Wise Launches New International Expense Card to Support Canadian Businesses Navigating International Banking Complexities

Small Business Canada
  • Research from Wise notes 54% of Canadian SMBs operating internationally said managing multiple currencies and the high cost of banking have made it harder to work internationally over the past five years
  • Expense cards from Wise, available to businesses in 37 countries including Canada, will save businesses and employees time, hassle and money

Toronto: 18.01.2022 A new study released today by Wise found that more than half (57%) of Canadian small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are currently operating internationally, but are facing challenges from broken payments and banking technology, which remain a barrier to international ambitions. 

The study, which polled more than 4,800 SMBs around the world, found the most common reasons for Canadian SMBs either currently operating internationally or wanting to expand business cross-borders are to reach new customers (53%), improve long term growth prospects (43%), and source new suppliers and resources (36%). 

It’s clear there is strong interest from Canadian SMBs to grow and expand their businesses, as more than a third (35%) of SMBs reported ambitions to expand internationally in the next five years. However, an alarming three-fifths (61%) have felt discouraged or even prevented from doing so largely due to the cost and complexity of international banking. Of Canadian SMBs operating abroad, called micro-multinationals, 54% said challenges associated with international payments, specifically managing multiple currencies and the high cost of banking, have made it harder to work internationally, a concerning figure that shows a clear need for transparent, easy to use banking solutions. 

Introducing Expense Cards

To support Canadian SMBs in scaling and operating internationally, Wise Business, the business account for going global, has announced the launch of its new expense card in Canada, which is set to save businesses and their employees time, hassle and money on international expenses. 

The expense card is the latest addition to Wise’s portfolio of Canadian business solutions, following the recent launch of the Wise card in Canada, a global spending card, connected to the Wise Account, allowing customers to hold, send and spend instantly like a local at rates that are up to 4x cheaper than banks and alternatives.

“Canadian businesses are more global than many other countries, yet over half continue to face challenges operating abroad due to a series of disconnected banking systems,” said Ryan Zagone, Head of Americas at Wise for Banks and Businesses. “As more SMBs rely on technology to run their businesses, they must be met with innovative banking tools to support global growth. That’s why it’s key for SMBs to utilize tools that will save time and money, like the Wise card and newly launched expense card. The expense card service is streamlined, cost and time efficient, and now allows businesses and their employees to be as international as modern business demands.”

Canadian businesses now have access to a full suite of tools from Wise, needed to manage international payments, including:

·       Bank Details Across 10 Currencies: The Wise Account gives businesses access to local bank details across 10 currencies, including USD, GBP and EUR, to pay and get paid like a local.

·       Pay at the Real Exchange Rate: Send money to 80 different countries and spend with a Wise card in over 200 countries at the real exchange rate. Always with no hidden fees and a low transparent fee.

·       Remain in Financial Control: Connect Wise with Xero to attach receipts to business expenses for auto-reconciliation. Businesses can set spending limits for each user, and will receive notifications for major account moments, such as an employee requesting a card or reaching 80% of their spending limit. 

Expense cards are available to all Wise Business customers in Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan. Cards are free after a one time low fee of CAD$42 to access features like local bank details, Wise cards and withdraw features from Shopify and Stripe. For more information visit https://wise.com/ca/business/

About the research:

The research took place between August to September 2021. The sample comprises 4,800 global senior decision makers in private sector micro, small and medium-sized (SMB) businesses across the world, of which 253 were in Canada. Micro-multinationals in this study have been classified as SMBs that are currently operating abroad. This research was commissioned by Wise and independently conducted by YouGov. To download the full report and learn more about how big banks block small businesses’ international ambitions, visit. https://wise.com/p/msmb-survey

About Wise

Wise is a global technology company, building the best way to move money around the world. With the Wise account people and businesses can hold over 50 currencies, move money between countries and spend money abroad. Large companies and banks use Wise technology too; an entirely new cross-border payments network that will one day power money without borders for everyone, everywhere. However you use the platform, Wise is on a mission to make your life easier and save you money. 

Co-founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, Wise launched in 2011 under its original name TransferWise. It is one of the world’s fastest growing, most profitable tech companies and is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker, WISE. 

11 million people and businesses use Wise, which processes over £6 billion in cross-border transactions every month, saving customers over £1 billion a year.

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