Currencies Direct Review 82

Currencies: 40+
Regulation: FCA, FinCEN
Speed: 0-3 Days
Transfer Method: Bank transfer

The Essentials

Currencies Direct is an online money transfer solution small business owners, affiliate marketers, freelancers and online sellers may want to consider. The main selling points of this online currency broker are the lack of transfer fees and the better-than-usual currency exchange rates that it offers. This will allow the above mentioned categories to receive their monies without the losses meted out to them by high street bankers. The savings may not be particularly impressive in small amounts and over just one transfer, but as the amounts increase and more transactions are made, they pile up.

Currencies Direct has been established back in 1996, and since then, it has gone through several growth and development cycles. Back in 1996, Currencies Direct was the first UK operator to offer specialized currency services to the public. Having opened offices in Spain, South Africa, India and the US, the company made the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list in 2005. They launched their online money transfer service in 2008, and the following year, they picked up their FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) license for the provision of payment services.

What this regulation means is that Currencies Direct have to comply with a strict set of directives in regards to how they conduct their business. They have to make sure their clients’ monies are kept in separate accounts from company funds, they need to have a certain law-appointed amount of money on their hands at all times and they need to adhere to strict risk management procedures.

How does it work?

1.       Register

You can register in just about the same amount of time it takes to make a cuppa.

Thanks to the eKYC standard, the user verification and authorization process is completely digital, with no need for paper document turnover.

2.       Agree your currency amount and exchange rate

You can do this either online, over the phone or via the app.

3.       Tell Currencies Direct where to send the currency

This is usually in the form of an IBAN or bank account details.

4.       Make a payment to Currencies Direct

You can do this by debit card or by transferring money into their bank account.

Some Background

Though its roots reach back all the way to 1996, Currencies Direct has taken up its current shape and branding in 2014. It was in 2013 that the final touches on the development of the products offered by the company were made. It was then that their e-Tailers services were launched, together with their Multipay feature, as their operation was further expanded to Florida, Malta, Scandinavia and Ireland. The number of employees exceeded the 250 mark too that year. The year prior, the World Economic Forum recognized the operation as a Global Growth Company. Everything was ripe for 2014, for the current brand to be launched.

These days, the currency broker processes some $4.5 billion in worldwide transfers per year, having assisted some 200,000 corporate and retail customers to send and receive money. In 2014 alone, 250,000 transfers were made through Currencies Direct. The selection of currencies covered by Currencies Direct’s services stands at more than 60.

Safety of your funds

Currencies Direct are committed to providing you a service of the highest standard, both in quality and safety. So, whether you want to send a large sum or make regular transfers of smaller amounts, their team of currency experts are working around the clock to make sure your money arrives on-time, as expected.

  • Authorised by the FCA

Currencies Direct are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Electronic Money Institution under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (our FCA Firm Reference number is 900669). This means that they undergo the highest level of regulation to ensure their practises are to the best standard in terms of safety and security.

  • Level 1

They have the highest possible Dun & Bradstreet credit rating, meaning they’re considered to have the lowest possible level of risk.

  • £4.5bn

Currency is their business; this year alone they’ll handle currency worth over £4.5 billion.

  • 210,000 people already trust them

They’ve been around since 1996, and are proud to have helped more than 210,000 people throughout the world, with their network of more than 21 offices and branches across 4 continents.

How long does it take?  

Usually, money sent through a Currencies Direct transfer will reach its destination account in 24-48 hours. Depending on where the transfers are made and the currencies involved, this may vary though. The best way to know exactly when the payee can expect his/her money, is to just talk to Currencies Direct and ask them.

Why use Currencies Direct?

It’s fully regulated. As said, Currencies Direct is licensed by the FCA for payment services. The company is also fully regulated in the jurisdictions where it operates. Regulation always carries a set of governmental guarantees and protections, which are all extremely important from the perspective of the payer and payee.

  • It’s safe and secure. Funds transferred through Currencies Direct are always protected by top-notch encryption, of the same type used by banks for their online operations.
  • It makes economic sense. The lack of transfer fees on 90% of the Currencies Direct transfers is a major asset indeed, as are the supposedly very convenient exchange rates.
  • It is convenient. For the small business owner, online seller and freelancer, Currencies Direct offers a very straightforward and simple solution. The setting up of a regular, local bank account is sufficient to get the system set up. Despite the use of a bank account, all the usual fees and commissions will be avoided through the system .

Services available

Currencies Direct offer the following types of transfers:

  • Spot contracts – A one-off spot contract is the quickest and easiest way to send an international money transfer. You can easily lock in the best available exchange rate and send a transfer to your overseas bank account.
  • Forward contracts – If there’s an attractive exchange rate available at the moment but you don’t need to send your transfer just yet, a forward contract allows you to lock in the rate you want now for a transfer that will take place up to one year in the future.
  • Limit orders – A limit order allows you to send currency overseas at a guaranteed exchange rate. All you have to do is enter the exchange rate you want for your transfer, and the transaction will be completed whenever that rate becomes available.
  • Regular transfers – If you need to make a regular overseas payment, Currencies Direct allows you to set up a recurring payment plan to save time.
  • Rate alerts – Choose a desired rate and when it’s reached, you’ll be notified. There’s no pressure to transfer when the rate is hit, offering a care free way of monitoring currency markets. 

Money transfer at your fingertips

Simply search on the App Store or Google Play for Currencies Direct to access fast, simple transfers whilst you’re on-the-go.

  • Transfer money in three simple steps
  • Keep an eye on the markets with Rate Alerts
  • Live exchange rates
  • All your offline and online activity in one place

Customer Support

The Currencies Direct support staff can be contacted through email, an email form and through a UK phone number. There’s apparently a call-back service available too.

Final thoughts

Freelancers, online sellers and affiliate marketers may find the services offered by Currencies Direct very useful, depending on the sort of transfers they need to make. In this respect, the virtual collection accounts feature is likely to be very popular. The currency broker doesn’t offer localized phone support though, and apparently not all transfers are free.

Pros

  • No transfer fees or hidden charges
  • Over 210,000 active clients
  • £4.5bn transferred annually
  • Award-winning service
  • Transfer over the phone, online or via their app
  • 18 worldwide offices
  • 60+ currencies to choose from

Cons

  • Online transfer limit of £25,000 (or currency equivalent)
  • Works best for large transfers