Monday, 21 March 2016
Beat the currency rip off
Currency exchange, this website has long contended, is too often a rip off. Some exchange rates available to individual travellers, particularly at airports, are some far out of line with those available to business as to be outrageous. So I’m intrigued to learn about WeSwap, a new system of “social currency”, which cuts out the need to pay for so called 0% commission deals which are funded by such rates. I’m all the more intrigued to find I’m way behind the curve here, as WeSWap has been in existence for over two years and is now live in ten European countries. I haven’t tested it, so must emphasize that this is not a recommendation. Basically it matches travellers with others coming to their countries. Users get a WeSwap Mastercard which they load with the amount they want to exchange – either with a debit card or via an online bank transfer. Currency swaps cost 1% with a week’s notice, 1.3% if you need the money in three days or 1.4% if you need it immediately. The firm says it uses the real mid-market exchange rate – the best there is. I plan to try it. Meanwhile I’d welcome reports from anyone who has – and can compare it for value with other methods.