If you’re looking for an international money transfer service, you’ve probably come across Chipper Cash and Wise. Both companies offer practical, low-cost alternatives to traditional banking and money transfer services — so you may be wondering which is right for you.
The 2020 pandemic temporarily slowed the international payments market as lockdowns ground the global economy to a halt. But physical separation meant more people began to rely on money transfer services and online payments. This increased the demand for international payment services such as Chipper Cash and Wise.
As a result, increasing numbers of people are turning away from traditional banking and looking to fintech companies for faster, more transparent, and more cost-effective solutions — especially in places like Africa, where many people lack access to banks.
This article will introduce each of these two fintech companies, followed by a comparison to help you choose the best service for your needs.
San Francisco-based Chipper Cash was founded by Ham Serunjogi from Uganda and Maijid Moujaled from Ghana in 2018, and now has offices all over the world. The pair first met as students and spotted the opportunity to use fintech to bring a mobile money payment service to Africa.
By November 2021, Chipper Cash had a $2 billion valuation after a Series C funding round that raised $150 million. As of 2022, it has five million registered users across seven African countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya. These achievements led the African fintech startup to be named one of Forbes’ Fintech 50 2022.
As well as cross-border payments, Chipper offers Africans the possibility to participate in the crypto market through its cryptocurrency trading platform — which converts local currency into Bitcoin — and buy stocks in tech giants such as Google and Facebook.
UK-based Wise — formerly known as Transferwise — was founded by two Estonian businessmen in 2011 and has dominated the international payments industry ever since. In 2021, it became the London stock exchange’s largest-ever tech floatation, with an initial value of $11 billion.
Wise users can:
- Transfer money internationally for lower fees than normal banks
- Hold bank accounts in up to ten different currencies
- Spend money abroad with the Wise debit card
Despite being the more established player in the international payment space, Wise has come under scrutiny since one of its founders was fined for tax evasion, while the other sold $110 million of shares at a discounted price, artificially depressing their value.
Chipper vs. Wise — what you need to know
Now that you’re familiar with their backstory, let’s take a look at the finer details of Chipper Cash and Wise’s services and see how they stack up in terms of cost, speed, security, and transparency.
With Chipper Cash, sending money across town, across Africa, or across an ocean is absolutely free, with the lowest cross-border rates guaranteed. You can even use it to pay bills and school fees free of charge.
Chipper Cash offers a digital card through its Chipper Card app, which is also free. You can use the card to make online purchases and receive 5% cash back for every transaction.
Transfers with Wise aren’t completely free, but they’re still lower than the average bank. Wise fees are based on a flat rate of 4.14 USD plus 0.41% of the total transfer amount. Wise currently charges 8.93 USD for every 1000 USD transferred, and signing up for their debit card costs $9.
Sometimes you need to make an international transfer urgently — for example, if a family member is out of money and needs help. With Chipper Cash, transfers across Africa and worldwide are not only free — they’re also instantaneous.
With Wise, international transfers are fast — sometimes instantaneous — but only if you’re using a popular currency, like USD, EUR, AUD, or GBP. For other currencies, transfers can sometimes take a day or more to arrive.
Both Chipper and Wise protect your transactions and personal data through encryption, providing a secure platform for sending and receiving international transfers.
Wise is an authorized Electronic Money Institution regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Additionally, transactions feature two-step authentication and real-time notifications of any movements. Wise also has a dedicated fraud team.
Both Chipper and Wise espouse transparency as one of their core ideals, and both companies are upfront about their exchange rates and transaction fees — no hidden costs or unpleasant surprises. Here’s Wise’s page that breaks down exactly where your money goes for each transfer.
Chipper vs. Wise — the bottom line
Chipper Cash and Wise are two of the most important players in the international payments market. Both institutions prioritize transparency, speed, and cost-efficiency. However, when it comes to providing financial services in Africa, Chipper Cash wins hands down.
First off, it offers instantaneous transfers for African currencies that can take up to a day or more to send with Wise.
Secondly, Chipper’s international transfer service is completely free, whereas Wise charges a small flat fee plus 0.41% of the total amount.
Whether you want to send money across Africa or the world, invest in crypto, or buy shares in some of the world’s largest companies, Chipper Cash is a tool that will help you every step of the way. Sign up now and start sending and receiving international transfers today.