CurrencyFair Review

CurrencyFair customers can send safe international payments in 20+ currencies, to over 150 countries, with first class service and low fees. With 10 years in business already, CurrencyFair has some 150,000 customers who rate their speed, efficiency and cost.

Read this full CurrencyFair review for all you need to know, including CurrencyFair money transfer fees, whether it’s safe to use, how fast it is, how to get set up, and more.

CurrencyFair: Key points

Key features:

  • Individuals and businesses can send money to 150 countries in 20+ currencies

  • Multi-currency accounts to hold and exchange 20 currencies

  • Peer to peer currency exchange marketplace option

  • International payments have an average 0.45% exchange rate fee + £2.50 transfer fee

  • Online and in-app services available - pay by bank transfer and have your money deposited into your recipient’s bank account directly

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Key stats:

  • Founded in Ireland in 2010, merged with Assembly Payments in 2021

  • Send payments in 20 currencies, to 150 countries

  • 150,000 customers already on board

  • Launched Zai for SME and enterprise customers, which is growing aggressively in APAC, Europe, the Middle East and US

Pros:

  • Instant or peer to peer currency exchange available

  • International payments have low fees and competitive exchange rates

  • Send money in 20 currencies, to 150 countries

  • Get a multi-currency account for 20+ currencies

  • Business services available

  • Fully FCA regulated in the UK

Cons:

  • Exchange rate markups are used 

  • Fund payments by bank transfer only

  • No debit card available for account holders

  • No branch or agent network

  • Limited currency options

Overall: CurrencyFair offers international payments with a competitive exchange rate and a low, flat transfer fee. You can also open a multi-currency account to send or receive personal or business payments. 

CurrencyFair can help customers send money to over 150 countries, in 20 currencies. If you’re sending a payment overseas on a popular currency route and want to pay by bank transfer, it’s worth comparing the costs with CurrencyFair to see if you can get a good deal.

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About CurrencyFair

CurrencyFair started in Ireland in 2010, and since then has on-boarded 150,000 customers. You can send payments to 150 countries, in 20 currencies, with CurrencyFair.  

In 2021 CurrencyFair merged with Australian company Assembly Payments - a leader in automated payment workflows. This has led to the launch of Zai, the CurrencyFair service for mid-market and enterprise level customers, focusing on payments, FX, fraud prevention and more.

Let’s take a look at the key services available from CurrencyFair:

International money transfer

Create a CurrencyFair account online or in the app, and send payments to 150 countries, in 20 currencies. Transfers are funded using a bank transfer from your UK account, and the money will be deposited right into your recipient’s own bank account for convenience. 

How long it takes to get your money moving will depend on exactly where you're sending to, and the processes in place at your recipient’s own bank. You’re likely to find that payments take 1 - 3 working days to arrive.

You’ll pay a £2.50 transfer fee, and a low exchange rate markup which is on average around 0.45%. That’s cheaper than most banks, so you may be able to save.

Great for: Anyone who needs to send an international payment on a popular currency route.

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Multi-currency accounts

Open a CurrencyFair multi-currency account to send and receive payments in any of 20 currencies. That can be handy if you get an income from overseas, or need to pay bills in a different country for example.

See all your currency balances at a glance in the CurrencyFair app and exchange between them with a competitive exchange rate whenever you need to.

Great for: People who want to receive, hold, send and exchange 20 major global currencies.

Peer to peer currency exchange

One pretty unique feature of CurrencyFair’s services is the marketplace. 

Here you can choose between 2 different options. Post the rate you want for your currency conversion, and wait until there’s a match of a customer exchanging money the opposite direction. Or if you're in more of a hurry you can review the exchange rates other customers are asking for, and select a match from the exchange queue. You might even beat the rates offered directly by CurrencyFair.

In either case, CurrencyFair holds the funds to make sure the exchange goes through safely, so you’ll know you're not dealing with a fraudster.

Great for: People willing to wait for a better exchange rate for their payment or currency conversion.

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Business services

Many of the services available for individual customers are offered to businesses too, plus a few extra handy features to help business customers save time and money. 

You’ll be able to send international payments, access the CurrencyFair exchange marketplace, or open a multi-currency account. Business multi-currency accounts also offer helpful options like multi-user access and Xero integration for faster account reconciliation.

Great for: Business customers looking to send and receive international payments, or open a multi-currency account for themselves and their team.

How does CurrencyFair work?

When you make a payment overseas with CurrencyFair you’ll first need to send your money to your CurrencyFair account. You can do this with your normal online banking, by making a local bank transfer in GBP. Once the money has arrived in your CurrencyFair account, it’ll need to clear, and then CurrencyFair will automatically send it on to your recipient in the currency you chose when you set up the transfer.

