In this review, I analyse all the different services and features that Currencies Direct has to offer. My aim is to help you decide whether Currencies Direct is the right currency brokerage for you.

Will I get reasonable exchange rates? Can I trust their service? How quick are their transfers? In this review, I’ll answer these questions and more. 

I aim to provide a clear picture by integrating user feedback with expert research and analysis, helping you determine if Currencies Direct meets your international money transfer needs.

Currencies Direct Review

My Verdict on Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is excellent for individuals and businesses seeking reliable, cost-effective services. They have a superb Trustpilot score, their customer service is renowned for fast responses, and they have 25+ years of experience in the sector. They’re one of the best for transferring large amounts.

Is it Good for Individuals?

Currencies Direct is great for individuals, but perhaps not for small transfers. They come into their own with larger transfers (£25k upwards), where their offering of a personal account manager for each client, whom you can actually talk to or email directly, gives a lot of reassurance.

They are less suitable for individuals making frequent small international transfers due to their minimum transfer amount of £100 and less competitive rates at lower values. Also, their availability in certain African currencies is somewhat limited.

Is it Good for Businesses?

On the business side, Currencies Direct are also one of the market leaders, offering tailored solutions like batch payments and forward contracts. With some key features, online sellers can efficiently manage earnings in multiple currencies.

Meanwhile, businesses making smaller transactions below £1,000 or requiring same-day transfers may find Currencies Direct less accommodating due to its minimum transfer amount and standard 1-2 day processing time.

In summary, Currencies Direct is a great choice for anyone seeking cost-effective international transfers, fee-free services, competitive rates, and dedicated support. However, you may want to think twice if you are looking to send smaller amounts abroad.

How to Choose if Currencies Direct is Right for You?

One of Currencies Direct’s most beneficial features is their assignment of dedicated account managers who offer a personalised service. Account managers provide expert advice tailored to your financial needs.

Currencies Direct offers you a feature called a “forward contract”, which allows you to lock in an exchange rate for a future date, mitigating the risk of adverse currency movements. It’s beneficial for planning long-term financial commitments without worrying about fluctuating rates.

Limit orders allow you to set a desired exchange rate at which your currency is automatically exchanged. This ensures your transactions are made at optimal rates, offering potential savings and strategic financial management.

For your convenience, I have constructed a table of information about Currencies Direct that you must consider before making your choice.

Currencies Direct at a Glance…

FeatureCurrencies Direct Information
Company NameCurrencies Direct
Transfer FeesNo fees for transfers
Exchange RatesSpecialises in providing some of the best rates on the market
Min/Max Transfer Amount£100 minimum for personal accounts; maximum varies based on how you transfer.
Transfer SpeedsTypically within 48 hours, can take up to 5 days for more exotic currencies.
Available Countries and CurrenciesTransfers in over 40 currencies to 120 countries.
Payment MethodsAccepted payment methods are bank transfers, debit cards, and cheques.
Delivery MethodsBank transfers are the standard delivery method.
Customer ServicePhone support with free market advice, live chat, and email support.
User Reviews and RatingsTrustpilot score of 4.9/5 from over 10,000 reviews. Receives praise for 
Security MeasuresCurrencies Direct holds your funds in separate accounts, ensuring that you are safeguarded against 
Mobile App AvailabilityAvailable on iOS and Android, offering the option to track rates and add recipients.
Special FeaturesOffers batch payments, spot contracts, forward contracts, and limit orders.
Regulatory ComplianceRegulated by the FCA in the UK. FRN Number: 900669
Cancellation PolicyNo exchanges can be cancelled once initiated.
Annual Amount ProcessedMore than £10 billion processed in 2023.
Office LocationsOver 25 branches globally, some in major financial centres
Staff Volume
(Group Statistic)
550+ employees globally
Risk ProfileLevel 1 credit rating from Dun & Bradstreet. (Highest you can get)
OwnersFounded by Mayank Patel in 1996.

Are Currencies Direct Safe to Use?

Currencies Direct should be considered extremely safe. This is ensured through strict regulatory requirements and an abundance of safety precautions. If Currencies Direct enters a formal insolvency procedure, you would be considered a priority creditor. This means you are likely to receive your funds back as a top priority ahead of any other creditors after the liquidation costs are covered.

Therefore, you will likely receive your funds back as a top priority ahead of any other creditors after the liquidation costs are covered. This is a mandatory safety measure enforced by the FCA for money transfer companies.

