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CurrencyFair Money Transfer Review

Update February 8, 2017:

1436986504_165_ExclamationMarkWe have difficulties with Currencyfair’s affiliate program. The responses have been delayed for too long, and payments have been inconsistent (very odd behavior for a company dealing with payments).

We do believe Currencyfair’s pricing model is one of the best in the market, but until we figure it out and regain our trust in the firm, we recommend using Transferwise instead. They have similarly cheap prices with no minimums, and they have been far more responsive and trustworthy in our eyes than Currencyfair.

Quick FactsPros and ConsFree Transfer Promo
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Established: 2010.


International Clients: ✗ Only from UK, EU and Australia.


Currencies Offered: 15.


Minimum Transfer: None


Trading via: Online Platform, Telephone, Face to Face.


Offices In: UK, Australia, Ireland.


Regulation: ✓ The Central Bank of Ireland, ✓  The Autralian Securities and Investment Commission


Fees:  €3 Plus Withdrawal Fees


Promotional Code: None but free transfer with our promo link.


Client Reviews: Over 750, mainly on TrustPilot.


Client Rating: 9.5 / 10



🏆 FinovateAsia 2014 – Best of Show
🏆 IIA Dot IE Net Visionary Awards for Most Insightful and Intriguing Internet Innovation

Our Rating: 83%

🔎 View Rating Breakdown


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Pros

0.35% Overall Markup Reported

Transparent Pricing in Online Platform

Opportunity to Beat Market Rate On P2P Marketplace

Highly Positive Client Rating

Overall Positive Client Reaction

Great App

First Free Transfer Using Our “Free Quote” Link

Cons

No Dedicated Dealers

Varying Fixed Fees which Could Be Significant

Fund Withdrawal Fees on Top of Fixed Fees

No Hedging Tools such as Forward Contracts

May Take a While to Find Best Rate Match


Our Rating: 83%

🔎 View Rating Breakdown


 

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Exclusive Promo to MoneyTransferComparison:

Click on the button below to waive off ALL fees off your first transfer with Currencyfir.

Regardlress of whether it’s a small or large transfer, Currencyfair will be happy to do it for free.

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Company Information and Credibility


Company Size:  

CurrencyFair, not be confused with travel money giant FairX, went live in Dublin in 2010. Since then, it has brokered roughly €1.5 billion, saving its customers some €100 million. CurrencyFair has expanded into the UK, Poland, and Australia, and it able to transfer funds to most nations around the world, though they don’t accept customers from anywhere but EEA countries or Australia.

The Currencyfair model has seem to find its way around investors minds, managing to raise in excess of $20m in several different rounds (as listed here, here, here and here). The company is often mentioned next to betting exchange giant Betfair in media, and we speculate there might be a connection between the two companies, with shared investors and employees (like this consultant).

Side Note: There’s also a strong connection between Betfair and Transferwise, as David Yu is an early investor in Transferwise.

 

Though the firm is still still young and developing, CurrencyFair is one of a few genuine Peer to Peer currency exchange companies, where transparency plays a huge rating, and saving is demonstrated across the board.

Whether this is a viable business model in the long term is yet to be seen. But for now, CurrencyFair seems to have a lot of happy customers and a growing influence.

Regulated By: 

The Central Bank of Ireland, The Autralian Securities and Investment Commission


Awards: 

🏆 Best in Show, FinovateAsia, 2012

🏆 IIA Dot IE Net Visionary Awards for Most Insightful and Intriguing Internet Innovation, 201311.


Conclusion: 

Though Currency fair can’t be matched with the old-timers in this industry like Moneycorp (operating since the 70’s and exchanging billions annually), it’s level of credibility is definitely in par with its direct competitor Transferwise.

Both companies have high expectations from them, cheap and transparent pricing, sexy marketing campaigns, and approximately similar trading volumes (both passed the 1bn mark in 2014).

Credibility Rating

Client Feedback


Research:

There are 850+ client reviews available on TrustPilot , netting the company a 9.4 / 10 rating. This represents a large improvement from a shaky start Currencyfair had on the platform (in early 2014 it had an average rating of 6.2). It means that reviews added over the past 2 years have been almost unanimously positive.


