CurrencyFair vs TransferWise, Wire Funds Easily

Friday, April 17, 2020
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Are you looking to transfer money, without the large fees most high street banks make you pay? What once was only possible with traditional institutions has been completely changed by the advent of the internet. Now new money transfer services are available that give consumers more choice and better value.

But with these new companies, how do you know what ones are the best to use? Can you trust them with your money? This article will compare two of the most popular non bank money transfer companies, CurrencyFair and TransferWise. They will be compared across these categories:

  • Currencies Available
  • Fees
  • Exchange Rates
  • Speed

In comparison to most traditional institutions, both CurrencyFair and TransferWise are great alternatives. Their fees are low and the exchange rates favourable, which are two of the main factors people consider in their search. We’ll go into more detail further down this article.

But before we begin, let us explain clearly what we mean by money wiring.

What is money wiring?

If someone wires money, this means they have electronically sent the funds from one person to another. Sometimes this will be called a bank transfer or a credit transfer as well. Traditionally this was only done with banks, but there are other non bank providers that now do this. This article is comparing two of them, CurrencyFair and TransferWise.

When transfering money, there will be certain information alongside the funds that is required to send the cash. This includes who will get the money and a bank account number.

Depending on how much money is involved and where you are sending it to, there could be fees involved. This can be quite a lot of money if you aren’t careful. This is why people should look around at different providers to find the best deal.

Currency Fair

How does CurrencyFair Work?

With CurrencyFair, you decide the rate you want to exchange your money at. With this set, you’ll be paired with someone else who wants to exchange money at that rate. Once your money has been converted, CurrencyFair will send it to the receiver's bank account.


When a person uses CurrencyFair to exchange their money, a fee is taken of the entire amount exchanged. If CurrencyFair is unable to find a second party to transfer your money with, they will exchange the money with you at a higher rate. There is not a cost involved with sending money to CurrencyFair.

  • Exchange fee with a second party: 0.15% of total
  • Exchange fee with CurrencyFair: -.4 - 0.6%

Exchange Rates

Due to the nature of the way CurrencyFair works, essentially as an intermediary between users, exchange rates will vary. If there is someone out there who is willing to accept your rate, you could get a better than mid market deal, however if there is not, you could receive a poorer exchange amount.


Depending on what method a person uses, money can take up to four days to reach CurrencyFair and be sent on to the recipient. Debit cards are immediate, bank transfers are 1 - 2 business days and an ACH transfer can take up to 4 business days.


How does TransferWise Work?

TransferWise works similarly to CurrencyFair. Input how much money you would like to transfer and send it to TransferWise. With this, TransferWise will convert the money and send it to the receiver's bank account.


Depending on the currency you are exchanging into, a different percentage will be charged. If you’re using a credit card to transfer the money, there will also be a transaction fee.

  • Exchange with a credit card: usually between 0.3 - 2%
  • Currency exchange: ~1%, with a $3 minimum

Exchange Rates

Money is exchanged at a mid market rate when using TransferWise. This tends to be a good deal, but needs to be examined alongside the fees they charge.


Similarly to CurrencyFair, money can take up to four days to reach its destination. Again, this varies depending on how it has been sent. Credit and debit cards are immediate. Wire transfers can take up to 1 business day. ACH bank transfers can take up to 4 business days.

In a highly competitive market, companies at the top can seem to offer very similar services. In many ways, TransferWise and CurrencyFair do. However there are some key differences which need to be analysed, especially considering your individual needs. Where will you be sending money and in what form? Understanding this will help you decide what service is better for you.