Guest Post: Welcome to an era of transparency in money transfers

Daniel Abrahams, MD of, gives us his view on why 2012 has been a big year, and why the consumer is the big winner.


2012 has played host to an exciting gearshift in the wonderful world of money transfers. The result? We’re entering an era of transparency and fairer deals when it comes to international payments, and at long last expats & SMEs are waving goodbye to high margins and poor customer service from the banks.

Welcome to an era of innovation

The money transfer space is hot at the moment, with tons of innovation going on amongst non-bank foreign exchange companies. We’ve seen Peer-to-Peer companies such as TransferWise attract a notable presence in the industry, and build some fantastic press coverage along the way.

Innovative players in this space are democratising the sector, yet still managing to build viable, scalable and profitable businesses. The difference between old-school and new money transfer? These innovators are doing it fairly, without ripping off the customer.

Welcome to an era of transparency in pricing

Customers are becoming increasingly savvy and deserve to know the exact cost of an international money transfer. Let’s take TransferWise & TheCurrencyCloud – two innovative companies that are clearly embracing this movement towards transparency. In TransferWise’s case, this is made possible by simply cutting out traditional bank fees. Consequently, they can pass the saving onto the customer.

Meanwhile, TheCurrencyCloud targets intermediaries that facilitate international money transfers for clients. The company provides its own customers with complete pricing transparency: each time they trade, all clients are shown the time-stamped interbank

market rate and the corresponding rate at which they will trade.

In layman’s terms, the two companies tell end customers the exact cost of a transaction, and we look forward to working closely with both in the future. 

Let’s introduce the concept of ‘Interbank + Pricing’ – it’s the way forward!

At, we would love to see the industry at large introduce the concept of ‘Interbank + pricing’, and make it fully visible to the customer. Whether you use a company that builds profit into the exchange rate (FX broker model) or its service cost (TransferWise), it is only fair and right that the consumer knows whether they are getting a good deal or not.

In our opinion, banks still hold a huge market share due to customer inertia and a lack of awareness that other non-bank foreign exchange companies exist. They are enjoying horror-story interbank + pricing of 3-5%. That means customers using banks for international money transfers are losing 3-5% of their money unnecessarily.

With the introduction of tech driven platforms and automation, I question how sustainable this is in the long run. In the coming years, the real winners will be companies that genuinely open up their pricing structures, embrace transparency and aren’t afraid to display service costs.

May the innovation continue

To conclude, what has emerged is a credible challenge to the old-guard of money-transfer, dominated by banks and FX brokers. We wholeheartedly endorse these exciting developments, and at, our tech wizards are working on some exciting upgrades that will markedly contribute to a fairer and more transparent deal for the consumer. Let’s hope it continues.

Daniel Abrahams is the Managing Director of UK-based comparison service &

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