Airwallex Review: What’s the Verdict?

An Airwallex review that explores services, the pros and cons of using them for global payments, and the platform's accessibility, pricing and operations.

Updated: February 26, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

 

As a business owner, you may need to make cross-border transactions; depending on your provider, it can be difficult and expensive. Airwallex is one of the leading platforms that streamline global financial operations and empower 100s businesses with a global financial infrastructure.

In this review, we'll explore Airwallex's services, the pros and cons of using them for global payments, and the accessibility of the platform, as well as delving into its pricing and operations.

What Is Airwallex?

Airwallex was founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 2015 by Jack Zhang, Lucy Liu, Max Li, Xijing Dai, and Ki-lok Wong. The headquarters are in Singapore; however, the business operations worldwide in over 60 countries, including Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

The history of how Airwallex started is quite interesting. The founders launched a cafe in Melbourne to test and learn about a rising global trend in retail. As the founders worked to build a supply chain, they discovered a problem that Airwallex would later solve.

The FX conversion was heavy and somewhat long when buying supplies from countries like China. Airwallex was born as the founders set out to build a financial infrastructure to support operations across borders.

Since 2015, Airwallex has grown to over 1,200 people across 19 international offices. Airwallex now empowers businesses to operate anywhere, helping them succeed without borders and connecting entrepreneurs, business owners, and creators with borderless opportunities worldwide.

Airwallex enables businesses to make global payments with world-trusted software and APIs that simplify financial operations, unlock new opportunities and help enterprises grow without limits.

Airwallex isn't a bank account; it's a multinational financial technology company offering financial services and software as a service. The mission of Airwallex is to empower businesses with global business accounts and make international transactions seamless and cost-effective.

Exploring Airwallex's Features

A feature-rich platform is ideal for most businesses.

What services and features a platform offers can help you decide if it's the right platform for your business. When using the platform, we explored all the features to see what companies could utilise.

Airwallex's features include:

  • Business accounts: Include access to global accounts, FX and transfers, bill paying options, payment links and plugs, expense management, borderless cards, and software integrations. Transferring funds with an Airwallex account is speedy; you won't have to wait days or months for payments to be received.
  • Core API: Airwallex has powerful and flexible APIs to manage money programmatically. The AP accepts multi-currency payments with reduced fees with like-for-like settlements, gives access to transactional FX, and facilitates payouts and card issuing.
  • Embedded finance: The platform has embedded finance that allows you to build your own financial products with a global treasury, banking as a service, payments for platforms and more.
  • International payments and transfers: You can make one-time or recurring payments to your supplies and employees worldwide. You'll gain access to market-leading FX rates regardless of the transaction size. You can send and receive payments from 150+ countries and regions in over 60 currencies. You can make batch transfers to send funds in one go to multiple recipients.
  • Expense management platform: End-to-end expense management for every business. You can reconcile expenses in one platform and have real-time visibility and control over employee spending.
  • Multiple payment options: You can securely accept payment worldwide with their preferred payment methods. Integration is possible with popular eCommerce platforms, and you can also create shareable payment links for your customers in minutes.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Airwallex

When we tried and tested Airwallex, we made a list of all the benefits and drawbacks of using the platform so you can know what you're getting into before you sign up.

Benefits

✔️ Competitive FX rates: Airwallex uses interbank rates for transactions, which are usually more competitive than traditional banks offer.

✔️ Transparent pricing: There are no hidden or unexpected fees when using Airwallex, as all pricing is transparent. You'll see the cost upfront at all times.

✔️ Advanced security: Airwallex is regulated by financial authorities worldwide and has various security measures to protect its users. Airwallex's operating company in the UK, Airwallex UK, holds an Electronic Money Institution license issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There are safeguarding procedures in place that comply with FCA.

✔️ Global coverage: You can receive and send payments from 150+ countries and regions in over 60 currencies.

✔️ Integration options: You can connect the Airwallex platform to your accounting software to automatically reconcile transfers and have all your finances in one place to simplify your bookkeeping. Tools like Shopify and Xero are only some of the possible integrations you can make.

✔️ Company cards: Airwallex offers company and employee cards, all of which you can track and control expenses on one platform.

Drawbacks

❌️ No ATM access: When using Airwallex physical cards, remember they do not work on ATMs.

❌️ Digital-only platform: Unlike traditional banks, Airwallex has no physical presence. You can't just visit an in-store branch. However, as it is digital only, it is much more accessible, and you can access your accounts on the go from anywhere.

❌️ Customer support: Reviews from other users mention issues around contacting customer support, such as delayed response times and problems with resolving issues.

Prices and Fees

As a business, keeping the cost of services in mind is vital.

