By Simon Woodhead
TLDR: Please do not send money to our Transferwise accounts effective immediately, updated details are here.
Remember how recently I said we were all in these extraordinary times together and how we’re here to help. It is fair to say we’ve been pretty busy with customers desperate to facilitate end-users working from home. We’re ready to do whatever we can to help and are getting strong take-up of that offer from some very surprising places. We need to play our part in keeping the wheels turning.
What better time [sic] therefore for TransferWise to terminate our account. Apparently “VOIP” (their mis-casing not mine) is now against their acceptable use policy and when interpreted by an android our account must be closed.
I can’t fathom how naive and reckless that is, castigating a massive and critical industry based on a vague categorisation. That is like me saying “money” is against our AUP. We’ve probably passed millions through them with zero issues as far as I know.
So we unreservedly apologise to the many customers who followed us to TransferWise. We were seduced by their mediocre API – they at least had one. However, we were wrong, as if there’s one fundamental requirement of a financial institution, it is to persist and in our experience Transferwise cannot be relied upon in that basic role. It is safe to say that almost everyone who followed us to TransferWise will similarly do “VOIP” and we’d therefore recommend getting balances out while you can.
Isn’t it ironic that when they ban “VOIP” they probably only anticipate affecting shady backstreet call-shops in the developing world. Funny, when I think of foreign exchange, I think of shady backstreet shops fleecing tourists. Which one of us is closer to stereotype I wonder?
On a practical note, we have no control of payments sent to TransferWise so it is imperative customers do not send funds there. They may return them, they may not; we cannot help or influence in any way.
The good news is we always maintained our secondary bank accounts with Barclays and, frankly, lots of customers haven’t made the change. We also have accounts with Starling Bank who have a far superior API. We have therefore updated our bank details to remove TransferWise and include Starling. We’d ask you to use these updated details ASAP noting that Starling is our preferred option for GBP and EUR, and payments to Barclays will take 24 hours to be processed.