CurrencyFair Money Transfer Review
Quick FactsPros and ConsFree Transfer Promo
International Clients: ✓ All Besides Americans
Trading via: Online Platform.
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 2500, mainly on TrustPilot.
Client Rating: 9.2 / 10
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0.4% Overall Markup Reported
Transparent Pricing in Online Platform
Opportunity to Beat Market Rate On P2P Marketplace
Highly Positive Client Rating
Overall Positive Client Reaction
First Free Transfer Using Our “Free Quote” Link
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: 80.4%
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Company Information and Credibility
CurrencyFair, not be confused with travel money giant FairX, went live in Dublin in 2010. Since then, it has brokered roughly €5 billion, saving its customers some €170 million. CurrencyFair has expanded into the UK, Poland, and Australia, and it able to transfer funds to most nations around the world. The firm doesn’t hold an U.S license to operate as a money transfer business, and thus is unable to on-board Americans.
The Currencyfair model has found 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. It is as an online-only money transfer service which enables clients to perform actions on the platform from start to finish without human involvement.
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.
The Central Bank of Ireland, The Autralian Securities and Investment Commission
CurrencyFair is bringing real innovation to the money transfer business, and its popularity is increasing by the day.
With that being said, its level of reputation and credibility can’t be matched wtih Moneycorp (operating since the 70’s and exchanging billions annually). It simply doesn’t have enough track record to prove its financial stability over the course of decades.
Also in comparison to its direct competitor, Transferwise, it’s lagging behind. Its level of expansion and growth is nowhere near Transferwise which has. Currencyfair has only moved £5bn in total since its inception, and Transferwise has already reported to move 1bn each month. Although we can find high similarities between the two companies (view our Transferwise VS Currencyfair comparison here), we deem Transferwise as being safer due to sheer size.
With the above being said, we would say Currencyfair’s credibility is above average.
There are 2,250+ client reviews available on TrustPilot , netting the company a 9.2 / 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 between March 2016 and March 2017 have been almost unanimously positive.
As a recent update we can say Currencyfair’s average rating dropped slightly from 9.4 to 9.2. This means that the last ~1,500 reviews which were added had an average rating of 9.1, which is still excellent.
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
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
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 85+% 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.
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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.
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 0.4% 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.
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, and the fact many get great rates on the marketplace). That’s a pretty good average, but can be easily beaten by traditional companies when the amount transferred is significant, and could be slightly higher using the Exchange Now functionality.
Exchange Rates & Fees Rating
Global Reach & Service
- Dedicated Dealer: No.
- Offices: UK, Australia, Ireland.
- Ways to approach: Email, Telephone, Face to Face.
- Translations: Polish, French.
- Accepts clients: All non-U.S clients.
- Currencies Handled: 18.
- Client reviews: 9.2 / 10, complimenting the company for saving and service.
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
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.
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.
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).
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
- Credibility Score - 82%
- Client Feedback - 90%
- Fees, Exchange Rates - 85%
- Global Reach, Availability, Service - 75%
- Added Values - 70%
Currencyfair is an innovative company in a very non-innovative space. What keeps it apart from its competitors is its Marketplace functionality that allows prospective clients to search for a peer to peer match for their transfer, resulting in very low fees and great rates. It is generally praised by its clients who appear to be happy with the service they have been provided with.
On the flip-side, you could be ending up with worse than Transferwise margins if you do not find a match, and you could be paying significant fees on exotic currency trades. In addition to that, the online platform seems to be a tad less friendly than some of its competitors, and the fact the company is modest in size and only been operating for 7 years now making Currencyfair a decent choice but not our first pick on international money transfers.
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