For many people, TorFX is an fantastic way to save money on international transfers compared to banks.
And they say, “Excellent Exchange Rates”.
But here’s the deal:
A money transfer company needs to do far more than have low costs to move your money.
Yes, low fees are important, but confidence your money arrives quickly backed by customer service (to ensure low stress) is super important too!
TorFX is absolutely top of its game in many countries, but I am also going to uncover situations where TorFX is almost certainly NOT your best option in any country and point you in the right direction to who might be.
Here is the good, the bad and even the ugly, so that you can decide.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
1. Quick Take
TorFX’s is a standout with its top-rated customer service.
You’re assigned a dedicated account manager who can help you set up your account, negotiate better rates, and help you save money in the long term on your transfers.
But before you get too optimistic, we recommend you see if they can help you by getting a quote online or by phone:
TorFX is not for you if you’re looking to transfer small amounts, or cash amounts, live in the US or Canada, or need more advanced business account features.
In USA, Canada, India or South Africa? Currencies Direct (review) is owned by the same people and have a very similar service which focuses on residents of US, Canada with offices in the USA, Europe, UK and South Africa.
2. When TorFX Works (And When it Doesn’t)
2.1 When TorFX Works
Amounts Above £4500 GBP / $9500 AUD CAD / €4500 EU)
TorFX is an excellent choice when it comes to larger transfers from the UK, Europe, Australia/NZ and Asia.
Fees are competitive – but that is not the most important bit.
You’re assigned a dedicated account manager whose job is to ensure you get the best outcome – with low fees.
This is not just our experience either – TorFX maintains an excellent track record on review sites like Trustpilot (4.9/5) which is truly exceptional. Banks in comparison usually score below 2 and all competitors are ranked lower.
Why this matters:
This is not about smiley, happy, friendly people (they can be useless).
The reality of larger transfers is that many potential problems can arise due to regulations around the world. Most commonly the banks at either end can stop transfers or the money transfer company itself needs more information.
With TorFX transfers occur smoothly and stress free because your account manager and your needs are aligned.
Flexible Transfer Options
- Spot Contracts: If you’re looking to transfer money immediately (in a couple of days), TorFX can help you secure a great exchange rate.
- Forward Contracts: With forward contracts, you can secure a rate for your international transfers for up to 2 years. This protects your funds against market fluctuations.
- Market Orders: Eyeing a specific currency pair only? On TorFX, you can opt for a limit order or a stop loss order to reign in risks from surging or falling exchange rates. TorFX executes your transfer at the most favorable market rate when the exchange rate for your currency pair dips below your desired exchange rate. This service is chosen when you want to minimize as much risk as possible for your currency exchange.
- Cash in Other Currencies: Exchanging your currency abroad at airports or third-party agents can be very expensive. TorFX partners with travel money expert ICE (International Currency Exchange) to home deliver your chosen currency affordably in the UK and Australia (you can exchange 40+ currencies).
2.2 When it Doesn’t Work
Amounts Below £4500 GBP / $9500 AUD CAD / €4500 EU
While TorFX is a clear winner for large amounts with telephone supported transfers, many people want to send cash or are happier doing as much as possible online.
For small amounts, online focused services (with little telephone support) tend to be cheaper, quicker and with more flexibility (like funding transfers with a card).
TorFX only supports bank-to-bank transfers and for many people cash is needed at the destination.
To be clear, TorFX can do relatively small transfers above £100 GBP/ $200 AUD, but because the needs of regulators are far less we think there are better alternatives for transfers below £4500 GBP / $9500 AUD CAD / €4500 EU.
|Best TorFX Alternatives|
|#1 Wise (review)||Transparent and very low cost. Recommended for smaller bank transfers if you are happy doing things online. If you would rather speak to someone, stick with TorFX or consider our #3 pick.|
|#2 WorldRemit (review)||Best for making smaller cash transfers and mobile money from a bank account (to many countries).|
|#3 OFX (review)||Best all-rounder for large transfers (over $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD) Can do everything TorFX but mixes online efficiency with 24/7 phone support.|
3. Real Transfer Costs
If you’re curious to find out if TorFX is actually “fee-free”, there’s good news!
Unlike most of their competitors, TorFX doesn’t charge a fixed fee for your large international transfers.
But there are two costs you need to be aware of when you’re ready to transfer with TorFX.
- Margin on TorFX’s exchange rate
- Other/hidden fees
3.1 Margin on TorFX’s Exchange Rate
While TorFX doesn’t charge a fixed fee, they do charge a margin on the exchange rate they offer.
Like others that excel when it comes to large transfers, they reduce the fees you pay in percentage terms as the amounts increase.
Moreover as part of their on-boarding process they take into account the frequency and volume of your transfers which can lead to even lower fees.
To figure out their margin, you have to start with the base rate they offer you and compare it with the interbank or mid-market rate between two currencies at a particular point in time.
Here’s how TorFX stacks up against other services in terms of fixed fees + exchange rates:
- Wire transfers through a Bank – 3% to 7% (typical)
- PayPal – 6% to 8% (typical)
- International Money Transfer Services like TorFX – 0.5% – 2% (variable on the amount and currencies involved)
No question, TorFX is competitive compared to its peers and will run rings around high street banks.
Compared to the alternatives listed above, it may not always be the absolute cheapest (but pretty close and if you value customer service highly, then you could say they are best value).
However, this isn’t the end of the story.
The great thing about TorFX is their flexible transfer options like Forward Contracts, Limit Orders, and Stop Orders.
If you’re not in a hurry to send money, these services let you wait for your chosen exchange rate before executing the transfer – and could potentially get you an even better deal other services.
3.2 Hidden Fees
TorFX does not hide any costs intentionally, however it is important to note that banks at both ends can charge fees.