Positive:

CurrencyFair has received hundreds of positive client reviews and these were the main points:

  • Best exchange rate
  • Ability to achieve even better rates through marketplace options
  • Courteous approach form the support staff
  • Secure and prompt online platform
Negative:

Complaints we have discovered about the company were most around these topic

  • Unhelpful service
  • Cumbersome platform which is not intuitive
  • Lack of transparency about fund withdrawal fees
  • Service discontinued to some countries without prior notice

Conclusion:

 

The testimonials prove that Currencyfair meet the goals it has set up in order to become an industry leader:

  • Ability to achieve the best rates through the marketplace
  •  An innovative product which combines an eWallet with currency transfers
  • Helpful service and overall client satisfaction from the experience

View our eWallet comparison (Currencyfair included). 


 

On the negative side there are some fairly justified complaints, but these are small things to consider inside a 95% positive overall feedback. The fact services were discontinued is indeed true, but doesn’t happen very often. The platform is a tad more complicated than other FX firms’ platform, but on the other hand it serves a different functionality, so it is expected. And yes, there are withdrawal fees but pretty negligible when it comes to high volume trading.

User Rating

Exchange Rate & Fees


Fees: There’s a min. €3 fixed fee per transaction (which grows to €8 for priority /same-day transfers). That is if you send money from the UK. You can pay as much as 40 ILS ($10 or so) if you’re transferring Israeli Shekels, which is comparable to a normal bank fee.

In addition, there are withdrawal fees to collect money from your Currencyfair account to your bank account. We’re trying to look for additional information on that topic, as it is not clearly stated anywhere on the site (but clearly mentioned in some clients’ reviews).

Exchange Rates: The currency rates offered by Currencyfair are dynamic.

In fact, Currencyfair is a marketplace where buyers and seller meet to exchange currencies. Each person can set his preferred rate, or engage into trading with an existing offer.

There are two ways to go along:

1. If you need to exchange the currency quickly, you can use the Quicktrade option. This will automatically search for the best rates currently available on the marketplace and match your transfer. We don’t have particular data on the average margin achieved through this function but we can tell Currencyfair claims to step in and offer a 0.4%-0.5% margin if no marketplace match is made (and we assume margins will hover around these prices).

2. If you want to let the money sit for a while, and willing to wait for the best deals, then you can potentially even beat the mid-market rate. On the other hand, in terms of currency fluctuations, you could end up losing much more than the fees you saved.

The average spread that Currencyfair reports is 0.35% which is a great margin even for large transfers, but it’s difficult to know if it can be ever achieved through the more recommended Quicktrade option.

Limits: €8 is the minimum amount that can be transferred, one of the lowest seen anywhere. There is no upper limit.


Conclusion:

The fees could be excessive with some currencies, or if you want a priority trade. If you are transferring small volumes in exotic currencies, or need a priority transfer, you better off not use them.

In terms of exchange rates, we think they are quite comparable to Transferwise, all in all, at around the 0.5% from mid-market rate (if you factor in the fees). Pretty good, but can be beaten by traditional companies when the amount transferred is significant.

The marketplace is the hottest, one of a kind, feature that Currencyfair bring into the table, but it’s a service which is only usable to expert which can predict market movements, or money managers in organizations. Still, it must be mentioned that in certain scenarios this marketplace can achieve rates that simply cannot be beaten.

Exchange Rates & Fees Rating

Global Reach & Service


Research:

  • Dedicated Dealer: No.
  • Offices: UK, Australia, Ireland.
  • Ways to approach: Email, Telephone, Face to Face.
  • Translations: Polish, French.
  • Accepts clients: UK and Australia, Europe only.
  • Currencies Handled: 15.
  • Client reviews: 9.4 / 10, complimenting the company for saving and service.

Conclusion:

Currencyfair is not the most global company there is. Not only it accepts clients from very specific locations, it also handles the least amount of currency pairs of all companies, especially in comparison to companies like FC Exchange.

On the service side, there’s no doubt the company stands to the highest standards of client satisfaction, but there are no expert dealers to assist you with market guidance (or offer hedging instruments such as forward contracts). That leaves the majority of customers at a disadvantage, having to make their own estimations on market movements if they decide to focus on the marketplace option.

Global Reach Score

Additional Functionalities


Hedging:

  • None.

