CurrencyFair Vs TransferWise: Which Provider Offers More Savings?

CurrencyFair and TransferWise are fast becoming dominant players in the money transfer industry and standout thanks to their peer-to-peer technology. Their transfer fees are one of the cheapest not to mention the discounts that let you save more compared to traditional banks’ transfer fees. But which one is better for your money transfer needs?

User Rating 9.4 9.2
Transfer Type
    Online
    Online
Coupon 5 Transfers Fee are Free First £3,000 Fee Free!
Fee €3 ~0.5%
Speed 2 to 4 days 1 - 2 days
Regular Payments
Mobile App
Min Transfer Amount

CurrencyFair and TransferWise Overview

How CurrencyFair Works

Opening an account with CurrencyFair is easy. It just takes a few minutes. Indicate the amount and currency you want to send and where you want to transfer it. You can then deposit your money into your CurrencyFair account by bank transfer.

You might think that your money will go directly to another country but the truth is, your funds will pass through a local CurrencyFair account. Once the money is transferred to your CurrencyFair account, it will be instantly exchanged (Quick Trade) at a more competitive rate compared to banks. One the money is converted, it will be safely transferred to the recipient’s bank account abroad.

The site offers two types of exchange: Quick Trade and Market Place. Quick Trade means you just designate the amount to be exchanged and which currency it should be. The transfer will take 1 to 2 days. Meanwhile, CurrencyFair’s Exchange will take a little longer time. CurrencyFair has a unique peer-to-peer exchange. It hosts a marketplace where buyers and sellers can make transactions online. When you make a transaction, you will choose to which exchange rate it should be converted. If a match is found to the exchange rate you preferred, your funds will be converted and sent to the recipient.

How TransferWise Works

Like with most providers, creating an account in TransferWise is absolutely free. Your recipient doesn’t need to have a TransferWise account but they need a bank account to receive the funds. You can send money to a business, to yourself or to someone else. Depending on the country or location you are sending money from, it may take 1 to 3 days before your account gets verified. You need to key in your recipient’s details too.

You can pay via bank transfer to TransferWise’s local bank account or with a credit/debit card. There is no need to link your bank account to TransferWise unless you are sending money from the US or Canada. Once you have transferred your funds, TransferWise links to its local bank accounts in the country you are sending to. They use the money from a TransferWise user sending money the other way around. This is a cheaper method than a bank transfer.

Let’s say you are sending money to France. The funds you send to TransferWise’s local bank account will not cross the borders. The TransferWise’s local bank account in France will simply send an equivalent amount of your converted funds to your recipient.

CurrencyFair charges 0.25% or 0.3% of the total amount exchanged. This will depend on the currency exchange.

If you use the CurrencyFair’s Exchange and no other customers providing a competitive rate for your exchange, CurrencyFair will be the one to pair with you. But you will be charged with 0.4% to 0.6% of the amount exchanged.

Depending on your chosen way of exchanging, you will pay around 0.1%, to 0.6%, plus a fixed €3 transfer fee.

Transferwise’s pricing structure usually varies depending on the amount being converted and transferred.

From €2 for a transfer up to €400, TranferWise can also charge a transfer fee of 0.5% as the transfer amount gets larger.

The location also plays its part with transfer charges. Some destination countries attract higher fees compared to others.

E.g If you send $1,000 from the US to the Philippines, it will be charged with a $13.43 transfer fee. If you send $1,000 from the US to India, the transfer fee is only $11.49.

Expect additional fee when you pay with credit card.

If you can afford to wait, you can use CurrencyFair to strike a better exchange rate. You can opt for CurrencyFair’s Exchange to post your funds and wait to see who matches your preferred rate. This is CurrecncyFair’s peer-to-peer or money matching system. But if you want to immediately transfer a large amount of money, TransferWise can help you more.

Sending and receiving options

You can pay CurrencyFair via:

  • Bank transfer
  • Mobile App
  • customers with Irish debit cards can make debit card payments
  • Australian residents can use BPAY

Then your recipient will receive the funds through:

  • Bank transfer
You can pay TransferWise via:

  • Bank transfers
  • credit or debit card
  • select digital wallets

Then your recipient will receive the funds through:

  • Bank transfer

TransferWise offers a wider option compared to CurrencyFair. On the other hand, both of them only offers banks transfer as a means for the recipients to get their cash.

Transfer limits

Transfer limit is the maximum amount that you can send to a location in a specific period of time. Money transfer companies have different transfer limits depending on the regulation followed and the location where you are sending money from and to.

