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From Little Things, Big Things Grow – CurrencyFair’s 5th Anniversary

April 30, 2015

We’re in an even better mood than usual here at CurrencyFair.

Why? CurrencyFair-5th-Birthday

We’re celebrating our 5th birthday!

It’s been quite a journey so far and one that has been made so worthwhile by our wonderful customers and supporters.

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Things looked a little different back when CurrencyFair first opened business.

The co-founders and first employees had all given up good jobs to risk it all on a bold new venture. The startup team were determined to help all those working expatriates, students living abroad, business owners, retirees abroad, and foreign property owners – all of whom had been unfairly treated by their banks when it came to sending money abroad.

Here’s CEO and Co-Founder, Brett Meyers on why he and the other co-founders started the business:

We created CurrencyFair because we were sick of paying too much when using the banks to send our money abroad. We thought that other expats, and people running businesses, would jump at the chance to try a better way of doing things. And we were right; we’ve now transferred almost €2 billion, saving people well over €100 million in fees in the process. It’s been a great 5 years but we’re only getting started!

What started as a grand vision certainly did not start with a grand office.

life-abroad

The early CurrencyFair team all squeezed into one tiny service office. Head of Client Services, Tim Porter, revealed recently that his workspace at the time was actually a makeshift desk fashioned out of boxes which he claims made him look like a little boy. That’s not how the rest of the team saw him though. Co-Founder, Jonathan Potter said that Tim and his colleague Pawel Stosik (Head of Payments) were (and still are) giants in the business. Both would often work insanely hard, with hours of 6am to 11pm not unheard of. According to Jonathan, this work ethic was not some display of corporate clock-punching bravado but was, in fact, an absolute dedication to providing the absolute highest quality product and service to the people who would help the new business grow – the customers.

The founding team’s work hours have since been reduced to more humane levels, but the quality and dedication of their respective teams remain safely in place and has infused through the entire business.

Whilst there was not a great deal of glamour associated with the new company office, there was certainly a lot of interest from the press.

CurrencyFair Launches May 2010

From the moment that Co-Founders Sean Barrett and Brett Meyers donned their CurrencyFair-themed ties for the official launch of the company in Australia in 2010, the media became very interested to learn more about this brave new business taking on the might of the big banks. Early press coverage included The Guardian, BBC radio, The Financial Times and other media outlets quickly followed including The Economist, The Sydney Morning Herald, Choice Magazine, and various tech-focussed outlets.

In case you’re unsure about how CurrencyFair works, this early explainer video makes it easy to understand:

This simple system, the world’s first peer-to-peer currency exchange system pioneered by CurrencyFair, has saved people a lot of money.

CurrencyFair started saving people money with its very first money transfer.

Whilst well over 100,000 customers around the world now use CurrencyFair to pay a mortgage bill, transfer the monthly pension, or to buy a new car, the amounts range. However, the very first transfer was, well, a whopper. Squished into their tiny new office, the startup team expected the first transfer to be maybe a few thousand dollars, euros or pounds as someone paid a bill or something similar. No, the first transfer was for well over €400,000, which certainly got the hearts racing amongst the team. Tim Porter nearly knocked over his desk (‘boxes’) in excitement – it was on! The transfer went through seamlessly and it gave the team the confidence to believe that they were on to a winner and so they were.

So far, CurrencyFair has exchanged nearly €2 billion and has saved people well over €100 million by helping them to avoid unfair bank fees and dodgy exchange rates.

CurrencyFair has exchanged nearly €2 billion and saved people well over €100 million.

Those savings have been achieved by well over 100,000 customers living in a great many countries around the world across a range of currencies. The currencies include: AED, AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, NOK, NZD, PLN, SEK, SGD, USD, and ZAR.

One of the reasons that so many people have become valued customers has been due to word of mouth. In a survey run by the company, 89% of customers had already told someone else about CurrencyFair. And remember, the more people that use CurrencyFair, the more you can save.

Furthermore, on average, between 9% to 12% of CurrencyFair customers get an exchange rate better than the big banks give themselves. That is indeed something you’ll not see anywhere else.

Of course, none of this would be possible without a world-class team and the high standards set by the founding team have certainly be maintained.

The team at CurrencyFair has continued to grow and has long since left the tiny starter office behind. Various members of the team work in different countries around the world and Co-Founder Sean Barrett has set up another world-class team in Australia to give customers constant support to make sure they remain delighted with their decision to switch to CurrencyFair.

The headquarters in Dublin has continued to expand ever since the tiny startup office was replaced by a beautiful new office which was officially opened by the Prime Minister (an Taoiseach), Enda Kenny. Here’s what he had to say about CurrencyFair:

As you can see, we’ve had a busy few years and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way. word-heart

We are ever thankful for the support from our customers and from all the kind folk who have either lent a hand or wished us well on our journey.

Thank you for your support and for continuing to spread the word about CurrencyFair.

Finally, because we’re in a good mood, we’ll finish with our dear friend, the CurrencyFairy.

Thanks again for your support.

To learn more about CurrencyFair, click here.

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