Big Media Reviews of CurrencyFair
When someone first looks into sending money abroad they naturally have questions and concerns. After all, we all work hard for our money and no-one wants to give it away to third parties if they don’t have to.
Trust is a big issue when it comes to a financial service provider.
In this article, we’ll look at how the international news media view the money transfer industry (including media reviews of CurrencyFair).
We’ll take a quick look at:
- Which? magazine
- The Guardian
- The Economist magazine
- The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper
- The Financial Times newspaper
But first, let’s be clear on what the typical concerns are when sending money overseas (click the links for more information).
For any person sending money internationally, these are the most common concerns:
1. Will my money arrive safely? This is probably the biggest concern of all. Cost, speed and other such factors are all important considerations but if the money doesn’t get to the other side, none of these other issues matter.
2. How much will it cost to send my money abroad? This is hugely important. It can be terribly annoying to send a set amount of money to another country only to find that a large chunk has been taken out by the banks or money exchangers involved.
3. How soon will my money get there? Whilst we’d all love to be super organised and have money transfers planned well in advance, the reality is usually a little different. Sometimes we need to send money overseas quickly and it just has to get there in time.
4. What’s the service like? If someone is sending money internationally for the first time, they’re usually worried about it arriving safely, quickly and without too much money taken out. Therefore, it is natural to want to either speak to someone or email them with any queries to get peace of mind.
International Media Reviews of CurrencyFair
Having seen the normal questions and concerns of people using international money transfer services, let’s take a look now at media reviews of CurrencyFair and the money transfer industry as a whole.
The reviews by respectable publications go a long way to addressing the overall theme of trust.
Which? magazine has long been a trusted source of impartial information for its readers, covering almost everything you could possibly throw your money at – from fridges to cars, and now currency exchange.
Research published on their website in January 2016 featured a table ranking 16 providers in order of competitiveness, and of course CurrencyFair came out the winner. The study include 8 high street banks, two further traditional providers and 6 challengers. While we’re confident that our rates won’t be beaten by any bank or competitors, it’s always nice to have it confirmed by a respected and established authority on the topic.
Which? Money found that someone exchanging £10,000 into euros could be over €400 better off using CurrencyFair compared to the least competitive bank, and €258 better off than using the most competitive bank. We’re also €13 better than the next most competitive challenger.
You can read the whole article, and see those we beat, by heading over to Which? Money and taking a look for yourself – http://www.which.co.uk/news/2016/01/new-providers-beat-banks-on-international-payments-431244/
In April 2015, The Guardian featured CurrencyFair in an article titled Taking on the big four banks in the land of the CurrencyFair go. The piece focused on our expansion in Australia, but contained nuggets of wisdom that apply globally.
As always, our CEO Brett had a strong message:
“People don’t realise what rates they are paying to the banks. They say, well, the banks are giving me free banking. But the margins are built in.”
The Guardian also mentioned that, at the time, we’d saved customers $135m since CurrencyFair was born, a figure which passed €230m in February 2016. A large part of the success is anticipating what customers actually want:
“As Henry Ford said, if he’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Here’s what the global magazine The Economist had to say on the topic:
‘Most banks have offered small-scale cross-border transfers as an afterthought and made them so expensive and inconvenient that they are rarely used. Most take days to process, and if a payment goes awry the customer gets little help. A charge of $25 or more to send money to another country is common, and banks often load on extra fees of 2-3% when they switch currencies. Many banks charge not only for sending money but also for accepting it. A World Bank study in 2009 found that banks charged an average of 12% for small remittances, whereas money-transfer agents such as Western Union averaged 9%.’
The Economist went on to single out CurrencyFair for its role in bringing about real change:
‘For those who are willing to move onto an entirely electronic platform, transferring money abroad can be a lot cheaper still. CurrencyFair is a peer-to-peer marketplace that started up just over a year ago after one of its founders, Brett Meyers, was charged huge bank fees hidden in the exchange rate when transferring money abroad. After that, he started ringing up friends abroad to see who wanted to swap currencies. The result was an online marketplace that matches people wanting to buy and sell currencies. In the main corridors, such as that between Britain and the euro area, very little money ever crosses borders. Someone wanting to convert sterling to euro deposits their pounds with the firm and is matched with people who have deposited euros and want sterling. Whereas most banks charge about 2.5% through the spread between their buying and selling prices for a currency, on CurrencyFair the participants decide on the rate. If a transaction is completed, CurrencyFair charges 0.25-0.3% of its value and a small fee to send the money to the recipient’s bank account in the new currency.’
Down Under, the news was similar.
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper recently published an article (‘Everyone Asks: How Do I Avoid Bank Charges?’) which said:
‘Quite a few smaller hotels in Europe will insist on a deposit of funds in euros to a bank account before they accept a booking. While you can complete this transaction through your Australian bank, the bank will charge a hefty fee for the service, and there’s a good chance the bank at the other end will also shave off a receiving fee. However there are several non-bank alternatives and they offer a better deal.
Currency Fair (currencyfair.com) is one way to transfer funds to bank accounts worldwide. You simply set up an account with Currency Fair, deposit funds and then nominate which bank account you want the funds paid into. You can use their currency converter to get a rough idea of how much in Australian dollars you need to deposit in order to fund your transaction and if you pay in more, you can then return any surplus to your own bank account. The fee for a standard transfer is €3.
Since Currency Fair’s AUD account is held in Sydney, you should be able to transfer funds to this account at zero cost from your own Australian bank account. Currency Fair is fully regulated as an Authorised Payments Institution by the Central Bank of Ireland and clients’ funds are held in a major global bank.’
Media Review of CurrencyFair For Small Business
The highly influential Financial Times described how small and medium-sized firms were optimising their sales turnover by around 5% through avoiding bank charges and unfavourable exchange rates.
The Financial Times review described how CurrencyFair ‘enables business customers to find a better deal through individual buyers and sellers of currency rather than banks. The system also provides SMEs with access to rates which were only available to the big corporates.’
Stay tuned for more international media coverage of CurrencyFair – there’s a lot more of excellent press coverage to share . . .