CurrenciesDirect Review

Unlike other money transfer providers, Currencies Direct has tailored its product offerings to suit private and corporate clients. With a wide footprint through 22 regional offices in Spain, Portugal, India, the USA, China and South Africa, the company can comfortably serve a variety of markets. According to the Companies House, Currencies Direct was registered on April 3, 1995, as Currencies Direct Limited with its headquarters in London, United Kingdom.

The fact that Currencies Direct doesn’t charge any fees on transfers and has employed experts in overseas property purchases makes it an outstanding firm in the money transfer industry. However, for clients sending money to Africa, the unavailability of exotic African currencies on the platform and the $100 minimum can be inconveniencing.

    Date Founded:
    1996
    Provider Type:
    Forex Exchange
    HQ Location:
    London, UK
    Regulators:
    FCA, Fincen, FINTRAC
    Mobile Friendly:
    Yes
    Mobile App:
    Yes
    Languages Available:
    English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
    Transfer Options:
    Online
    Withdrawal Options:
    Bank, Debit Card
    Payment Options:
    Debit Card, Bank Transfer
    Regular Payments:
    No
    Supported Currencies:
    AUD, BHD, BWP, CAD, CHF, CNY, CRC, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, ILS, JPY, KES, KWD, LKR, MUR, MXN, NOK, NZD, OMR, PHP, PLN, QAR, RON, RUB, SAR, SEK, SGD, SVC, THB, TRY, TTD, UGX, USD, XCD, ZAR

    Currencies Direct exchange rates

    Currencies Direct’s business model is unique. The company earns its revenue through exchange rate spreads but not through fees. This is a sharp contrast to banks that often charge for almost every service they offer.

    • Transfer Fees – Currencies Direct doesn't charge any transfer fees.
    • Exchange Rates – Currencies Direct gives you live exchange rates around the clock. These rates are also known as mid-market rates. However, when doing the actual transfer, you’ll get slightly lower rates. The company earns its revenue from the spread between the buy rate and the sell rate for the different currencies. With that said, their rates are still competitive.
    • Other Fees – There are no other fees that you’ll be charged save for sending and receiving fees. These are charged by third parties and are completely out of  Currencies Direct’s control.

    Most popular destinations

    Currencies Direct has served more than 325,000 private and corporate clients in different remittance corridors. Statistics show that the following are the most popular countries Currencies Direct clients have been sending money to and fro: Australia, UK, USA, Canada and Spain.

    With Currencies Direct, you can make transfers to more than 120 countries in 60 currencies. This global reach makes it easier to pay international suppliers, overseas contractors and employees. Other than the customised solutions for personal and business clients, there is no differentiation of services per region. Every client enjoys the same services across the board.

    The company’s website is mobile optimised and available in 10 languages which are English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Deutsche, Chinese and Korean. This is a plus for non-English speaking clients.

    Pros and Cons of Currencies Direct

    Currencies Direct customers have praised the provider for offering great exchange rates, dynamic transfer options and rate alerts. In the same vein, some users have cited the fact that Currencies Direct doesn’t offer cash pickups and support for many exotic African currencies as notable disadvantages.

    Pros

    • No Transfer Fees – Currencies Direct is known for its zero-fee transfers irrespective of the country you are transferring to.
    • Customised offerings- Whether you are making person-to-person transfers or business transfers, Currencies Direct has tailored solutions to enable you to do that. For instance, businesses can signup for multicurrency accounts and manage risks through market orders.
    • Multi-Currency Support- The company can facilitate transfers in 60 currencies spanning all continents.
    • Flexible Transfer Options – Depending on your needs, you can do spot contract transfers, forward contract transfers where you fix the rate for up to one year or limit order transfers if you have a rate in mind and don’t mind waiting.
    • Customer Support – The customer team at Currencies Direct is professional, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. You can get in touch with them through phone or email.

    Cons

    • Higher Thresholds – The $100 minimum may inconvenience some clients who send small gifts or top-ups for school fees and other payments.
    • Limited Payout Options- The only way to send money on this platform is through bank transfers to the recipient's account. There is no option for cash pickups.
    • Limited currencies - When sending to African countries you may find some exotic currencies are not covered by the provider.

    You can only make bank transfers with Currencies Direct. However, there are transfer options you can choose depending on your unique circumstances and preferences.

    • Spot Contracts – If you want to make an immediate transfer, Currencies Direct will give you an exchange rate that will hold for the duration of the transfer.
    • Forward Contracts – Customers who want to fix a rate for a duration of up to one year, can do so on Currencies Direct at a small deposit. This transfer option can help you hedge against exchange rate volatilities.
    • Limit Orders - This type of transfer lets you target a certain exchange rate. Until the rate is reached, no transfer can be initiated. It is appropriate if you are not in a hurry to make your transfer.

    Most importantly, you can do all these transfers online or on your mobile through the Currencies Direct app.

    How long will it take to receive money?

    When sending money through Currencies Direct, the duration of the transfer will depend on how fast you pay for your transfer and the destination you are sending the funds.

    Typically, transfers take between 24 to 48 hours to get to the recipient. When making a transfer, talk to the customer support team and they will tell you how long it will take to get the funds to the recipient's account.

