Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a fintech company that operates out of London, United Kingdom. The company offers remittance and financial services to customers worldwide and is one of the best ways to send money abroad.
This service is especially useful to freelancers and self-employed persons in Pakistan. The reason for this is simple: it expands your options. If you have Wise, you can easily work with clients worldwide and not worry about how you will get paid.
What’s more? You can use the service to withdraw your earnings from freelance platforms like Upwork.
However, it is more than this. It has many features that are especially beneficial to freelancers in Pakistan. And in this article, we will examine these features and how to use the platform.
By the way, if you do not have a Wise account, sign up now.
Why Should You Use Wise?
One of the biggest challenges that users face with international money transfers and remittances is hidden costs. As a freelancer, every dime matters, and losing money to hidden costs is something you probably want to avoid.
Hidden costs can be lower exchange rates; also called FX fees. This means that it works well for low value transfers but not for high value transfers. A 2% FX fee means that you are receiving 2% less on the total value of the transfer.
If you feel this way, there is a solution.
That solution is Wise: its fees are transparent, and users know about them from the get-go. That is not all; it also has the following advantages:
- It is one of the cheapest ways to send money abroad – it charges super low fees and uses mid-market exchange rates (that you can easily verify from Google & Xe).
- It is subject to the regulations of financial authorities in the countries it operates in.
- It is super-fast – over 30% of transactions conducted via the platform are instantly successful, 53% are successful within one hour, and about 81% within 24 hours.
- It is flexible and diverse, with over 50 currencies supported.
Each of these features on its own can greatly enhance your freelancing career; now, imagine the effect all of them can have.
- They will enable you to have a super-powered freelancing career by opening up over 50 countries to you
- With almost instantaneous payment, your projects can progress smoothly and not be held up due to unrequited payments
- You keep most of your money as they have super low fees and no hidden charges
What Does Wise Do for Pakistani Freelancers?
Wise offers a variety of financial products designed to make life easier for freelancers & self employed professionals in Pakistan. These products are:
Money Transfer – It allows you to receive and transfer money internationally (from more than 60 countries) at mid-market exchange rates
Multi-currency Accounts – The company offers local bank details in multiple currencies. Users can receive money into their Wise accounts via these bank details free of charge. Right now, you get GBP, USD (with both ACH & international wire transfer capabilities), EUR, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD, PLN, HUF, RON & TRY currencies.
Wise Large Transfers – This product is targeted at people who want to transfer huge sums; Wise offers large discounts on such high-value transactions.
How to Signup on Wise
Signing up on this platform is easy and straightforward. What’s more? It offers multiple signup options.
- The first option is probably the easiest: choose to “Continue” with either your Facebook, Apple, or Google account. If you opt for this option, registration will be instantaneous.
- Alternatively, sign up with your email address. To do this, you will first be required to select between “Personal” and “Business.” Then, you will need to input your email and password.
Once that is done, you will be taken to a page where you can transfer. There, take the following steps:
- Choose the currency you will be sending from as well as the recipient’s currency.
- Input the amount you want to transfer – the transfer fee, total fee, estimated arrival time, and potential savings will be calculated and displayed for you. With this, you are not kept in the dark about any aspect of your transaction.
- Supply the recipient’s account details.
- Verify your identity with digital copies of your ID
- Finally, pay for your transfer.
For those just starting out and need money in their account first, simply skip the transfer steps and complete the verification process. Once this is complete, start opening your multi currency accounts. You can provide these account details to clients and enter on platforms like Upwork!
Types of Accounts on Wise
Wise debit cards are not available to Pakistani users. However, if you open an account with them, you can choose to open bank accounts in eleven different currencies. These currencies are:
- British Pound
- US dollar
- New Zealand dollar
- Australian dollar
- Canadian dollar
- Hungarian forint
- Polish zloty
- Romanian leu
- Singapore dollar
- Turkish lira
Each of these accounts will have unique details, including account number, routing number, and account type, bank address and more. As a result, you will be able to transact seamlessly in the respective currencies. To open your first account, you will need to deposit £16 into your account. Don’t worry though, once you deposit, the money is available for your use, so you can send it back to you or wait for additional funds to arrive via your freelancing gig before you transfer out.
How Do You Withdraw?
