Learn whether CurrencyFair is a good option for making international money and currency transfers.
CurrencyFair's head office is in Ireland with an office in Australia and the UK. CurrencyFair was launched in 2010 by expats and former bankers who wanted a better, more affordable way to transfer money internationally. CurrencyFair was the first to introduce a peer to peer (P2P) marketplace and promises competitive rates with fast and secure transactions.
Their brand commitment is to create a world of fair financial services.
The Currency Shop says:
- CurrencyFair in addition to providing traditional broking services like OFX or Western Union also gives you the option to exchange funds on their P2P market place. It is important to understand the differences and evaluate if they are a suitable choice for you.
- Use our comparison table to compare foreign exchange rates, fees and services of other providers.
What we will cover
We’re most interested in how safe CurrencyFair are, how they work and when you should use them. In this article, we’ll explore:
- Is CurrencyFair safe?
- CurrencyFair fees and charges
- How to use CurrencyFair for international money transfers
- The Pros and Cons
Is CurrencyFair safe?
CurrencyFair holds the same regulatory approvals from ASIC as those of the Australian Banks and Non-Banks their Australian Financial Services Licence number is 402709.
When sending money overseas, CurrencyFair, in the majority of cases, use a network of local accounts to send the funds. Avoiding the need to use the SWIFT network. The transactions are fufilled via client trust accounts, which is cheaper than using SWIFT and from a security point of view, similar to using another non-bank such as OFX or World First.
CurrencyFair fees and charges
CurrencyFair charge in 2 ways – a transfer fee and an exchange rate margin
CurrencyFair Transfer Fee
Their transfer fee is certainly low compared to any other option in Australia. They charge 2.5 pounds (or $4 in Australia) which is exceptionally competitive.
What exchange rate will you get from CurrencyFair?
CurrencyFair provide you with the option to exchange straightaway or use their peer-to-peer network. About 40% of their customers use the Peer-to-Peer option. If you choose to use the peer to peer option you will set an order to buy currency at your given rate.
Choose your currency, amount and the rate to set your order and CurrencyFair’s market place will match your price at a margin to interbank with another peer trading in the opposite direction at 0.15% where possible.
If no other peers are available at your price CurrencyFair will act as the counterparts and match your order but at a wider spread of 0.35%, where possible. You do have some risk, as with any other order, if the market does not reach your chosen rate then no exchange occurs.
You can always cancel your market place order and exchange at the current market price offered by CurrencyFair but this rate could be lower and at a spread of 0.5%, which is still considerably cheaper than typical bank transfer rates.
CurrencyFair provide you with a risk reward for choosing their peer to peer market place, you can achieve interbank rates or cheaper for your exchange but run the risk you are not matched and no exchange occurs.
How to use CurrencyFair for international money transfers
Before transferring any money overseas using CurrencyFair, you need to register a new account. You can sign up to a personal or business account.
CurrencyFair provides the convenience of electronic verification where possible and the account registration can take as little as a few minutes to complete. If you do not pass via electronic verification they will ask for additional documentation with typical turnaround times 1-2 days.
Once your account is activated it’s simply a matter of adding your deposit account information and your beneficiary information.
Depending on where the money is being transferred, money is usually received in 1-2 days. The best times to transfer money are in the morning – ahead of the bank’s cut-off times in the early afternoon.
How Do I Pay CurrencyFair?
Funds can be transferred to CurrencyFair in any major currencies using EFT or BPAY. CurrencyFair also accepts EURO deposits from debit cards.
Does CurrencyFair accept credit cards?
CurrencyFair does not accept or deliver cash, cheque, credit card or bank draft.
Available Currencies and Countries
CurrencyFair currently offers money transfer options in 18 currencies.
- UAE Dirham
- Australian Dollar
- Canadian Dollar
- Swiss Franc
- Czech Koruna
- Danish Krone
- Pound Sterling
- Hungarian Forint
- Norwegian Krone
- New Zealand Dollar
- Polish Zloty
- Swedish Krona
- US Dollar
- South African Rand
The list of countries you can send to using CurrencyFair is LONG:
Check the FAQ page on the CurrencyFair website for more information
The Pros and Cons
Pros of Using CurrencyFair for Your Money Transfer
- CurrencyFair is great for small amounts – with an eight (8) Euro minimum exchange, and no maximum. It makes CurrencyFair ideal for sending small gifts or dealing with small overseas purchases
- Exceptionally low transfer fee
- The choice of a peer-to-peer match which allows a very low exchange rate margin of 0.15%
Cons of Using CurrencyFair for Your Money Transfer
- You carry some risk if you use their market place given there is no guarantee of a match.
- They don’t accept credit cards, cheques or cash
- 0.5% exchange rate charge is uncompetitive for larger amounts above $50,000
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