When I first started sending money overseas, I made sure to do plenty of research to find out the best peer to peer payment providers that I could use. My basic criteria were that the company should be legal, easy to access, safe, and have no hidden fees or charges. My final choice came down to TransferWise vs. CurrencyFair, and I made the decision to go with TransferWise. Here are the five reasons that made my choice possible.
1. Higher Popularity
I began my research by going through customer reviews, and discovered that TransferWise had more reviews and is much better known that CurrencyFair. It was a challenge to find out how many customers TransferWise has, but CurrencyFair currently has around 100,000 customers. Judging from the trust pilot reviews which are 907 compared to 27,623, I concluded CurrencyFair had fewer customers than TransferWise. The media also had more insight reports on TransferWise and its phenomenal growth and service.
TransferWise has a total of 9 powerful investors who have pumped $90.37 million into the company over 5 rounds. CurrencyFair needs to catch up as it has had 8 rounds to bring in investment from 3 investors, and they have managed to raise $15.45 million so far. The backing behind TransferWise increases my confidence in their service offering. So I question, is CurrencyFair good? A CurrencyFair review revealed a worthy up and coming competitor that will soon be able to compete at par with TransferWise.
2. Lower Transactions Costs
Saving money on fees is a big deal to me, and I found that with TransferWise, transacting in small amounts meant lower fees. For example, TransferWise vs. CurrencyFair rates for sending 100 GBP to EUR come to €1.29 and €3.35 respectively. However, with CurrencyFair fees, when I want to send a larger amount, I can easily negotiate a better deal when I achieve a successful match in the marketplace, so in this case, being cheaper is relative.
When I find a match, I only need to pay 0.15% of the total amount exchanged, and if I do not find a match, CurrencyFair offers me up to 0.5% of the amount exchanged, and the fixed €3 transfer fee. With TransferWise, I have never been charged less than 0.5% of the total amount exchanged (except sending small amounts with £1 fixed fee). My main issue with CurrencyFair is that they take longer to finalise a transfer, so the lower fees come at the cost of time. With the right planning and patience, CurrencyFair is worth a try to make a saving, especially if you match the payment in the marketplace.
3. Saves me Time
When I am carrying out money transfers for my business, then TransferWise cannot be beaten with regard to time. 90% of the transfers can be executed and completed within 24 hours. According to my experience, in some cases it takes just a couple of hours to finalize the transfer! With the competitor, a transfer may take up to 3 days. So I prefer CurrencyFair alternatives for business transactions that require urgency.
Complicated transfer processes can be significantly off-putting, and TransferWise have made their process simple and straightforward. All the steps can be carried out on one page with one wizard, which is great when I am in a hurry. The CurrencyFair code for transfer is more complex, with at least four steps on different pages. Furthermore, there are three wizards to contend with as well, and these are the deposit, exchange (for quick trade or marketplace) and withdraw wizards. It takes a little longer to get things finalized.
5. More Deposit Options
As I use TransferWise, I don’t have to worry about where the money I am going to deposit will come from. I can easily take money from by debit and credit cards instantly, or even from my bank account. CurrencyFair is just starting to expand the options that they have available, and Irish customers are lucky that they can use their debit cards. For now, I am looking forward to the day that they have a broader range of deposit options so that they can meet my needs with better flexibility.
I believe that when using TransferWise and CurrencyFair, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, depending on the type of transfer that you want to do. Having a firmer foot in the market and much more experience makes TransferWise an excellent choice. It currently transfers £500 million each month for its customers, whereas CurrencyFair has managed a total of more than £3 billion to date. It is worth considering trying out CurrencyFair, especially now that there is a free transfer CurrencyFair coupon that is available. Even though you may swear by TransferWise like I do with its trust pilot rating of 9.5, don’t knock the 9.3 trust pilot rating for CurrencyFair until you try it.