Grammar and style

We've got our own way of writing certain things, and we cover them here. It helps us to be consistent, whatever and and wherever we're writing.

Wise with a magnifying glass over it.


Don't use an acronym unless it's commonly used, and spelling the words out will cause more confusion.


Portable document format

Active voice

Use the active voice instead of the passive voice. In the active voice, the subject of the sentence does the action. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence has the action done to it. The active voice makes it clear to our customers who is doing what.

Jon broke the sauna

The sauna got broken by Jon


Don’t use ampersands. Stick to a good, old-fashioned “and”, unless the ampersand is part of a brand name — like Tiffany & Co. or Ben & Jerry’s.

Send and receive money

Send & receive money


Brackets (these)

Only use brackets for referencing abbreviations or data. They can make things a bit difficult to read otherwise.

If you’ve got part of a sentence in brackets, then the punctuation sits outside them (like this). (But if you’ve got an entire sentence in brackets, then it sits inside. Like this!)

Don't put punctuation inside brackets (if only part of the sentence is in the brackets.)

Bullet points

Bullets are useful for adding structure to longer copy, and making it easier to scan. Only write one point per bullet point. And don't put full stops at the end of bullets.

If the sentence that introduces the bullet points is a full sentence, then the bullets start with capitals. But if the sentence that introduces the list of bullet points isn’t a full sentence, don’t use capitals.

We’ll need some things from you:

  • A copy of your passport
  • Proof of your address, dated within the last 3 months
  • Proof of your income, like a payslip or tax return

We’ll ask for:

  • a copy of your passport
  • proof of your address, dated within the last 3 months
  • proof of your income, like a payslip or tax return

We'll need some things from you:

  • a copy of your passport.
  • proof of your address, dated within the last 3 months.
  • proof of your income, like a payslip or tax return.

We’ll ask for:

  • A copy of your passport.
  • Proof of your address, dated within the last 3 months.
  • Proof of your income, like a payslip or tax return.


Use sentence case for body copy, headings, subheadings, links and buttons. That means that only the first letter of the first word is a capital. But if there’s a proper noun, like a name or a place, make sure you give that a capital.

Sending money internationally

Sending Money Internationally


Use ‘Change’ if the user is switching from one option to another. But if they have the ability to make changes to something, use ‘Edit’ instead.

For example, if you want to change the postcode on your saved address, you would ‘edit your address’. But if you want to switch between two saved addresses, you would ‘change address’.

Change how this balance is held

Edit how this balance is held


Use ‘Choose’ when the user needs to make a decision between options, where any of the options could be true. If the user doesn’t need to decide anything, and only one of the options can be true, use ‘Select’.

Choose how people can pay you

Choose your date of birth


Use contractions. They help make your writing conversational and human.

We're, you're, can't, doesn't, won't

We are, you are, cannot, does not, will not


Abbreviate countries that are abbreviated in spoken language — places like the United Kingdom, United States of America, and United Arab Emirates. And don't include full stops/periods between letters.


U.K, U.S, U.A.E


Currency codes are the language of our product. Depending on the context, you may need to explain what the currency code is. Write it in brackets after the full currency name:

  • New Zealand dollar (NZD)
  • Euro (EUR)

When writing out the name of the currency in full, always capitalise the country, but never capitalise the name of the currency.

When writing out an amount of money, put the currency code after the figure, with a space between.

Avoid using symbols — unless you're writing for a specific market — as one symbol, like $, can represent several different currencies.

US dollar, British pound

10,000 SGD, 50 BRL

US Dollar, British Pound

10,000sgd, 50brl



Use an em dash (—) with a space either side instead of brackets, or in place of commas, to show an interruption or to add emphasis.

Don't use dashes for a range of numbers. See Numbers.

Use an em dash to show emphasis — like this.

Use an en dash to show a range of numbers, say from 1–10.

Don't use an em dash for a range of numbers, like 4—8.

Don't use an en dash in place of commas – or to add emphasis – because it's all wrong.


Every localised team should do numbers in a way that suits their regional audience. For the UK, the format’s dd/mm/yyyy.

Don't use cardinals in dates (the -th, -rd or -nd after the number).

Include the day when writing a date if you’re writing longer form copy (like an email), and the day of the week is of relevance or importance to the user. For example, if you’re telling them about a date when our service might be interrupted, it could be useful to include whether it’s a Monday or Saturday.

1 March

1 March 2023

Wednesday 1 March 2023

1st March

1st March 2023

Wed 1st March 2023

Driving licence

You need a driving licence to drive a car. A different spelling won't get you anywhere.

Driving licence

Driver's licence, drivers licence


One word, no hyphen.





Use ‘Edit’ when the user can make changes to something that already exists. If the user is just switching from one option to another, use ‘Change’ instead.

For example, if you want to change the postcode on your saved address, you would ‘edit your address’. But if you want to switch between two saved addresses, you would ‘change address’.

