CurrencyFair is available in over 150 countries and 20+ currencies, providing people around the world access to fast, low-cost currency transfers. With €13.5 billion already exchanged between members, its customers have to date saved over €348 million in fees compared to using a typical bank.
Money transfer companies operate by charging an additional margin to the interbank exchange rate, transfer fees, or a combination of both. CurrencyFair's pricing remains competitive: they add only 0.49% to the mid-market currency exchange rate, whereas traditional banks can add markups of between 3% and 6%. Its flat-fee is always just €3 (or currency equivalent, for example, £2.50 or US/CAD/AUD$4.00), regardless of the amount you’re sending.
As of March 2023, CurrencyFair offered to exchange £10,000 into €11,358.00 according to the live calculator on its website. This includes its €3 fee. According to CurrencyFair, this was €308.35 cheaper than a typical bank. Of course, fees differ from bank to bank, but based on our experience with banks this is close to the mark.
Sending money abroad is quite simple with a CurrencyFair account, but you do need to sign up for either a personal or business account first, depending on your needs.
Here’s how it works:
Register for an account. You’ll be asked to provide an email address, password, and identifying details such as a passport or driving licence and a proof of address dated within the last three months. CurrencyFair will attempt to confirm your identity automatically but may get in touch with you if further information is needed.
Select ‘Send Money’ or ‘Top Up’. You need to have funds in your CurrencyFair account to exchange and transfer them. Send Money allows you to set up a transfer from your bank into your CurrencyFair personal account and set up your recipient’s details. Once the money reaches your CurrencyFair account, it automatically exchanges and transfers it out at the best available rate to the nominated recipient without delay. Top Up allows you to transfer money into your account to use in its Marketplace, set up a recurring transaction such as paying a bill, or transfer out at a time of your choosing. Please note Top Up is not available for all currencies, for example Indian rupees (INR), and the Marketplace is currently not available to US customers.
You can do all this from the dashboard of your CurrencyFair account on its web or mobile app. CurrencyFair will send you an email notification once it’s processed your exchange and transfer. You can also track your transfer status or review previous transactions on the CurrencyFair website or app.
As you need to have funds in your CurrencyFair account to exchange and transfer them, your first exchange will consist of two actions: first, you send the funds to CurrencyFair; next, CurrencyFair converts the funds and sends them to your chosen recipient.
Depending on your currency and bank, it can take anywhere from 0 - 5 business days for CurrencyFair to receive your funds. The processing times are estimates and may depend on your bank in some cases.
For example, according to the estimated transfer times available on its website, it takes 0 - 1 business days for it to receive British pounds sterling (GBP) and 1 - 2 days for it to receive Euro (EUR). At the slower end of the scale, it can take 4 - 5 days for it to receive a minor currency like Emirati dirham (AED).
Keep in mind that CurrencyFair typically receives deposits between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, United Kingdom (UK) time. Therefore, if you send the funds after business hours on Monday, it could take until as late as Wednesday for the funds to be received.
Transferring money out is generally quicker than sending it in. It typically takes 0 - 1 business days for CurrencyFair to convert to GBP or EUR, send the funds, and for the funds to land in the receiving bank account. It takes a little longer to transfer out some minor currencies. For example, it can take 1 - 4 business days for the funds to leave CurrencyFair’s account and arrive in a Thai baht (THB) account.
CurrencyFair offers a number of features to make things more convenient and help you get the best exchange rate.
Online calculator. CurrencyFair’s online calculator offers full transparency on the fees charged while comparing your savings vs a typical bank.
Mobile app. You can exchange and transfer your money on the CurrencyFair website or on the CurrencyFair app, available on both iOS and Android, at any time (except on weekends and bank holidays) and from anywhere.
The CurrencyFair Marketplace. Its Marketplace is a unique peer-to-peer exchange that gives you the chance to get a better rate for your currency exchange. You can set your own rate, and wait for it to be matched by another person who wants to buy at that price. This feature is currently not available to US customers.
Rate alerts. If you have time and don’t want to exchange at the current rate, you can set up daily or weekly alerts or request an email when a currency reaches your preferred rate.
Recurring transactions. If you live or work abroad and want to send money to the UK on a regular basis, you can set up recurring transactions. This also works if you live or work in the UK and wish to send money to your home country on a regular basis.
Multi-user access. Business accounts can assign access to team members and tailor each user’s roles and permissions, as well as authorize outgoing payments from multiple users.
Xero integration. Reconcile payments within seconds or group similar transactions and match them in one go with CurrencyFair’s Xero integration.
CurrencyFair is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 5000+ customers on Trustpilot, the leading independent review site. Customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with high ratings for both the level of service and low fees. CurrencyFair’s website includes a comprehensive support section with answers to the most frequently asked questions. Support staff are generally very quick to answer the phone, and are available from late Sunday nights through to Friday evening (British time).
CurrencyFair is fully licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Customer funds are ring fenced and held in Tier 1 international banks, giving customers bank-level security and privacy but without outrageously high bank-level fees.
CurrencyFair has two benefits over traditional banks: simplicity and affordability. Once you’re set up, exchanging money through CurrencyFair is quick and easy, and requires only a few minutes of your time. As for the cost, there is a gap between CurrencyFair and traditional banks that may have more fees. If you’re only transferring £100 or the equivalent in another currency, you’ll save a few quid. And if you’re transferring £10,000 or $100,000 – then your savings should run into the thousands.