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Currencies Direct Money Transfer Review

Last updated 25th Nov 2022
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Currencies Direct has become a household name for complex FX arrangements with its versatile services. Despite phenomenal growth over the years, the company has maintained its affordability and accessibility — but it's not the best choice for everyone. This Currencies Direct review discusses how the company stacks up against the competition, its pros and cons, and who will benefit the most from its services.

About Currencies Direct

Established in 1996 in London, Currencies Direct has experienced significant growth since. The company expanded its operations to the US, South Africa, and India quickly after its establishment. It now boasts over 20 branches in all continents, with over 500 employees and moving a volume of over $8 billion annually.

The firm started as a high street international payments store and added online services to its offerings back in 2008. Its far-reaching roots shape the straightforward and customer-first approach the operator exhibits today, despite offering a sophisticated online presence, the operator has never lost its human touch.

Currencies Direct Review At a Glance

💳 Pay-in OptionsBank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card🏧 Pay-out OptionsBank Transfer💶 Min. Transfer AmountUSD 1💷 Max. Transfer AmountUSD 29,000 online, contact for anything above💱 Currencies Supported40+👥 Number of Customers325,000+🔐 Trustpilot Score4.9/5📝 Number of Reviews7,357🌍 Available in120💬 Languages SupportedEnglish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Chinese, Korean📍 HeadquartersLondon, UK📃 Established1996🌏 OfficesLondon (HQ), Orlando, Saint John, Cape Town, Almancil, Mojacar, Mumbai👥 Number of Employees500+📈 Private/PublicPrivate🏆 Award(s)Money Transfer Provider of the Year by the MoneyAge Awards (2020)👮 RegulatorsFCA, ACPR, FSB, FINTRAC, FinCEN

How Currencies Direct Works

Currencies Direct buy and sell currencies on your behalf. They buy currencies at a wholesale rate and run the transfers through their global banking network. By adding a small markup on top of the exchange rate at which they trade, they charge for their services and make a profit.

Top Currencies Direct Features

The broker offers a variety of products helping clients minimize their losses while making money transfers. Here are the leading features:

Currency Wallets

Currencies Direct supports a digital wallet where users can store their currencies to make payments at a later date. Customers can store multiple currencies in multiple wallets, and view all their funds on a neat dashboard. It is possible to lock a rate and move money between the wallets.

Flexible Transfer Types

Currencies Direct offers flexibility in the types of transfers it supports — with the help of a currency expert, customers can choose the most suitable way of transferring funds for their needs. These include forward contracts, spot contracts, and limit orders.

What We Like and Dislike About Currencies Direct

Why Should You Use Currencies DirectWhy Shouldn't You Use Currencies Direct?Personalized customer service — Currencies Direct is one of the few operators which assign a dedicated account manager to oversee your transfers.Custom quotes — There isn’t a calculator displaying the costs of a transfer, in most cases, customers negotiate the rate with an account manager, carrying the risk of customer bias.No transfer fees — The company asks for no additional transfer fees, regardless of the currencies involved or the amount.Limited depositing options — The operator only supports bank transfers to the recipient’s account.Localized services — The company has over 20 branches in selected countries, where customers can visit and get help in-person.Unfavorable exchange rates for lower amounts — The exchange markup rate tends to be more unfavorable for lower amounts.Competitive exchange rates — Despite the exchange markup, the operator offers rates only marginally above the mid-market rate.Combining FX orders — The operator offers a variety of transfer types, and customers can opt for combined solutions to make the most out of their transfer.

Currencies Direct is one of the most competitive agents in the market in delivering large sums or specialized services. Their personalized customer service is a rare find, making them one of the best choices for complex currency requirements.

The operator doesn’t stack up too well against the competition when it comes to quick and one-off transfers. The exchange rates are less than ideal for smaller amounts and waiting times can be as long as two days.

What Do Users Have to Say About Currencies Direct?

Currencies Direct has an excellent rating of 4.9/5 on Trustpilot and loyal customers that praise their services on forums like Reddit. Customers are particularly content with the personalized services they receive from the account managers, regarding them as polite, knowledgeable, and prompt in their answer times.

