NZD$294 Billion (£150b) Paid In Hidden Fees On Foreign Currency Each Year
Wise lists on the London Stock Exchange
Wise releases independent research* revealing NZD$294 billion (£150 billion) is unknowingly spent in hidden fees on foreign currency transfers each year. This coincides with the company’s direct listing on the London Stock Exchange today.
The research was unveiled by company founders Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus from the company’s Tallinn office, as part of a private listing ceremony streamed to the company’s 2,400 Wisers (employees), located in 17 offices around the world.
The direct listing is the first of a technology company on the London Stock Exchange. In contrast to a traditional Initial Public Offering, a direct listing is a fairer, cheaper and more transparent way for Wise to broaden its ownership, in support of its mission to move money around the world faster, cheaper, more conveniently and transparently.
As part of a speech to Wisers, Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise, said:
“Wise was created to solve the problem of the billions unknowingly spent in hidden fees every year on currency exchange. Those are the billions we care most about, even today.
“Our listing is incredibly exciting, and lots of hard work from many people has made it a reality. But, it’s important to remember that we’re still very early on in our journey. Moving money into another currency is still a maze of hidden exchange rate mark-ups, high fees, delays, and small print for many people. We’re currently saving customers around £1 billion a year in these hidden fees. The £149 billion that’s still to go remains our focus.”
An independent report from Edgar, Dunn and Company, with research undertaken in January 2021, shows that over £150 billion is paid in fees to traditional banks each year. These fees are either extracted through an exchange rate mark-up or a rate mark-up plus additional fees. The same research shows that only 4% of surveyed bank customers understand what they are being charged in these transactions.
Wise is a global technology company, building the best way to move money around the world. With the Wise account people and businesses can hold 56 currencies, move money between countries and spend money abroad. Huge companies and banks use Wise technology too; an entirely new cross-border payments network that will one day power money without borders for everyone, everywhere. However you use the platform, Wise is on a mission to make your life easier and save you money.
Co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, Wise launched in 2011 under its original name TransferWise. It is one of the world’s fastest growing tech companies and is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker, WISE.
10 million people and businesses use Wise, which processes over £5 billion in cross-border transactions every month, saving customers over £1 billion a year.