Wise Philippines Introduces New Account and Prepaid Card for Cross-Border Transactions

Wise Philippines Introduces New Account and Prepaid Card for Cross-Border Transactions

by May 20, 2024

Wise, the global technology company specialising in international money management, has announced its entry into the Philippines market with the introduction of the Wise Account and Wise Prepaid Card. This marks the first solution in the Philippines that allows customers to receive, hold, and spend money internationally without incurring foreign transaction fees or exchange rate mark-ups.

With the Wise Account and prepaid card, customers can access a range of features. They can receive money for free from abroad, with account details available in over nine currencies, including Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Euro, British Pounds, Singapore Dollar, and US Dollar. This enables users to receive overseas payments into their Wise Account without any fees.

The Wise Account also allows users to hold money in over forty currencies instantly, with no holding fees or minimum balance required. Funds can be easily moved from the Wise Account to a local bank account or e-wallet, with support for more than eight local e-wallets, including GCash, Maya, GrabPay, Starpay, Bayad Wallet, TayoCash, ShopeePay, and JuanCash.

The Wise card allows for international spending in over 160 countries and online, with cash withdrawals available at both overseas and local ATMs at the mid-market rate, charging only a low, upfront conversion fee. Additionally, users can get up to three digital cards with different card details for enhanced security, which can be frozen after each transaction.

These features cater to a diverse range of users, including freelancers, international students, travellers, and dependents of overseas foreign workers. Transactions with Wise are designed to be low-cost, fast, and fully digital, with seamless management through the app or website, providing flexibility and convenience for managing money across borders.

Research commissioned by Wise indicated that a significant percentage of Filipinos still use traditional platforms, such as domestic banks, for international transactions, leading to higher transaction fees. Moreover, only a small fraction of Filipinos are aware of additional costs associated with international transactions, such as exchange rate mark-ups.

Wise acknowledges the importance of inward remittances to the Philippines, noting that personal remittances from overseas foreign workers reached a record high of US$37.2 billion in the previous year. Areson Cuevas, Country Manager of Wise Philippines, remarked:

Areson Cuevas

Areson Cuevas

“Our entry into the Philippine market is something our customers have been requesting for some time, with the ability to receive money in multiple currencies being one of the most sought-after features. Furthermore, our research found that Filipinos often struggled with issues such as high transaction costs, poor exchange rates, and slow processing times. With these offerings, we hope Filipinos can benefit from seamless and quick international payments, free from excessive and non-transparent fees.”

Cuevas continued:

“Wise is on a mission to expand globally, and help even more customers avoid unfair exchange rates and hidden fees. Our launch in the Philippines today is a huge milestone towards realising that future, and we look forward to expanding our capabilities in the market, making it faster, cheaper, easier, and more transparent for Filipinos to move and manage their money across borders.”

In the near future, Wise plans to introduce additional funding methods, such as paying via bank transfers and e-wallets, to make it easier and cheaper for customers to fund their PHP transactions and send from PHP internationally. Currently, customers can top up their Wise account using a bank-issued credit or debit card.