TransferWise (now known as Wise) provides a valuable service, enabling people worldwide to send money internationally at favorable exchange rates. However, TransferWise account deactivations can happen unexpectedly, cutting off access to your funds and disrupting transfers.
If you find your Wise account suddenly deactivated, it can be worrying and inconvenient. But with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often reactivate your account within a few weeks. This guide will explore the common reasons for TransferWise deactivations, provide tips to appeal and restore your account access, and give advice to help prevent similar issues in the future.
Why Wise (TransferWise) Deactivate Accounts
TransferWise aims to provide a secure platform for sending money globally. To uphold security and regulatory compliance, TransferWise proactively monitors account activity and may deactivate accounts displaying certain high-risk attributes. Some of the most frequent triggers for TransferWise account deactivations include:
Suspected Fraudulent or Criminal Activity
Wise deploys advanced monitoring systems to detect potentially fraudulent, scam, or criminal transactions. Their algorithms look for signs of money laundering, terrorist financing, cybercrime, and other illegal money transfers. If the system flags suspicious account activity, TransferWise will often immediately deactivate the account as a safety precaution. However, TransferWise’s fraud detection tools are imperfect and sometimes flag legitimate transactions as suspicious in error. So an account deactivation does not necessarily mean you engaged in anything illegal.
Violating the Wise Terms of Service
All TransferWise users must agree to their Terms of Service when opening an account. These terms prohibit certain activities like transmitting prohibited items, failing to disclose business usage, sending threats, and more. If TransferWise detects Terms of Service violations or illegal use of the platform, account termination can occur to protect their business interests. Make sure to fully read and understand TransferWise’s extensive Terms to avoid accidentally breaking the rules.
Extended Account Inactivity
To keep their systems running smoothly, TransferWise will deactivate accounts that remain completely inactive for an extended period of time, usually 1-2 years. If your TransferWise account is dormant because you’ve stopped using the service temporarily, be sure to log in and make a minor transfer every 6-12 months. This will reset the inactivity clock and prevent your account from being deactivated.
Incomplete Account Onboarding
When you first open a Wise account, you must complete all onboarding steps like providing your identification and proof of address. If any of these required steps remain incomplete for too long, TransferWise may proactively deactivate the account since the signup process was never fully finished. Be sure to promptly complete all onboarding requirements whenever you create a new TransferWise account.
Usage in Restricted Countries
Wise operates globally, but some countries face financial restrictions and sanctions that legally prohibit TransferWise from permitting account usage there. Attempting to access your TransferWise account from a country facing international sanctions, like North Korea, Crimea, or Iran, is likely to trigger immediate account termination to comply with regulations. You can check the full list of restricted countries here.
False AML Flags
As part of regulatory Anti-Money Laundering efforts, TransferWise runs sophisticated algorithms to monitor transactions for any suspicious attributes that could potentially indicate money laundering or terrorist financing. However, no system is perfect, and TransferWise’s automated screening tools sometimes flag legitimate accounts by mistake, resulting in account deactivation.
If your account gets deactivated, don’t automatically assume you did something wrong. Oftentimes deactivations occur due to oversensitive fraud detection settings or algorithm limitations. By taking quick action to appeal the deactivation, you can usually get reinstated within a few weeks.
Appealing and Troubleshooting Your Deactivated Wise Account
If you find your TransferWise account suddenly deactivated, stay calm and take the following steps:
Check Your Email Notifications
The first step is to thoroughly check your email, including spam folders. TransferWise will send notifications explaining the reason for deactivating your account. This email is critically important because it will provide timeframes for appealing the decision as well as instructions for what to submit to potentially get reinstated. Pay very close attention to these instructions and be sure to meet all deadlines provided.
Submit an Account Reinstatement Appeal
Within your deactivated TransferWise account, you should have the ability to complete an account reinstatement request form. Be sure to access this form and submit your appeal within the timeframe specified in the deactivation email, usually 7-14 days. In your appeal, clearly explain why you believe the deactivation was unwarranted and any supplemental information that can help your case. The more details you provide, the better.
Provide Identification Records
In nearly all cases, TransferWise will request identity documentation to process a reinstatement appeal. This usually involves uploading scanned copies of government-issued IDs like drivers licenses and passports. You may also need to provide proof of address documents like recent utility bills and bank statements. Having these scanned records on hand can help speed up the appeals process.
Closely Monitor Communications
After submitting your reinstatement request, monitor your notifications closely over the following days and weeks. TransferWise may request clarification, additional documents, or details on any flagged transactions related to the deactivation. Be sure to provide all information promptly to avoid delays in the resolution process. Consider adding multiple contact methods like an alternate email and phone number so you don’t miss important updates.
Clarify Triggers for The Deactivation
In your appeal, take time to thoroughly explain any transactions, activity, or account usage that may have triggered the deactivation. Provide clear evidence demonstrating the legitimacy of the flagged activity, like receipts, contracts, correspondence, or any other documentation that can prove the validity of the transactions in question. The more justification you can provide, the higher your odds of success.
Check Status Weekly
Plan to log into your deactivated TransferWise account every few days to check for status updates on your appeal. The review process may take 1-2 weeks, so frequent monitoring is recommended. If the timeframe extends past 2 weeks with no decision, consider politely contacting TransferWise support to request escalation to an account specialist for prompt resolution.
Avoid Repeated Deactivation in the Future
If your appeal proves successful and you regain access to your TransferWise account, take preventative steps to avoid repeating the issues in the future:
- Maintain accurate identity and contact information in your account profile.
- Perform occasional small transfers every 6-12 months to keep your account active.
- Carefully follow all TransferWise Terms of Service when using your account.
- Add transaction purpose notes to signal legitimacy for larger sums.
- Turn on app notifications so you never miss messages from TransferWise.
- Keep detailed records of all account activity and associates.
- Only transact with trusted recipients to prevent policy violations.
- Be cautious when sending to countries facing financial sanctions.
- Promptly send TransferWise any updated identification or profile information.
With diligent account management and quick response to any deactivation notices, you can get reactivated promptly and minimize future disruption.
Alternatives if Your TransferWise Account Remains Deactivated
If you exhaust all appeals and your TransferWise account remains permanently deactivated, several alternative international money transfer platforms exist, including:
Remitly is optimized for international remittances and cash pick-up, providing fast delivery to key corridors like India, Mexico, and the Philippines at reasonable costs.
WorldRemit permits free transfers to over 110 destinations and gives multiple payout options including bank deposit, cash pickup, mobile top-up, and gift cards.
Xoom, a PayPal service, facilitates international bank wires and offers competitive foreign exchange rates combined with fast delivery to many countries.
Payoneer’s digital wallet links to local payment networks in over 200 countries and territories, enabling simplified global payouts.
Azimo supports cost-effective transfers to over 200 countries and territories and provides mobile apps for added convenience.
For those who prefer in-person transactions, MoneyGram has tens of thousands of agent locations worldwide for sending or receiving money.
By troubleshooting diligently and leveraging alternative services if needed, you can overcome the inconvenience of a deactivated TransferWise account. With caution and attentive account management, you can avoid permanent loss of access.