Bière Sans Frontières

For 10 years, Wise has been calling out for financial transparency. Which to us, means showing the true costs of sending money abroad. But some parts of the industry still aren’t listening. That’s why we wanted to shout our message a little louder with the help of some dutch courage. Meet the beers without borders. Because if beer has to show the alcohol percentage, why shouldn’t transfers show you the true cost too?


Why should we care?

In the past decade, the UK, France and Germany have paid over £30 billion in fees to their banks and brokers just to send money abroad. That’s the more than annual foreign aid budgets of France, the UK, and Germany combined. 


Why does it cost so much to send money abroad?

It doesn’t really. But service providers are inflating costs to line their own pockets. The worst part? Most of the charges are hidden in artificially marked-up exchange rates. This means they can claim “zero” or “low fees” — and customers are none the wiser.

Currently, the global cost of sending money abroad hovers at around 7% of the total transfer cost. The UN Sustainable Development Goal  is 3% — a target that countries, including France, Germany and the UK, have committed to achieve by 2030.


The single most important factor leading to high remittance prices

is a lack of transparency in the market.” - World Bank


Why do we need to lower costs now?

1 in 4 people who send money abroad from France, Germany or the UK say their friends and family rely even more on that money since the pandemic. The consequences of COVID-19 mean that over half say they’ll have to make sacrifices to continue supporting family and friends financially. 

Governments and the industry need to act urgently to make sure less money gets swiped by banks and brokers along the way.


How can we fix a broken system?

Our six-pack of recommendations to policymakers and industry leaders


Show total cost upfront


Make cash subject to the same transparency rules


Don't inflate exchange rates


Include delivery estimates


Stick to the live mid-market rate


Open up the payments infrastructure