Wise is a great platform for businesses sending and receiving international payments regularly. With the Wise Business Account, you can hold balances in multiple currencies, send and receive international payments at fast processing times, and use your debit card overseas without incurring foreign transaction fees.
You also have the option to earn 4.13% APY on your United States dollars (USD) balances. Only accounts that opt to earn interest receive Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, (FDIC) insurance, which covers USD balances up to $250,000. The platform doesn’t charge subscription fees; however, you need to pay a one-time fee of $31 to open an account.
Wise is a financial technology (fintech) company, not a bank. It is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and is licensed as a money transmitter in 48 states (excluding Montana and South Carolina, which do not require licenses). It safeguards consumer balances by placing deposits in commercial banks and investments in secure liquid assets (primarily US government bonds).
- Debit cards only available for sole proprietorships and single-member limited liability companies (LLCs)
- Monthly fee-free ATM withdrawal allowance of $100 with maximum of two withdrawals
- Excess ATM withdrawal fee of $1.50 plus 2% of amount over $100
- Low-cost international money transfers
- Business debit card with 50-plus currencies
- Optional APY of 4.13%
- Holds 50+ currencies
- Optional FDIC insurance of up to $250,000
- Integrates with FreshBooks, Oracle NetSuite, QuickBooks, Sage, Wave, and Xero
- Customizable account permissions
How Wise Stacks Up With Its Competitors
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Account Opening Fee
International Transfer Fee
1% to 3% on savings accounts
$10 for international wire transfers
Visit Relay Provider is a fintech platform that offers banking services and FDIC insurance through a supporting bank partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust and Thread Bank.
2.0% on balances of $250,000 and less
$25 (plus 1.5% of payment amount for non-USD payments)
Visit Bluevine Provider is a fintech platform that offers banking services and FDIC insurance through a supporting bank partnership with Coastal Community Bank.
$0 for international wire transfers
Visit Mercury Provider is a fintech platform that offers banking services and FDIC insurance through a supporting bank partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust and Choice Financial Group.
When Wise Is a Good Fit
- You send and receive international payments regularly: Wise lets you send money internationally at affordable rates. You can also receive money from abroad, hold multiple foreign currencies, and make foreign currency debit card payments at low conversion rates without incurring foreign transaction fees.
- You want to earn interest on checking deposits: With Wise, you have the option to earn 4.13% APY on USD balances. Opting into earning interest gives your funds passthrough FDIC insurance of up to $250,000. However, Wise will take a small portion of your earnings to pay for its operating expenses.
- You have team members needing account access: You can add team members to your Wise account and customize their level of account access. Depending on their assigned role, team members can view account activity, use employee debit cards, manage accounting feeds, make payments, convert funds, and more.
Wise Alternatives & When To Consider Them
Wise’s main priority is providing fast and affordable international money transfers. Since it offers few banking services outside of that niche, it is best to use the Wise Business Account as a supplementary account to a main checking account. However, if you want to keep all banking activity under one platform while still having access to low-cost international transfers, here are a few alternatives to consider:
- How it fills the gaps: Thanks to Novo’s built-in Wise integration, you can benefit from Wise’s services without having to create a separate business checking account. Novo provides the basic business checking features Wise cannot, including mandatory FDIC insurance and support for check deposits. You also get Novo-exclusive benefits, such as unlimited ATM fee refunds, rapid ACH payments, and faster access to payment processing funds. These benefits are why we included Novo in our list of the top banks for international businesses.
- How it supports international transactions: Novo has a built-in Wise integration, which lets you automatically create a Wise account using your Novo details. You can use Wise’s money transfer services directly through the Novo app or website.
- Our review: Novo business checking review
- How it fills the gaps: The Wise Business Account does not support cash deposits, and per month, you only get two free withdrawals of up to $100. Meanwhile, Relay lets you withdraw and deposit cash for free at Allpoint ATMs.
- How it supports international transactions: With Relay’s free account, sending international wire transfers only costs $10. Upgrading to Relay Pro (which costs $30 per month) eliminates all wire transfer fees.
