Christmas has come early this year. That’s the lamest way to start an article, but I want the lameness of that sentence to signify how much I hate transferring money back to the States. There’s nothing worse than getting awful rates and huge service fees for transferring a sum of money. When you execute a money transfer between banks, it’s not like they’re loading up expensive ships of gold to sail between countries – for the most part it’s just numbers changing in a database. A lot of the spread and fees are just whatever the banking oligopoly can get away with from consumers. And man, it can be expensive.
Sorry about the expat rant there, but the good news I’m talking about is that Estonia-founded TransferWise has added support for the U.S. dollar, adding it to their compatibility with the British pound, Euro, Swiss Franc, Polish Zloty, and the Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Kroner.
TransferWise is one of the new banking startups we’ve seen pop up in Northern Europe. They enable cheap money transfers by sort of matching money flowing between borders. And rather than giving an awful exchange rate, they provide a number close to the mid-market rate with a small fee attached.
TransferWise was founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, the first employee of Skype.