Only 1% of the user feedback is negative on Trustpilot, and the most common complaint is delays caused by the compliance team. The company replies to almost all negative reviews in the hopes of explaining the issue and encouraging the customers to contact customer service for further assistance. Each reply is personalized, with genuine answers shining a light on the problem.

What Are Currencies Direct Exchange Rates, Fees & Costs

The operator has a straightforward fee structure with the only variables being the exchange rates.

Exchange MarkupBetween 0.40% to 1.4%Transfer Fees0%Third-party FeesVaries

Exchange Rate Markup

Currencies Direct supports a no-fee policy and makes a profit by adding a small exchange rate markup instead. Individuals and businesses rarely get the “real” exchange rate, which is the rate at which banks trade with each other. Operators like Currencies Direct also buy currencies at the mid-market rate (real exchange rate) and add a small profit margin to charge for their services.

The operator’s margins are far smaller than that of banks, which also charge SWIFT and other transfer fees. The rates tend to get better as the amount gets larger, and are also subject to change based on the currencies involved.

Transfer Fees

Currencies Direct doesn’t charge additional transfer fees, irrespective of the amount, originating and destination countries, or the date and time of the transfer.

Additional Costs

Users can send money through bank transfer, or pay into their wallets via credit or debit card. These may come with additional fees, with bank transfers bringing about potential fees for both the sender and the recipient. These sorts of fees are typically unannounced and the operator cannot prevent it from happening. The fees will depend on the amount transferred and the countries involved. Also, you can always search and compare to find the cheapest ways to send money abroad.

Currencies Direct Fee Transparency

Currencies Direct allows users to arrange rates with their currency experts, which may invite customer bias, but also gives a chance to discuss the best options for your transfers to secure better rates. Once users set up an account, they gain access to Currencies Direct’s live exchange rates and understand the potential fees involved with their transfers. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to get a quote without signing up.

Top Currencies and Destinations for Sending Money with Currencies Direct

Besides their impressive reach of 120 countries, Currencies Direct has localized services in key locations around the globe. Here are the top destinations to send money via Currencies Direct;

What Type of Transfers Can You Make with Currencies Direct?

Despite being limited in depositing options, Currencies Direct offers great flexibility in types of transfers. Each transfer type is deposited to the recipient’s bank account.

  • Forward Contract: With a small deposit, senders can fix a current exchange rate for up to a year. It's the most suitable option to protect your funds against market volatility in the future.

  • Spot Contract: The most basic FX product, with spot contract senders make the transfer immediately at the current exchange rate. It's the best option for your urgent transfers.

  • Limit Orders: Senders can specify a target exchange rate and the operator will make the payment as soon as the rate is achieved. It's the best option to exercise for times of uncertainty and large sums to be transferred on a flexible timescale.

Does Currencies Direct Offer Business Money Transfers?

Currencies Direct aims to become an extension of their business clients’ accountancy departments, rather than simply facilitating international payments. Their services are tailored toward transforming a business’ overall approach to cross-border payments — here are the leading features for business clients:

Risk Management Tools

Currencies Direct offers a variety of FX products that can help businesses mitigate currency challenges. By identifying your business’ exposure to currency market movements and its impact on your cash flow, currency experts come up with a tentative strategy combining your best options and overseeing the plan on your behalf while regularly updating their strategy based on the course of events and the market’s ongoing situation.

Tailored Online Seller Solution

Currencies Direct’s online seller solution integrates a multi-currency account with all major online marketplaces — this way, sellers are protected against high bank fees. They are notified when funds are received, and sellers can choose whether to convert and withdraw them or to store them to use at a later date.

Batch Payments

Businesses can transfer payee detail files in batches to Currencies Direct’s platform, which then will identify the most cost-efficient routing. Users can also set up differing levels of approval for different user reviews, view validation errors, and book an exchange rate to complete the transfer.

What Are Currencies Direct’s Payment and Withdrawal Options?

As noted before, Currencies Direct is limited in its options to deposit and withdraw funds.

Currencies Direct Deposit OptionsCurrencies Direct Withdrawal OptionsBank TransferBank TransferCredit/Debit Card

How Long Will it Take to Receive Money Using Currencies Direct?

