About the Author

Founder & author

Gavan started iCompareFX in 2014 after discovering the easiest way to wire money internationally was through a specialist provider and not the big banks. Working with global clients, he has become an expert in comparing money remittance companies. An ex-financial/IT nut turned entrepreneur, he reviews the best and cheapest providers available on the market.

International money transfers

Regular transfers

Top ups to currency balances

Exchange at customer specified rate

Express payments

Payment options

Express deposits

Debit card

Local bank transfers
 

Payout options

Bank deposits 
 

Transfer options

Website

CurrencyFair mobile app
 

Regular transfers

Available

Send money from

AED, AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, NOK, NZD, PLN, SEK, SGD, THB, USD, ZAR
 

Send money to

AED, AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, ILS, INR, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, SEK, SGD, THB, USD, ZAR

Chatbot (No live chat available)

Contact form: https://www.currencyfair.com/contact/

Phone: +353 (0) 1 526 8411; +61 (0) 282 798 642


Personal Features

38

CurrencyFair has a unique offering called the CurrencyFair Marketplace and Top-Ups to currency balances within CurrencyFair. It can be confusing at first but all will be explained below to decode their terminology.
 

What CurrencyFair offers

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

International money transfers

This is CurrencyFair’s basic international money transfer service. It’s described as ‘Send Money’ within the CurrencyFair dashboard. 

How to send money internationally with CurrencyFair:

  1. Create a money transfer by clicking Send Money.
  2. Set the amount to send, the source and destination currency.
  3. Select how to make your payment to CurrencyFair
  4. Send money to CurrencyFair

Currency balances & top-ups

It is possible to hold currencies within CurrencyFair. This is not a Digital Wallet. CurrencyFair is not licensed for Digital Wallets. You can hold 20 currencies within CurrencyFair. 

AED, AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, ILS, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, SEK, SGD, THB, USD, ZAR

Within CurrencyFair’s account, you can exchange between these currencies which will add to the currency balance.  These balances can be Topped Up, using the Top Up wizard in the CurrencyFair dashboard.

At any time you can Transfer Out of these currency balances to a local bank account in a supported destination currency.  It is important to note that CurrencyFair is not a bank and therefore balances within CurrencyFair are not covered under a government guarantee. 

CurrencyFair Exchange Marketplace

You can use CurrencyFair Exchange with money held within the CurrencyFair currency balances.  

CurrencyFair Marketplace allows you to choose an exchange rate. Other CurrencyFair customers who also use the Marketplace can also choose an exchange rate. This peer to peer marketplace allows customers to set and match rates with other CurrencyFair customers. 

The CurrencyFair Marketplace allows customers to see exchange rates available in the marketplace and how much money is available at that rate.  Open exchanges can be cancelled if they are not yet matched.

Rate alerts

When your configured rate alert is met, you will receive an email. 

Regular transfers

For regular international currency exchange and transfers, set up a Regular Transfer. Then create a standing order from your bank account to CurrencyFair. CurrencyFair will automatically exchange the currency and send it to the foreign bank account. 
 

What CurrencyFair doesn’t do

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

 

CurrencyFair score

iCompareFX’s review of CurrencyFair’s Personal services and features highlight limitations for international money transfers. Although you can hold currency balances and top up these balances, they are not licensed for Digital Wallets. As CurrencyFair does not offer support through account management or currency experts, the customer is left to choose a potential future rate or exchange at the time of transfer. This has affected their review for Personal or individual services. 


Business Benefits

44

CurrencyFair for business offers the same options as for individual and business-centric services.
 

What CurrencyFair for business offers

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

Receive international payments

Within the CurrencyFair for business dashboard, use the Receive Payment feature. This is much the same as the ‘Send Money’ feature except the funds received will be stored in your CurrencyFair for business currency balances. You will need to provide the CurrencyFair transaction number and local currency banking details. 

Important note: The local currency you are requesting payment for may reside in another country. E.g. CAD currency receiving account is located in Allied Irish Bank, Dublin. The payee may incur additional charges for the international telegraphic transfer.