- Our review: Relay business checking review
- How it fills the gaps: Wise does not provide lending services. The online-only banking solution Bluevine gives you access to lines of credit up to $250,000. This credit line lets you draw funds on demand while offering competitive rates, which is why we included it in our list of the leading small business lines of credit.
- How it supports international transactions: Bluevine lets you send next-day international payments to 32 countries in 15 currencies. There is a $25 fee per payment, plus a conversion fee worth 1.5% of the payment amount (as converted into USD) for any payments sent in foreign currency.
- Our review: Bluevine business checking review
- How it fills the gaps: Your Wise balances only receive FDIC insurance when you opt-in to earning interest. If you want FDIC insurance that can cover large amounts, Mercury would be a better fit. It lets you access FDIC insurance of up to $5 million by placing your deposits in sweep networks and money market funds. That extra protection is one of the reasons we placed Mercury on our list of the best free business checking accounts.
- How it supports international payments: Mercury charges no fees for international USD wire transfers. However, there is a 1% currency exchange fee for international transfers in foreign currency.
- Our review: Mercury business checking review
Generally, if your business does not work with international customers, vendors, or contractors, there is little you can gain from choosing Wise. Check out our list of the best small business checking accounts for more general recommendations.
Wise Business Account Overview
Wise Business Account Requirements
To create a Wise Business Account, you need to sign up online. Wise will ask you to share certain business details, including
- Legal entity name
- Primary place of business and US street address
- Employer identification number (EIN)/Taxpayer identification number (TIN)
- Details of your company’s website and a short description of what your business does
- List of shareholders with ownership of 25% or greater (list must include each shareholder’s full name, country of residence, date of birth, and exact percentage of shares owned)
- If applicable, list of directors (list must include each director’s full name, country of residence, and date of birth)
You may need to submit additional documents depending on how your business is organized. Click on your business entity type for a list of additional documents.
- State-issued 501(c)(3) status (if tax-exempt)
- List of stakeholders (list must include each stakeholder’s full name, date of birth, and country of residence)
- Managing partner’s full name, date of birth, and country of residence
- Managing partner’s full name, date of birth, and country of residence
- General partnership agreement identifying partners and their authority
- Filing receipt (if general partnership agreement is not certified)
Once you’ve provided all necessary details and documents, Wise will ask you to pay a one-time setup fee of $31. Also, you may be asked to submit additional documents. Refer to our article on how to open a business bank account for a list of documents financial institutions typically request.
Wise Business Account Features
Wise lets you convert and hold money in more than 40 currencies. Visit Wise’s account coverage page to see which currencies your account can hold.
Business Debit Card
When you open a Wise business account, you get a complimentary business debit card. The cost of the card is included in your one-time account opening fee. For a fee of $5 per card, you can issue additional employee debit cards with preset card spending limits.
The card does not charge foreign transaction fees. If you have a foreign currency in your business account, you can use your debit card to pay for transactions in that currency. If you need to pay for a transaction in a currency your account does not currently hold, Wise will use Smart Conversion technology to convert whichever balance has the lowest conversion fee.
This feature is currently only available to sole proprietors and single-member LLCs. Additionally, the card cannot be used in Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Sending International Payments
Wise lets you transfer money overseas at fast transaction feeds and low conversion fees. The fee Wise charges for your transaction depends on the transfer amount, payment method, and the exchange rate. Click the headers below for more information:
- Transfer amount: Larger transfers typically incur higher fees. However, Wise offers discounts on transfers greater than 100,000 British pound sterling (GBP) or equivalent.
- Payment methods: Available payment methods vary depending on what currency you’re sending. You can send USD through the following methods:
- Automated clearing house (ACH)
- Wire transfer
- Debit card
- Credit card
You’ll incur higher fees on debit card and credit card payments compared to ACH and wire transfer payments.
- Exchange rate: Wise always uses the mid-market exchange rate when converting currencies. It does not add any markups to this rate, which means your recipient gets the fairest possible conversion.