The most basic way is to withdraw from your Wise account directly into Pakistani bank account. I have my Meezan and SCB accounts linked to Wise and I always manage to receive payments within 1-3 hours. Since there is no minimum requirement for me to receive money in PKR, I have made small transfers like 21 USD and have successfully received within 40 seconds!
How Do You Pay into a Wise Account?
Your new Wise account can be funded in a number of ways. These are mostly dependent on the currency account you’re trying to fund. Charges for each differ as well. They are:
- Manual bank transfer
- Direct debit from your bank account
- Debit card
- Credit card
- Apple Pay
For users from Pakistan, there is little need to fund the account ourselves. However, you need to know the methods in order to facilitate your clients better.
But to give a raw example, I tried uploading money into Wise through my Payoneer USD card. I selected the third option of Debit card to fund my Wise account. Within seconds of successful load, I was able to purchase an app on my phone Apple Store (via my iPhone connected to USA App Store)
How to Link your Wise Account to Your Upwork Account for Payments
Let’s assume now that you are a freelancer on Upwork. Wise offers one of the easiest methods of withdrawal from the platform, especially in Pakistan.
Below is a step-by-step process on how you can do this.
- Login to your Upwork account
- Navigate to “Settings”
- Click on “Get Paid”
- Click on “Add Method”
- Select “Set Up” under “Direct to U.S. Bank (USD)”
- Login to your Wise account
- Click on your U.S. account and copy its details under Direct Debits
- Go back to Upwork
- Input your ACH U.S. bank details from Wise
- Specify your payment schedule
- Click “Next”
And that is how you withdraw your hard-earned money from Upwork to your Wise dollar account which is better than using direct payments from Upwork due to their high fees! If for some reason Direct to US Bank option is not available, then you can reach out to Upwork support and request the payment method.
Other Ways to Use Wise Account
Receive Stripe Payments
The newly launched US account back in Dec 2020, now allow Stripe Payments. This can be a boon to your business where you want to give your customers the option to pay via Stripe. Opening and setting up a Stripe account is outside the purview of this article for now.
Receive PayPal Payments
For many reasons, PayPal is the holy grail in freelancer community in Pakistan. Creating a PayPal account requires a physical address, a bank account in that country and your ID verification (when you cross USD 700 in payments). To get the physical address you can pick a forwarder from our list here. A bank account in the currency of your forwarding address can be provided by your new Wise account. Your ID will obviously be from you when the time comes. Just keep in mind that a PayPal account in UK will only accept a Wise UK bank account and an account in US will only accept a Wise USD bank account.
Supercharge your Affiliate Income
Getting payments from Amazon will become a breeze as well as payments from platforms such as Shareasale, Awin, CJ, Rukuten etc. And yes, if you have items selling on Amazon, your income from here now has a home to come to :)
Alternate to Money Transfer Services
Wise is a wonderful alternative for money transfer companies such MoneyGram, Western Union, WorldRemit and Xoom. If you have relatives abroad who wish to send foreign currency back to Pakistan, then a Wise account for them gives them additional benefits that they wont get with the traditional money transfer companies listed above. The only downside is that funds cannot be sent to a business account and there are no cash pickups.
Using our special link gives the first transfer free and they always get real currency exchange rates!
Wise is FCA regulated in United Kingdom.
While we have focused on Wise’s benefits to freelancers in this article, the platform is useful for a range of people with different professions. Whether you are an expatriate sending money home, a traveller exploring the world, or an international student, you can use the platform to fullfil your financial needs as well.
We believe Wise can elevate your freelance career, and after reading this article, you should, too. To enjoy all these benefits, open your free account now.
Frequently Asked Questions
After I make my account in Wise do I only get funds in USD or in PKR as well?
Wise provides bank accounts in 11 countries including USD, GBP and EUR. In order to receive funds in a Wise account you need to provide a Wise account number in your name. If you provide your USD account number, you will receive USD in it, not PKR
Will my money get transferred to a PKR bank account immediately?
No, to transfer money out of Wise, you need to send money to a recipient. Currently Wise only supports personal accounts and payments in PKR. This means you need to signup for a personal account in Wise and add a personal bank account in Pakistan to receive funds in PKR.
Which banks does Wise work with?
