CurrencyFair Review 92

Currencies: 20+
Regulation: ASIC, CBI
Speed: 1-2 Days
Transfer Method: Bank transfer

The Essentials

CurrencyFair, a global money transfer service,  is a pioneer in the person-to-person currency exchange field that offers a range of options: quick international money transfers, excellent rates (better than those of forex brokers and banks), and full mobile functionality on both Android and iOS. CurrencyFair   offers customers an average transaction process time of 1-3 days. Getting started with CurrencyFair is 100% free and transfer fees are set to €3 per transaction, with the side note that new customers coming from Top10moneytransfer.com get their first three transfers for free. Average commission costs are low at just 0.35%. CurrencyFair has processed €6 billion worth of transfers to date, and customers have saved an impressive €153 million in finance fees, service fees, and related expenses using its services.

CurrencyFair is fully regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. CurrencyFair Ltd is a CAR (Corporate Authorised Representative) of CurrencyFair Australia Pty Ltd., which in turn is regulated by the ASIC. Benefits of the strict regulation CurrencyFair has to act by, include the factthat clients are fully protected by way of segregated accounts, that there are minimum capital requirements for CurrencyFair, that they need to be fully compliant with financial crimes reporting, and have the requirement to utilize loss minimization systems. The company is licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission under license number #94147506410, with additional licensing by the AFS (Australian Financial Services), under license number #402709.

Background

Much like several of its competitors, CurrencyFair started out as a way for expats to transfer money to/ from their home countries in a cheap and easy way. The team of professionals that brought this idea to life is headed by Brett Meyers, chief strategy officer (CSO) and founder of CurrencyFair, with assistance from Sean Barrett, director and co-founder. Dozens of business analysts, software engineers, risk management professionals, and customer service representatives work hard to keep company performance at a high level and ensure the money transfer service running smooth. CurrencyFair is one of the fastest-growing companies in Ireland, and features an impressive range of investors, including but not limited to Octopus Investments, Enterprise Ireland, Frontline Ventures, Draper Esprit, and PR XY. CurrencyFair has offices in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and Nutfield, Surrey, UK.

In the past five years, the company has raised venture capital in excess of $15 million. It also  received multiple awards, including the Most Insightful and Intriguing Internet Innovation (IIA Die IE Visionary Awards) and the Best of Show Award at FinovateAsia in Singapore. CurrencyFair has more than 75 employees, stationed in multiple countries. The company has been operating since 2009, using the global financial crisis as a springboard to launch its service.

CurrencyFair’s Money Transfer System Works in 3 easy steps:

  1. Send in Your Money Via Internet Banking
  2. Exchange the Money at the Best FX Rate
  3. Transfer out the Money to Your Preferred Recipient

The user verification and authorization process for the initial sign-up is carried out in the “eKYC” manner, meaning it is completely digital, excluding the need for any paper document turnover whatsoever.

Since only €3 is charged at this stage of the transaction, it is a cost-effective way for freelancers to receive money, online sellers to get paid, or SMBs to transfer cash to employees or suppliers. The efficiency and competitive nature of CurrencyFair’s money transfer service offers a great way to boost your take home pay as a freelancer. Bank fees, commissions, and currency exchange rates can potentially shave a huge percentage off of the gross income, but not so with CurrencyFair.

CurrencyFair allows you to send money from your bank account to CurrencyFair in a number of ways, including payment by credit card, debit card, bank transfer, Irish debit card, Irish credit card, among other options. You will receive an email confirmation as soon as your money has been received. It is 100% free to transfer money to your account at CurrencyFair, but the authorizing bank may levy fees on these transfers. In terms of pricing, CurrencyFair claims to save you at least 90% on international transfer fees compared to a typical bank. On average, the typical fee on any exchanges is 0.35%, with a minimum amount of €3. More and more people start to see the benefits of using CurrencyFair for international money transfer purposes which, following the economies of scale principle, causes the company to anticipate an even more attractive exchange rate, lower than the current 0.35%.

Getting Paid with CurrencyFair

So how exactly does getting paid through CurrencyFair work? We’ll take a moment to examine the process. Let’s assume you are a freelancer in Germany working for a company based in Canada. To start off the transfer process, the Canadian company would simply enter your country – Germany – and the reason for the money transfer in the appropriate form. If the cost of your services is €1,000, the Canadian business enters €1,000 in the form field detailing what the recipient gets, this would automatically be converted to a CAD amount. Once the transfer has been made to the sender’s account, the exchange can be processed. The exchange will always happen at the best available currency exchange rate. It is possible for the service buyer to wait for the best rate. The final step in the process is to transfer out the money to you, the freelancer abroad. The money will be deposited directly into your bank account.

Why use CurrencyFair?

CurrencyFair’s money transfer service is better than that of traditional banks, FX transfer services, and other organisations for a number of reasons. For starters, the fees and commissions charged are minimal. With banks, you have to worry about transaction fees and commission costs that can significantly increase your total costs and lower your take-home amount. As a freelancer, SMB, or expat, you want to prevent money being wasted along the way. All you need to do, is transfer funds from your bank account into your CurrencyFair account. Once you have done that, you can transfer out the money to the recipient at your preferred exchange rate, which means you can wait for the exchange rate to be at the desired level in order to  not waste budget on transfers with a high exchange rate. There are many other benefits, including the following:

  • Cost Effectiveness: the fees that you pay at CurrencyFair are far less than they are at FX brokerages and banks. A typical bank may charge you a $30 fee on a $5,000. transfer, while CurrencyFair charges you just €3 on the same amount.
  • Licensing and Regulation: CurrencyFair is fully licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the AFS.
  • Full mobile compatibility: CurrencyFair’s money transfer services can be accessed and used on any platform, including the different mobile operating systems.

On top all this, opening a  CurrencyFair account is completely free of charge and transactions are typically processed within 24 to 72 hours.

Customer Support

The Support Centre at CurrencyFair.com is conveniently divided into the following eight categories: getting started, sending in money, exchanging money, transferring out money, documents & registration, account management, business services, and other issues. The best part is that you can contact CurrencyFair directly from any the FAQs in the Support Centre. The company’s contact details can easily be found on the site, and the contact page also includes a contact form to contact Customer Support.

Final Thoughts

CurrencyFair offers many attractive options to SMBs, freelancers, and expats wanting to send/receive money from abroad. The low fees and short transfer times make the service highly attractive. You can send, receive and withdraw your funds directly to your bank account without any requirements. Compliance with various security regulations is mandatory to ensure that only you are able to receive funds transferred to you.

Pros

  • ASIC and AFS regulated
  • Free to register
  • Reliable customer service
  • Average commission of just 0.35%

Cons

  • Platform usability is not excellent
  • Details of withdrawal fees are not easily found
  • Certain countries are excluded from using the service