- Whenever you make a transaction, Wise will show you the corresponding fee and exchange rate. Visit Wise’s page on sending money to view the provider’s fee and exchange rate calculator.
- Additionally, Wise does not charge a fee when you send money directly to another Wise account in the same currency. If you’re sending money in a different currency, you need to pay a small conversion fee.
Receiving International Payments
In our guide to the best banks for international payments, we named Wise the best provider for low-cost transfers via local accounts.
When you open a balance in one of the ten available currencies, Wise can give you local account details for the country you’re transacting with. This way, your customers can pay you with their local currency. Their payments will then arrive at the same speed and cost as a local transfer.
This method lets you receive money in the following currencies:
- Australian dollars (AUD)
- Canadian dollars (CAD)
- Euro (EUR)
- Hungarian forint (HUF)
- New Zealand dollars (NZD)
- Polish zloty (PLN)
- Romanian leu (RON)
- Singapore dollars (SGD)
You can also use your local account details in global marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, Upwork, and Fiverr.
Receiving international payments is typically free. However, there is a $4.14 fee for incoming USD wire transfers and international SWIFT transfers.
You can opt-in to earn interest on USD balances. As of July 2023, the APY rate offered is 4.13%. Wise uses a small portion of earned interest to cover operating expenses.
Wise will place your deposits in JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A, which provides passthrough FDIC insurance up to $250,000. Currently, the provider is unable to offer this feature to residents of Alaska and New York. Otherwise, any US customer with a Social Security number or EIN is eligible to earn interest.
Accounting Software Integration
Wise integrates with the accounting platforms FreshBooks, Oracle NetSuite, QuickBooks, Sage, Wave, and Xero. Once synced, your Wise transactions will automatically appear in your accounting records.
If you use QuickBooks or Xero, you can view and pay outstanding pills directly through Wise. Your software will automatically log each transaction.
Through the batch payment feature, you can set up 1,000 transfers in multiple currencies and send them in a single payment. Wise will ask you to fill out a spreadsheet template containing relevant information about each recipient (including but not limited to currency, country, and amount to be transferred).
Once completed, you can save the spreadsheet as a comma-separated values (CSV) or XLSX file and upload it to the platform to let Wise process the transaction.
You can add team members to your Wise account and customize their level of account access. Below are the roles you can assign to your team members:
- Administrators can view and manage all aspects of the account, add and remove team members, and use business cards.
- Viewers can view all account activity, download statements and receipts, and manage accounting feeds
- Employees can use assigned Wise business debit cards up to pre-set limits and view their own activity
- Preparers can view all account activity, set up single transfer orders, download statements and receipts, and manage accounting feeds
- Payers can view all account activity, create and manage payments, convert funds between different currency balances, and download statements
The Wise mobile app lets you transfer funds, pay invoices, open new currency balances, and convert funds. It is available for both iOS and Android.
Reviews for the app are mostly positive. It has a rating of 4.6 on the App Store1 (based on 29,000-plus reviews) and 4.7 on Google Play2 (based on more than 468,000 reviews). However, the majority of reviewers discussed the platform’s services rather than the functionality of the app itself.
Wise Business Account Reviews From Users
Most of those who left a Wise Business Account review had positive things to say. On Trustpilot3, Wise has a rating of 4.3 stars (based on 193,000-plus reviews). Users liked that the platform had a transparent pricing system, praising its competitive rates and lack of hidden fees. Other customers said that Wise is typically able to offer better rates on international transfers than most banks.
However, some criticized the provider for slowly increasing transfer fees through the years. Additionally, there were many complaints about lackluster customer service. According to reviewers, representatives are often slow to respond to email queries and sometimes lack knowledge of Wise’s processes and products, making it difficult to resolve customer problems.
When it comes to international transactions, Wise offers some of the best rates in the market. However, with high ATM withdrawal fees and a lack of support for cash and check deposits, the account is not optimal for day-to-day domestic dealings. If moving money internationally is not your biggest priority, the Wise Business Account would be best used as a supplement—not a substitute—to your main business checking account.