How to Send CAD to TransferWise in Canada Without Using a Wire

For some Canadian companies, it's not an easy process to send money to TransferWise.

Here is one option for sending CAD to TransferWise from a Canadian business: 

  1. Complete your payment within TransferWise
  2. Select the Domestic Wire Transfer option
  3. Select Bank Branch
  4. Pay using an EFT in CAD (not a wire)
  5. Mark as transferred in TransferWise

Why is it difficult?

  • Credit Card - TransferWise charges large fees for using this funding method and your bank will also treat this as a cash advance and charge applicable fees + interest.
  • Wire - Not all businesses have access to sending a wire through their online banking system. While RBC has allowed this for non RBC Express accounts, it's typically limited to $10,000. Other banks don't typically allow for wire transfers using a standard business account. This means some people have to go physically into their branch to send TransferWise a wire.
  • Debit Card - Is not available to use in Canada as a funding source. Only US debit cards are allowed.
  • Direct Debit - This feature is not available for business accounts located in Canada. So unlike someone like Plooto or FirmaFX who can take money from your account, TransferWise will not.
  • Online Bill Pay - This is limited to a few Canadian banks (see photo below). This means if you're not on this list, you have to select another option.

So what's the trick here?

Send an EFT (usually under $1) versus a wire (usually $15 to $45).

If you don't bank with the institutions listed above, you can use your online banking system to send an EFT (electronic funds transfer) to TransferWise using the bank account they provide for wires.

When you're in TransferWise, select the BANK BRANCH option when selecting the payment method.

Here are the details they provide: 

From this you can extrapolate the EFT data as: 

  • Transit = 00012
  • Institution = 270
  • Account = 4011739015

Keep in mind this data was accurate as of the writing of this article and is subject to change.

How do you send an EFT in a Canadian online banking system?

Depends on the bank and depends on the services you've activated.

In RBC, you can send an EFT through the 'pay vendor and employees' section. Please note that each system has its own limits, so please keep this in mind when choosing this method.

In other banks like TD, BMO, Scotia and CIBC, you'll most likely need to use a cash management platform.

If you're interested in our take on the pros and cons of using the new CIBC SmartBanking for Business system, check out that article here.

Either way, if you have access to send an EFT (or can call into your account manager at the bank to do it), it's one more way to avoid going into the branch or spending money on an expensive wire.

Other examples of systems that can be used to send in an EFT include Plooto, PaymentRails, Remitr, WayPay, Telpay and SparcPay. Please keep in mind though that if you're not able to send the funds by the TransferWise deadline, you won't be able to lock in the rate you were provided initially.

What is the timing like?

Your vendor may receive funds the next day.

TransferWise will usually receive your funds by 7am the next day and make the payment to your vendor right after the money is received.

For LiveCA customers using this method, vendors usually receive money the same day TransferWise receives it. So if paid in CAD from Canada on Monday, it'll be in a US vendors bank account via ACH Tuesday.

This is important because other services outside of TransferWise usually take 2-5 business days in order to deliver the funds.

Why not just send a wire or pay via online banking?

Wires are more expensive than EFTs and online bill pay is limited to those banks shown in the screenshot above (BMO, National Bank, Tangerine, Coast Capital, EQ, First Calgary, Manulife and CS Alterna).

Summary

While it'd be great for TransferWise to take money directly from your account, they don't.

Wires are usually a bit of a pain to send (going into the branch or setting up a complicated instruction in a cash management platform).

Credit Cards have so many fees it's rarely a good idea to use them (for smaller amounts the convenience may be worth the cost).

EFTs are cheap (usually less than $1), fast (usually sent same day) and easy to setup.