Currencies Direct Ltd is a UK-based foreign exchange company launched in 1996 in London by Mayank Patel OBE and Peter Ellis and was the first non-bank foreign exchange payments specialists in the UK. Currencies Direct has now has offices in the UK, the USA, China, Spain, France, Portugal, India, South Africa, and the UAE. It also has operations in the Republic of Ireland, Scandinavia, and Malta, employing more than 300 people in its offices around the world. In August 2015 Currencies Direct was acquired for more than £200 million by Corsair Capital and Palamon Capital.
Currencies Direct has more than 200,000 customers, had more than 250,000 transactions in 2014 and expects to transfer £2.5 Bn ($4 Bn) in 2016.
Currencies Direct offers foreign exchange services, forward contracts, risk solutions, affiliate partnerships and online services. Their private services are designed for clients purchasing property abroad, emigrating or studying overseas. Business client services highlight assisting with importing, exporting, selling online, making large one-off and regular foreign exchange transfers in the 39 currencies available
Minimum transfers: £100, $ 100 and Euro 100
£25 Amazon voucher for referring a friend
No app- daily rates are delivered by email
Whether expanding to new markets, signing new partners, or involved in corporate acquisitions, Currencies Direct promises they will understand, measure and monitor foreign exchange exposures using a variety of approaches, including:
Referring customers to Currencies Direct benefits for Partners:
Customers can be referred by direct referral, through online currency widgets that direct traffic to Currencies direct and by shared call to action marketing campaigns
Currencies Direct’s cheery homepage directs visitors to sign up and to get a free quotes without offering them the currency calculator seen on most sites , so visitors must email or phone in order to get any sense of the rate that might be quoted. Only those patient enough to dig through the data (which is rich in content and complex) will see some sketch of the currency pair rates and daily rates.
There is little content, no blog, no insightful articles as seen on 99.9% of the industry websites, whereas Currencies Direct is all business. It’s a cheerful looking cartoon font that is devoid of any photographs of clients or the company employees which seems slightly ellusive. ‘About us’ has not been updated since 2013 to reflect the company being purchased in 2015.
Instead of having an app to view daily rates or daily market analysis, Currencies Direct will provide emails for clients who sign up, offering:
Currencies Direct had previously offered excellent content on their knowledge hub, which was directed towards online Sellers. Articles included advising on sourcing in China and An analysis of how George Osbourne’s budget delivered to online sellers provided businesses with engaging, informative support. The content has been taken down and the website feels hollow without the support it once offered to online sellers.
We wanted to -investigate the reviews that complained of poor exchange rates and did our own comparison on April 22, 2016 using £20,000 to Euro
TorFX used a rate of 1.2736 delivering € 25,472.00
Currencies Direct offered a rate of 1.4320 € 25,464.00
CurrencyFair offered rate of 1.265 (+£20 fee) returning € 25,297.00
UKForex (with no fees) used a rate of 1.2595 € 25,190.00
HSBC offered a rate of 1,2210 returning € 24,420.00
TrustPilot rated 9.0 with 1,164 reviews. The most recent is a frustrated business client who did not benefit from an informed dedicated dealer when setting up his corporate account, which resulted in it mistakenly being set up as a private account. Most other reviews, however are positive. Three complaints regarded poor exchange rate. One transfer of £120,000 found that his bank would have actually saved him money, proof that he was given a very poor rate of exchange. Another irate client waited over 3 weeks for funds to reach her beneficiary’s account- a stressful experience for a personal client or any business.
ReviewCentre gives Currencies Direct 3.7 out of 5 stars with complaints about very poor exchange rates. On a £1,000 transfer a client noted that she wasted time setting up the account and waiting for the money only to find that she’d only saved £10 over her bank charges and noted the process wasn’t worth the additional time it took. Another also found his service much slower than his bank’s with a meagre saving to show for the hassle. A business client was upset when he used Currencies Direct twice and, after having initiated his transfer with no compliance questions, he was asked to give many compliance necessary documents. Had he been directed to do so at the start, he’d have been able to organize this, but he experienced a frenzy of calls during business seeking data after he thought he’d completed the process. His customer service experience cost him 4 hours of business time.
Expanding globally is a great model for increasing profit, to be sure, but in order to compete with an innovative industry, Currencies Direct has to keep up with the younger companies who are still fired up about providing the best rates and service. Currencies Direct rates might be great when they offer a honey deal, but they don’t seem consistent, given long term clients complaints. Some companies offer these introductory incentives, so we can only surmise this is the case. We can’t fault with Currencies Direct etailor services, though. The online sellers support spares those selling in marketplaces like Amazon, the hassle of opening foreign bank accounts with their segregated collection accounts that collect multiple currencies into a central online system. Brilliant! Clearly the focus for this growing company is this sort of innovation, but as we’ve seen in reviews, perhaps the price of expansion is the rates offered to those private clients who expected their quick, inexpensive transfers to continue.
4 out of 5 stars.
Primarily focused on support for e-tailers and corporate clients, Currencies Direct makes business partnerships its priority which might make them a good match for those clients.
Partner ICE Travel Money can be accessed through Currencies Direct’s website, so in an off-hand way they do provide travel money.
Currencies Direct doesn’t even offer the best rate- they only guarantee to beat banks! There’s little website support for private clients and no feel of a concern for the individual-no photos of satisfied clients and little human connection feeling throughout the company website.