XE Vs Wise

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The rise of challenger banks has made sending money domestically and internationally easier. Customers now have multiple options available when sending and transferring money. Choosing the right one depends on how fast you want to send the money, the cost and how regularly you send the money.

Each option offers different features and pricing. XE and Wise are among the notable money transfer options in the market. The two offer relatively comparable services with subtle differences that could make a whole world of difference. This comparison takes a deep dive into the services offered by either option to help you find one that would serve your needs better.

XE Vs Wise: About

These are some of the biggest brands in the industry. Their operations extend outside their countries of incorporation into various territories and regions. With such extensive coverage, choosing the right one can be a little tricky unless you have the facts.


Wise is an online money transfer service with over 6 million individual and corporate registered customers. The service transfers over £4 billion per month.

Wise thrives because of its highly competitive rates, and most importantly, it doesn’t charge a margin on its exchange rate. It also lets you send money to over 160 countries around the world.


XE is one of the world’s most trusted currency authorities. It offers various online foreign exchange tools and services, including international money transfer services. The company began its international money transfer services, XE Trade, in 2002. Since then, it has transferred over $250 billion to over 127 countries globally.

XE boasts of comprehensive disbursing network coverage in over 170 countries. It doesn’t charge any transfer fee, making it a lucrative money transfer service. However, it’s worth noting that the web and app interface of XE is not as friendly as some of its competitors.

XE Vs Wise: Fees and Exchange Rates

When sending money, the fees and exchange rates are huge factor that must be considered. Every service has its price list and exchange rates, which is one way you should find the ideal option when sending money locally and internationally.


XE doesn’t charge any fees on its transfers, irrespective of the transfer route and the amount. The transfer fee is always zero.

The exchange rate fees on XE are not as transparent as the transfer fees. The rates are not visible to people without an account on the service. Still, the exchange rates are relatively fair compared to money transfer operators like Western Union or mainstream banks.

For instance, the exchange rate margin can be as low as 1.53% when transferring money from USD to EUR. As the transfer size increases, the margin reduces.


Unlike XE, Wise charges percentage fees on the transfer depending on the type and size. Wise offers three main transfer options:

  • Fast transfer – This is the most expensive transfer. The payment is made by a credit or debit card. This method is preferred when the transfer is time-sensitive, and the customer doesn’t mind paying extra to have the money delivered to the customer quickly.
  • East Transfer – This is the Wise platform’s second most expensive transfer option. In this case, the payment is sent through an online bank platform. This type of transfer balances time and cost. It’s the most commonly used transfer method on Wise.
  • Low-cost transfer – Customers looking to save on transfer costs can consider this method. It is the cheapest transfer but takes the longest. This method sends the payment as a direct debit from your account.

The names and fees associated with these transfers vary slightly. However, the fees are still highly competitive compared to competitors.

Wise charges a zero margin fee on the exchange rate it offers for any currency pair. Wise uses the actual mid-market exchange rate, which the banks and other institutions use to trade between themselves. This means that with Wise, you maximise the amount the recipient receives.

Verdict: Tie

On the one hand, your XE doesn’t charge a fee for the transfer. It’s a great way to save money on your transfer. However, XE charges a small difference in the exchange rate to cover the transfer costs. Wise charges a transfer fee but doesn’t charge a margin on the exchange rate.

XE Vs Wise: Which is Faster?

Challenger banks have cut the transfer times drastically. These platforms’ money transfers are typically faster than conventional methods like Western Union and traditional banks. However, the times also vary depending on the transfer option you choose.


XE takes anywhere from 2-4 days to complete transfers. However, most transfers are delivered within the same timeframe as wise.

Wise takes minutes to 3 days to deliver transfers, depending on your chosen transfer method. It will also depend on where you’re sending the money. In some destinations, the recipient receives the money within a shorter period.

Verdict: Tie

This is a close one. Both options have reasonably fast transfer periods, and although the times might vary, either option delivers the money just as fast as the other. So this is another tie.

XE Vs Wise: Transfer and Payment Options

When you set up a transfer, you have to fund it by making a payment. Different services have different payment options for convenience.


XE only allows for bank transfers as a payment method and a bank deposit as a payout. The company refers its clients to Ria Money Transfer, its sister company, for cash transfers and pickups. 


Wise provides multiple payment options. Wise customers can use credit, debit cards, online bank transfers and direct bank debits to make payments. For pay-outs, recipients also have various options available. These include mobile money and direct-to-bank transfers. 

Verdict: Wise

Wise offers more payment and payout channels for its customers. It makes it easier and more convenient for customers to fund their transfers and receive money. With XE, the options are limited.

XE Vs Wise: Customer Reviews

The best way to assess how well or badly a money transfer service is doing is by looking at what customers say. Both XE and Wise have received a fair amount of reviews which can give you insight into the nature of their services.


XE has garnered over 34,000 reviews on Trustpilot with a 96% rating of Excellent or Good. Happy customers have pointed to various advantages of using the service like:

  • Fast transfer
  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Friendly and professional service
  • Competitive fees and exchange rates

On the flip side, the negative comments have highlighted the following as areas of improvement:

  • The app is not user-friendly
  • Some transfers took longer than expected
  • The exchange rate is poor


Wise has over 78,000 reviews with a 94% rating of Good or Excellent. Some of the positive comments left by commenters highlighted:

  • Transfers are faster
  • Simple to use
  • Affordable compared to banks
  • Reliable
  • Prompt response from customer support

Those that weren’t happy with the service cited the following as the causes for their negative experiences: 

  • Closing and deactivating accounts without sufficient explanations to the users.
  • The app doesn’t permit sending from some currencies like the Philippine Peso.
  • Occasional delays on some transfer routes

Verdict: Wise

Wise wins by the sheer number of reviews it has received and the quality of those reviews. It has more than double the number of reviews, most of which are from happy customers who have left the service gleaming reviews.

XE Vs Wise: Ease of Use, Security and Accessibility

The biggest asterisk on challenger banks has been their security. With enhanced accessibility and ease of use, most customers believe it has come at the expense of security. But that isn’t true. These alternatives have gone to the extreme to make their platforms easy to use, secure and accessible.


The XE website support multiple languages, including Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, English, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese and French. Also, the company has three support options: general information support, money transfer support, and currency data support. The customer support channels available are email and phone.

XE customers can also use the XE mobile app, a free download on Android and iOS platforms. You can make a transfer, track ongoing transfers and add recipients to your account.

XE uses various security features on its platform, like a 2-Factor authentication as part of their Strong Customer Authentication industry regulation.


The Wise website supports 12 languages, including English, Japanese, Romanian, Hungarian, and Turkish, among the other major languages.

You can contact Wise customer support through live chat, phone and email if you have any queries. Wise also has a mobile app that is quite handy. It makes the transfer experience smoother and more fulfilling. Through the app, you can send money, check historical transactions, track your current transfers and check exchange rates, among other functions.

As for the security features, Wise uses an industry-grade security system complete with a 2FA security layer.

Verdict: Wise

Once more, Wise takes the round with more languages, more customer support channels and a more robust range of security features.

XE Vs Wise: Which is Better? 

The better option depends on the service you’re looking for. XE is a better option for business payments because it has more business payment solutions than Wise. You can also use XE for smaller transactions, and it has a more extensive disbursing network.

Wise, on the other hand, is better for domestic payments because XE only handles international payments. You can also use Wise for Overseas payments. With the midmarket rate for international transfers, you can save quite a bit in transfer expenses. Wise is also suited for small and large transactions and has a higher transaction limit than XE.  

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