Is CurrencyFair safe? [AU]

CurrencyFair is a large and established money transfer service which has already moved the equivalent of over 15 billion AUD around the world. If you’re thinking of using CurrencyFair for your next payment you may be wondering if they’re a safe provider.

This guide has you covered – we’ll look at whether CurrencyFair is safe, how they’re regulated and the steps in place to keep customer money and personal data secure.

Quick summary

  • Large and established provider with thorough account security processes in place
  • ASIC regulated and covered by several other regulatory bodies in the UK, EU, Singapore and Hong Kong
  • Site security measures in place including 256-bit encryption
  • Anti fraud technology and dedicated customer support

Is CurrencyFair safe?

CurrencyFair is a safe and established provider which is regulated and licensed for its activities around the world. It offers enhanced security measures including manual and automatic processes to keep customer funds safe.

  • Year founded: 2010
  • Regulation: ASIC regulated in Australia, also covered by other global bodies
  • Number of customers: 150,000
  • Amount transferred:  The equivalent of 15 billion AUD to date

How is CurrencyFair regulated?

CurrencyFair is fully regulated in every territory they operate in. CurrencyFair Australia Pty Ltd is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). CurrencyFair is also regulated by other bodies around the world including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Central Bank of Ireland and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

In Australia, CurrencyFair holds an Australian Financial Services (AFS) license and is authorized to offer general advice to customers regarding financial services and products. Advice given will be general in nature – it won’t be based on your personal financial situation.

ASIC rules – as well as the global regulations CurrencyFair must comply with – mean that customer funds are held securely in a top tier financial institution, and not mixed with Currency Fair’s own operating capital.

Is CurrencyFair as safe as traditional banks?

CurrencyFair is not a bank, but as a financial services company it’s covered by much of the same regulation a traditional bank is. That means that for the services it offers it’s just as safe as a normal bank.

The main difference between a specialist provider like CurrencyFair and a regular bank is usually in the fees and exchange rates available for transfers – using a specialist could mean you pay less overall.

How does CurrencyFair keep your money safe?

CurrencyFair has numerous safety and security measures in place to keep customers’ money and personal data safe. Here are a few:

  • CurrencyFair is overseen by ASIC and several other global regulatory bodies
  • Customer funds are ring fenced in large, top tier international banks – they’re separate from CurrencyFair’s own capital for security
  • Thorough account verification steps are in place
  • 2-factor authentication and a secure site connection so you can operate your account safely
  • Data is held securely and safeguarded 24 hours a day
  • Systematic checks and audits are used to make sure CurrencyFair’s customer security processes all work well

Is CurrencyFair safe to transfer money?

It’s safe to transfer money with CurrencyFair.

If CurrencyFair can’t immediately pass on your payment to your recipient – during verification checks for example – your money will be held in a top tier institution away from CurrencyFair’s own funds. That means that even in the unlikely event that CurrencyFair runs into financial difficulties your money is separate from their working capital and can be returned to you.

Is CurrencyFair safe to keep money with?

Yes. When you want to send a payment through CurrencyFair you’ll need to first send your money to your CurrencyFair account before it’s transferred out to your recipient in your destination currency. During this time, CurrencyFair will keep your funds securely and separate to their own money to avoid confusion.

Is CurrencyFair safe for large amounts?

It’s safe to send large payments with CurrencyFair, although it’s worth remembering some destination countries may have a cap on how much you can send.

Sending a high value payment can be daunting. To make sure everything goes smoothly you might want to take a few extra steps;

  • Get your CurrencyFair account fully verified ahead of time – you can upload ID and address documents by logging into your account
  • Check if CurrencyFair needs any extra documents for your high value payment
  • Make sure your bank will let you send the required amount – sometimes accounts impose their own transfer limits, especially if you’re setting up the payment online or in a mobile app

Is CurrencyFair business account safe?

The CurrencyFair business account is safe to use. It’s regulated in the same way as the personal account product is – which means your business funds will be subject to ASIC rules.

Making and receiving business payments through CurrencyFair is safe, and can often save you money compared to using a regular bank account.

Is CurrencyFair legit?

