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CurrencyFair Review: Transfer Fees, Safety, Alternatives, and Monito's Verdict

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
Oct 14, 2021

CurrencyFair is a good money transfer service (8/10) which Monito's experts firmly recommend for bank transfers worldwide. Despite having relatively few customers compared to larger competitors, CurrencyFair has a high level of security and brand reputability (8.5/10) and provides a wide range of easy-to-use services and features (7.5/10), as well as well-priced fees and exchange rates (7.5/10). Taken together, all of this leaves CurrencyFair an extremely well-liked service in the eyes of its customers (8.6/10).

What Monito Likes About CurrencyFair

  • Highly competitive exchange rates on Monito's comparison engine;
  • Users can choose their desired transfer speed and cost;
  • Clean, easy-to-understand web and mobile app interface;
  • Outstanding customer satisfaction rankings.

What Monito Dislikes About CurrencyFair

  • Only 22 currencies are currently supported;
  • Bank and debit card payments are the only fund-in methods.
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Monito's Recommendation

A fast and well-priced money transfer option, we recommend CurrencyFair especially for bank transfers between the British pound, Euro, Swiss franc, Polish zloty, and the Australian dollar, as the service tends to perform very well between these currencies on Monito. However, if you'd like to transfer money for cash pick-up or make sure you're getting the best deal of all, then we recommend running a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine to find the best deal.

Who Is CurrencyFair For?

CurrencyFair is available to residents of the EU/EEA, UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, and all affiliated overseas territories and constituencies. See the full list of supported countries here.

How Monito Reviewed CurrencyFair's Services

As with all services reviewed by Monito, CurrencyFair underwent a rigorous evaluation to assess the quality of its service. To begin with, our experts opened a CurrencyFair account to test out its functionalities, including the ease of registration and speed of transferring money, which provided a well-rounded overview of the platform's strengths and limitations. Next, we weighed this score against several other key criteria, including customer reviews, percentage of fees constituted by exchange rate margins, pay-in options, access to customer service, as well as business and legal metrics such as volume transferred, appropriate authorization, and company size. Finally, we analyzed over 100 thousand searches on Monito's comparison engine to determine how often CurrencyFair was the cheapest service and how often it was competitive against its rivals over the past three months, giving a reliable overview of the service's pricing in relation to the market. As with all Monito Scores, CurrencyFair's score was peer-reviewed by at least one Monito expert.

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Trust & Credibility

8.5

Background check

CurrencyFair is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, as well as by the ASIC in Australia and the FCA in the UK.

Security & reliability

CurrencyFair's platforms are fully secured and use top-notch security protocols, including segregated user accounts and HTTPS.

Company size

Founded in 2009, CurrencyFair is a fast-growing money transfer company handling around US$300 million in transactions each year for some 57 thousand customers.

Transparent pricing

CurrencyFair is not transparent in its pricing, failing to disclose that most (97%) of its fees are hidden in the exchange rate margin.

Can I Trust CurrencyFair?

As a duly authorised financial services provider with around 60 thousand active customers, CurrencyFair is indeed a trustworthy money transfer service. Not only is CurrencyFair regulated and authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland, but under the European Communities (Payment Services) Regulations 2009, CurrencyFair is required to protect client funds and maintain systems and procedures at the highest standards. This includes the deterrence of financial crime, the maintenance of a minimum level of capital and liquidity, and the appointment of 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.

Is CurrencyFair Safe?

Yes, CurrencyFair is indeed a safe and trustworthy platform for foreign currency solutions. A large and global company, CurrencyFair is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and employs around 100 people across its Irish and Australian offices. Employees give the company a 5-star rating on the employer review site Glassdoor and frequently describe CurrencyFair as a desirable place to work.

Hundreds of thousands of clients have used CurrencyFair to exchange over €8 billion. They have thousands of 5-star reviews on Trustpilot and very few complaints. The company is financially strong with over €5 million net assets and has raised around €20 million from investors.

Service & Quality

7.5

Opening an account

Opening an account with CurrencyFair is fast and easy, thanks to a clean user interface and lack of information overload. However, you'll need to complete a few regulatory steps before sending money.

Making a transfer

Once you've registered for CurrencyFair, you'll find making a new money transfer to be a fast and simple process.

Contacting support

Contacting CurrencyFair's customer support team is very easy, but options are largely restricted to telephone support.

