Azimo vs Wise
Azimo Key Features
- No fee for first 2 transfers
- Cash pickup at over 200,000
- Trusted by more than 1 million customers
Wise Key Features
- Offers low rates
- Well known brand
The main difference between Azimo and Wise is that Azimo supports payments only from Europe for as little as £1 while Wise serves customer worldwide without applying exchange rate margins.
When sending money across borders, using specialist money transfer providers such as Azimo or Wise can give you both efficiency and cost-effectiveness – but with such a variety of providers around today for you to choose from, it can be hard to know which service is best for you.
In this Azimo vs Wise comparison, we’ll breakdown the differences between these two money transfer giants to determine which offers better services to its customers.
At a Glance
- About Azimo and Wise
- Which brand has lower fees?
- Which brand offers better exchange rates?
- Which brand covers more locations?
- Which is faster?
- Which brand offers more transfer & payment options?
- What do users have to say about each brand?
- What brand offers a better ease of use, accessibility & security?
- Additional features
- Case study: sending a variety of amounts from the UK to Spain
- Bottom line – who is better?
About Azimo and Wise
Founded in the UK in 2012, Azimo currently serves over 1.5 million customers and supports sending to more than 195 countries in over 80 different currencies. Transfers are strictly online and are delivered anywhere from instant to 3 days. While you can make a transfer with as little as £1, Azimo supports payments only from Europe.
Wise, formerly TransferWise, is a peer to peer platform that has been in operation since 2011. So far, it has grown its customer base to over 8 million customers and transacts more than £4 million monthly. Wise transfers funds at mid-market rates, without applying exchange rate margins. It also has a multi-currency account that handles more than 50 currencies and issues its customers with a debit Mastercard. If you’d like to know more about other account types, check our guide on virtual banks.
Now, let’s get into breaking down the services of Azimo vs Wise.
Which brand has lower fees?
Azimo’s fees vary based on the transfer route – from as low as £0.99 when transferring to Kenya to as high as £11.99 when moving funds to Albania.
Wise charges a fixed fee and a variable fee, both of which depend on the currency pair. For example, when transferring £1,000 to Kenya, you’ll be charged £9.77, of which £2.05 is a fixed fee and £7.72 is a variable fee.
When you consider transfer fees only without bringing in hidden charges arising from variable fees, Azimo wins this one.
Which brand offers better exchange rates?
Azimo charges a markup of between 0.1% – 2.25% depending on the currency pair, with the most commonly used currency pairings attracting the lowest exchange rate margins.
Wise does not charge any exchange rate margins on currency conversions. All transfers are processed at the mid-market rate.
Wise emerges as the clear winner with better exchange rates than Azimo.
Which brand covers more locations?
Azimo supports over 195 countries and territories.
Wise support 50 currencies and 59 countries to which you can send money.
Azimo supports far more countries than Wise for transfers.
Which is faster?
Azimo transfers depend on how the transfer is paid out to the recipient. Here is a summary of the available transfer payout options and their respective speeds (card payment is an option for funding transfers on Azimo, but not available as a delivery method).
Cash pick-up: Takes an hour to be delivered
Mobile wallet: Deliveries are instant
SWIFT transfers: These can take 1-3 working days
Mobile top-up: Deliveries are instant
Home delivery: Transfers take about 24 hours and the service is currently available only in the Philippines.
Wise takes 2-3 business days to deliver funds to your chosen recipient. Delivery times are affected by how you pay for your transfer and the processing speed of the recipient bank. Transfers paid for by card are delivered faster than bank payments. Also, banking hours and security checks can delay payments.
Factoring in all the payout methods and the way they enable users to choose how long their transfer will take, Azimo carries the day here.
Which brand offers more transfer & payment options?
Azimo supports bank and card payments for funding transfers. For the payout methods, you can choose cash pick-up, mobile wallet, SWIFT transfers, or mobile top-up. If you live in the Philippines, you can opt for home delivery.
Wise allows customers to pay for their transfers using their bank accounts, debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Transfer payouts are mainly to bank accounts with select countries like Kenya and Ghana supporting mobile wallet deposits.
While Wise has a slight edge in transfer payment options, Azimo is the overall winner for its long list of payout methods – especially as Wise has no cash payout option.
What do users have to say about each brand?
