you use PayPal for this purpose you would have to pay much higher fees comparing to TransferWise. You should understand it’s not an alternative but different payment system. PayPal’s primary function is to make and receive payments (for goods and services) not to make money transfers. TransferWise is designed for international money transfers at first pace. In this article I’m going to explain main differences of these two providers.


Want to try TransferWise?

You can make the first transfer free of charge!

These are topics worth covering when making international money transfers and currency exchange:

Fees charged for a transfer
Exchange rate
Withdrawal fee
Withdrawal limit
Time to complete the transfer

Fees charged for a transfer: Standard rate for international transfers using PayPal starts from 3.9% + fixed withdrawal fee and varies between countries, being for example up to 5.4% if you are using this service from Argentina.

On the other hand, using TransferWise you pay just 0.5% fee of the amount you send for most popular currencies and destinations. For example you will pay just £5 when sending £1000 to Europe (EUR currency). There is also flat fee for small transfers under £200 or equivalent. The fee depends on currency and is £2 or €2 for pound and euro transfers. The flat fee is removed for bigger amounts so it’s always flat fee or fixed percent but never both.

Returning back to PayPal. In theory you can apply for merchant account which gives “discounts” if you receive really significant amounts on monthly basis. More money you receive per month less you pay in fees. As you understand it’s not an option for money transfers between private persons.

Comparison of transfer fees

Australian Dollar (AUD) 3.4% + $0.30 AUD 0.5%
Canadian Dollar (CAD) 3.4% + $0.30 CAD 0.5%
Czech Koruna (CZK) 3.4% + 10.00 CZK 0.5%
Euro (EUR) 3.4% + €0.35 0.5%
Hungarian Forint (HUF) 3.4% + 90.00 HUF 0.5%
Polish Zloty (PLN) 3.4% + 1.35 PLN 0.5%
Swiss Franc (CHF) 3.4% + 0.55 CHF 0.5%

Exchange rate
There is dramatic difference between these two systems when it comes to exchange rate they offer. TransferWise was designed as cheap and transparent solution for international transfers and it operates with real mid market exchange rates. These are rates that you see on Google currencies or without any additional fee included.

You can personally check exchange rate using TransferWise calculator.

On the other hand PayPal tries to make additional profit by adding margin on top of real exchange rate. It is very typical situation for majority of payment providers, this is how money exchange offices make their income. Sometimes this margin is called hidden fee.

This is an example of how much money you can save just on exchange rate when making a transfer:


* Values are based on the exchange rate at time of investigating

Withdrawal Fees
For intentional bank transfers it is common issue when the recipient is charged a withdrawal fee. It’s the case for PayPal payments (except the US when sending money to a friend or family member) but there is no such fee for TransferWise. The recipient always receive full amount to his bank account without any additional fee.

As mentioned earlier PayPal is free in the US if you send money to family or friends. It’s true regardless if you are sending money to another PayPal account or to a bank account. If you are in the US and get money for services or goods then 2.9% fee applies plus $0.30 of the amount you receive. There is always withdrawal fee charged for all cases. The fee depends on country, currency and withdrawal method. For example, if the recipient is in the UK, the fees would be €0.50, $0.50 or £0.50 depending on the currency he is receiving.

Withdrawal limit
It is good to keep in mind that PayPal performs “account verification” and sets limit for withdrawals to bank accounts. The verification is also needed if you want top up money from your bank account to your PayPal account. The standard withdrawal limit for verified PayPal account is €2500. You can see your limits by entering “More about your account” section in your PayPal profile. If you want to rise the limit you need to contact PayPal.

Don’t have TransferWise account?
Sign up and make your first transfer for free!


Sending money abroad can be pain if you not aware of right tools. Banks, services like Western Union and other “classical” big players on the market usually have non-competitive currency exchange rates and high fees. Fortunately there is a new way of sending money overseas – peer to peer payment services. TransferWise is number one choice in most of cases. It’s online peer to peer financial service that is transparent and legally regulated business. Over £800 million passes through TransferWise every month and it’s used by private persons, businesses and banks like N26 and LHV.

Recently TransferWise announced their new feature that will allow sending money abroad event easier than before. They created Facebook chat bot application that resides in your Facebook messenger on your smartphone or tablet. TransferWise Bot is available for all existing customers and it can become your personal assistant in money transfers. It can do many things, lets quickly review how it can make your life easier.

It guides you through the transfer process
TransferWise didn’t reveal many details in their blog post so the best is to try using the Bot yourself. TransferWise Bot will guide you step by step and will assist if you got stuck. Initially you should be able to setup transfers from UK, US, Europe, Canada and Australia. The list of countries will get expanded later.

