TransferWise vs CurrencyFair: The One Big Difference Between Them

Peer to peer money transfer companies like TransferWise and CurrencyFair have introduced a better and cheaper way to transfer money internationally.

 

The big difference between them is how they work. 

The Important Bits

TransferWise

Safety: Based in the UK, licensed and well backed

Rates: You receive the interbank exchange rate on google

Fees: Percentage based fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Limited phone support but excellent online resources

Safety: Also based in the UK, licensed and privately owned

Rates: Depends on the currency and amount you are sending

Fees: A small flat fee of 3 Euro plus a percentage based fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Good online and phone support

The Verdict

Safety: Both are well licensed in the UK ,Europe and most western countries

Rates: TransferWise gives the interbank rate and will always be better

Fees: Very similar fee structure except for the small 3 Euro charge from CurrencyFair

Speed: TransferWise is faster on most transfers

Service: Both companies offer online support first and limited phone support.

 

On face value, these companies appear very similar, which they are. Both are very cheap and safe ways to transfer money abroad. Both are easy to use and have a good service, particularly online.

The big difference is that with TransferWise, you don't have to pay them first. That is, you can lock in the exchange rate and fees of you transfer before you pay them. This makes it significantly easier to use.

Learn more about TransferWise

Learn more about CurrencyFair

Let's have a look at them in more detail

TransferWise is a peer to peer money transfer service that is often recognised for its fast transfers and bank-beating exchange rates and fees. The company’s headquarters is located in London and has offices in New York and Tallinn.

 

CurrencyFair LogoCurrencyFair is a foreign exchange marketplace. Its headquarters is located in Ireland and they have offices in Australia and UK. They offer currency exchange and money transfer services for individuals and businesses alike. CurrencyFair is able to offer low transfer fees and competitive exchange rates as it trades currencies on a peer to peer transfer.

Safety

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is the government body that ensures and regulates fair and transparent conduct of financial services. Every financial service must be granted an Australian Financial Service (AFS) licence by ASIC to carry out business in Australia.

TransferWise are regulated by ASIC & AUSTRAC (AFSL 456295)

CurrencyFair are also properly regulated in the UK and Australia

Exchange Rates

Like banks, money transfer providers make money in two main ways: Firstly, the margin from which they purchase currency at a wholesale rate and the cost of currency sold on to customers. Secondly, an additional transaction fee.

However, TransferWise is unique in that they sell currency based on the mid-market (wholesale) exchange rate and make money through fees.

Exchange rates are constantly changing. That’s why comparing your options is one of the most important factors to consider before making a transfer. Here are three ways you can compare current exchange rates:

 

  1. View live rates on TransferWise and CurrencyFair websites
  2. Call CurrencyFair at +61 (0) 282 798 642 (within Australia)
  3. Contact TransferWise through the Live Chat feature on its website
  4. Compare exchange rates online with our comparison engine

Fees

Money transfer providers make a profit from every transaction, even when no fees are charged. So it’s just as important to compare fees as well as exchange rates. Note that a deposit fee or correspondent bank fee may be charged by the recipient’s bank.

 

TransferWise CurrencyFair

0.7% of transfer amounting up to AUD 10,000 (minimum fee AUD 2)

Peer to peer exchange: AUD 4 flat fee + 0.15% of transfer amount

0.7% on initial AUD 10,000 plus 0.5% on anything over

Quick Trade method: AUD 4 flat fee + 0.4% to 0.5% of transfer amount

Time For Transfer To Reach Recipient

When using an online transfer provider, your transfer is made to the company account to be processed before it is cleared and transferred to the recipient.

CurrencyFair and TransferWise generally take 1-3 business days. How long it takes usually comes down to:

  1. How long it takes you to pay them for the transfer
  2. Which country you are sending the money to. Some countries take longer than others
  3. How long the bank on the other end takes to credit the bank account

How easy are they to use?

Both companies are fairly similar when it comes down to using them.

To transfer money overseas with either of the providers, you must register an account. We review the steps for each provider below:

Accepted Payment Methods and Minimum & Maximum Transfer Amounts

 

What Currencies Can I Transfer?

For an extensive list of currencies available for transfer with TransferWise and CurrencyFair, check out our reviews for each company
TransferWise Review
CurrencyFair Review

 

Customer Support

Should you have any queries, you can contact CurrencyFair over the phone at +61 (0) 282 798 642 (within Australia).

With TransferWise, it was difficult to find their contact number. We had to use their live chat feature to get in touch with a consultant and received a response within 24 hours.

Final thoughts

Both companies excel in different areas. Depending on your needs, you may want to choose one over the other.

Generally, we found TransferWise easier to use. Their exchange rates are based on the mid-market rate and their fee structure is slightly cheaper than CurrencyFair.

Just remember to compare the exchange rates before you decide to transfer as rates change all the time.

Learn more about TransferWise

Learn more about CurrencyFair