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Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Old Oct 19th 2020, 4:48 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Is Worldfirst still operating in the USA? We had an account with them for years and I seem to remember getting an email saying they no longer operate here.
We use Transferwise to get money to the kiddoes at uni outside the USA.
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Old Oct 19th 2020, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Is Worldfirst still operating in the USA? We had an account with them for years and I seem to remember getting an email saying they no longer operate here.
We use Transferwise to get money to the kiddoes at uni outside the USA.
I had an email from them the other day, which made me believe they are in fact trading in the US again.
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Old Oct 19th 2020, 9:01 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
I had an email from them the other day, which made me believe they are in fact trading in the US again.
Worldfirst doesn't seem to be registered as an MSB with FinCen, nor registered as a remitter in the states that I checked - California, Texas, and North Carolina, so I think it is unlikely that Worldfirst is legally allowed to offer services in the US.
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Old Oct 19th 2020, 9:42 pm
  #34  
 
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Worldfirst doesn't seem to be registered as an MSB with FinCen, nor registered as a remitter in the states that I checked - California, Texas, and North Carolina, so I think it is unlikely that Worldfirst is legally allowed to offer services in the US.
They seem to be. On their web site:-

Send money to The USA

A better way to collect, convert and transfer money to The USA

✔ Over 16 years’ experience providing a real alternative to the big banks

✔ Transparent pricing from 0.15% to 0.50%

✔ 24/5 customer service, and dedicated account managers to support you from beginning to end

✔ Quick, easy, and reliable international money transfers

✔ Manage risk with flexible hedging solutions, firm orders, and real-time rate alerts

✔ Send mass payments from a single transaction
ETA:- My old log in isn't working so who knows

They don't have an office in the US anymore. So do they need a US license to send money from the UK to a US bank account. It doesn't seem they offer transfers US-UK

Last edited by lansbury; Oct 19th 2020 at 9:47 pm.
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Old Oct 19th 2020, 9:45 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
They seem to be. On their web site:-

"To" is different from "from".

Any business (around the world) can send money to the US, only those registered in the US are allowed to offer services to US residents.

Last edited by Pulaski; Oct 19th 2020 at 9:48 pm.
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Old Oct 20th 2020, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

"To" is different from "from".

Any business (around the world) can send money to the US, only those registered in the US are allowed to offer services to US residents.
Sorry I couldn't answer yesterday, as the hyperlinks in BE stopped working for me. Suddenly I couldn't click on any links, but only on BE, in any browser.

For some reason, which I can't fathom out why, I was thinking those institutions that use an intermediary bank did so because they were not licensed in the US.

So I am assuming from what you say they couldn't send dollars from the UK to my US bank account for me, as I am a US resident. Even though the transaction is carried out through their UK office. I would try and open a new account with them to find out, but it involves phone calls to the UK so I can't be doing with that.

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Old Oct 20th 2020, 6:15 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Sorry I couldn't answer yesterday, as the hyperlinks in BE stopped working for me. Suddenly I couldn't click on any links, but only on BE, in any browser.
https://britishexpats.com/forum/site-feedback-63/software-problem-935356/#post12923972
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Old Oct 20th 2020, 7:33 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Sorry I couldn't answer yesterday, as the hyperlinks in BE stopped working for me. Suddenly I couldn't click on any links, but only on BE, in any browser.

For some reason, which I can't fathom out why, I was thinking those institutions that use an intermediary bank did so because they were not licensed in the US.

So I am assuming from what you say they couldn't send dollars from the UK to my US bank account for me, as I am a US resident. Even though the transaction is carried out through their UK office. ....
Yes, at least not legally. Sometimes the customer can circumvent the rules by supplying an address outside the US, but the problem exists in several domains - so it isn't legal for a British stockbroker to accept a US resident as a client, unless the broker is SEC registered (which very few are), but in any case many UK securites are not legal for a US resident to own, as they are not "SEC compliant".

So back to the original point, to offer services in the US, an FX broker-remitter needs to be registered with FinCEN and in most states also registered with the in-state regulator of money service businesses. This is true irrespective of the money flows, it's just a matter of where the customer resides - and of course with Transferwise, there isn't technically an international money flow at all.

To your point about "intermediary banks", the world of international money transfer is, at least legally speaking, a de facto bank monopoly. If a person or non-bank wants to send money to another country, with the exception of services such as Transferwise, or similar informal systems, such hawala, which spoof an international transfer, the mechanism used to transfer the money is from bank to bank.

