TransferWise Reviews | Glassdoor

TransferWise Reviews

Updated Feb 17, 2020

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4.5
89%
Recommend to a Friend
93%
Approve of CEO
TransferWise CEO Kristo Käärman
Kristo Käärman
211 Ratings
  1. "Great"

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

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

    Pros

    Product is brilliant, innovative, actually help people. Very costumer-driven. Culture is great! Good career opportunity. Relaxed and cool workplace! WFH & work/life balance + other benefits

    Cons

    Working with Autonomous Team is the best and worst thing about TW.

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    TransferWise2020-02-17
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Autonomous teams on a mission to bring fair international banking about"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Budapest
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at TransferWise full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The mission: I loved the main goal of company which is lowering international banking costs to minimum possible levels, while being transparent on fees and waiting times. It is a worthy task, and they have millions of real users with real problems. About company structure: The company is a fast growing ex-startup, with a mixture of startup and corporate. Hierarchically speaking it has a flat structure with tribes organized around consisting many teams. All these teams have KPIs to push. Good part of company structure: Since it is not yet corporate there is still flexibility: people can work on stuff they know best as opposed to only the things in their contract. Also there is a lot of trust and openness to recommendations outside of your own team. Good part of engineering culture: - lots of smart and world class level engineers - a lot of freedom in doing things, - teams own their process, so no outdated processes to block you. - people can be convinced with reasoning, no bottleneck architects - engineers are treated as partners in product not just workers - a chance to talk to the customers, customer support, OPS as participant! In my previous company I could not talk with either of them, so it is a great opportunity to have some ideas - the CEO picks up the phone to solve customer issues time to time; which shows that the company really want to be customercentric The best type of employee for the company (in engineering): - senior level; has to know how to weigh pros and cons - has a lot of willpower to tackle lots of threads and lack of direction (i.e. "I don't know, solve it!") - willing to do non-engineering tasks (gathering product requirements, assessing design, discuss team KPIs, etc.) - does not afraid to decide and risk - has the necessary people- and verbal skills to voice criticism in a solely positive way

    Cons

    Mostly there are two sources of issue with company: one is having autonomous teams in a flat structure _at scale_ which is a very new concept with not so many ready solutions. The second issue is coming from the fact TransferWise is being an ex-startup with breakneck growth: there was no time tackling them. So in detail: Negative consequences of autonomy: - anything under a KPI gets better and possible modern as well; anything not measured or easily measurable are not really solved - that means that problems outside responsibility of a team are solved very late or not at all; usually these are the really hard problems - there is a cult of the Messiah Employee who would be a person who can find time, energy and willpower outside of day-to-day feature-work to fix these cross-team really hard problems Negative consequences of being an ex-startup: - the company did not invest in people skills; leads don't know how to solve interpersonal conflicts, so they just lay off people; nor there are employees who can intervene in these - there are senior product managers who makes decisions over guesses or their own ideas; regardless of the team invested in data analysis and UX beforehand - certain areas like data engineering are surprisingly unprofessional and a lot depends on the coding skills of a given team's data analysts; the quality varies team-by-team - there is a lot of legacy code that is not tackled and there is no human resource to do it (scaling issue); also there are product managers who does not want to hear about these problems, consequentially there's a lot of guerrilla engineering tackling tech-debt - there are many questionable team leads who might have great technical knowledge but really not mature enough or ready to tackle human issues - people expected to be fine with not-so-great compensation; however really hard issues require really valuable people who in turn might know their price

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    TransferWise2020-02-16
  3. "Great growth opportunities in a fast paced environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Team Lead in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you're hard-working and pro-active, there are loads of growth opportunities. Great offices and amazing people.

    Cons

    The pace is fast; growth is a good thing, but can be difficult to manage at times.

    TransferWise2020-02-14
  4. "Great People!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Engineer in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people around you are amazing. You have freedom to do whatever you feel like has the most impact for the customers. Endless possibilities to grow.

    Cons

    Autonomous teams can cause lack of knowledge what other teams are building.

    TransferWise2020-02-14
  5. "Fun, educational, accepting and worth it."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Support Representative in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    On the spot detailed training for your role, a lot of free food, understanding colleagues and a positive work environment.

    Cons

    To personal desk- choose where to sit each day, no lactose free coffee machine over 5 regular milk coffee machines.

    TransferWise2020-02-13
  6. "Amazing Place to Grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    As a PM, you will have room to grow and define your initiatives using data.

    Cons

    Can get confusing if you are not the type who can really work without direction

    Continue reading
    TransferWise2020-02-13
  7. "Great"

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

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

    Pros

    - It's BigSmall: It's a big global company with the mindset of a small start-up. Amazing offices, a great name on your CV and the clout to make real change in the world, but with a totally grounded culture and that start-up spirit of always innovating and improving! - Autonomy: TransferWise has a really unique approach to autonomy; unlike anything I've experienced before. Rather than telling you what you should be doing, you're encouraged to try and work out yourself how you can best make an impact. This may sound wishy-washy, but the benefits really become apparent over time. You're encouraged to keep questioning, innovating and trying new things. It really allows you to grow as an individual and gives you whatever opportunities you're willing to take.

    Cons

    - Too decentralised?: The autonomous nature of the country can sometimes feel like a double-edged sword; which can mean it takes a long time to get things done or make big decisions. Making change at TransferWise is less about your status, and more about your ability to get democratic support behind your ideas. This can be inefficient, but it also has upsides and is a great life skill to build.

    TransferWise2020-02-13
  8. "Awesome place to work for people that like dynamic environment"

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

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

    Pros

    - Good work-life balance - Fast-growing company - Stock options for all employees - High level of transparent - Reasonably flat organization - Owners and leadership are accessible - It's truly mission driven - In general, people are quite nice - Teams are highly autonomous (which I really like, but it can also be a con depending on what you're looking for)

    Cons

    - TransferWise really cares about its mission and that's quite nice, but sometimes I wish that we could have more missions other than only "Money without borders". For example, we are not very into closing economic gap, or reducing gender inequality. - In general, people here are quite nice and when someone is clearly rude the person receives feedback and can get eventually fired. However, there are some grey areas, especially when the person is rude but at the same time the person is a high performer. If it was up to me, I would not allow this "rude but high performer" people in TransferWise.

    TransferWise2020-02-13
  9. "A scale-up with the soul of a startup"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Great culture - Relatable mission - Lots of autonomy (both a pro and a con) - Better life/work balance than most fintechs

    Cons

    Autonomous teams and mostly flat org means your opportunities to grow are limited - if you're looking for a career ladder you can climb, you're looking at the wrong place. Also, coordinating between teams can be difficult because there's little leadership to steer teams in the same direction. The end result is that most decisions are reactive - something that could have been sorted months before will only see proper action when they become minor crises.

    TransferWise2020-02-13
  10. "It is the job you make it yourself"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior KYC Agent in Tallinn
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of different positions to choose from, always possible to pursue your interests, great colleagues and team spirit. Working from home or remotely supported.

    Cons

    Compensation below average for the field and location, lots of responsibility, job involves a lot of routine tasks

    TransferWise2020-02-13

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