Should I use Optimal Currency for money transfers?
Services Offered by Optimal Currency
Optimal Currency Review: Executive SummaryOptimal Currency is a relatively small and new money transfer company / currency broker that only accepts UK clients. They focus on providing a hands on service for its customers by having dedicated dealers for all trades, individual or business clients. There are no transfer fees but we do not know how Optimal Currency margins are like, nor have enough indications from online customer reviews.
Not Top 10 Ranked
Where is Optimal Currency Available?
Our Top Rated Optimal Currency Alternatives
On Money Transfer Comparison, you can find over 80+ money transfer services reviews, and over 40+ reviews are for direct Optimal Currency competitors. View our top rated Optimal Currency money transfer alternatives which have received higher ratings 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 Optimal Currency will assist readers in learning more about this UK currency broker. We’ll run through the short history of the firm, the foreign exchange solutions available to personal and business clients and, as always, we’ll take a look at what existing users have had to say about their experience with the company. Read this Optimal Currency review and find out if they’re a safe and suitable fit for your money transfer needs.
Is Optimal Currency Safe?
Optimal Currency, uniquely based out of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is a small and relatively new currency brokerage founded in 2019 by husband and wife David Worthington and Charlotte Worthington. Both with an extensive career in financial services, Charlotte held a position as a financial adviser for a number of years whilst David had direct experience working in deliverable FX, previously holding a senior management role at Foremost Currency Group.
With a team of just seven staff, the offering is totally built around customer service and putting people first. At a time when online money transfers are becoming increasingly popular, Optimal Currency centres its offering around real people who are always available at the end of the phone when needed. As Optimal Currency puts it themselves “Personal service is at the core of everything we do. We love talking with our customers and always make ourselves available when you need us. We take the time to listen to you and understand your ‘journey’. If we can help out, we will!”
Optimal Currency is regulated by the FCA as an Authorised Payment Institution, meaning it adheres to all necessary regulatory responsibilities. This includes the segregation of client funds and safeguarding of ‘relevant’ client funds. Simply meaning that when client money is in transition for a payment, these funds are safeguarded and protected in the unlikely incident Optimal Currency goes bust. When funds are used as a deposit on a forward contract, however, funds are simply segregated, meaning they are not mixed with company funds but are not safeguarded in the case of Optimal Currency going bust. This is exactly how the regulations work for an authorised payment institution and we have to say Optimal Currency explains this very clearly and concisely in its terms and conditions. This level of transparency reassures us that the firm approaches compliance in the right way.
By being authorised under permission 5 as a payment service (as opposed to simply a money remittance company) it means Optimal Currency also has capital adequacy requirements over six times higher than firms authorised for money remittance only.
Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
Optimal Currency is a growing company with a distinctly family feel. Its small team is totally focused on customer service and conducting itself with the values of a traditional currency brokerage. They represent the ‘old school’ approach to business that many other money transfer companies have forgotten – a hungry and motivated, service oriented workforce that is on hand to offer professional advice to clients.
We like the level of transparency around regulatory obligations where Optimal Currency is not trying to blur the lines between when funds are safeguarded and segregated – simply speak with a member of Optimal Currency to learn the occasions when client funds are not protected if the firm goes bust.
With a team of just seven staff it’s easy for Optimal Currency to stamp its desired culture but it will be interesting to see how this develops should the firm continue to grow.
Optimal Currency Customer Reviews
There are 153 Optimal Currency reviews that can be found on the review platform TrustPilot. An incredible 97% of Optimal Currency reviews rated the service as ‘Excellent’ with 2% of reviewers rating the service as ‘Great’ and 1% of reviews rating as ‘Average’. Meaning not even one of the 153 reviews was a complaint. The reviews are not marked as ‘verified’ which can be the case if the customer follows a tracked link on completion of using the service but we can see by the level of detail and content that they do appear to be genuine reviews (fake ones are often very generic and not even specific to money transfers).
- Excellent service with clients feeling appreciated and all questions answered
- Good savings made against banks
- Great communication regarding transfer updates, providing solid advice on the currency markets
- Transactions were smooth and hassle-free
- Patience for clients who struggle to understand the process
There are no reviews which rated the service as either ‘poor’ or ‘bad’. The only Optimal Currency review which was rated ‘average’ said that whilst the staff were helpful and understanding, the exchange rate they achieved on the day was not reflective of the amount sent. Suggesting even a bank rate would have been better than the one they achieved with Optimal Currency.
