Services Offered by Currencies Direct
Is Currencies Direct Safe to Use?
Should I Use Currencies Direct?
Where is Currencies Direct Available?
Currencies Direct Review: Executive Summary
About this Review & FAQs
This Currencies Direct review will help readers decide if Currencies Direct is the right choice for their upcoming international money transfer requirements. We’ll provide answers to what is a currency broker, who is Currencies Direct Ltd, is Currencies Direct safe, and how is it regulated. We’ll also determine just how good Currencies Direct exchange rates and fees are, and how the process works. If you wish to simply browse through Currencies Direct reviews and get the gist of the process quickly, you can read our Frequently Asked Questions below. To view our bottom-line review conclusions click here.
Currencies Direct Review FAQ
Is Currencies Direct Safe?
Currencies Direct was founded in 1996 in the UK as Currencies Direct Ltd, making it the first non-bank currency provider in Europe. From a small-operation, the firm has grown into an industry leader that now serves customers on five continents, with offices in the UK, Spain, France, Portugal, India, China, South Africa, and the USA.
Only three years after launch, Currencies Direct opened its first Spanish branch in 1999. In 2004, the firm opened an office in Cape Town, South Africa. To this day, the UK, Spain and South Africa are core markets for Currencies Direct that continue to drive much of the firm’s trading activities and areas of specialisation. By holding an office in South Africa and adhering to local regulations by the South African Reserve Bank, Currencies Direct is one of the very few non-bank alternatives to send money from South Africa abroad.
In 2015, Currencies Direct was bought for more than £200m by Palamon Capital and Corsair Capital. Corsair’s president, Lord Davies of Abersoch, was previously the Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Small Business. In August 2016, the firm appointed Mr Antony Jenkins, the former CEO of Barclays, as its non-executive chairman. This event signified that Currencies Direct was officially in the “Big League” of money transfer companies in the world.
In early 2021 it was published that Currencies Direct had grown in revenue from £40m in 2015 to £85m in 2020, and that its EBITDA tripled itself in this period, allowing the firm to do a £165m dividend recapitalisation and significantly decreasing its debt to equity leverage.
In March 2022 it was announced that Blackstone made a £140 million strategic investment in Currencies Direct, further demonstrating the big name investors that are keen to get behind the best rated currency broker. We b believe Currencies Direct will use that extra funding to boost organic growth and potential acquisitions – Currencies Direct is interested in M&A activity with payment providers of both B2B & B2C services.
As of 2022, Currencies Direct has more than 500 employees, and serves more than 325,000 corporate and individual clients, transferring more than £7.5 billion annually, making it one of the largest currency firms in the UK. Currencies Direct Spain, a subsidiary of Currencies Direct UK, boasts 16 offices and dozens of employees in the country. Portugal is another country of focus and one that Currencies Direct also serves locally, through its office in Albufeira. The firm regularly appears in Portuguese media advising on property, pension and salary money transfers to and from the country.
Currencies Direct has been a multi-awardee of the MoneyAge Money Transfer Provider of the Year – picking up the award in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2021. Unsurprisingly, the firm has been shortlisted for the award in 2022 as well.
Currencies Direct is such a household name in the UK that many of the smaller currency brokerages that came to be over the past 20 years were started by ex-employees, including Foreign Currency Direct (now LumonPay).
Consumer champion of the year, 2017, Money Age Magazine.
Most positive client reviews in 2017, MoneyTransferComparison
Level 1 credit rating, D&B
National business awards finalists, 2006
Money Age Magazine, Money Transfer Provider of the Year, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021
Best Rated Money Transfer 2019-2022 MoneyTransferComparison
Currencies Direct is one of the largest and most trustworthy currency firms in existence today. Currencies Direct is as safe as they come. As the first non-bank money transfer company to launch in Europe, Currencies Direct has been operating for more than 25 years, wit offices spanning 22 locations worldwide and the highest credit rating from Dun & Bradstreet. It continues its trend of steady growth in a highly competitive market, and in our opinion for good reason.
With its acquisition by two of the most respectable VC firms in the market and further investment by Blackstone, we anticipate Currencies Direct to continue its growth while maintaining its excellent service. We conclude it is perfectly safe to use Currencies Direct.
