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UK FinTech Wise Aims to Lower Money Transfer Fees in Australia

Wise, a digital money transfer platform, is joining Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP) in a move designed to let transfers be settled in the country quicker and at less cost, Reuters reported.

Wise will become a direct participant and shareholder in the NPP, CEO Kristo Käärman told Reuters. Joining the NPP will let Wise reduce its average price of money transfers in or out of Australia by going around middlemen to clear and settle real-time payments immediately.

Käärmann did not indicate how much lower its rates would be, according to the report. The company said it currently charges about 0.56% on its Australian transfers, compared with an average 5% to 6% charged by the country’s major banks.

Wise is regulated in 80 countries, including Great Britain, the U.S., Singapore and Australia, where it holds a banking license, the report stated. But in many of these countries, Wise works with banks to hold deposits, increasing its costs and prices.

“Our average cost … is already many multiples cheaper than the banks,” Käärmann said, per the report. “We want to get as close to zero as possible in terms of cost.”

Launched in 2011 by Käärmann and his friend, Co-Founder Taavet Hinrikus, Wise competes with money transfer giants like Western Union and MoneyGram as well as newcomer FinTech firms like WorldRemit and Revoult. The company has said it has more than 10 million users sending $7 billion in cross-border transfers each month.

Read more: Wise Starts Trading on London Exchange at $11B Valuation

The company listed on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year with an $11 billion valuation.

Last week, Wise launched Assets, a multicurrency investment platform for individuals and businesses in the U.K. that works across 54 currencies.

Read more: Wise Intros Flexible Assets Investment Feature to UK Users

Käärmann said in a press release at the time that holding assets in more than one currency can be “hard to manage efficiently,” and people around the world are “holding billions in their Wise and Wise Business accounts for the long term.”

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