Spot contracts (instant currency exchange) only.


For Online Sellers:

There are no special advantages for online sellers, whereas Currencies Direct and World First offer eTailers the option of opening collection bank accounts abroad.


App:

Currencyfair has a great money transfer app, rated 4.2 / 5 on Google Play store. It is available to both Android and iPhone users, but seems much more popular on Android than it is on iPhone.

The app allows clients to log into their accounts, and basically perform all the necessary actions, such as opening a position, exchange money and transferring it from the account.


Additional Features:

We cannot ignore the revolutionary P2P marketplace set up by Currencyfair, which represents a truly unique option of finding a mid-market rate (and then paying only 0.15% in spreads to Currencyfair itself).


Conclusion:

Currencyfair has good features when it comes to two types of clients:

1. Experts who want to bet on currency movements without advisory on the subject. These individuals or businesses can fully utilize the marketplace and achieve tremendous rates, but they must know which way the market is moving.

2. Individuals or small businesses from UK or Europe who need to move money through popular corridors, and want to use the Quicktrade option to get pretty good rates. If they’re transferring massive amounts then they’re not likely to use an app for it, or let the money wait in the marketplace until a match is made (and could potentially get better rates with traditional FX firms).

Still, the whole concept is ground-breaking and the execution of features is good.

Special Features Score

Review Summary
  • Credibility Score - 85%
    85
  • Client Feedback - 90%
    90
  • Fees, Exchange Rates - 85%
    85
  • Global Reach, Availability, Service - 85%
    85
  • Added Values - 70%
    70

Bottom Line

Currencyfair is a great company, with tremendous positive feedback from its clientele, and strong backing. It advertises an ultra-cheap average exchange rate spread achieve through its platforms, and enables clients to achieve and even beat mid-market rates.

Its disadvantages - fees which could be quite high if you are exchanging between exotic currencies, platform is a tad confusing for some people, and there's no expert advisory on currency movements (which makes waiting for a rate in the marketplace quite a gamble).

Weighing in the pros and the cons we have decided to recommend it for private clients sending medium-sized transfers (between 1,000 and 20,000) between popular currencies. Whether you use the marketplace option or the Quicktrade option, you are still likely to get great rates in these situations.

83 %

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15 comments

  1. Nick Sellens

    I use CurrencyFair and the experience has been very good. I did a lot of research on them on forums etc before taking the plunge and the comments were almost universally positive. You should always take what you see on Trustpilot with a big pinch of salt. You only have to look at the Trustpilot rating of Trustpilot to see that.

    Posted on March 25, 2015
    • hans

      Sorry, but their response time and service sucks. Rates are best.

      Posted on November 2, 2016
      • compare

        Thank you for your Feedback! We have not seen many negative comments about their level of service and response time, quite the contrary. Could you supply us with more data as for what made you think that?

        Posted on November 3, 2016
  2. Tara

    Today, 10/10/2015 I am desperately trying to log into my Currency Fair (CF) A/c without success as am being told a Verication Code (VC) is being sent to my mobile which must be quotes for successful login.

    I have been waiting for this code for over an hour but NOTHING.

    I have also emailed a request to the Support Team asking for verification of their Bank Details to which I wish to deposit funds for exchange…..NOTHING!!

    I have been a customer of FC for over 3 years and am disappointed with such poor service.

    I just need access to my CF A/c so that I could use up all the funds in the account then no longer use this organisation. They are USELESS and incompetent.

    Posted on October 10, 2015
    • compare

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, Tara. Have you tried Transferwise?

      Posted on October 11, 2015
  3. Seth Schelin

    Currency fair’s front page calculator suggested 1.0923 on EUR/USD but at the same time when getting a live quote to compare to my bank, offered 1.08464
    On a €230k exchange that amounted to nearly €2k difference. My bank (large global player) was at 1.093346. Spot at 1.1002 or close. Would not trust the calculator on the homepage.

    Posted on November 3, 2015
    • compare

      Hi Seth. Thank you for your input. A bit confusing though. Currencyfair’s comparison tool on the homepage was inaccurate, claimed to save you 2,000 Pounds in costs but the rate you got from your bank was actually better? If I got this correctly it is just very probable that the EURUSD was fluctuating at the time…. and data not refreshed on Currencyfair’s side yet. Very unlikely that a bank would beat Currencyfair’s margins. The rate you are describing is at around 1% which is fairly good for a bank, but any foreign exchange firm like World First, Transferwise or Currencyfair would beat. With that amount of money you should pay less than half of what the bank quoted you for.

