- Wise, the U.K.-based upstart money transfer service formerly known as TransferWise, is planning to expand in North America in 2022, increasing its U.S. workforce by 150 employees, or more than 40 percent, the company said in a press release Tuesday.
- The company will hire the employees next year across its U.S. operations, including at a new location in Austin, Texas, and at a new larger 8,000-square-foot New York City headquarters office that it's moving to next month. Wise also is adding staff to its Tampa, Florida location.
- Wise’s current workforce in the U.S. is about 350 employees, according to a company spokesman. Worldwide, Wise employs 3,000 people and expects to hire an additional 1,000 workers globally in the year ahead.
The company's hiring at the new New York headquarters, relocated from elsewhere in the city, will include product, engineering and business development positions. At the new Austin location, Wise will add product management, software engineering, operations, sales, and customer support employees. In Tampa, where the company has its customer support division, it will hire employees for payment operations, human resources and information technology functions, among others.
After a public offering in July, London-based Wise has a market capitalization of about $7.6 billion, compared to rival Western Union's $6.5 billion valuation.
“North America is a critical region for us as we continue to see demand and interest from people and businesses looking to move money instantly, conveniently, transparently and without hidden fees,“ Wise Chief Technology Officer Harsh Sinha said in the press release. ”Our expansion plan demonstrates our commitment to addressing those needs, and represents a significant step forward in our regional growth strategy.”
Wise’s North American revenue rose nearly 30 percent to £54.2 million ($73.0 million) in the half-year ended September 30, 2021, when compared to the same period last year.
The company formed alliances in 2021 with GooglePay, Andrews Federal Credit Union, The Orchard and Payfare to support US-based consumers, gig-workers and small businesses. It also launched its services in India.
Wise moves $72 billion per year, of which 20% to 25% are business payments, the company said. Recipients are paid from local Wise accounts, enabling them to avoid having to transfer money without crossing international borders. As a result, Wise says it can send money internationally cheaper and faster than rivals such as banks who use traditional foreign exchange methods that can take days.
According to Wise, in the most recent quarter, 40% of transfers were done instantly, 58% were delivered in less than one hour, and 86% arrived in under 24 hours.
Most of the company's business clients have employee counts of 50 or less. Still, Wise is also building technology to make it available to mid-sized business clients who have up to 250 employees, Alastair Thompson, global head of business development and partnerships at Wise, said in an interview earlier this year.
“Improving our infrastructure allows us to lower our unit costs, letting us charge substantially less than leading traditional banks and consistently below many payment companies,” according to a Wise trading update blog post. “We proudly charge our customers a transparent fee for each of our services, without cross-subsidizing between customers, products or routes.”
During the six-month period ended Sept. 30, Wise's total cross-border volume climbed 44% over the same period last year, including a 39% rise in personal payments and a 61% increase in business customer volumes, the company blog post said.