More and more, much of what we do today and services that we regularly need are accessible online. Internet banking is one service that has saved us so much time and provided the flexibility that we absolutely love having now. There were times when paying bills from the comfort of our couches at home seemed like an impossible idea.
Like internet banking, you can now also exchange and transfer currencies online. It’s not as daunting or “risky” as you may have initially thought. Going online means you get extra time packing for that trip away instead of running around exchanging wads of cash. Here’s some of our tips for finding the best rate for your international currency transfers.
What exactly is the foreign exchange market?
Economics and the trading of currencies can be a bit overwhelming to get your head around so we’ve broken it down into the basics. The foreign exchange market is the biggest financial market in the world. While the stock market has a physical place where all the ‘action’ originates, the exchange of currency doesn’t have a centralised point as it all happens through a connection of banks, traders and brokers through computers. Each Monday, the weekly market opens and is then open for 24 hours daily.
Other terms you might hear for the foreign exchange market are “FX Market” or “Forex Market”.
Through Forex, you can trade currencies as well as exchange and convert currencies.
Is it safe to exchange currency online?
Traditionally, people turned to their banks to trade and exchange currency for overseas purchases or holidays. Today, with the development of technology and the huge role the internet plays in our lives, foreign exchange companies have started. Again, just as we would recommend using a reputable company for other necessities such as insurance, for example, we suggest transferring international currency with trusted providers. All providers listed on the Compare and Choose website undergo stringent checks. We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best that get our thumbs up.
Rates on TV vs. the rates that you actually get
You will often see currency prices on the news or in newspapers but when you actually go to exchange your money, you find the rate is quite different. The rate you see on TV is called the ‘Interbank Rate’ or the ‘Spot Price’. This is the rate that banks or financial institutions trade at and when they sell the currency to you, they sell it at a higher price (that’s how they make their money for providing the service to you). That’s why it’s best to remember that you’re never going to receive the rate you see on the TV. For the best rates, don’t go to your local bank as they will charge you a lot more than the Spot Price – more than other companies. You’ll also get charged more exchanging in tourist areas or airports, that’s why online transfers have become hugely popular.
The beauty of comparison sites like Compare and Choose is that the information can be found in one place and you can make a decision after shopping around on the site. Check out each provider and what they have to offer – they’ll all have their little niches or unique selling points. Depending on how much you’re exchanging or how often you go on overseas holidays may shape what sort of company is more suited to your needs.
5 things you didn’t known about online currency transfers:
1. You can keep track of your transfers
Most companies will set up a new account for you where your money sits and can then be quickly transferred into and out. This means you don’t lose track of what you’ve exchanged and it’s all kept in one spot.
2. You can call too
If you prefer speaking to a person, most companies will have a call option, sometimes even 24/7.
3. You save money
Depending on the amount you exchange, you get better rates than if you were to use your credit card or go through a bank.
4. It saves you time
Rather than walking around your local shopping centre and negotiating with the kiosk attendant, you can do it all online and most transfers take just minutes.
5. It’s not just for your holiday money
You can use these services to also transfer money to relatives overseas, buy investment properties or pay for international purchases. Plus more!
Our international currency transfers service has now been designed to enable you to transfer money overseas at bank-beating prices. Get on board Compare and Choose – we’re not the “big guys” because we actually do our research and bring you the best of the best.