Should I use Genome?
Services Offered by Genome
Genome Review: Executive SummaryGenome is an online finance platform designed to provide you an accessible and convenient banking experience from the comfort of your home. Using the Genome system, users can send, receive and top up their wallet instantaneously, providing a clear and thorough breakdown of their fees. But the lack of dedicated support, a 1% markup for currency exchanges, and the mixed reviews from customers, will push many customers to find better money transfer solutions.
Not Top 10 Ranked
Where is Genome Available?
Top Rated Genome Alternatives
At Money Transfer Comparison, we have reviewed over 80 money transfer providers, 10 of which could be considered direct Genome competitors. View our best rated Genome competitors which have received higher ratings below offering multi-currency accounts:
- Bank accounts available in UK, EU, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and USA but you can hold money in 50+ currencies
- Most recognisable name in money transfers and multi-currency account, serving millions of customers and traded on the London Stock Exchange
- Very transparent about its fees which are generally among the cheapest for both private clients
- Very easy to use online, fast (especially with transfers with other Wise accounts)
- Easy to set up to receive payments from PayPal, Amazon, eBay, ETSY etc.
- Bank accounts available in UK, France, Germany, USA and Canada, as well as Singapore, China and Japan (recent additions)
- FX Margins are anywhere up to 0.75%, depending on the amount sent, potentially cheaper than competitors like TransferWise (Wise). Payment fees range from £1.50 - £15, depending on the payment type
- Industry Leader in the eCommerce Space, owned by Ant Financial (AliPay). Easy integration with any eCommerce platform, and an Amazon recommended solution for currency exchange
- Operating since 1979 - the first commercial foreign exchange space. Specialising in businesses - both large corporations and small businesses. Each business customer with volume of £5,000 is assigned with a dedicated currency dealer, demonstrating a very high level of professionalism and excellent availability
- Virtual IBAN bank accounts available in GBP, EUR and USD - but you can use Moneycorp to hold balances in over 120 currencies
- 98% satisfaction based on online customer review -many customer and business awards
Is Genome Safe?
Founded in 2018, Genome started out as a simple e-wallet concept that has very quickly grown since its inception, expanding its offering significantly for both personal users and businesses. Today, the electronic money institution offers the ability to send and receive SWIFT and SEPA international transfers, exchange currencies, open merchant accounts and open dedicated multi-currency accounts which are accompanied by virtual and physical cards for both businesses and individuals, powered by VISA, for which Genome is a principal member.
Genome is based in Vilnius, Lithuania and is licensed and supervised by the Bank of Lithuania, legally registered as UAB “Maneuver LT”. Their market proposition is maximum financial instruments for minimum effort, whereby Genome has significantly simplified the on-boarding process of traditional banks, and also makes the transition easier for a user to upgrade from a personal, to business, even through to opening merchant accounts.
Genome currently has more than 60 employees and a leadership team headed by two very experienced professionals in the Fintech Space. Founder Artem Tymoshenko, is a Forbes finance council member who has held Chief Executive positions for the last decade. Current CEO Daumantas Barauskas has a deep knowledge in Fintech with more than 20 years experience. He has been with Genome since its inception, starting out as Head of BD and Sales and has helped to shape Genome into the all-in-one finance ecosystem it is today. Whilst Genome isn’t particularly prevalent in the Fintech News space, in an interview earlier this year, Daumantas outlined the firm’s short term focus. “For now, the team will continue working on establishing more contactless features, which are in high demand in our fast-paced, digital world”. Keeping up with consumer digital trends is a key focus for Genome, as its banking cards are now Apple Pay, Google Pay and even Garmin Pay friendly. Genome has also invested heavily to ensure their business offering can be adopted by as many potential clients as possible, offering integration with a number of high profile e-commerce and CMS platforms including Shopify and Magento.
