Need to transfer money to a local Thai bank account or want to benefit from an ATM card with international support?
Wise (formerly known as Transferwise) is a market-leading money transfer service that operates in more than 60 countries, including Thailand.
Want to avoid expensive SWIFT bank transfers? Wise is one of the cheapest ways to transfer money abroad; fees are upfront and transparent.
What is required to benefit from Wise in Thailand? A Wise ATM card or local Thai bank account.
This article takes a deep dive into Wise and outlines how you could save money using it to make international transfers or withdraws abroad.
Who could benefit from using Wise?
- Tourists using the ATM card
- Digital nomads
- Working abroad (Expat)
- Family/friends living abroad
- Small businesses with an intentional customers base
- Business traveler
What is Wise? Why should I use it?
Wise is not a bank; it’s a fintech transfer money service regulated by the FCA in the UK and other agencies abroad.
How does it differ from a bank? Wise is a service that aims to solve the pain points of traditional bank money transfers, including hidden fees, bad exchange rates, and slow transfer times.
Although it’s not a bank, you can still hold 50+ currencies within your account and receive payments with your unique account details provided by Wise, including GBP (Account number), EUR (IBAN), and USD (routing number).
Still not convinced? benefits overview
- Send money to more than 60 different countries, including Thailand
- Get unique bank account details, including GBP, EUR, and USD
- Hold 50+ currencies, including THB
- Get an ATM card linked to your account for international travel (not available to Thai residents)
- Regulated by global agencies, including FCA
- Transparent fee structure and market exchange rate
How does Wise work? Why is it better?
Wise uses a smart modal to outperform the traditional money transfer system (SWIFT).
How does SWIFT work? SWIFT is a legacy transfer messaging technology that networks of banks use to transfer funds worldwide using a unique address (SWIFT code).
The issue with SWIFT is some banks in the network don’t have a direct relationship with each other, so multiple bank hops are required to complete the transfer, which amounts to more consumer fees and a slower transfer time (1-5 days).
How does Wise work? Instead of sending a money transfer across borders, Wise opens regional bank accounts in each of its supported countries. Then when you action a transfer, Wise simply uses its regional bank to transfer the funds into the local recipient’s account.
This means transfers are faster, cheaper, and can be tracked in real time.
Want to learn more?
Sending money to Thailand with Wise
I mainly use Wise to send money from my home country to Thailand. To do this will require bank details of a local Thai account.
If you have a local account or the details of a partner’s account, fund Wise with the total amount and process the transfer.
Transfer limits to consider when transferring into Thailand:
- A maximum of 2 million THB per transfer (55k USD) is supported at Bangkok Bank, SCB and KBank
- Other banks have a maximum transfer limit of 49,999 THB (1,499 USD)
- Wise doesn’t have a limit on the number of transfers
In my experience, Wise transfers to Thailand are completed within minutes but can take up to 2 days, depending on the destination.
Wise ATM Card
The Wise ATM is linked directly to your multi-currency account and is a great way to save on currency conversion while traveling abroad.
The ATM card it’s only available in specific countries.
Features/fees of the Wise ATM:
- Freeze card within the Wise app
- Link with Google and Apple Pay
- Access to 50+ currencies
- Market exchange rates
- Free ATM withdrawals per month up to a specific threshold
- Fixed fee + % of withdrawal total after free allocation threshold
Additional bank ATM fees may apply If you’re planning on using the Wise ATM card in Thailand to withdraw cash.
Unfortunately, the Wise ATM card is unavailable to members with a Thai residential address.
What are the Wise fees? Wise Thailand fees
The fixed fee structure depends on currency and transfer type. When using a Wise-funded transfer type, the fee ranges from 0.35% to 1.18%.
Wise fees are provided and paid upfront. This is unlike the SWIFT system, which provides a free estimate, and you only find out the total fees upon transaction completion.
Wise Transfer types:
- Wise account (cheapest)
- Bank transfer
- Credit card (most expensive)
- Debit card (most expensive)
THB transfer fee using funded Wise account
|USD to THB||0.61%|
|GBP to THB||0.55%|
|EUR to THB||0.61%|
|SGD to THB||0.58%|
|MYR to THB||0.69%|
|AUD to THB||0.61%|
Wise uses market exchange rates enabling competitive rates, unlike some banks that hide additional charges within the currency exchange.
Receiving money into your Wise account? receiving money into your account is free of charge unless it’s a USD wire transfer. Although keep in mind your bank might have additional charges when you fund or transfer to a Wise account.
Wise fee calculator
How to use Wise to transfer to Thailand
To transfer money into Thailand with Wise, you’ll need to signup for an account through the official site or mobile app.
Required to signup and transfer:
- Personal details (name, address, email, mobile number)
- Verification – Proof of ID e.g. passport to movement ID (KYC)
- Verification – Proof of address e.g. utility bill (KYC)
- Funding method (bank transfer, credit card, or debit card)
- Local Thai account or recipient email address
5 easy steps – Send THB transfer via Wise
Step 1 – Sign up
- Fill in the required details, including email, password, and country of residence
- Verify your phone number
- Once your account is setup, you’ll need to add more personal information, such as name and address, before you can transfer
Step 2 – Add additional personal information
Wise requires additional data before you can fund the account, including address and name.
Step 3 – Verify Identity
Submit passport or other required documents for Know Your Customer (KYC) verification. It can take up to 2 days for Wise to verify your identity.
Step 4 – Fund account
Select your desired currency and fund the account by debit, credit, or bank transfer (cheapest). Additional funding methods are available depending on the currency.
Step 5 – Transfer
Wise claims payments should arrive in the recipient’s account within 2 days, but I’ve found that the transfer is usually successful within minutes.
Transfer by selecting the destination currency, confirming the fees, and then adding a bank account to transfer to. You can use the recipient’s email address if you don’t know their bank details.
Although Wise is one of the most popular currency transfer services, there are others to consider, including:
I respect companies like Wise that see a real problem with our money systems (especially intentional transfers) and build a service to offer consumers alternatives.
Had enough of expensive and slow international money transfers? Wise is a cheaper and faster alternative to traditional banks using the SWIFT system.
Want to get market exchange rates for currencies when you travel aboard? Wise caters to 50+ currencies with a transparent fixed fee structure.
How do you send money to Thailand? let us know in the comments.
Disclaimer – findyouthere.com is not a representative of Wise Payments Limited. Check their website for the latest prices or services.
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