Is Currencies Direct Regulated?

In the UK, they are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Electronic Money Institution, requiring them to segregate client monies in protected accounts, separate from business funds. This segregation safeguards client funds even in the event of insolvency.

Similarly, in the US and EU, their operations are overseen by the Bank of Spain and FinCEN, adhering to stringent safeguarding obligations. These measures involve keeping client funds separate until remitted to the recipient, enhancing the security of all transactions.

What are Currencies Direct’s Rates?

Currencies Direct offers market-leading exchange rates for personal and business transfers. For this reason and to assist you in evaluating your best option, I have laid out a table highlighting multiple popular currency pairings and the amount you would receive from a £10,000 transfer to these currencies. These are based on my research for the currencies with the highest amount of transfers from within the UK for you to consider:

Money Transfer PathExchange RateReceived from £10,000
GBP – EUR1.1572€11,572
GBP – USD1.2585$12,585
GBP – AUD1.9188$19,188
GBP – CAD1.7006$17,006
GBP – NZD2.0570$20,570
GBP – ZAR19.9925R199,925
GBP – AED4.6156AED 46,156
GBP – THB44.5601445,601฿
GBP – JPY185.8940¥1,858,940

* The rates included in the table above are taken from a personal account (not a business account) and are accurate at the time of writing this article. They may differ from the current rates by a small margin.

It is worth noting that several factors contribute to the final rate that customers receive, including market conditions, transfer amounts and whether the trade is made over the phone, online or through the app.

Currencies Direct Transfer Fees

In addition to top-of-the-market rates, Currencies Direct distinguishes itself with a no-fee policy for personal and business transactions and its commitment to a no-hidden fee policy, ensuring transparency and affordability in international money transfers.

How Do Currencies Direct Make Money?

When getting quotes for the currency pairs in the table above, remember that while there are no fees, their spread range (how much they take) is usually between 0.5% and 2%. Comparatively, other UK banks such as Nationwide and Lloyds typically charge a spread of 1.6% to 3.5%, showing how much Currencies Direct could save you in the long run.

How Long Will Currencies Direct Take to Transfer My Funds?

Based on the information available, Currencies Direct typically promises a transfer completion time of 24 to 48 hours. However, it’s worth noting that transfers to exotic destinations may require three to five working days due to bank processing times.

For common currencies like GBP, EUR, USD, and CAD, you can usually expect delivery within a couple of hours if Currencies Direct receives your funds in time. There might be a slight delay for less common currencies like AUD, NZD, SEK, NOK, and DKK, with funds arriving on the next working day or within 48 hours.

The specific delivery timeframe also depends on your location and the promptness of your payment.

What Different Types of Money Transfer Services Are Available?

Currencies Direct offers various money transfer services, catering primarily to large-scale transfers. Their services include:

  • Bank Transfers: Standard payment method from a bank account to Currencies Direct’s local account.
  • Debit Card Payments: A quicker, albeit sometimes more costly, payment method compared to bank transfers.
  • Spot Contracts: For immediate money transfers at current exchange rates.
  • Forward Contracts: Allows fixing the current exchange rate for up to a year, requiring a small deposit.
  • Limit Orders: Targeting a specific transfer exchange rate suitable for non-urgent transactions.

For businesses, they offer tailored plans, risk management tools, and specialised services for online sellers, focusing on competitive exchange rates and efficient payment solutions.

They offer transfers in over 40 currencies to 120 countries, although their global reach may be slightly less extensive than some competitors, such as XE Money Transfer and Remitly

Currencies Direct also provides features like a multi-currency card, rate alerts, and currency charts.

» MORE Read our full article on the Best Money Transfer Companies

Currencies Direct Reviews

Currencies Direct has garnered strong customer feedback, with a high satisfaction rate reflected in its Trustpilot score of 4.9/5 from over 10,000 reviews, with 91% being 5 stars and 5% being 4 stars. 

Positive Reviews

Clients appreciate the ease of setting up and using accounts, understanding fees, and the helpfulness of personal dealers. They also commend the competitive exchange rates and reliable, fast payment delivery.

Negative Reviews

While less common, negative feedback includes some instances of staff rudeness, the need for additional documentation, and occasional extra fees charged by recipient banks. Most complaints are related to regulatory requirements beyond the company’s control.

