Transferwise

Old Sep 6th 2020, 4:49 pm
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Default Transferwise

I have just set up a Transferwise account to test with a transfer from my US bank to UK bank . I'm only sending $1000 at this point to see how it works. However, I received an email saying that I need to upload selfie with my ID and to give reasons why I'm sending the money. I am a dual citizen and have a home in both countries and send money back to UK on annual basis to top up my UK account.. I read a review about TW that someone had their money held by UK bank because the source of funds was questioned. Anyone have any thoughts? Eventually, I would like to transfer a large sum but am nervous at this point.. It does appear that TW would save me a lot of money compared to traditional bank transfer. Thank you
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Old Sep 6th 2020, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

It's an anti-money laundering/ anti-terrorist financing control, so unless you are sending the proceeds of drug sales or other criminal activity, or are using the money to fund ISIS, you have nothing to worry about. Just be sure to complete the information/ memo (purpose of transfer) field clearly and accurately, so typically including information about the source of the funds - "from salary income from Acme Corp", "from sale of home in Chicago", "from sale of shares through Merril Lynch", etc, and what the purpose of the transfer is: "deposit for home", "to buy car", "living expenses after I move to the UK", etc. Hypothetically you should be prepared to back up this information with documented evidence, for example in the case you mentioned, but the chances of you being asked is extremely remote. The only time I could foresee any predictable problem would be if you happened to have a name similar to a known terrorist or drug dealer.

All financial institutions, including money transfer companies, not only in the US and UK, but around the world in almost all countries, have specific legal responsibilities to identify their customers by verifying their identity using recognized forms of ID. Although I haven't heard of the selfie + ID requirement before it makes sense as it captures a person and an ID in the same picture. Could it be photoshopped? Probably, but it will weed out most problems, and the reason that financial institutions are so concerned about this is that the US levies fines that are off-the-scale when it comes to AML problems - IIRC HSBC was fined $1.9Bn for AML control problems!

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 6th 2020 at 5:17 pm.
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Old Sep 6th 2020, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It's an anti-money laundering/ anti-terrorist financing control, so unless you are sending the proceeds of drug sales or other criminal activity, or are using the money to fund ISIS, you have nothing to worry about.
Absolutely.
Although I haven't heard of the selfie + ID requirement before it makes sense as it captures a person and an ID in the same picture.
I haven't seen anything about the selfie but an ID requirement has been standard depending on which countries are involved in the transfer and also which way it's going.

I transfer UK to Canada every month and thought I remembered reading that even for smaller transfers once one had reached a particular total of all transfers that ID was required. I knew I was close to that amount and enquired to make sure because I couldn't find a reference to it. My reply said I would need it when transferring to the UK.

I've since exceeded that limit and my transfers to Canada are continuing very smoothly, no further ID provided.
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Old Sep 6th 2020, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
.......I haven't seen anything about the selfie but an ID requirement has been standard depending on which countries are involved in the transfer and also which way it's going. .... My reply said I would need it when transferring to the UK. .....
I can understand why, because the US financial system can document and verify somone's ID based on the prevalent use of SSNs attached to (very nearly) all bank and broker accounts, but the UK doesn't have anything like that to document and verify identity, and so needs additional records to prove identity.
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Old Sep 6th 2020, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

I’m often prompted by Transferwise to name the source of the funds when transferring to my U.K. bank and I usually state savings or pension.
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Old Sep 10th 2020, 8:29 am
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Default Re: Transferwise

Related to this, has anyone used Revolut to transfer money from the UK to an account abroad? You can convert your money to a currency of your choice, but there is also a feature which allows you to transfer money abroad. Just wondering which is better, Revolut or Transferwise.

Last edited by dj322; Sep 10th 2020 at 8:57 am.
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Old Sep 10th 2020, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Thank you Pulaski for the info.. My money went through Transferwise. I now feel more comfortable .. I also learned that by transferring ACH debit from my bank to TW , I saved fees. Originally, I chose wire transfer from account and found that more fees were imposed..
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Old Sep 10th 2020, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by countrygirl33 View Post
Thank you Pulaski for the info.. My money went through Transferwise. I now feel more comfortable .. I also learned that by transferring ACH debit from my bank to TW , I saved fees. Originally, I chose wire transfer from account and found that more fees were imposed..
Now that you've seen how smoothly it works it's worth mentioning that very occasionally you do your bit on your bank account and then confirm on the TransferWise site that you've done it you may get a message to say it's paused or further action is needed.

