New research shows Canadians unknowingly lose $13 billion annually in hidden fees on international payments.
Wise is on a mission to bring transparency to international payments. We’re going country-by-country to educate consumers on the hidden costs of sending and spending money abroad. In tandem, we’re trying to convince governments that banks should have to be honest about the fees they charge.
That’s why we commissioned independent research to find out how much Canadians are actually losing from the inflated, or marked-up, exchange rates that banks give them.
The results were explosive. Canadian consumers and businesses lose $13 billion in hidden exchange rate markups each year. Vacationers alone lose $1.1 billion. And, people sending money to family and friends lose $1.3 billion. Canadian businesses lose $10.3 billion annually, with half of the losses hitting small and medium sized businesses.
Even worse, the vast majority of Canadians are in the dark about how much they are overcharged — 80% of consumers and 74% of businesses are completely unaware of exchange rate markups.
The Canadian government and the World Bank know costs are too high. We agree with them that a lack of transparency is the main reason for the high cost of transferring money — but we need them to act. The European Union and the United Kingdom have already taken action to require transparent disclosures.