Revolut and Wise are UK-based money transfer services that look similar on the surface and offer almost similar services like cross-border payments, the evolution of business, and global transactions.
But the devil is in the details for a person or business that intends to transfer money regularly. You need to understand the nitty-gritty of each option to determine which best serves your interests and needs. It will help you understand what people have to say about the brands, what they have to offer, and which of their benefits are most beneficial to you.
Here is a deep dive into a comparison between Wise and Revolut that will answer all your questions and help you understand how the platforms work and, more importantly, how you can use them to do your bidding without breaking the bank.
What is Wise?
Wise is a digital banking company established in 2011 and headquartered in the UK. Wise has the vision of making international money transfers easier and cheaper. And from the onset, Wise offers a simpler and fairer solution than traditional banks.
They offer low-cost, multi-currency accounts to help millions of businesses manage their money globally.
With a Wise account, users can save on bank fees and time. The account can hold up to 50 currencies. With features like the Wise debit card, you can shop and spend anywhere abroad in local currencies. Wise is also a payment processing platform offering transparent fees. You can use the platform to pay employees, manage your cash flow, create budgeting, and receive wire transfers in one simplified dashboard.
How Does Wise Work?
Wise is an electronic money account. It’s different from your average traditional bank account because it is easier to use and cheaper to send money across borders. A business can send money at the real exchange rate without hidden fees or direct debits. The business can also receive payments like a local in multiple currencies.
When you open a Wise account, you will be assigned a UK number, a Euro IBAN, US routing number, among other resources.
The Wise card can be used in over 200 countries, from Singapore to Australia. You can withdraw from anywhere and spend wherever Google Pay and Apple Pay are accepted.
Currency conversion on Wise is done using the real exchange rate, and holding multiple currencies is completely free.
Getting started on Wise is relatively simple. All you have to do is Sign up at wise, download the app, and set up your account.
What is Revolut?
Revolut is also a fintech company that was started after Wise sometime in 2015. It is also headquartered in the United Kingdom. Their vision is the same as Wise’s. But besides making international transfers easier and cheaper, Revolut is also driven to provide a single platform with all your money and financial solutions. The goal for Revolut is to help its users with tools to help them with everything money from everyday spending to planning for future investments.
The platform has over 500,000 business uses and is supported in over 200 countries with a total of 28 in-app currencies.
Revolut has made a push to grow the global economy by providing companies with a frictionless and highly accessible international payment system. With Revolut, you have all the tools needed to easily manage, borrow, invest, and protect your money. You can handle all your financial obligations on one simple platform no matter where you are.
How Does Revolut Work?
Revolut’s mobile-focused borderless account lets a business send and receive funds in multiple foreign currencies. The payments are always free between account holders, and the system works on a subscription-based, tiered pricing model with the option of a free version.
Each plan has enhanced features like a free-free ATM withdrawal limits, higher savings rates, and overseas medical insurance.
Besides the multi-currency accounts, you also get a pre-paid debit card for spending along with a savings vault that can earn interest.
Revolut offers foreign exchange rates at the interbank rate. The cherry on top is that you can connect Revolut’s Business API connects your account to other essential apps with just a click.
A small wrinkle in Revolut’s business model is that they have no live customer service. There is an automated line to block your card, but you can only reach customer support via live chat.
Wise Vs Revolut: Fees
Transaction fees are one of the biggest determining factors when choosing an online finance solution. Revolut and Wise are both competitively priced but have different payment structures, which might appeal to different businesses.
Revolut has a tiered structure that starts with a personal account. Under this account, there is no monthly fee. Other accounts like the Plus, Metal, and Premium accounts have increasing monthly fees but also come with more features and functions.
Revolut also has a Freelancer account which is less robust than a business account. It also comes with three-tiered options: no-fee, professional, and Ultimate.
Finally, there’s the business account with various accounts, including the standard, Grow, Scale, and Enterprise accounts. Under the enterprise account, customers can customise features and choose the ones that apply most to their businesses.
Besides the account charges, Revolut has additional charges like the service fee and hidden fees often charged by sending and receiving banks.
This option offers competitive mid-market rates and has an Exchange rate markup on the weekends. Should you opt to go for the Revolut cards, applicable fees include the delivery fee, replacement fee and ATM withdrawal fees.
Wise’s payment structure is simpler and easier to understand. You can open a personal multi-currency account or a business multi-currency account.
Under the personal account, there are no charges; it’s free to hold multiple currencies with no monthly fees.
The business account requires a one-time setup fee that will differ depending on where you’re located.
You can enjoy international money transfers with mid-market currency conversion rates. Wise will also charge a service fee of approximately 0.65% of the amount on average. You will also incur other costs, including a card delivery fee and ATM withdrawal fees.
Both options are relatively inexpensive compared to traditional single-currency banks and offer more versatility with lower fees.
Wise Vs Revolut: Location and Currencies
Revolut accepts registrations from EU countries, the UK, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. With Revolut, you can transact and exchange 28 currencies and spend in over 140 countries with the Revolut card.
