CurrencyFair has become the first platform in the world to break the $1 billion barrier in money-matching transfers, cementing its position as the world’s leading peer-to-peer international transfer service.
CurrencyFair CEO, Brett Meyers, today described hitting their first billion dollars as, “a milestone in the international transfers sector.”
“We’re laying down a major challenge to the banks by facilitating the cheapest, fastest and fairest way to transfer money home or abroad.”
Mr. Meyers said that the disruption in the sector was, “a matter of simple technological foresight as much as anything else, peer to peer is always the better option for value.”
“At our current growth rates, everyone left in the FX industry will be competing at that level within a few years. This form of people-powered finance is going to change things forever. There’s no going back from here. And as we accelerate our growth, our fees will fall even further.”
CurrencyFair, leading by example, set a new industry standard by establishing a 1% rate ceiling on all their exchange rate spreads. The company’s average fee is currently 0.35%, compared to rates from 2 to 5% at PayPal, Stripe, VISA and larger banking institutions.
CurrencyFair is the world’s fastest growing peer-to-peer foreign exchange marketplace. Its customers are able to exchange funds and transfer them overseas at a fraction of the cost of traditional banks or brokers, due to its unique and innovative ‘Money Matching’ model. CurrencyFair has served tens of thousands of customers saving them tens of millions of Euros in bank fees and exchange rate charges.
A service widely used by expatriates working or living abroad and individuals running a business or purchasing property overseas, CurrencyFair’s peer-to-peer currency exchange or ‘Money Matching’ allows individuals to cut out the ‘middle-man’ to obtain the best possible exchange rate for 17 currencies, whilst avoiding expensive and often hidden bank charges.
Speaking about Currencyfair, The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. said: “Ireland has a growing reputation as one of the best and most exciting locations in the world for innovative technology start-ups. The establishment and rapid growth of CurrencyFair in Dublin is proof of that. The best advances in technology make the world a smaller place and the services provided by CurrencyFair will help people all over the world to transfer money cheaply”
Brett Meyers, CEO and co-founder of CurrencyFair added: “Sending an average annual mortgage or rent payment home or overseas currently costs more than a family holiday in fees. CurrencyFair costs no more than a family meal, up to 90% cheaper than average bank charges. The days of banks charging up to 5% while claiming no commission or free transfers are over.”
CurrencyFair was awarded the FinovateAsia Best of Show prize in November, 2012. Based in Dublin, Ireland, CurrencyFair is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland under the European Communities Payment Services Regulations 2009. CurrencyFair Australia is regulated by ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
For interviews contact Paul Hayes on +353 (0)87 6209823 or
Each country and culture has a unique set of public holidays and festivals. While some of these holidays and festivals (like Christmas, Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, and New Year) extend across the world, there are many more holidays that are unknown outside of national borders.
We can learn a lot about the values of a country and its people by celebrating their festivals with them and learning more about what they revere and honour.
Holidays are lasting reminders that something is important enough to celebrate. There’s a lot of interesting history, experiences, and people that have been the inspiration for these days of remembrance that bring a country together.
Some Interesting Festivals Around The World
However, there are some holidays and interesting festivals around the world that are just a teensy bit more interesting or unusual than the others.
A couple of celebrations that jumped out us were . . .
Blessed Rain Day. Life in monsoon country can be tough. The constant downpours can take their toll. In Bhutan, they’ve turned a negative into a positive and celebrate the rains (well, the end of the rains anyway) with the finish of the monsoon season. Blessed Rain Day is a time of family celebration and everyone is encouraged to enjoy a purifying outdoor bath to wash away misdeeds and evil.
Melon Day. On a hot summer’s day, a nice fresh slice of melon is always a special treat. In Turkmenistan, they have an extra special place in their hearts for melon – they have a national holiday in its honour. Apparently Turmenistan’s president wanted to celebrate the country’s fertile lands and hard-working farmers and so now the humble Turkmenbashi melon holds pride of place in the national calendar. According to the good people at Wikipedia, other days celebrated across the land include: Drop of Water is a Grain of Gold Festival, Festival of the Poetry of Magtymguli, Good Neighborliness Day, Racing Horse Day, and Carpet Day.
We also found a few more in a fun article here on world holidays which described the Punch Your Neighbour Festival, the Haxey Hood Game, and the Game of the Bridge . . .
