A new banking system has launched in the Southern Hemisphere: the Wise – the new name of TransferWise – Borderless debit card has arrived in Australia and New Zealand. Lots of Aussies or Kiwis might be wondering what Wise is and how it can save them heaps of money overseas. Time for a question and answer session.
Why me? Well, I've been using Wise for a long time now, even back in the day when it was called TransferWise. As soon as the debit card launched in Europe I've been using it. Not just in one country. I've used the Multi-Currency debit card in lots of countries worldwide now
Wise Multi-Currency debit card Q&A session
Every time I use my Wise Multi-Currency debit card (you can't miss these bright green cards) or whenever I tell people about the advantages, it intrigues them but there are also lots of questions. I guess you have some questions about TransferWise Borderless.
Here are the answers to the most asked questions about Wise Multi-Currency. In Australia or New Zealand, these questions and answers will help everyone thinking about getting the Wise debit card.
What is Wise Multi-Currency?
Wise Multi-Currency (formerly known as TransferWise) is a bank account plus debit card created by the people who came up with a cheap way of transferring money worldwide: Wise, which started as TransferWise. Multi-Currency is a basic bank account that does the same as a regular checking account from traditional banks like Commonwealth, ANZ, BNZ, Westpac etc.
Wise Multi-Currency comes with a debit card which is the same as your everyday debit card. Pay for groceries in shops, shop online, or withdraw money from an ATM.
Wise's Multi-Currency bank account is available in these currencies.
- American Dollar (USD) bank account with Wire transfer number, Routing number, and Account number
- Australian Dollar (AUD) bank account with BSB code and Account number
- British Pound (GBP) bank account with UK sort code, Account number, and IBAN
- Canadian dollar (CAD) bank account with Institution number, Transit number, and Account number
- European Euro (EUR) bank account with Bank code (SWIFT/BIC) and IBAN
- Hungarian Forint (HUF) bank account with an account number
- New Zealand Dollar (NZD) bank account with an account number
- Singapore Dollar (SGD) bank account with Bank code, Bank name, and Account number
- Turkish Lira (TRY) bank account with Bank name and IBAN
The Wise debit card (which comes with a bank account) can hold more than 40 currencies worldwide. This means you will be able to pay in local currency in heaps of countries overseas. No more currency fluctuations to take into account and no more high overseas credit card fees from your bank. Wise Multi-Currency will give you the freedom to spend your money in almost any currency you want without nasty surprises or constant currency exchange fees. It's a super easy solution for travellers and digital nomads.
Is the Wise debit card the same as a travel money card?
Yes and no. It's more like the next-level version of a travel money card. You can do all the things you do with a travel money card but it’s cheaper and better. And it also has additional features like local bank details. You can deposit money for free into your Multi-Currency account (simply transfer from your regular account or use POLI) Then you can turn your AUD or NZD money into any of the other currencies you have activated for free on your account. There’s only a small currency switch fee charged by TransferWise, which is much lower than any bank will charge you. But don't take my word for it. Another travelling fan of this blog recently described the Wise Multi-Currency debit card as follows…. “It’s a travel money card on steroids. You can do all the things you do with a travel money card but it’s cheaper and better. And it also has additional features like local bank details.”
Is it a Visa or a MasterCard debit card?
The debit card that comes with Wise Multi-Currency is a MasterCard debit card. MasterCard is popular and will be accepted in almost every country worldwide. Unless a particular currency isn't supported of course.
Can I use Wise Multi-Currency card in the USA?
In the USA, you’ll often see signs at motels or car rental companies saying: no debit card or prepaid accepted. You can use the Wise debit card at all these places as it isn’t a standard debit card. I have used the card on road trips in the USA at dozens of places that had a sign like that and all payments were processed without any problems.
Which currencies does Wise Multi-Currency support?
Wise Multi-Currency supports more than 40 currencies. This means you can have any of the following currencies in your account and pay like a local via the Wise Multi-Currency debit card when overseas.
|South Korean won
|Sri Lankan rupee
|Costa Rican colón
|West African franc
|New Zealand dollar
|South African rand
|Hong Kong dollar
How can I enable a currency?
