CurrencyFair is one of the top peer-to-peer international money transfer services with a solid reputation in the industry. One of the major disadvantages of CurrencyFair is that it supports only 22 sending currencies. This means that when sending to the 157 countries and territories the provider supports, you’ll not enjoy the full benefits of using the destinations’ local currencies as you would with some of the other money transfer companies. This review looks into this and many other features of CurrencyFair such as security, trust, fees and exchange rates, to help you make the best decision when sending money across borders.
Whether you are sending £10,000 to Europe or $200 to your family and friends in South Africa, you can always rely on CurrencyFair to get your money across.
In 2014, CurrencyFair became the first-ever global money transfer company to break the $1 billion transfer matching barrier, thanks to its consistent investment in staff numbers and technology infrastructure. CurrencyFair is known for its bank-beating exchange rates which the provider claims are 8x cheaper. This simple concept has developed into a global money transfer platform that has exchanged over €11.6 billion for customers around the world, saving them over €260 million to date. CurrencyFair employs dedicated support staff in English, German and French languages for a swift and personal customer service experience, and at the time of writing has been scored 4.6 out of 5 stars by nearly 5,000 users on Trustpilot.
CurrencyFair has some of the best rates and transfer fees in the industry. You can always check your transfer details using the onsite calculator to work out how much you will be charged in total fees, as well as the exchange rate pricing for your currency pair.
On average, CurrencyFair charges a small fixed fee of €3 (or its currency equivalent) no matter how much money is being transferred: this only applies once the new customer offer of free transfers expires. The provider states on its website that the average transfer fees for each transaction amounts to 0.45%.
To get a clear picture of the exchange rate markup that CurrencyFair charges, consider the following transfer scenarios.
|100 USD to:||Live rate ( XE)||CurrencyFair rate||Difference||%Markup|
|Australian Dollar (AUD)||144.93||144.16||0.77||0.5313|
|British Pounds (GBP)||76.54||76.15||0.39||0.5095|
|United Arab Emirates (AED)||367.25||365.00||2.25||0.6127|
The percentage markup is therefore so minimal to the point of being negligible for some transfers.
Apart from the exchange rate markup and transfer fee, you may be charged cash advance fees by the card-issuing company if you use a credit card to pay for your transfer.
With banks charging an average of 4-6% in exchange rate markup and up to $40 in transfer fees, CurrencyFair gives you a huge advantage, especially when transferring large amounts.
With CurrencyFair, you can transfer money to 157 countries in the world. However, the markets the provider categorises as top corridors are:
In November 2019, CurrencyFair entered into a strategic partnership with Buy-World to offer payment solutions to the factory to business to consumer market segment that currently has more than 2.3 million global buyers.
CurrencyFair has a 150,000 user community comprising both business and individual customers. Below are some of the reasons why the provider continues attracting users and potential areas of improvement it needs to consider
CurrencyFair only supports bank transfers. When initiating the transfer, the provider will ask you for the bank account and code for instant verification. If the code doesn’t return a valid bank, the transfer won’t proceed to the next step.
The length of time it takes CurrencyFair to process your transfer is the sum total of the time taken during ‘Send In’ and ‘Transfer Out’. On average, it takes 0-1 days for the money to get to CurrencyFair (Send In). For the transfer out, it takes anywhere between 1-2 business days. In total, your transfer may take 1-3 days to be processed.
For the best outcome, ensure your transfer gets to CurrencyFair before 13:30 Dublin/London time. When making your transfer, CurrencyFair will give you an estimated arrival time.
When sending money to CurrencyFair for onward transfer to your recipient, you can pay for your transfer using online bank transfer.
Your debit card must be registered on the 3D secure programme to avoid payment delays and cancellations. Every time you make a payment to CurrencyFair, ensure you quote your CurrencyFair ID which is in the format CF1234567 so that your funds can be applied to your account.
CurrencyFair can be used for lots of business and personal money transfer needs including:
When transferring funds, CurrencyFair requires that you fill in the purpose of the transfer from a prepopulated list. In case you don’t see your use case on the list, you can simply select ‘Other’ and specify the reason in the slot provided below.
CurrencyFair was founded in April 2009 by Brett Meyers, Jonathan Potter, Sean Barrett and David Christian. The company has offices in Ireland, Australia, Singapore, the UK and Hong Kong. By March 2020, CurrencyFair had cumulatively traded over €11.6 billion.
Since its launch, the company has secured several rounds of financing from investors such as:
In April 2020 the company announced its merger with Assembly Payments in Australia, bringing the combined workforce to over 150, with plans to add several hundred new jobs in the coming years. The company has also received numerous awards including the IIA Dot IE Net Visionary Awards and the Best of Show Award at the FinovateAsia conference held in Singapore, among other prominent mentions.
CurrencyFair is fully regulated in every territory they operate in. Customer funds are ring-fenced and held in Tier 1 international banks, so your money is always safe and secure.
CurrencyFair is fully regulated in Australia by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and in Europe by the Central Bank of Ireland. CurrencyFair is also fully regulated in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act (Cap. 187) and is a licensed Money Service Operator in Hong Kong.
Among the requirements for authorisation and licensing are
CurrencyFair has put in place several security measures to safeguard its clients’ funds, information and privacy. Among the measures in place include:
The provider boasts a high rating on Trustpilot with almost 5,000 customer reviews and a TrustScore of 4.6. Below is a summary of the positive and the negative customer perceptions about CurrencyFair.
Getting started on CurrencyFair is very simple. In just a few easy steps, you are on your way to saving lots of money in transfer fees and exchange rate markups.
Step 1: Create your free account – Signing up for an account is easy and quick. In less than five minutes, you’ll have your personal or business account up and running.
Step 2: Account Verification- You’ll be required to upload a photo identification which could be a government ID card, passport, or driver’s license. You will also need to upload or scan with your device webcam the 1st and 2nd proof of address which could be any of the following:
Step 3: Set up your transaction -Key in the amount you want to send, and the currencies involved and the calculator will give you the approximate amount the recipient will get, the estimated delivery, exchange rates and transfer fees.
Step 4: Recipient Information- Give the details of the person you are sending the money to. The information required is:
If you want the recipient to be notified of the transfer, there is an email notification box that you check.
Step 5: Transfer your money-You’ll be sent a code to your registered mobile phone or receive a call after which the system will verify your details and allow you to initiate your transfer to CurrencyFair for onward transfer out to your recipient.
CurrencyFair unveiled its currency exchange app in September 2015. The mobile app is available on both Android and iOS platforms. Among the app functionalities are:
Yes, you can cancel or amend a transaction to the extent that it has not been matched. To do this, head over to the Transaction Overview tab on your account and proceed to cancel the transaction. Once a transaction is picked, you cannot cancel it.