TransferWise: Banking and currency exchange

Anfooshi

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
41
So I have been researching over the last year on ways to transfer money to the USA and stumbled upon TransferWise. Although, we cannot transfer USD from Indonesia, we can transfer EUROs then convert the currency to USD.

Benefits for USD: You get an ACH, ABA, and Swift code. The app is very functional and support answers questions within 4 days. If you use other currencies you also are able to get ACH and Swift versions of that country. Also the transfer rates are the real mid range FOREX rates and the fees seem rather low. If you want a debit card and have an address in England they can ship it to you.

I have not made a transfer but I have created an account and added multiple currencies.
 

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,134
There's quite some experience here with that system, look at this thread for instance:

 

William King

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
1,463
I have friends who happily use & reccomend transferwise; however, I have not yet tried.
 

Bad_azz

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
2,718
I use it, & love it, it is much more competitive than PayPal.
The system they use is logical and effective.
From what I understand the user sends to T/W this goes into their banking system in the sender's country, they then send funds from a bank in the recipient's country to the recipient's bank.

It isn't complicated to use, even my aging parents are able to use it and they are not particularly computer savvy.
All it needs is a recipient bank acct number and email address.
PayPal has the advantage of being almost instant.
Transferwise, whilst sometimes processing within minutes can sometimes take a little longer, sometimes a day or two (or so they tell you, yet I haven't ever had to wait more than a few hours).
As mentioned the other negative, as of date of writing they do not send FROM Indonesia... which is a pain.
However, I don't envisage myself going back to using PayPal any time soon.
 

Anfooshi

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
41
Actually, the loophole is to send from Indonesia but in Euro not dollars. I confirmed this with their support rep.
 

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,134
it is much more competitive than PayPal
There is something that Paypal offers which is rather unique though; the possibility to warrant and refund the money if the products did not arrive or if there are other issues.

Now that means that it becomes rather safe for someone to send money to a person unknown if you want to buy something online. So if you deal via the FB/Instagram/OLX/CraigsList/.... of the world and you want to offer your customers some peace of mind, that is a great feature.

For that the 'seller' needs to create an 'invoice'. I put that between quotes since there are no rules for that, like VAT/GST (number), Company tax ID or proof of registration, etc. etc.

I would be very interested in alternatives, also offering an insurance for products sent, which don't charge as much as PayPal and have better exchange rates.
 
Last edited:

gemima

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
133
So I have been researching over the last year on ways to transfer money to the USA and stumbled upon TransferWise. Although, we cannot transfer USD from Indonesia, we can transfer EUROs then convert the currency to USD.

Benefits for USD: You get an ACH, ABA, and Swift code. The app is very functional and support answers questions within 4 days. If you use other currencies you also are able to get ACH and Swift versions of that country. Also the transfer rates are the real mid range FOREX rates and the fees seem rather low. If you want a debit card and have an address in England they can ship it to you.

I have not made a transfer but I have created an account and added multiple currencies.
Very interesting - can you transfer from an Indonesian bank account into Transferwise easily?
 

Anfooshi

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
41
Very interesting - can you transfer from an Indonesian bank account into Transferwise easily?
Yeah, as long as you are transferring Euros to transferwise then convert to any other currency through them. But incoming must be in euros
 

Daniel Gomez

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Messages
15
So I have been researching over the last year on ways to transfer money to the USA and stumbled upon TransferWise. Although, we cannot transfer USD from Indonesia, we can transfer EUROs then convert the currency to USD.

Benefits for USD: You get an ACH, ABA, and Swift code. The app is very functional and support answers questions within 4 days. If you use other currencies you also are able to get ACH and Swift versions of that country. Also the transfer rates are the real mid range FOREX rates and the fees seem rather low. If you want a debit card and have an address in England they can ship it to you.

I have not made a transfer but I have created an account and added multiple currencies.
I have transferwise and it works great. I travel and have different currencies, so it works well for me. Low fee and great exchange rates. You are able to hold different currencies.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
92
Does someone know where Transferwise takes the exchange rates from or do they derive it on their own? Before, to me, it seemed that their offered exchange rate (EUR / IDR) was closer to what google, xe, etc. tell.
 

harryopal

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
738
Does someone know where Transferwise takes the exchange rates from or do they derive it on their own? Before, to me, it seemed that their offered exchange rate (EUR / IDR) was closer to what google, xe, etc. tell.
It cost nothing to open an account with Transferwise. You can then ask them directly by email or phone.
 

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,134
Does someone know where Transferwise takes the exchange rates from or do they derive it on their own? Before, to me, it seemed that their offered exchange rate (EUR / IDR) was closer to what google, xe, etc. tell.
The problem is they take an average buy and sell rate. So yes, it's very similar to the Google rate.

