Smart Currency Exchange Review: Exchange Rates, Transfer Fees & Alternatives
Smart Currency Exchange is a UK-incorporated foreign exchange and payment solutions provider that began operating in 2004. Smart Currency Exchange broke into the business by offering the cheapest and fastest money transfers.
This review will tell you all you need to know about Smart Currency Exchange, so you can decide whether this is the right money transfer service for you.
When sending money abroad, Smart Currency Exchange assigns you a dedicated trader to guide you through the process and ensure that you get the best possible risk-minimising transfer solution. Over Smart Currency Exchange’s lifetime, the provider has transferred more than £5 billion in over 35 currencies to different parts of the world.
The company has a team of about 90 employees, some of whom are located at its UK headquarters on 26-28 Hammersmith Grove London, W6 7BA and others in its international offices in Spain and Portugal. On Trustpilot, Smart Currency Exchange has been predominantly receiving 5-star client ratings giving it a 98% TrustScore.
Smart Currency Exchange rates and fees
Much like other money transfer companies, Smart Currency Exchange's revenue comes from the fees and the exchange rate margins it charges its clients. Here's a breakdown of what to expect when transferring your money.
Smart Currency Exchange adds a margin above the mid-market rate, but unlike some other money transfer companies, they don't display or openly state the size of the margin charged on each transfer. From information obtained from the dealers, we discovered that margins on Smart Currency Exchange usually fluctuate around 1%. There are two types of foreign exchange contracts you can choose from:
Spot contract: This arrangement is for clients who want to make their transfers immediately. Your dedicated dealer will help you get the best rate that won't change for the duration of the transfer.
Forward contract: This agreement allows clients to lock in an exchange rate for up to 12 months. Once the contract is set up, the client is required to make a 10% down payment and the rest paid within the contract period.
Smart Currency Exchange charges a flat £5 fee for transfers under £3000. However, transfers above £3000 are processed at zero fees.
When you enter into a contract with Smart Currency Exchange, you are supposed to state the number of transfers you want to make. When you exceed the number of transfers, you may be charged up to £15 for every additional transfer.
Additionally, as with any money transfer service, Smart Currency Exchange isn't able to control any additional fees charged by the banks you’re transferring to/from, or landing charges your recipient may have to pay in their country, so always be sure to check this beforehand.
Smart Currency Exchange pros and cons
Navigating the currency market for that best rate can be time-consuming because of the fluctuating nature of currency prices and the number of providers operating in the space. When making regular international money transfers, timing is important. Before choosing Smart Currency Exchange, it is worth evaluating its pros and cons.
What kind of payments can I make with Smart Currency Exchange?
When making a transfer through Smart Currency Exchange, you first have to 'Book a Deal' on your online account. Thereafter, state the currency and amount you will be paying in. The following are the transfer payment and payout options the provider has.
Payment methods available
The only allowed transfer payment option is bank transfer. Once you submit the transfer details through your online account or via phone, the provider will email you a Contract Note. This document has all the payment details you need to make the transfer.
Withdrawal options available
Smart Currency Exchange transfers all the currency purchased directly to the beneficiary bank via electronic transfer.
How to send and receive money with Smart Currency Exchange
The provider has simplified the process of making international payments by bringing in currency traders who understand the nuances of every currency route. Here are the steps involved in sending and receiving payments.
How to send money with Smart Currency Exchange
Sending money involves four main steps: signing up for an account, speaking to an expert, paying for your transfer, and transferring to your beneficiary.
1.Step 1 Account signup
2.Step 2 Speak to a currency expert
3.Step 3 Pay for your transfer
4.Step 4 Transfer funds to your beneficiary
How to receive money with Smart Currency Exchange
The funds are deposited in the beneficiary's account via electronic transfer. There is no information to be provided by the beneficiary to receive the funds.
Does Smart Currency Exchange have a mobile app?
Yes, the provider has a free, downloadable mobile app available only through the App Store for Apple devices. The app allows you to check interbank exchange rates and set a rate alarm to alert you when your target rate is reached. You cannot make transfers within the Smart Currency Exchange app.
How fast are Smart Currency Exchange's transfer speeds?
It takes between 1-3 business days to receive transfers. However, the provider states that most of its transfers are delivered within the same day with a few others taking 48 hours.
Are there maximum and minimum transfer amounts?
Smart Currency Exchange doesn't have a minimum transfer amount. However, for any single transaction, the maximum you can send is £15,000. If you need to make transfers over £15,000, you should call and talk to your account manager for special arrangements.
Can I trust Smart Currency Exchange?
Smart Currency Exchange is one of the most highly-rated currency exchange providers in the United Kingdom. With more than 15 years of expertise, its dedicated team of currency traders offer customised solutions to both individual and corporate customers. Below is a breakdown of what makes the company a trusted brand in the financial services industry.
