CurrencyFair Review: Is it safe? How does it work? What are the rates?
How can you use CurrencyFair to send money abroad? Is their service reliable? Can you trust CurrencyFair with your money? How good are their fees and exchange rates?
Our independent review of CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair has a unique approach to international money transfers. Instead of exchanging your currency with a bank or a money transfer company, you actually exchange with other CurrencyFair customers.
This fully automatic and transparent peer-to-peer approach means that you can choose what exchange rate you’d like, and as long as another CurrencyFair user is looking to exchange in the other direction and accepts your exchange rate, then that’s the rate you’ll both get. Over 10% of users of the CurrencyFair MarketPlace achieve a better exchange rate than the interbank rate (also known as the mid-market or standard exchange rate, which is the mid-point between the buying and the selling prices of the two currencies).
If you’d rather not wait for another customer to accept your rate, you can also choose to immediately convert your money at the best available rate in the marketplace. In any case, CurrencyFair allows you to get excellent exchange rates which are on average just 0.35% below the mid-market rate.
CurrencyFair allows you to exchange between 18 different currencies and you can send money from and to over 150 countries, with recent expansion into Asia. The company has local accounts for nearly all the supported currencies, which means that transferring your money to them should be free. They employ staff who speak a variety of languages including English, German and French.
After you’ve exchanged your money on the CurrencyFair MarketPlace, you’ll just have to pay a small flat fee of around €3 in most cases to transfer out your money to the bank account of your choice. The money takes around one day to transfer into CurrencyFair, and then around one to two working days to be received. This can take longer for certain currencies.
You can exchange and transfer your money on the CurrencyFair website or on the CurrencyFair app, available on both iOS and Android, at any time (except on weekends and bank holidays) and from anywhere.
They also offer business money transfer services. Businesses can use CurrencyFair for international payroll, global payments and receiving money.
What we like about CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair exchange rates are excellent
Transfer money in 18 currencies to over 150 countries
Low, flat fees
Excellent reviews on Trustpilot
What we dislike about CurrencyFair
Limited number of supported currencies and countries
Can only pay for a transfer via bank draft
How CurrencyFair works
Open an account
Visit CurrencyFair's website and open a free account
Enter the details about your recipient
Tell CurrencyFair where you need to send money and to whom.
Set-up your transfer with CurrencyFair
Enter how much money you want to send and how you want to pay for your transfer.
Pay for your transfer
Fund your transfer by making a local bank transfer or pay by debit or credit card
Let CurrencyFair do the rest
CurrencyFair will convert your money in the recipient's currency and send it to him through the selected pay-out option.
Fees & Exchange Rates
CurrencyFair is often the cheapest option
This indicator is based on the percentage of searches on Monito for which %PSP% is the cheapest provider
CurrencyFair fees and exchange rates are often competitive
This indicator is based on the percentage of comparisons on Monito in which %PSP% offers a competitive pricing (taking into account the pay-in and pay-out options as well as the amount).
CurrencyFair offers special promotions for Monito users
Monito can access real-time pricing information from CurrencyFair
The points above are added to calculate the "Fees & Exchange Rates" score of CurrencyFair, who scores 7.2 points on a maximum of 10 points.
CurrencyFair charges a small flat fee, about €3, for each transfer out of your CurrencyFair account to a bank account. If you have money in multiple currencies on your CurrencyFair account, you can choose which currency to pay the fees in to get the best deal. They may also charge a commission of between 0.1% and 0.6% of the exchanged amount.
Thanks to the CurrencyFair peer-to-peer marketplace, you can choose your own exchange rate. This means you could potentially get an exchange rate which is better than the current mid-market rate.
Of course, you will only achieve your custom rate if another CurrencyFair user accepts to exchange with you at this rate. Alternatively, you can exchange immediately at the best available exchange rate. On average, you will get an excellent exchange rate which is only 0.35% below the mid-market rate.
CurrencyFair’s accounts are generally held locally in the country of the currency you are exchanging from or exchanging to. This means there should be no fees to transfer money into or out of your CurrencyFair account using a local bank transfer.
However, if you are sending from or to United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), Canadian Dollar (CAD), New Zealand Dollar (NZD), United States Dollar (USD) and South African Rand (ZAR), or if you are sending to Israeli New Shekel (ILS), the transfer in or out of CurrencyFair will be made with an international bank transfer, and you will pay additional fees to the banks involved. Depending on the amount, it is generally still worthwhile to use CurrencyFair, since the better exchange rates make up for the additional fees.
Ease of Use
Very few Monito users going to CurrencyFair end up making a transfer with them
CurrencyFair's homepage is clear and very easy to understand
It's very easy to open an account with CurrencyFair
Setting up your transfer is quick and easy
It's easy to sign up and make a transfer both on mobile and desktop
The points above are added to calculate the "Ease of Use" score of CurrencyFair, who scores 7.5 points on a maximum of 10 points.
