Competition watchdog is asked to step in over pricing spat between Wise and Atlantic Money
Money transfer firm Wise has been reported to the competition watchdog after removing one of its smaller, cheaper competitors from its price comparison tools.
London-listed Wise, which offers its own comparison tool as well as a number of others on external sites, has removed or delisted any mention of Atlantic Money’s cheaper service, in a move the smaller firm says creates a “murky price comparison monopoly to market their inferior service.”
Atlantic chiefs have now written a formal complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority claiming that the move shuts out competition and is misleading customers.
“Concerns around fair competition are compounded by the degree to which Wise’s actions contradict its carefully crafted public persona. Such conduct is, in our view, highly misleading towards its customers,” Atlantic’s chief operating officer Calum McWhir wrote in a letter sene by City A.M.
“These are customers who trust Wise to be honest because Wise has told them that it is honest, alongside claims that the traditional banks it seeks to disintermediate are not.”
Atlantic charges a flat fee of £3 for international money transfers regardless of the amount being sent, significantly below that of Wise fees, which can reach around £41 for a £10,000 transfer.
Wise has dominated the remittance market and posted bumper profits last year but reported a slowdown in the amount of cash users were sending overseas in the final three months of the year. Analysts predicted the firm was in danger of disruption last year as smaller firms entered the market.
Atlantic slammed the firm today in a statement today, saying “Wise’s strategy appears simple: First, they champion transparency to earn trust. Then, once transparency no longer serves the business interest, they quietly abandon it.”
A Wise spokesperson commented: “We’re really proud to have the comparison tool as part of our website, and we’re not afraid to list cheaper competitors. We’ve done that for years and still do.
“We decided to remove Atlantic Money for the time being for a number of operational reasons, including queries received from customers about their business. We take any complaints very seriously.”