Let’s face it. The world of cross-border payments is one that’s been plagued by inefficiencies and high costs for eons. For example, a business selling goods or services overseas is usually hit with exorbitant wire transfer fees and an agonizing waiting period before the transaction goes through.
To this effect, businesses and individuals without the means to invest in specialist foreign exchange brokers have had little choice but to settle for less-than-ideal options when transferring money across borders.
If you happen to be one of those people or businesses who have struggled with international money transfers in the past – we feel your pain. However, we might just have the solution for you. Meet CurrencyFair.
In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at their services, how they work and how much they cost, as well as the pros and cons associated with using CurrencyFair as your primary cross-border money transfer service provider.
Table of Contents
CurrencyFair is a peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer service founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 2010. Four financial experts, David Christian, Jonathan Potter, Sean Barrett, and Brett Myers, got together and decided to create a marketplace where people could make international money transfers quickly and at lower costs, with competitive exchange rates.
The company’s primary function is to allow users to exchange their local currency for foreign currencies at a competitive price. Once you’ve exchanged your currency for any of the available currencies on the platform, you can either keep that currency or convert it back to your local currency later. In any case, you can use the exchanged currency for whatever reason you see fit.
Using CurrencyFair as a money transfer service simply means you will purchase a currency (e.g., USD) with your local currency (e.g., GBP) to make an international money transfer to a country that uses USD. More importantly, you are doing it at a very competitive price, with minimal fees and a large degree of anonymity.
When it comes to money transfers, CurrencyFair can always be relied on, whether you send £10,000 to Europe or $200 to South Africa.
CurrencyFair is also a member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.
CurrencyFair Individual Services
Individuals looking to send money abroad have a few options with CurrencyFair. They can use the Peer-to-Peer Exchange, where they can trade directly with other individuals, or use the CurrencyFair Exchange, where the platform finds the best exchange rate available for them.
CurrencyFair also offers a Price Promise, which guarantees that you will get the best foreign exchange rate available on the market. If you find a better rate within five minutes of placing your trade, CurrencyFair will match that rate.
Finally, CurrencyFair offers a Referral Program, where you can earn cash rewards for referring friends and family to the service. For every person you refer who goes on to make a trade, you’ll earn £10.
CurrencyFair Business Services
In addition to its solution for retail customers, CurrencyFair also provides a solution for professionals. International companies often face a lot of risks due to fluctuating exchange rates. The CurrencyFair business account makes managing financial transactions abroad easier for business owners.
International payments can be made abroad at advantageous exchange rates with the business account. Furthermore, the platform comes with multi-user access, an accounting tool for small businesses, and two-person approval, all designed to minimize overseas risks.
CurrencyFair offers a number of services for businesses, including:
- A business account, which allows businesses to send and receive payments in multiple currencies. It also comes with a dedicated account manager and 24/7 support.
- A multilingual website, making it easy for businesses to transact in foreign markets.
- A merchant account, which allows businesses to accept payments in multiple currencies and get paid in their own currency.
- Currency hedging, which allows businesses to protect themselves from currency fluctuations by locking in exchange rates.
With CurrencyFair’s recent expansion in Asia, you can now exchange between 20 currencies and send money to and from over 150 different countries. The CurrencyFair team speaks a variety of languages, including English, German, and French.
A number of banks and bill payment systems in Singapore and Australia are integrated with CurrencyFair.
Users who like to closely manage their finances can also save, download, and print their currency balances or statements as a CSV or PDF file.
CurrencyFair Currencies Available
CurrencyFair offers a wide range of currencies to choose from, making it a great option for those looking to send money internationally.
Here is a list of the currencies available through CurrencyFair:
CurrencyFair Fees and Exchange Rates
Fees and exchange rates play a significant role in the choice of transfer companies. For money transfers, CurrencyFair charges the following fees.
Each transfer from your CurrencyFair account is subject to a flat fee. The price is approximately €3, $5, or C$4, which helps you figure out your total cost upfront. The flat fee prevents the platform from overcharging large transfers.
To get the best rate, choose a currency in which you will pay the fees. Let’s say you have USD and GBP accounts with CurrencyFair. You can choose to pay the transfer fee using any of the two accounts, depending on what is more convenient for you.
