Should I use Lumon Pay for money transfers?
Services Offered by LumonPay
Lumon Pay Review: Our Opinion
At Money Transfer Comparison, we have taken a comprehensive look at Lumon Pay, which many might remember as Foreign Currency Direct. With a longstanding history, this mid-sized UK currency broker has certainly made a name for itself over the years and received largely positive feedback from its customer base.
However, while we acknowledge its achievements and consistent customer reviews, we believe that when measured against some of its more renowned and established competitors, Lumon Pay offers what can be described as a relatively standard service. Lumon Pay is not as tech-savvy as some of the newer incumbents and many larger competitors, with wider global footprints, often bring more unique features or benefits to the table.
Not Top 10 Ranked
Where is Lumon Money Transfer Available?
View Recommended Lumon Alternatives:
Lumon Pay is not among our top 10 rated money transfer providers. Compare Lumon with the UK’s top currency brokers and consider these alternatives below:
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 100
- Currencies Supported: 39
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, India, South Africa.
- Our Rating : 97.8%
- Most Global Offices and Reach
No Fees from Anywhere and Competitive Rates
96% Client Satisfaction
- Min Transfer: £/€ 100
- Currencies Supported: 40
- Offices : UK, EU, Singapore, and Australia.
- Our Rating : 93.4%
- High Quality Bespoke Service
MoneyFact's Best Provider Award
Over 100 Years of FX Experience Across Its Trading Desk
- Min Transfer: £/€/$ 50
- Currencies Supported: 120
- Offices : UK, EU, USA, HK, and UAE.
- Our Rating : 92.8%
- Business Oriented, Many High Profile Business Customers
Industry Veteran since 1979
Diverse Hedging Options and Excellent Guidance
This review of Lumon, Lumon Pay or Foreign Currency Direct (the brand’s prior identity) is intended to explain the pros and cons of Lumon for personal, business and institutional money transfer needs. We focus on the important aspects like Lumon’s fees and exchange rates, licensing and regulation, feedback from existing customers, and the level of service Lumon provides. To view other companies like Lumon, see our list of ther top money transfer companies.
Lumon / Foreign Currency Direct FAQ
Is Lumon Pay Safe? Legit?
For many years, Foreign Currency Direct operated as a modest venture from a single UK office, boasting an estimated team of 40 staff members. Its success was deeply rooted in its commitment to customer service and the personal touch delivered by a dedicated group of foreign exchange professionals.
Established at the dawn of the millennium in 2000, the firm has amassed over two decades of experience in the foreign exchange and international payment sector.
In 2018, Foreign Currency Direct garnered investment from Pollen Street Capital, an independent alternative investment management company known for championing digitally-led, high-growth ventures in the financial services realm. It was this investment which supercharged the growth of Foreign Currency Direct in the subsequent years.
In 2019, Pollen Street Capital completed acquisitions of Pure FX and Infinity International. The next year, the investment group added one final piece to its growing base of FX companies with the acquisition of Earthport FX, a subsidiary of the visa-owned Earthport payments business.
Michael England, Partner at Pollen Street Capital commented at the time: “Pollen Street first invested in Foreign Currency Direct in 2018 and in a short period of time has seen the business more than treble in scale.”
Now with four companies blended into one, the firm is estimated to have a headcount of 150 and offices in four countries – UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. Given the number of new companies that were merged together, a rebrand made perfect sense, and this is exactly what the firm did in 2021. We have to say, the Lumon brand looks much more slick than the outdated look of Foreign Currency Direct. The then CEO Shamus Hodgson, was keen to ensure Lumon remained unashamedly customer-led and in touch with its Foreign Currency Direct roots, while also developing its digital offering.
In 2022, during what was a challenging time for the sector, Lumon posted annual growth of almost 30 per cent, with much of this growth driven by its corporate foreign exchange division. Following its rebrand, the firm has since traded more than £4bn.By comparison, this is still some way short of the £37bn traded annually by moneycorp.
In 2023, Lumon appointed Vic Darvey as its new CEO. The move potentially suggests a switch to a more digital focus with Vic’s background being at a number of leading technology-focused, disruptive brands. Most recently, Vic held senior roles at Purplebricks and MoneySuperMarket.com.
FCA, HM Revenue & Customs (UK)
Central Bank of Ireland (Europe)
Lumon is built upon the solid foundation of Foreign Currency Direct and its principle to always put the customer first. They offer a foreign exchange service which is naturally bespoke to each client they onboard, with the view that each client has its own set of unique FX requirements and approach to risk mitigation.
The concern for now is how well four different FX firms will integrate under the Lumon brand. The most recent acquisition, Earthport FX, is particularly likely to have different processes and structures in place having been part of the colossal Visa group. The move helps to establish Lumon as one of the larger FX groups to be run out of the UK but it’s still relatively early days under the new structure.
Lumon Pay Customer Reviews
Some of the older reviews that can be found online are on the website ReviewCentre, where the most recent review was left in 2017. However, given the age of these reviews and the fact they relate to Foreign Currency Direct only (before the large-scale acquisitions and rebrand to Lumonpay) we feel these are outdated and no longer relevant. For reference, the firm received a 4.2 / 5 score from 47 reviews.
In recent years, the primary review platform of Lumon has been Feefo, a well established, and trusted, review site. Through Feefo, the firm has amassed over 7,700 reviews and feedback has been highly positive, netting Lumon an average score of 4.8 / 5. Lumon holds a Platinum Trusted Service Provider Award from Feefo for 2023 for its outstanding customer reviews over the last 12 months. The firm earned the same award in 2022 and 2021.
