Wise Business vs. Revolut Business: Side-by-Side Comparison
If you're seeking to streamline international payments and simplify currency management for your business, you might consider online digital solutions like Wise or Revolut, ones of the more prominent players in the UK/EU region. These platforms cater to the digitally savvy, offer flexible fees, and can be particularly beneficial if you've encountered difficulties with traditional banking methods. But the question remains: should you opt for Wise, Revolut, or are there other choices that might better suit your exact business case?
This guide aims to provide clarity, highlighting their main differences, strengths, pricing, supported currencies, and the needs they may not address. Let's dive in.
💡 This review is published on the MultiPass website, a UK-based provider of multi-currency payment solutions. We aim to present a fair and balanced comparison of Wise and Revolut business accounts. However, we acknowledge that MultiPass is a competitor in this space. While we hope that you will consider our services, we advise you to ultimately choose a solution that best fits your unique business needs. We hope our insights can help you make a more informed decision. The review is based on data as of February 2024.
Wise vs. Revolut: Brief overview
About Wise (ex TransferWise)
Wise, established in 2011 by Estonian Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, is a UK-based fintech company specialising in cost-effective international money transfers. Renowned for its transparency in fees and mid-market exchange rate rates, Wise offers a borderless account, supporting multiple currencies and catering to a global customer base for both personal and business use.
Wise has various e-money and payment institution licenses globally, however, it is not a bank. This means customer money is protected by safeguarding. You can read more about the safeguarding process here, where we explain how we do it at MultiPass.
Revolut, founded in 2015 in London by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, is a fintech company offering banking services to both personal and business customers. Known for global spending and money transfer services with low fees, it appeals to travellers and those conducting international transactions.
Revolut holds a bank license in the EU, issued by the Bank of Lithuania. In other markets, it operates under e-money and various non-bank licenses. Revolut has been actively pursuing a UK banking license since 2021, however, it is still not granted by the FCA (accurate on February 2024).
This means that EU clients' deposits are guaranteed up to €100,000. However, in other markets, including the UK, safeguarding principles are applied, similarly to Wise.
How easy is it to open a business account with Wise and Revolut?
Both Wise and Revolut offer fully digital onboarding processes which are quite quick for companies with simple ownership and transparent business models. However, it is notable that these services can be more selective and less accommodating compared to other digital banking solutions. Since both companies have ambitious global expansion plans, multiple banking and technology partners globally, they adhere to very strict compliance requirements in all the markets of their operation. This can result in cumbersome policies that, in some aspects, resemble those of high-street banks.
This includes the need for applicants to have a physical presence in the country of incorporation, often including at least one resident beneficial owner, an operating address, and other requirements. This can make the onboarding process more complicated for digital nomads, online services with remote teams or client bases, and businesses just expanding into new markets.
Apart from that, there are industry-based considerations. Both companies have a standard list of unsupported businesses, including adult industries, cryptocurrency companies, some financial services and others. However, Revolut also has a wide list of restricted industries, such as furniture sellers, digital services, transportation, and marketplaces, among many others. Businesses in these categories may have a lower chance of being onboarded or may be subject to special terms. Under Revolut's Payment Processing Services Agreement, access to transaction proceeds for these industries could be limited, with a part of the funds held in reserve for a set time to manage risks.
Comparing the key features of Wise and Revolut business accounts
Currencies & account details
Revolut primarily focuses on local payments across the UK/EEA with global multi-currency support. It offers local bank account details for businesses registered in Australia, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania, the UK, and the USA. That means, for instance, if your company is registered in Estonia, you will likely receive an IBAN starting with "LT".
Wise offers a wider list of local account details to receive bank transfers via domestic methods, without conversion applied, and even more currencies available for in/out global transactions. Similar to Wise, their European IBANs begin with "BE".
Corporate expense cards & Must-have features
Both Revolut and Wise business accounts come with corporate expense cards, multi-user access, and bulk payments.
- Revolut business card fees: from £4.99 per card (post free limit, if applicable), 2% fee on ATM withdrawals, exchange at Revolut's interbank rate.
- Wise business card fees: First card free, then £3 per card, exchange from 0.43%, up to £0.50 + 1.75% fee on ATM withdrawals.
Both services provide open APIs for custom payment management and integrate with major accounting software tools. However, Revolut offers a wider list of ready-made app integrations for accounting, automation, e-commerce and other needs.
Both services offer some savings options. Revolut provides a savings account and a crypto trading account, whereas Wise offers interest through investments in government-guaranteed assets across three currencies, including GBP, USD, and EUR.
