CurrencyFair Vs TransferWise Comparison

currencyfair vs transferwise logo

Both CurrencyFair and TransferWise are good companies that can save you a lot of money when making international money transfers. If you are reading this article, you already know that and you simply want to make up your mind and start using the better of the two. Having so many similarities makes it pretty hard to differentiate between them because:

  • Both provide incredible savings when compared to your local banks.
  • Both are using the peer-to-peer money transfer system.
  • Both companies are primarily online focused, with complete registration via an online form.
  • Both have very low minimum transfer limits.
  • Both companies have around the same costs.
  • Both services have about the same reach and apply for the same audiences.

Article Summary – Who is the Winner:

Although both are excellent choices for money transfers, we lean towards Currencyfair for the following reasons:

  • Slightly cheaper rates.
  • Better known, more credible.
  • More positive reviews online.
  • More supported countries and currencies.

transferwise logo

If you get more in-depth information about one of the companies use the following reviews: CurrencyFair review and Transferwise review.

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1) Safety – Which company is safer to use

Being financial institutions, they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (TransferWise) and the Central Bank of Ireland (CurrencyFair). The FCA is a financial regulatory body that operates independently of the UK government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry. The Central Bank of Ireland gives the approval under the European Communities (Payments Services) Regulations 2009.

In addition, these companies have both won prizes and/or have received a spot on the podium in many events organized by the financial industry. Each has received a lot of media attention, so you can easily read about their achievements.

But the most important fact is that both companies have several investors who are constantly infusing new capital to make sure that development continues.

So stop asking yourself if CurrencyFair is safe or if TransferWise is a scam. They are legit businesses.

TransferWise:

  1. Total Equity Funding – $116.37M in 6 Rounds from 10 Investors.
  2. Most Recent Funding – $26M Series D on May 25, 2016.

CurrencyFair:

  • Total Equity Funding – $24.43M in 9 Rounds from 4 Investors.
  • Most Recent Funding – $8.98M Venture on March 23, 2016.

*Data provided by Crunchbase.com

 

2) Supported Countries

In the tables bellow, we have listed all countries to where these two companies can send money.

Total number of countries supported by TransferWise: 55

Australia
Austria
Bangladesh
Belgium
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
China
Colombia
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republick
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany

Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Malta
Mexico
Morocco
New Zealand
Norway
Pakistan

Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
The Netherlands
Turkey
UAE
UK
USA

Total number of countries supported by CurrencyFair: 157

AMERICAN SAMOA
ANDORRA
ANGUILLA
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
ARMENIA
ARUBA
AUSTRALIA
AUSTRIA
BAHAMAS
BAHRAIN
BARBADOS
BELGIUM
BENIN
BERMUDA
BHUTAN
BOTSWANA
BRAZIL
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
BULGARIA
BURKINA FASO
BURUNDI
CAMEROON
CANADA
CAPE VERDE
CAYMAN ISLANDS
CHAD
CHILE
CHINA
COLOMBIA
CONGO, REPUBLIC OF
COOK ISLANDS
COSTA RICA
CURAÇAO
CYPRUS
CZECH REPUBLIC
DENMARK
DJIBOUTI
EL SALVADOR
EQUATORIAL GUINEA
ESTONIA
FAROE ISLANDS
FINLAND
FRANCE
FRENCH GUIANA
FRENCH POLYNESIA
GABON
GAMBIA
GEORGIA
GERMANY
GHANA
GIBRALTAR
GREECE
GREENLAND

GRENADA
GUADELOUPE
GUAM
GUERNSEY
HONG KONG
HUNGARY
ICELAND
INDIA
IRELAND
ISLE OF MAN
ISRAEL
ITALY
JAMAICA
JAPAN
JERSEY
JORDAN
KAZAKHSTAN
KIRIBATI
LATVIA
LESOTHO
LIECHTENSTEIN
LITHUANIA
LUXEMBOURG
MACAO
MADAGASCAR
MALAYSIA
MALDIVES
MALI
MALTA
MARSHALL ISLANDS
MARTINIQUE
MAURITANIA
MAURITIUS
MAYOTTE
MEXICO
MICRONESIA
MONACO
MONTSERRAT
MOZAMBIQUE
NAURU
NETHERLANDS
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES
NEW CALEDONIA
NEW ZEALAND
NIGER
NIUE
NORWAY
OMAN
PALAU
PERU
PHILIPPINES
PITCAIRN
POLAND