99% of reviews for Optimal Currency are glowingly positive, praising the excellent service received and often mentioning the currency dealers by name for being so helpful with the transfer process. It is perhaps somewhat concerning that one reviewer felt a better rate would have been achievable with a bank (as opposed to another money transfer company) as banks are notoriously expensive but it has to be said this is the outlier, with other reviews commenting they were happy with the rate and certainly felt it was reflective of the service received. The only issue right now is the relatively small sample of reviews. It’s a fantastic start for Optimal Currency but its brilliant 4.9/5 review score (which is amongst the highest in the industry) can be compared against Currency Direct’s 4.9/5 score based on over 7,000 reviews.
Optimal Currency Exchange Rates & Fees
Fees: There are no payment fees on international transfers, regardless of whether you are a private or business customer or regardless of the amount of currency sent.
Exchange Rates: Optimal Currency operates in the traditional sense and like most other companies in this industry (with the exception of Transferwise and Currencyfair) which means they do not provide fixed margins on currency transfers. The bigger the trade is, and less exotic the currencies involved are, the better the rate a client would receive.
Limits: There are absolutely no minimums.
A no fee policy is quite common amongst currency brokers. Banks usually charge excessive payment fees and excessive FX spreads, whilst currency brokers tend to charge no/low payment fees and moderate FX spreads. What is definitely unique to Optimal Currency is the fact it offers no payment fees to business customers. Given that businesses usually process a much greater volume of payments than individuals, currency brokers usually need to at least cover the costs they incur for processing the payments themselves.
It is difficult to assess the expected exchange rates with Optimal Currency as they are not advertised. When a broker charges no payment fees, it means they’re making enough in their FX spreads to cover both payment fees and turn profit. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll charge wider spreads than a broker who charges payment fees but it’s just something to look out for. In general, Optical Currency reviews tell us that the vast majority of clients seemed happy with the exchange rate they achieved. So far, there’s only been one user who expressed dissatisfaction with the rate.
Optimal Currency Global Reach & Service
- Dedicated Dealer: Yes, for all trades
- Offices: Aylesbury, UK
- Ways to approach: Email or telephone (UK number)
- Translations: None
- Accepts clients: UK
- Currencies Handled: N/A
Definitely not the strongest area for Optimal Currency but they remain a family business run out of Aylesbury that’s targeted at UK individuals and businesses. However, if you’re emigrating from the UK you may prefer a more international currency transfer company. OFX holds local offices and local support teams in the US, Australia & NZ. Whilst Currencies Direct has a huge representation of offices in Spain.
- Rate alerts.
- Market updates.
- Limit orders.
- Forward contract (with unlimited drawdowns).
- Regular transfers.
Optimal Currency does not offer an app as things stand. For alternatives, see our list of top international money transfer apps.
As an Authorised Payment Institution, Optimal Currency offers all of the hedging options that it is eligible to. Market orders, forward contracts and repeat transfers are the minimum we would expect from a specialist currency broker. Being able to draw down on a forward contract in smaller chunks is definitely helpful for businesses who know they are due to receive a certain amount but aren’t exactly sure when the funds will be received. Overall, the offering is greater than purely online money transfer companies such as Wise but it’s less than brokers who also run a separately regulated options business. Global Reach, Currencies Direct & Moneycorp are just a few who offer options contracts, providing more flexible solutions to businesses to suit their specific situation. A number of helpful hedging tools are available through Optimal Currency, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Optimal Currency Review
Optimal Currency is a family run currency broker that has a strong culture built on valuing both its people and its clients. This is the model adopted by all of the most successful UK currency brokers who understand the importance of traditional business values so it’s no surprise Optimal is doing the same. Based on the excellent client reviews which regularly praise the helpfulness of the team, Optimal Currency certainly seems to be achieving what it set out to do. Despite the quality of reviews, our only concern for now is the limited number of Optimal Currency reviews available online. The fact we can’t get an indication of FX spreads also leaves this up in the air. Firms who offer a bespoke service generally do this for a premium – so if you’re happy to pay more for the quality of service then Optimal Currency seems a sensible choice, if you’re wanting to reduce costs then it’s worth comparing Optimal with other money transfer companies. Register with multiple firms and compare quotes next time you have a requirement to transfer money abroad.