Wise works with nearly all banks that have a working IBAN in Pakistan, including the Fintech darling SadaPay.
Can I transfer funds to a USD or GBP account in Pakistan?
No. Wise only transfers in local currency.
Hi, Thanks for the post
I have a question that can I open an Australian dollar account in Pakistan on wise? I want a payment from Australia and it asks me to deposit initial amount to activate the account. I have tried to deposit it from Meezan debit card and also have tried Sadapay. Everytime the transaction fails so can you guide me on this.
This is a one time process only so I suggest you try opening a simple USD or GBP first using SadaPay, HBL etc. You shouldn’t have any issues with this. Once one of these are open you can try getting the AUSD account details. They will be easily visible.
What would be the exchange rate applied if i transfer money from my wise account to my local standard chartered account?
Currently i am getting a very poor exchange rate and a 1% tax deduction from the bank on the foreign remittances. What percentage tax will be applicable on wise transaction?
Wise typically shows you the mid market rate at the time of transfer with fees mentioned separately. You can go to their website and check the rate on the homepage. This rate is regardless of where you reside.
Thank you, Quratulain. Can I add PKR funds from Meezan Bank to PKR account in WISE using Meezan Bank debit card? I have used Meezan bank Master card debit card at ATMs in US to withdraw funds in USD. But Meezan Bank charges 3.5% fee, and ATM also charges 1%. Is there a way I can send PKR from Meezan to PKR account at WISE I may avoid the fee and get a better rate when I convert from PKR to USD in WISE.
is it possible to transfer PKR from Pakistani banks such as Meezan Bank to PKR currency account in WISE?
Thank you for writing this article. Very beneficial. I live in the US and have an income generating property in Pakistan. The income is declared in the US and in Pakistan. My rent is deposited in the Meezan Bank personal current account. I want to transfer it to a US bank through WISE. I have opened personal account in WISE. But I him having difficulty in setting up/linking WISE to Meezan bank. Any help is appreciated.
You can upload funds via a card. If you have your Meezan card then you should be able to add funds to your WISE USD account and send it to whomever you please.
Nice article Zahra…
Can I receive money in TW Personal from Google Adsense? Is it suitable for Adsense or not? Thanks
Yes, you can receive Adsense funds into it. Just make sure you match the currency. So if your Adsense account is in USD, add the WISE USD account details
Actually, GOOGLE is a business or company, then how can I get payment in TW personal?
If you have registered your google account as a personal account then you can receive it in a personal bank account. If its a business account then the bank account needs to be for the same business as well :) the names need to match!
Hi, have you been noticing a change in your statements when you transfer from your wise account to a PK bank account? It used to appear as a foreign remittance but now it appears as a local bank transfer. The benefit of a remittance was that foreign income isn’t taxed. How will this effect local taxes if it’s now appearing as local transfers on statements?
This has been happening since quite a while, and its not taxed.
Lovely article, I have question Zahra, I have a business account my business is registered in us. Now I’m trying to upgrade my wise account and need to pay 31 dollars, I have been trying to pay the amount through my silkbank and alfalah debit card but the card keeps getting declined, any idea why this is happening, both these cards are e-commerce active.
The Wise account you are trying to credit is personal correct or Business? I tried just now with Meezan and it loaded my personal account fine. Maybe you can call you bank and ask them what is the issue
Dear Zahra, thanks for writing on this topic. I’ve been roaming around the internet to look for more details regarding Wise.
As of now I use Payoneer but the exchange rate is quite expense, therefore, I’m thinking to switch to Wise. What I want to know is would I be able to connect my Pakistani bank account with Wise?
If so, Is the individual Wise account works fine If the volume of Payments are high? and Does it receive funds from Stripe?
Also, would I be able to withdraw the funds to a different Pakistani account or is it limited to only one account?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Thanks for the appreciation. We tried to add as much information as we could there. To answer your questions. You can add multiple recipient accounts to your Wise account. You can also add more than 1 account of your own. Typically we only add one to stay safe. The only restriction by Wise is that the accounts should be personal accounts and at the most of your friends and family. Wise does have limits on processing amounts each month, its best to check their FAQ for this information as it can vary by country and/or currency. For instance, I doubt you will be allowed to process over 1 million PKR each month without raising an audit at Wise or at your local bank.