This is where Wise shines. Wise is available in over 40 countries. You can send money globally to over 70 countries and hold, manage and convert between over 50 currencies using the Wise multi-currency card.
Wise is available in more countries, supports more major currencies, and gives its users more flexibility with the currencies they can transact in.
Wise Vs Revolut: Money Transfer and Payment Options
Each option offers different payment methods and money transfer methods. The method the user chooses depends on various factors, including the nature of the transfer (business or individual) and the amount of money, among other factors.
Wise’s payment options include bank account transfers (SWIFT, ACH, or wire transfer), debit or credit cards, and Apple or Google Pay.
It also offers various money transfer options, including Wise low-cost, fast and Easy, and Advanced transfer options.
The low-cost option is available for customers that want to prioritise price over delivery speed. The Fast and Easy option balances both worlds, providing a balance between fees and speed. It is the most convenient for individuals looking to cut back on fees and still get the money delivered at a favourable speed.
There is also the Advanced option. This is for money transfers on the SWIFT network. Customers will incur higher charges, but the transfers are almost instant.
Revolut support virtually any transfer method you can think of. It offers interbank and intrabank transfers and even cryptocurrencies which were recently introduced into the company.
The payment options include a debit, credit card, and bank account transfer (which incurs less fees).
Making payments between existing Revolut accounts using phone numbers is also possible and easy.
Revolut makes it easy for cardholders to send money. However, Wise provides various transfer and payment methods to suit everyone and customises them to match your budget and the urgency of the transfer.
Wise Vs Revolut: Transfer Speed
Various factors affect how fast a transaction is completed. Transfers between banks and accounts happen in three stages; receiving, converting, and delivering. The speed of the transfer will depend on factors like payment and method of transfer selected by the customer, sending country, and the currency used. You can generally expect faster delivery if you’re using a debit or credit card as payment.
For wise, low-cost transfers are completed between 3-24 hours. Fast and easy transfers can take between 3-5 hours to arrive at the recipient, while advanced transfers take 1-3 working days.
Revolut can complete local transfers within the UK in under two hours. However, the average time of a standard money transfer on Revolut is between 1-2 business days depending on the bank.
International transfers have been known to take between 3-5 days on Revolut. Clients with premium memberships can access faster transfer speeds, which means higher transaction fees.
Wise offers more options with no added costs, and it completes international transfers faster. Revolut offers the fastest speeds for UK-based transfers. International payments typically take a few days to arrive to the beneficiaries.
Wise Vs Revolut: Security
Revolut and Wise have to adhere to the highest standards of safety and security owing to the vast amounts the platforms transact and also to guarantee the security of the customer’s information. It’s safe to say both have gone to extreme heights to guarantee security and safety.
Revolut is regulated by Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the USA, the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, and the Bank of Lithuania in Europe.
It has a banking license in 10 European markets and has a deposit protection guarantee of up to €100,000.
Customer funds are held separately from business funds as an added layer of protection against bankruptcy. Also, Revolut has added features like Pin and biometric log-ins, regular audits, and single-use cards.
Wise also has extensive security measures in place. It is also regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the US, the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, the National Bank of Belgium, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in Australia, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre in Canada, and the Financial Customs and Excise Department in Hong Kong.
Wise is also regulated in India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, and New Zealand. Wise also has a dedicated fraud team and employs a two-factor authentication system to enhance customer and transaction safety.
Both services have put an incredible amount of effort into meeting the requirements necessary to be regulated by financial institutions. They can be trusted with your money. They use the latest encryption technology to keep your money and data safe.
Revolut tips the scale by offering a deposit protection guarantee, but that comes with its banking license, which Wise doesn’t have.
Wise Vs Revolut: For Business
Wise and Revolut have accounted for business holders. Each provider offers a vast range of services. These include international business payments and international debit cards linked to multi-currency accounts, among others.
With the Wise business account, you can hold up to 50 currencies and send payments worldwide. The accounts have a one-time setup fee for full account access with no monthly charges after that.
50% of the payments are instant or arrive within the hour. The account also has vast features you can use to invoice local receiving accounts in 10 currencies to ease payments from around the world.
With the Wise business account, you can cut back on admin time with batch payments. You can also integrate the account with QuickBooks or Xero accounting software and manage your account by giving different members access.
The Revolut business account can hold and manage 28 currencies with local receiving accounts in USD and GBP. You can link the account to physical and virtual cards for your team to spend in 150 currencies.
You get to choose from 4 tiers of accounts, from a free standard plan to a custom-made Enterprise plan. Monthly fees apply for all but the standard option.
Revolut business account funds are FDIC insured to $250,000 and can be integrated with QuickBooks, Xero, and Free Agent accounting software. As with Wise, you can give team members access and manage the permissions centrally.
Both options have great features that businesses can benefit from. But the fact that Revolut has insured deposits gives it a clear advantage over Wise.
