CurrencyFair Review

CurrencyFair is one of the top peer-to-peer international money transfer services with a solid reputation in the industry. 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. So far, the money transfer service has saved 100,000+ customers over €280 million in transfer charges. Over 3,100 reviewers on Trustpilot have rated the company 5-star.

One of the major disadvantages of CurrencyFair is that it supports only 20 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.

Date Founded:
2009
Provider Type:
P2P
HQ Location:
Dublin, Ireland
Regulators:
Central Bank of Ireland, ASIC
Mobile Friendly:
Yes
Mobile App:
Yes
Languages Available:
English, French
Transfer Options:
Online
Withdrawal Options:
Bank, Debit Card
Payment Options:
Debit Card, Bank Transfer
Regular Payments:
No
Supported Currencies:
AED, AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, GIP, HKD, HUF, INR, ISK, JPY, NOK, NZD, PLN, SEK, SGD, USD, ZAR
Support Options:
Email, Telephone

CurrencyFair exchange rates and fees

CurrencyFair has some of the best rates and transfer fees in the industry. You can always check your transfer details on the onsite calculator for the total fees and exchange rate pricing for your currency pair.

Transfer Fees

On average, CurrencyFair charges anything between 0.25 and 3% depending on the currency pair being exchanged when customers match their transfers. However, when there is no match available on the other side of the exchange, CurrencyFair steps in and charges anywhere from 0.1% to 0.6% and a fixed fee of €3 or its equivalent. The provider states on its website that the average fee it charges is 0.45%.

Exchange Rates

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 rateDifference%Markup
Australian Dollar (AUD)144.93144.160.770.5313
British Pounds (GBP)76.5476.150.390.5095
United Arab Emirates (AED)367.25365.002.250.6127

The percentage markup is therefore so minimal to the point of being negligible for some transfers.

Other Fees

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.

Top destinations for using CurrencyFair

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.

Pros and cons of CurrencyFair

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.

Pros

  • Low exchange rate margins making the provider competitive
  • Low transaction fees with most transactions processed at a flat fee of 2.50 GBP
  • An interactive cross-platform mobile app
  • A wide disbursing network coverage totalling 157 countries

Cons

  • Users in Africa, the Middle East and Asia with the exception of South Africa and the UAE, cannot open accounts with CurrencyFair.
  • The provider supports only 20 currencies which means most transfers are made to currencies other than the local currencies for the respective destinations.

Types of transfers by CurrencyFair

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.

Time it takes to receive money with CurrencyFair

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.

What payment methods are offered by CurrencyFair?

When sending money to CurrencyFair for onward transfer to your recipient, you can pay for your transfer using online bank transfer. When sending money in CHF, DKK, EUR, GBP, NOK, PLN, or SEK you can use the Express Deposit option where Visa and Mastercard branded debit cards are accepted.

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.

Reasons to use CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair can be used for lots of business and personal money transfer needs including:

  • Investment, divestment and dividends payment
  • Inheritance, redundancy, insurance payout
  • Donation to charities
  • One-off and regular payments for services, raw materials and supplies
  • Education and tuition fees
  • Goods and service purchase
  • Property sale and purchase
  • Family support
  • Investment in financial products
  • Loan and mortgage repayments
  • Rent and bills payments
  • Salary wages and pension payouts
  • Remittance for sale of shares
  • Travel expenses and many other payments.

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.

Can I trust CurrencyFair?

CurrencyFair was founded in April 2009 by Brett Meyers, Jonathan Potter, Sean Barrett and David Christian. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland with offices in Newcastle, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. As of July 2018, CurrencyFair announced that it has cumulatively traded over €7 billion marking a significant milestone.

Since its launch, the company has secured several rounds of financing from investors such as:

  • Frontline Ventures brought in $2.5 million in 2013
  • Octopus Investments and others funded €8 million in 2016

To date, the company has raised over €20 million part of which it has used in its aggressive investment strategy into the Asian market. In 2018, CurrencyFair announced that it will create 90 new jobs most of which were to be based in Ireland. Currently, its employee base is estimated at 95+. The company has also received numerous awards including the IIA Dot IE Net Visionary Awards, Best of Show award at the FinovateAsia conference that was held in Singapore among other prominent mentions.

In Ireland, CurrencyFair is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an Authorised Payment Institution in accordance with Regulation 18 of the European Union on payment services. In Australia, CurrencyFair operates as CurrencyFair Australia Pty Ltd and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) under AFS License number 402709.

In Singapore, CurrencyFair (Singapore) Pte Ltd is fully authorised and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Hong Kong has licensed CurrencyFair as a Money Service Operator. Among the requirements for authorisation and licensing are

  • Protection of client funds,
  • Highest standards for systems and procedures,
  • Minimum capital requirements,
  • Management vetting
  • Detection of financial crime

CurrencyFair has put in place several security measures to safeguard its clients’ funds, information and privacy. Among the measures in place include:

  • Segregation of client and business funds
  • Two-factor authentication for account security
  • 256-bit encryption via SSL from VeriSign for secure connection
  • Secure data centre
  • Tracked deposits & transfers
  • Identify verification, automatic session logout after a period of inactivity
  • CurrencyFair ID for further identification before transacting

User feedback about CurrencyFair

The provider boasts a high rating on Trustpilot with a total of 3,724 reviews and a TrustScore of 4.8. Below is a summary of the positive and the negative customer perceptions about CurrencyFair.

Positive

  • Reliable in delivering funds
  • An easy to use platform and fewer steps to send money
  • Affordable for all transfer sizes
  • Simple and transparent fees and rates
  • Safe due to government regulation and security investments
  • Faster transfers

Negative

  • Lengthy account verification time
  • Instead of human support, the live chat is manned by a CF Bot with preprogrammed responses
  • Limited to 20 currencies compared to other providers with 70+ currencies

How to send and receive money with 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:

  • Utility bill,
  • Bank or Credit Card Statement,
  • Revenue Notices,
  • Local Council Notices,
  • Car Registration Documents,
  • Lease or Tenancy Agreement,
  • Household Insurance or Renewal Notice.

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:

  • Name of the account holder
  • The country where the account is held
  • Account number
  • Bank code
  • Recipient reference- The information you input here will appear on the bank statement
  • State the purpose of the transfer

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.

Does CurrencyFair have a mobile app?

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:

  • Ability to capture and upload your photo identification for identity verification
  • Quick currency transfer
  • Display of live exchange rates and real exchange rate margin
  • Transfer tracking
  • Check historical transactions
  • Manage your bank accounts. You can easily add, edit or delete your bank accounts.

Can I cancel my CurrencyFair transfer?

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.

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