Disclaimer: this article links to an online service call Wise. Following (clicking) the links may earn me a little commission from them if you go ahead and sign up with their service – which is nice of them. Like all the goods and services I recommend on this site, I would do so even if they didn’t.

Sometimes getting your hands on your money is not as easy as it seems. With the global market place being our backyard since, when working online, there are few of the traditional barriers to trading, one seemingly major one is still left is what currency to trade in. 

My answer? I trade in dollars, pounds and euros.

How is that possible? I have an account with a company called Wise. I have 3 connected bank accounts – 1 dollar, 1 euro, 1 pound. All of these bank accounts are real bank accounts, with physical addresses and all the correct banking requirements: IBAN, SWIFT, sort codes, account numbers etc.

And the great thing is I can swap balances between these accounts virtually instantly – and at a mid-market-rate.

What does that mean in reality? It means I get a superb deal on my currency conversion: significantly better than my traditional (UK) bank, vastly better than PayPal and even a bit better that the Foreign Exchange (FX) service I had been using. 

And it is virtually instant. And this is where it really wins over my old FX company: speed. 

My day to day living and expenses are in euros. At the time of writing, I normally get paid in pounds (GBP) or dollars (USD). Previously I would have had to:

  • log into my FX account
  • verify it was me
  • get an online quote for the trade
  • confirm the trade
  • get a confirmation email
  • send funds (making sure that I quoted the reference number correctly)
  • get confirmation that funds had been received
  • wait up to 3 days for the funds to arrive in my day-to-day euro account
And it was the last one that was a killer for me. I don’t like my money being in limbo somewhere in the ‘ether’. There is no real excuse for it these days.
Compare that to using my Wise bank accounts:
  • log in to my Wise accounts (one login for all accounts)
  • convert a balance from my dollar to euro account 
  • convert a balance from my pound to my euro account 
  • send balance of euros to by ‘traditional’ bank account 
  • money arrives instantly

What do I mean by instantly? It took 11 seconds for my last transaction to appear in my French bank account – and the transfer charge? €0,28 (yes just 28 cents). I like that. 

So, I like Wise.  Your situation and millage will vary from mine – but check it out for yourself, it’s the solution I’m happy with and use.