CurrencyFair won’t usually hang on to your money - it’ll be passed to your recipient as soon as the payment clears into your CurrencyFair GBP account. However, how long it takes for your money to actually arrive in your recipient’s account will depend on a range of factors including the country and currency you’re sending to. Payments may arrive quickly - but on some currency routes your money can take a few working days to land.

Is CurrencyFair safe?

Yes. In the UK CurrencyFair is overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). CurrencyFair is a global company, which means they’re also regulated by other bodies around the world including the Central Bank of Ireland and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

CurrencyFair pricing

When you send a CurrencyFair international transfer there are 2 different CurrencyFair fees you pay:

  • Transfer fee - flat fee of £2.50 or the currency equivalent

  • Exchange rate markup - average of 0.45%

Depending on how your transfer is processed, third party fees may also apply. These include correspondent bank costs when your payment is sent using the SWIFT network.

Here’s how CurrencyFair international transfers work for a few different payment values, assuming you’re sending money from the UK to a friend in France:

Your recipient gets:

Fee breakdown

Total to pay

1,000 EUR

3 EUR + exchange rate markup

838.51 GBP

5,000 EUR

3 EUR + exchange rate markup

4,182.51 GBP

10,000 EUR

3 EUR + exchange rate markup

8,362.51 GBP

Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 9th March 2022

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CurrencyFair exchange rate

When you search for a currency exchange rate online or using a converter tool, you’ll be given the mid-market exchange rate. This is used as a benchmark because it’s the rate banks and payment providers get when they trade currencies on global markets. However, it's not usually the rate that’s passed on to retail customers.

In most cases, banks and other international transfer services add a markup - an extra fee - onto the rate they use when you send a payment overseas. In the case of banks this can be an extra 3% or so. CurrencyFair offers a better exchange rate than banks by adding a smaller markup - on average about 0.45%. That means you get a better deal overall compared to sending your payment with a normal bank.

How long does CurrencyFair take?

When you send an international transfer with CurrencyFair there are 2 stages involved. 

  • You send in your payment to CurrencyFair in pounds

  • CurrencyFair send out your payment in your destination currency

The total time it takes to get your money to your recipient is the sum of the length of time taken to complete these two processes - and likely to be a few working days. 

Sending money to CurrencyFair in pounds should take 0 - 1 business day. Once the funds have cleared with CurrencyFair, they'll be transferred right out again to your recipient. How long this takes will depend on where you’re sending money to. Sending out to euros, for example, will take 1 - 2 business days. So if you’re sending a payment from pounds to a recipient account held in euros, it’s likely to take 1 - 3 business days in total.

The exact length of time it takes for your payment to be received can depend on factors including any required verification checks, whether you’re arranging your transfer in normal banking hours, and your recipient’s own bank’s processes.

CurrencyFair Pros

  • Low, flat transfer fees and competitive exchange rates

  • International payments in 20 currencies, to 150 countries

  • Multi-currency account for 20+ currencies

  • Peer to peer currency exchange available

  • Business services available

  • Safe provider, fully FCA regulated in the UK

CurrencyFair Cons

  • Exchange rate markups are used 

  • Limited currency options

  • Bank transfer only - no debit or credit card payments

  • Delivery times may not be the best available

  • No in person service

How to use CurrencyFair

Here’s how to make a payment online or in the CurrencyFair app:

  1. Set up the payment by entering the amount, the pay in currency, and the pay out currency

  2. Enter your recipient’s details

  3. Choose how you’ll deposit funds to your CurrencyFair account - this is usually a bank transfer

  4. CurrencyFair will convert the money once it arrives and pass it on to your recipient

Funding methods

You’ll be able to send your money to CurrencyFair through a regular bank transfer using your online banking service. Full details of how you can pay are given when you set up your payment.

Payout methods

International transfers through CurrencyFair are delivered into your recipient’s bank account directly, in your chosen currency.

How to create an account

Create your CurrencyFair account online or in the app, to get started making international payments:

  1. Open the CurrencyFair homepage or download the app

  2. Click Sign Up

  3. Follow the onscreen prompts to add your personal information

  4. Upload your documents and complete a selfie check to get verified

  5. Once your account is verified you can start to send money

What documents you'll need

To open a personal account you’ll need to upload a proof of identity, a proof of address, and complete a selfie check.