      Posted on November 3, 2015
  4. Susan Simpson

    Amazing company. Easy to set up account and I have just got better that inter bank for $38000 Oz To Canadian. Delighted with every aspect of my dealings with them.

    Posted on November 12, 2015
    • compare

      Thank you Susan. We appreciate the feedback. Did you have any prior experience with other FX firms?

      Posted on November 12, 2015
  5. Ciaran

    Here the a response I received from currency fair in response to my funds not being transferred- Currency fair provided all the required information and yet where unable complete the transaction or know where the funds went! This doesn’t bode well where you are taking a risk on whether this is a legit company or not.

    “Thanks for your email, and apologies for not being able to respond to you sooner.

    It would appear from your receipt that you accidentally sent these funds to our CAD (Canadian Dollar) bank account. We’ve sent a query to our banking partner to determine the whereabouts of your funds. Thus, we hope to be in a position within the next business day or two to confirm to you where these funds are. In the interim, please kindly check the account from which you sent them to see if they’ve already been returned.”

    Posted on February 28, 2016
    • compare

      Hi Ciaran, definitely not what we would expect from a company like Currency Fair. It is not clear whether you made a mistake and sent it to the wrong bank account, or they provided you with the wrong details, but either way they should be more confident about the whereabouts of your funds. Please update us on this.

      Posted on February 29, 2016
  6. Lee

    In an at attempt to get a better rate I sat and watched the market move but every time I went to try and take advantage of the market movement their system would be taken off line, which got so frustrating I ended up having to take the best offer the following day which was higher and lost me £5000.00 on the exchange rate
    Three days later following the trade, it took me ages to get the phone answered only to be hung up on. I called back, which again took ages to get through and they had no idea where my money was. I was promised an email straight back once they had spoken to their bank. Three hours later, nothing. I called back and was told they are unable to call their own bank only email, unbelievable for a money exchange company, so I had to wait for their bank to email them back, crazy!
    Another hour went by, still nothing! Finally I got hold of a so called manager (Owen) after another long wait for the phone to be answered and was told my money had been held back despite me giving them all the information they needed on day of the deal and he would email me as soon as it has been released also supplying me with the directors names in the email. No surprise that I am still awaiting that email but luckily I finally got my money. This company are useless, they not only lost me £5000.00, they take forever to answer the phone, they lie to their customers and clearly can not trade in the currency market if it is moving to fast for them. If you send them an email as a customer, you are lucky to get a reply within 3 days. Go to MONEYCORP you can trade over the phone without having to move your money first and you can trust that you will get a good service and a good rate plus you will feel safe about your money unlike currency fair who I will be reporting to the Central Bank of Ireland for their miscoduct

    Posted on June 29, 2016
    • compare

      Lee thank you for your honest and helpful review! We definitely agree that watching the market and trading by yourself, in a online-only platform is ill-recommended if you are planning to send large amounts of money. So we agree with the bottom line when it comes to large transfers.

      Regarding everything else – pretty shocking to hear that. You must have made your trade in the last few days when the market was crazy and banks were unreachable. In fact their biggest competitor Transferwise just shut down for a day so they won’t have to deal with that (smart choice in retrospect). Still, it’s not any sort of excuse by any mean to hanging up the phone on you, or the unexpected delay. If you give your consent, I will send your feedback through to the CurrencyFair representative we are in contact with so he can respond on this thread.

      Thank you!

      Posted on June 29, 2016
  7. Caroline Geddes

    Dear Sir

    We are thinking of joining you to transfer funds from the UK to Cyprus on a regular basis. However I need clarification regarding your withdrawal charges. Is it undertaken as a fixed fee or a percentage of the amount transferred?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Yours faithfully Caroline Geddes

    Posted on August 11, 2016
  8. hunt macleod

    Excellent comments , I loved the information . Does anyone know if my business would be able to access a blank Media Chinese International Limited Form 32A form to edit ?

    Posted on November 17, 2016

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