We want to share how easy it is to use money transfer providers in the real world. That’s why we tested how simple and quick it was for real users to transfer money for the first time using CurrencyFair. Monito partnered with the website and application testing tool, Userbrain, to see how easy it is to use the CurrencyFair money transfer service. See the results here.
Credibility & Security
CurrencyFair is fully licensed and authorized
CurrencyFair has a good number of positive customer reviews
Only a small number of customers already use CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair employs a very large number of employees
CurrencyFair has already transferred at least 5 billion USD for their customers
CurrencyFair has been mentioned in countless recognized media outlets
CurrencyFair is part of Monito's network of trusted partners
CurrencyFair is a long-established company
The points above are added to calculate the "Credibility & Security" score of CurrencyFair, who scores 7 points on a maximum of 10 points.
CurrencyFair is regulated and authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland under the European Communities (Payment Services) Regulations 2009. This requires CurrencyFair to protect client funds, maintain systems and procedures at the highest standards (in particular to detect and deter financial crime), maintain a minimum level of capital and liquidity, and have individually approved and vetted key personnel.
As per regulations, clients’ funds are held in segregated accounts which are kept completely separate from CurrencyFair’s own business accounts. This means that your money is safe should the company have any financial difficulties.
CurrencyFair employs over 60 people across its Irish and Australian offices. Employees give the company a 5 star rating on the employer review site Glassdoor, and describe CurrencyFair as a "really nice place to work". The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
CurrencyFair has been used by hundreds of thousands of clients to exchange over €7 billion. They have thousands of 5 star reviews on Trustpilot and very few complaints. The company is financially strong with over €5 million of net assets, and has raised around €20 million from investors.
Is CurrencyFair safe? Our review shows that the CurrencyFair MarketPlace is a trustworthy platform for foreign currency solutions.
Authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland
No. : 419450
Service & Coverage
CurrencyFair allows you to send money from an average number of countries
CurrencyFair allows you to send money to an average number of countries
CurrencyFair is available in a few different languages
It is possible to pay for your transfer by local bank transfer
It is possible to pay for your transfer by credit/debit card
CurrencyFair doesn't offer additional pay-in options
It is possible to send the money to your recipient's bank account
CurrencyFair doesn't offer a cash pick-up service
CurrencyFair can’t send money to a mobile phone (airtime top-up or mobile wallet)
CurrencyFair doesn't offer a bill payment service
CurrencyFair doesn't offer additional banking features
CurrencyFair doesn’t offer a multi-currency debit card
CurrencyFair offers guaranteed exchange rates
It is not possible to set up repeating transfers / standing orders
There is no minimum amount (or very low)
There is no maximum amount (or very high)
The points above are added to calculate the "Service & Coverage" score of CurrencyFair, who scores 5.6 points on a maximum of 10 points.
CurrencyFair can also help you make recurring transactions. This can be useful if, for example, you need to send your salary abroad or pay off an overseas mortgage every month. Here’s how it works: you tell CurrencyFair the amount you want to exchange and where to transfer your money to. You then send your money to CurrencyFair each month, for example through a standing order with your bank. Once your money reaches CurrencyFair, it will automatically be exchanged at the best available exchange rate and transferred to your recipient.
In addition to being useful for migrant workers, expats, overseas property owners and students abroad, CurrencyFair also caters to business customers. If you are looking to make international payments for your business, CurrencyFair can help you to pay international suppliers and freelancers, transfer money to a foreign subsidiary, or pay salaries abroad.
CurrencyFair’s provides a free, multi-currency wallet that offers bank level security for all your currencies, and your funds are always ready to exchange. Top it up at any time, and transfer when you’re ready. CurrencyFair’s unique peer-to-peer exchange lets you set your own rate, and wait for it to be matched with other customers exchanging the opposite currency. CurrencyFair also keeps you informed of the latest rates with email alerts. You can set up daily or weekly alerts, or request an email when a currency reaches your desired rate.
The first five transfers you make on CurrencyFair are fee free!
CurrencyFair has a very high percentage of excellent customer reviews
CurrencyFair has a very low percentage of negative customer reviews
CurrencyFair has a good number of positive customer reviews
The points above are added to calculate the "Customer satisfaction" score of CurrencyFair, who scores 8 points on a maximum of 10 points.
CurrencyFair has largely excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot. Here’s a summary of what reviewers have to say:
- Exchange rates are excellent and transfer fees are much lower than with banks
- Sending money is a quick and easy process
- Transfers arrive quickly in the recipient’s account
- The customer service is very helpful and friendly
- Opening an account requires a certain amount of personal information (as with all other companies, this is due to regulations), however electronic verification is speeding up this process
- Some people found the sign up process confusing or unclear
- In a few exceptional cases, transfers were delayed or blocked
The FAQ and help center of CurrencyFair are easy to understand
CurrencyFair doesn't has any live chat
CurrencyFair offers email support (even to noncustomers)
CurrencyFair offers phone support (even to noncustomers)
It's relatively easy to get in contact with CurrencyFair
The FAQ and help center are translated in all languages
Monito cannot contact CurrencyFair on behalf of our users
The points above are added to calculate the "Customer support" score of CurrencyFair, who scores 7.5 points on a maximum of 10 points.
