When we established Wise, we wanted to address a very specific problem. Our entire existence is to make money work without borders. We now serve ten million customers worldwide and last year we sent over £54bn across borders. These are big numbers but it’s still only 2.5% of all cross-border transactions. Our future is still going to be around fixing the international aspects of using money for people and businesses.
In broad terms, becoming a public company does not change anything. It does not change how we operate or the economics of our business. But there is one pretty awesome change – it will let our customers become owners to a degree that would not have been possible to achieve as a private company. This is something that we are very excited about.
We have already gifted shares to 1,800 of our oldest and long term active customers – they now comprise the second largest group of shareholders in Wise. Now we have the opportunity to invite more customers to join our shareholder base of like-minded investors. We are planning a customer shareholder programme, OwnWise, which will reward customers joining as shareholders after our admission. It will provide customers with the chance to receive bonus shares in Wise, representing 5% of the value of the shares they buy and hold for at least 12 months.
But let’s be honest: our customers are less concerned about whether our shares are traded on the public markets as they are about whether our products are getting better and our transfers are getting faster or cheaper. Ultimately, how we improve our service to our customers are the most significant milestones.
We are creating money without borders: instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free. There remains a great deal of work to do.