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Celebrating CurrencyFair’s 5th Birthday – An Interview With CEO Brett Meyers

May 2, 2015

Interview with CurrencyFair CEO Brett Meyers

Celebrating CurrencyFair’s fifth birthday!

Over the past five years we’ve helped people send nearly €2 billion to other countries and have saved them well over €100 million in the process.

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With such an amazing track record of success and with such a bright future ahead of us, we thought it a good time to take a few moments to reflect on how far we’ve come.

Here’s CEO and Co-Founder, Brett Meyers sharing his thoughts on the rapid growth of CurrencyFair . . .

Text Version

Brett Meyers:

CurrencyFair came out of an idea I had to solve a particular pain point that I had, which was as an Australian living in Ireland, I needed to send money home on various occasions and for various different reasons and I just got sick of paying the ridiculous fees. It seemed the internet was coming into every other aspect of my life. Why wasn’t it sorting out the way I transferred money? CurrencyFair CEO Brett Meyers

I think we originally aimed it at anyone who needed to send money abroad, generally between their own bank accounts but often if they needed to pay someone else in another country.

We sort of narrowed down our focus and we saw that a big customer group for us is expats so people like my self that have moved to live in another country and then take up work there. Very early on, a lot of retired British people living in Spain or France are using this to – well effectively move their pensions. So they were getting paid in sterling. They needed euros because they’re living in Costa del Sol or wherever it is. So they use this regularly to transfer money.

Today is actually our five-year anniversary with the first ever transaction through the CurrencyFair system. That’s pretty significant for us. We had a link-up with the Australian office and some cupcakes and various things.

It is five years now. It’s a long period of time and we’ve really grown over that time from what was originally just a few guys in a room setting up a business to something that is now over 60 I think people working for us now and that number is growing daily.

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The old system of transferring money through the banks is broken. It’s slow. It’s very expensive. It’s using legacy technology that is decades old. It’s a really cumbersome messaging system. We came up with a much simpler, cheaper – and 10 times cheaper. So 90 percent cheaper way of doing it that relies on some cool but fairly intuitive technology. It’s just the next step. So why should you use it? Because you will save money and because it’s quicker and because there’s really no reason to do it any other way.

We have some very strong values that we believe in here and one of them is putting the customer first. We’re always very transparent. We’re very respectful.

We have some very strong values that we believe in here and one of them is putting the customer first. currencyfair-crew

We’re always very transparent. We’re very respectful. We, I guess, respect the fact that our customers are not the average person on the street. Anyone that needs to transfer money internationally is someone that by definition almost has done something with their lives. It’s above what most people do. They’ve either moved to a country. They’ve started a business. They’ve achieved something and we recognise that and I think that comes across in the way we deal with people.

One of the reasons we’re able to charge as little as we do is that it doesn’t cost us a huge amount to acquire a customer and the reason is we deal with customers that generally are people like expats or small businesses and they have strong networks and communities. As an expat, I remember very clearly moving away and asking other people in the pub or whatever. How are you sending money back home?

So we know that conversation does happen and when it happens, people go, “Well, I use CurrencyFair. It’s brilliant. It saves me all this money.” They tell people. We get more customers. We don’t therefore have this huge burden of marketing spend and that translates into – in cheaper prices down the line for everyone. So it’s a feedback loop.

The way we’re doing currency transfers is the best way to do it. Still nobody else has developed this model. We are leading the way and there is no reason why in the future the whole world shouldn’t be doing those transactions in this manner.

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