Penny wise, pound wise

Home Technologist 05 Penny wise, pound wise

While traditional banks receive commissions that reach up to 9 percent, four British start-ups are using new technology to undercut them.

Money transfer start-up

TRANSFERWISE success story

Transferwise’s international transfers cost up to 89 percent less than those from a traditional bank. This start-up uses a peer-to-peer system to connect users who want to move money to another country with those seeking the inverse transfer. The start-up orchestrates the transactions to coincide, so that the money is “moved” without actually crossing borders.

Comission: 0,5 percent

Numbers: Users of this platform, which has been valued at $1 billion, have transferred more than $4,5 billion over five years.


WESWAP e-exchange agent

WeSwap was designed for travellers who need foreign cash. Based on a peer-to-peer system, it gives users a better exchange rate than traditional exchange desks. One person can trade money directly with someone who has complementary needs and upload the amount to a credit card. The money can then be withdrawn at an ATM.

Comission: 1 percent

Numbers: The compagny handles transactions in 16 different currencies.


WORLDREMIT for 117 countries

This start-up competes with Western Union by allowing clients to transfer money to developing countries. It lets users send money to an account, e-wallet or cash distributor.

Comission: Starting at $1, depending on the situation.

Numbers: The service is available in 50 countries and users can receive money in 117 countries.


CURRENCYTRANSFER comparing offers

CurrencyTransfer compares the costs of various money transfer platforms and connects clients with currency exchange experts.

Comission: Free

Numbers: Since its launch, CurrencyTransfer has facilitated nearly 650 million transactions.


Industriens Fond China

As Chinese research increasingly dominates science, Danish universities have set up a centre in Beijing to foster exchanges.