Proof of identity is verified by uploading an image of your photo ID, which can be:

  • Passport

  • Driving licence

  • National ID card

Proof of address must be one of the following, from within the last 3 months:

  • Bank or credit card statement

  • Driving licence showing your address

  • Utility bill

  • Local council letter

  • Official government correspondence - a tax letter for example

  • Insurance documents 

If you’re opening a business account the information and documents needed will depend on the entity type. You’ll normally require proof of identity and address for shareholders and any owners of more than 25% of the business, information about how your company is registered and what sort of work you do, and documents showing your entity type.

How long does verification take

Once you’ve uploaded all the documents needed to verify your account, the process should be completed in about 1 business day.

CurrencyFair limits 

Limits may apply based on the country you’re sending money to, or the currencies involved. You’ll be notified if a payment you’re arranging will take you above the CurrencyFair limit. 

Supported currencies

CurrencyFair supports 20+ different currencies and lets you send to over 150 different countries. Here’s the full list of countries you can send to - although it’s important to note that you can’t send local currency to all of these destinations.

CurrencyFair reviews

CurrencyFair  stars on Trustpilot, from a total of over 5,000 listed reviews at the time of writing. That counts as an Excellent score.

Of the reviews which gave the highest possible rating, the focus was on the ease and efficiency of using CurrencyFair. Here are a couple of happy customer comments:

“Fast, reliable and simple to use. Excellent rates. Highly recommend.”

“The speed of transfer in and out is quick so you get the rate you booked. Very quick and no nonsense. Would recommend.”

Where customers are less happy with CurrencyFair common themes are around verification issues and processes. CurrencyFair has replied to all customers leaving negative reviews at the time of writing, asking customers to get in touch directly to resolve any outstanding problems.

CurrencyFair accessibility

CurrencyFair customers can make payments on the CurrencyFair website, or on the app - which is available for both Apple and Android phones. You can get multi-lingual support by phone, or through an email service which will request a call back from a member of the service team.

CurrencyFair customer service

Got questions? CurrencyFair is proud of the customer service on offer - here’s how to get in touch with their team.

Customer support channel

CurrencyFair availability

Phone support

+44 (0) 203 3089353


Email support

Use the online contact form to request a reply by email

UK mailing address

Robert Denholm House, Bletchingley Road, Nutfield, Surrey, RH1 4HW


CurrencyFair alternatives

  • Wise

    • send payments which use the real exchange rate and low transparent fees, or open an online international account to send and hold multiple currencies. No monthly fees apply.

  • Western Union

    • domestic and international payment service with a network of agents as well as online and in-app services.  Payouts available to bank accounts or for cash collection. Fees tend to be on the higher side.

  • TorFX

    • send online and in-app payments through a specialist broker, for delivery direct to recipient bank accounts. Set up forward contracts, target rate orders and stop loss orders.

  • Revolut

    • send and hold multiple currencies from your online international  account. Revolut accounts have handy features like savings vaults and budgeting features.

Conclusion

CurrencyFair’s international transfers and currency exchange offer a better exchange rate than many banks, with a low, flat fee when you transfer money. You can also choose to use the CurrencyFair marketplace if you’d rather match with another customer for peer to peer currency conversion. This is an unusual feature and may mean you can get a better rate if you’re willing to wait a while.

CurrencyFair also has multi-currency accounts which can send, receive and hold 20 currencies. Services are available for individual and business customers.

CurrencyFair is worth checking out if you need to send money abroad in one of the 20 currencies on offer, and could suit people receiving income or a pension from overseas, paying international bills, or travelling frequently.

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FAQ

How much does CurrencyFair cost?

CurrencyFair charges a flat £2.50 transfer fee per payment, plus an exchange rate markup which is on average about 0.45%.

How long does CurrencyFair take to transfer funds?

The length of time it takes for your payment to arrive depends on where you’re sending money, and in which currency. Typically CurrencyFair transfers arrive in a few working days.

Is CurrencyFair safe?

Yes. CurrencyFair is regulated by the FCA in the UK, making it a safe provider to use.

How does CurrencyFair apply exchange rates?

CurrencyFair adds a small markup - on average 0.45% - to the mid-market exchange rate to calculate the rate passed on to customers. This means you’ll usually get a better rate compared to using your normal bank.

Does CurrencyFair have a mobile app?

Get the CurrencyFair mobile app on Apple and Android phones.

How does CurrencyFair work?

Create your account online or in the app, and make payments from your laptop or on the move whenever you need to.

How many currencies does it support?

CurrencyFair supports around 20 currencies.

General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions. We compare currency exchange and money transfer services in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. We only display reputable companies which we have researched and approved.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated 14 May 2022