Open your Wise app or go to the website (make sure you open a Multi-Currency bank account for free first). Go to your Multi-Currency bank account and click on “add currency”. Select the one you need from the list and presto, it has been enabled for free. Easy as.
What are the costs of Wise Multi-Currency in Australia and New Zealand?
It’s free to set up. Really? Yes really. To get Wise Multi-Currency in Australia or New Zealand you apply for it online (it's free) and within a few days the debit card will arrive, and your Multi-Currency account is activated.
Is Wise Multi-Currency safe to use?
Yes. Wise has so many security features in place. You can add 2-factor authentication or fingerprint check on mobile. If you ever lose your debit card you can immediately block it via the Wise app. Wise Multi-Currency also supports 3D security, which means that when you purchase something online you’ll need to verify via the app that it’s you who’s doing the shopping.
I’ve been using the card for a while now, in lots of countries around the world, and never experienced a security issue. It is super safe.
Can I use Wise everywhere overseas?
Yes. You can use Wise in all the countries you have added (for free) to your account. Whether you’re paying for groceries in the USA, purchasing a public transport card in Austria, getting gifts for your family in London or buying concert tickets online, it can all be done with the Wise Multi-Currency card. The system currently supports more than 40 currencies worldwide. Therefore it is the perfect debit card for travellers and digital nomads.
See all the things you can buy with your Wise debit card
How can I change the PIN number of the Wise Multi-Currency debit card?
You can even change the PIN number that was assigned to your debit card. Can’t remember the PIN number? No worries. Just log into your Wise (formerly TransferWise) account via the app and you can view your current PIN number. Want to change your Wise PIN number? That can be done via an ATM that supports this service from MasterCard (Wise Multi-Currency is a debit card from MasterCard). So far, I’ve only seen this feature on ATMs in Austria.
Have you used the feature to change your Wise PIN number elsewhere? Please post it in the comments and I’ll update this blog post.
Who should apply for Wise Multi-Currency?
Anyone who’s sick and tired of the high fees regular banks or credit card companies charge you when using your debit or credit card overseas.
Wise Multi-Currency is extremely useful for:
- Frequent travellers and backpackers
- Travellers going on a working holiday in Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK or Europe.
- Digital Nomads that are receiving payments in various currencies. Now you can receive and keep then all on your Wise Business Multi-Currency account. Yes, there is a special Multi-Currency version for us Digital Nomads and travelling freelancers.
Can I use my Wise credit to pay for the Multi-Currency Card?
There is a small fee payable for the Wise Multi-Currency debit card (5 GBP or the equivalent in your local currency). If you already have a Wise account because you use it to send money worldwide at a fraction of the cost that regular banks charge, then you can use the money on your Wise account to pay the card fee. East as.
Are there any downsides to Wise Multi-Currency?
That depends on what you are expecting the Multi-Currency system to do. It can replace a basic bank account in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Europe and the UK. And you can pay in more than 40 currencies overseas. If you are looking for more fancy banking features like a savings account, setting up a Superannuation in Australia etc, then you will still need to go to a traditional bank.
If all that you need is the basic bank features of receiving money, paying money and spending money (overseas) then Wise Multi-Currency is the perfect solution for you.
Any tips to make better use of the Wise card overseas?
Yes. If you want to tip restaurant staff in the USA, make sure to ask them to add it to the bill straight away. If they hand you the receipt with the total amount so you can manually add the tip it won't work. Wise is a debit card so the transaction is already closed at the original amount. Restaurant staff can’t modify it like they can when a customer pays with a regular credit card. This is also another safety feature of the Multi-Currency debit card.
Who or what is Wise? Is it the same as TransferWise?
Wise is the new name of TransferWise. As it's no longer just about transferring money worldwide, TransferWise came to the conclusion that a name change is needed. As of March 2021, they will drop the word Transfer and will simply be called Wise. The same company that offers the same modern banking services, from transferring money worldwide to a Multi-Currency bank account and services for travellers, digital nomads and expats.
More questions about the Wise debit card?
Oops, did I forget to answer your question about the Wise (or if you still use the old name: TransferWise) Multi-Currency debit card? No worries. I'm always happy to answer any questions you might have. Just post it below in the comment section and I'll reply as soon as possible. Cheers.