TransferWise Launches in Hong Kong, Targets Businesses and Consumers

TransferWise Launches in Hong Kong, Targets Businesses and Consumers

by July 6, 2018

Following the completion of its three-month pilot scheme in Hong Kong, UK-based international fintech remittance firm, TransferWise will now fully launch their service for both business and personal use here.

TransferWise’ Thrust into Hong Kong

TransferWise’s scalable business model has reached over 3 million customers so far. Prior to its Hong Kong launch, TransferWise has also set up it APAC hub in Singapore.

With over 4% of Hong Kong’s 7 million residents originating from other countries, Hong Kong represents a lucrative-enough market for TransferWise’s next leg of expansion.

Kristo Käärmann

“We have also applied for a Stored Value Facility license through Hong Kong Monetary Authority so we can offer our world-leading Borderless product to our customers in Hong Kong. We look forward to working cooperatively with Hong Kong Monetary Authority,” noted Käärmann, who took over the CEO position from his co-founder in July last year.

“Hong Kong has demonstrated its commitment to making Hong Kong a place where consumers can benefit from fintech and fintech companies can flourish. We’re excited to be part of that,” he continued.Ok

Multiple currencies at lower fees

The service, established by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann began by setting up wallets in multiple countries back in 2011. Customers who wanted to do an international money transfer would simply transfer an amount to

TransferWise in the originating currency and receive the corresponding value of converted currency in return.
TransferWise works by storing 60 different currencies around the world, which it then redistributes whenever an international money transfer between these currencies is conducted.

Because money never crosses borders, TransferWise can offer lower transfer costs and shorter transfer times than conventional banks.

According to TransferWise, their pilot project showed that they can drop prices for customers remitting money from Hong Kong by more than 20%

For transfers from Hong Kong, for instance, customers who exchange HKD for AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, INR or USD are charged a fixed rate of 0.4% in addition to a 10HKD fee.

Convenience has also been key. Using a streamlined process, customers only need to input their contact and payment details into the TransferWise site.

TransferWise currently facilitates monthly transactions of up to HKD21 billion around the world. It turned profitable in 2017, and has strong investor backing, including the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Sir Richard Branson.