Lumon also claimed a Trustpilot profile in 2023, which is arguably the world’s leading review platform, and the firm has amassed over 130 reviews, receiving the same 4.8 / 5 rating.
In addition to these verified reviews, we’ve discovered a few sporadic reviews over forums and discussion boards, some were good and some were bad.
Even though there are some gruesome complaints, the vast majority of feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Within the last year, Lumon has received over 1,000 reviews on Feefo, which is a good sample size to suggest that, for now, the merger of four different brands hasn’t had too much impact on the level of service. Account managers are often specifically highlighted by name, indicating the personal approach that Lumon continues to take with its clients. The most concerning reviews relate to clients who felt they were quoted a very unsatisfactory rate for their currency exchange. This is not uncommon in the industry, but it seems some of the currency dealers try their luck more than others. It pays to compare rates across at least two providers and seek to negotiate the rate if you can.
Lumon Pay Exchange Rates and Fees
Fees: Fees are not immediately evident on the Lumonpay website, though they can be found in Lumon’s terms & conditions. The Lumon fee schedule is as follows:
Exchange rates: As is the case with the majority of currency brokers, all quotes are individual, and you should receive a better rate when you send larger sums. Given the lack of transparency in this area, it’s really difficult to say whether the rates Lumon offers are better or worse than the ones you’ll get elsewhere. The provider has reported to us at Money Transfer Comparison that they have multiple liquidity providers, which is similar to the larger FX brokerages, so we assume they can match these providers should they wish.
Limits: No advertised limits.
Providing that you use the online platform, there are no payment fees with Lumon. There is, however, either a £5 or £15 fee, when you place trades over the phone or on email which are under £50,000. We understand the angle, as they want to keep higher value clients for the telephone service, but major competitors like Currencies Direct offer fee-free transfers across the board.
When it comes to FX rates, we cannot say for sure, but based on the majority of client reviews their rates are competitive on large transfers and definitely bank-beating. There are some concerning reviews where users are reporting very poor rates, but these are few and far between. The fact there are no minimum or maximum payment limits is definitely a plus too.
Global Reach & Services
- Dedicated Dealer: Yes.
- Offices: UK, Ireland, Portugal and 3 offices in Spain (Murcia and x2 Alicante)
- Ways to approach: Email, Telephone, Call-back form, Online platform.
- Translations: No, but the staff does speak a few languages.
- Accepts clients: UK, EEA and USA
- Currencies Handled: 35
- Client reviews: close to 8,000 on Feefo, positive
Lumon has two companies regulated by the FCA in the UK. One to handle standard transfers and the other to process more strictly regulated options trades for corporate clients. The firm is also regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland to onboard EU clients. In the US, the firm partners with currencycloud in order to onboard customers from 50 different states. The fact Lumon can onboard customers in the US is impressive, but their footpringis by no means as international as many of the largest providers on the market, such as OFX, who offers money transfer services in the UK, Europe, US, Canada, Australia and NZ.
With offices in four countries throughout Europe, Lumon is a particularly good option for Brits relocating to Spain and Portugal or Europeans relocating to the UK. With Spanish and Portuguese speaking staff, Lumon can assist clients in these languages with telephone trading, Though with payment fees for telephone trading under £50,000, these clients will be unable to avoid fees on smaller transfers unless they are comfortable trading through the online platform which is presented in English.
Business Hedging tools:
- Spot Transfers
- Forward Contracts
- Flexible Forward Contracts
- Limit Orders
- Stop Loss Orders
- Combo Orders
- Structured Options Available (through a separately regulated FCA registered investment firm)
No, but the site is mobile friendly.
While the Lumon website is yet to advertise mobile wallet functionality, the terms and conditions with Lumon allow for customers to hold funds with Lumon for an indefinite period of time. Customers can make payments from their balances held with Lumon and withdraw funds as necessary. Perhaps as this product evolves, Lumon will advertise it more heavily.
Lumon remains one of the few non-bank providers offering structured products. Alongside the likes of moneycorp, Currencies Direct and Corpay (formerly Global Reach Group). Specific to institutions, Lumon can also help to manage portfolio FX risk. They provide strategies around international investment valuations and optimise tenors on FX contracts to maximise yields on investments.
In addition to structured products, Lumon offers the usual functionality one would expect from a true currency broker – repeat transfers, forward contracts and limit orders. All in all, customers have a wide range of payment options that can be tailored to their needs. Whether they’re an individual receiving an international pension, a business paying staff abroad, or an institution raising capital from investors overseas, Lumon has a range of solutions that can help.
Lumon Money Transfer Summary
- Credibility Score - 70%70%
- Client Feedback - 90%90%
- Fees, Exchange Rates - 70%70%
- Global Reach, Availability, Service - 50%50%
- Added Values - 60%60%
Lumon, formerly Foreign Currency Direct/Currencies.co.uk is a solid currency provider, offering a wide variety of hedging functionality that should be able to cover any FX requirement.
Due to its long history as Foreign Currency Direct, the firm also has over 20 years of experience in FX and thousands of positive customer reviews attesting to a good experience. This suggests they are indeed trustworthy, and from our own experience they’ve also shown a good level of transparency by collaborating with us. T
However, while recent acquisitions have tripled the size of the business, the firm is not particularly global. The focus is almost entirely still on the UK & Europe. And while core FX hedging tools may be a strong point, there seems to be little in the way of tech development. There’s no ability to sync with accounting software or integrate with APIs, and Lumon may start to fall behind competitors in this respect.
One other thing to look out for is how well the firm performs given the rapid, non-organic growth driven by three acquisitions in the last two years. We’re not saying this is definitely a problem, as customer feedback has remained strong since the merger, but these things can cause problems later down the line.