Multi-currency accounts

This relates to the business feature to receive international payments. Essentially, CurrencyFair is referring to the currency balances available to you within your account. 

Your business does not receive unique local banking details for their supported currencies. You share the CurrencyFair receiving accounts. Money received in to their accounts must have your CurrencyFair transaction number within the bank transfer reference number to ensure the funds are added to your account’s currency balances.

Xero integration

The currency balances within the CurrencyFair for business account can be created as accounts within Xero. This will allow the business bookkeeping to account for funds within the currency balances and reconcile transactions made and received within the CurrencyFair ecosystem.

Multi-user account access

This is a great feature for business. Delegate authority to your CurrencyFair for business account. Each user can have different permissions to perform different functions. Segregate your process and maintain accountability within your organisation.

Two person approval

Another great feature for business customers of CurrencyFair. A business can configure that transfers / payments need two person approval which reduces risk within your business.
 

What CurrencyFair for business doesn’t offer

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

 

CurrencyFair for business score

CurrencyFair offers some unique features for business with segregation of duties and accountability. Unfortunately, there are some gaps in their service offering. The lack of unique banking details, business account management and risk management tools has reduced points awarded in the business category. CurrencyFair is working to provide additional services for online sellers and digital wallet features. iCompareFX will monitor and update the review and scoring as new services become available.


Fees & Exchange Rates

50

CurrencyFair offers exchange rates far superior to the big banks. Most of the CurrencyFair fee is within their exchange rate. 
 

Exchange rate margin fee

The difference between the real time exchange rate and the rate offered by CurrencyFair is called the margin fee. During the CurrencyFair review, iCompareFX has observed:

  • Exchange rate margin is between 0.25% and 0.45%.
  • Lower exchange rate margins may be possible through the CurrencyFair Marketplace.
  • The exchange rate offered does not change with larger transfer amounts.
  • Exchange rates are non-negotiable.

 

Are there additional CurrencyFair fees?

Yes. There are additional CurrencyFair fees.

Transfer Out Fee - €3 or equivalent for sending money or transferring out of currency balances.

International intermediary bank fee - The following CurrencyFair receiving bank accounts are not located within the home country. Therefore you or the international payee sending money in to CurrencyFair with these currencies may incur an additional charge. This additional fee, charged by intermediary banks, may be up to US$205 currency equivalent. 

AED, CAD, HUF, NZD, USD, ZAR

Express deposit fee - There may be an additional fee for express payments of money to CurrencyFair. This is country dependent.

Does CurrencyFair offer any promotions?

Yes. CurrencyFair is offering iCompareFX visitors a 10 free transfer coupon for new customers. Learn how to activate your CurrencyFair coupon.
 

CurrencyFair fee score

Fees are non-negotiable and do not reduce with larger amounts plus there are additional intermediary banking fees to send in some currencies to CurrencyFair. Even so, their exchange rate margin fees are very low and competitive. And CurrencyFair has fee free coupons for the additional CurrencyFair fees. All of this has resulted in the iCompareFX scoring of CurrencyFair in the Exchange Rate & Fees category.


Ease of Use

83

What CurrencyFair does well

Account registration - Simple and straightforward process

ID verification - Passport and proof of address is required for money laundering regulations. This can be instantaneous with your passport number. If more information is required ID verification could take up to 24 hours.

Transfer speed - Transfer speeds of up to 2 business days upon receipt of payment.

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

CurrencyFair mobile app - The CurrencyFair app is available on Android and Apple. It is a well designed and intuitive app to use. Nearly all features are available within the app.

Minimum transfer amount - CurrencyFair has a low minimum transfer amount of €8 equivalent.
 

CurrencyFair score

CurrencyFair has a well designed customer onboarding process. Their website and mobile app is intuitively designed. Fast money transfers and multiple payment options give CurrencyFair a high score in iCompareFX’s CurrencyFair review in the Ease of Use.


Support & Countries

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

Supported destination countries - 150 destination countries. Note however that many of these country’s local currency is not supported. Many exotic currencies support USD transfers only.

