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Exchange v AutoTransaction – Which is best for me?

May 5, 2015

Which is best for me? Exchange or AutoTransaction?

Once you’ve successfully deposited into your CurrencyFair account, it’s expected that you might have a few questions. And though answers are often covered in the FAQs on our site (and you can always reach us by phone or email), sometimes it’s useful to go into a bit more detail.

Which gave us an idea for a blog post! Every so often, we’ll be addressing the questions we’re most frequently asked by our users. If you have a particular query you’d like to see addressed, get in touch! Leave us a comment on Facebook or Tweet us and you might just see it in our next post.


What is the difference between Exchange and “Auto-Transaction”?

With CurrencyFair you have two choices – you can match someone straight away, or put up your own rate and wait for someone to match you.

Lets explain Auto-Transaction first: “Create an Auto-Transaction” is the fastest way for you to achieve the best possible rate at any one time (i.e. match someone immediately). We introduced Auto-Transactions as the Exchange can sometimes look a little confusing. For example, if you are trying to sell £1000 and buy euros, it could be that you are exchanging with 5 different people who only want to buy £200, at 5 different (albeit excellent) rates.

This can look confusing on the Exchange as it may not be clear which rate you need to click on in order to exchange your full amount. Auto-Transaction works this all out for you and will exchange your money with as many people as necessary until your order is filled and will provide you with the weighted average rate (this is all achieved instantaneously at the click of a button).

Now for the Exchange: Firstly, it is important to understand that CurrencyFair is a marketplace, so the rates and amounts you see when looking at the Exchange represent buyers and sellers in the various currencies. The rates in the “Best Available Now” section represent people trading in the opposite direction to you, whereas the rates in the “Better Requested” section represent other people trading in the same direction as you.

If you don’t want or need to exchange straight away, then you can post up your own rate, and wait to see if someone else going in the opposite direction matches you. These are the rates and amounts you see in the “Better Requested” section. The advantage of doing this is that, if matched, you can achieve an even better rate than you’d get by exchanging straight away (sometimes even better than the market ‘interbank’ rate). The downside is that market rates may move against you while you’re waiting, with the result that you have to take a lower rate later on.

Why choose Create an Auto-Transaction?

As the name suggests, Auto-Transaction is the quickest way to exchange your funds at the best rate possible. So if you are in a rush, this is the option for you!

How do Auto-Transactions work?

Click on “Exchange”, followed by “QuickTrade” at the top of the page. First of all, make sure the currency you wish to sell (i.e. the currency you have deposited into your CurrencyFair account) and the currency you wish to buy are correct. Then, either add the amount you wish to sell in the “I Have” box, or alternatively the amount you wish to buy in the “I Want” box. Then click on “Get Quote”. The system will go into the market and get you the best rate possible for your order. It will ask you to review the details and once you click on “Confirm” at the bottom of the page, your exchange will be complete.

Why choose the Exchange?

By using the Exchange, you have the chance to achieve a rate that is better than that currently available.

How does the CurrencyFair Exchange work?

Click on “Exchange” at the top of the page. Decide on the rate you wish to achieve and enter this rate in the “Rate” box shown in the top right hand corner of the screen under “Make an Order”. Then enter either the amount you wish to sell, or the amount you wish to buy at this rate and click on “Submit”. Your order will then be added to the Exchange. You are able to cancel this open order at any time, or amend the rate you wish to achieve.

For a more detailed look at how to get the best value from the Exchange, check out our MarketPlace Explained article.

What if nobody matches my rate?

At any time while the Exchange is open, you can change the exchange rate, or even cancel the outstanding order and do an Auto-Transaction instead. You have full control.

What do most people using CurrencyFair choose to use?

There’s a good mix! We find that some of our clients just like to log in, exchange at the best rate available using Create an Auto-Transaction and then transfer their funds out. However others like to try to beat the Auto-Transaction rate by requesting a better rate than is currently available. Either way, everyone gets a great rate.

Will choosing one option make my exchange any faster?

Choosing Create an Auto-Transaction will obviously guarantee that your exchange is completed there and then. With the Exchange by Exchange, depending on how ambitious you are with the rate you want to achieve, you may be matched off within seconds, but you may not be matched off at all.

How long does each one take, on average?

AutoTransaction: Instant.
Exchange: This depends very much on the currencies being exchanged, and how competitive the rate selected is, as well as underlying movements in the global market rate for those currencies.

We hope this makes sense! We’ll be addressing more questions from curious CurrencyFair users, so follow on Facebook and Twitter to ask your questions and find out more.

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