What is Wise?
Wise is a global technology company, building the best way to move and manage the world’s money.
With Wise Account and Wise Business, people and businesses can hold over 40 currencies, move money between countries and spend money abroad. Large companies and banks use Wise technology too; an entirely new network for the world’s money. Co-founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, Wise launched in 2011 under its original name TransferWise. It is one of the world’s fastest-growing, profitable tech companies and is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker, WISE.
Wise has 7.2 million active customers worldwide. In fiscal year 2023, Wise processed approximately £105 billion in cross-border transactions, saving customers around £1.5 billion in fees. Today, Wise supports ~5% of the personal cross-border volumes globally.
The Wise Story
Tom Bennet is the Marketing Platform Lead at Wise. His team is responsible for ensuring that all the marketing teams at the company have the data they need to do their jobs properly. “Everyone from our CRM team to our SEO team and to all of our paid marketing teams, need to be sure that they can measure the performance of their campaigns, and have the data they need to know they’re doing a good job (or not).” This of course, directly relates to their MMP.
There are roughly 250 full-time Wisers, in the marketing department and over 5,000 people spread across a number of offices. “It’s important to us that everyone has a cohesive approach in terms of how they’re actually measured, so it’s clear how much value they drive for the business.”
Explaining the company’s business model, Tom says, “We’re aiming towards a world where it doesn’t cost anything to move money between currencies and around the world. To do that, we need to keep a very close eye on how our business is growing, and how much it costs us to acquire new users.”
This means keeping a close eye on metrics like CPAs, payback, and the ROI across all of the different channels, because “we want to be in a position where the money that we invest in acquiring the next 10,000 customers, and the lifetime value we get back from those customers, is net positive for the business.”
The Wise Challenge
Unlike their competitors, Wise aims to one day reduce its fees to zero. The company’s mission is to make the movement of money instant, transparent, convenient, and — eventually — free. “We do this by lowering our fees as we scale the business, and charging only what is necessary to provide the service. Wise’s ability to drop fees is tied to its ability to minimize the cost of acquiring new users,“ explains Tom.
Unlike a lot of other Fintech companies and many of their competitors, Wise does not just have a native app, but a fully functional web app as well. “We do a lot of our marketing on web, and have historically neglected app measurement in terms of marketing that pushes people towards the app.”
One of the reasons is that Wise’s previous MMP platform was set up a long time ago by employees who have since left the company. Tom rediscovered it but skepticism and over-caution about the data integrity from that platform meant that the teams were reluctant to invest in app marketing “We are very rigorous on measurement and if we cannot measure the performance of a campaign, then we don’t do it”, Tom explains.
For Wise, this meant moving to a new MMP and pushing the integration with engineers who are currently at the company so they could understand what was going on.
Need to be able to minimize the cost of acquiring new users in order to lower fees
Need a clear understanding of ROI but the previous approach to app marketing was not working
Need to revive neglected app measurement
Data integrity concerns with their incumbent MMP
Minimal support and industry knowledge sharing with incumbent MMP
And so, Wise began a full evaluation process of all the MMPs.
“I talked to the technical teams at these different vendors in quite a bit of detail, particularly regarding their data connectors, ensuring the ability to pass user-level data through and back into an S3 bucket or Snowflake. When I’d narrowed it down to two contenders, I asked to speak to their clients. During those conversations, I focused on technical onboarding, so really understanding how much support the in-house engineering teams got from the MMP during integration.”
Tom continues, “Given how complex app marketing measurement is, with all the different integrated partners working in slightly different ways, we were quite keen to find a partner that could pull in data from all of these different sources and display it in a unified, coherent way, rather than having to look at lots of different dashboards for different vendors.”
After review, it became clear to the Wise team that Singular offered the best combination of third-party integrations, BI / ETL data pipelines, price, and technical know-how, as well as a responsive and accessible technical team.
“I was impressed with the data destinations feature in particular. We talked about options for that and I was impressed with the breadth of different connectors that were offered, as well as the internal BI tool connections.”
Based on experience with their previous MMP, Tom also worried about the level of documentation, “I did quite a bit of reading of the Singular materials to see if the materials were up-to-date and coherent for the engineers to do the integration.”
The cherry on top for Wise was that the pricing was competitive. “It seemed a lot fairer and would scale with us as we grew. With our previous vendor, we were really sick of surprise costs. We made it quite clear that we didn’t feel we were getting value from the platform and yet there were multiple additional cost increases, not just for new features that we may have wanted to try out, but also as we grew, we had no idea what the pricing roadmap would look like, we were just presented with extensive overages.”
Tom notes that with Singular they were given a clear plan for how the pricing would change if they moved to a different tier and then also how it would be done pro rata if they did that midway through their contract.
The Singular Solution
“Onboarding was smoother than we had expected! In transitioning from our previous MMP, it was clear that the Singular technical solutions team knew exactly what they were doing. Nothing was left to chance. Our engineers were given direct access to Singular’s experts via Slack and regular calls, and the migration was meticulously planned, ” Tom enthuses.
He notes that as they signed they started having weekly scheduled calls with the Singular team and all of their engineers who were involved in the setup. They were immediately given a very clear project plan with a prioritized list of things to do in a specific order, and by when. “We had quite an aggressive schedule for when we wanted to switch over and the team completely worked with and around us and made everything go very smoothly, with all the support we needed. All questions were answered well and punctually.”
Wise + Singular Success
For the Wise team so far, migration aside, one of the features they are enjoying the most is Singular’s ETL offering. “Data Destinations has been brilliant. It has meant that we don’t have to invest our engineering resources to get data out of Singular. Getting data from our previous MMP required us to fetch and parse CSV files from an API endpoint daily – now, the exact data we need is pushed directly into our data infrastructure every few hours – without the crazy manual process that we had to do previously.”
Regarding overall working with Singuar, Tom says, “Singular has a brilliant team! A really smart, proactive, technically savvy group of people dedicated to working around you. The Singular team has taken a lot of interest in what our business goals are and how our marketing works, and they have taken a very custom, bespoke approach to making Singular work for us.”
A Look to the Future
Now that we have the migration behind us, I’m reviewing our approach to the privacy-centric landscape. So looking at potentially changing our ATT implementation and improving our SKAdNetwork setup as version 4 gets closer. We’ve already had a workshop on that, and we’re thinking about the ways that we can adapt accordingly. We’re also carefully looking at Singular’s cross-device solution so that we can understand the customer journey as they move from one device to another (web to app).
Migration Advice from Wise