Nothing to worry about, it's just a small delay
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Old Sep 20th 2020, 4:31 am
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Default Re: Transferwise

Another question. I'm looking at setting up a borderless transferwise account (as per some BE recommendations) to be paid a regular monthly amount as a contracted consultant by a UK organisation. I understand that I will get a UK sort code, etc.

On the UK end, are they just going to be able to make a payment from their bank like any other? Or will they have to faff about with security questions and stuff or do anything different?

On my end as I understand it I will then have to transfer the money to my regular US bank and pay a fee to do so, correct? How long does that step take? And I'm assuming that even with this transfer fee I'm still saving overall?

Any advice appreciated.
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Old Sep 20th 2020, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Another question. I'm looking at setting up a borderless transferwise account (as per some BE recommendations) to be paid a regular monthly amount as a contracted consultant by a UK organisation. I understand that I will get a UK sort code, etc.

On the UK end, are they just going to be able to make a payment from their bank like any other? Or will they have to faff about with security questions and stuff or do anything different?

On my end as I understand it I will then have to transfer the money to my regular US bank and pay a fee to do so, correct? How long does that step take? And I'm assuming that even with this transfer fee I'm still saving overall?

Any advice appreciated.
I haven't set one up yet, I just looked at it in case I end up being unable to use my UK account. I had the impression it would be like any other bank payment - sort code etc.

The fee is small and my transfers are usually same day if done early enough.
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Old Sep 20th 2020, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
I haven't set one up yet, I just looked at it in case I end up being unable to use my UK account. I had the impression it would be like any other bank payment - sort code etc.

The fee is small and my transfers are usually same day if done early enough.
So you would just go online and transfer funds to your normal bank, from what I gather. So TW charges some sort of fee for this but I can transfer it in USD from my TW account (exchanging it there at an advantageous rate over what my bank gives) so as far as my US bank is concerned it's just an incoming deposit? Do I need to find out if my bank would charge for the incoming? They don't charge for normal deposits obviously.
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Old Sep 20th 2020, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
So you would just go online and transfer funds to your normal bank, from what I gather. So TW charges some sort of fee for this but I can transfer it in USD from my TW account (exchanging it there at an advantageous rate over what my bank gives) so as far as my US bank is concerned it's just an incoming deposit? Do I need to find out if my bank would charge for the incoming? They don't charge for normal deposits obviously.
Check with your incoming bank. My US bank does not charge for incoming wires or ACH transfers.

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Old Sep 20th 2020, 2:11 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
So you would just go online and transfer funds to your normal bank, from what I gather. So TW charges some sort of fee for this but I can transfer it in USD from my TW account (exchanging it there at an advantageous rate over what my bank gives) so as far as my US bank is concerned it's just an incoming deposit? Do I need to find out if my bank would charge for the incoming? They don't charge for normal deposits obviously.
Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Check with your incoming bank. My US bank does not charge for incoming wires or ACH transfers.
I have seen some references to the receiving bank possibly making a charge but I think that's been for transactions of a different kind, not TW. My receiving bank doesn't charge but before TW existed I did the odd SWIFT transfer or whatever it was called and my UK bank warned of a possible receiving charge but there never was one then either.
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Old Sep 20th 2020, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Check with your incoming bank. My US bank does not charge for incoming wires or ACH transfers.
Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
I have seen some references to the receiving bank possibly making a charge but I think that's been for transactions of a different kind, not TW. My receiving bank doesn't charge but before TW existed I did the odd SWIFT transfer or whatever it was called and my UK bank warned of a possible receiving charge but there never was one then either.
Bank's site says no charge for incoming wire (but their currency exchange rates and charges would apply of course). Is the transfer of money from my own TW account to my bank checking account an ach transfer? Sorry, I'm not up on the terminology.
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Old Sep 20th 2020, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Bank's site says no charge for incoming wire (but their currency exchange rates and charges would apply of course). Is the transfer of money from my own TW account to my bank checking account an ach transfer? Sorry, I'm not up on the terminology.
ACH is Automated Clearing House and is a free overnight transfer service between US banks. It takes more setting up initially between the banks.
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