THE EX­CHANGE FAC­TOR

Collective Hub - - CONTENTS - WORDS AMY MOL­LOY

how the two guys who founded Trans­fer­wise got the idea from their own ge­nius hack for trans­fer­ring money with­out the crazy fees

As a fin­tech with a min­i­mal mar­ket­ing bud­get, how do you make a splash in a huge coun­try like Amer­ica? This was the dilemma the money trans­fer com­pany Trans­fer­Wise faced when they de­cided to take the start-up – co-founded by a for­mer Skype em­ployee – state­side.

The so­lu­tion? They or­gan­ised for one hun­dred Trans­fer­Wise em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers, and a few paid ex­tras to walk, run and dance along Wall Street – with­out any clothes on.

“The first time we did any­thing like that stunt was back in London when we launched,” says Joe Cross, em­ployee num­ber 10 at the com­pany, and head of Trans­fer­Wise’s North Amer­i­can ex­pan­sion. “It was sum­mer in London and it wasn’t too bad. But in New York, it was the cold­est Fe­bru­ary in 80 years. We left our un­der­pants on, thank god.”

The re­sult­ing video, #Noth­ing2Hide, has been watched more than 50,000 times on YouTube and made head­lines in­ter­na­tion­ally, even ap­pear­ing on Good Morn­ing Amer­ica. Most im­por­tantly, it spread an im­por­tant mes­sage about a com­pany ded­i­cated to trans­parency.

When Taavet Hin­rikus and Kristo Käär­mann launched Trans­fer­Wise in 2011, they were frus­trated by the amount that banks were charg­ing for in­ter­na­tional money trans­fers, espe­cially as many hid these fees from cus­tomers.

Taavet had worked for Skype Es­to­nia, so was paid in eu­ros, but he was liv­ing in London. Kristo earned pounds work­ing in London, but had a mort­gage in eu­ros back in Es­to­nia. They de­vised a sim­ple scheme. Each month, the pair checked that day’s mid-mar­ket rate on Reuters to find a fair ex­change rate. Kristo put pounds into Taavet’s UK bank ac­count, while Taavet topped up his friend’s

Naked PROTESTS, open let­ters, and a con­scious cam­paign AGAINST Don­ald Trump. How one fin­tech CHANGED how we trans­fer money – by re­mov­ing the ‘WRONGNESS’ from bank­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.