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.

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