Edit personal information

Change personal information


Write ‘for example’ instead, if you have to. It’s better to use a more conversational word when giving examples, though, like ‘like’.

For example, like



Our language is bold and simple. Written to be understood by anyone, anywhere. So don’t use emojis. They're hard to localise, and aren't that accessible.

Words are the way forward


Ellipses (...) are used to indicate that a thought isn’t finished, or that there’s something missing from the sentence. Don't put any spaces before or after ellipses, ever.

I’m not sure about it...but I’ll work it out.

This doesn't look right ... because it isn't.


No hyphen.




Don’t use ‘etc.’ or ‘and more’ in external communications. If there’s space, it’s better to give some examples to show what you mean.

Don't be lazy, give examples.

Etc., and more

Exclamation marks

Most of the time, you don't need an exclamation mark. They don't work in our tone of voice. But if you must, only use one at a time.


Hey there!!!


Full stops (periods)

Use them. And use them some more. Full stops are one of the easiest ways to break up chunks of text, and make content more succinct and readable.

Quick tip — if you read a sentence out loud, and you feel like you need to breathe in before the end, you need more full stops.

For headings and subheadings — don’t use full stops (in either the product, or in marketing). Only use them in body copy, or when specific components say so.

Bold heading

And some body copy.

Bold heading.

And some body copy



Login, one word, is an adjective. Log in, two words, is a verb.

Put in your login details.

Log in to your account.

Put in your log in details.

Login to your account.



Markup, one word, is a noun. Mark up, two words, is a verb.

There are no markups on the exchange rate.

We don’t mark up exchange rates.

There are no mark ups on the exchange rate.

We don’t markup exchange rates.



Use numerals instead of spelling numbers out. For example, write 10 not ten. Numerals are much easier for customers to scan and understand when they're reading digitally — especially on small devices.

The only exception is when a number starts a sentence. In this case you should spell the number out.

For larger numbers, you can use 'k', 'm' or 'bn' to mean thousand, million or billion when you're short on space. Always use lowercase letters and don't put a space after the number.

But when referring to money, it's usually clearer to write the full number with the currency code. The exception is in marketing copy when you're referring to a specific currency.

When writing number and date ranges, use ‘From’ and ‘To’, or ‘Between’ and ‘And’ rather than dashes. This is because words are easier to scan, and work better for text to speech software.

There are 9 Wise offices.

Nine Wise offices help us deliver our mission.

3 and 5 working days.

1 to 7 October 2023.

We have fourteen new Wisers in the Tallinn office.

14 new Wisers joined the Tallinn office last month.

3–5 working days.

1–7 October 2023.


Oxford comma

Only use an Oxford comma if it’s needed for clarity.

In this example, the Oxford comma is essential. Otherwise it’s unclear whether the accountant and director are the two employees.

Otherwise, if the sentence is short and simple, you shouldn’t need one.

But keep in mind that the Oxford comma is more common in some countries than others. So it’s worth checking with the Localisation team if you’re writing for a particular market.

You’ll need to nominate two employees, an accountant, and a director.

You’ll need to nominate two employees, an accountant and a director.



Don’t use the word ‘percent’. Go for the % symbol.

You're about 75% of the way through this page.

You've got about 25 percent left of this page.


When you're writing for screens in product, and you're referring to the user, use the second person perspective. This means using the pronouns 'you' 'your' 'yours' and 'yourself' to describe them — not the first person perspective, 'me' 'my' 'mine' or 'myself'.

And don't mix and match on the same screen as that gets a bit confusing.

The only exception to this rule is when you are writing titles and headings for help articles. It's ok to use the first person in this case because the user is asking questions from their own perspective.

Your address

My address



There are two reasons to use ‘Select’.

The first is if you’re telling a user how to do something within the app, and they need to select something. ‘Select’ is more inclusive than ‘Click’, as the latter implies making a manual click, which might not be the case for all users.

The second is if a user needs to select a single option from a list, where only one option can be true.

If the user needs to make a decision between options, where any of them could be true, use ‘Choose’ instead.

Select 'Add new'.

Select your country of residence.

Click 'Add new'.

Select your preferred rate.


Don’t put any spaces either side of slashes.





Say text, not SMS or text message.

Contact us by text.

Send us a text message.


Use numbers followed by 'am' or 'pm' with a space. Use '00' to show on-the-hour times. Use an en dash between times to show a time range. And if you need to include the time zone, put the code in brackets after the time.

8:00 am, 8:45 pm

7:00–11:30 pm

7:00 am (GMT)

8am, 8:45pm


7:00 am GMT



When giving the user an option or instruction to look at something, use ‘View’ rather than ‘See’.

View recipients

See recipients



Writer wifi all lowercase, with no spaces or hyphens.




Use the third person (so say 'Wise') when talking about Wise.

  • Send money abroad with Wise.
  • Wise lets you do business without borders.

But use the first person (like 'we', or 'our') when talking as Wise.

We need to see a copy of your photo ID because of UK regulations.

You will now need to show a copy of your photo ID to Wise.