Genome offers both personal and business services to residents of 40 countries, mostly within the EEA and UK but also to a select number of countries outside these regions including; Singapore, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. That being said, Genome is only registered as an Electronic Money Institution in Lithuania, with a licence issued by the Bank of Lithuania. As such, we’ve not concluded exactly how Genome is able to onboard non EEA residents as there is no mention of any other licences in any other regions or under alternative regulatory bodies. We strongly suggest all users who are not EU residents take time to understand the service they’re being offered and under what regulatory body. Genome is a client of ECOVIS ProventusLaw law firm, who have been instrumental in approving Fintechs in recent years. Genome has likely been advised to gain their licence in Lithuania due to the process being comparatively quick and cost-effective compared to other EU countries. The decision to issue a licence in Lithuania is taken within 3 months from the date of application, compared to 12 months or more in other European destinations, however Lithuania is not widely regarded for being as credible as other leading EU regulators such as the Netherlands, Germany or Ireland.
- ✓ Bank of Lithuania – Electronic Money Licence – 304785124 (EU)
Genome has continued to evolve and expand its offering since launch, moving forward on its mission to become an all-in-one global financial ecosystem and a leading online money transfer platform. It has a strong leadership team that is driving results, and the number of new features including the introduction of physical cards in the last year, are likely all driving factors for an impressive financial year for Genome, having more than doubled its revenue YoY.
They have a range of fees in place and a fixed percentage markup on exchange rates (as detailed later in this Genome review) which gives us confidence Genome has a sustainable business model that is not in any immediate threat from a spike in customer usage threatening their profits. That said, these fees and markups do mean that there are more established competitors that will likely be able to offer better rates, therefore Genome will need to add value in other areas to continue growing its customer base. They certainly have a European friendly offering that offers a number of attractive benefits to its customers, including acceptance of more than 40 payment methods to fund transfers within Europe and the ability to open up to 15 IBANs in multiple currencies with ease.
Genome makes reference to the fact that customer funds are held in separate ‘safeguarded accounts’. However, we do not necessarily believe this means, in the event Genome were to go insolvent, customer funds would be protected under a deposit scheme. In Lithuania, deposit insurance is governed by the Republic of Lithuania Law on Insurance of Deposits and Liabilities to Investors, which transposes the provisions of the EU Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive. The Bank of Lithuania guarantees up to €100,000 for money held by individuals in one bank or credit union. The legislation does not directly reference if firms operating with an electronic money licence are eligible under the scheme. For this reason we certainly think it’s worth establishing this with Genome at the onset of opening an account. In the UK, US and Australia, e-money institutions are not included in the relevant deposit schemes. If funds are not covered by the Bank of Lithuania we would be concerned by the use of ‘safeguarded’ terminology.
Genome Reviews by Customers
Considering Genome has been operating since 2018, there is a limited number of reviews available across app platforms and verifiable reviews on TrustPilot. However, as of October 2022, the average Genome review score is roughly the same across all platforms. The firm scores 3.5/5 on TrustPilot (based on 64 reviews, 3.5/5 on the Apple App Store (based on 46 reviews), and 3.7/5 on the Google Play Store (based on 161 reviews). It’s worth noting that of the 64 total reviews on TrustPilot, 26 of these reviews (>40%) rated the company 1 star.
51% of Genome reviews on TrustPilot rate the firm 5 stars out of 5, where customers complimented the Genome service for factors including:
- Friendly and helpful customer support
- Transparency of fees
- Affordable pricing structure
As mentioned, 41% of Genome reviews have been rated negatively with a 1 star rating, with the following concerns being the most frequently mentioned:
- Account being frozen
- Money being blocked for up to 30 days
- Unfriendly and unresponsive customer service
Despite there only being a total of 271 Genome reviews online, there does appear to be a trend of inconsistency in how customers are rating their experience with the firm. An average rating of 3.6 across all platforms is considerably below average, and given this score is consistent across the various platforms, it worryingly suggests that this is not due to a weakness in one particular area such as the iOS app not functioning properly.
The verdict on the friendliness and responsiveness of Genome’s customer service seems to be fairly split, suggesting that Genome’s customer service is somewhat inconsistent. In Genome’s defence to the comments related to ‘unresponsiveness’, they do have a 93% response rate to negative TrustPilot reviews, with an average reply time of less than 2 days, which is impressive given the replies are fairly detailed and customer specific. However, there are simply too many mentioned instances of either accounts being frozen or money being blocked for us to ignore, given the level of consistency in many customer’s negative experiences.
