Gigaom

London-based Transferwise is potentially one of the most disruptive financial tech startups out there – the company offers cross-border money transfers with extremely low charges by exploiting a P2P-esque network of local payments – but its mechanism has always been a bit clunky to use. That’s changing, though, as the company just enabled debit card payments.

That may sound like a small change, but it’s pretty fundamental to Transferwise’s future. Here’s why.

The previous system involved three steps (or, from the customer’s perspective, two). An example: a British customer would go to Transferwise’s website and say that he wanted to send £100 ($151), for example, from the UK to Germany. He would then need to visit his own UK bank’s online banking facility to transfer the £100 to Transferwise’s UK account. The startup would then take the euro equivalent out of its German funds – stocked up by users in…

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