It informs you about rate changes
That is really great feature our days when markets are very volatile. You can setup up alerts for many currency pairs as you need and get updates on exchange rate every morning. Nice thing is that you can quickly ask TransferWise Bot to setup a transfer if the rate is right for you.

How did they make TransferWise Bot?
In our digital age most (or all) of major online businesses expose public API for developers. TransferWise is not an exception and they offer an API that developers can use to integrate online money transfer service into their own applications. TransferWise Bot is convergence of Facebook and TransferWise developer APIs and good example of what developers can achieve using both APIs.

“Our mission at TransferWise is to bring faster, cheaper, and more convenient international money transfers to everyone in the world. Building the TransferWise bot for Messenger is a great step in that direction It’s also a powerful example of how our API can be used to seamlessly integrate TransferWise into almost any messaging, bank, or business payment system.”

Scott Miller, TransferWise Head of Global Partnerships

I think TransferWise want to motivate 3rd parties to create more and more nice products using their API that is quite feature rich:

You can get currency rates
Make payments across more than 600 currency routes
Get list of transfers
Perform documents verification and more

Scott Miller also mentioned that they will try to bring similar functionality to other chat applications apart of FB messenger. If you are software engineer you may consider checking TransferWise API. Who knows may be you will be author of another innovative app that will help people to send money across the globe.

You can start sending money with TransferWise immediately and you will have certain limits set before you pass verification of identity. Once your account is verified you can send as much money as you need. However they may ask about the nature of payment if you make single payment higher than $50,000 USD for personal account or
$250,000 USD for business account.

How long does it takes for the recipient to receive the transfer?

For TransferWise the guaranteed time to complete the transaction is, in most cases, 24 hours from the moment of arranging the transaction. For the most popular currency pairs and destinations transfers may get completed within several hours. Note that time may vary between countries and currency pairs.

When sending money via PayPal it becomes immediately visible on recipient’s PayPal account but not yet on his bank account. That means the recipient needs to withdraw money to his bank account and it may take a day or two (normally) to complete. However, all payments received can become a part of a 30-day hold period, which may prolong the period needed for the recipient to get the money.

TransferWise also have a English speaking customer service telephone line and we have found them extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Yep we actually entered the wrong recipient account number and made a transfer, within a few hours it was returned back into our account where we entered the correct account number this time and sent it again, but we won’t go into that embarrassing moment ……. save to say we had no problem relocating the money. 

Is PayPal good for businesses?
There was an interesting research done by an independent agency Consumer Intelligence that compares PayPal and TransferWise services fees. The analysis was based on data from various transfers between different locations performed by Consumer Intelligence and their partners.

PayPal fees appeared to be more complex and less transparent:

There is no upfront fee, but there is a margin added on top of the exchange rate that was 3.18% for GBP to USD destination.

There is a 4.41% fee that recipient pays for the transaction !

On the other hand, with TransferWise:

You get mid-market exchange rate with 0% margin
Pay only upfront fee that is just 0.4% + £0.80
The recipient doesn’t pay any fee
To summarise, you pay the following amounts in fees when sending £2000 to the USA:

£8.76 + $0 with TransferWise
£65.80 + $117.47 with PayPal
I think the choice is obvious. The complete study has been published on TranferWise blog.

A Summary: Paypal or TransferWise

Based on all differences covered between PayPal and TransferWise it’s absolutely clear that you can save a lot of money using TransferWise. This would be achieved based on lower (and less) fees, better exchange rate and no withdrawal fee. If the recipient need to get money to the bank account then transfer time will be roughly the same 1-2 days for both. It’s because withdrawal from PayPal account to bank account takes place. This example illustrates how huge your savings can be when sending £1000 from the UK to Europe in EUR using TransferWise:


On my opinion TransferWise is still one of the best payment providers and my personal choice for sending money abroad. Their message “Mission 0” sounds too loud in this case, hover most of customers will see slightly better offers for their international transfers. If you got used to top up with your card you should to be ready to pay an extra 0.2% on top of the regular fee. However there is a work around to avoid extra fee by using regular bank transfer that is always free. In overall I take this change positively and strongly believe that TranferWise will do their best to keep number one position in the market.

Don’t have TransferWise account?

Sign up and make your first transfer for free!

The Editor say’s, before sending any large amounts, it may be worth just sending a small amount of money first to ensure you have entered all the correct account numbers, once the recipient says yes they have received the small amount, you are rest assured everything will be fine.