CurrencyFair Review - Honest and Unbiased

CurrencyFair began operations in Dublin in the year 2009. More than 10 billion Euros in international exchange later, the company has quickly grown into one of the most popular and most reputable international transfer companies in the world.

But is CurrencyFair actually worth it? Is the company good enough in terms of value for money, customer service, and convenience? And most importantly, is it the perfect fit for you?

These are all valid questions to have, especially given the options out there today when it comes to currency movement, exchange, and transfer. And this is why we have provided a detailed review below on all things CurrencyFair. 

By the time you're done reading, you should have a complete picture regarding the company, its currency transfer policy, peer-to-peer option, and how fitting it is for your needs.

About CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair has done a lot of expanding since its start of operation more than a decade ago. Recently, the company has expanded into countries in Asia and Oceania. But it is worth noting from the start that even though the company has headquarters and offices in a host of countries including the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong, it is currently unable to offer its services to residents in the United States and Canada.

Though it should also be noted that non-permanent residents of these countries can actually make use of the platform even if they happen to be living there at the moment the transaction is initiated.

Still, despite all of these, the company's operation model and efficiency hold a lot of appeal with its investors and customers, and as such it continues to grow at an impressive rate. 

How does CurrencyFair work?

Exchanging and making international payments with CurrencyFair is made possible due to its multiple operation model. The first of this model employs what is known as a peer to peer exchange market, while the second employs a straightforward interbank rate system.

Peer to Peer Transfer

CurrencyFair is one of the innovators of peer-to-peer international currency exchange. In a peer-to-peer marketplace, people who need related exchange services, with currencies moving in opposite directions, are connected to initiate exchange with each other. 

This facilitates a smooth exchange with no actual international movement of money. Since currencies aren't actually leaving the country, but only moving to local bank accounts in the countries of exchange, the fees are lower and the process is much smoother and faster.

Using the CurrencyFair Platform

Opening an account and making payments with CurrencyFair is as simple as it comes. The first step to achieving this is registering on the platform.

Registration on CurrencyFair is free and usually straightforward, as long as you have all of the details you'll need. Then you can proceed to make your transfer once registration is complete.

The following details are what you’ll need to complete the above steps:

  • The currency you are sending from.
  • The amount you wish to send.
  • Your full name, address, date of birth, nationality and occupation.
  • Proof of identity which could be a driver's license, bank documents, or national identity card.

Once you're done initiating transfer, you will get a reference number which you'll have to enter to send your funds.

Currency exchange usually takes a while depending on your options. Sometimes transactions go into a queue before it's finalized for peer-to-peer exchange.

In other cases for direct exchanges, an automatic currency exchange occurs and your money is sent to you so that you can then send to your choice overseas bank account at the specified rate.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CurrencyFair

To understand exactly what factors set CurrencyFair apart from its competitors, we take a look at a few highlights of the company below. We also take a further look at some aspects that we either did not find very appealing, or that have generally been points of complaints by people who have made use of the platform at one point or another.

Advantages of CurrencyFair

Peer to Peer Exchange - Thanks to the peer-to-peer exchange strategy adopted by CurrencyFair, users can send money internationally without really having to move that particular funds to another country. 

What is happening in actuality is the money moving to a local bank account in the sender's country, and another local bank account in the receiver's country making the payment to the receiver's local bank account.

Speed - As mentioned earlier, CurrencyFair follows two structures when it comes to funding deposits and transfers. The direct automated transfer takes 24 hours, and the top-up option usually tends to take longer depending on how fast an ideal match can be found. Both processing times, though,are generally within acceptable industry standards of transaction speed.

High Number of Sending Options - At the moment, CurrencyFair is able to facilitate overseas currency transfer to more than 150 countries all over the world. There is also no minimum transfer amount and the maximum is well above a reasonable level.

Customer Support - Customer support is usually measured by two factors: how easy it is to contact, and how efficient it is in dealing with problems and questions. The CurrencyFair customer support more than excels in both of these areas.

Security - A popular challenge when it comes to financial services platforms is in safety and security. In all of its existence, CurrencyFair has proven to be highly secure and reliable. It has never been the subject of a hack or heist and customers are known to get exactly what they initiate in transfer volume.

Fees & Margins - CurrencyFair charges a 0.35% rate on transfers along with a fixed fee of 3 or 4 Euros. They also charge an additional fee for "express" transfers which are processed faster. And while all of these may look like a lot, they are actually quite cheap when compared to the amount charged by similar services.

Disadvantages of CurrencyFair

Not Available in the US & Canada - As mentioned in the introduction, one of the few drawbacks to using CurrencyFair is that it does not have licenses to operate in the United States and Canada as at the current moment. As such, users from those countries may have to consider other alternatives.

Credit Cards - CurrencyFair does not support the use of credit cards on its platforms. Transfers can only be made through bank deposits. This can sometimes be a source of inconvenience particularly for customers who are used to making all payments with their cards.

Large Transfers - Thanks to their fee structure, making large transfers (transfers above 4000 Pounds, for example) may not offer the best value for money. 

Detailed CurrencyFair Review

Now that we understand what CurrencyFair is all about, along with its process, advantages and disadvantages, the next logical move is to understand its reputation, reception trend among existing customers, and most importantly, how particularly fitting it is for your needs.

Reputation, Track record and Trust/Safety 

CurrencyFair is tightly regulated in all of the countries in which it operates. Since inception, the company has ensured to adhere to all of these regulation requirements to the fullest. As such, the company has a track record for reliability and is definitely as trustworthy as any of its competitors out there.

In terms of platform security, the company holds its funds in tier 1 international banks, employs a high grade encryption system on its website, and uses two factor authentication for customer security.

Data on CurrencyFair is also stored on a secure server that is only accessible through the use of high-level personnel biometrics.

