Launched in May 2010, in Dublin, CurrencyFair is one of several rapidly growing peer to peer (P2P) currency exchange companies. Founded by Australian expat Bret Myers, partners Jonathan Potter, Sean Burrett and David Christian were assembled because of their common experience as bankers and expats seeking the best exchange rates they could acquire. Headquartered in Dublin, the company has offices in Australia and England.
The P2P currency exchange concept is straightforward. A P2P platform connects buyers and sellers with complementary currency exchange requirements. The premise is that harnessing the power of the crowd allows for better rates than banks or other traditional exchange companies.
Services: CurrencyFair’s Two Options-
The Marketplace and QuickTrade:
CurrencyFair terms itself a Marketplace
The rates available in their Marketplace represent buyers and sellers seeking to get the best rates of exchange in the various currencies. Their “Best Available Now” section shows the other people trading in the opposite direction to the client. The rates in the “Better Requested” section represent other people trading in the same direction as the client.
Clients can post their own desired rate and wait to see if someone else trading in the opposite direction matches the client’s request.
Marketplace’s pace depends on the currencies being exchanged, how competitive the rate selected is, and movements in the global market rate for those currencies.
The advantage is the possibility of getting a better rate than the current rate.
The disadvantage is fluctuations markets rates which may see the currency value drop in the process of waiting.
In the Quicktrade option, a client opens an account and deposits money into the account seeking to convert their money into their desired currency by immediately matching it to the best rate available. This sounds deceptively simple, but as CurrencyFair explains: “If you are trying to sell £1000 and buy euros, it could be that you are exchanging with 5 different people who only want to buy £200, at 5 different (albeit excellent) rates.”
Quicktrade promises to deliver the weighted average rate by the effortless click of a button, resolving one of the biggest complaints competitor Transferwise’s clients have about slow deposits.
CurrencyFair charges a fixed fee of 0.35% of the amount exchanged.
CurrencyFair, like other P2P currency exchange companies, works best for smaller amounts. Their fixed fee of.35% is competitive with forex firms with fees for minimum trade. Regular Overseas Payments.
CurrencyFair has introduced the ability to set up recurring monthly remittances. Allowing clients to automate overseas payments for personal needs, such as mortgage payments; this service also works to allow business to manage recurring transactions like paying suppliers, for example.
Generally focused on the ubiquitous currency calculator seen on most currency exchange homepages, CurrencyFair focuses on catering to the needs of individual, not business, corporate or eCommerce clients.
People-powered finance sounds so positive, but the process of watching the Marketplace in hopes of getting the best rate sounds positively tedious! Trusting a currency expert with a range of options like hedging and fixed forwards not only expedites the results, but it also makes sense to us not to waste our time trying to second-guess the market. We pay people to take care of things like this for us and are happy to risk getting a slightly lower rate if it means freeing up our time.
The lack of services offered by traditional currency exchange companies and complaints about customers service, combine with lack of service for US residents making CurrencyFair less enticing for global transfers.
We rate CurrencyFair 3.5 out of 5 stars.
CurrencyFair is highly competitive, seeking to overtake TransferWise, the UK’s largest P2P company by offering better rates and more services in its quest to become #1.
P2P companies like CurrencyFair offer a limited range of services compared to traditional forex firms. Options of forward options and contracts help clients lock in an exchange rate.
CurrencyFair offers more than competitor Transferwise, by having both Marketplace and Quick trade options, but they still don’t have all the tools available to clients by other currency exchange companies.
Non-negotiable exchange rates can’t beat the rates offered by tradition companies who negotiate, especially with exotic currencies.
CurrencyFair’s Marketplace can be both risky and time-consuming.