CurrencyFair was established in 2010. They offer a money transfer and conversion methods that you may do face-to-face, online or over the telephone. They have offices in Australia, the UK and Ireland, and despite the fact that they transfer money all over the world, they only accept customers from EEA countries or Australia. Their fees include a flat rate of three Euros, followed by whatever further transaction fees apply. The fees and their special P2P marketplace are explained later, suffice it to say that getting a clear view of how much you will receive back is tricky. Overall, CurrencyFair is an interesting and arguably, revolutionary money transfer / currency exchange platform. Let’s review the main features of this paymeny provider.
The main issue I have with CurrencyFair is that’s it’s still a small player and not yet the global force that it should be. That is not to say that the company is poorly established, it is just that it has undertaken very conservative growth strategies that has left it behind other transfer and conversion companies. However, in defense of CurrencyFair, they have fewer complaints online than most other transfer companies do, so perhaps they are only expanding at a rate that allows them to safeguard their reputation.
CurrencyFair is not a global company yet, and it only deals with a small number of countries when compared with its competitors (some of which are younger) with the main being Transferwise (see our Transferwise Review). CurrencyFair only accepts clients in Europe, in the UK and in Australia. CurrencyFair also handles fewer currency pairs than all of its main (larger) competitors.
Exchange rate & fees
One of my biggest complaints is that there is no clear fee breakdown on the website. The transaction fee information you have seen on this website is as close to an explanation as you are going to get, but when you dig a bit deeper, things are more complex. If you factor in their exchange marketplace and their variable fee rate, you are going to have a hard time figuring out how much you are going to get. It is not that CurrencyFair is excessively confusing or complex, it is that the system could be streamlined in a massive way to make it easier and more intuitive. The Internet has forums full of people that point out areas where CurrencyFair could have improved their process.
- When you use CurrencyFair, you will always have to pay the three Euros flat fee, which is fairly easy to understand. However, there are times when you will pay a 0.15% fee on your money, and other times when you will pay a 0.5% fee.
- CurrencyFair goes by the current activity in the marketplace and the way you are exchanging. It is possible, albeit unlikely, that you will pay 0% on your transfer if you happen to be transferring a certain currency at a certain time.
Is CurrencyFair safe?
Your money is absolutely safe with CurrencyFair. They are a regulated payment services provider and they are regulated by EU regulations, the Central Bank of Ireland, as well as ASIC in Australia. Now that means that they have to keep your money separated from their own so it’s held in a separated, segregated client account.
Also if you read reviews on TrustPilot you can see that people are happy about CurrencyFair services. Their overall rating is 9.1/10 that is pretty good. I can conlude that CurrencyFair must be reliable provider.
How long does CurrencyFair take to transfer money?
It takes one to two days so long as the money reaches CurrencyFair. This is quite in line with other similar providers. If you use the Auto-transaction function, then your exchange will happen more quickly, and you will receive the best rate they have available at the time. If you put your money on the market and specify a rate, your transfer will take longer, but you may get a lower rate.
I think CurrencyFair is very promising money transfers provider and would recommend using it if it’s available in your country. As I said structure of fees is a bit complicated but it will get clarified once you give it a try and see how it actually works. You can try their marketplace and see if you can get better deals there if you are not in rush with the transfer. And the last but not least, your money are safe with CurrencyFair as they are authorised payment provider.