TransferWise aims to be next Skype of money transfers

Fintech unicorn is in a race to slash international money transfer charges to zero

In 2011, Mr Kristo Kaarmann (above) teamed up with Skype’s first employee, Mr Taavet Hinrikus, to start money transfer firm TransferWise after he realised that for international money transfers, banks were using different levels of margin in the exchange rate which was resulting in money lost for customers. The company, which now has 4 million customers, services 1,300 currency routes, connecting 49 currencies, including the Singdollar. ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG
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What's with these Estonians, the young nation whose 1.3 million thrive off the Baltic Sea in Europe's north?

Fifteen years ago, a bunch of Estonian developers came up with Skype, changing the face of communications and knocking one into the solar plexuses of telecom companies' bottom lines. Acquired by eBay in 2005, Skype has come to rest in the hands of Microsoft, which paid US$8.5 billion (S$11.7 billion) for the company in 2011.

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