Antonie J. Jetter
While maintaining financial interests in both the UK and Estonia, with one living in each, business partners Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann realized they were seeing a 5% (or higher) fee penalty when transferring money between countries. Using the median exchange rate provided by Rueters they created a partnership where the business partner in each country would leverage their accounts in that same country to make appropriate payments. In doing so, the partners were able to bypass the fees assessed by the back for exchanging currency. Similar to the partnership above, TransferWise was established by Taavet and Kristo to offset the banking fee structure and make transactions more transparent. Contrary to the existing model that reflects up front transaction fees as well as unfavorable exchange rates, the TransferWise model creates local pools of money in each supported country to both collect funds coming from that country and distribute funds go to that country. For example, when John wants to send money from the UK to Estonia, he submits the appropriate account information to pull the money from and the information where the money is going. TransferWise then matches that request with Bob who wants to send a similar amount from Estonia to the UK. The money from John in the UK enter the common money pool and then gets distributed to Bob’s friend in the UK. Only local transfers are required.
Sie, Felix; Omulindi, Jared; Al-Shareef, Ahmed; and Wigen, David, "Marketing Strategy for
TransferWise" (2015). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 212.