Do Clients Like Currencies Direct? Currencies Direct Reviews from Across The Web
With 7,000+ Currencies Direct reviews submitted by clients on TrustPilot, we have more than enough evidence of Currencies Direct’s qualities. TrustPilot operates in 24 countries and is considered by many to represent the national voice of consumers. On TrustPilot, the company receives an average score of 4.9 / 5 – the highest rating in the industry. Currencies Direct does not have a separate TrustPilot profile per country so these reviews represent client experiences with Currencies Direct UK, Currencies Direct Spain, Currencies Direct South Africa, as well as other global offices and subsidiaries of Currencies Direct Ltd across the globe.
In addition to this, we have collected more than 90 client reviews in our comment section. One reviewer commented:
Akos Nicolas Roth, Verified Client
I am retired and I had to make an urgent transfer from my sterling account in the UK to a Notary’s account in France, in Euros, to pay the deposit on a flat purchase.
After many years spent in forex dealings, I was disgusted by the rates that my, and other, banks were offering, so I researched the market and, to my delight, found Currencies Direct. The simplicity of operation and the speed of processing my transaction was a pure delight and I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending them to anyone.
With a rating of 4.9/5, Currencies Direct is the best reviewed currency transfer company on TrustPilot (alongside TorFX which also receives a 4.9/5 score but based on a smaller sample of 4,700 reviews). We think that speaks for itself – the overwhelming majority of clients had an excellent experience with Currencies Direct.
When we scan the negative reviews written about the company, we don’t see anything that immediately alarms us.
When it comes to staff, it’s perfectly acceptable that out of almost 325,000 users, 10 or 20 won’t be happy with the dedicated dealer to which they were assigned. The company hires hundreds of traders, so it’s only natural that some customers won’t click with their assigned representative. Remember, you can always ask to have a new account manager appointed.
When it comes to documentation, the FCA enforces the UK government’s Anti Money Laundering rulings. Currencies Direct must closely abide by their instructions, which may sometimes require further documentation before they can process an international transfer. This is the most common complaint about Currencies Direct and is also the most common complaint across all Foreign Exchange firms. We recommend supplying as much documentation as is possible prior to initiating any transfers.
In terms of recipient banks charging an extra fee, this is something rather rare that happens when transferring funds (mainly) to Asia. There is nothing that Currencies Direct can do about it, and it will also happen with any other company, although they try to avoid recipient bank fees on international money transfers as much as possible.
Credit Cards should not be used for a money transfer. There are very few companies who accept credit cards, and even fewer clients who wish to transfer funds in this way via commercial FX (often the fees incurred by the credit company will be more significant than the exchange rate as credit cards consider this to be a cash transfer, i.e. the same as using a credit card to withdraw money at a cash machine).
To summarise, there is 97%+ client satisfaction and the vast majority of complaints relate to requirements beyond the company’s control, either as a result of national and international money transfer regulations or intermediary and receiving banks levying charges of their own.
Currencies Direct Exchange Rates & Fees
Fees: No fees at all. Free transfers from anywhere, to anywhere around the globe.
Exchange Rates: Currencies Direct operates in a similar fashion to other companies in this industry, i.e. Currencies Direct rates, or more accurately, FX margins, are quite flexible and depend on the volume of trading.
On the website, you can view real-time savings in comparison to banks (while in order to see Currencies Direct live rates you will need to sign up and login to your account). On average, a £10,000 transfer (to EUR, USD, or AUD) with Currencies Direct will save you $280 compared to major banks. On larger transfers, conducted via telephone, you will enjoy even lower margins, and thus increase your savings.
Limits: The minimum transfer amount is £100 which is quite low, while there is no upper limit on transfers.
Currencies Direct handles a diverse range of clients, from those who are sending small remittances back home, through to property buyers, and large corporations that move millions between currencies each month.
The exchange rates and fees are some of Currencies Direct’s strongest aspects. The no-fee policy worldwide, in addition to the calculator on the website, makes it very easy to understand how much money one can save by using them.
The sheer size of the company makes currency liquidity extremely high, meaning that on larger transfers, it would be able to provide a quote that represents even higher savings.
Based on reviews, clients are happy with the currency rates provided to them too.
Global Reach & Service
Ways to approach: Email form on the site, call-back form on the site, and face to face meetings in local offices worldwide.
Translations: French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish , Korean and Chinese.
Accepts Clients: Globally, with dedicated local support in 7 countries!
Currencies Handled: 60.
Client Reviews: Global clientele base that seems very happy with the provided services.
Currencies Direct is the most localised company we have tested to date, bar-none. There are dedicated support teams and translated versions of the site for a wide variety of clients from various countries as well as bank accounts in dozens of countries enabling customers to fund transfers domestically.