CurrencyFair’s exchange rate margin makes up most of the cost of sending a transfer. Exchange rates can be chosen at your convenience, which makes them more flexible. In this case, you may be able to get a better deal than the mid-market rate. The midpoint of each currency pair is where the buy and sell rates are equal.
Users must accept your offer in order for this exchange rate to work. In most cases, this is a good deal. Usually, the rate is around 0.35% lower than the mid-market rate.
Intermediary Bank Fees
When you open an account with CurrencyFair, you’d typically hold it in your local currency. If you live in Canada and send CAD to another Canadian account, CurrencyFair acts as a bank intermediary and charges no extra fees except for the flat transfer fee.
If you want to send money to a UK account, you’d first convert your CAD to GBP. This way, you’ll avoid any extra fees, apart from the transfer fee and the low conversion rate.
The following countries and currencies are not eligible for this option, meaning that the fees will vary according to the recipient’s local bank:
- United States Dollar
- Israeli Shekel
- United Arab Emirates Dirham
- South African Rand
- Canadian Dollar
- New Zealand Dollar
Peer-to-Peer Exchange Marketplace
If you are not in a rush to make your transfer, it’s always a good idea to check whether you can get a better exchange rate via CurrencyFair’s peer-to-peer marketplace. The marketplace allows you to specify your desired exchange rate and post your order to get a match.
CurrencyFair will try to match you with a user who’s willing to exchange money with you at your desired rate.
How to Send Money With CurrencyFair?
Let’s look at the steps you need to follow to send money with CurrencyFair.
First, sign up for a free account. The process is quick and easy, and your business or personal account will be ready in just a few minutes. Simply enter your email address and mobile phone number, wait for the verification SMS code, and provide your full name, date of birth, and address.
The second step is to verify your account by uploading a proof of identity, such as a passport, driver’s license, or government ID. Additionally, you will need to provide one of the documents below to prove your address:
- Bill for utilities
- Notice of renewal of household insurance
- Statements from banks or credit cards
- Notices from the local council
- Notices of revenue
- Agreements relating to leases or tenancies
- Documents related to car registration
Next, to make a transaction, choose the currency and how much you wish to send. By using the calculator, you can find out how much the recipient will receive in their chosen currency and what the expected delivery and exchange rates will be.
The fourth step is to provide the recipient’s details, including the:
- Account holder’s name
- Account location country
- Number of the account
- Bank code
- Reference to the recipient found on the bank statement.
- Transfer purpose
A notification email box is available if you wish to notify the recipient. Finally, you will receive a code on your registered mobile phone or be contacted by the system to verify your details and then execute the onward transfer.
Bank transfers are the only method of payment supported by CurrencyFair. For instant verification, you will need to provide your bank account information and a code when initiating a transfer. An invalid bank code prevents the transfer from moving forward.
Money Transfer Time
CurrencyFair’s processing time is divided between ‘Send In’ and ‘Transfer Out.’ It takes up to three days for the platform to receive the money (Send In) and up to two days for the money to leave the platform (Transfer Out). Overall, transfers take between 1-3 business days.
Make sure you transfer your funds to CurrencyFair by 13:30 (GMT+1). If you make a transfer with CurrencyFair, you will be given an estimate of the arrival time.
As of September 2015, CurrencyFair has released an app for currency exchanges. The app is available for Android and iOS devices. The list of functionalities includes:
- Verification of your identity by capturing and uploading a photo of yourself
- Transferring money quickly
- Real-time display of exchange rates and margins
- Transfer tracking
- Transaction history
- Account management
You can easily exchange and transfer money with the CurrencyFair app, regardless of where you are (except on weekends and bank holidays).
You can use the app to deposit money into your CurrencyFair account and proceed to make your transfers online or with a local bank branch, based on the information provided by the app.
CurrencyFair Transfer Cancellation
Unless it has been matched, you can cancel or modify the transaction. Go to your account’s Transaction Overview tab and cancel the transaction there. An already-matched transaction cannot be canceled.
A TrustScore of 4.6 and more than 5,000 customer reviews on Trustpilot highlight the provider’s high rating. Here is a summary of what customers think about CurrencyFair.
- The delivery of funds is reliable and quick
- Sending money is simple and easy with an easy-to-use platform
- Suitable for all types of transfers
- Transparency and simplicity in fees and rates
- The government regulates and invests in security to keep the system safe.
