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Circle Money Transfer Review

Circle currently operates as a crypto payments company. Therefore, it does not offer traditional money transfer services. However, we will provide viable alternatives to send money abroad.

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About Circle

This peer-to-peer (P2P) payments company was founded in October 2013 by American fintech entrepreneur, Jeremy Allaire. Circle is designed to be an all-in-one online financial platform used by businesses to hold, send and receive funds across the world. The company headquarters are in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. The company originally planned to develop the use of blockchain technology to facilitate low-cost money transfers, however, this product was discontinued in 2019. This review will instead discuss how Circle operates globally, the company’s international money transfer options and how it compares to rivals in the financial services sector.

Circle Exchange Rates, Fees & Costs

Understanding the exchange rate mark-ups and transfer fees charged by this operator will help us evaluate the price of their international money transfer service. We will investigate these costs in the following section. 

Transfer fees: There are no transfer fees with Circle as the company utilizes peer-to-peer payments via blockchain technology, providing an innovative and low-cost service. Instead they have a monthly subscription service, which costs $250 and $1,000 depending on the package you’ve chosen. 

Exchange rates: Circle is known for excellent exchange rates since the company does not apply a foreign exchange spread to currency conversions: customers are presented with the exact mid-market rate. However, the most limiting aspect of this money transfer provider is the lack of available currencies. Customers will only have access to 3 different currencies (USD, GBP, EUR) which can be sent to 30 countries worldwide.

Other fees: Circle charges no additional fees for transfers. 

Top destinations for sending money with Circle

Circle is only available in 30 countries which is one of the big limiting factors of this service. These 30 destinations include the United Kingdom, the United States and most EEA countries: see here for a full list of supported countries. The same services are offered in each country because blockchain technology doesn’t discriminate where the money is coming from or going. 

Pros & Cons of using Circle

Here we will take a look at the top reasons for using Circle, as well as any reasons why it might be worth avoiding.

Pros
Exchange rates: one of the best reasons to use Circle is the competitive exchange rates offered for USD, GBP and EUR transfers
Transfer speeds: the money will arrive instantly after it has been sent, making this service more competitive than traditional banks
Intuitive interface: the Circle user interface is easy to navigate and simple for newcomers to get a handle of. It won’t take more than a few simple steps to create an account and set up your first transfer
Referral bonus: Customers can receive a $5 bonus for sharing their referral code with friends and family
Cons
Limited global coverage: Circle only supports transfers to 30 countries in 3 currencies: this is a big limitation that most other operators can beat
No live chat: the customer service department does not offer a live chat option, which means getting help is not as immediate as other companies

What type of transfers can you make with Circle?

It is always a good idea to choose payment providers that offer various ways to send money as these companies are more likely to offer flexibility and convenience if your needs change. Circle offers a few different options, here is an overview of each one:

  • Payment app: you can use the Circle app to make payments via your smartphone. The process is convenient and secure: when sending to previous recipients, customers do not need to input the information again. 
  • Email money transfer: everyone has an email account so this is a great way to send money. Just make sure that the recipient checks their spam folder for the email money transfer, otherwise they could miss the important notification link. 
  • Text message: Sending money via text message is fast and convenient, but the feature lacks the security of sending via the app. 

In each case the user will receive money via their Circle account which they can then withdraw to a bank account. 

How long will it take to receive money using Circle?

Fast processing speeds is one of the advantages of blockchain. Transactions are actioned by users of the system; a process known as “mining”. The execution time of this process will depend on the volume of transactions on the network and the number of users that are mining the transactions. Overall, you won’t need to wait for more than a few minutes for the recipient to receive their funds. 

Customers using Circle will be saving a significant amount of time compared to using a traditional bank. 

What payment methods can I use when sending money with Circle?

It is worth examining the different payment options available to Circle account holders. Debit or credit card is the only way to fund your transfer: top-up will be instant. Alternative money transfer operators like Wise and Azimo offer far more payment options, check out your options here

What are the best reasons to use Circle?

By identifying why you should use a specific money transfer service you will feel better equipped to handle your next money transfer. 

One of the best reasons to use Circle is to avoid international bank transfer fees and foreign exchange markups. The company does not charge transaction fees because it can utilize blockchain technology with minimal overheads. Also, Circle does not add a profit margin to their foreign exchange rates. However, you only have the option of using GBP, USD and EUR, which is a lot more limited than other companies.

Transfer speed is another highlight since the recipient will get the funds within minutes, at no extra cost. 

Can I trust Circle?

Circle is no longer available for users to send money, but there are many other trustworthy brands out there that you can use to send money intentionally. For example, brands like Wise, Xoom and Skrill are among the most trusted that you can depend on with large transfer amounts. Here are a few key things to look at when evaluating the trust of a service:

  • Transparency: ideally, the service will showcase their fees upfront without trying to sneak anything in. If you spot questionable small print and unexpected fees, then you have a valid reason to be concerned.  
  • Security features: the payment app should include many security features that will protect your account from unwanted hands. This includes 2-factor authentication, security codes during transfers and phone number authentication. 
  • Financial structure: consider how and where the funds are stored. Also, the funds need to be insured and potentially backed by traditional banks in case of a problem. It ensures that you will get paid in worst-case scenarios. 

Don’t forget to do a background check of each payment app and read customer reviews. You’ll see that the top organizations have reviews of at least 4.0 out of 5 for the majority of review and social media sites. 

Finally, the customer support options must be plentiful. The combination of phone, email and live chat is a must. 24/7 assistance is ideal, but working hours are fine if the response time is quick. 

What do users have to say about Circle?

Before using Circle it’s a smart idea to investigate what other customers are saying. Circle has a reputation of 1.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot, which is a bad review score. Users are sharing that they believe Circle is a scam and they have lost money. It might be because of Circle being deactivated and the customers were not aware of what was going on. 

However, most other reviews give Circle a score of 3.0 to 4.0, which is not great but also not the worst rating you can get. Overall, the reviews indicate that Circle has a lot of room for improvement if it plans to continue its services. 

 How to get started with Circle to send & receive money?

Let’s take a look at the process of sending and receiving money on Circle.

How to send money using Circle:

  1. Open account: start by creating an account, which is free of charge. 
  2. Card: link a credit or debit card to the account that has funds. 
  3. Send: Click on the send button to initiate the transfer. 
  4. Specify: choose the currency you want to send and the amount. 
  5. Recipient: Choose the correct recipient.
  6. Review: look at the transaction details before confirming. 

How to receive money using Circle:

  1. Open account: create an account with Circle. 
  2. Link bank: you’ll need to link a bank account that will be used to withdraw funds. 
  3. Details: Give the sender your personal details to receive the money. 
  4. Review: once the money has arrived check that you have received the correct amount. 
  5. Withdraw: withdraw the funds into your bank account. There is no fee for this service. 

Does Circle have a mobile app?

Circle does not have apps that are currently running because it was discontinued. However, some of the best money transfer apps include WorldRemit, Xe Money Transfer and PaySend

Frequently asked Questions

How to cancel Circle Transaction?

Circle transactions are processed immediately, which means that you don’t have the time to cancel them. 

Does Circle accept cash or cheque payments?

No, you can only use a debit or credit card to fund your account. 

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