    Transfers where one or both currencies are classified as exotic, take longer to complete compared to standard currencies.

    Currencies Direct competes well with most money transfer providers. For instance, it enjoys faster transfer speeds than TransferWise and most banks.

    What payment methods can I use?

    There are two ways you can pay for your Currencies Direct transfer: debit card or bank. However, this comes at a higher fee. Compared to bank transfers. You can make the payment online, over the phone or through the mobile application.

    Why use Currencies Direct?

    Currencies Direct has tailored product offerings for businesses and individuals. The following are the best use cases.  

    Business – Whether you are receiving or sending international payments, Currencies Direct can help you make the process simple and fast.

    • Receiving overseas payments- Currencies Direct allows you to receive international payments in different currencies such as GBP, EUR, USD and JPY using multi-currency accounts. You get notified via email and SMS when the funds hit your account.
    • Online sellers- If you selling from any of the online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Groupon, or Priceminister, Currencies Direct can facilitate the transfer of your earnings to your bank account.
    • Paying suppliers and contractors in other countries in their respective currencies.
    • Multiple payments -If you pay more than one business or individual regularly, you can upload your file from the accounting system onto Currencies Direct and send. This feature minimises errors and reduces the time it takes to make every single transfer.

    Personal Transfers – Currencies Direct gives you an excellent platform for sending funds to your family and friends. The higher the amount of money, the better the rates.                          

    • School fees and mortgage payments-With the regular payment service, you can send money on a regularly without a hassle. However, at the moment, Currencies Direct’s regular service is suitable when sending money from the UK.
    • Sending Money Home – With zero transfer fees, sending money to your loved ones is affordable. Irrespective of the country, Currencies Direct will deliver its promise.

    Can I trust Currencies Direct?

    Currencies Direct is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK to operate as an Electronic Money Institution. It is also classified at level 1 credit rating by Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. This means the company is a low-risk organisation.

    The other countries where Currencies Direct is regulated include:

    • France- Here Currencies Direct Ltd is authorised by Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Resolution (ACPR) as a provider of cross border payment services.
    • South Africa- Currencies Direct is regulated by the Financial Services Board (FSB) and registered under the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.
    • Canada –Here, the company operates under the Financial Transactions and Report Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) as a money service business.
    • In Spain, it is regulated by the Bank of Spain while in the United States, Currencies Direct is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”).

    The regulation is important for the safety of client funds and private information. Barclays Bank Plc are Currencies Direct bankers and PriceWaterhouse Coopers LLC are the auditors. Together, they ensure clients funds are held in separate accounts from the business finances and that the company follows standard procedures in carrying out its day to day businesses.

    Since its establishment, Currencies Direct has served more than 325,000 clients in both the private and business categories. On average, the company carries out 550,000+ transactions valued at more than £7.5bn annually. The 22 global offices Currencies Direct operates employ a total of 500+ skilled professionals.

    Clients interacting with the website are assured of data protection through TLS encryption. Also, the website has useful content and an FAQ section that tackles most of the common questions customers ask.

    User opinion on Currencies Direct?

    Currencies Direct has excellent reviews on Trustpilot and attracts positive comments on social media.

    Currently, the company has a total of 3,676 reviews on Trustpilot, 85% of which are rated as ‘Excellent’ and 8% as ‘Great. Most of the 5-star review customers cited the following advantages.

    • Competitive rates
    • Professional Customer support
    • Simple-to-use transfer platform

    The 5% of reviewers who rated the company as ‘Poor’ or ‘Bad’, cited occasional delays in funds transfers and lower rates when transferring smaller amounts.

    To add to its credibility, the company has bagged several awards including the Consumer champion of the year, 2017, Money Transfer Provider of the Year for 2016 and 2018, finalists for the National business awards, 2006 among others.

    Sending and receiving money

    Sending and receiving money through Currencies Direct is a simple stepwise process.

    How to Send Money Using Currencies Direct?

    • Step 1: Sign up – Signing up with this money transfer service provider is very simple as all you need is to visit its website and click on the Apply Now button.  
    • Step 2 – Account Verification – After you submit your details including bank account information,  you will get a verification email or call from an account manager at Currencies Direct. You will then receive an SMS with a PIN to activate your account.
    • Step 3 – Choose the currency and the amount you want to transfer and provide the recipient’s details.
    • Step 4 – Pay for your transfer using a debit card or bank transfer.
    • Step 5 – As soon as Currencies Direct receives your payment, it will send the funds across.

    How to Receive Money Using Currencies Direct?

    Transfers on Currencies Direct are credited into the recipient’s bank account. Apart from the acknowledgement, there is nothing else the recipient is meant to do.

    Does Currencies Direct have an app?

    Currencies Direct has a downloadable mobile application available on Android and iOS platforms. The App makes it easier for you to do a number of things including:

    • Tracking your transfer status
    • Checking exchange rate movements
    • Setting rate alerts
    • Adding and managing recipients
    • Buying currency to use in future
    • Making transfers

    On Google Play, the Currencies Direct app has 154 reviews with an average score of 4.6. Over 10,000 customers have installed the app and it works in every region.

    Can I cancel my transfer?

    Currencies Direct transfers are legally binding contracts. Once you agree and confirm whether by phone, online or through the branch, you cannot cancel.

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