- Neobank and card company Sable has tapped Wise to give its banking and card customers access to cross-border payment options "in as fast as seconds,” according to a joint release from the companies on Thursday.
- New York-based Sable caters to American expatriates and newly arrived U.S. residents that have more need for such international payment services. That population in the U.S. has increased this year as students and professionals revived their plans to come to America for schooling and work after having put off moves during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, said Sable co-CEO Naveen Qureshi.
- Through the new Sable relationship, London-based Wise will gain new ties to the two-year-old U.S. company’s international client set.
For years, cross-border payments for both individuals and businesses have been cumbersome and costly. In recent years, a slew of digital companies have set out to change those circumstances by using digital advances to make such international payments faster and less expensive.
Qureshi said she herself has had firsthand experience using the Wise service because she sends tuition payments to Canada. She’s particularly pleased that the new Sable cross-border phone payment app, using the Wise money transfer technology, will be transparent on its main display about the exchange rate and the fee, showing exactly how much money will be wired and when it will be received.
In addition, Qureshi said the new Sable phone app can send money faster and cheaper than even Wise itself. Sable said in the release that it’s also extending a “best rate guarantee,” promising “qualified customers” who find a better remittance rate elsewhere compensation for the difference.
Sable, which has raised $6 million in venture capital according to Qureshi, partners with Mastercard in issuing its credit credit cards.
The pandemic highlighted the inconvenience of traditional money transfer options that require visiting a bank branch, and the need for an alternative has become even more necessary as people scattered to remote locations, said Ryan Zagone, who is head of the Americas for the Wise banks unit. ”We’re at a turning point in the market where digital solutions have become a necessity,” he said in an interview.
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, provides cross-border payment capabilities in 80 countries, according to the company. It has also partnered with Google Pay for peer-to-peer cross-border payments.
Another digital start-up seeking to solve the cross-border payment conundrum is Seattle-based Remitly, which won an investment from card giant Visa in May to fuel the expansion of its remittance money transfer business. That company, which targets its services to immigrants worldwide, has raised $400 million since its inception in 2011.