These so called mid market rates seem very interesting but are in fact averages that come from global currency markets. (Google uses Morningstar.) So they take all exchange rates which are used by the financial institutions and governments.

If you compare that to large money changers as VIP, who have their own buy and sell rates, you understand why I don't transfer large amounts with a conversion and why I openend a € account at the Indonesian bank instead:

Currently when I write this, the TransferWise rate is as follows:
1 EUR = 15.222,9 IDR

And with VIP , if you sell euro, you'd get this:
1 EUR = 15.260 IDR

So that is a difference of 37 rupiah per euro. If you transfer €100.000 that would mean you could get 3,7 million rupiah more. I think that's a lot.

And there are no administrative and exchange costs besides the €9 from my European bank! So -for me- it is definitely worth that extra trip to the bank/money changer etc.
 
Last edited:

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,134
When I check the USD and AUD rates, I see this:

TransferWise:
1 USD = 13,628
1 AUD = 9,408.2

VIP:
1 USD = 13,680
1 AUD = 9,460

So in case of sending $100.000 it would be a difference of 5,2 million rupiah!!!

As you can see, an own exchange can be very beneficial.
 

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
4,134
What I forgot to say; with the money changers as VIP c.s., you don't need to take huge piles of cash.

The have multiple BCA/Mandiri/.... accounts so you transfer your foreign currency , and they can also forward the result to your Rupiah account.

Payment Method and Upfront Transfer
We accept cash and checks but would prefer an upfront transfer either online or through ATM. Please note that check payment will significantly delay your transaction until your check is cashed. We are sorry, credit and debit cards are not accepted.

Important information regarding bank transfer:
  • We have accounts in most banks (i.e. BCA, Mandiri, CIMB, etc.). Please call or email us to get our account number in the bank of your choice with the currency of your choice.
  • When transferring, you must include the following message "For transaction by [your name as printed in your ID]". Without this information, you will NOT be able to retrieve your fund.
  • When you came to our office, you will need to bring the proof of transfer and your identification (ID) card or Passport. If we find a match, you are eligible to use the fund as a method of payment.
  • You can estimate the fund to be transferred based on your transaction needs. While executing your transaction, you may choose to use the entire fund or some of the fund. The excess fund will be transferred back to your account.
  • IMPORTANT: You are NOT allowed to retrieve your fund in any way for any reason without transacting them. This rule is enforced by the Indonesian central bank to prevent money laundering.
  • If your representative is transacting on behalf of you, you need to follow the instruction about transaction on behalf of somebody.
 

snpark

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Sep 30, 2016
Messages
1,545
That's what I do when I get cash. I walk in to my money changer (with a box of JCo for the girls) and hand over my stack. He already has my passport and account on file and I know he will give me a better rate and sure enough within minutes the money is in my bca without me even queuing.

Benefits: ease, speed, etc and more importantly no questions at the bank about why depositing so much cash every week and it shows up on my bank statement as a transfer credit from PT Valuta Arta Mas. So even fewer questions then also. Looks like a "salary" payment

Win win for me every time
 

Euc-

Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Cager
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
596
What I forgot to say; with the money changers as VIP c.s., you don't need to take huge piles of cash.

The have multiple BCA/Mandiri/.... accounts so you transfer your foreign currency , and they can also forward the result to your Rupiah account.

Interesting, I didn't know you can do basically cashless transactions. Thx.

VIP and BCA USD > IDR is only 17 rupiah difference, and even that is negotiable for larger transactions so unfortunately for my purposes it'll make very little difference, but definitely something to keep in mind for larger transfers.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
92
Thanks for your input on this. Honestly, I didn't know that money changer sometimes offer better exchange rates than TW. VIP seems to operate in Jakarta only, and according to their FAQ you need to go to their office to be able to ask for their service.

Yesterday I checked a money trader in my currect domicile, but the offered exchange rate was too bad. But I'll keep my eyes open...
 

snpark

Well-Known Member
Cager
Joined
Sep 30, 2016
Messages
1,545
Best ones are the privately owned ones in the "local" malls, the ones with the queues of ibu2 outside. Fancy bule malls have crappy rates obviously, and the chains of moneychangers also not the best

For me, Ambasador has the best rate and transfers to my account
The one in Lotte opposite Bacco is ok 2nd best rate for me and easy but they dont transfer, cash to cash only.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Follow Us

Latest Expat Indo Articles

Latest Activity

Latest Tweets by Expat Indo

Online Now

Newest Members

Forum Statistics

Threads
4,222
Messages
64,003
Members
1,679
Latest member
BrownE44
Top Bottom