CurrencyFair Review – Safety, Rates and Peer-to-Peer Transfers Uncovered

Did you know that peer-to-peer money transfer services like CurrencyFair can (possibly) save you a bundle of money?

Peer-to-peer is the latest when it comes to moving your money internationally but is it any better?…

Questions I will answer in this review.

  • Is peer-to-peer actually safe?
  • Are the rates better than other money transfer services?
  • What is the service like?
  • How do you sign up?
  • What does a transaction actually look like?

Watch this video to see me save $1000.

First – What the heck is peer-to-peer?

Simply put: Peer-to-peer money transfers are when you and someone in another country swap money.

For example, lets say you (Peer 1) have £1000 in the UK and you want to transfer that to Australia.

Fortunately, at exactly the same time someone else in Australia (Peer 2) has exactly the right amount of Aussie dollars that they want to transfer that to the UK to get £1000.

All you do is swap.

The advantages are huge, no fees, no dealing with banks charging exorbitant fees and giving you a bad deal (the spread) on the exchange rate.

You simply transfer the £1000 to their bank account in the UK and the do the same in Australia.

Of course, finding someone with exactly the right amount of money at exactly the right time and being able to trust that person is where things fall apart.

However a company like CurrencyFair make a pool of funds available in many countries at all times and if its not perfect, they make up the difference.

This means you can (theoretically) save a ton of money on international money transfers.

It also means that all the systems in place ensures things run smoothly.

But is CurrencyFair safe?

All money transfer companies and banks need to meet the requirements of financial regulators in the countries where they physically operate.

This usually means a lot of paperwork, hoops to jump through and bags of cash in banks in which they operate.

In a nutshell the best way to quickly determine how safe the company really is – is to look at the countries where they have offices.

CurrencyFair has offices in the Australia, Ireland and the UK. Australia’s financial regulator for example is considered very tough.

This does not mean you cannot send money from other countries or to other countries, simply that by virtue of operating in Australia, Ireland and the UK, CurrencyFair needs to operate within the guidelines of the regulators of those countries.

Are the rates better than other money transfer services?

Most people and even businesses still use a bank.

You probably know that banks charge an arm and a leg but if not …..

Comared to banks using CurrencyFair is an excellent way to save money, but are they better than comparable services like TorFX, Worldfirst and UKForex/OZForex that I have been using for years?

First let me say, whatever you do – do not believe the comparison sites rates.

Checking their rates is pointless!

If you read the fine print you will find that the rates shown are updated a regular intervals – but never in sync with the market which fluctuates second-by-second 24/7.

There is a very good reason for this – you can’t actually see the rate you are going to get until you log into their system.

How do you sign up?

The sign up steps are actually pretty fun.

You can start by seeing how much you will save on a bank… click the link at bottom of this page for the same form shown here.

CurrencyFair Signup and Comparison with Bank

Simple Signup

The process of signing up is two steps.

Step 1

Step 1 CurrencyFair

 

Step 2

Step 2 Activate Account

Step 3

Information Required by CurrencyFair

The system used by CurrencyFair in Step 3 is excellent and easy and makes it really easy to upload the information they need. All you need is a scanner or phone with a camera and then simply upload them.

What does a transaction actually look like?

How CurrencyFair Works - Transfer Platform

The Bottom Line

 

Extremely good service although I have not yet had a problem to test their service standards.

Sign up was simple and I love their platform for uploading document requirements (that all money transfer services require) – top marks.

Safety and security are as good as a bank or other money transfer service given that they are regulated inAustralia, UK and Ireland.

Rates and Fees are incredibly good. All money transfer companies easily beat the banks by at least a couple percent, but with CurrencyFair I was able to get rates close to the mid-market rate or 0.3%.

Usually 1% to 1.5% is considered very good.

Yahoo currency - midmarket snapshot

This snapshot of the midmarket rate was taken at exactly the same time as the trading screen above. The difference in exchange rates are as good as it gets.

Pros

  1. Sign up was very easy
  2. ID check system is the leader in the industry (this is usually the hardest part)
  3. Security is assured by virtue of being regulated in Australia, UK and Ireland
  4. The exchange rates I got were actually better than

Cons

Unfortunately if you are a resident of the US, due to the regulatory requirements (each State has its own requirements making it expensive and challenging) you cannot use CurrencyFair. Fortunately there are one or two great alternatives.

The only other possible negative: For some people, the level of control you have when you are making a transfer is pretty awesome. For me personally, I love this, but for many others the options of choosing “Better Requested” or “Best Available” or even choosing your own rate may be overwhelming.

CurrencyFair is a very solid choice if you want to get the best rates.

Should You Transfer AUD Now? – October Update 2014

Just over one month ago I wrote my second post about transferring Aussie dollars now or later.

