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TransferWise launches two debit cards in Australia for travellers, freelancers, expats and businesses

August 16, 2019 Financial No Comments Email Email

TransferWise, the technology company that moves  money internationally, is releasing a first-of-a-kind debit card in Australia and New  Zealand today, allowing millions to spend anywhere in the world – with zero transaction  fees and no sneaky exchange rate markups. 

First launched in the UK and EU in 2018, the card has seen 15 million transactions have  already been made on the TransferWise debit card around the world. TransferWise’s  Aussie and Kiwi customers will receive a “Platinum” version of the debit card, as well as  the simultaneous launch of a dedicated business debit card.

Independent research conducted by Alderson Consulting (Bristol) Ltd., showed the  TransferWise Platinum debit Mastercard® is on average 11x cheaper than most popular  travel debit and prepaid cards, offering significant savings when spending in New  Zealand, the UK, US, and Europe. (See Editor’s Notes for price comparison).

For example, spending $1000 in New Zealand could cost you anywhere between $34 to  $76 with your bank issued card, with TransferWise it would cost $8. A family holidaying in  Europe stands to lose up to $244 in fees when spending $5000, whereas with  TransferWise, it would cost them only $56.

The card is an extension of the TransferWise account — the world’s first multi-country  account giving you your own bank account details in the UK, US, Eurozone, Australia and  New Zealand with a click of a button. Over the past year, customers have deposited more  than $10 billion in their TransferWise accounts. Key features of the account and new debit  card include:

  • Free to get, free to use: no monthly subscription fees, no sign-up fees, no monthly maintenance fees and no transaction fees
  • Spend anywhere Mastercard is accepted at the real exchange rate (the one you see on Google) with no sneaky exchange rate mark-ups
  • Hold and convert: over 40 currencies instantly
  • Secure: set spending limits, freeze/unfreeze the card instantly in the app and get real-time notifications for every transaction
  • Smart money-saving technology: automatically chooses the currency that offers the best conversion rate
  • Bank like a local anywhere in the world: Get international bank details for the UK, the US, Eurozone, Australia and New Zealand instantly— account numbers are unique to the holder. Use them to send and receive money in those currencies

Personal and business card holders in Australia and New Zealand will also enjoy additional Mastercard benefits at no extra cost as part of the Platinum debit scheme:

  1. E-commerce Protection: for online purchases up to US$200.
  2. Mastercard Airport Concierge: a 15% discount on Meet & Greet services available at over 700 airports around the world, regardless of which class you fly. Services include being fast-tracked through immigration, assistance with baggage on departure, or a chauffeured luxury vehicle upon arrival.
  3. Mastercard Global Health & Travel: access to healthcare and wellness packages from renowned hospitals and centres in APAC.
  4. Mastercard Priceless Cities: access to exclusive deals and experiences, in over 40 countries around the world offering discounts on hotel stays, restaurant bookings, spa treatments, and more.

Independent research conducted by Capital Economics, revealed Australians lost a  staggering $2.14 billion in 2018 alone on overseas card transaction fees, card  ownership fees, overseas ATM withdrawal fees and hidden exchange rate mark-ups when  using an Australian debit, or prepaid travel card overseas.

In the last five years, transaction fees on travel and prepaid cards have more than doubled  from $70m to $174m, and when it comes to exchange rate mark-ups, bank-issued travel  cards and prepaid cards are the worst offenders compared to other payment methods,  costing Aussies $188 million last year alone.

The TransferWise Platinum debit Mastercard® is designed to stop the rip-off.

“Aussies are known the world-over for being prolific travellers. Working and living  overseas is a rite of passage for many, so we think it’s unfair that your bank punishes you  simply for wanting to spend your own money abroad”, Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder, TransferWise said.

“As of today, exorbitant, non-transparent fees on international transactions are a thing of  the past. TransferWise’s aim is to bring fairness into the finance sector and we’ve  designed an innovative, smart debit card packed with lots of features, so you can enjoy  more of your own money whether you’re going overseas on a holiday, are an expat, a  digital nomad or using it for business.”

“We’ve made it incredibly cheap and transparent to spend money internationally with our  card, even if you don’t have the right currency. If you have the balance of the currency for the country you’re in, it will simply deduct the amount from that. If you don’t have any of  the domestic currency, the card will automatically convert the currency for you at the  same rate you see on Google.”

“We’re looking forward to Australians using our card all over the world and it won’t be  long before our customers in Singapore get the card so they too can save.”

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