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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
If you're moving to Rome, our Guide to Living in Rome provides answers to the questions most often asked by newcomers. Is living in Rome expensive? Which are the best International Schools in Rome? What if my apartment is a little smaller than the size required for obtaining a Residency Card? Where do expats live in Rome? The list goes on.
If you're moving to Rome, our Guide to Living in Rome provides answers to the questions most often asked by newcomers. Is living in Rome expensive? Which are the best International Schools in Rome? ...
Why is Puglia described as the new Tuscany? People are drawn to Puglia's low cost of living, amazing climate, beautiful beaches hidden away in coves, and, most importantly, the wonderful Pugliese people. If Puglia is on your shortlist, this overview of life in Puglia, Italy is an essential read.
Why is Puglia described as the new Tuscany? People are drawn to Puglia's low cost of living, amazing climate, beautiful beaches hidden away in coves, and, most importantly, the wonderful Pugliese peo...
An expat in Italy shares some thoughts about moving to Minturno, Italy, including how they gradually moved there and the costs associated with the transition. Also includes some ideas for what to bring to Italy with you, and what to leave at home.
An expat in Italy shares some thoughts about moving to Minturno, Italy, including how they gradually moved there and the costs associated with the transition. Also includes some ideas for what to b...