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29 March, 2021 - Updated Last updated on
21 April, 2024

Posted by Spaceships Crew

For years regular banks had a monopoly on international money transfers. Times are changing and new online systems are offering a fast and secure way to transfer money overseas without the hefty fees banks charge. A bank transfer can now be done easier, quicker and cheaper.

The world is getting smaller and smaller... We all travel to awesome places worldwide with ease and work from the other side of the world so money must flow just as easily to friends, family or companies overseas. Luckily high banking fees on international money transfers are a thing of the past. Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is the solution you’ve been waiting for when wanting to transfer money from New Zealand to an overseas bank account or vice versa.

What is Wise (the new name of TransferWise)?

A brilliant new service that makes bank transfers easier, faster and cheaper. How is that possible you might ask? Back in the day, your New Zealand bank would send the money to an overseas bank for processing and then it would have been transferred to the destination bank (arriving in the bank account of the person you’re sending the money to). These banks in between and the currency conversion difference meant that the receiver would get less money than you transferred (unless you selected that you would pay the high transfer costs). Anyway, someone in the process would have to pay these high fees.

Transfer NZ money overseas

Transferring New Zealand money to friends or family can be done easier and cheaper

Wise simply cuts out the middleman. When you transfer your New Zealand dollars to their NZ bank account, they don’t send the money overseas. Instead, they pay the receiver the correct amount from one of their overseas bank accounts. No bank transfer fees mean your international transfer is a lot cheaper. And on top of that, they do a fair currency transfer, giving you the real exchange rate instead of a made-up rate that most banks use.

That’s why Wise is up to 8 times cheaper than NZ banks when transferring money overseas.

Advantages of doing a bank transfer via Wise

The brilliant people of Wise have created an easy-to-use online system that makes transferring money cheaper, easier and super safe. As soon as you start the transfer online or via the app they will keep you up to date on every step in the process.

It isn’t a black box like your regular bank. You’ll exactly know when your money reaches the overseas bank account. And no surprises as they show beforehand how low the costs of the international bank transfer are.

Transfer 100NZD via Wise Wise exchange rate Wise's low fee Receiver gets Arrives
To Europe (Euro) 0.552736 0.65 NZD € 54.9 in 7 hours
To Australia (Australian Dollar)    0.917848 0.75 NZD AU$ 91.10 in 6 hours
To the UK (British Pound) 0.476242 0.71 NZD £ 47.29 in 2 hours
To the USA (US Dollar) 0.589350 0.78 NZD US$ 58.48 within 1 day

note: table & example created on 22 April 2024 

Another advantage of using Wise is that you can also get a bank account in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Europe and the USA for free. It’s all part of their Borderless account, a free bank account plus debit card. That will really set you free from banking fees, especially when travelling overseas.

Wise bank transfer compared to NZ banks

Now compare what it will cost to transfer the same 100 New Zealand dollars to an overseas account. Just like the example above but now we’ll use a New Zealand bank. See how much more you will pay in fees when using a traditional bank to transfer money overseas.

Transfer 100NZD via NZ bank
to Euro to AUD to GBP to USD
fee to transfer money 5.00 NZD 5.00 NZD 5.00 NZD 5.00 NZD
fee to transfer money 0 NZD 0 NZD 0 NZD 0 NZD
fee to transfer money 5.00 NZD 0 NZD 0 NZD 0 NZD

But keep in mind that these banks often use a less favourable exchange rate vs Wise that uses the mid-market exchange rate.

Speed of a money transfer worldwide

How long does it take to transfer my money overseas via Wise? Is probably one of the questions on your mind. It all depends on the country you’re transferring the money to, but it can be as fast as a day for some and within 2 days for others.

For example, when you transfer NZ Dollars to Euros via a traditional New Zealand bank it can take several days, while on Wise it’s in the European bank account within a few hours. Big difference eh? Have a look at the table above,

Is it safe to use Wise?

Wise started in 2011 as TransferWise and has more than 10 million users worldwide. They are registered, regulated and/or supervised by official banking or corporate bodies worldwide. For example, in Australia, they’re regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and they are registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit (AUSTRAC) as a money remitter. In New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) supervises the company and its system.

And with so many users worldwide, you know that this brilliant new way of transferring money is a great thing. Lots of Spaceships crew members and customers have been using Wise for a long time as well. We are an international bunch, a collection of travellers, and we are super happy with their international money transfer system and their Multi-Currency Bank Account.

In March 2021 they changed their name to Wise as they have become so much more than a great and cheap option to transfer money worldwide. It's still the same amazing company, just with more banking services and more supported currencies.

How can I do a cheaper money transfer via Wise?

Using Wise is super easy, often easier than using a New Zealand bank. Just follow the following steps:

  1. Create a free Wise account
  2. Fill in how much you want to send to an overseas bank account
  3. Fill in the bank account details of the person overseas receiving the money
  4. Transfer the money to a local Wise New Zealand bank account (it’s free to make a bank transfer within NZ or use POLI or debit/credit card for a low fee transfer). The system will show you exactly how to get the money from your bank account to Wise in New Zealand.
  5. Sit back and relax. You’ll receive status updates until the money reaches its destination

Transferring money to an overseas bank account doesn’t get easier (and cheaper) than this!

Can I transfer money to New Zealand as well?

Yes of course. By using Wise to make an international bank transfer you can transfer money to almost any country worldwide. At the moment more than 50 countries and currencies are supported by Wise. And they keep adding new ones regularly.