The Russia invasion of Ukraine has forced millions of Ukrainians to flee the conflict. Many of these Ukrainian refugees have limited access to their finances. The online bank, Wise, offers an online banking service to Ukrainian refugees to hold, receive and spend money in multiple currencies and get a debit card to make it easier to move between locations.
Read this post in Ukrainian: Банківський рахунок для біженців з України
Wise Account for Ukrainian Refugees: Key Takeaways
- Wise multicurrency account allows you to get account details for EUR, GBP, USD and other currencies.
- You can add money to your account in 21 currencies: AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HRK, HUF, JPY, MYR, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, SEK, SGD, TRY and USD.
- You can keep 50+ currencies in your account. You can convert money between any of these currencies in your account with the real exchange rate.
How to Open Wise account for Ukrainian Refugees
To open a Wise account and debit card, you will need:
- to be currently located in one of the countries where Wise offers the card
- verification documents such as a Ukrainian passport, driving licence, ID card (Ukrainian internal passports are not accepted)
- a way to add money to your account, from a bank account or card in your own name
- access to an address in the European Economic Area (EEA) for your card delivery, and to set as your profile address
If you’re getting USD or EUR account details, you’ll also need to take a photo of your ID, and a selfie using the Wise app.
What do I do if I don’t have access to my Ukrainian ID documents? Wise can accept certain refugee documents depending on the country you are located in. If you are in Hungary, you can be granted temporary protection status, which comes with an ID document.
If you have the required documents, download the Wise app on your phone or go to Wise website.
- Click on ‘Register’ (top right corner of the screen)Provide your email address and a password
- Fill in your personal information: name, date of birth, your current postal address, phone number
- Go to your Wise account homepage and activate your Wise account details
You will find the option to activate account details on your account homepage after you register. To get your first set of account details for receiving, holding and spending money, you’ll need to add 20 EUR to your account (or the equivalent in another currency) from a card or bank account in your own name and verify your identity and confirm the purpose of your account. Once you have activated your Wise account details, you can order your Wise card.
To order your card, you will need to provide a delivery address and pay 6 EUR (41 zloty, or equivalent in another currency) for Wise to make and send your card. The fee can be deducted from your already added account balance. To be sure of receiving the card, check with the owner of the address how they usually receive their mail and if possible add your name to the mailbox. It can take up to two weeks to get your card in Europe – or you can pay extra to get it in 2 working days. You can activate your Wise card by paying by card in any shop that supports it, or withdraw money from an ATM.
You can get a virtual Wise card as soon as you have ordered your physical one. You can add its details to Google or Apple Pay to start spending immediately.
If you already have a Wise account with a Ukrainian address, you will need to change the address on your profile to one in the EEA where you can receive post.
In Europe, the Wise card is currently available for residents of these countries and regions who have a Wise account: Austria, Belgium, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (only Metropolitan), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory) and the UK Crown Dependencies: Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey.
How to Add Money to Wise Account
There are a number of methods for you to add money into your Wise account. However, the first time you need to add money from an account or card registered in your name. You won’t be able to add money to your account directly in Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH), but you can convert it after.
If you have access to your Ukrainian debit or credit card, you can use this method to add funds to your our account in Euro, Polish złoty, Hungarian forint, or any other available currency. Your card provider will automatically convert the money from UAH (at a fee).
You can also pay via bank transfer to the account details Wise provides when topping up your account. You’ll need to tell your bank in Ukraine to convert from UAH to EUR (or any other available currency) and send the money via SWIFT international transfer. Transfers can take 2-5 working days, sometimes more, to arrive.
If you have more questions, reach out to Wise support team that speaks Ukrainian, English, Russian, etc. Reach out by going to wise.com/help and clicking on ‘Contact us’.
If you live in the countries listed below, you will get local currency bank details as show in the table:
|British Pound||Get account number and sort code|
|Euro||Get SWIFT/BIC and IBAN details|
|US Dollar||Get routing number and account number|
|Australian Dollar||Get BSB code and account number|
|New Zealand Dollar||Get your own account number|
|Hungarian Forint||Get your account number|
|Romanian Leu||Get SWIFT/BIC and IBAN details|
|Singapore Dollar||Get your account number|
|Turkish||Get your TRY details. Bank name and IBAN|
|Canadian||Institution number, Transit number, and Account number|
Other Banking Services for Ukrainian Refugees
- Revolut Account for Ukrainian Refugees
- bunq Account for Ukrainian Refugees
- Monese Account for Ukrainian Refugees in EEA and UK
- Bank Account for Ukrainian Refugees in Latvia
- Moneta Bank: Free Account for Ukrainians in Czech Republic
- List of Free Ukrainian Refugees Bank Accounts in UK