Our detailed review of CurrencyFair — a peer-to-peer currency exchange company, which helps you transfer money internationally at exchange rates better than the market rate.
Are you making a international money transfer and keen to find out more about CurrencyFair? Are they safe to use? Which countries do they send money to? Find the answers to these and more questions in our easy to read guide.
In this CurrencyFair review we will explain:
CurrencyFair is good for
- Ability to get exchange rates better than the market rate
- Sending money to over 150 countries
- Money transfers to Europe and Africa, Pacific and Caribbean islands
CurrencyFair's rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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Money transfers can be sent to these countries:
Europe and United Kingdom
Money transfers can be made in these currencies:
Europe and United Kingdom
Who is CurrencyFair?
CurrencyFair is a world leading peer-to-peer currency exchange company that specialises in exchanging and transferring money internationally.
Much like Wise (formerly known as TransferWise), CurrencyFair's peer-to-peer service allow people to trade currency directly with each other, instead of making these transfers through a bank. It saves you a lot of money, it is much cheaper than the banks.
It was established in 2009 and its headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland and it has processed $15 billion in money transfers. It now employs over 60 people across its offices in Ireland, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
Pros and cons of using CurrencyFair
For most of your international money transfers, CurrencyFair is a good choice.
Let’s break it down and explain what CurrencyFair is great at and where they have a few issues.
- No minimum transfer overseas and maximum is very high
- Able to send to over 150 countries
- Flexibility to wait for the best exchange rate or make an automatic transfer
- Great security for your account online, your money and their website
- Good and easily accessible customer support
- Paying overseas business invoices for suppliers and employers
- Receive money from overseas without bank charges for business
- Physical offices in Ireland, the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore
- You are unable to secure exchange rates unless you have money in CurrencyFair's account
- Cash pick up, mobile wallets and bill payments not available
- If you want the very best exchange rate you might have to wait a while for an exchange rate match to come through
- Not available to US residents. Only available to non-US residents living in the USA
- It can take longer than other companies to transfer money overseas
- It might not be ideal for customers who need to send a set amount without knowing the exchange rate first
How do I transfer money with CurrencyFair?
CurrencyFair makes it simple to get an account and start sending money. Here’s the process.
- Register online, its free and takes around 10 minutes if you have everything needed on hand.
- Send your funds to CurrencyFair with the correct reference number. This helps match your funds in their system.
- Depending on which option you selected, you either go in a queue for ‘Top Up’ or an automatic currency exchange occurs through the ‘Send Money’ option. Once your exchange rate becomes available through the ‘Top Up’ option, you select “Set up the exchange’ button.
- The CurrencyFair sends your money to the bank account overseas at the agreed exchange rate.
'Send Money' option with CurrencyFair
This is a thorough video showing you how to use the 'Send Money' option with CurrencyFair. This is where an automatic transaction takes place.
In this option you send the money to CurrencyFair and are advised of the exchange rate after the currency exchange has taken place. If the exchange rate changes by more than 3% between signing up and transaction taking place, then they will cancel the transaction and advise you select the 'Top Up' option which gives you more control over unexpected volatility in currency exchange markets.
What are CurrencyFair's fees?
CurrencyFair charges include a transfer fee and an exchange rate margin.
You will pay an additional 0.25% – 0.30% of the total amount exchanged if you select the “Top Up” option
You will pay an additional 0.40% – 0.60% of the total amount exchanged if you select the “Send Money” option
On average CurrencyFair charge 0.35% of the transfer amount plus a fixed fee of €3 or $4.
If you make an Express Transfer, you need to pay an additional fee.
Bank fees may occur if CurrencyFair does hold a local bank account to the country you have selected. They can be up to $25 per bank.
What exchange rate will I get with CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair provide you with the option to exchange straightaway or use their peer-to-peer network. About 40% of their customers use the peer-to-peer option. If you choose to use the peer to peer option you will set an order to buy currency at your given rate.
Choose your currency, amount and the rate to set your order and CurrencyFair’s market place will match your price at a margin to interbank with another peer trading in the opposite direction at 0.15% where possible.
If no other peers are available at your price CurrencyFair will act as the counterparts and match your order but at a wider spread of 0.35%, where possible. You do have some risk, as with any other order, if the market does not reach your chosen rate then no exchange occurs.
You can always cancel your market place order and exchange at the current market price offered by CurrencyFair but this rate could be lower and at a spread of 0.5%, which is still considerably cheaper than typical bank transfer rates.
CurrencyFair provide you with a risk reward for choosing their peer to peer market place, you can achieve interbank rates or cheaper for your exchange but run the risk you are not matched and no exchange occurs.