CurrencyFair Transfer Limits

Minimum Transfer Amount: €8 Maximum Transfer Amount: No Limit CurrencyFair doesn’t have any limit when it comes to maximum transfer amount. This means that it could be one of your best options if you want to send a large amount.

TransferWise Transfer Limits

Besides what is regulatory required, TransferWise also has transfer limits especially when the exchange rate is considered unstable. As countries may have an unpredictable economy possibly due to political uncertainty and economic instability, the transfer limit is one way to minimize its impact on the customers. In case that you set your transfer over the limits, TransferWise will send an error message on your screen. Minimum Transfer Amount: $1 Maximum Transfer Amount: $ 199,999 The transfer limit of TransferWise is based on the currencies, amounts and pay in methods.

Transfer time

Transfers with CurrencyFair usually takes 1 to 6 days. This depends on the currency you want to convert to, deposit method, recipient’s location and the time you have to send your funds.

It is important to note that banks can only process funds during regular banking days.

  • Debit card – Immediate transfer (only for Irish debit cards)
  • Bank transfer – within 1–4 business days
TransferWise’s transfer time depends on:

  • location you’re sending from and to – it depends on how quickly your recipient’s bank can process your transferred funds
  • payment method – some payment methods such as via cards are quicker
  • exact time you made your transfer – it usually takes longer if you send your funds during holidays
  • verification process – ID verification can add extra time to your transfer

As soon as your account has been verified, your money will be converted. It will take a day to a week for your money to be transferred.

  • Credit or debit card – Immediate transfer
  • Wire transfer – Within 1 business day
  • Bank transfer – 1–6 business days

Among all factors, the transfer time highly depends on your recipient’s bank and how long it can process funds from an international money transfer company.

Exchange rates

CurrencyFair and TransferWise both have a great offer when it comes to exchange rates. Most of the money transfer companies never use the mid-market range or the exact exchange rate that the banks use when transacting with each other globally. The truth is, if you want to save as much as you can, you definitely have to look for the most competitive exchange rate. And both of these providers have their own advantages. CurrencyFair has a marketplace where buyer and sellers of currencies meet. If you use CurrencyFair you can choose your preferred exchange rate. If a seller has the same required exchange rate, you can have your funds converted. If there is no match, CurrencyFair will buy off your currency at the rate that you want but with additional cost. On the other hand, TransferWise offers the most competitive exchange rate. In fact, it takes pride that it offers the mid-market range as its exchange rate. The spread is very minimal. CurrencyFair and TransferWise both have way better exchange rates compared to most banks around the world. They also have very low transfer fees.

Safety

Big financial institutions such as CurrencyFair and TransferWise must be regulated to ensure the best services to the customers and avoid cases of money laundering. TransferWise is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom while CurrencyFair operates under the regulation of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Central Bank of Ireland. These providers have bank level security. Their transactions involve strict verification procedures including a Two-Factor authentication to protect your account from unauthorized use.

Discounts and special offers

  • CurrencyFair offers five free transfers for new customers.
  • TransferWise offers free payment of up to £3000.

Peoples’ rating (TrustPilot User Rating)

CurrencyFair got a TrustScore of 9.4 from 3,220 reviews while TransferWise received a TrustScore of 9.2 from 62,261 reviews.

Overall Ease of Use

  • CurrencyFair account can be created with your existing Facebook profile
  • You can transfer your money via free local bank transfer.
  • The CurrencyFair mobile app is available in iOS and Android devices.
  • It has an easy to use Exchange Rate Alert feature
  • Has instant ID verification upon signup.
  • Allows you to automate recurring overseas payments.
  • The TransferWise website can be set in 10 languages.
  • You can register with a Google and Facebook account. Yahoo account is not supported.
  • You can use your Debit or Credit Card to ‘Upload’ your money to TransferWise though it has additional charges.
  • The TransferWise mobile app is available in iOS and Android devices.
  • Has instant ID verification upon signup.

Final Thought

If you want to save when sending money abroad, it is time to consider both CurrencyFair and TransferWise. Both of these providers boast that they are 8 times cheaper than the bank’s overseas money transfer services. While both have advance money transfer technology, they have a different approach when it comes to exchange rates. It is interesting to note that while TransferWise boldly offers mid-market rate as its exchange rate, CurrencyFair has its own marketplace where buyers and seller can exchange currencies. Ultimately, there are great money transfer companies but CurrencyFair proves to be cheaper for those who are willing to wait in the marketplace and get their currency exchanged. In addition, CurrencyFair has no transfer limit which will be helpful for business owners paying good or sending payroll overseas.

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