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.
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)
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.