According to the company website, the majority of the transfers take between 24 to 48 hours, which easily beats bank transfer times. However, larger transfers may take longer as they will be flagged by the compliance team. The best course of action is to get advice from the account managers by giving the specifics of your transfer. Note that transfers involving less frequently used currencies take longer than the popular ones.

Is Currencies Direct Safe to Use?

Currencies Direct is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and other regulatory bodies in the countries they serve, including France’s Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Resolution and Canada’s Financial Transactions and Report Centre. As per the regulations, the operator is obliged to safeguard clients’ monies by keeping their funds in accounts segregated by their company accounts — this means that in the event of the company going out of business, all client funds are protected and will be refunded.

Currencies Direct is also a respected money transfer operator with over two decades of experience in moving funds internationally. Today, they move over $8 billion annually, serving over 300,000 customers from all around the globe. They scored the highest-possible rating from Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, making them classified as a low-risk organization. TLS encryption system supports the company’s data security.

Currencies Direct Support Options

Like TorFX, Currencies Direct includes personalized help in their customer service. Dedicated account managers walk clients through the most suitable options for their unique needs and bring solutions promptly.

Besides remote support options, Currencies Direct has over 20 branches in 7 countries where customers can discuss their options and get help.

Support OptionsPhone, Email, Online Form, FAQSupport LanguagesEnglish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Chinese, KoreanContact Number1 (855) 207-3503Support Emailusa@currenciesdirect.com, london@currenciesdirect.comLive Chat SupportNo

How to Get Started with Currencies Direct to Send and Receive Money

Users must sign up for an account to get a free quote for their transfers and verify their identities to initiate transfers. Unfortunately, there are no comments specifying the time required to verify the accounts.

How to Send Money with Currencies Direct?

Barring the lack of a calculator to check quotes before signing up, Currencies Direct’s registration process is user-friendly and straightforward.

Step 1: Sign up for an account
Step 2: Get a quote for your transfer
Step 3: Complete the transfer
  • Important note: Currencies Direct’s contracts are legally binding, meaning that once you confirm the transfer by any means (phone, online, or via app), it is no longer cancellable.

How to Receive Money Using Currencies Direct?

Currencies Direct only supports bank transfers, so the recipient doesn’t have to do anything to collect their funds. They will be deposited into their bank accounts directly. If there’s something wrong with the transfer, the recipient can contact their bank to reject the payment.

Does Currencies Direct Have a Mobile App?

Currencies Direct has a mobile app available for customers on the Apple Store and Google Play with respective ratings of 3.7 and 3.5. The low ratings are generally due to the usability issues of the app, customers struggling with logging in, staying logged in, and occasional crashes.

The app features a sleek interface and it is highly capable. Users can do the following:

  • Make transfers on the go.

  • Check live exchange rates and set rate alerts.

  • Track their transfers.

  • Add and manage recipients.

  • Access their wallets and buy currency to use at a later date.

Currencies Direct Alternatives

  • TransferGo: Currency Direct’s delivery times vary between 24 to 48 hours — while TransferGo gets the job done within minutes for a reasonable fee for express service.

  • Wise: The exchange rates are less than ideal for smaller transfers made via Currencies Direct, whereas Wise uses the mid-market rate and asks for a small percentage markup for all transfers, making it ideal for moving lower amounts.

  • VertoFX: Currency Direct’s services in emerging markets are limited — for organizations or professionals doing business with countries in Africa, the Middle East, or Latin America; VertoFX can offer tailored services for these particular areas.

FAQs

Is Currencies Direct the cheapest way to send money abroad?
How much can you send using Currencies Direct?
Can you cancel the transfer with Currencies Direct and get your money back?
How do I track my Currencies Direct transfer?
Idil Woodall

Idil Woodall

Idil is a writer with interests ranging from arts and politics to history and finance. She spent several years in publishing before becoming a full-time writer, and learning the inner workings of an industry she loved ignited her interest in economics. As an English graduate, she cultivated valuable research and storytelling abilities that she now applies to make complex matters accessible and understandable to many. When she’s not writing, she can be found climbing or watching a movie.