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

Customer service - CurrencyFair’s customer service is very good. Local offices in Ireland and Australia provide 24/5 support. iCompareFX’s personal experience with CurrencyFair customer support has been outstanding.

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

Where CurrencyFair could improve

  • No support for USA residents. You can receive USD payments but the USD denominated account is located in Ireland.
  • Support for local currencies in more of the countries they support sending money.
  • Local settlement bank accounts in all supported currencies.
  • CurrencyFair bank accounts change with some frequency. This can mean that if you don’t see this notification, you may send your payment to the wrong bank account.

 

CurrencyFair score

The CurrencyFair score in this category has its pros and cons. CurrencyFair’s score would improve if they can reduce the frequency of their bank account changes; provide more local settlement accounts and support USA residents.


Trust & Transparency

69

Where CurrencyFair does well

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

CurrencyFair Trustpilot rating - CurrencyFair reviews by their customers has a 4.6/5 rating and ‘Excellent’ with Trustpilot. There are some negative reviews regarding changing of bank accounts as mentioned above in Supported Countries. CurrencyFair clearly monitors Trustpilot and their customer service replies to customers to resolve their issues.

iCompareFX customers - iCompareFX customers make thousands of global money transfers with CurrencyFair. However, there is a noticeable number that register with CurrencyFair but do not transfer. This may be due to the lack of destination country support as CurrencyFair’s fees are highly competitive amongst their peers.
 

CurrencyFair challenges

Fees transparency - CurrencyFair’s exchange rate margin fee is very low compared to competitors. Customer’s could benefit from seeing the margin fee clearly on top of the real exchange rate.

Company Structure - CurrencyFair’s ownership is made up of private equity companies. The private equity partners have put in place one of their own as the head of their management team. As they are looking for a return on investment or growth, this could be a negative if shareholders demand a return of capital and/or investment. It could also be a positive if shareholders have a longer term view and continue to invest in additional products and services that benefits individual and business customers.
 

CurrencyFair score

CurrencyFair is a trusted brand operating in Ireland for over 10 years. They have transferred and exchanged over €10 billion of customers' money during that time. The category score takes into account both CurrencyFair’s positives and areas for improvement.

How to sign up to CurrencyFair

Step 1
Click Sign Up on CurrencyFair’s website
Step 2
Select Personal or Business

For individual accounts, you may register using your email address or your Facebook login.

For business accounts, you may only register using your business email address.

For both business and individual accounts, enter your desired password.

Step 3
Activate your CurrencyFair Account

Provide requested proof of identification.  Tip: Take a photo of the requested ID and send via your phone.  Photos of ID can be uploaded via the CurrencyFair app or attach to an email and send to their digital contact address. 

ID verification is usually within 1 business day.

FAQs

Is CurrencyFair safe to use?

Yes, CurrencyFair is safe to exchange and send money internationally. iCompareFX’s founder, Gavan Smythe, has used CurrencyFair with success. CurrencyFair TrustPilot reviews on lost transactions are not common. Keep an eye on the CurrencyFair bank account details changing.

Summary

67

CurrencyFair is a fintech homegrown Irish international money transfer company. Started by expats in 2010, it has grown over ten years and transferred and exchanged over €10 billion worldwide. CurrencyFair has a good management team in place. CurrencyFair’s CEO, Paul Byrne, is himself an accomplished entrepreneur and is personally invested in the company. CurrencyFair offers low cost international money transfers between major currencies and is actively growing their service offering. This CurrencyFair review will evolve with the category scores changing as CurrencyFair evolves.

Pros

  • Low cost international money transfers.
  • The CurrencyFair Marketplace. Set your own rates.
  • Business features such as multi-user access, delegated rights and two person approval.
  • Currency balances reduce costs of paying suppliers in the same currency as money receipts.

Cons

  • Additional intermediary international wire transfer costs may be incurred for some of CurrencyFairs currencies.
  • Online only. No personal or business account management.
  • Rates are non negotiable and are not lowered for larger transfers.