Genome Exchange Rates and Fees
For personal users, there are no account opening or ongoing monthly fees for EEA and UK residents. Non-EEA residents are able to open an account without paying an initial fee but will pay 20 Euros a month (or 200 Euros a year) as a monthly account fee. Business fees are divided into two tariffs based on whether your business is considered high risk or low risk. Genome provides a very clear and detailed breakdown of all other fees with a separate, dedicated page for both business and personal users, that includes incoming and outgoing transfers fees for SWIFT and SEPA payments. Whilst this breakdown of fees does exist on the company website, given there is no public calculator on the website, it’s not clear from our research how forthcoming Genome is about these fees at the time of transfer. We would hope that any applicable fees are clearly stated on a preview screen prior to completing a transaction, so that the user does not have to refer back to an extensive list of fees and make calculations themselves for each transaction.
Genome is transparent regarding their currency card service fees and has a comprehensive table of all fees, the key items of which we’ve summarised in the below table:
|Fees||EEA Resident||World (Non-EEA)||Ukrainians||Low-risk businesses||High-risk businesses|
|Card issuing fee||Free||Free||Free||10 EUR||10 EUR|
|Card delivery fee||8 EUR||8 EUR||8 EUR||8 EUR||8 EUR|
|FX on transactions in other currencies||2.00%||2.00%||2.00%||2.00%||2.00%|
|ATM withdrawal fee (International)||1.5 EUR + 2%||1.5 EUR + 2%||1.5 EUR + 2%||1.5 EUR + 2%||1.5 EUR + 2%|
|ATM withdrawal fee (Intra EEA)||2 EUR||2 EUR||2 EUR||2 EUR||2 EUR|
|ATM withdrawal fee (Lithuania)||2 EUR||2 EUR||2 EUR||2 EUR||2 EUR|
|Balance inquiry via ATM||0.5 EUR||0.5 EUR||0.5 EUR||0.5 EUR||0.5 EUR|
Bank-to-bank transfers in and out of a Genome account are charged at the following rates:
|Fees||EEA Resident||World (Non-EEA) Resident|
|Standard SEPA Outbound||1 EUR||1 EUR|
|SWIFT Incoming||10 EUR||10 EUR|
|SWIFT Outgoing||15 EUR||25 EUR|
|Faster Payment Incoming||10 EUR||10 EUR|
|Faster Payment Outgoing||1 EUR|
The only difference in bank transfer fees for individuals in the EEA and non-EEA is with regard to SWIFT fees for outbound transfers. EEA residents are required to pay 15 EUR, whilst non-EEA residents have to pay a higher 25 EUR. The best international money transfer services, as rated by MoneyTransferComparison, offer fee-free outbound transfers, no matter how a payment is made.
One other fee to note is that for both personal and business users, Genome charges an inactivity fee for accounts that have been dormant for 6 months. This is a monthly fee of 10 Euros that will continue to be charged throughout long periods of inactivity, either until the user begins re-using the account or until their balance reaches zero.
Genome offers users a simple proposition, adding a 1% markup on top of their stated current interbank rate across all exchange transactions. The trading currency, as well as the total amount and frequency of user transactions will ultimately decide how competitive this offering is, although it’s likely that if trading with major currencies, established competitors such as Wise would take a smaller margin. Similarly, we would advise those looking to make larger transactions to compare competitive offerings, as the 1% markup for larger transactions could well be beatable by other money transfer companies such as TorFX or Currencies Direct. For those using the Genome debit card to make purchases in a foreign currency, a 2% markup is applied rather than the 1% for bank-to-bank transfers.
It is commonplace for many money transfer companies to have a live calculator on their website, so that you’re able to preview a transfer and receive details on rates and fees prior to downloading an app or registering. Genome does not offer this feature therefore, potential customers who had not yet registered to use the service, would need to calculate the 1% markup plus any other applicable fees themselves, which may be off putting for some. This also means that Genome does not publicly advertise their interbank rate for unregistered users. We would advise that customers who do register to use the service always compare the offered interbank rate either with what is listed on Google or via a currency calculator offered by a reliable competitor such as the aforementioned Wise.