Wise accounts receive funds from Stripe. However, to signup with Stripe you need to have some form of id verification in that country. As it is not available in Pakistan, you will need to choose a country from where you can verify an address. You can take a look at Stripe availability here: https://stripe.com/global#signup-form
I want to transfer funds from my account in Pakistan to my account in Canada using wise how it is possible??
From Pakistan to Canada… is not possible, not with Wise. Wise doesn’t allow. Our local banks process this via western union i think. Best to ask your local bank. Wise cannot do much here.
Direct transfer from PKR account to CAD account is not possible. However, you can top up your Wise account (in CAD or USD) using your Bank’s ATM or Debit card with a little bit extra charges. Once the balance comes in your Wise account, you can transfer funds from there to your Canadian Local Bank account.
can i receive payments from from my upwork account in wise individual account?
and then withdraw them to my local bank account?
is there any maximum cap on payments (per day , per week or per month)?
Yes you can receive payments from Upwork into Wise Personal account. And, yes, from Wise Personal to you local personal bank account in Pakistan is also possible and doable. No there is no maximum cap on per day, per week or per month.
However, you can contact Wise and ask them just to confirm the same. Sorry for the late reply.
Hi, I created USD account but not getting usd details as I want to send payment from upwork to Wise.
You need to deposit an amount to get the account details
The income which we received from wise in Pakistan , how much tax is applied on that, can you please help me in that area? Any link or article, how much payment we can withdraw in a fiscal year in Pakistan.
Disclaimer: We are not tax advisors!!
If you are asking for WISE personal, no tax. Withdraw as much. You will need to collect PRC from your local bank. So make a note of all payments and request the certificates from the bank every few months or so.
Zahra your article is beautiful. Any idea if i want to receive the payment in Pak USD Account, which option will work? (A) transfer from USD Wise Biz to USD Wize Personal, then from USD Wise Personal to USD Pk Personal Account. (B) OR, direct transfer from USD Wise Biz to USD Pk Personal?
Uh thank you :)
It HAS to be the longest possible route ok. Wise Biz to Wise Personal – then onwards to our homeland. Also… to give you an exact breakdown, i even convert to PKR within my wise personal and then withdraw to Meezan or SCB
You have mentioned that you have linked your meezan bank and scb to your wise account for money transfer so are you using personal wise account?
Yes I am using WISE Personal to transfer into SCB and Meezan. From my WISE Biz to my WISE Personal first, then to PK.
For your kind information all of them if anyone open wise business Account They can’t transfer Money from wise business Account to Pakistan because wise clearly say we don’t make business payments to Pakistan both the sender and receiver must be private or individual so it means you can never send money from wise business to Pakistani bank
You can send from WISE Business to WISE personal. WISE Personal remits in PK banks within seconds. WISE Biz to Biz PK was allowed till PK decided to change rules yet again. Personal to Personal is still allowed. Living in Pakistan means you keep moulding yourself. You should look at eBury if Business to Business is your priority. This article is very much geared towards Freelancers and Self-Employed.
As a pakistani freelancer, I only have option for a Personal TW, not business TW right? Can I still use my USD account details to receive payments from US based businesses?
If you apply for TW business then you need to have a business entity as well. You can try going though the process on app/laptop and see the kind of questions they’re asking. Yes, you can use your USD account and others to receive payments from businesses. I say this because the homepage of Wise says: Receive your salary, invoice payments, pension and profit from shares. Use your account details to receive and manage your earnings. Invoice like a local and manage your earnings from various online platforms and storefronts.” You can also contact WISE support and ask them the same. Hope this helps.
Is this better than Payoneer? I am currently using Payoneer, it also allows multiple currency accounts and gives bank address. Is it safe to create Paypal on these addresses as you have mentioned?
Payoneer sometimes take 2-3 days to transfer in bank and does so only on working days, does Wise transfer to Pakistani bank on weekends also, as you have mentioned it transfers almost instantly.
We often prefer it to Payoneer because the transfer is instant if not few hours. Support is 100 times better. As for PayPal – its best if you don’t create it, but yes you can.
WISE may or may not make the remittence on weekends. The best way to gauge this by downloading their app on phone or using the web platform to assess when you money may arrive.