TransferWise’s transparent fees and unambiguous copy
TransferWise is a UK-based service that facilitates international currency transfers and conversions. They also allow users to open a “virtual account” in different countries—and obtain a debit card that hold 40+ currencies, allowing people who live and work in multiple currencies to spend and send money in multiple currencies, and easily convert between their accounts.
One of our teammates has been planning a wedding abroad (exciting!) and has been using TransferWise to pay vendors, etc. They gave us a peek into the process of topping up a virtual TransferWise bank account by making a transfer.
We were impressed by how transparent and frictionless the process was—a rarity in banking, it seems! Take a look:
Easy (and easy to understand) currency exchange
When an existing TransferWise user decides to top up their card, they’re shown the following screen:
You’ll notice that there’s no extraneous clutter on the screen—the user’s entire focus is directed to a single task. And that task is made simpler through unambiguous microcopy that clearly and concisely explains how the currency exchange will break down.
After verifying their choice, users are asked about how they’d like to pay. Again, the copy is clear and unambiguous, and Transferwise lists out every fee plain as day. Giving users all the information they need, before they have to ask for it, helps them feel confident that they’re making the right decision—which is essential for any sort of financial service.
Once the transfer request has been officially submitted, the user receives visual confirmation that they have succeeded in their task, and an expectation is set for when it will be completed. Small congratulatory moments like this ensure that users know that the process is finished and that they’ve completed it correctly. Clear and obvious feedback = good UX.
After the transfer is complete, the end result of the task (adding 100 EUR to an account) is clearly shown under the balance of the account it is being added to.
There’s no confusion about the status of the user’s request, and they can confirm one final time that everything is as they expect it to be. Plus, they can reference this dashboard later if necessary.
Why this is really good UX:
- TransferWise is transparent with their fees, and provide context about why they exist. Clear, unambiguous copy builds trust, helps users feel confident in their decisions, and removes friction.
- They also do a great job of reducing visual and cognitive load during the transfer process. Not only is the screen completely free of distracting visual elements, but the crystal-clear monetary breakdown means that users don’t need to spend time or energy doing their own math or worrying about hidden fees.
- Positive feedback—like a simple congratulations or seeing a recent transfer show up in their account right away—lets users know that their actions have been successful.
Why this really good UX really matters
Banks are notorious for hidden fees, ambiguity, and complex forms. TransferWise takes the opposite approach. Ultimately, they’ve taken the complicated task of converting currency and strip away the confusing parts until it feels simple, easy, and honest.