FinTech profile: Transferwise - the transfer pioneer
At the start of the month we published our list of the top 10 unicorns in the financial services. Here, we take a closer look at one of them: Transferwise
Transferwise was established in 2010, based around a vision of making international money transfers cheap, fair and simple.
However, as is the case with many pioneering businesses, there is more to the story than that. The vision - to overhaul the international money transfers system - was one shared by founders Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, who came up with the concept for the businesses after realising they were losing out to fees when transferring money home, to Estonia, from the UK.
The answer to their problem became Transferwise, a concept built around three core beliefs for sending money:
- that it should be low cost and fair - Transferwise uses only one fair exchange rate and gives one upfront fee
- that it should be simple - everyone at the company is dedicated a process that it claims is simple, watertight and offers "bank-level security, minus the banks"
- that it should be fast - log in, sign up and send. That's the premise behind Transferwise's process, with the company adding that 'most' transfers happen the same day
A better way
Transferwise works off of the bank transfer rate of the day, offering the best possible rate across 750 currencies. Users can send a one payment, against which they receive the real exchange rate and low fee already mentioned. A business account option also exists, which allows companies to send, spend and receive in multiple currencies.
The company recently introduced its Borderless Account to complement existing services. This multi-currency account is pitched at travelers, expats and freelancers, for whom it allows spending in any currency and the sending and receiving of money for free from the user's own foreign currency account. This, it claims, can be done "on average 8x cheaper than leading UK banks".
In the decade since its establishment, Transferwise has grown exponentially. Today more than six million customers use it to move more than £5bn each month - for those who really want to know what that looks like there's a handy 'real-time' map on the company's website detailing this £5bn (AUD$99 transferred from Australia to the UK at time of writing!).
Falling neatly in line with that latest transfer (check out the map if you need to see more), the company announced at the end of last month that it now offers instant transfers in Australia. This development shifts typical transfer times from up to 48 hours to less than 60 seconds.
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For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.
The Ultimate FinTech & InsurTech LIVE Event
From October 12th-14th, 2021, BizClik’s FinTech & InsurTech event will bring together influential executives from around the world. Streamed live from Tobacco Dock, London, this three-day event will be an excellent way to finish the year strong, gaining the confidence your company needs to move forward into the future.
With keynote addresses from global leaders, dynamic roundtable discussions, and extensive networking opportunities, FinTech & InsurTech 2021 will expand your network, deliver insight, and enhance your organisation’s reach.
Already confirmed speakers include Colin Payne, VP & NextGen FS Global Lead at Capgemini; Dipu KV, President and Head of Operations & CX at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company; Bryan Caroll, CEO at TNEX; and Lucy Demery, Managing Director at Barclays.
The event will include:
- Keynote addresses from respected industry leaders
- Dynamic live roundtables (inc. Q&A)
- Fireside discussions
- Inspirational Speakers & Presentations
- Extensive networking opportunities
Meet the Speakers
Each week, from now until the event, we’ll be announcing the latest speakers who are set to grace our physical or virtual stage, prepared to share their knowledge and insight with attendees.
Our second batch consists of:
Currently the Senior Vice President of Business Development & Fintech for Mastercard UK & Ireland, a position he’s held since 2014, Abraham describes himself as “a proven and successful senior sales leader with experience across a wide range of industries, sectors, and channels.”
Graduating from the University of Northampton in 1994 with a BA in Economics and Law, he worked for nine years at Sainsburys - eventually responsible for banking the company’s revenue and running its ATMs - and then Barclaycard for three years as Head of Client Management. In 2007, Abraham became VP of Client Management at American Express, and then VP and GM Global Supplier Relations EMEA in 2012.
In his current role at Mastercard, Abraham is accountable for the acceptance of all payments and products through all channels, devices, and technologies across UK and Ireland. In addition, he oversees the deployment of innovative new payment tech within the region.
Fraser-Hawkins’ role as CEO, UK Corporate, at Marsh McLennan is the continuation of a long and successful insurance career, which has included being London Sales Director for JLT Group and Branch Director for Willis Towers Watson.
Marsh prides itself on being a company that hires top-tier talent, does work that impacts peoples’ lives, and offers its employees the opportunity to make a difference. This is clearly an attitude that aligns with Fraser-Hawkins’ own values; regarding the insurer’s UK Young Professionals initiative, a support network to help young professionals in their development, he said:
"I am passionate about developing talent and our Young Professional CRG provides a brilliant community for our Young Professional colleagues to discuss key issues relevant early in their careers, as well as an environment to promote the skills, learning and network for success."
Massaro is currently the CEO of Boston fintech Flywire, a role he took on in 2013. He first joined the team in 2012 as VP of Business Development, but it wasn’t long before his entrepreneurial skills were redirected to leading the entire company’s high-growth strategy worldwide.
An expert in domestic and international payments and billing, enterprise technology sales, strategic alliances, enterprise software, SaaS, product management and marketing, and much more, Massaro is a consummate finance professional whose credentials befit the leadership of a prominent global payments fintech.
His previous positions include Consultant at PwC and Product Line Manager at Oracle, and he maintains a Mentor role at startup accelerator MassChallenge. He graduated magna cum laude from Babson College with a BS in Information Systems and Finance.
This event is set to be one of the year's most unmissable. If you want to get leading perspectives on the future of fintech and insurtech, go to Eventbrite and purchase your tickets now.