This is precisely what we would expect from a money transfer company which receives the highest client review score in the industry. . Informed and friendly local account managers, speaking the local dialect, who are available at local hours everywhere they offer money transfer services. Always ready to assist clients with FX hedging strategies, troubleshooting or any transfer issues they may have with a real person at the end of the phone.
For large transfers it’s quite common for the person or business making the transfer to meet face-to-face with the company making the transaction, and with Currencies Direct, this is definitely possible.
In addition, Currencies Direct can help prospective clients save on recipient bank fees. With so many local bank settlements, it can make sure that the transfer remains domestic on the client side, as demonstrated above.
- Market Orders
- Limit Orders
- Rate Watch
- Forward Contract
- Guidance on property purchase – including unique guides for specific countrie
- For a full understanding of these products see our FX hedging guide.
Schedule repeat transfers for the same amount at time intervals determined by you. Works great for regular overseas mortgage payments, rent payments and overseas pensions. Choose between scheduling the transfers to accept the foreign exchange rate on the day of each payment or book each transfer under a forward contract – guaranteeing today’s rate on each future repeat transfer.
Pay with Debit Card
Clients from the UK & Europe can fund transfers in either GBP or EUR with their debit cards.
Product updates mean Currencies Direct’s batch payment functionality runs 100x quicker than before. Simply upload one file to make multiple international payments to over 120 countries at a time. Businesses can create files from their accounting/order management system and upload to Currencies Direct’s platform.
Developer API portal
Large corporate customers and partners can request a token and access the Currencies Direct API. Endpoints are available for all of the user functionality that Currencies Direct provides. This includes creating new recipients, generating FX rates, booking an FX quote, making payments, viewing receipts and even managing account balances from the Currencies Direct digital wallet. This is particularly useful for global payroll payments and accounts receivable.
As a Currencies Direct customer you are able to swap your money held with Currencies Direct in GBP, EUR, USD into any currency. Or you can keep money in your Currencies Direct accounts for unlimited periods of time, but you should know that these funds do not incur interest. For example, if you transferred $10,000 to Currencies Direct (or received that amount via Currencies Direct), you could exchange $2,000 to Euro through their multi-currency functionality and transfer that amount while keeping $8,000 in your account. Then, you can exchange $5,000 to Sterling and make a separate transfer, without requiring to fund each and every transfer on the system.
E-tailer Collection Accounts (working with online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Play, Rakuten, PriceMinister, Fnac, and many more). Read more about them on our eCommerce Multi-Currency Account page. Premier Business Accounts are also available for larger businesses, with a dedicated support team and tailored payment plans developed with the money manager of the organisation.
Currencies Direct is one of the most diverse companies when it comes to the services it offers – from the usual things, such as rate alerts, forward contracts and limit orders, along with unique guides supplied to clients who are purchasing overseas properties. For businesses, Currencies Direct offers one of the most sophisticated collection offers, connecting directly with online marketplaces, and it offers a very advanced payment system that can serve a variety of purposes. The Currencies Direct group also incorporates Currencies Direct Financial Markets – a separately regulated business for companies wanting to conduct options.
The Currencies Direct website works well on mobile, and the company also offers a multi-platform mobile application (works on both Android and iPhone devices).This recently rebuilt app is efficient, diverse and generally speaking one of the best you could find in the industry.
Very few other companies offer as many unique features as Currencies Direct. The hedging department has all the tools you would expect, the online platform is really good and has some unique functions such as “Watch Rate Alerts”, the app is fully functional and friendly, and the brokers are helpful.
Currencies Direct Scoreboard
- Credibility Score - 100%100%
- Client Feedback Score - 98%98%
- Fees, Exchange Rates Score - 96%96%
- Global Reach, Availability, Service Score - 99%99%
- Added Values Score - 96%96%
Currencies Direct Review Summary
Currencies Direct remains one of the industry leaders in the ever-growing money transfer industry. The firm transfers more than £7.5bn a year on behalf of its clients to over 120 countries and maintains investment from a group of investors led by the UK’s former Minister of Trade. The firm boasts 16 offices just in Europe, as well as a local presence in South Africa, USA, Canada and India. There is no doubt that Currencies Direct is safe to use for any size of currency transfer
Furthermore, our Currencies Direct review determines that the online functionality is smooth, the support is friendly and professional, and both corporate and private clients are highly satisfied with Currencies Direct’s bespoke service, as well as the exchange rates they could achieve. There are no fixed fees when using Currencies Direct for international payments or for receiving payments from abroad.