Punch Your Neighbor Festival. The cities of Potosi and Macha in Bolivia hold a festival in May every year high up in the Bolivian Andes Mountains. It’s celebrated by thousands of people and it’s based on the Quechua word ‘Tinku’ that means an ‘encounter’ or ‘meeting’. The meaning of the word has become more severe as the humour of the festival evolved and it now is celebrated with punches and beatings that can actually really hurt people. In the past the festival has ended in deaths but it is now policed to stop the fighting when it draws blood. Coming from old pagan ceremonies of blood revitalizing harvests, it’s seen as a way to suffer a little pain now to ensure a better harvest next year.
Haxey Hood Game. This UK festival also comes from very old roots but the exact origin isn’t as clear as the Bolivian festival. The Haxey Hood game involves a big, rowdy group of people trying to push a small leather tube towards one of four pubs in town, where it will stay until the following year’s game. Before the game begins there is the ‘smoking the fool’ ritual that has become less violent and frightening over time. Rather than hanging a speech-giving fool over flames and then cutting him to fall into the fire they now just have him stand in front of the fire and open the games with some wise words. In order to make the game interesting, the ‘hood’ cannot be tossed or run with but rather its holder must be pushed and pulled in the intended direction by the crowd. The game usually lasts a few hours and then everyone stumbles back home.
The Game of the Bridge. Pisa, Italy has held this great game since 1568 and it comes from the historical battle for possession of the bridge that spans the river Arno in the city. It used to be incredibly violent but has recently included regulation for a more humane celebration. The game mimics a huge game of tug of war as 20 man teams push seven ton carts to the opponents’ side of the bridge. After numerous rounds the winning team is designated by the most number of victories. The best part is, all of the men dress up in frilly period costumes and they overcome their shame in the ultimate test of manly strength.
Like we said at the start, holidays and festivals are lasting reminders that something is important enough to celebrate.
In our series on exciting new companies to watch (Best Startup Business 2014), we’ve been looking at companies, big and small, that are making a difference by solving people’s problems.
Today we’re looking at a startup which, like CurrencyFair, helps make life a little easier.
Travelling around the world can be such fun but the hassles that go with luggage can really drag you down. These hassles range from extra airline charges, delays, queues and so on.
Send My Bag – One Of The Startups To Watch In 2014
Send My Bag is a door to door luggage service which aims to save you money and put the fun back into travel.
Put simply, Send My Bag collects your luggage from your home before you travel and then has it waiting for you at your destination upon arrival. When it’s time to head home, they bring your luggage home again – simple!
It all sounds very simple but it sure is making life better for travellers. Send My Bag allows you to:
Avoid growing airline baggage fees
Forget about stressing over excess baggage
Avoid waiting at baggage carousels.
The service is also particularly popular with expats or those with holiday homes who want to transport some home comforts abroad for less.
Send My Bag charges the same to collect abroad and return a bag to the UK as they do to send from the UK. This means they can be up to 10 times better value that using an international post office luggage service. (While you’re here, see what we really think of the Post Office in this article: 31298 Complaints In One Year?!).
At CurrencyFair, we like the Can Do attitude of this growing company. Send My Bag was up and running within a week of their founder being hit with excess baggage charges. That beats endless customer focus groups and 5 year marketing plans. As a business grows, market research and refinement is always required but nothing beats getting your product out there and seeing what people say.
It is their proactive nature that led them to be recognised by the UK consummer watchdog group Which? as being better value than the international airline, Ryanair, even before considering excess baggage fees or the higher cost of a second bag.
We like what Send My Bag are doing and we wish them all the best.
We’d like to thank all our well-wishers for helping us spread the word about the savings we offer to people sending money abroad.
We really appreciate your kind words and your efforts in helping us grow!
Faster growth at CurrencyFair means there are more people like you exchanging money in our peer-to-peer MarketPlace, giving you more options to match with someone for a fantastic exchange rate.
At CurrencyFair, we are constantly seeking to improve and make sure that our online currency exchange service remains the best in the world. That’s why we are delighted to announce a new business partnership in the Asia Pacific region with the CCM Group that will help scale up our business operations even faster.