The exchange rate margin makes up a significant share of the total cost of your transfer
It's very easy to understand the fees of CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair doesn’t charge a margin on the exchange rate
A real-time quote can be obtained without registering
CurrencyFair applies the same fees and exchange rates to all customers
The pricing information of CurrencyFair is made available to Monito
The points above are added to calculate the "Transparency" score of CurrencyFair, who scores 7.3 points on a maximum of 10 points.
CurrencyFair mobile app
CurrencyFair has mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. The CurrencyFair app allows you to easily exchange and transfer money from anywhere and at any time (except on weekends and bank holidays).
With the CurrencyFair app, you can set up deposits into your CurrencyFair account, and the app will provide you with the information you need to make your transfer through your online banking platform or at your local bank branch. The CurrencyFair app then allows you to exchange funds in 18 different currencies and transfer them out to the bank account of your choice.
How CurrencyFair works (in detail)
First, you must register for a CurrencyFair account on their website, which only takes a few minutes. Then, the process depends on your needs and the type of transaction you are making. You can deposit money into your CurrencyFair account and then later make a QuickTrade or MarketPlace transaction, or set up an Auto-Transaction if you’d rather do everything at once and not have money standing by in your CurrencyFair account.
- Send money to CurrencyFair – Set up your free account in minutes and send your money to CurrencyFair by bank transfer
- Exchange your money – Get the best available rate with CurrencyFair
- Transfer your money out – Send your money to CurrencyFair by bank transfer to be exchanged
Auto-Transaction - The simplest way to transfer money with CurrencyFair
Alternatively, instead of going through the 3-step process described above, there is a simpler way to exchange and send money with CurrencyFair: the Auto-Transaction.
It works as follows. You tell CurrencyFair how much money you will be sending, the currency you need to convert into, and the bank account you want the converted money to be sent to. Then, all you need to do is to make your local bank transfer to CurrencyFair. As soon as CurrencyFair receives your money, they will automatically exchange it at the best available exchange rate and transfer it out to the bank account of your choice.
Note that you can only set up an Auto-Transaction if you do not already hold money in your CurrencyFair account. If you do, you can simply make a QuickTrade exchange.
The story behind CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair was founded in 2009 by four expats - Brett Meyers, Jonathan Potter, Sean Barrett and David Christian. It all started when Brett had a bad experience when emigrating and sending a large sum of money from Australia to Europe. He and the other CurrencyFair founders came up with the idea of setting up a peer-to-peer marketplace where people needing to exchange money could do so with each other. This would allow them to avoid costly international bank transfers, with their high fees and poor exchange rates. Since then, over €7 billion have been exchanged through CurrencyFair, with estimated savings of €200 million. The company now employs around 90 staff across their Irish and Australian offices.
Which documents will CurrencyFair require to verify my identity?
To comply with anti-money laundering regulations, CurrencyFair must verify your identity. You may be required to provide your passport number, a copy of one or two Identification Documents and one or two proofs or your address.
CurrencyFair uses electronic verification for identification in several countries, which means you can sign up in just a few minutes. This is known as eKYC and applies to people in the UK, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, New Zealand, France, Ireland, Italy, Canada (expats only) and Australia. If you’re applying from one of those countries, verification will take just a few minutes.
It can be a passport, national ID card or a driver's license.
Proof of address
In order to verify your address, Currencyfair will need a copy of a document from a reliable institution showing your name and your address. This document can be a bank or credit card statement, a driver’s license (where it contains a full residential address), a utility bills (electricity bill, gas bill, water bill, refuse collection, cable television bill, landline telephone bill), a local council notices (rates, levies etc.), a revenue notice (Annual Tax Certificates) or a household insurance or renewal notice.
CurrencyFair announces expansion into Asia & acquisition of HK's Convoy Payments Ltd
CurrencyFair announced the acquisition of the Hong Kong based payments company, Convoy Payments Ltd, as part of a €20 million investment plan.
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Why you can trust Monito's reviews
Monito's mission is to help you (and thousands of others each day) find the best providers for your money transfers.
We do that by providing real-time comparison of exchange rates and fees (you can use the form below to make a comparison) and by writting in-depth reviews about money transfer providers.
We have partnerships with many money transfer providers (CurrencyFair included), which help us get access to their exchange rate and fees information (which we always check for accuracy). Those partnerships help us support our activity and offer our service for free.
We put a lot of efforts to review money transfer providers like CurrencyFair in details and based on objective and verifiable criteria. A good example of that is the in-depth User Experience Benchmark Study we conducted in August 2018.
Compare CurrencyFair to 300+ other providers
Questions you may have
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