CurrencyFair's Service Quality

Opening and managing an account, contacting customer service, and funding a transfer with CurrencyFair is very convenient, although relatively few pay-in options and receiving currencies are available.

What Is CurrencyFair?

CurrencyFair is an international money transfer service with a unique approach to sending money across borders. 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. 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 mid-market 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 offers excellent exchange rates, which are on average just 0.35% poorer than the mid-market rate.

CurrencyFair allows you to exchange between 20 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 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 the CurrencyFair mobile 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.

Monito's Impressions During Our Test

CurrencyFair's money transfer platform impressed our reviewers with its user-friendliness and speedy loading times. Although the signup process did include several regulatory steps, the process was handled smoothly and included helpful tooltips and colourful illustrations along the way. Sending money was similarly straightforward, guided by clear instructions and a seamless all-around user experience. We especially liked the option to select the transfer time and fees of our choice — something we found useful and set CurrencyFair apart from many of its competitors.

CurrencyFair App Review

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 money transfer 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 20 different currencies and transfer them out to the bank account of your choice.

Fees & Exchange Rates

7.5

Transfers to a bank account

While the cheapest option in a minority (15%) of available Monito searches for bank transfers over the first three months of 2021, CurrencyFair was still competitive on most (60%).

CurrencyFair's Fees & Exchange Rates

Despite offering reasonably competitive pricing on Monito's comparison engine, CurrencyFair is only sometimes the cheapest money transfer service for bank transfers. The fees you'll pay to send money internationally can be broken down as follows:

CurrencyFair's Transfer Fees

CurrencyFair charges a small fixed fee, usually €3.00, 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 0.10% and 0.60% of the exchanged amount.

CurrencyFair's Exchange Rates

Thanks to the CurrencyFair peer-to-peer marketplace, you can choose your own exchange rate. This means you could potentially get an exchange rate that is better than the current mid-market exchange 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 pay a reasonably competitive exchange rate margin of around 0.35% below the mid-market exchange rate.

Other Fees

In most instances, CurrencyFair’s accounts are 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 UAE dirham, Canadian dollar, New Zealand dollar, US dollar, South African rand, or sending to Israeli new shekel (ILS), the transfer in or out of CurrencyFair will be made with an international bank transfer. 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.

Compare CurrencyFair's Fees & Exchange Rates

Customer Satisfaction

8.6

Customer review score

Earning an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, there’s no doubt that CurrencyFair has made a very positive impression on its customers all-round.

Number of positive reviews

With nearly five thousand four- and five-star reviews on Trustpilot, CurrencyFair is much-loved in the eyes of its customers.

CurrencyFair Reviews

CurrencyFair has largely excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot. Here’s a summary of what reviewers have to say:

Positive CurrencyFair Reviews

  • 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.

Negative CurrencyFair Reviews

  • 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 signup process confusing or unclear;
  • In a few exceptional cases, transfers were delayed or blocked.

How CurrencyFair Works

  • Step 01

    Check CurrencyFair's Rates

    Use Monito's comparison engine to see how CurrencyFair's fees and exchange rates weigh up against the rest and make sure they are indeed the cheapest option for your international money transfer. There, you'll be able to discover both the cheapest ways to fund your transfer and have the money received.

  • Step 02

    Create a CurrencyFair Account

    Sign up with CurrencyFair by providing your email address and mobile phone number. Once you've verified the number with an SMS code, you'll be asked to add your full name, date of birth, email address, and residential address.

  • Step 03

    Set Up a Transfer

    After you've signed up and verified your account, you'll be redirected to the CurrencyFair user dashboard, from where you can enter how much you're sending, the destination country and currency, and delivery method. You may also be required to select the purpose of your money transfer.

  • Step 04

    Add a Beneficiary

    Enter your recipient’s details, including their name (matching the name on their bank account), email address, and bank information. If you’re sending money within the Eurozone, you'll only need your recipient's IBAN, but if you're sending between other countries (even when one is in the Eurozone), you'll need to provide a SWIFT/BIC code and a bank account number.

  • Final step

    Review and Pay For Your Transfer

    In the final page, you'll be asked to select whether you'd like to fund the transfer via bank deposit or card payment, after which you'll be prompted to make the payment.

    Try CurrencyFair

Frequently Asked Questions About CurrencyFair

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