For personal users, there are several transfer limit levels that a user can progress through, starting with a €1,000 incoming and €1,000 outgoing transfer limit. In the initial instance, this is a yearly limit, however upon progressing up from the initial tier, the limits then begin to reset monthly. To progress to the next transfer limit, customers have to fill in a short questionnaire and occasionally upload documents for verification. Genome claims this is a very quick process and once the request has been made, it should usually only take a maximum of a few days for them to approve.
There are no more specific details available in regards to the limit of each level, however from screenshots in their help section, it appears Genome’s wallet limits are per 30 day rolling period, although it is not clear whether they have any additional rolling limits (e.g. 6 monthly) and whether these or their annual limits are also tiered. We can also see that outgoing limits can be increased to at least €10,000 per 30 days and incoming limits to at least €5,000 per 30 days.
For those using Genome’s debit card, the following payment and withdrawal limits apply and cannot be increased.
|Single ATM withdrawal||1,000 EUR|
|Daily ATM withdrawal||2,000 EUR|
|Single online payment||1,000 EUR|
|Daily online payment||1,000 EUR|
Since their launch, Genome has greatly expanded its range of services, now offering money transfers, virtual and physical debit cards, and multi-currency digital bank accounts. This puts Genome in direct competition with the likes of major players in the industry like Wise and Revolut. Wise shares a similar pricing structure to Genome with no monthly fees but adds a transparent payment fee onto each transaction, and in virtually all cases they’re cheaper than Genome. This differs from the likes of Sokin and the Revolut premium service, which instead charge monthly fees for unlimited transfers with no payment fees.
Whilst an offering like Sokin’s will no doubt be attractive to many customers, the promise of unlimited fee free transfers and zero ATM fees raised a lot of eyebrows here at Money Transfer Comparison, particularly around the sustainability of this business model. Genome however, seem to have a more sustainable business model based on the various payment fees they have in place. It’s also encouraging that as of 2021, Genome has started to make a net profit (2021 net profit – €230,000), suggesting that their business model is solid and that their offering is starting to gain traction in the market, as revenue increased >100% YoY in 2021.
However with all that said, it is still difficult to ignore that multiple well established competitors will likely be offering a more competitive FX markup than 1%, depending on the transaction size. It’s likely Genome reviews its competitors’ service regularly, and are looking to win and retain business by differentiating in other ways versus engaging in a flat out pricing battle. Other notable fees that stand out are the 10 EUR charge to receive faster payments in the UK (we don’t know of any other fintech provider that charges inbound fees, especially as high as this) and the 15/25 EUR fee for outbound SWIFT transfers. As we’ve already stated, there are plenty of money transfer providers not charging a dime in payment fees, even when sent over the SWIFT network.
Finally, as the account limits are confusing and the maximum sending limits are not made transparent by Genome, it’s not clear if their services will be available to those looking to make significantly larger transfers (in excess of €1 million). Therefore, customers looking to make larger transfers may need to turn to currency brokers that regularly handle larger transfers like Currencies Direct and moneycorp.
Genome Global Presence
- Dedicated Dealer: No
- Offices: Vilnius, Lithuania
- Ways to approach: Email, live chat (web), phone – no operating hours available
- Translations: Genome dashboard is available in 9 languages
- Accepts clients: 39 countries across UK, EU, Africa, Oceania, Asia
- Currencies Handled: GBP, EUR and USD
- Client reviews: Mixed reviews, approximately 60/40 ratio positive/negative
Genome’s offering is clearly geared toward UK and EEA businesses and residents, although it’s certainly advantageous for their overall reach that the firm offers its services to a number of countries outside those regions, albeit for an additional monthly cost and higher fees. Non EEA residents looking for a similar service without the monthly fee should consider Wise. Non EEA businesses looking to avoid the higher fees have WorldFirst (business only) as a potential alternative.
Being able to open additional multi currency accounts, for free and seemingly hassle free, will surely be advantageous for customers and businesses who frequently work or exchange between UK, EU and US corridors. The expensive inbound and outbound payment fees are however off putting. Particularly for those who are regularly receiving money via customers or friends in the UK/rest of world.
