4 payments questions with Wade Stokes, TransferWise

Learn how TransferWise has evolved into a global cross-border transfer service, making it easy to send money anywhere.

TransferWise is a service that enables people to send money abroad at the lowest possible cost, using only real exchange rates and transparent, cost-effective fees. The company has been working with Adyen since 2014. We sat down with Wade Stokes, Head of Operations, to understand more about how TransferWise looks at payments.

Can you talk a little about the background of payments at TransferWise?

TransferWise was founded in 2011, and grew quickly. As we scaled internationally, we added currencies, and as a result the complexity around payments increased. We realized we needed a payments partner that would help us scale globally and enable us to offer the payment methods needed by customers in different markets, which is why we looked to Adyen.

What is important to you in a payments partner from a technical perspective?

Two key requirements that we look for in a payments partner are to minimize complexity, and maintain control over our UX. Working with Adyen provides relevant advantages; helping us maintain PCI Compliance, while letting us keep control of our front end. 
Additionally, good documentation and support are vital, and it has been great to work with Adyen on both counts.
What do you do to optimize the payments function from a customer experience perspective?

Our service is built around making international money transfers as easy and smooth as possible, and the payment step is a critical part of the customer experience. While TransferWise is used by people of all ages and backgrounds, a significant segment of our customer base is tech savvy. As such it’s important to offer new payment methods such as Apple Pay and Android Pay as they become available. In fact, we were a launch partner of Apple Pay in the UK through Adyen.
In addition to new payment methods, we also offer one-click payments and local payment methods including SEPA Direct Debit and iDEAL.
How do you manage fraud?

Our compliance and fraud team checks the identities of our customers and continually monitors for any suspicious activity. Adyen’s flexible fraud rules - to white and black-list customers - are part of the range of tools we have at our disposal. We apply 3D Secure to all transactions, including mobile web and in-app. 
How do you leverage payments to increase revenue?

A big advantage of working with Adyen is having a full payments stack of gateway, risk management, and acquiring in one system. This means we can make data-driven decisions on how to optimize our payments. In France, for example, we were able to increase our authorization rates by 10%.