Whether you are sending money to family abroad, paying for goods or services or buying a property in another country you need to use a good currency exchange service. Doing so can save you a large amount of money and save you a lot of hassle.
In the past few years the currency exchange markets have changed a great deal, which for private individuals is a very good thing. The cost of changing money has come down as more firms have entered the market. It is no longer necessary to pay high bank or transaction fees and, now, everyone can get the mid-point exchange rate that was previously only offered to businesses.
These days peer to peer money transfer services are available for practically anyone to benefit from, but you still have to shop around for the best deals. Here we explain how to do that.
Only use properly regulated firms
Whenever you deal with money, it is of course important to use a firm that you can trust. Most people remember this when opening a bank account. They check the bank out carefully to make sure that they are trustworthy and offer a good service, but when it comes to exchanging money, some people seem to forget to vet the firm before they use them.
Before using an exchange firm makes sure that they are properly registered with the relevant regulatory body. Then take their registration number, go to the website of the regulatory body and make sure that everything adds up. Scammers often set up convincing websites complete with regulatory body logos and fake registration numbers, so you should always take the extra step of checking that these details are genuine.
It also makes sense to check review sites and forums to find out how people who have already used the firm have gotten on. Also, be wary of firms that do not have proper contact details and a real address. A company that only has an email address is not likely to be easy to get hold of should you have issues or questions and could be a scammer.
Understand the exchange rate and fees
Only use firms that are upfront about their fees. If they do not advertise their rates on their website, the chances are there are hidden fees. A firm should also be able to tell you what exchange rate will be used.
A good firm will tell you in advance exactly how much currency you will get and tell you exactly how much they will charge for that transaction. This level of information allows you to shop around and find the best deals. Remember to check whether there will be other fees charged by the receiving bank.
If you are sending a particularly large sum of money, you could try negotiating a special rate. Just remember to get the deal in writing before proceeding.
By following the simple steps laid out above, you will get a great deal on your next currency exchange transaction.