However these fees tend to be minimal in terms of total fees if you are transferring large amounts.
TorFX has local bank accounts in Australia and the UK, so if you are working outside of these countries it may be worth checking with your bank what they will charge, especially for smaller amounts.
Hidden costs can also crop up if you’re funding your transfer with a debit card (Sterling debit cards are supported for funding your transfer on TorFX).
4. How to Use TorFX
Simply follow these steps:
Step 1. Initial sign up for TorFX has two options.
- AUS/NZ and Asia – Get a quote online or by phone (fill out the same form)
- UK and Europe – Get a quote online or by phone (fill out the same form)
Step 2. Get a rate through your online account or over the phone with a personal account manager.
Step 3. Fund and initiate transfer
Sit back and wait for TorFX to complete the transfer!
5. What do TorFX Customers Say (including Negative Reviews)?
We dug through hundreds of real user reviews (both positive and negative) and found that TorFX is rated 4.9/5 on Trustpilot with almost 5,000 reviews. A remarkable 89% of the reviewers had an “Excellent” experience transferring with TorFX, while less than 3% had a negative experience with the company.
The reality is, TorFX has the best reviews in the industry, but with every service we want to uncover any red flags.
We’re keen to share an objective view of what it’s really like to transfer money with TorFX.
Here’s what we uncovered:
TorFX users love:
- Their rates
- Personal Account Manager customer support
It seems customer service is their standout feature.
Many found that their Personal Account Manager was ready to answer any question that may come up — however obvious or simple it may seem. And this is the reason many users continue to transfer money with TorFx for years.
“We used TorFx when we bought a house and needed currency exchanging. Never used the company before but Gavin was brilliant and was in contact with us regularly to offer advice and answer any questions. I would definitely recommend TorFx and I would absolutely use them again.” — Andi from Trustpilot review.
“We have used TorFx for over ten years now. We have always found them very accessible and responsive to any questions we have. Transactions are smooth and efficient. Will continue to use them in the future.” — Pamela from Trustpilot review
A very small minority didn’t have such a great experience, and here is a summary of the reasons:
Unexpected account freeze
Some users (even regular users) had their accounts frozen unexpectedly.
This is usually because TorFX’s is required to audit all transfers to make sure everything is compliant with the rules regulators at both ends.
Generally this results in them asking you to share additional documents for verification while they freeze your account.
In most cases, your transfer will meet regulatory laws.
TorFX will then go ahead and process it for you.
However, if the transfer doesn’t meet the compliance benchmarks (which are in place to prevent fraud and theft), TorFX will return the money to your bank account.
Some TorFX users were thrown off by (what they thought were) unexpected transfer delays. We understand it can be concerning when a large amount of money is on the line and recommend you contact you personal account manager to inform you before you get unduly worried.
Overall, most users are more than satisfied with TorFX.
Frozen accounts and delays are issues with any money transfer service — even banks.
However given their extremely high Trustpilot score we assume they either help people through the process or have very few issues to begin with.
While these issues are usually due to compliance we think TorFX has demonstrated you can use them with a lot of confidence.
However, there are steps you can take to avoid complications with your transfers.
And here are our 3 Top tips to avoid delays:
- Understand exotic currencies usually require longer transaction times.
- Initiate personal transfers from personal accounts and business transfers from business accounts.
- Fund your transfer from a bank account in your name (instead of a third-party account holder).
6. Are TorFX Money Transfers Safe?
TorFX has been operating since 2004 and are regulated in the countries where they have physical operations.
Importantly these include the UK, Australia and Singapore which means even if you are in another country TorFX are held to a high standard.
But there’s more.
For example, as part of UK regulations, TorFX holds your funds in separate accounts and keeps it separate from their operating funds.
TorFX also uses industry-leading TLS encryption (wiki) to safeguard your data on their website. And, they employ two-factor authentication to make sure all the actions on their app and website are indeed initiated by you.
Moreover, Barclays Bank PLC is the custodian of client accounts at TorFX. And the company’s own accounts are audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers to ensure complete compliance.
They also hold a high credit rating with Dun and Bradstreet.
Importantly, TorFX is regulated by:
7. How Long Does it Take to Transfer Money with TorFX?
Typically, it takes about 1-3 days for your money to go through once you set up the transfer. For exotic currencies, it can take up to 4 days.
Your transfer speed on TorFX depends on the following:
- Your location and the destination country
- The currency pair selected
- When you initiate the transfer (TorFX can only handle your money during normal banking hours)
- Verifications and security checks
- How you fund the transfer (Card payments are processed faster than bank payments, but can be more expensive)
Also note: If the sending bank you are using is not in the UK, Europe or Australia / NZ, it might take an extra day given that you need to send money to a TorFX account in those countries.
Bonus: TorFX for Business
TorFX also helps businesses of all sizes save money on their large transfers!
And again, they offer the same top-rated customer service to business account holders.
When you sign up for a TorFX business account, you get:
- Personalized advice to structure and time your international transfers for the most savings (this is where their flexible transfer options come in)
- The ability to set up your transfer 24X7, either on the phone or online
Overall, TorFX is a great option for businesses that want to save big on their international business transfers while having good customer support.
Because of its personalised service and flexible options, TorFX is a clear leader when it comes to large bank-to-bank international transfers.
Your Personal Account Manager can help you navigate the process and save you money.
But more importantly, based on TorFX’s stellar customer service track record (and our own experience), we highly recommend them for those who want low costs and highest confidence your money will arrive with no stress.
On the other hand, TorFX may not be the right service for you in all circumstances, as we showed in “When TorFX Works (And When it Doesn’t)” above. In such cases, check out our suggested alternatives.