A brand-new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Companies House…
It has actually won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you a low-cost way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to request, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, but the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or more affordable than the competition
include increasingly more functions which your existing customers don’t really need or want
include costs, constraints or charges to the function that made people get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are currently in Stage 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Companies House
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you do not require a card, unless you desire totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which use a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to utilize abroad
you want an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a very basic process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, globally).
Your current account bank instantly validates that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. If you have the complimentary card, includes a 0.5% cost. There are no fees if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest notice via the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
But transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is just about to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Fortunately in recent years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards guarantees big savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
However I think the very best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street savings account.
What this means is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of money and the extra step. That does not mean it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make revenue from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, full details can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Companies House