TransferWise to offer cost effective cross-border bank accounts

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TransferWise has extended its offering by launching a new service that takes it into the realms of looking more like a bank.

TransferWise to offer cost effective cross-border bank accounts

For the first time, TransferWise will hold money on deposit for its customers and provide them with bank account numbers in several countries. The London-based company also plans to supply customers with debit cards to spend their cash overseas.

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The service — dubbed Borderless — takes TransferWise beyond its speciality of handling cross-border and cross-currency transfers of money at lower cost than traditional banks.  TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus said the move was a “logical extension of our services”.

The company started to generate positive cash flow for the first time at the start of this year. He added: “We are very driven to see what else we can offer to our clients, who are living these international lives.”

Initially the new service will only be available for small businesses, sole traders and freelancers in the UK, Europe and — from next month — the US. But TransferWise plans to make it available to consumers in the three markets later this year.

TransferWise plans to levy a “small transparent charge” for cross-currency payments made through Borderless which will be made at “the real mid-market exchange rate”. It will not charge an opening fee or monthly fee.

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