Personal Features

CurrencyFair

38

CurrencyFair for individual customers offers a range of services beyond just international money transfer. CurrencyFair adds to their service offering for individuals on a regualr basis. Currently they offer only online international money transfer features.

What CurrencyFair offers

  • International money transfers
  • Currency balances & top-ups
  • CurrencyFair Exchange Marketplace
  • Rate alerts
  • Regular transfers

What CurrencyFair doesn’t do

  • Personal account management
  • Digital wallet
  • Personal FX optimized travel cards

TransferWise

50

TransferWise provides a simple easy to use international money transfer service with digital wallet capabilities. Their digital wallet, or Borderless account also gives the individual local banking details in 6+ currencies including, EUR, SGD, NZD, USD, GBP and AUD. Their TransferWise Borderless debit card backs on to their Borderless digital wallet allowing you to spend directly out of your multi-currency account balances.

What TransferWise offers individuals

  • International money transfers
  • Borderless multi-currency receiving accounts
  • Borderless Debit Card - FX optimised debit card
  • Android and Apple apps
  • Send money to email address

What TransferWise does not offer individuals

  • Personal account management
  • Regular transfers
  • Cash pick up or international bill payments

TransferWise wins!

TransferWise has a higher rating and offers more services to the Individual than CurrencyFair. For the global traveller, the Borderless account with it’s travel debit card and unique banking details in multiple currencies can be of great benefit. While CurrencyFair does allow customers to hold currencies in multiple currencies, it does not have the additional features as the TransferWise Borderless account. 

CurrencyFair does, however, offer automated regular money transfers which can be of benefit to some customers such as expat retirees or expats paying mortgages from abroad.

TransferWise
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Winner

Business Benefits

CurrencyFair

44

Along with features for personal accounts, Currencyfair offers business customer benefits although there are gaps to their offering.  iCompareFX keeps in close contact with CurrencyFair management and Currencyfair’s scoring will be adjusted as new benefits are released.

What CurrencyFair for business offers

  • Receive international payments
  • Multi-currency accounts
  • Xero integration
  • Multi-user account access
  • Two person approval

What CurrencyFair for business doesn’t offer

  • Business account management
  • Currency risk management tools
  • Online seller solutions
  • Unique banking details for multi-currency accounts
  • Debit cards for FX optimised foreign transactions

TransferWise

56

In addition to the services TransferWise offers the individual, there are some features only available for a business. Unfortunately, as TransferWise is online only, a business customer does not have support with currency fluctuations and trends. TransferWise does however offer easy to use transactional foreign currency receipts and payments.

What TransferWise offers businesses

  • Batch payments
  • Xero and Quickbook integration
  • FX optimised business debit card
  • Multi-user account access

What TransferWise for business doesn’t offer

  • Business account management
  • Risk management tools
  • Regular transfers

TransferWise wins!

TransferWise wins this category with it’s business service offers. The Borderless account can be very useful for foreign customer payment receipts. The TransferWise business debit card backs on to the Borderless account allowing you to pay for foreign services easily.

CurrencyFair offers something similar with its feature to hold multiple currencies, unfortunately the payees must remember to use your CurrencyFair account number as the bank transfer reference otherwise the funds may be lost until tracked down by the CurrencyFair support team.

A win for CurrencyFair is that businesses can access business account managers if their account is large enough.

TransferWise
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Fees & Exchange Rates

CurrencyFair

50

CurrencyFair Fees

Exchange rate margin fee - Between 0.25% and 0.45% on top of the real exchange rate.

Transfer fee - Transferring out of CurrencyFair can cost €3 (currency equivalent).

International intermediary bank fees - Some currencies supported by CurrencyFair have the receiving account (the one you send your payment to), not in the home country of the currency. E.g. ZAR is located in London. This means that transferring ZAR to USD through CurrencyFair can attract an additional charge for the banks to send ZAR internationally. This can be up to US$20 currency equivalent. Currencies without local bank transfer payment support:

AED, CAD, HUF, NZD, USD, ZAR

Express deposit fee - In some countries, if you choose an express deposit or payment to CurrencyFair, it can be with an additional fee.

CurrencyFair free transfer offers - Yes! There are CurrencyFair coupons with up to 10 transfer fees free.
 

Are CurrencyFair fees negotiable?

No. CurrencyFair exchange rate margin fees are non-negotiable with larger transfer sums.


TransferWise

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TransferWise offers the real time exchange rate at the time of your transfer. Therefore fees are visible in addition to the transfer amount. The fee structure is complex as it differs depending on the currencies you are sending from and to. Fees also apply to the type of Borderless account transaction. Fees can also apply on the use of the TransferWise Borderless debit card. Fees are briefly summarised below. Read the detailed TransferWise review for more details on TransferWise fees.

TransferWise ServiceTransferWise fee
Simple International Money Transfer

0.4% - 2% 

Varies on currency and payment type

Adding to TransferWise Borderless account0.4% - 0.5%
Converting between Borderless account0.3% - 0.6%
Sending money out of Borderless accountLess than 0.1% in most cases
Borderless Account Debit Card

No fee for card issuance

Fee free cash withdrawal limit of US$250, 2% thereafter

Zero cost on spend from existing currency balance, 0.24 - 3.69% fee if there is no existing balance


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise can be marginally cheaper than CurrencyFair. need to pay additional intermediary banking fees. However, a twist. If you choose to send money faster through TransferWise using local country transfer solutions or credit / debit cards, CurrencyFair does come out cheaper for some currencies.

