CurrencyFair is an online peer-to-peer currency exchange service that helps users achieve good rates and avoid fees when transferring currency abroad. The company is headquartered in Northern Ireland and has been in business since 2009. It was founded by Brett Meyers, Jonathan Potter, Sean Barrett and David Christian. The website itself was launched in May 2010 and as of May 2015 has helped process transfers worth €1.9 billion. The company has offices in Australia, Ireland and the UK.
While they currently focus on money transfers between the U.K, Europe and Asia-pacific, there is room for expansion and the company shows no signs of slowing down. In April 2015, CurrencyFair secured an additional €10 million worth of funding from Octopus Investment and Frontline Ventures.
The service provided by CurrencyFair matches two users who wish to transfer currency and swaps funds between them at a rate set by the user. This avoids the bank fee and also leaves no room for quarrel or dispute. A user simply deposits their funds, exchanges the deposit with another users deposit in the currency they want, and then sends the new funds to a beneficiary account.
The transactions take place entirely on the Currencyfair website and are protected by 25 6-bit encryption and handled in a secure data centre, with segregated customer accounts held with one of the world’s largest financial institutions.
Further security is on offer thanks to regulation by the Central Bank of Ireland, whose benefits include protection of client funds, detection of financial crime and management vetting. The site also has software safeguards such as identity verification, automatic logout and contract information confirmation. All transfers are tracked and logged for your own records.
The customers of CurrencyFair come from different demographics but many are either members of a mobile workforce, retirees or foreign property managers. The service excels for transfers above £2000, where its rates are far better than the banks. CurrencyFair takes a 0.3% cut of each transaction instead of the 3% some banks charge.
Recently, the business has witnessed the transfer of the Australian dollar become the fastest growing portion of its business. Part of the funding raised by Octopus Investments will be put towards expanding the team in Australia from its current staff of seven. Australian banks charge around 5.5%, meaning CurrencyFair’s low rate will appeal to those trading the dollar.
The security, ease of use and saving potential offered by the business has seen them grow from an Irish start-up headed by three ex-bankers to a global business that has witnessed over a billion euros worth of transfers, won tech awards, has a bustling testimonials section on their site and has been covered in publications like the BBC, New York Times and Financial Times. With three offices and a team that has grown to 50+ employees, the business looks forward to a bright future.