A simple and straightforward app
Timely transfer delivery, especially via cash pickups and mobile wallets
Quick response to customer queries
Poor exchange rates
Payments may take longer than promised to be delivered
Easy to use platform
No exchange rate margin applied
Transfers are delivered fast
Accounts may be deactivated without warning if found suspicious
Due diligence can take longer to complete hence delaying transfers
Wise has almost twice the number of reviews that Azimo has on Trustpilot, 94% of which are 4 and 5-star, so their services win this round.
What brand offers a better ease of use, accessibility & security?
Azimo supports 9 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian.
The company customer support desk is available Monday – Friday 9:00 – 17:00 UK Time via telephone and email.
Azimo’s mobile app is available as a free download on both the Google Play and App Store.
The provider accepts only bank and card payments when funding transfers.
Azimo has fraud detection and data protection systems in place including 3D Secure authentication and encrypted communication.
Wise is available in 12 languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Turkish, Romanian, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Polish, and Hungarian.
The provider connects and supports its customers via phone and email.
Wise’s mobile app is available as a free download on both the Google Play and App Store.
The company allows its customers to pay using bank transfers, cards, Apple Pay, and Android Pay.
Wise has invested in the latest Transport Layer Security (TLS) and runs regular security scans including External Penetration Tests. The company also uses a 2 Factor Authentication system for enhanced safety.
While the two services score similarly in many respects, Wise’s easy-to-use platform, security features, and payment options give the company a much better score overall.
Azimo is a first-rate international money transfer service, but offers very little in the way of additional features for its users.
Wise offers a range of additional features through its platform. The main examples of these are:
Multi-currency account: This account handles over 50 currencies that you can swap at real exchange rates.
Debit Mastercard: You can get a debit card you can use in stores and make ATM withdrawals.
Regular transfers: If you make recurring transfers, you can set those up on Wise and forget.
Wise is an undisputed winner thanks to its variety of additional services.
Case study: sending a variety of amounts from the UK to Spain
Wise will convert your funds at the mid-market rate. Depending on the transfer method you choose – fast and easy transfer, low-cost transfer or advanced transfer – you’ll pay between £1 and £1.59 in fees.
Wise still gives you the same mid-market rate but the transfer method fees will change to between £3.95 and £6.92.
Wise will charge you £73.99 in transfer fees and convert your pounds into euro at the mid-market rate given the current exchange rate.
On Azimo, the transfer fee is £0.99 while the exchange rate comes with a 0.81% margin above the wholesale rate.
Azimo charges the same fees of just £0.99 and maintains the same rate of £1 to €1.09930 if it’s the first or second transfer. Subsequent transfers will be at a lower rate.
Azimo will charge you the same fixed fees but will add a 0.81% margin on top of the mid-market rate.
When paying by card, the maximum you can send on Azimo is £12,000 otherwise you can send up to £250,000 when paying via SWIFT.
Between Wise vs Azimo, both providers look competitive. However, it is important to note that Azimo’s exchange rates include a customer offer for the first two transfers. Thereafter, the rates are marked up by 0.81% thus becoming less attractive. Wise wins this, as their lack of exchange rate margins leaves them coming out on top in the majority of circumstances.
Bottom line – who is better?
Domestic payments. Azimo supports domestic payments within Europe.
Overseas payments. The provider sends to more destinations than Wise, with over 195 listed destinations
Business payments. Both providers support business payments. Azimo supports payments to suppliers and staff in different parts of the world.
Daily spending. Azimo doesn’t support this.
Large transactions. If you pay for your transfer using a debit or credit card, the maximum you can send on Azimo is £12,000. However, if you pay using a bank transfer, you can send up to £250,000.
Smaller transactions. Azimo customers can send as little as £10 making it appropriate for smaller amounts.
Domestic payments. Wise domestic payments are only allowed within the US.
Overseas payments. The provider supports 65 destinations.
Business payments. Both providers support business payments. Wise supports business payments in addition to enabling them to get paid directly into their bank accounts.
Daily spending. Wise supports daily spending via their Mastercard branded debit card.
Large transactions. The company has an upper limit of $1 million per transfer hence the best for large transactions.
Smaller transactions. Wise doesn’t state the minimum amount it supports.
Having looked at the head-to-head comparison of Azimo and Wise, it is now time for the verdict – who is better?
Azimo scores really well for small transfers and domestic payments within Europe. However, Wise is much more established and does the heavy lifting in both personal and business payments, facilitating large payments, applying no exchange rate margins, and supporting daily spending using its multi-currency account and debit card products. Therefore, Wise is our overall winner in this head-to-head comparison.