New Business Service Partnership – The CCM Group
Our new business partner, the CCM Group is a team of financial services companies that provide best execution, brokerage, clearing and custody services in Cash Equities, Derivatives, Fixed Income, Futures, and Foreign Exchange. It is a regulated broker dealer by FINRA (CRD #104457) and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC# 8-52911).
The CCM Group, will operate behind the scenes in certain countries to help us provide new currency accounts.
The countries where we will initially be partnering with CCM are:
Everything still runs through CurrencyFair and you will still get the same outstanding service, security and savings you always get from the team.
It wasn’t just their expertise, global reach, and professional reputation that led us to partner with the CCM Group. We chose to partner with them because of their three core strengths:
Security – They have an obsession with information security and that’s super important to us.
Speed – Unlike the slow, complicated banks that we replace, the CCM Group understand that timing is important to people who need to send money overseas. After all, it’s your money and you don’t want to wait around like the banks expect you to do.
Cost – The CCM Group share our never-ending focus on keeping costs down for our customers.
What Does This Mean To You?
We’re excited by our new partnership with the CCM Group. However, what does it mean for you?
First, there is no extra cost. The good news though is that the more we grow around the world (thanks to the extra capacity created by our partnership with the CCM Group), the more opportunities you will have to get even more amazing exchange rates when using our peer-to-peer currency exchange MarketPlace.
If you are in Australia, you will need to make a small change. Your account will still be held locally and there is no extra cost. From Thursday 27th February 2014 when depositing AUD into your CurrencyFair account, the payment details will be different to those you have used before. Please click here to see the new account details (you will need to sign in and click on “CurrencyFair Bank Account details” on the left hand side of the screen).
If you are in Hong Kong, you will need to make a small change. Your account will still be held locally and there is no extra cost. From Thursday 27th February 2014 when depositing HKD into your CurrencyFair account, the payment details will be different to those you have used before. Please click here to see the new account details (you will need to sign in and click on “CurrencyFair Bank Account details” on the left hand side of the screen).
If you are in New Zealand, great news! Through our partnership with the CCM Group, we have now opened a local New Zealand Dollar bank account. This means it will be even cheaper for you to exchange with CurrencyFair. You will no longer be charged by your bank to deposit funds into the CurrencyFair NZD account and furthermore you will no longer be charged by your bank to receive funds from the new NZD account we hold with CCM. So, as of Thursday 27th February 2014, we will be moving our New Zealand Dollar account to CCM Group. Please click here for full details of the new account (you will need to sign in and click on “CurrencyFair Bank Account details” on the left hand side of the screen).
We are delighted to be working with the CCM Group.
If you have any questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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As mentioned in our earlier post titled Best Startup Business 2014, we are looking at businesses that could vie for the title of Best Startup Business 2014.
Startups To Watch In 2014
In this series we are taking a look at some well-known success stories as well as brand new businesses that are still testing their offering.
Today we look at a brave new venture that has been having great success in the Australian market.
The Problem . . .
Everyday tasks can often be the mounting straws that break the camel’s back.
Whether at home or at work, there are so many chores to be completed in everyday life that it sometimes seems like we’re being buried under a mountain of small potatoes.
For the past three years, Airtasker has been building a sustainable online marketplace which allows users to outsource errands and other work to other members of the community.
Utilising the growing power of the sharing economy, this innovative startup has enabled 75,000 Australians to collaborate and share the load.
From house cleaning to data entry, furniture assembly to graphic design, Airtasker is facilitating job creation to the tune of AU$1.5 million and rising.
According to them, Airtasker “connects people seeking to outsource everyday tasks & errands with trusted, reliable people who can complete those tasks. Gain access to thousands of people with the time skills and expertise to make your life easier – when you want, for the price you want.”
People can connect through Facebook or sign up with an email address to get tasks done or earn money running tasks.
The story of Airtasker is similar to that of our own here at CurrencyFair in that the founders had a problem that needed solving. At CurrencyFair, it was the problem faced by the expat founders when trying to send money back home.
Here’s Airtaskers version of the problem-solution formula:
Our co-founders, Tim and Jonathan came across the idea for Airtasker in 2011 when they were moving apartments and had a huge number of chores and errands that needed completing – from packing boxes, to cleaning and assembling flat pack furniture. With all the possibilities being created through local, mobile technology the pair thought that there had to be a place where people could connect with trusted members of the local community to help them with all of these types of tasks done, especially when there were so many people looking for jobs! After a few months of planning, designing and coding (mostly in Jonathan’s living room), Airtasker was born.