Today, we will look at my results if I had taken my own advice and more importantly look at what we should do next!

As you may know, I have saved thousands of dollars with a simple approach to charting. To demonstrate my simple yet effective method I showed how I saved $2500 or 10% in one transaction.

Part of the 10% I saved is very easy – just by choosing a money transfer company that was right for my needs was the start. But the majority of this gain came from just being a little bit careful in when to send you money.

Results from last month

AUD/CAD AUD/USD AUD/GBP results

 

If you moved $20,000 to all three destinations one week after my short term recommendations you would have saved $570 or 2.85% in total!

You will notice however I got one wrong – that is to be expected. Like last week I only got 2 for 3 but charting trends is not an exact science we just simply seek in minimise the downside and potentially increase the upside. This is why I am sending a hypothetical $20,000 for all three currency pairs and then averaging them out by adding them all together to show the results.

From now on to be even more scientific, I will focus on what happened just one week later.

The question is after all – Should you send money now?

In addition to the week timeline, if I say WAIT – I will be providing a trigger point. For example, in this post I give specific instructions what to do.

First a Disclaimer: This website is intended to provide general information and opinions. The information contained in this post, page and website does not constitute and is not intended to be financial advice. You should make your own decisions and potentially in conjunction with a registered financial professional.

Having said that I took my advice from last week and saved a bundle on the CAD to AUD! – I do put my money where my mouth is.

So, should you SEND NOW or WAIT?

 

Should you SEND NOW or WAIT for the following currencies:

  1. AUD to US dollars – AUD/USD is 0.875
    • My recommendation: WAIT (short term – 1 week) but send below 0.865
  2. AUD to British pounds – AUD/CAD is currently 0.546
    • My recommendation: WAIT (short term – 1 week) but send below 0.535
  3. AUD to CAD dollars – AUD/CAD is currently 0.988
    • My recommendation: WAIT (short term – 1 week) but send below 0.97

Here is my video which explains my reasoning behind these calls.

It is only my second one and I am working on getting being concise, informative and according to my wife, “sound a little more upbeat”… which believe me I am! Last weeks post showed how someone could have easily saved 4.9% just by following my advice the charts showed – this week 2.85%.

Summary

This month it was really tough to be confident. In general it looks like the Aussie dollar is trying to strengthen across the board so in some ways I am happy to see that they all seem to warrant a WAIT call. By waiting we are of course taking a risk of losing some money, but I am happy to accept that downside given the (slightly this month) greater potential for upside. Managing downside risk is only good if you follow through of course – for this you need to leave your emotions on the table and just act based on what you know.

You can get the latest analysis and charts for AUD sent to your inbox as soon as they are published each month.

Thanks for reading!

 

Should You Transfer AUD Now? – September Update 2014

Want to transfer Aussie Dollars to US Dollars, GBP or CAD?

It can be challenging to know when you should put the trigger.

Interest rates, reserve bank meetings … the list goes on but worst of all – conflicting forecasts and emotions can all conspire against you to make a wise decision.

Aussie Transumo ManHowever if you want to transfer Aussie dollars abroad, timing can make a significant difference to the amount that arrives.

Transumo’s motto is, “Money Transfers Made Simple”. We want to remove the emotions and indecision and replace those feelings in the form of confidence.

To demonstrate my simple yet effective method I showed how I saved $2500 or 10% in one transaction.

In it I show the most important step is where using some simple charts to work out when it was a good time to send money.

The problem with this is, the charts change continually!

So, I have decided to show you what the charts are telling me right now if I wanted to transfer Aussie dollars to USA, UK or Canada.

To make it simple, I will say WAIT (if you can) or SEND NOW for each currency. I will assume you have a time on your side. If you need to transfer money in the next week – you need to transfer money in the next week so you should not worry too much about long term trends.

First a Disclaimer: This website is intended to provide general information and opinions. The information contained in this post, page and website does not constitute and is not intended to be financial advice. You should make your own decisions and potentially in conjunction with a registered financial professional. 

I hope this makes my position clear – This is just my opinion based on what I see in the charts and I have saved many many thousands of dollars following them with my own money.

Basically, this is what I would do and in some cases am doing. I hope it helps in making your own decision.

Scroll below for;

  1. Aussie dollars to British pounds (WAIT)
  2. Aussie dollars to US dollars (SEND NOW)
  3. Aussie dollars to Canadian dollars (WAIT)

Sending AUD to GBP?AUD to GBP 2yr Sept 2014

The two year chart shows the Aussie dollar has been struggling against the pound until this year and more recently it appears the Aussie battler may have turned the corner.

The three month chart is going to really helpful to see what is happening most recently.

AUD to GBP 3 month chart September 2014The three month chart shows we are in a pretty clear uptrend against the pound.

