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Transferwise

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Sergios
6/28/2019 02:09 EST

I, after a wonderful time in Brittany, will be returning to Italy in late summer. This time to Chianti. Part of returning is the required bank business. I had an Italian account when I was in Sicily. Which I closed and replaced with a French account. Now I need to go back to an Italian account? There must be and is a better way. I looked at a few internet banks, including N26. What kept me from going with them is the simple matter of their not allowing direct deposits from the USA. It turns out that Transferwise is now licensed in most US states, I think 48 of them, which means they will setup a direct deposit system. Additionally using them, when they hold your money as a bank, makes the process of transferring money from your account to somebody else's in Europe simple, fast and cheap. I just paid a rent deposit to my future landlord in 24 hours and at a minimal cost and at a better exchange rate. I have not yet setup direct deposit, keeping my Schwab account. What I had to do is transfer money to Transferwise using my debit card. That took less than a minute.
I bring all this up because I think it simplifies finances as an expat. All the services needed, iban number, routing number, currency exchange, debit card is all available in one place and usable anywhere in Europe, in the states and many other countries. And they speak English and answer the phone when you call. It's a breath of fresh air compared to dealing with the Italian banks.

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Shtinky
6/28/2019 04:00 EST

You are right! It sounds like this could simplify our lives as expats. Are there fees for the banking part? How do they make their money? Is the money in the account insured? I will definitely look into it.

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Sergios
6/28/2019 04:28 EST

To open the account is free and fees are minimal. You should talk to them. Select an English speaking region so you get an English speaking agent. As for insurance, they are regulated by the British government. I don't think they have something like the FDIC. I don't intend to keep all my money in that bank but transfer the quantities I need to pay bills.

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Sergios
6/28/2019 04:33 EST

It's called Without Boarders.

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whidden39
6/28/2019 08:33 EST

Sergio’s, are you subject to limits on how much money you can transfer to Transferwise using your US debit card?

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Sergios
6/28/2019 08:48 EST

My debit card has a 1000 daily limit from Schwab at atms. I transferred 1600 yesterday so I don't think so but I'm not sure.

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clements international health insurance

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Clements Worldwide, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. With Clements Worldwide, your plan is designed to give you and your family access to the best healthcare possible, wherever you are in the world.

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Sergios
6/28/2019 09:21 EST

Whidden39, here you go.
Personal and business limits

Personal limit Business limit
All currencies except USD No limit No limit
USD limit, per transaction and per day 250,000 USD 3,000,000 USD
USD limit per year 1,000,000 USD

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whidden39
6/28/2019 11:12 EST

Those limits are quite generous. Surprised. Thanks.

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whidden39
6/28/2019 11:20 EST

So that I understand, do you use Transferwise as a conduit to someone else —as to your landlord? Transfer wise doesn’t hold funds in an account for some future use, right. A transfer is usually imminent, right? Also, when you say you aren’t able to set up direct deposit at a foreign bank, are you referring to a recurring payment like Social Security. Not clear on this, but always trust your solutions to satisfy everyday banking needs overseas.

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Sergios
6/28/2019 11:33 EST

Transferwise now is a bank in which you can hold funds. Like a checking account. The money can be transferred by using a debit card from another bank. Those funds can ba accessed by a debit card that they send to you. The advantage is that when I pay my rent, I can use the money in the transferwise account, borderless account, and it costs less than $5 to make the payment instead of the $50 or so that a wire costs.

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whidden39
6/29/2019 01:41 EST

Ah, that’s the piece I was missing — the checking account and the accompanying debit card. Makes sense. Thanks for the details.

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glorirz
6/29/2019 12:09 EST

Thanks for all the details about Transferwise. I want to add my own experience. I had begun a transfer that wasn't working, so I called their customer service line. I actually had to call twice. They have great customer service, and the delays were on my bank's end. They are friendly, and knowledgable. I learned that they just started functioning as a bank, whereas before they just transferred money. I easily applied for a debit card. The website explains the fees, exchange rates, etc. This could be a great way to keep money in a U.S. bank and access it it on the go.

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Sergios
9/20/2019 02:01 EST

Hello all. I am now settled in Chianti and starting to get all the details of life back in order. One detail of life around Florence is the need to use toll roads to get around.. When I was in Palermo I had a telapass but hardly needed it. Now I'm here and seem to need it all the time. But I no longer have one. I tried applying for one yesterday, using my Transferwise account and found that I can't. Telepass requires an Italian IBAN number and transferwise is not set up for direct debit. So it's time to once again get an Italian bank account. Oh well.

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codybrandy
9/20/2019 03:13 EST

Welcome home Sergio...I just got the Transferwise card and love it...I've been using the service for getting $ sent to my Italian bank but now I can have $ and GBP and Euros on hand at all times without making separate transfers. True I still need my Italian acct for auto payments (gas/elec/tel) but I think TWise is a great service for a good price. And quite fast. P.S. aren't you missing that amazing French food?

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Sergios
9/20/2019 03:50 EST

Boy am I missing French food products and the French fresh markets. Here the weekly markets are more like flea markets of new stuff and cloths. The food on offer at those markets is totally unremarkable compared to what was on offer in France. However the big daily markets, like the Central market in Florence, are acceptable although difficult to get to. I'll survive but I need to practice making croissants. Cornetti don't come close.

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HenryGiovanni
9/20/2019 06:29 EST

Hi Sergios,
Welcome back! Hope all goes well, again. Now in Chianti?
That reminds me, . . .
Cheers, John.

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Sergios
9/20/2019 06:39 EST

Salute Giovanni

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zanzara72
9/20/2019 13:10 EST

Please, move back to France; the average Frenchman has a great diet:
Monday: eggs and ham
Tuesday: ham and eggs
Wednesday: eggs and ham
Thursday: ham and eggs
and so on.......

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miki184
9/20/2019 13:44 EST

Hello Sergio,

Can you tell us why you came back to Italy after such a short time in France? I had the impression that when you left you were tired of all the red tape and lack of effciency in Italy. Did something change your mind?

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miki184
9/20/2019 13:45 EST

By the way, Picard has pretty good frozen ones.

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Sergios
9/20/2019 14:51 EST

None around here.

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miki184
9/20/2019 17:19 EST

Too bad ??. And your reason for returning? I ask bc many people I've met have found it easier living in France than Italy and as you've always been so candid I like to know your take on the 2 countries.

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LJF
9/20/2019 18:01 EST

I have same question to Sergio about returning from France to Italy, since we are considering Italy in retirement..... but love France too!
Thanks

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Sergios
9/21/2019 01:55 EST

Ask your questions

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Sergios
9/21/2019 01:57 EST

I'll write a brief a bit later when I have more time.

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Sergios
9/21/2019 03:07 EST

Since this is a thread about banking I am putting my discussion about why France or Why Italy on a new thread.

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