31 Oct How to spend less and make more from your foreign currency exchanges
Jordan Tilley is the chief commercial officer of money transfer specialist Clear Currency, a new partner to MumAbroad. We caught up for a quick chat to uncover the pitfalls of using banks for international money transfers and why there’s a better way to go.
Living abroad means it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to be making some serious currency exchanges as you move your home country funds into your country of choice’s currency. That could be something huge like a one-off deposit on a new home or small business, or it could be smaller more regular payments like school fees, paying bills or cashing pay cheques for day to day living.
We met up with Jordan Tilley from Clear Currency to find out why you should be using a foreign exchange (FX) specialist and not relying on your bank to make those all important transfers.
Hi Jordan, so can you tell us a bit about Clear Currency and what you do?
Hello, and yes of course! We started in 2010 and have spent the last nine years helping people and small businesses around the world with their international money transfers. It’s pretty simple really – because we’re a dedicated service that focuses solely on foreign exchange, we’ve refined our processes and have clever tech in place to speed up transfers and cut costs. Oh and our exchange rates are based on the mid-market rate, which makes them the best around.
What’s the mid-market rate?
I won’t go too deep into it, but the mid-market rate is generally considered the fairest and most transparent exchange rate that’s used across the world. Essentially it’s the midpoint between the buying and selling prices of any two currencies at any one time – and it changes as they do. The reason it’s important is that banks don’t always – in fact they usually don’t – use the mid-market rate. Instead they add what they call a ‘spread’ to it. But that’s basically a euphemism for adding whatever charges they feel like, disguised as the exchange rate itself. It sounds outrageous – and that’s because it is! You should keep an eye out for claims like ‘zero commission’, ‘zero fees’ or what they like to call their ‘best day rates’. See these and you’re likely paying those fees another way – just not a way you can see.
So banks aren’t the way to go then…
No! It’s so easy when you need to make a transfer to just pull out your bank card, plug in the account details and hit send – but it’s also an expensive mistake to make. And while it may only cost a few pounds to exchange a bit of holiday money or use a cash machine abroad, start making regular payments or larger exchanges and those costs can really mount up.
How does it work at Clear Currency?
That’s the thing – it’s every bit as easy as doing it from your bank. In fact, no – it’s much easier! All you need to do is set up a free account, which takes about two minutes, and then we’ll take an hour or two to validate your details. And that’s it – you’ll get immediate access to our simple exchange platform where you can move your original currency to and start your exchange. We’ll then transfer the money for you at the best possible rate – which you can clearly see at every stage – and send it to whatever account you want in your new currency and country. We handle around 35 currencies at the moment and most will transfer the same day, so it really is quick and easy. If you’re not sure of anything or want some advice or help with an exchange, we’ve also got a dedicated team ready to chat when you need them.
And how can you help the readers of MumAbroad?
Well, we really see ourselves as a great way for your readers – basically anyone who lives full time or even part of the time abroad – to save some money and a lot of hassle on their currency transfers. We can handle pretty much any size transfer, and obviously the more money you move the more your savings will be – but we’re always happy to discuss what you want and create the right solution for you. We pride ourselves on speed, efficiency, security, support and savings – all things we think our customers want!
If you want to talk to Clear Currency about a currency exchange, just send them an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the team on +44 (0) 207 151 4832. They’ll be happy to have a cost and obligation free chat to see how they can help – and can even open an account for you there and then. You can find out more about them at clearcurrency.co.uk