At CurrencyFair, we’re really excited to see how the team in Sydney expand over the coming months because the power of online marketplaces can no longer be underestimated.
We wish them all the best.
Feel free to use the sharing icons below to spread the word about this bold new venture.
Supporters and critics alike appear to agree on one thing; Bitcoin is the Esperanto of currencies. Much like that experimental language from the last century, it has abandoned the norm in idealistic and revolutionary fashion, blasting across national boundaries to provide a novel and truly global break with the past. But does the comparison end there? Esperanto was an unmitigated failure whereas Bitcoin is… well, here’s the thing; nobody yet knows whether Bitcoin is feted to rise to giddy heights or doomed to fall to crashing depths.
There are no bigger fans of disruptive innovation than the team at CurrencyFair.
Radical change to the status quo has been the pillar of fire which we have followed for the past five years.
We firmly believe that peer-to-peer money transfers should be quick and easy and cheap. Banks and their fellow financial service institutions had their chance to facilitate just that but chose instead to price gouge and obfuscate a process that we are committed to making as simple as possible.
Love Or Loathe It
There’s a lot to love about Bitcoin for those who love it a lot.
A cryptocurrency, it functions purely as a digital medium of exchange. With no central bank to set interest rates or issue new coins, its value rolls with simple supply and demand. Blocks of new bitcoins can only be obtained through “mining”; an intensive task requiring serious computer processing power (though of course, once mined, they can be purchased online by anybody). Unlike the currencies that we have all grown up with, there is a fixed number of coins. Much like a radioactive half-life, the coin value of each mined block is set to reduce over time, with the 21 millionth bitcoin ambitiously scheduled to be generated in 2140. With customer anonymity guaranteed and central governance of the currency impossible, there are many who have heralded Bitcoin as the beginning of the end for our everyday, “false fiat” euro, dollars and pounds.
What some herald as Bitcoin’s pros, others see as the cons which completely undermine it as a credible means of payment. Controlled anarchy, to mint a contradiction in terms, does not make for a stable currency. Nor is it necessarily a prudent option for those looking to see a return on their savings. While many early adopters have seen incredible returns, Bitcoin’s wild peaks and troughs can leave investments wiped out, potentially within hours if the market is roiling. These may just be the teething problems of a relatively untried and untested financial innovation but, crucially, they may not. Customer anonymity and ungovernability can also lead and have in the past led to bitcoins being used to make purchases from online bazaars of illegal goods – most notably, drugs.
So where, you may ask, does that leave CurrencyFair?
CurrencyFair and Bitcoin
As a payment services business, Currency Fair abides by the directives of the Irish Financial Regulator and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. We are legally and ethically committed to help prevent financial crimes such as money laundering and the funding of international terrorism. To maximise accountability and transparency, we request customers to provide photo ID and proof of address when opening a new account. Adding any new currency to our roster takes considerable time and the anonymity that Bitcoin guarantees does not help in this regard. While it would be preposterous to assume that the average user is wiring money to Al Qaeda, CurrencyFair has no intention of lowering its security standards to meet those of Bitcoin. This isn’t about “Big Brother” watching you; rather, it’s simply in the interests of maintaining a professional level of trust and accountability.
We don’t know what the future holds. As other cryptocurrencies rise to compete with Bitcoin and as the entire concept underpinning them comes in from the cold, it may yet be possible to include them in the options on the CurrencyFair website. No company actively intends to do itself out of business and our conservatism in this regard is a matter of policy, not principle. We’re excited to see what’s coming down the track but it’s still too early to tell.
With such amazing growth and a wonderfully loyal customer community, it is not surprising that more and more people are hearing about how CurrencyFair’s groundbreaking money matching system has saved our customers millions of dollars (and Euro, Pounds, etc) when sending money overseas.
In fact, CurrencyFair has transferred nearly $1 billion so far and is going strong.
For people who hear about CurrencyFair via word of mouth from family and friends, their first question is usually:
Exchanging funds with CurrencyFair is simple, just three easy steps:
Deposit, exchange and transfer.