Interestingly, we are also at the top end of the channel created with the two parallel lines – so if I had to move my money in the next few days now would not be a bad time given that little spike up recently.

On the other hand, if I could wait I probably would.

Lets check the five day chart just to make sure.

AUD to GBP 5 Day Sept 2014I know what you are thinking.

It might just keep going … and it might, but the 3 month chart tells us that it could come back to earth or 56 pence pretty easily. That is why if I had a short term need to transfer some money I would probably do it now and be happy for the extra 1p or 2%.

Longer term though, I think it is pretty clear:

Send AUD to GBP? – WAIT

 

(Short Term – SEND NOW)


 

The current trend line is pretty clearly looking like the Aussie is battling back pretty hard, but it is actually the GBP that is losing steam. I will be watching the three month channel really closely though and any downside move through that bottom trend line would mean I would send some money. Also, the current trend is not even 2 months old – so while this could be something great my confidence is not.

Send AUD to USD?

AUD to USD 2 year chart September 2014

What is that song I hear everywhere, “like a roller coaster”

The roller coaster is one of those where you really wish you had not just had lunch. Long term it looks down, but just like a roller coaster you have no idea when things will change but you can be sure it probably will not be for long.

Maybe the three month chart will help a bit more:

AUD to USD 3 month September 2014

Nope.

Nothing inspires me either way as to the long term direction – I just hope this ride is over soon.

The five day chart will likely be of little use to us because it really will not mean much in the big picture here, which is that up or down, it is very unclear.

AUD to USD 5 Day Chart 2014

No point in putting trend lines on the chart given what we just saw. We are all about the long term and I just put the five day chart in to make sure longer term trends are either still in place or if we need to be on the look out for a change.

This five day chart tells me little.

The only thing I can possibly glean from all this is the long term trend that the Aussie dollar appears to be weakening long term. Based on the two year chart I think it more likely will will see another leg to the downside.

Longer term though, I think it is not clear, but the Aussie is more likely to devalue further against the American dollar. Therefore if it was my money, I would have to at least send some now.

Send AUD to USD? – SEND NOW


 

Send AUD to CAD?

AUD to CAD 2 Year Chart September 2014This chart reminds me of trying to help my three year old recently draw a W – except her version looked nothing like a W. Of course, I told her it was an excellent W and hoped that maybe one day before Uni she will draw one.

Experienced professional people will tell you something magical happens with a W formation – but I am sceptical and like simple trends. A W is supposed to mean a solid base has been formed and the move will be to the upside from here.

I would prefer to focus on the most recent channel which started in March and tells me a break through $1.00 or $1.02 will likely mean a pretty significant move – easily 6c or so based on the past moves over the last couple years

So now the three month chart has got me pretty excited!

AUD to CAD 3 Month September 2014

So close to 1.02 but clearly still stuck!

I don’t put much stock in the 5 day chart, but it always like to check. What if it is $1.03 now? If is was this might mean it has finally broken through and the people who believe in W are right.

AUDCAD5day5Sept2014Ahhhh – So close yet possibly so far away.

This is perfect example of why charts are so useful. Try as the Aussie might the Loonie is holding strong at 1.2!

So what does this mean?

Short term, you should probably send some Aussie dollars to Canada. Long term all bets are off and so if you can I would wait.

Therefore:

Send AUD to CAD? – WAIT

(Short Term – SEND NOW)


 

Final Word

The Aussie dollar is in a super interesting balance right now – poised to go higher possibly on the British pound but less convincingly on the Canadian dollar.

Looks like the pound could easily continue to lose more value here I recon.

The Canadian dollar is a fine balance, last week against the Aussie the charts were telling the opposite story then they are now – this makes me think waiting (if possible) is a good idea. If you have a short term time frame, sending Aussie to Canada now would probably prove to be a good move.

Sending Aussie dollars to American dollars is very unclear but because of the longer term – two year chart I am suggesting that sending some now might be a good idea.

OzForex OFX V TorFX V World First – Australian Money Transfer Companies Compared

Are you tired of banks taking you to the cleaners?

Its no secret that Aussie banks have had it pretty good for a long time. Now you can fight back!

Banks V Australian Money Transfer ServicesUntil recently if you are a resident in Australia you have had little choice outside of the big 4 banks when it came to international money transfers. Banks charge an arm and a leg no mater which way you slice it. Apart from exorbitant fees and uncompetitive exchange rates, if you have ever used a bank you have already found out that the receiving banks also charge a fee.

Many individuals and businesses are now starting to realise the potential of using a third party service or money transfer service and are discovering they can save thousands by using such a company.

The good news is in the past couple years some of the best money transfer companies have set up shop here in Australia.