Wise Vs Revolut: Travel
Both Revolut and Wise can be helpful during your travelling exploits if you have a Wise or Revolut travel card. Both cards offer good value when you’re looking to spend during your travel and still save on fees and currency conversion rates.
With the Wise card, you have two free withdrawals to the value of $100. After surpassing this limit, you are charged a 1.5 USD + +2% withdrawal fee.
Revolut has an even higher free limit of $1,200 out-of-network withdrawals for personal customers per month. After this, you have a flat 2% withdrawal fee. Business customers pay up to a 2% fee for each withdrawal.
Wise offers a mid-market rate with an exchange of 0.41%, while Revolut also has a mid-market rate but with a plan limit and a 0.5% fair usage fee after that. A 1% out-of-hours fee applies to exchange on weekends and after banking hours.
You can access up to 50+ currencies on Wise and over 25 currencies on Revolut. During your international travel, you’re free to spend the currency you hold. If you don’t hold the currency required, the card will automatically convert the balance with the lowest available fee. With Revolut, you’re free to spend any currency you hold.
You get instant transaction notifications in the app, you can freeze and unfreeze the card, and there are virtual cards available for extra protection on Wise.
Security features on your Revolute travel card include getting instant transaction notifications on the app and freezing and unfreezing the card and virtual cards.
Both options offer international travel cards with excellent international features. The Revolut card offers more fee-free ATM withdrawal limits for personal customers but doesn’t support as many currencies as Wise.
With Revolut, you might also incur the payout of hours and fair usage fees for currency exchange which can push up the costs of exchanging your funds compared to Wise.
In this case, the best card depends on your preference and what matters more. However, if you’re purely going with savings during your trip, Wise might be the better option because you don’t have to worry about the times you make your transactions and withdrawals.
Wise Vs Revolut: Additional features
Among the things you will notice is that Revolut doesn’t operate in as many countries as Wise. But it makes up for this by offering more innovative features.
One of the key differences to be aware of when choosing between Wise and Revolut is that Revolut has a banking license. This means Revolut can offer loans and insurance to UK customers, whereas Wise cannot.
Revolut also offers virtual cards. They also allow you to link your bank account to the app to see all your money on one platform. This is a feature that Wise doesn’t have.
With Revolut, you also get various budgeting and analytical features on the app that help you manage your finances. Again, this is something you can’t get on Wise.
It’s obvious Revolut is always looking for new ways to grow and evolve into a comprehensive financial solution for all your money needs. It has many exciting and valuable features that do more than send and receive money internationally.
Wise Vs Revolut: Reputation and Reviews
While it’s obvious both providers have added plenty of features to their services, the only way to tell if these features have been impactful to the customers is by looking at their reviews and the reputation of the companies.
Wise has garnered a lot of positive feedback from millions of customers. Most customers have commended its reliable, responsive human contact from customer services. Wise also gets a lot of credit for its transparent fees and charges and unmatched and reliable exchange prices.
Customers have also commended the transaction fee rates compared to other similar services and have shown trust and confidence in the ability of the service to deliver on recurring transfers.
Some customers have also had a negative experience with Wise citing reasons like price increases, slow processing speeds for some currencies, random blocking or deactivation of accounts, and holding of funds for unknown reasons.
On review sites like Trustpilot, Wise has garnered over 113,000 reviews with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5, which qualifies them as “Excellent.”
Revolut has also had its share of positive customer interactions and received thousands of reviews on Trustpilot, most of which are positive reviews.
Users love that Revolut has an easy-to-use, intuitive smartphone app that doesn’t require much technical understanding to use and customise. It’s also commendable that Revolut offers a wider range of products and features for its individual and business users.
Another common comment is how convenient Revolut is for overseas travel, with minimum fees for spending and withdrawals. Individuals that have used Revolut to transfer money have also commended the fast transfers.
Just like Wise, Revolut has also had its share of negative comments and positive criticism. The most common has been the higher rates on weekends. Customers have also complained about being locked out of their accounts or their accounts being placed under review with no reason given.
Poor customer support has also been a pain point among Revolut users, more so because a majority of the Revolut customer support is serviced by bots.
Overall, Revolut has received over 75,000 reviews and has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars which also places them as an “Excellent” service.
Going by user reviews only, Wise comes off better. It has received over double the number of reviews that Revolut has and still maintained a higher rating. It is widely revered for having the most reasonably priced services and has a long-standing reputation with mid-market rates.
Revolut has also made a good impression among its customers and received an incredible amount of praise for its efforts.
Wise Vs Revolut: Closing Remarks
Wise and Revolut have interesting and revolutionary features that are changing how people and businesses send and receive payments and money. With Revolut, you have more features like savings, investments and budgeting tools, but you will need to choose your account tier carefully for your transaction volumes. Wise features are more focused on international payments and spending. Accounts are free, costs are transparent, and operation is smooth. Choosing the ideal provider depends on a case-by-case basis, the features you need, and your transaction amounts.