Deposit. Transfer in the funds you need to exchange from your bank account into our client bank account. We operate local accounts in most currencies so this is simple to do using internet or phone banking. As soon as we receive your funds, we credit them to your CurrencyFair account and send you an email to let you know you are ready for step two.
Exchange. There are two ways to exchange with CurrencyFair, QuickTrade or the MarketPlace. Use QuickTrade to exchange any amount straight away at the best rates currently available. If you are not in a hurry, you can use the MarketPlace. Choose your own better rate and hope for other customers to take up your offer. As soon as your funds have been exchanged, you are ready for step three.
Transfer. Simply enter your beneficiary account details and we do the rest. You can transfer to your own account or that of a third party, such as family or friends, a supplier or a merchant.
We make sure your funds get where they need to go quickly and safely.
“What is CurrencyFair? It’s a question we’re often asked and it’s covered in the free CurrencyFair guide but here’s a quick snapshot . . .
CurrencyFair is a cheap, fast way to safely send money abroad.
When banks transfer your money from one country to another, they are slow and expensive.
Most banks will charge you a sending fee and give you a terrible exchange rate that reduces the amount of money that comes out the other side. The bank at the other end will often then charge you a receiving fee.
CurrencyFair is different.
CurrencyFair lets you avoid international bank transfers by doing two fast, cheap local bank transfers that work just like a costly international transfer.
This means you can skip the usual large international transfer fees and charges.
CurrencyFair is usually about 90% cheaper than a bank for international currency transfers.
Used Currency Fair for the first time yesterday, can’t praise them enough. Great communications and a speedy transaction. Fantastic service. (Facebook Comment)
Who Uses CurrencyFair?
Another great question that’s addressed in the free guide on how to send money abroad: Who uses CurrencyFair?
CurrencyFair has thousands of customers from all over the world.
You’ll be in good company if you are:
An expat/overseas worker
A retiree expat
A small business
An international student
The owner of a foreign property
Thousands of CurrencyFair customers use us every day to:
Send regular savings home
Pay for relocation and setup expenses
Convert regular or lump sum pension payments
Receive money from parents whilst studying abroad
Buy, sell or rent foreign property
Pay foreign currency invoices
Receive funds from overseas customers
Sending money to family and friends, paying for birthday gifts
Many other purposes
Video On Sending Money Abroad
Here’s a quick video on how to send money abroad.
How Does CurrencyFair Work?
Although it looks and feels like you are sending money overseas, you won’t be transferring your money directly from your local bank account to a foreign bank account (or vice versa). Doing that incurs hefty fees and charges from the sending bank and the receiving bank (plus a really unfair exchange rate on top).
When you use CurrencyFair, you’ll actually do two easy domestic bank transfers (free and quick) instead of one big international transfer (slow and expensive).
There are three easy steps:
Deposit your money into your CurrencyFair account.
Convert your money by matching with other customers on our marketplace who are sending money in the opposite direction.
Finally, transfer your money to a nominated bank account in the chosen country.
You’ll get a better exchange rate and vastly reduced fees.
As a successful tech startup company that has gone from a simple idea to exchanging nearly $1 billion for our customers, CurrencyFair has experienced all the highs and lows that comes with setting up and growing a new business.
In our blog article called Best Startup Business 2014, we described how we want to play our part in spreading the word about startups and their power to help people and businesses.
Our view is clear: Every startup success story strengthens the startup community as a whole. It means greater access to funding, more government support, and more trust from potential customers.
CurrencyFair wants to spread the word far and wide about the power of startups.
In particular, we want to spread the word about your business.
CurrencyFair Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. CurrencyFair Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No.419450) of CurrencyFair Australia Pty Ltd, regulated in Australia by ASIC (AFS License No. 402709). Data on CurrencyFair website(s) (including pricing data) is protected by database rights. All rights reserved Registered Office: First Floor, Westmoreland House, Westmoreland Park, Dublin 6, Ireland. CurrencyFair Ltd CRO: 469391 (Incorporated in Ireland)
The information contained on our website is general in nature. CurrencyFair has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this general advice you should therefore consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your situation. We recommend you obtain independent financial, legal and taxation advice before making any financial investment decision.
Australian Residents - Please consider our Product Disclosure Statement before making any financial decisions.