UPDATE: 10 April 2018: Lebara Money has announced that they entered into a partnership with WorldRemit. This partnership will enable Lebara Money’s customers to transfer money to over 145 destinations through the WorldRemit platform. Make sure to compare all your options before choosing a new provider to send money abroad.
Lebara Money Transfer offers a useful feature for people who regularly send money abroad — “If you like it, lock it.” It’s designed to help you reduce risk and manage your finances and exchange rates more effectively. It works as follows:
- When you plan to send money overseas, you can review today’s offered exchange rate and see how much the recipient will get.
- If you like the exchange rate but don’t want to send money straight away, you can pay a small fee to “lock in” the exchange rate for 30 days.
- On the day you plan to transfer your money, Lebara will charge you for the transfer at the exchange rate you have already set.
- Your recipient will get the same amount as when you originally locked in the rate.
Here’s what you need to know about their “If you like it, lock it” service.
Who are Lebara Money?
Lebara Money are a UK-based money transfer provider. They provide fast, simple transfers from the UK to the Eurozone and several other countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. They are operated by Lebara Group, a large, international telecommunications business.
When we reviewed them, we said, “Lebara Money Transfer fees and exchange rates are competitive with many of the other large money transfer providers. However, you should be aware that they do charge a minimum fee when transferring smaller amounts, which might make them less competitive. You can get around this by transferring amounts large enough to avoid the minimum fee… Lebara currently only allows UK residents to send money using their services — although they don’t support as many destination countries as other providers, their network is growing all the time. ”
How Do I Use the Like It, Lock It Feature?
It’s very simple — the feature is available through their website whenever you arrange to transfer money between currencies. If you choose a currency where the feature is available, you can choose to set the transfer date to any time within the next 30 days. You will be charged a small, upfront fee for the feature, but won’t be charged the balance until the date of the transfer.
Who Is the Like It, Lock It Feature Designed For?
We believe there are two main groups of people who will benefit from the feature:
- People who want to reduce their risk and guarantee a rate in future, so they know exactly how much the recipient will receive.
- People who do not have the funds to pay for their transfer now, but will in the next thirty days.
Can I Lock In Rates for Longer than 30 Days?
No. You can book a transfer in for any date between the next day to 30 days away.
Can I Lock In Currency Exchange Rates to Any Country?
No. To begin with, Lebara Money does not serve as many countries as other providers. Secondly, of the countries they do serve, not all of them have the exchange rate locking feature. The currencies / countries that do are: Eurozone countries and Euro currency, India and the Rupee, Sri Lanka and the Rupee, Poland and the Zloty.
Can I get Notifications of When Exchange Rates Become Favorable?
Yes. Here at Monito we provide a range of custom alerts when an exchange rate hits a target you specify.
What are the Fees for the Like It Lock It Feature?
Lebara Money charges an additional fee of around 0.9% to 1.1% of the total value of the transfer to lock in rates. This applies whether you are delaying for a day or for 30 days.
Does Lebara Money Charge Other Fees?
Yes. In certain circumstances, they do charge minimum fees for transfers. You can visit their website and enter certain currency amounts to see how much you might be charged. Note that transfer fees are waived on your first transfer with them.
Do Other Currency Providers Offer Similar Features?
Yes. This type of “locking in” money transfer rates is known as a “forward contract.” Many other currency providers will offer you this service, although none of them make it as easy or accessible as Lebara Money. What’s more, forward contracts are typically only available for transfers of much larger amounts. Other money transfer providers are also likely to levy a small fee to use a forward contract.
Can You Summarize the Pros and Cons of Lebar Money’s Like It, Lock It Feature?
Like It, Lock It — The Pros
- Lock in a favorable exchange rate now.
- Eliminate the risk of the exchange rate going down.
- Book a rate now and pay for it later.
- Your first transfer will be free of regular fees and you can get a £10 reward for signing up.
- The Like It, Lock It feature is very easy to use.
Like It, Lock It — The Cons
- There is a fee of around 1% for the service.
- If the exchange rate improves between now and when you send the transfer, you will still need to pay the “locked in” rate.
- There may be significant minimum fees on smaller transfer amounts.
- You can only send money from the UK, and the number of receiving countries is limited.
- You can only fund your transfer with a debit card or prepaid card.
What’s your final word?
The Like It, Lock It service is easy to use, but you will need to ask if you believe the exchange rate will worsen by more than one percent between the time you lock in the exchange rate and the time you pay for the transfer. If there’s significant fluctuation in your currency, it’s worth paying for. If not, you are probably better off using live rates.
You can read our full review of Lebara Money Transfer here : https://www.monito.com/en/send-money-with/lebara-money