Value for money

CurrencyFair is without a doubt one of the most affordable companies out there when it comes to currency exchange and international transfers. The company makes its money through exchange rate and fees, but thanks to its unique approach to exchanges, the overall net charge is usually quite reasonable and competitive. 

Even after considering the sending fee, exchange rate margin and fixed fees, the company still falls into the higher percentile when it comes to providing decent value for money.

Ease of Use

As we can see from the How it Works section, making use of the CurrencyFair platform is actually quite easy and straightforward, especially considering how complex the entire process is at the bottom.

The platform has done a good job in condensing all of the complex steps, breaking them down into an easy process, and simplifying the idea of peer to peer international currency exchange and transfer.

Customer Support

Customer Support on CurrencyFair is rated highly by its customers. Those who have had to contact the company report a great response rate. Their approach to resolving issues was described as friendly and straightforward. 

Feel free to find details on how to contact the CurrencyFair customer service below:

Contact Details

Availability - 

Phone Number (Ireland) - +353 (0) 1 526 8411

Phone Number (UK) - +44 (0) 203 3089353

Phone Number (Australia) - +61 (0) 282 798 642

Email - suppprt@currencyfair.com

You can also contact support through live chat on the company website.

Processing time

Once your funds have been successfully sent to the CurrencyFair's account, it generally takes about 24 hours for it to reflect in the receiver's overseas bank account for a direct automated transfer.

For a top up, however, senders must wait for an ideal match before the process can be complete. 

Still, considering the process involved, we would say that the timing offered by CurrencyFair is quite fast enough.

CurrencyFair Fees/Charges & Features

Thanks to their peer to peer market strategy, CurrencyFair has some of the best rates and fees around. They also have an onsite calculator which works out how much you will be exchanging at, and how much you will be charged for this in total fees.

On average, though, be ready to pay a fixed fee of about 3 Euros. The flexible fee, according to the CurrencyFair website, amounts to about 0.45% of your total transfer volume. 

It should also be noted that there is a likelihood that your bank may include a markup fee of their own. 

And then there are all the other forms of bank charges. This, on average, usually amounts to around 4-6% of transfer fees. 

CurrencyFair Customer Reviews

Customer reviews about CurrencyFair have been overwhelmingly positive. Users tend to praise the company for their reliability and efficiency. But moving on from that, it isn't rare to see customers noting how easy it was to navigate the CurrencyFair platform and get their transfers done with no hassle at all.

Another strong point users tend to highlight is the fact that, unlike most of its competitors, CurrencyFair's rates and charges are actually quite affordable for all transfer volumes.

The only negative points users generally highlight are the currency limitations and the high duration of time it takes for the platform to verify and approve new accounts.

Other positive highlights include simple and transparent rates, adherence to regulation, and relatively fast transfer speed.

Is CurrencyFair Right for You?

Knowing whether or not a cross border transfer platform is right for you requires considering a few factors. You have to ask yourself how much you're transacting, how fast you want to get the transaction done, how particular you are about getting reasonable rates, and so on.

We take a look at these factors in detail below.

When to use CurrencyFair

You know CurrencyFair is right for you when you're on the lookout for a platform that offers incredibly reasonable rates on low volumes below $4000. For high volume transactions, the company is also quite decent.

Some platforms tend to be better for high volume transactions, while for some it's the opposite. With CurrencyFair, both ends of the spectrum sometimes seem to be very well covered, although, again, the lower volume offers the biggest value.

The platform is also right for those who are dealing with any one of the 20 currencies offered in the multi-currency account feature. This makes for a smoother, faster, and cheaper transaction. 

Lastly, due to all his positive properties, the platform is suitable for charity donations, overseas investment payments, good and service purchase, and so much more.

When not to use CurrencyFair

First of all, CurrencyFair is not an option for those who are permanent residents in either the United States or Canada. While temporary residents can still make use of the platform in these countries, CurrencyFair is not yet licensed or regulated here, and as such despite all of its advantages, US and Canadian residents will have to consider other options.

It is also not advisable to use CurrencyFair when sending payments to countries whose currencies are not yet supported by the company.

Lastly, as mentioned earlier, making use of credit cards on CurrencyFair is not an option for now. So in case you happen to be particular about card transfers, CurrencyFair is not the right option for you.

Final Verdict

CurrencyFair offers incredible rates and transfer fees thanks to their unique peer-to-peer exchange structure. In this form of international payment, users whose activities align are connected and transfers are made with CurrencyFair as the middle men, so that no actual cross border transfers are made.

The platform also offers direct transfer using their mid-market rate.

Both of these make CurrencyFair one of the best platforms in terms of affordability and reliability. Depending on the transaction type you choose, the company also offers some of the fastest transfer speeds among its competitors.

Sadly, the company does not yet have a license to operate in the United States and Canada, and this may be a huge pain point for users in these areas.

In conclusion, CurrencyFair is easy to use, has great customer support, and is known for its reliability and speed. If you happen to live in a supported country and wish to make cross border payments, this platform is definitely one of the first options you should consider.

CurrencyFair FAQs / Common Questions

Below are a couple of frequently asked questions about transfers on CurrencyFair.

Does CurrencyFair Have a Mobile Application?

Yes, CurrencyFair announced its exchange mobile application in 2015. With the app you can enjoy the luxury of making international payments straight from your mobile while enjoying features such as direct photo upload, live exchange rates, tracking transfers, and checking past transactions.

The CurrencyFair mobile app is available for download on both the iOS and Android app stores.

Are Transfers on CurrencyFair Cancelable?

You can cancel transfers on CurrencyFair if your transaction has not yet been paired with a match. Once your transaction has been matched and approved, however, you can no longer cancel.

You also cannot cancel a direct transfer initiated with the mid-market rates.

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