Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family a Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family and Belgian beer. If you'd like to know more about Robin, head on over to robinwauters.com or follow him on Twitter.
Estonian-British startup TransferWise, which offers a low-cost foreign-currency money transfer service, is today adding a feature that lets users make payments straight from their debit card.
This essentially makes the whole process of transferring money via TransferWise easier by turning a two-step process into a one-step process.
Previously, users needed to go online and log on to their bank to push funds from bank account to bank account. Now that they can do it straight from their debit card, the service becomes much simpler and thus more appealing.
TransferWise says it consistently charges a ‘mid-market’ exchange rate for money transfers, using peer-to-peer technology that cuts out traditional bank fees altogether.
TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus said:
“By providing a service that is now substantially better in all three core metrics (ease of use, price, speed) we are showing the consumers how much better financial services are being done outside the banks.”
Its customers are typically individuals who either work, live or study abroad, but businesses are increasingly finding their way to the service as well, Hinrikus says.
TransferWise recently picked up a Europa award for ‘best middleweight startup’ of 2012.
The company has raised a little over $1.3 million from Seedcamp, IA Ventures, Index Ventures, TAG, PayPal and Slide co-founder Max Levchin, David Yu (Betfair’s former CEO), Le Monde and Free owner Xavier Niel (also an early backer of Square) and other angel investors.
Founded two years ago, TransferWise hit £50 million transferred last December, and grew its team to 25 people. It currently supports EUR, GPB, USD, CHF, PLN, NOK, SEK and DKK.
The company says there are “many new currencies” to come. Asked which ones, Hinrikus said they’re looking at “supporting all the major ones” and expects to be able to announce things in the next six months.
Furthermore, the service will soon be localized for key markets like Germany, Spain, Italy and France.
Image Credit: Thinkstock
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