Currencies Direct is recognised for its no-fee policy on transfers and providing significant savings compared to banks, particularly on larger transactions​​.

Pros and Cons

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Pros
  • Fast Customer Service: Known for efficient and prompt customer service.
  • Zero Hidden Fees: Transparent with no unexpected charges.
  • Expert Advice Provided: Offers local expert advice in 23 countries.
  • Email & SMS Efficiency: Provides rate alerts through email and SMS for transparency.
  • Multi-Currency Accounts: Supports transactions in various currencies including USD, Pounds, Euros, and Canadian Dollars.
  • Risk Management Services for Businesses: Provides specialised services for business clients.
  • Forward Contracts and Limit Orders: Options to guard against market volatility.
  • High Reliability and Trustworthiness: Established reputation for secure and dependable services.
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Cons
  • No Cancellation Policy: Once initiated, exchanges cannot be cancelled.
  • Inconsistent Transaction Speed: Transfer speeds vary by location and settlement option.
  • Limited Availability in the US: Only licensed in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.
  • Ambiguities in Terms: Some terms on the platform might be unclear.
  • Higher Exchange Rates on Smaller Transfers: Smaller money transfers might have less favourable exchange rates.
  • No Cash Pickup Option: Does not offer cash pickup in local branches.

How Do I Make An Account with Currencies Direct?

For Personal Accounts

  1. Registration: Visit the Currencies Direct website and select the option to open a personal account. Then fill in your details, including name, address, phone number, and email
  2. Verification: Provide a valid form of identification (passport, national ID, or driver’s license). Proof of address may also be required (utility bill, bank statement).
  3. Account Setup: Set up your login details, usually an email and a secure password. Then, choose security questions or set up two-factor authentication if offered.
  4. Account Configuration: Link your bank account, provide payment details, and set up your currency preferences with relevant transfer details.
  5. Activation: Confirm your email address through a verification link sent to your inbox. A compliance team may review your account before activation.

For Business Accounts

  1. Registration: Visit the Currencies Direct business section, select the option to open a business account, and then provide business details, including company name, address, type of business, and company registration number.
  2. Business Verification: Provide documents for business verification (Certificate of Incorporation, Articles of Association, etc.). Personal identification documents for the business owners or key individuals may be required.
  3. Account Setup: Create login credentials for the business account. Configure security settings and permissions, especially if multiple individuals can access the account.
  4. Financial Details: Link the business bank account and provide details for invoicing, if applicable.
  5. Account Configuration: Set up your currency preferences, transfer limits, and other relevant operational details.
  6. Activation: Activate the account through an email confirmation or upon completion of a review by Currencies Direct. You may have to undergo a compliance check if necessary.

For both account types, after the initial setup, you may need to go through additional verification for certain transactions or to increase your transfer limits. It’s also advisable to familiarise yourself with the platform’s interface and explore any other features that could be beneficial for you.

Always ensure you operate within your jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework when dealing with currency exchange and international transfers.

What About Their User Interface?

Currencies Direct has an efficient, user-friendly interface, particularly its mobile app, which is available on iOS and Android. The app mirrors the website’s functionalities for currency transfers and account management. I like the app’s simplicity and clarity, plus the ability to easily find transaction options like spot and forward contracts.

However, there is room for improvement in terms of transparency regarding fees and exchange rate margins, as well as expanding payment options to include credit cards. Enhancing staff responsiveness and service consistency could further elevate the user experience. 

Overall, Currencies Direct stands out for its ease of use, functional flexibility, and personalised support, with a few areas identified for potential enhancement​​​​​​​​​​.

Who Are Currencies Direct?

Currencies Direct has been at the forefront of Europe’s money transfer industry since its inception in 1996, making it the first money transfer provider in the region. Its global presence extends to over 25 branches located strategically in major financial centres like London, Spain, France, Portugal, the USA, South Africa, and India. 

Setting it apart is its combination of retail branches, phone services, an online platform, and a mobile app for users to access its services seamlessly. 

With a Level 1 credit rating from Dun & Bradstreet and authorisation by the FCA as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI), Currencies Direct has earned a reputation for trustworthiness.

The impact of their service is evident, with over 430,000 individuals and businesses having saved time, hassle, and money by utilising their platform for international money transfers. Remarkably, they executed more than 600,000 payments last year, amounting to a total currency trade value of £10 billion.

