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Transferwise Article of Aug 18th
August 18, 2018
7:55 pm
AltaRed
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Peter, this article smells a lot like solicitation and advertising. What gives?

August 18, 2018
10:03 pm
Peter
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Here's the link to the article: https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/2018/08/transferwise-vs-ofx-comparison-cad-usd-transfers/

I had a story I've been sitting on for months and wanted to share it, especially since there has been discussion on the topic with snowbirds and no-forex credit cards over the years. Finally I had 1 hour of peace to write it. I have also written about CanadianForex (now OFX) in the past and have used them for years. Before that I wrote about XE Trade twice. I have been intrigued by TransferWise's features but there is much for them to improve. I have had both personal and business needs for foreign currency exchange services for years and try my best to keep up with ongoing developments. None of them have paid me anything, although maybe one day they should 😀

What specifically is wrong with the article?

August 19, 2018
6:04 am
Koogie
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Huh. Hadn't even noticed it until Altas' complaint.

I also own a business and deal mostly with overseas vendors and clients. Lots of transfers every month in CAD/USD/EUR/JPY and ZAR. We lose probably thousands every year in TD wire fees and exchange vig. For internal USD>CAD conversion I just usually wait and market time it until it moves in our favor.

Do you trust these companies with your large transfers of funds ? What safeguards are in place against fraud or insolvency ? What recourse do you have in case of dispute or malfeasance ? Do they significantly slow the process ?

Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

August 19, 2018
7:06 am
AltaRed
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I have rarely seen what I thought was a 'neutral' forum promoting (or at a minimum, cheer leading) certain firms. There is no indication who is the author and there is not much (except in the opening paragraph) to suggest this is an opinion piece based on personal experience.

The information is highly informative and of value to the consumer but it would have been better to clarify early on whether there is a conflict of interest, e.g. whether the author is being commercially remunerated in one form or another to write this material. I stopped reading part way through when I thought I smelled commercial interest.

August 19, 2018
9:12 am
Peter
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@AltaRed, thanks for your feedback. I've now added a byline as the first step. I'll consider whether to add a disclaimer, although every article on this site has been independently written. More to think about, though! Now that the Savers Roundup articles have finally become a regular thing (and, at least at the beginning, weren't always written by me), perhaps they should be separated out.

@Koogie, I have done transfers between $2K and $75K without issue for many years. For some people, $75K might not be considered a large transfer, though. Typically, from the initiation of a transfer to the receipt of funds, it's taken between 3-4 business days, and the transfers are entirely self-service through their website interfaces. I had a single case where the transfer didn't go through because the recipient account information was wrong. I was alerted of this after a few business days, and I was able to decide whether to try the transfer again or just have the funds returned to my bank account so that I could send a cheque to the recipient. What I can say regarding safeguards is that OFX and TransferWise are heavily regulated, but I've only sent or received money within the more developed countries, and I don't have direct experience with any disputes.

August 19, 2018
6:00 pm
AltaRed
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Thank you. Disclosure is a good thing.

August 22, 2018
8:13 am
meghan88
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How do these two services compare with XE.com? Realize you've written about it before but not as a comparison with Transferwise and OFX.

August 22, 2018
8:33 am
Peter
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XE was the original foreign currency exchange service I tried. When I had originally switched to CanadianForex (now OFX) years ago, it was due to a bad customer service experience at XE, and I had also found that OFX had better rates. Last year I was contacted by XE asking that I try them again and that they had recently "reviewed [their] pricing and approach". Thus, they are probably comparable to OFX and might be a competitive option now, but I haven't used them lately.

August 29, 2018
3:30 am
Peseta
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I use both XE and TransferWise. I find that for larger amounts, TransferWise works out to be a better deal if you choose their direct debit option. As an example, a transfer of 500 EUR right now would work out to $761.93 with Transferwise and $765.81 with XE.

On the other hand, if you wanted to transfer a smaller amount, for instance 50 EUR, Transferwise would end up costing you $77.11, whereas XE would charge you $76.59.

One advantage of XE over TransferWise is that they accept online bill payments from almost every Canadian financial institution (they are having issues with TD I believe) without charging you a fee for it. TransferWise not only charges you a higher fee for online bill payment option, but the list of financial institutions where the payment can be made from is rather limited from what I understand.

Customer service wise, I find them both equally ok. I have had issues with both companies and both times the problem was resolved rather quickly and without inconveniencing me too much.

Hope this helps.

June 3, 2019
1:16 am
Joe
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Peter, I use transferwise for sending CAD to my Asian bank accounts....very easy.
What I would like to do is send USD from my Canadian banks (USD accounts) to my Asian bank accounts. I wanted to use transferwise direct debit function to fund this, but when you set up the transfer in USD , the direct debit brings up only US banks. A call to there office and they say I must fund the transfer using a wire or swift in USD, which is not acceptable to me as I'm on the road all the time. I cannot use "pay bills" because the Canadian banks that I use do not have this function for USD accounts.
Do you know if OFX allows me to do this (link my USD account at a Canadian bank) to fund a transfer to Asia or wherever.
Thanks.

June 3, 2019
7:31 am
Peter
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I do direct debit from a USD account at a Canadian bank at OFX, but only to transfer to a CAD account. I had a friend call OFX to ask about sending from a Canadian USD account to the UK and they said that you needed to do a wire. I don't know whether this depends on the destination. Thus you'll have to confirm with OFX. I'd love to know the answer, though.

June 3, 2019
7:38 pm
Joe
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I'll let you know Peter....could be a week or two until I get around to it.

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