Smart Currency Exchange is registered as a private company limited by shares. John Charles Fairbairn Purdy (JCF Purdy), a chartered accountant and career engineer, co-founded the company with Kimberly Ann Brown in November 2004.
In May 2012, Kimberly resigned to pursue other interests and was replaced by Carl Anthony Hasty. According to the financials for the year ended September 30, 2018, the provider lists JCF Purdy as both the secretary and one of the directors.
Smart Currency Exchange was incorporated by the registrar of companies of England and Wales under company number 5282305. Effectively, the registration means that the provider's activities are regulated as per the Companies Act 2006.
It is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as a payment institution. As part of the Payment Services Regulations 2009, Smart Currency Exchange is required to hold clients' funds in segregated accounts. In this regard, the provider has been working with Barclays Bank plc and the Bank of Ireland, two reputable custodians of clients' funds, for over a decade now. On the FCA's Financial Services Register, Smart Currency Exchange reference number is 504509.
The company is also registered as a money services business - MLR 12198457- by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). To ensure high standards in the industry, the provider maintains active memberships in two key industry associations: the Association of Foreign Exchange and Payment Companies (AFEP) and the UK Money Transmitters Association (UKMTA).
Encryption and customer data
Smart Currency Exchange ensures that client information and funds are highly secured at all times. It uses GoDaddy SSL certificates to safeguard data and secure online transactions. Also, the provider uses SSL by Default technology, the largest SSL provider supporting 61.28% of the top 1 million websites.
As you log in, the website establishes whether the computer user is human through Google's reCAPTCHA technology.
Investors and Awards
Smart Currency Exchange is a 100% privately-owned subsidiary of Smart Currency Group Limited, the parent. The ultimate controlling party is JCF Purdy with 87.3% shareholding in the Group.
The provider has also earned awards and recognitions in the industry. Here is a summary of the most outstanding.
Recognised as an Accelerate 250 company: This is a group of companies in the UK that are enjoying the fastest growth rates and creating jobs in the economy.
Business Moneyfacts Awards 2015: Smart Currency Exchange made it to the Best International Solutions Provider category shortlist.
Wealth & Finance Awards 2015: The provider bagged the Best Bespoke Currency Exchange Services award
West London Business Awards 2018: Won the Finance Business of the Year
Customers seem to be happy with the service they receive from Smart Currency Exchange. On Trustpilot, Smart Currency Exchange has a total of 1221 reviews, close to 1,200 of these are 5-star. The customers who gave 4 and 5-star ratings shared similar experiences:
Can I cancel my transfer?
Yes. Smart Currency Exchange allows clients to cancel their transfer by directly contacting the accounts team. The team will review the transaction and see if it is possible to withdraw the transmitted payment instructions. Once the transfer is cancelled, the accounts team will send the client a written confirmation.
Top destinations for using Smart Currency Exchange
Smart Currency Exchange works with all its clients to ensure their transfers are completed in time and with minimal risk. The following countries are the most preferred destinations on the platform:
Smart Currency Exchange has one of the most responsive teams in the industry. If you have a question you would like to ask or a clarification to make, get in touch with the support desk in any of the following ways:
Phone: If you are calling from the UK, you can use the toll-free phone-08081630102. Those calling from outside the UK can use +442078980541. The support is available 24/7.
Email: For queries contact support through firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints are usually handled through email@example.com.
Most queries are resolved within a day. However, those requiring special investigation are usually resolved within 3-5 business days.
Smart Currency Exchange is one of the top brands to consider when looking for an international money transfer partner - especially from the UK, which is the company's largest market.
Since its incorporation in 2004, Smart Currency Exchange has grown both in the number of countries it serves and the staff it employs. Currently, its team comprises 90 employees some of whom are specialised currency traders.
Making a transfer is simple. You can either do it over the phone or through your online account. Whether you are a first-timer or a repeat customer, you'll find the services of currency traders extremely useful. They will help you get the best rates, timing, and transfer option.
The main drawback is that you can only pay and receive money by bank transfer, so if you're looking to use another payment or withdrawal option such as a debit card, mobile transfer, or cash pickup, then you'll have to look elsewhere.
In addition to the low fees, the provider has competitive exchange rates. When making large personal or corporate transfers, you'll often save money when compared to other providers - and certainly when compared to the rates charged by banks. So for example, if you're looking to send money to Thailand from the USA, it will be much cheaper than using a high street bank.
With that being said, it's always wise to compare providers to ensure you're getting the best deal for your transfer. Using our money transfer comparison tool, you can quickly see who's cheaper and faster on any given transfer route and find the best possible service.Compare Providers Now