Currencies Direct operates with a global team of over 550 dedicated professionals who ensure the efficient and reliable execution of currency exchanges in more than 40 currencies across 120 countries. 

The key figures leading the company include Keith Hatton (CEO), Jon Beddell (Chief Commercial Officer), Leo Markides (Chief Operational Officer), and Neil Cooper (CFO).

Is Currencies Direct a reputable company? 

Yes, Currencies Direct is a reputable company known for its excellent customer satisfaction ratings on Trustpilot and regulation by several financial authorities, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

What Sets Currencies Direct Apart from The Competition?

Currencies Direct offers several services and features that set it apart from a large portion of the competition in the international money transfer market:

  • Flexibility in Currency Options: With 40 currencies to choose from, it offers more flexibility compared to some of its competitors, and it can be particularly beneficial for those dealing in less commonly traded currencies.
  • No Fees and Competitive Exchange Rates: One of the key advantages of Currencies Direct is its no-fee policy for personal transfers. This and competitive exchange rates make it a cost-effective option for international money transfers.
  • Unlimited Transfer Maximum: Unlike some competitors, Currencies Direct does not impose an upper limit on the amount that can be transferred. This feature is particularly useful for large-scale transfers, such as property purchases or business transactions.
  • Monitoring Exchange Rates for Ideal Transfers: Currencies Direct offers the service of monitoring exchange rates to help customers transfer at the most favourable time, maximising the value of their currency exchange.
  • Batch Payments for Business Customers: Currencies Direct allows business customers to make multiple payments in different currencies through a single upload. This feature is especially useful for businesses managing transactions in multiple currencies.

These points underscore Currencies Direct’s commitment to flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency in international money transfers for personal and business needs​​​​​​​​​​.

Alternatives to Currencies Direct

ProviderExchange RatesFeesProcessing TimesCurrencies SupportedLimitsCustomer Support
Currencies DirectMid-market rates + 0.5-1%£0From 3 hours to 2 business days40No limit24/7 phone, email and live chat support
OFXMid-market + 0.5-2% margin£0Typically 1-2 business days50+No limit24/7 phone, email and live chat support
TorFXMid-market + 0.5-2% margin£0Typically 1-2 business days60No limitMon-Thur: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Fri 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sat: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
TransferGoMid-market rates + 0.2-2.2% marginFrom £0 to £2.99 per transferFrom 30 minutes to 3 days60No limitWeekdays from 7 to 6 via email, and phone support
WiseMid-market rates + small marginVaries (amount/currency)Typically 1-3 business days50+Up to £1,000,000 per transfer24/7 live chat, email, and phone support
Western UnionMid-market rates + 2-5% marginFlat: £10 + 0.4% of the transfer amountTypically 1-2 business days130+Up to £500,000 per transfer24/7 live chat, email, and phone support
MoneyGramMid-market rates + 3-4% marginFlat: £3 + 2% of the transfer amountTypically 1-3 business days100+Up to £9,999 per transfer24/7 live chat, email, and phone support
WorldRemitMid-market rates + 2-3% marginFlat: £0.30 + 3% of the transfer amountTypically 1-2 business days70+Up to £100,000 per transfer24/7 live chat, email, and phone support
PayPalMid-market ratesVaries (amount/currency)Varies200+Up to £10,000 per transfer24/7 live chat, email, and phone support
RevolutMid-market ratesFlat: £0 + 0.5% of the transfer amountTypically 1-3 business days30+Up to £10,000 per transfer24/7 live chat and email support
RemitlyMid-market rates + 1% marginFlat: £0 + 0.5% of the transfer amountTypically 1-2 business days150+Up to £100,000 per transfer24/7 live chat and email support
CurrencyFairMid-market ratesFlat: £0 + 0.5% of the transfer amountTypically 1-3 business days50+Up to £500,000 per transfer

Currencies Direct FAQs

What are the minimum and maximum amounts I can transfer with Currencies Direct?

Can I use my credit card to make payments to Currencies Direct?

How do I send money through Currencies Direct?

How can I track my transfer with Currencies Direct?

What kind of customer support does Currencies Direct offer?

How do I set up an account with Currencies Direct?

What identification documents do I need to verify my Currencies Direct account?

Is it possible to schedule regular payments with Currencies Direct?

Are there transaction limits for business transfers with Currencies Direct?

How does Currencies Direct manage currency market fluctuations?