Why do banks charge so much for international transfers? As Bloomberg points out, it’s not like they need to move a sackful of dollars anywhere. It’s just data hopping from one computer to another. Why should it cost $25?
Traditional banks must raise their game to keep customers from fleeing to the likes of TransferWise and Revolut Ltd., which are held up by researcher Oliver Wyman as examples of fintech specialists “capturing share from banks and driving down margins.” HSBC Holdings Plc, which together with a subsidiary has a lock on 30% of Hong Kong’s deposits, started offering a “first ever” 12-currency debit card to its top-end customers last month. That still doesn’t match the 40-currency card that TransferWise is bringing to Singapore, its Asia-Pacific headquarters, later this year, though it does take care of the paying-for-coffee problem in Bangkok.