For an easy comparison, we've included UK region prices and offerings, which may vary in other countries. We advise you to double-check the availability of the specific service or currency in your business jurisdiction.
Comparing fees for local and international payments
In terms of cost-effectiveness, both platforms have their merits.
Wise Business is known for its transparent fee structure, no monthly fees and real exchange rates for currency conversion. Fees for each payment consist of a fixed (e.g. £0.50) and variable parts (e.g. 43% of the payment amount), and can be previewed before each transaction.
Revolut Business offers a tiered pricing model, where each plan has a limit of free transfers, and the charges apply upon exceeding it (see table below). For example, a Basic plan gives you a free account with no monthly fee, 5 free local transfers and 0 free global transfers, which may be suitable for startups that don't have a lot of frequent payments to make yet, while a £79/month Scale plan includes 1000 free local transfers and 25 free global transfers.
Currency exchange rates
Both services offer rates that are better than what average banks offer. Wise Business excels in this area with its real mid-market exchange rates. Revolut Business offers competitive exchange rates with a 0.6% markup, but it includes a higher markup on weekends (1%).
Wise vs. Revolut: Customer service
The overall customer support is not that easily available and can be compared to traditional bank quality. Both platforms focus heavily on creating good user experiences to encourage self-help through FAQ articles and guides, with minimal intervention from the support team.
However, these international transfers and payments often bring about unexpected challenges. Businesses might require guidance on payments to specific regions, payment tracking, resolving blocked transactions, and other critical aspects for maintaining relationships with foreign clients and vendors. Unfortunately, getting a prompt response here can be challenging.
- Wise does not offer personalised support and promotes self-support resources (help centre articles) and email communication. Wise rating on Trustpilot is 4.2.
- Revolut only offers Account Managers for customers on the most expensive Enterprise plan, and even then you need to request a call and expect it within 2 days. For all other users, support is provided through online chat. Revolut rating on Trustpilot is 4.2.
In this regard, niche services like MultiPass can be a better option. MultiPass specifically caters to international business and offers dedicated manager support regardless of business size, always reachable via phone, messengers, online chat or email.
Wise vs. Revolut: Which business account is best overall?
While somewhat similar, the overall winner ultimately depends on your specific business eligibility and needs.
Why choose Wise business account
Wise is a good choice for freelancers and smaller businesses with primarily international transaction needs, especially in regions where Wise has strong coverage. If a business does not require the full suite of banking services but primarily needs efficient, low-cost international payments, Wise's fee structure can be more beneficial. It covers quite a lot of geographies with their payouts through local payment channels.
Why choose Revolut business account
Revolut is a solid option for EU/EEA region companies, that primarily deal in EUR, USD, GBP but also require multi-currency payment support. It has more to offer for those seeking integrated expense management and budgeting tools or more complex banking needs such as savings or cryptocurrency investment services. Small businesses that are scaling quickly might find Revolut's tier-based pricing suitable to their growing needs. Nevertheless, it's worth noting that Revolut, being a regulated European bank, may not onboard more complex business cases.
When you may want to consider other providers?
If you require personal support
If you are tired of slow responses, the inability to track payments, international transfers stuck at correspondent banks or just talk to someone who knows your business. Getting through to a real person to get some payment advice or peace of mind can be a challenge, and there's no bank branch to visit too. At MultiPass, we offer personal manager support accessible through your preferred method, be it phone, messengers, online chat, or email.
If your business operates in a more niche industry
Some businesses often require a more individualised approach, such as those dealing with clients or partners in different jurisdictions, companies with non-resident directors, holding companies, young tech companies and others often unfairly treated by the banks. At MultiPass, we're always prepared to review your unique business case and advise on the optimal payment routes for your specific needs, regardless of your business size.
If you want a tailored pricing offering
We understand that one-size-fits-all solutions may not be suitable for your needs. We're happy to provide you with bank-beating exchange rate rates and packages tailored to your payment volumes. Whether you primarily transact in GBP and EUR or frequently deal in INR, CNY, NZD or 30+ other world currencies, we'll find a solution that works for you.
If your business is registered in the UAE
It's important to note that currently, neither Wise nor Revolut support businesses registered in the United Arab Emirates. MultiPass can offer a viable alternative for businesses operating in this region.
Streamline your international payments with MultiPass
MultiPass is a UK-based FCA-registered Electronic money institution, tailored for international business. We provide a multi-currency IBAN, local UK, EU & US accounts in your business name, instant FX at competitive rates and corporate cards for your international bank transfers.
Consider MultiPass: 30+ currencies, global and local accounts, private manager support.