Wise Secures Type 1 License in Japan, Enabling Higher Transaction Limits

Wise Secures Type 1 License in Japan, Enabling Higher Transaction Limits

by March 13, 2024

Wise, a global technology company, has been granted a Type 1 Funds Transfer Service Provider license in Japan, becoming one of the first international financial service providers in the country to achieve this status. This license allows Wise Payments Japan K.K. to surpass the previous one million JPY per transaction limit, under the constraints of the Type 2 license it has operated with since 2016.

The acquisition of this license introduces an increased level of competition in the Japanese market, enabling both individuals and businesses to send and receive up to 150 million JPY per transaction across more than 40 currencies, including key ones like the Euro, British pounds, US dollars, Korean won, and Singapore dollars.

Wise says its approach, offering transactions at the mid-market rate without hidden fees, distinguishes it in a market where the World Bank has identified Japan as one of the G20’s most expensive countries for sending money abroad. Traditional banks in Japan typically impose charges exceeding 7% for similar transactions, whereas Wise reports an average fee of 0.67%, offering a substantially more cost-effective alternative.

Since its establishment in Japan in 2016, initially under the name TransferWise, the company has seen steady growth, broadening its local team and enhancing its product range. Its milestones include launching TransferWise for Business in 2018, introducing electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) processes in 2020 for digital verification and onboarding, and offering the Wise Account and Wise Business multi-currency accounts in July 2020.

Furthermore, in January 2021, it introduced the Wise Card for individuals and businesses, and in September 2021, reduced the price of transfers by an additional 15%, having already reduced them by up to 24% in 2020. December 2021 saw the expansion of the Wise Business features with the introduction of employee expense cards, and in May 2023, the Wise Platform was launched, partnering with GMO Aozora Net Bank as its first partner in Japan.

Mika Sei, Country Manager for Wise Japan

Mika Sei

Mika Sei, Country Manager for Wise Japan, discussed the increasing international needs of Japanese customers and businesses and the role of the new license in addressing these needs with efficient, cost-effective, and transparent solutions.

“Since launching in Japan, our aim has always been to give our customers – both individuals and businesses – the same experience as the millions of other Wise customers around the world when sending money internationally in another currency.


“This new license allows us to do just that. We’ll soon be able to launch a very competitive offering in the market which will drive competition and help lower the cost of sending money abroad in line with the UN SDG [United Nations Sustainable Development Goals].”


Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik