ECFX versus Banks
For decades, banks had the currency market all to themselves. Thankfully, times have changed and with the fintech (financial technology) boom in recent years, there is even more reason to use an alternative like ourselves.
Since 2004, we have been competing with banks on overseas currency payments. Gradually, this battle has got easier for us to win as we have evolved with the times unlike most banks. Cost has always been the main difference when comparing a currency company to a bank. But there are now many more reasons why you shouldn't be using your bank.
As a general rule, banks charge 4-5% on overseas currency payments. Some charge less of course, some offer incentives like 'no transfer fees', but the overwhelming majority rip off their customers. Why? The answers are pretty simple. Firstly, Banks earn money on interest from loans and mortgages you take out with them. They also invest any money you have on account and profit on those returns. Sending money overseas is small fry compared to these.
Secondly, the % of any banks customers with the requirement for overseas currency payments is extremely small. This is not a market they are interested in. Have you ever seen or heard an ad from your bank on currency exchange? Probably not. Have you ever seen or heard an ad from your bank on mortgages or loans? You probably have. Even finding a currency exchange page on your banks website is hard to find!
Enter then currency firms and more specifically us, Excel Currencies. All we offer is currency exchange, it's what we know and we do it well. The below demonstrates why you should be choosing us over your bank for currency payments..
- The exchange rate - Banks are big (I mean really big), they spend huge amounts on overheads and as explained above, they are not interested in being competitive in the currency market. ECFX have the right amount of staff in a more than adequate office. We advertise only at property shows, market small scale and rely mainly on word of mouth referrals from our customers and partners, basically meaning our overheads are tiny. We buy at the exact same rate as the banks, we just profit a lot less, giving you a better exchange rate. It's really that simple.
- Transfer fees & times - It costs money to make a transfer to another currency overseas. The difference here is, we won't charge you for it. Typically, banks will charge you £10-£100 to transfer to another currency overseas, plus a £25 flat fee if you require a lump sum amount. For those sending money into Spain, you will also be charged a receiving fee on any large transaction, costing you 0.2-1% of the transfer amount (this doesn’t apply when working with us). It would take 2-3 days for your funds to credit the other end when using a bank, no good for those with tight deadlines. A worst case scenario for us would be 6-working hours, but the majority of the time we accept funds in from you and credit overseas all within 2-hours. We are built for instant credit automation and we let you know via email once your funds arrive with us and again once we have sent payment out for you. You are left in the dark with your bank.
- Personal service & guidance - Do personal bankers still exist? Well personal currency brokers certainly do and that's exactly what you will get with us. This has become the main reason to use a currency company nowadays. Your account manager will have over 3-years’ experience in dealing with people in the same boat as you. They will get to know you, your requirements and your risk appetite to ensure you make an informed decision on what to do with your money. You can reach them on the phone, email or txt. They will be proactive and alert you when the market moves or when analysts are expecting a move. There is constant human interaction the whole step of the way. Now what does ‘Jeff’ down at your local banking branch know about you or the currency market?
- Specialist currency products - Your bank will move your money from account A to account B. There is no help other than that available to you when moving money overseas. They won't explain to you how volatile the FX market is and how to play it, how to mitigate your risk, suggest examples of what you can do based on other people’s decisions. We help you budget correctly so you are not caught out by adverse currency fluctuations. We work with you to hatch a plan based on what level of risk you are happy to take with your money. We offer essential tools that your bank do not offer; rate alerts, limit orders, hedging strategies and forward contracts. If these products are used by 9/10 UK businesses sending money abroad, don't you think you should be utilising your life savings with them too?
- Security - It is safer to leave your money with Excel Currencies than your bank.. Yes you have read that right! FSCS protects up to £85,000 of your money when with a bank. If a bank were to go into liquidation and you had £100,000 in an account, you would lose £15,000 of your money. By law, we have to keep your money away from our profit account and segregated into its own account, similar to an escrow account. It means if Excel Currencies goes into liquidation, your money is safe in the separate account and can't be touched by creditors.
To summarise, the above 5-points will all be valued differently depending on what you want out of a currency broker. But it’s clear to see the differences in what we offer against your bank. Knowing what you know now, can you afford not to be working with us??