TransferWise Reviews

Updated 22 Sep 2020

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4.4
87%
Recommend to a Friend
93%
Approve of CEO
TransferWise CEO Kristo Käärman
Kristo Käärman
286 Ratings
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Once in a lifetime opportunity"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Head of Team in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    TransferWise lives up to the hype. It's a unique chance to learn and make an impact in a business which is genuinely setting new standards in financial services. A few things that stand out for me: - The people are smart, decent, and there's a sense that doing the right thing is important in all aspects of the business. When People issues do crop up, they're taken seriously - Everyone is obsessed with the TransferWise mission from product through to CS. This helps unite the global team, and means the biz is focused on building good quality payments rails 'under the bonnet' of the product. Downside is the buzzy front end features other fintechs churn out take longer at TransferWise, because the team is more focused on incremental changes to making transfers faster, cheaper etc. Long term I think this investment is worth it - Most teams have clear structures for career development. Progression is based on merit, and in my experience hard work is rewarded - In most cases there is room to try new things and fail, as long as you demonstrate learnings - Everyone in the business is awarded share options, even at entry level - The founders and senior leadership team are hard working and committed to the mission 9 years on from the company being founded - It's a fun place to be! Annual company holiday, travel for most roles, typical beer and pizza style start-up parties. Lots of people relocate from overseas for TransferWise and make close friendships in the company

    Cons

    - It's not for everyone. The autonomous teams model requires you to be entrepreneurial to get things done. If you're not a self-starter you will find it hard to navigate the blockers inherent in the company's structure - There's a strong feedback culture which can get pretty noisy and be disheartening. It's a blessing and a curse, the right level of feedback leads to positive outcomes, other times it's overwhelming, unproductive and paralyses the people with the most expertise from doing their jobs - The company has some work to do on Diversity & Inclusion at leadership level. It's making up for this now but it could have been looked at sooner

  2. "Good enviroment"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in London, England

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time

    Pros

    Good culture and human centric teams

    Cons

    Lack of ambition from time to time


  3. "Great place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Compliance in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Lots of passionate and intelligent people - Diverse and inclusive environment (and actively trying to be better)

    Cons

    - Flat structure can mean communication is at times hindered

  4. "A Culture of Transparency"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Platform Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Mutual respect and a culture of transparecy. Dogs in the office. Sauna.

    Cons

    I can't think of any.

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  5. "Best place I've ever worked"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Copywriter in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Absolutely love it here. You're trusted to get on with things, and also to manage your own time. If you need to work flexibly or need a day off, you can take it. You're treated like a human, and there's support if you ask for it. The work is varied and the people are intelligent, and really chill. Not many egos. I'm obsessed (not in a weird way) with my team — they're a good bunch. I know not all teams are as great, but they're 2,000+ people you can chose to work with too.

    Cons

    They have some exceptional people that they are at risk of losing if they don't get the right team lead. They should focus on retention and growing team leads. And not tip toe around "market salaries". Also most roles going live are senior — they could be losing out on potential.

  6. "Great place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IOS Developer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It's been a great and supportive place to work, full of smart people all working towards the same goals.

    Cons

    The freedom can be overwhelming when joining, but making sure you ask plenty of questions, and build connections helps a lot

  7. Helpful (1)

    "5 out of 5 if you're looking to join a fintech company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full Stack Developer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Given that most people visiting here would be considering job opportunities, or even job offers from TransferWise, let me just make it clear: this is a company that you won't regret joining, if you're confident, independent-thinking, self-motivated and driven by doing the right things while learning from others, then this is the place. It's not without shortcomings, far from it, but compared to most companies, it is a unique place wherever you're in your career. But make sure you're prepared for a tough but fun ride with a lot of people that you'd like to work together, that is if you're acclimated to the culture. There are so many pros but for a software developer (engineer), let me just tell you some facts and you can be your own judge: - It is very product engineering driven; we're talking about many engineers not only knowing their trade well (good programmers) but also caring and having deep knowledge about the products. It is also reflected in the interview process where there is a round of interview with a product manager for all the engineering candidates. - The culture feels the same when it is >400 engineers now, as when it was <100 engineers 2 years ago. Some companies would have simply met their final destination before hitting that number, and others would have different cultures that are so far from the original. Not at TransferWise. - There are so many friendly and collaborative fellow engineers, who would not hesitate to help if asked. Obviously not everybody is like that but the majority are very much so. The reason? Most of us share the same understanding of why we work at TransferWise and how we can achieve our mission, and being a humble contributor seems to be just the cure. - In terms of tech leads, IMHO it is a highly selective group of people and the bar has been held high so far. I'll say a bit more on the cons side below but the pros side is that this makes sure we have the consistency which is key to preserve and evolve the culture. Most if not all the leads are solid developers, and more or less experienced in people management too. - Oh, did I mention that Kristo, the CEO, was/is a programmer? That's not just some stories PR would like to tell you - I've reviewed his code and he cares about engineering. Nowadays he doesn't voice his opinions on engineering any more, perhaps conscious of the weight his opinions may carry; but you can rarely find another unicorn CEO having the same profile. Compensation-wise, everybody owns part of the company no matter how small (or big for some people) it is.

    Cons

    Let me say this first: every company has room to improvement, TransferWise no exception. I've always been keeping a critical eye on things because I care about the company. The scale and field TransferWise is operating on is very different from another company, so the problem we're facing sometimes exposes our shortcomings. In engineering, - Tech leads are very overloaded. From the start, the requirement is that they have to be good at both engineering and people management (as we don't have engineering manager setup like some other tech companies), as well as understand how TransferWise works. Any one of those would be a big ask, let alone three. I personally would start introducing engineering manager (people manager) in the structure. Recent career map on new IC levels also paves way for some leads who may not want to pursue a people management career to stay on the technical track. - Speaking of career, it's hard to see us offering a lot. When we were small, it's all about having the impact, not your title/level; Now we're relatively big, still with the very flat structure in engineering, there isn't much for a promising engineer to go up to, other than being a tech lead, which as I mentioned above, is pretty overloaded/overworked. Hopefully the new levels would help a bit but we may need to change something more drastically to improve that. - Diversity: not that we don't care (at least I care deeply), it's tricky to make start on this when you have an all-male and sometimes all-white interview line-up. There are some good initiatives but we can definitely do more at intern/graduate/experience levels. - Communication: it has improved greatly over time but still room for more. It's difficult given our global presence but I'm confident we'll do better. - Compensation: no bonus or performance related pay is fine when the company is small, as stock options is doing the job; as we grow, stock options may become less relevant and to attract talents who may have a preference on cash over options, this is something we should consider.

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  8. Helpful (1)

    "Big focus on people and making an impact but lack of professional opportunities"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Analyst in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    People-focused, provide decent equity, lots of team building activities and opportunities to visit different offices around the world. Clear mission and communication.

    Cons

    Small educational budget, projects are mostly not challenging or don't provide much autonomy and thus not many opportunities to grow professionally. Not much exposure to the senior leadership except for team presentations.

  9. "fun, fast, exciting place to work"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at TransferWise part-time

    Pros

    open communication, fast-paced, opportunities to grow

    Cons

    communication gaps, parallel work streams

  10. "Good company, great values"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Growth Analyst in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - A value and mission driven business. Transferwise strives to live up to its ideals. - Great company culture, coworkers are friendly and supportive. - Smart and driven colleagues . - You are given the opportunities to make an impact.

    Cons

    - The open space can get noisy at times

    Continue reading
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