PORTUGAL
PUERTO RICO
QATAR
RÉUNION
ROMANIA
RWANDA
SAINT BARTHÉLEMY
SAINT HELENA
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
SAINT LUCIA
SAINT MARTIN
SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON
SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
SAMOA
SAN MARINO
SAUDI ARABIA
SENEGAL
SEYCHELLES
SINGAPORE
SLOVAKIA
SLOVENIA
SOLOMON ISLANDS
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH KOREA
SPAIN
SRI LANKA
SURINAME
SVALBARD AND JAN MAYEN
SWAZILAND
SWEDEN
SWITZERLAND
TAIWAN
THAILAND
TIMOR-LESTE
TOGO
TOKELAU
TONGA
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
TURKMENISTAN
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
TUVALU
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
UNITED KINGDOM
UNITED STATES
URUGUAY
UZBEKISTAN
VANUATU
VIETNAM
VIRGIN ISLANDS
WALLIS AND FUTUNA
ZAMBIA

 

3) Mobile Apps

A company focused on money transfers and remittances in general, can’t go a long way without a mobile app. This is simply because most people in the African countries have access to a smartphone, but not practically to a computer or laptop. The companies are likely keeping prices high to recoup their investments or simply because of a lack of competition.

But mobile phone companies have understood that there are many people needing cheap internet access, and the mobile phone companies are determined to take a big chunk of the market for them. With the power of multinational companies and with the know-how of mastering the large-customer-base-low-margins business, the mobile phone companies are the only ones benefiting right now. And they will do that until the traditional internet service providers start re-thinking their business model.

Luckily, both TransferWise and CurrencyFair have very easy to use and optimized mobile apps on both major mobile operating systems:

TransferWise: iOS and Android

CurrencyFair: iOS and Android

 

4) Currency Exchange Rates

For starters, both companies are trying to match the mid-market rate as closely as possible. So right off the bat you will get a better exchange rate than any bank could ever offer you.

If we look at the calculators on their websites, we can see that edge is taken by a different company depending on the currencies that you need to work with. The first example I will showcase here is for sending 1000 EUR and receiving USD:


 

 

 

 

 

As we can see from the photos above you get $3 more from TransferWise. But what happens when we try to send USD and receive EUR:


 

 

 

 

 

In this case we can see CurrencyFair offers almost 2 euros more than what TransferWise provides.

Here are some real live rate comparisons between the two firms in addition to 2 more companies for the sake of comparison:

MerchantGBP 1,000.00 to EUR Rate Rating
1,188.00 1.1910
CurrencyFair Review
1,188.53 1.1945
TransferWise Review
MerchantGBP 1,000.00 to USD Rate Rating
1,269.70 1.2737
CurrencyFair Review
1,274.89 1.2813
TransferWise Review
MerchantGBP 1,000.00 to AUD Rate Rating
1,685.00 1.6890
CurrencyFair Review
1,684.77 1.6967
TransferWise Review
MerchantAUD 1,000.00 to USD Rate Rating
742.90 0.7469
CurrencyFair Review
749.91 0.7552
TransferWise Review
MerchantAUD 1,000.00 to GBP Rate Rating
583.90 0.5864
CurrencyFair Review
585.27 0.5894
TransferWise Review

Conclusion – Depending on the currencies and the amounts you want to send, you might choose one or the other. Currencyfair usually has the upper hand on this, but not necessarily. So be sure to check with each before making the transfer. But if the amount is low (under $500), I don’t think it makes a big difference which one you choose.

Note: Currencyfair also offers a marketplace functionality. That means that in theory if your transfer is matched it can be much cheaper.

 

5) Costs

Probably the part of the article that will get the most attention is this chapter – the cost of sending money with CurrencyFair vs TransferWise. So it should be, considering most people using these companies are using them for remittances, and every dollar means a lot. So let’s get into it.

Transfer Fees:

  • CurrencyFair has a transfer fee (on average) of only 0.35% of the total amount* + a fixed €3 transfer fee;
  • TransferWise has an average transfer fee of 1%** of the total for amounts over 400 pounds or a fixed transfer fee of £2 if you send under £400.

Market place functions:

Although both platforms call themselves “peer to peer” – with CurrencyFair you can actually find cheaper rates if you find a match to your transfer, while Transferwise’s fees are set – it doesn’t matter whether they manage to match the transfer or not, you will pay the 0.5% – 1.5% exchange rate spread (fee).

 

Notes:

* CurrencyFair charges 0.15% of the total amount exchanged when customers match each other. When there are no customers providing a competitive rate for your exchange, CurrencyFair will step in and match with you. This results in a charge of 0.4% to 0.5% of the amount exchanged. The average will end up to 0.35%.

**TransferWise’s pricing structure depends on the currency to which you want to exchange and can vary from 0.5% for most of the big currencies like GBP, USD, EUR etc, and going as high as 3% for the Ukrainian Hryvnia. Its fee for the Indian Rupee is 0.7%, for example, so things change a lot depending on the currency. So be sure to check out its pricing structure here before making a transfer.

Concluding Words: Our Winner

Both companies are good and are a way better option that using your local bank for international money transfers. But if you really want to pick a winner that would have to be CurrencyFair because they have smaller fees and a larger reach.

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