How to Use CurrencyFair to Send Money Abroad
We offer a step-by-step guide on how to use CurrencyFair to send money abroad. You will learn how to set up your account, how to get yourself verified, and how to send the money to somebody in another country. We have taken a screenshot of each step so that you may see what we saw when we signed up.
Signing Up With CurrencyFair
You start with the CurrencyFair home page and you click the link at the top right of the screen where it says “Sign Up.”
The First Step Towards Creating Your Profile
On the sign-up page, you may choose between a personal and business account (we chose personal), and then you enter your email address and your password. Your password has to be at least eight characters long, and you should put a number and a capital letter in there too.
CurrencyFair also gives you the option of signing up through Facebook, but this is a very bad idea when dealing with money. If you are signing up for a forum membership, or signing up for the “Cute ducklings” website, then signing up with Facebook is fine, but never do it where money is concerned. Social media, especially Facebook, is/are not secure. There are too many hacks going on too often, and there was even the HeartBleed exploit that hackers had been using for years before anybody noticed. Where money is involved, you must sign up manually and not through any sort of social media.
Creating Your Free Account With CurrencyFair
As you can see from the image below, you give your first name and last name, and then choose your country of residence from their drop-down list.
There is another drop-down list that asks what you will be using CurrencyFair for. Part of the reason they ask is for marketing purposes, and the other is to help abide by money laundering laws. There is then a tick box near the bottom where they ask you to agree to their terms and conditions. Click the terms and conditions link to have a read through. Even though the terms and conditions are long and written in legalese, you can get the gist of them if you skim through them. We didn’t find anything nasty, but you should never take a reviewer’s word for it because the reviewer may be working for the CurrencyFair company.
You Receive A Welcome And Double-Confirm Email
Double confirmation is something that most companies do to remain compliant with spamming laws. When you sign up with a company or a website, they send you an email that either has a confirmation link, or it has your account details. In the case of CurrencyFair, they send a welcome email and give you your CurrencyFair ID number. After submitting your registration details, you may enter your CurrencyFair account via the website.
Your Account Screen On The CurrencyFair Website
The three buttons you see below in the screenshot are fairly self-explanatory. You should probably try “Explore” function first because it gives you a feel of what you can do with your account.
Sending Money With CurrencyFair
As you saw in the screenshot in the previous section, you may click the “Send Money” option to send money to either one of your own accounts, or to another person. The same “Send Money” function many be found in other areas of your account too, so do not be afraid of navigating away from your current page or coming back at a later date to send money.
Select the currency you want to send and the currency you want the recipient to receive. You select the currencies from the toggle menus on the right-hand side.
You may then enter the amount you wish to send and see the amount that the recipient will receive. The quotation tool shows you the amount of money that will be received as per the current market rate. CurrencyFair is one of a very small minority of companies to offer the market rate for exchanges with no hidden fees, rate skimming, or any other catch. Transferwise is the only other company to offer such a transparent deal for money exchanges.
As you can see in the images above, the live market rate is shown when you enter how much you wish to send, and this rate corresponds with the rate you see on Google, Bing and XE.com. What is more interesting is the summary that is given on the right-hand side. It shows your fee, delivery date, and shows you how much your recipient gets at the end of the transfer.
Entering Your Details
CurrencyFair will need your details so that they may verify your identity, so that they may carry out due diligence checks against money laundering, and so that they may better market their services to you in the future.
This part is self-explanatory too. Once you have completed this section, you may click “Next” and CurrencyFair will try to confirm and verify your account. They do some of these through soft-searches of your credit. The time it takes to verify your account may vary. You will have to go through the account activation process where CurrencyFair does research on you to figure out if you are who you say you are, and then they have you activate your account. You may have to send them further details and proof of who you are before they will activate your account. If you have already been verified and your account has been activate, then when you click the “Next” button, it will move you on to the recipient’s details section.
Verifying Your Identity
Verifying only happens the first time you make a transfer or exchange. You only have to do this once, and once your account is verified, you may use the CurrencyFair exchange and transfer features as often as you wish.
In our case, we were asked to produce proof of identity through the CurrencyFair website. The image below shows you what they showed us.
They asked for photo verification. You may take a photo of your ID with your webcam, or you may scan it, or take a photo with your phone and upload it via your computer, or you may upload a file from your device that shows a photo of your ID.
The ID you produce must be clear and visible. The CurrencyFair administrators need to be able to read your name, and any relevant numbers such as your date of birth. Documents must be within their expiry limit.