How CurrencyFair works
CurrencyFair was the first to introduce a peer to peer (P2P) marketplace in 2009. The peer to peer market place offers a match-making service, pairing people together who are moving currencies in opposite directions.
The key to their success and lower prices than banks is that money is never leaves the country, hence avoiding currency conversion fees. CurrencyFair have local bank accounts lots of countries so you send your money to that account and wait for it to be matched with someone wanting to buy your currency.
CurrencyFair brings buyers and sellers of currency together in a market place and if a suitable match can not be found then customers have the option of taking the best exchange rate at the time of the transfer.
How fast is CurrencyFair?
Once CurrencyFair have received your funds in their account the time it takes to receive the money in an overseas bank account can be within 1 business day, if you select the "Send Money" option.
However if you choose "Top Up" money option, your request goes in a queue and you will need to wait for a match of a corresponding currency to come through. Other factors might slow down the process is the how much you wish to send and where you are sending money overseas. The less populated a country, the longer you might have to wait.
General quotes for time are between 1 and 6 business days, which is pretty broad and there are other companies who can send quicker but might not service the country you are looking for. Therefore it depends on what is most important to you, time, cost or availability.
The details you’ll need when you’re sending money
CurrencyFair does need some details if you want to create an account and send money overseas:
Person sending money
- The currency to be sent and the amount of money you wish to transfer
- Full name, address, date of birth, nationality and occupation
- Proof of identity - passport, drivers licence or national id card - must be valid
- Proof of address - Bank or card documents, utility bill, government issued document
- Dates on these documents must be within the last 3 months
Both proof of identity and proof of address must have a clear photo showing all edges and under 5MB. They have a handy help link at the top of the page to show you good and bad examples.
Person overseas receiving money
- Their full name, address, date of birth and nationality
- Overseas bank account details and
- Reason for sending
They use an electronic method to verify identification so it can take as little as one full business day in Ireland to have your id verified and your account activated. by cross-referencing the information with its third-party sources.
If the electronic identification verification is not successful and they need more information from you they will contact you by email.
Dates on your id valid. Proof of address must be within the last 3 months
Make sure it shows your full name, your current address and date of birth
Ways to pay CurrencyFair
You can pay CurrencyFair by bank transfer. In Ireland you can pay by debit card and in Australia you can pay by EFT or BPay.
Ways to receive money from CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair will only send money to an overseas bank account. They do not send cash for pick up or send money to mobile wallets.
Is CurrencyFair easy to use on your mobile?
The CurrencyFair mobile app is a fast and convenient way to transfer money while you’re on the go. The app lets you make international money transfers, and even set up rate alerts so you don’t miss the rate you’ve been waiting for. The app displays every detail you need to keep track of your money transfer. In addition you can send in documents for verification. It will work wherever you have access to the internet, either through Wifi or 3G, 4G or 5G.
For ease-of-use, we read through reviews on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. The CurrencyFair app scored 4.7 out of 5 on Apple devices and 4.3 out of 5 on Android devices. Reviewers said that the app was easy to use and they got great foreign currency exchange rates.
Customer reviews and customer support
Trustpilot customer reviews about CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair is rated highly by customers, with 94 percent of reviewers on Trustpilot describing it as “Excellent” or “Great.” They get an average score of 4.7 out of 5 after 4000+ reviews.
Here’s what some of the reviews say.
“Works great! Fast, easy and straight forward. I was skeptical at first because I looked at a lot of different options but this seemed to be the best and I'm super happy. Best to look for a deal they offer on first set of transfers free, saves you some money!”
“I have switched to CurrencyFair from other providers because of their flexible workflow for transactions, very good actual rates which are better than the indicative rates by other providers which have poor spreads. Also, sending funds to countries in Africa that have currencies that are not very liquid is easy and transparent and still a good rate can be had. While I am not a trader, compare the spreads from others and you might be pleasantly surprised.”
“Straight forward very easy process to transfer funds, best rates I found anywhere. First class service - will use again for sure.”
Trust and safety about CurrencyFair
Is CurrencyFair safe?
Yes. CurrencyFair is very safe and a legitimate money transfer business. CurrencyFair is regulated and authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland under the European Communities (Payment Services) Regulations 2009. It is regulated by ASIC and their Australian Financial Services Licence number is 402709.
- They keep your money in separate segregated bank accounts, different to the business bank accounts and they can not use these funds to settle their debts.
- They have two-factor authentication (2FA) and 256-bit encryption via SSL from VeriSign is used to access your accounts online.
- All your personal account information is stored in a secure facility that is safeguarded 24-hours-a-day. They use biometric security to gain access their servers.
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