A Wise Move — What A Good Rebrand Looks Like
When TransferWise became ‘Wise’ in 2021 the name change was one piece of a larger rebrand. What made it a success?
International money transfers are notoriously time-consuming and complicated, not to mention expensive. Fintech, TransferWise, was founded to make international money transfers easier for everyone. It’s built as a non-banking platform capable of replacing international banking — and today used by more than 10 global banking institutions.
Ten years in, the founders decided it was time to change the TransferWise brand. The name change and wider rebrand were needed to better represent the audience the company served — people and businesses living multi-currency lives who need their money to be borderless.
At Khula Design Studio, we’re in the business of brand refreshes and we’re also a Wise customer. That’s why we’re fascinated by their recent brand transformation — what they did, why they did it, and how other businesses can learn from their success.
From TransferWise to Wise
What’s in a name? Quite a lot as it happens.
When it was first founded, the TransferWise name reflected a community of people getting wise to the frustrating, complicated, and expensive business of international money transfers via banks. Escaping hidden fees and exchange rate mark-ups, TransferWise promised a fairer and easier way to move money between borders.
Today, the company knows it’s about more than money transfers. That’s what their community of millions tells them. Converting money into different currencies is still complicated and dominated by small print and delays, but the Wise community has evolved. They’re very aware of an outdated international banking system, which makes exchanging money more costly and time-consuming than it needs to be.
They’ve become Wise.
Looking good in green
Let’s start with the one thing that hasn’t changed. The ‘fast flag’ — which symbolizes money without borders — is still a part of their logo. Every other brand asset has been reworked to better reflect the company’s global community of people and businesses.
Gone is the dark blue palette and dark themed website. The new brand identity embraces shades of green — the color of money, the color of the natural environment, and also a reflection of the diverse and vibrant community that uses Wise every day.
The brand now has a cleaner, brighter, and more environmentally friendly look and feel, switching to greens and whites that make it feel more international, and more universal. In the words of their London-based branding agency, Ragged Edge: “Every other part of the visual and verbal system has been painstakingly redesigned with The World’s Money as the guiding principle.”