Money Transfer Services in Australia

Service NameMinimum Amount ($AUD)Phone/ Online ServiceLocationsFees + ConditionsSpecial OffersTransferring $5000 to UK (see *Note)Transferring $50000 to UK (see *Note)
My BankNoneOnline/ Phone/ BranchAustralia$20 + bank at other sides feeNone£2,610.04£26,100.40
TorFX$250Online/ PhoneUK, AustraliaNo FeesClick here to get all transactions free £2,735*£27,428*
OFX - Full Review Best Money Transfer Company 2016$250Online/ PhoneUK, Australia, US, NZ, Hong Kong , Canada$15 fee or transfer $10,000 or more and it’s freeFirst Two Transactions Are Free£2,753*£27,612*
World First - Full Review $250Online/ PhoneUK, US, Australia$15 fee or transfer $10,000 or more and it’s freeClick Here for no fees for ever£2,750*£27,551*
CurrencyFair8 EuroOnline/ PhoneAustralia, UK, Ireland$4First Transaction Is Free

* Important Note About Rates:

These rates are the average of two major comparison websites in Australia. You should know – It is not possible to give exact real time rates because each service will offer a different rate depending on the amount you transfer and as currencies fluctuate second by second. 

By the time you have registered with a company or even just logged onto their website, the rate they can offer will have changed.

We have included the rates here simply as a way to clearly show that the services are very similar in what they offer and a much better deal than banks. 

If you wish to maximize savings please refer to our “3 Secrets to Money Transfers” PDF, but simply by choosing one of these services over a bank will save you between 2 and 4%.

Now Aussies are saving lots of money as a result… check out this post on a popular Australian forum.

FlyingSolo Forum About Sending Money Overseas

 

OzForex was the first in Australia and has actually been around for over 10 years saving Aussie individuals, export companies and small businesses, as well as tens of thousands of expats and backpackers a lot of money. Originally an offshoot of Macquarie Bank and now listed on the ASX, OzForex is still a great choice, but now they have some big competition.

Apart from Banks, PayPal and remittance companies we also now we have companies like OFX, World First, and TorFX. With each company, I have negotiated special deals for Transumo readers like fee free money transfers and you can simply click the links above to get these. I also wrote a short 3 page PDF, titled the “3 Secrets to Transfer Money Overseas” which contains three secrets about money transfers that banks and even the services I recommend do not want you to know.

What is the difference and who should you choose?

First lets look at what matters to you.

Apart from cost, we researched what matters to Aussies and found out what is important:

  1. Trust and Security
  2. Speed of transaction
  3. Ease
  4. Countries you can transact between

1. Trust and Security

Finding a service you can trust is a big part of what this website is all about.

This page is all about identifying the right service for your needs in Australia and one size does not fit all. That said, if you are using a bank now regardless of who you choose you will probably save hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Upfront Disclosure

You should know we earn a commission on some of the services on this website. We also recommend services where we have no relationship as well – quite simply, if they are better for your needs we will suggest you use them. The reason we do this, is we want to be known as the trusted source for information and advice on money transfers.

You should also know, there is no additional cost to you regardless of who you choose.

Security

The reality is that money transfer companies have an onerous amount of regulations they need to meet to operate in Australia. This is a big part of the reason why money transfer companies have been slow to set up shop in Australia and you can count one hand the services that operate.

All money transfer companies in Australia are regulated by ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and AUSTRAC which is Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator.

We could bore you with all the technical details these companies employ to be secure, but its probably more important to see that to achieve registration is not a trivial undertaking for these organisations and so they are usually backed by companies who are large and focused just on one thing getting your money from country A to country B. They take security very seriously – it is after all how their entire business is able to work.

They also have to meet all the regulations of the other countries in which they operate.

2. Speed of transaction

It is hard to beat money transfer companies when it comes to speed. The reason for this is because they have banks in many countries around the world. In most cases this means that they can receive and pay funds in the local currencies. Typically this is faster than a bank who has to deal an international bank and all the checks and balances associated with international transactions.

3. Ease

currency specialists can help you

Some services are designed for you to do everything online and some actively want you to pick up the phone. Others are a hybrid, they would rather you use their online service (to save money) but are available 24 hours by phone to help you.

One of the truly great things about using a money transfer service is the level of service. Because they have operations globally they can also pick up the phone 24/7 usually. This means if you have any issues at all it is usually pretty easy to get help. By comparison, bank hours in Australia are generally 9.30 to 4.30 Monday to Friday.

The service decision is down to choice, if you want to speak to someone choose a phone based service. If you would prefer to just quickly and efficiently send some money, a web based service may be better.

4. Countries you can transact between

In general if you are sending money from Australia all the companies mentioned are a great choice because they have operations in Australia.

If you are sending money from Canada, USA or UK to Australia we recommend services with operations located in those countries if possible because of the slight better service you should get.

All companies have a list of countries they cannot send money to but these are few and far between.