- Compared to other providers with 70+ currencies, there are only 20 currencies available.
CurrencyFair vs Wise: Which One Is Better?
With Wise, you can send money between two different currencies online. In addition to charging very competitive fees, Wise does not make a margin on exchange rates.
On the other hand, CurrencyFair offers an innovative feature that pairs you with a CurrencyFair customer and lets you conduct a transaction at that rate. It is also possible to bypass this method and convert your money at CurrencyFair’s best rate if no one matches your set rate.
CurrencyFair and Wise are both excellent options, but CurrencyFair has the advantage of offering a rate below the mid-market one. Exchange rates and fees are transparent with both Wise and CurrencyFair.
Articles and News
There is a blog section on the CurrencyFair website where you can stay up to date with all the company’s news. Additionally, there are a lot of articles related to expat life that are extremely useful.
You can check out the CurrencyFair Help & Support Center to find answers to hundreds of questions about the service and CurrencyFair. On its Contact page, you can find email addresses and phone numbers where you can contact it if you cannot find what you need.
- The maximum limit on overseas transfers is very high, and there is no minimum transfer
- There are many countries to which you can send money
- Flexible exchange rates and automatic transfers
- Their platform and users’ money and accounts are all protected by top-notch security
- Easily accessible and responsive customer service
- Suppliers and employers can pay overseas invoices
- There are no bank charges when receiving cross-border payments
- The company has headquarters in Ireland, the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
- You must have money in your CurrencyFair’s account for the exchange rate to be guaranteed
- Bill payments, mobile wallets, and cash pick-up are not available
- It might take some time for an exchange rate match to appear if you want the very best exchange rate
- Money transfers overseas can take longer than with other companies
- A set amount can’t be sent without determining the exchange rate beforehand, which might not be ideal for some customers.
Is CurrencyFair Safe?
CurrencyFair has offices in Australia, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. Several investors have backed the company over the years, such as Frontline Ventures, Octopus Investments, and Standard Chartered Ventures.
Assembly Payments merged with the company in April 2020, creating a large number of new jobs. As a result of its efforts, the company has been recognized by FinovateAsia.
CurrencyFair is licensed in every country where it operates. Obtaining licenses and authorizations require the following:
- Money protection for clients
- Procedures and systems of high quality
- Regulations on capital requirements
- Vetting of management
- Anti-fraud measures
To protect its clients’ funds, information, and privacy, CurrencyFair has taken a number of measures. These measures include:
- Separation of client and business funds
- Two-factor authentication for account security
- Secure data centers
- Deposit and transfer tracking
- The platform logs you out automatically if you’re inactive
- You must have a CurrencyFair ID before you can make transactions
All in all, after reading this information, we can conclude that CurrencyFair seems like a trustworthy company.
All that being said, let’s summarize everything from this article so you can have a better and clearer idea of CurrencyFair.
Every transaction with CurrencyFair costs €3, regardless of the amount transferred. The current exchange rate is also displayed in an interactive calculator, which tells you how much money you will receive without any hidden fees that will be applied later.
Another great thing about this service provider is that it gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to exchange rates. CurrencyFair offers you the option of either exchanging money right away at the current exchange rate or choosing your own exchange rate on MarketPlace.
Also, with CurrencyFair, your money will arrive at its destination really fast. Sending money via wire transfer usually takes up to five days, and some reviewers even stated they received their money within 2-3 hours! And if you ever run into a problem, CurrencyFair’s customer support service will help you in the blink of an eye!
Finally, you can rest assured that your money is safe on CurrencyFair since the provider is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Overall, if you’re looking for an efficient, cost-effective alternative to the typical money transfer services available online, then CurrencyFair is certainly a good option. With its competitive exchange rates, flexible terms, and anonymity, it is no wonder this company has grown to over two million users since its launch back in 2010.
If you’re currently looking for a reliable cross-border money transfer service, we highly recommend giving CurrencyFair a try.
We hope you will find this information useful and that the whole process of money transfer will be much easier for you now.
Matt is a veteran of the moving industry, a recognized moving expert and is the founder of Mover Focus. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Finance and Marketing and Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Economics and History. He also has completed the EiM (Essentials in International Moving) course from the FIDI Academy. His advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Business News Daily and The SpareFoot Blog Go.