For those who don't know, Transferwise is a popular option to send bank-to-bank transfers without incurring in hidden and sometimes high fees of regular banks.
You link your existing bank account, verify your identity, and then you start sending and receiving money.
You can also set up a TW account in the same currency as your bank account in case you do not want to disclose your actual bank details. Otherwise you can set up virtual accounts in different currencies and get bank details for those, as well. And it all happens on the spot. They are called borderless accounts.
It is ideal to receive payments from clients worldwide: just open a borderless account in EUR and you are given a German IBAN, or in GBP and you are given a British borderless account. You can ask your clients to simply make a domestic wire transfer, which they will surely appreciate.
You can also keep your funds on Transferwise and wait to send them to your account when the exchange rate is favorable, or use them to send wire transfers. All transfers have a 0.60 EUR fixed fee (previously they were free if from and to the same currency) on top of the competitive currency conversion.
The exchange rates are competitive and fixed for 48 hours, but if the currency rate drops of over 5% between the set up and execution of the transfer, your transaction will be canceled. Details here.
For example, today EUR to USD is offered at .146 which is the mid-market rate. A single transfer costs 0.35% + €0.70.
Lately they have been offering also a debit Mastercard to spend directly your money deposited on Transferwise. However, there is a conversion fee between 0.35% - 2.5% if you do not have a balance in the currency you are spending (i.e. if you are in Japan but do not have an account in Yen).
The conversion fee from account to account is 0.35% - 1%, so it may be more convenient to convert a certain amount before heading on vacation to Japan.
As all successful ventures, TW has also imitators and competitors. They have 3 millions customers and move 2 billions of USD per month, according to this video presentation. In case you decide to sign up, this is my referral link - you will get a free first transfer.