Wise enters crowded investing space with new feature which lets users spend money invested in stocks across multiple currencies
- Fintech firm Wise has launched a feature called Assets, which lets its customers invest in a Blackrock fund
- Customers can instantly spend or send up to 97 per cent of the money invested
- Wise is going up against a crowded market of DIY investment platforms
British fintech Wise has launched an investment feature that allows its customers to invest in stocks across multiple currencies.
From today, retail and business banking customers based in the UK will be able to use ‘Wise Assets’ to invest in Blackrock’s iShares World Equity Index Fund, a portfolio of stocks which includes Apple, Amazon and Google.
Users will also be able to instantly spend up to 97 per cent of the invested money in their accounts with a Wise card, or send funds overseas.
Wise said it is holding back 3 per cent of the invested cash as a buffer for market volatility.
Wise co-founder and chief executive Kristo Käärmann
‘People all over the world are holding billions in their Wise and Wise Business accounts for the long-term.
‘But holding money in various currencies can be hard to manage efficiently,’ said chief executive and co-founder Kristo Käärmann.
‘Assets is seeking to solve that problem, by providing an opportunity for customers to earn a return on their money with us, in a host of different currencies, in all one place.’
Wise, formerly Transferwise, started life as a platform offering cheap currency exchange, but it has since expanded its products to include multi-currency accounts linked to a debit card and now holds £4.3billion in balances from customers globally.
Its foray into investments comes after a surge in retail investors using commission-free trading platforms to buy stocks.
Wise chairman and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and technology boss Harsh Sinha also recently invested in Lightyear, a new commission-free stock trading app launched by their former colleagues.
The new offering also pits it against Revolut, which began offering its customers access to multi-currency accounts and stock investing in 2019.
Käärmann said: ‘It’s not a standard current account, or a savings account, or a stock picking investment platform.
‘It’s something new we’ve built to give our customers a balance between the convenience, reliability, and potential returns of all three.’
Assets will charge a 0.55 per cent service fee to Wise and a 0.15 per cent fund fee on the value of a user’s assets, which is taken monthly in arrears.
It plans to add more funds as it rolls out across Europe.
The launch comes after a period of beta testing with customers after Wise was granted new licences by the Financial Conduct Authority in June 2020, which allowed it to carry out regulated investment activities without a full banking licence.
‘People are increasingly turning to a single app to manage their financial lives and improve their wellbeing.
‘Offerings, such as Assets from Wise, are bringing financial services into the digital age and in line with consumers’ expectations,’ said Joe Parkin, head of banks and digitals at Blackrock UK.
‘Providing people with investments alongside other financial products is critical to helping them achieve their long term goals.’
Assets is the first major product launch since Wise went public in London earlier this year, debuting at a valuation of nearly £9billion.
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