Borderless bank accounts for sole-traders, SMEs and freelancers will reduce cost of sending money to different countries.
TransferWise have taken the ground-breaking, but entirely logical step of introducing “borderless” bank accounts for freelancers, businesses and sole traders who need to frequently conduct cross border trades and payments.
The company will offer its cheaper-than-the-big-banks peer-to-peer currency swap service to all new account users, and will start rolling out the service in the UK and Europe, before launching globally towards the end of 2017.
The accounts will come with their own debit cards and country specific account numbers, and will allow users to store details of different currency balances all in the same place.
Taavet Hinrickus, TransferWise founder, says the Borderless account is “not constrained by country or currency and gives more businesses more freedom and control.” He argues that “business banking is notoriously expensive and difficult to set up and manage; even alternatives like PayPal are expensive for small businesses.”
The accounts will initially cater for 15 different currencies, and come with no setup costs, or monthly charges.
Receiving payments will also be a free service, with firms asked to pay a “small transparent charge” when transferring across countries.
No presence in the country is required in order to set up a local bank account there, as TransferWise explained in a statement:
“The Borderless account is like having a local bank account in any country without ever having to set foot there. Businesses can keep money in 15 different currencies and, in seconds, get local account details (i.e. a unique account and routing number) for the UK, Europe, and the US.”
TransferWise will be banking on the fact that it may already have its new account customer’s details, which will make it easy for the firm to seamlessly help its business account customers clear regulatory hurdles such as Know Your Customer (KYC) or Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) checks.
Currencies included in the new borderless accounts include Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Norwegian and Danish Krone, Swiss Franc, and Canadian Dollars.
After 6 years, and with a billion-dollar valuation, making it one of the UK’s few “Unicorn” companies, TransferWise announced that it was profitable for the first-time last week, and expects to generate £100 million in revenues in 2017, the company says.