Airwallex's transparent fees and costs let you know how much transaction fees will be before you start transferring money.

Any fees you may incur with Airwallex include:

  • Opening accounts: It is free to open foreign and domestic currency accounts with Airwallex. The multi-currency wallet is also free.
  • Software integration: All software integration is free, including XERO, QuickBooks, shopping plugins and other integrations.
  • Bill paying: The bill paying feature is free.
  • Local transfers: Local transfers are free.
  • SWIFT transfer: 10 – 20 GBP fee for SWIFT transfer methods.
  • FX conversation rates: 0.5% conversation rate for transactions in the following currencies: USD, HKD, CNY, AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD, SGD, CHF, NZD, and JPY. The conversion fee is 1% of the transaction value for all other currencies.
  • UK card payments: 1.30% + 0.20 GBP fee for accepting UK Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay and Google Pay payments.
  • EEA payments: 2.40% + 0.20 GBP for EEA cards.
  • International payments: 3.15% + 0.20 GBP for accepting international cards and payments.
  • AMEX payments: 2.40% +0.20 GBP.
  • Local payment methods: 0.20 GBP + payment method fee.
  • Subscription management (API only): 0.40% fee per successful transaction for collecting recurring customer payments.
  • Company cards: The multi-currency virtual cards are free for all cardholders.
  • Employee cards: £5 charge per cardholder per month. However, the first five cardholders are free.

Airwallex offers flexible pricing based on your business needs; you can contact sales directly and discuss prices that work for your business.

Airwallex Review: Our Verdict

Airwallex offers promising services for businesses of all sizes.

With a simple account set-up and account management that's accessible to all users, you can start accepting international payments for your business regardless of its size.

The platform offers lightning-fast transactions, with over 70% of transactions arriving in its designated account within the same day. Airwallex is cost-effective; it cuts out needless FX fees, so you save time and money when using your Airwallex account to transfer funds, make and take international payments and any other business you need to conduct overseas, including online payments.

Airwallex is ideal if you want to build a global business; with the business accounts, Core API and Embedded Finance, you can propel and manage your financial operations globally. If you still need to start international expansion for your company, Airwallex is an excellent place to start.

The all-in-one account from Airwallex impressed us the most, allowing its users to open domestic and foreign currency accounts in minutes and conduct high-speed FX and transfers at interbank rates.

Features include automating domestic and international bill pay workflows. The account also comes with the ability to instantly accept payments from customers worldwide with payment links and plugins, so if you want to reach new markets internationally with Airwallex, you can do this seamlessly with a payment method that suits your customers.

If you're a business that needs employees to travel around the world, you can issue them with one of Airwallex's borderless cards. A multi-currency card that acts as a company card, and you can issue several at once so you can keep track of all spending in one place.

There is no need to reimburse your employee for expenses with a borderless card. The borderless card will allow you and your employees to purchase multiple currencies without worrying about expensive conversion fees.

Airwallex fairs well alongside its competitors like Wise; it offers better rates for large transactions and lower fees. However, if you're interested in card options and even personal accounts, Wise would be the better option.

Who Can Open Accounts With Airwallex?

You may be unsure if Airwallex is for you; there are eligibility criteria that will let you know if you can apply for a business account or any other services with Airwallex.

So you don't have to go looking for them, we've compiled the list below for you:

  • Business status: Airwallex doesn't provide services for individual uses as it offers services for businesses only. Your company must be registered and have a physical address to qualify for Airwallex's services.
  • Business type: Certain businesses are prohibited from using Airwallex's services, such as high-risk industries like gaming or weapons manufacturing. If your business falls into a high-risk sector, you may not be eligible.
  • Business location: Although Airwallex offers services to businesses across the globe, services may vary depending on where your business is located due to varying financial regulations. However, if you're a UK business, Airwallex is supported and regulated, so you should be suitable to apply.
  • Age: Business owners must be aged 18 and above.
  • Pass KYC requirements: Airwallex has a Know Your Customer (KYC) policy each applicant must complete. You must provide identification and business verification documents for you and the business owners.

Final Thoughts

Businesses of any size can benefit from using Airwallex; it offers all-in-one business accounts and software to oversee international payments and spending and, in general, is feature-rich.

Airwallex's ability to conduct multiple currency transactions and facilitate global payments with low fees and high security is the major attraction to its products and services.

If you're an individual looking to send money internationally. In that case, this isn't the platform for you, but if you want to expand internationally, you will find the platform accessible and cost-effective.

Related Guides:

Airwallex Review: FAQs

Is Your Money Safe With Airwallex?

Who Owns Airwallex?

What Is Airwallex Used for?

Is There a Withdrawal Fee for Airwallex?

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