Unfortunately CurrencyFair has a number of supported currencies that are not located within the local country. This means that customers sending (or receiving) from some countries can incur more fees for the payee. This has resulted in TransferWise winning the Fees and Exchange Rates score to win the category.

TransferWise
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Ease of Use

CurrencyFair

83

CurrencyFair’s focus on customer service and user experience is of very high standards. Customer onboarding and service process management are clearly well thought out and wrapped in great design.

Account registration - Fast and easy to follow wizard.

ID verification - ID checks can be completed within 24 hours. Sometimes instantaneously with some countries. Proof of ID can be uploaded directly within the CurrencyFair app. Use your phone to take photos of ID and upload with ease.

Transfer speed - 1 - 2 business days upon receipt of payment.

Payment options -  There are local bank transfer, local country payment solutions (e.g. BPay), debit card and express deposits available in some countries.

CurrencyFair mobile app - A very well designed Android and Apple mobile app. Very easy to use. New features are added regularly.

Minimum transfer amount - €8 equivalent.


TransferWise

83

The TransferWise app design and user experience of their technology is great with simple, intuitive processes.

Registration - Fast and easy account creation

ID verification - Instant in some countries

Transfer speed - It can be instantaneous in some countries. Fast payments to TransferWise comes at an additional cost.

Minimum transfer amount - $1

Mobile app - Simple and easy to use. Probably the best designed app of the international money transfer companies.

Payment options - TransferWise has the broadest range of payment options. Local bank transfer, debit / credit card and country specific solutions such as POLi.


It's a draw!

Both CurrencyFair and TransferWise have well designed customer onboarding and great user experience. Both can offer instant transfers for some currencies. Both score well for customer ease of use of their international money transfer services. 

It's a draw!
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Draw

Support & Countries

CurrencyFair

56

What CurrencyFair does well

Supported destination currencies - 21 currencies. AED, AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, ILS, INR, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, SEK, SGD, THB, USD, ZAR.

International presence - CurrencyFair local offices can be found in Ireland, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

Customer support - CurrencyFair’s customer support is very good. Local offices in Ireland and Australia provide 24/5 support.

Foreign language support - CurrencyFair’s website is available in English, French and German.
 

Where CurrencyFair could improve

USA support - No support for US residents. 

Local settlement accounts - Not all currencies support local bank transfer payments to CurrencyFair. This can mean higher fees by intermediary banks. (Read more in the CurrencyFair fees section).

CurrencyFair payment bank accounts - These have changed with some frequency. This can cause customer confusion and time while funds are paid to the wrong banks.


TransferWise

88

TransferWise’s supported countries vary with different services having different supported customer countries and destination countries. These are detailed in the TransferWise Countries and Currencies article and is summarized below.

Send from - 23 countries plus the Europe SEPA countries

Send to - Over 60 currencies

Borderless account and debit card - Over 6 countries can sign up to their Borderless services.


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise is the clear winner for supported countries. Offering many more customer registration countries support and destination countries. CurrencyFair is growing their list of supported countries every year. iCompareFX will adjust the scoring as this happens. A special note on CurrencyFair’s customer service has been tested and found to be outstanding.

TransferWise
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Winner

Trust & Transparency

CurrencyFair

69

Where CurrencyFair does well

Regulated by - CurrencyFair is regulated by ASIC Australia and the Central Bank of Ireland. 

TrustPilot - A rating of Excellent by TrustPilot. CurrencyFair monitors TrustPilot for negative reviews. They respond publicly and work diligently to correct legitimate customer complaints.

iCompareFX visitors - Customers referred by iCompareFX make thousands of transactions with CurrencyFair yearly. 
 

CurrencyFair challenges

Fees transparency 

CurrencyFair has low and very competitive exchange rate margin fees. There is no need to not be completely transparent. iCompareFX believes that showing the real time exchange rate and the margin fee clearly within their money transfer wizard would result in a more positive customer experience.


TransferWise

63

TransferWise is fully regulated by the FCA and their customer funds are segregated from their business banking activities.

TransferWise is rated on TrustPilot as Excellent. Unfortunately there have been some poor reviews on TrustPilot indicating sudden account closures with funds being returned with no explanation.

TransferWise continues to raise capital through private funding. This could be a concern for the future when the shareholders are looking for aggressive growth and / or a return on their investment.


CurrencyFair wins!

CurrencyFair has scored better in this category. Unfortunately, TransferWise’s customer reviews are increasingly showing the customers are complaining about sudden account closures. This may be due to the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) compliance check being conducted after customer registration. CurrencyFair conducts upon account activation. 

Both CurrencyFair and TransferWise are majority backed by Private Equity. This could be a future concern should shareholders back out or insist on return on investment.

CurrencyFair
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Winner

The Result

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 TransferWise

TransferWise has won overall versus CurrencyFair. While both technology platforms offer great customer experience, TransferWise currently offers more services to both individuals and businesses. TransferWise also supports more countries currently than TransferWise. Unfortunately, however, neither company offers fees negotiation for larger money transfers which is disappointing.