We’re curious to see whether Genome announces plans to increase the amount of currencies it handles, as competitors such as Wise and Revolut handle a significantly wider range of currencies. Now that Genome has started to become profitable, we may start to see them looking to expand their offering to new currencies and geographies, however, Genome remain fairly quiet and have not made much noise in the fintech news space regarding their future plans so we will have to sit back and wait to see their next move.
As part of this Genome review, we’ve found both positive and negative aspects regarding their level of service. Many customers will benefit from their online portal being available in 9 languages. They also have a regularly updated blog that includes a number of comprehensive guides relating to all facets of their business. However, we were disappointed to find that those trying to reach out to Genome for assistance, will not be able to find their operating hours anywhere on their site. They do include a link on one of their help pages supposedly linking to the operating hours, however, this directs you to their generic contact page where this information is not available.
Genome’s currency exchange services are designed for individuals and businesses to take the spot rate, therefore they do not offer dedicated dealers, however business users opening a merchant account do have access to a dedicated account manager. There is an array of options for those looking to hedge the currency markets and many of the best money transfer services on the market have been reviewed elsewhere on our site.
As far as Genome’s plans to expand their global reach, there are still a lot of question marks as the company has not gone on record to state any specific details of their future growth plans. CEO Daumantas Barauskas has said “we will also be expanding our transfer services to many more countries. I really feel like we caught the rhythm from the very start and aren’t planning to stop”. By only offering GBP, EUR and USD transfers, this is surely Genome’s biggest product limitation as things stand. And given that Genome a currently only regulated in Lithuania, which has a notoriously easier on-boarding process than other regions, whatever new territories they look to expand to, they’ll have a fairly rigorous regulatory and compliance process to go through, so it will likely be some time before we see Genome announce their entrance to new markets such as the US, unless they’re already working on their development plans in stealth.
The missing contact hours information is certainly worth noting, as it’s the second instance of important missing information on their website that we’ve found during our research for this Genome review. We’d like to see the same level of effort that’s gone into the blog put into the wider website so that key support information is easier for users to find.
None – Spot transfers only
Yes – Genome offers quick onboarding for businesses, with a range of business features including; merchant accounts, transfers, currency exchange, dedicated IBAN, and business VISA cards.
Yes – Genome has developed an iOS and Android app, and both business and personal users using a virtual or physical card can link this to Apple Pay and Google Pay. From our research, the vast majority of negative Genome reviews are service related and not associated with the app itself. This is a good indication that the Genome apps are performing consistently, as any persistent issues would normally be highlighted by the app users in reviews.
Genome Payment Card:
Genome offers virtual and physical card options for both Business and Personal users, with the option to exclude the card number, CVV2, and expiry date for added security. All Genome cards are powered by Visa and can be used globally.
One area that very few currency providers have expanded into is merchant acquiring. In this sense, Genome is certainly unique. Providing online sellers with a full scale payment solution – on top of the digital accounts which can receive marketplace revenue, Genome offers online card processing to make sales directly through a website.
Genome Review Summary
- Credibility Score - 62%62%
- Client Feedback - 64%64%
- Fees, Exchange Rates, - 60%60%
- Global Reach, Availability, Service - 63%63%
- Added Values - 72%72%
Our Genome review has highlighted that the firm offers a wide variety of services, which have expanded significantly in the last two years. Genome certainly seems to be fulfilling its goals and growth plans, which gives us reason to believe they will go on to expand into other territories following Genome CEO’s stated intention to not slow down and to expand internationally. Some of the biggest question marks that remain around this international expansion, is how they will choose to go about getting regulated in other major regions that are notoriously trickier to gain licences, such as the US.
We have confidence in the sustainability of Genome’s business model, as their offering avoids the potential concerns of the fixed monthly fee approach from emerging competitors such as Sokin, and Genome are not trying to undercut direct competitors such as Wise’s personal transfer fees or WorldFirst’s business fees for larger transactions. It’s also encouraging to see triple digit revenue growth figures in 2021 and that Genome made a net profit for the first year since launch. By keeping their finger close to the pulse of what modern customers are demanding, Genome seems to be carving out their own place in the market by winning customers based on features and benefits whilst avoiding a price war with larger and more established competition.
With all that being said, the account and payment fees with Genome are quite high, and the 1% FX markup is definitely beatable with a number of competitors in the market.