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Currency questions explained - How FX companies make money on currency

Currency Exchange Questions explained?

Which company offers the best exchange rates?

To get the best exchange rates you need to shop around. But with the use of comparison websites. This has been made easier as they usually will offer the best rates and have knowledge and history as a rule of thumb with the specialist currency broker. The currency broker should always beat the high street banks by several percentage points on average by 3%. Currency brokers do it by keeping their margin rate low and tend to have lower overheads than banks. And they specialise only in currency exchange, meaning you get a better deal for your money.

Constantly changing exchange rates make it difficult for consumers to compare exchange rates offered by competing providers. If comparisons are not done within minutes of each other one provider may look better than the others. When it’s the fluctuation in the exchange rate that has made the difference. Also, some providers will quote an aggressive exchange rate initially. To get you in only to quote you a far less competitive rate when the time comes to lock in the rate.

What is an exchange rate margin?

The amount the bank, currency transfer broker or foreign exchange bureau adds to the interbank exchange rate when they quote the rate for a money transfer. The smaller the margin rate, the less it will cost you with the exchange rate margin.

Any negatives to using a currency transfer specialist?

Most currency transfer brokers have rules and really all will not transfer cash due to money laundering regulations. All will have a minimum amount of money you convert, often in the region of £100 where a transfer fee is charged as it will cost them to transfer this amount and any amount under £5000. However, it can vary from company to company.

Currency Exchange Questions explained

After the money sent, how long does it usually take to arrive?

With currency brokers it is depending on the currency it can take from same day to up to 3 days, euro, the dollar is usually the same day. Banks up to 7 days for money transfers but this done same day by paying a chaps fee. Or if you have a euro or dollar account this reduced to between 1 to 3 days. (All exotic currencies will take longer to deliver).

Achieving the best currency transfer deal?

Getting the best deal on your currency transfer is as simple as making a phone call to your local bank, and then compare the deal to what you would exchange by using a specialist currency transfer broker. Try and negotiate a fixed margin from the interbank rate with specialist currency transfer brokers, as generally, high street banks are unlikely to offer this type of agreement unless you are a corporate customer making regular currency transfers abroad.

Exchange rates at my local bureaus de change, interbank rates and currency transfer specialists, what’s the difference?

Getting a favourable exchange rate can save you thousands of pounds on a currency transfer abroad. As the interbank rates are wholesale rates that banks use. You won't be able to get these rates but your aim is to get as close to that interbank rate as possible. At the time when you book your currency transfer.

If possible negotiate a fixed margin or number of points away from the interbank rate. The difference between these two rates, the margin rate, is how currency transfer providers make their money.

Exchange rates at your local bureaus de change are Ok. If you are exchanging smaller amounts of money into another currency to spend whilst abroad.

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