Last edited by Pulaski; Oct 20th 2020 at 9:20 pm.
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Old Oct 20th 2020, 8:44 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Thanks I saw that after I posted here. Things were back to normal this morning and I went to give feedback and low and behold saw I wasn't alone.
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Old Oct 21st 2020, 12:57 am
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Thanks I saw that after I posted here. Things were back to normal this morning and I went to give feedback and low and behold saw I wasn't alone.
It's a pain when you want to get in somewhere and it has has a 'gone fishing' sign on the door.
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Just chipping in here - Like others i'd personally not use them as a 'bank' especially as they are seemingly unregulated/protected for if they go under (i'd guess they'd use the funds in trading to raise funds and avoid a fund raise?). They certainly aren't a scam though - at the recommendation of this forum, I've used their XE services several times now in moving pretty decent sized mounts from my UK account to an account in the US. It is slower than expected but im 99% sure its my US bank and the nature of ACH. On the first transfer I was a little 'concerned' that it took 3 days but their customer service were pretty stellar and my US bank confirmed what they said on speeds and timings.

I do however have some interest (pardon the banking pun) in their debit card - which I think is separate to the bank - has anyone tried/heard of/seen this? my understanding is that it works in the local currency (so great if you're traveling - remember that?) and it pulls funds from a linked bank account.

Last edited by livinginnyc; Oct 24th 2020 at 5:12 pm.
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Old Oct 24th 2020, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by livinginnyc View Post
Just chipping in here - Like others i'd personally not use them as a 'bank' especially as they are seemingly unregulated/protected for if they go under (i'd guess they'd use the funds in trading to raise funds and avoid a fund raise?). They certainly aren't a scam though - at the recommendation of this forum, I've used their XE services several times now in moving pretty decent sized mounts from my UK account to an account in the US. It is slower than expected but im 99% sure its my US bank and the nature of ACH. On the first transfer I was a little 'concerned' that it took 3 days but their customer service were pretty stellar and my US bank confirmed what they said on speeds and timings.

I do however have some interest (pardon the banking pun) in their debit card - which I think is separate to the bank - has anyone tried/heard of/seen this? my understanding is that it works in the local currency (so great if you're traveling - remember that?) and it pulls funds from a linked bank account.
I have their debit card, it comes from Mastercard. Mine is linked to my Borderless account with Transferwise. My account is a sterling one, and if I use it in the States it comes out of that account at the normal Transferwise exchange rate. My understanding is the money, while not protected, is lodged at Barclays in the UK. While I don't keep large sums in it, just trip spending money, it is useful to have as a backup in case NatWest ever decide having customers living in the US is no longer something they wish to handle.

Must say I was surprised you say it is slower than expected using the forex service. If I do an exchange Monday to Thursday before 6pm UK time, it is in my USA credit union bank account the next morning. Do the exchange Friday and it is there Monday. Not bad really for the small percentage fee they charge. NatWest charge a lot more and are no quicker.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 4:27 am
  #43  
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
I have their debit card, it comes from Mastercard. Mine is linked to my Borderless account with Transferwise. My account is a sterling one, and if I use it in the States it comes out of that account at the normal Transferwise exchange rate. My understanding is the money, while not protected, is lodged at Barclays in the UK. While I don't keep large sums in it, just trip spending money, it is useful to have as a backup in case NatWest ever decide having customers living in the US is no longer something they wish to handle.

Must say I was surprised you say it is slower than expected using the forex service. If I do an exchange Monday to Thursday before 6pm UK time, it is in my USA credit union bank account the next morning. Do the exchange Friday and it is there Monday. Not bad really for the small percentage fee they charge. NatWest charge a lot more and are no quicker.
Hi Lansbury, hope you are keeping well. When you say "trip spending money" were you referring to having/using this in the US or the UK or indeed both? Like your backup idea and I believe I opened up a border acct with Transferwise a few years ago but never considered the debit card. Will look into that. Thx for bringing this up.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by branmin View Post
Hi Lansbury, hope you are keeping well. When you say "trip spending money" were you referring to having/using this in the US or the UK or indeed both? Like your backup idea and I believe I opened up a border acct with Transferwise a few years ago but never considered the debit card. Will look into that. Thx for bringing this up.
I tend to use it for spending on UK/US leisure trips. Not paying for big stuff, just days out type spending. That way it gets used, I don't need a large sum in the borderless account, and I've got a second sterling card for online spending. Gifts for the UK grandkids etc if NatWest ever failed to renew my debit card.

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Old Oct 26th 2020, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: Transferwise - boarderless bank a/c

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Must say I was surprised you say it is slower than expected using the forex service. If I do an exchange Monday to Thursday before 6pm UK time, it is in my USA credit union bank account the next morning. Do the exchange Friday and it is there Monday. Not bad really for the small percentage fee they charge. NatWest charge a lot more and are no quicker.
I agree. I did a transfer last week. Logged it at 4pm EST and it was in my US account the next morning.
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