To prove your address, you need to show a bank or credit card statement, utility bill, or you may choose from the drop-down list.
Once you have uploaded all the stuff that CurrencyFair asks of you, the system will tell you that you have to wait one business day in order for their team to verify your account. It was three days before we received the email saying that we had been verified.
How To Use CurrencyFair To Send Money Abroad
You must now enter your recipient’s details. Enter the recipient’s name, and the country where the bank account is held. Click next to move on.
You then enter your recipient’s international bank number (the IBAN). Even if you are sending money to your own bank account in your own country, you still need the IBAN number. It is very easy to find an IBAN number if you own the account.
Most banks will show you your IBAN on your statements or via your online dashboard, and some will have you generate an IBAN if this is the first time you have needed it.
The part I have highlighted in red is optional. It is what appears on the recipient’s bank statement. Be professional if it is for businesses purposes or for somebody you do not know, and you can write something funny if you are sending it to somebody you do know.
Adding New Recipients For The First Time
When you add somebody as a recipient, they will ask for your phone number. The image below shows you the pop-up that comes up. It has Ireland set as its first country of origin, but you can change the country of origin to whichever country you are currently in. Add your phone number (if you haven’t already), and CurrencyFair will ask for your phone number, and when you add a new recipient, they will ask you to confirm it via your mobile phone.
The point of this is to protect you from people adding themselves as recipients on your account. If somebody adds themselves as a recipient on your account, you will receive a message with a confirmation number, and if you did not authorise the new recipient, then you will know there is a problem.
When you add a new recipient, and after CurrencyFair has your phone number on file, you will receive a text message with a confirmation number. Whenever you enter a new recipient into your CurrencyFair account, CurrencyFair wants you to confirm it via your phone. Simply enter the confirmation code from the phone’s text message into your CurrencyFair account and it will allow you to add the new recipient. Again, if you receive the confirmation text and you didn’t add the recipient, then you know something sneaky is afoot.
Next Step – Send Money To Your CurrencyFair Account
If you wish to complete your transfer/exchange, then you need to send your money to CurrencyFair. This means you have to log in to your online banking and send the correct amount of money to your CurrencyFair account. As you can see from the image below, the CurrencyFair bank details are given to you. Do not use the bank details you see in this image because they differ depending upon where you live.
Again, do not use the bank details you see in the image above because the ones you need to use will differ from the ones they show other people.
Make sure you enter the Payment Reference in the reference section of your bank transfer. If you do not, then CurrencyFair will not know which account they need to credit with the transfer. I have highlighted the reference code they gave us in red on the image above. The reference code they give to you will obviously differ from the one they gave to us.
In the image above, you can see the reference section on my HSBC online banking dashboard. The area highlighted red is where I have to put the “Payment Reference” given to me by CurrencyFair.
Logging Back In To Your CurrencyFair Account
You now know how to use CurrencyFair to send money aboard. If you log back into your account, you will see this screen.
In the top left corner of the screen, pictured above, you can see a tab that says, “My First Transaction.” If your transaction has not been completed yet (because it takes time), then you may see its progress via this link. When I clicked on the link, I saw this status screen (Pictured below).
The “Payment” bit at the top is pending because the money being sent to CurrencyFair has not arrived yet. It was sent via Internet bank transfer, and it takes my bank 24 hours to send money that way.
The “Verify your identity” says it is pending, but I do not know why at this point because I have uploaded and verified my ID and my proof of address.
At the very bottom, you can see the payment/transfer and exchange that I made, and you can see the estimated delivery date. The delivery date differs depending on how much you are sending, where you are sending it from, and where you are sending it to.
Problems When You Send Your First Transfer
The first problem is the verifying phase. There is a chance that the company will simply verify your account based on the information it already holds about you from things such as soft-search credit checking. However, if you are like us, you will have to upload images showing your picture ID and proof of your address, and it was three days before our uploads led to a verified account.
The second problem is when adding a recipient. Maybe your recipient doesn’t know his or her IBAN number, or maybe you have a problem adding the recipient to your account because you need to verify it with your phone and the confirmation text message takes an overly long time to arrive.
The most common problem that most people have is that their exchange rate changes between the time they start the transfer/exchange, and the final transfer taking place. For example, it took three days between us signing up and us having the transfer authorized, and by that time the exchange rate changed so we had to go back and re-quote for the transfer. Luckily, this was the second time around and we had everything set up, which meant it took us five minutes to set up the transaction rather than taking three days.
Visit the CurrencyFair home page if you wish to sign up.