A few weeks ago we reported how international money transfer innovator, TransferWise was taking to the streets of London on the eve of Halloween to protest hidden fees in the money transfer industry.
Today, we’re back to report that the fight is still on.
On Thursday, TransferWise launched the next stage
in its offensive to bring greater transparency to bank and brokerage fees. The company hosted an event at Westminster, unveiled an online petition
calling for the end of hidden fees, and earned a statement of support from Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Cabinet Minister for Digital Government:
“After the Libor and forex scandals, public confidence in foreign exchange transactions is at an all time low. So I welcome TransferWise’s campaign for greater transparency. I want UK holiday makers to get the best deal possible – and know what they are being charged.”
TransferWise issued a three-point manifesto calling on banks and brokers to:
- Provide a clear breakdown of the costs associated with every transaction
- Publish the difference between the exchange rate offered by the provider and the true, mid-market rate
- Put an end to the use of misleading terms such as “free” and “0% commission” where hidden charges are applied.
Co-Founder of TransferWise Taavet Hinrikus said, “In fact, hidden fees are so pervasive in the industry, we sometimes struggle to convince potential customers that ‘free’ or ‘0% commission’ services aren’t free at all.”
“Our polling shows that 58% of Brits would consider shopping around for their financial services if they could compare prices more easily,” he added.
Based in London and founded in 2010, TransferWise was last on the Finovate stage for the London conference in 2013. See a video of the company’s demonstration from FinovateEurope here
With a giant, inflatable tombstone inscribed “RIP Hidden Fees” looming overhead, international money transfer startup, TransferWise used a horde of Halloween ghouls and more than a little theatre, to put traditional banks on notice when it comes to hidden charges.
Led by a hearse, the parade of costumed TransferWisers and its customers marched through the City of London to the Silicon Roundabout tech cluster. The crowd of goblins and ghosts numbered more than one hundred and claimed to be “lay(ing) misleading price claims” to rest.
See for yourself. Below is actual footage of the fee-eating zombies making their way down Old Street Roundabout on Thursday (All Hallow’s Eve Eve?).
TransferWise is one of fintech’s more creative marketers. The company announced a major redesign last month, and accompanied it with a fun, cheeky TV advertisement
that similarly heralded the beginning of the end of bank fees.
TransferWise has been recognized as an innovator in the money transfer space by a variety observers, earning a spot in CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list earlier this year. The company has attracted the interest of the investment community in 2014, as well, announcing an investment of $25 million and the support of investor, Sir Richard Branson.
TransferWise demoed its technology at FinovateEurope 2013 in London. See a video
of the company’s presentation.
And because nothing beats a doubleheader, here’s a little more movie fun, this time from the clever folks at Moven
. Have a great weekend!
When we last looked at international money transfer innovator, TransferWise, the company was on the receiving end of a major investment from the likes of Sir Richard Branson, and Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.
Today we are happy to see some of that capital put to work.
TransferWise has announced a major redesign, including a new national television ad. Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise, noted that part of the challenge for startups like his are a “handful of major players” who dominate retail banking in the U.K.
This forces companies like TransferWise to come up with new, innovative ways to attract customers from the brand names they’ve grown up with.
To this end, TransferWise’s makeover comes in three parts: web, design, and mobile. The website has been streamlined to speed customer onboarding and make the interface more intuitive. And a new logo has been designed to help distinguish the company’s brand from traditional money transfer organizations like banks and brokers.
But the most exciting part of the redesign are the changes on the mobile side. TransferWise is now optimized for iOS8 for iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, and the iPad. This includes what the company calls “deep integration” with the iPhone contact book.
“We believe that just being a little better isn’t enough,” added Hinrikus. “So we strive to offer something that’s ten times easier, faster, and better than the banks to make mainstream consumers of alternative finance providers like us.”
This leads us to what might be the most talked about aspect of TransferWise’s redesign: the company’s cheeky new TV spot. TransferWise’s first national television ad humorously features a “Wolf of Wall Street” like banker walking through his offices and lightheartedly lamenting the rise of TransferWise.
TransferWise was founded in March 2010 and is headquartered in London. The company demoed its technology at FinovateEurope 2013. See a video of their demo here
Many fintech startups have an impressive array of informed investors backing them up. But not every fintech startup can cite the support of a knight.
Along with Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, and addition investors, Sir Richard Branson has thrown his financial support behind TransferWise, the P2P money transfer specialist. Branson’s investment, along with that of his fellow investors, means that TransferWise now sits with $33 million in total funding.
Branson said in a statement
, “Financial services such as foreign exchange have been ripe for disruption for decades, and it’s great to see TransferWise bring transparency to the market.”
According to reporting in TechCrunch
, TransferWise plans to put the capital to use adding talent and intensifying marketing efforts. Said TransferWise CEO Taavet Hinrikus, “We’re going to use this money to lead the charge against hidden bank fees and expose the problem to a wider audience.”
The company has backed up this talk with a tough (Hinrikus calls it “cheeky”) ad campaign
that directly takes on the idea of bad bank behavior when it comes to hidden charges and fees. The ad has been somewhat controversial in the U.K., to say the very least
TransferWise was recently in the news announcing that it had surpassed £1 billion
in cumulative total volume of cash transferred across the border since May 2013. The company provides P2P money transfer services in more than 175 countries. TransferWise’s reliance on P2P technology is one of the company’s biggest edges on its competition, helping lower costs and provide money transfers to consumers that are less expensive than similar services offered by banks.
Founded in March 2010, TransferWise was most recently on the Finovate stage as part of our conference in London in 2013. See a demo of the company’s technology at work here