When a specialist provider like CurrencyFair says they can save you money compared to your normal bank it’s natural to worry that they may not provide a legitimate service. However, you can rest assured that CurrencyFair is a legit business which is trusted by 150,000 customers, and has already facilitated payments worth the equivalent of over 15 billion AUD.

Customer reviews on Trustpilot

CurrencyFair gets a 4.6/5 Excellent score on Trustpilot from over 5,000 posted reviews. An impressive 84% of reviewers gave the highest available score while only 45 selected the lowest possible score.

Among the poor 1 star reviews recently posted, security does come up as a reason for issuing a low score. However, the problems customers have experienced tend to be around account verification processes and documentation checks. These are intended to keep customer accounts and money safe, and are required by any regulated money transfer business.

While it can be frustrating to have your payment delayed while you provide additional details or paperwork, the same would most likely happen if you sent the money through your normal bank.

Can you get scammed on CurrencyFair?

Criminals do target banks and other financial service companies like CurrencyFair, looking for vulnerable people to scam. Unfortunately there’s a small risk of fraudulent activity with all types of financial organisation – even your regular bank.

Luckily, taking a few common sense steps is usually enough to keep your CurrencyFair account and funds safe:

  • Use a secure password and never disclose it to anyone
  • Don’t send payments to people you don’t know, or whose identity you can’t verify
  • Never feel pressured into making a payment
  • Watch out for phishing attacks which try to get you to hand over personal and account information – check you’re really communicating with CurrencyFair if you’re unsure
  • If something feels too good to be true, steer clear

Can I avoid falling victim to a fraud?

Most attempts to scam and defraud victims are relatively unsophisticated and so taking common sense steps to protect your account and personal information is usually enough to stay safe. If you do think you may have fallen victim to fraud, or if your CurrencyFair account has been compromised, get in touch with customer support through the in-app and online help service.

Is your personal data safe on CurrencyFair?

CurrencyFair will need to collect personal data from all customers, including contact information, and financial information like bank account details. You’ll also need to give details of your recipient to facilitate a payment.

CurrencyFair has a duty to keep all sensitive information secure, including following rules laid out in the Privacy Act and similar legislation around the world. Your information is held securely, and you can request that certain details are not held or used for some purposes, such as marketing. However, due to regulatory and legal requirements, there are some things – like having your identity and address verified – you can’t opt out of providing if you want to use your CurrencyFair account.

What personal data does CurrencyFair collect?

CurrencyFair collects several types of information about customers and recipients, including:

  • Personal and contact information
  • Financial information to facilitate a payment
  • Information about how you use the CurrencyFair site and services
  • Information about how you access the site like your IP address

Some information you will need to give CurrencyFair directly, some can be collected automatically – like using Cookies when you browse the CurrencyFair site.

Information is held for as long as is practically needed or legally mandated – this is usually 7 to 12 years.

How to get started on CurrencyFair?

To open a CurrencyFair account you’ll need to register online and may be required to complete a verification process. Whether you need to get fully verified right away may depend on how you want to use your account – but customers are typically asked to provide proof of identity and proof of address.

Once your account is up and running your can make a payment online or in the app with CurrencyFair:

  1. Set up your transaction, adding the currency and amount you want to send and the currency you need your recipient to get in the end
  2. Follow the prompts to add recipient details
  3. Confirm how you want to pay
  4. Send your payment to CurrencyFair, and the money will be passed on to your recipient as soon as the funds have cleared

Conclusion

CurrencyFair is a safe provider which is popular thanks to its broad range of international transfer options for individual and business customers. Payments can be made for lower overall fees compared to a normal bank – and may also arrive faster.

CurrencyFair is ASIC regulated in Australia and also overseen by several other global regulators. Steps in place for enhanced customer security include account verifications, 2-factor authentication to access accounts and secure site access. If CurrencyFair ever needs to hold your funds prior to processing a transfer, your money will be held in a top tier financial institution to keep it separate from CurrencyFair’s working capital.

FAQ

1. Is CurrencyFair safe?

CurrencyFair is safe and uses a range of manual and automated procedures to secure customer funds and personal data.

2. How is CurrencyFair regulated?

In Australia CurrencyFair is regulated by ASIC. It’s also overseen by other global bodies including the FCA, the Central Bank of Ireland and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

By Ileana Ionescu Updated February 11th, 2022