TransferWise helps SMEs save on foreign currency payments

Small business in the UK can now avoid hefty hidden bank fees when paying foreign currency invoices with the integration of online accounting app TransferWise and Xero.

Using TransferWise, London’s foreign currency transfer start up, small businesses will save up to 89 per cent when sending foreign currency invoices directly from Xero, it says in the press release.

Businesses will be offered the fair mid-market exchange rate and a small, transparent fee of than 0.5 per cent. Transferring £1,000 into a euro account with Xero and TransferWise will cost £5.

Small businesses using TransferWise and Xero can pay invoices in 25 currencies to 46 countries and pay a 0.5 per cent fee.

TransferWise was born out of an idea between co-founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann to help people send money abroad at the lowest possible cost.

With Hinrikus working for Skype in Estonia, he was paid in euros whilst living in London, and Käärmann working in London, with a mortgage in euros back in Estonia, the two devised a simple scheme where each month they checked that day’s mid-market rate to find a fair exchange rate.

“Kristo then transferred pounds into my UK bank account, and I topped up his account with euros. Both of us got the currency we needed, and neither of us paid a cent in hidden bank fees. From there, TransferWise was born,” Hinrikus says.

“We built TransferWise to bring greater transparency to foreign exchange. This partnership is a great step towards solving that problem for SMEs,” he added.