Using XE.com For International Money Transfers: Is It A Good Idea?
As Singaporeans, we live international lives by necessity. From stocking up on cheap groceries in Johor to going on a well deserved break across the globe, we cross borders without even thinking about it.
Consequently, we transfer Singapore dollars into other currencies regularly. Here’s something that might shock you: In your life, you’ve probably already lost thousands of dollars in fees/margins doing this.
Too many of us blindly trust that our banks act in our best interest. They don’t – like any profit-seeking entity, they seek to maximise revenue. However, the fiscally savvy among us already know that their currency transfer rates are less than ideal.
Instead of using OCBC or DBS, they move capital using online money transfer services like Transferwise. These entities, which lack the overhead of the big banks, offer far cheaper rates.
Whilst popular, Transferwise is far from the only option available. Recently, XE.com has grown in profile. Can you trust them? What are their rates like? Here’s all you have to know about XE.com.
What’s The Story Behind XE.com?
Some have no idea what XE.com is – that’s probably why you clicked on this article. If you’re a Gen X’er, though, the name might ring a bell.
That’s because XE.com is almost as old as the internet itself. This site is a creation of Xenon Laboratories, an internet services and computer consulting firm based in Toronto, Canada. The company opened its doors in 1993 and debuted on the web in 1994.
Among other things, they offered a currency converter tool. In the early days of the internet, no other site had anything that came close to its accuracy and reliability. As a result, XE.com quickly gained a reputation for being an authoritative source of interbank currency rates.
Travellers, businesspeople, and Forex traders all used their service religiously. Because of this, in the early 2000s, XE officials decided to focus on all things currency. They worked to improve their currency converter and launched a Forex trading platform in 2002.
As smartphones began to emerge in 2009, they created the XE Currency App. With 10 million downloads on the Play Store, it is the mobile web’s most trusted currency exchange app.
XE.com & HiFX – Two Forex Giants Join Forces
As the 2010s dawned, XE’s reputation as “the currency site” was rock solid. Still, something was missing. Whilst they did have a trading tool, it didn’t serve the needs of everyday people.
These customers wanted to send payments and remittances rather than make money. Providing interbank currency data was one matter – brokering thousands of international cash transactions daily was quite another.
Meanwhile, Euronet – the parent company of cash transfer service HiFX – was looking to elevate their business to the next level.
Both parties had what the other wanted. In 2015, Euronet reached an agreement with XE to acquire the brand. They paid XE’s founders 60 million USD in credit, 640,000 in shares, and an undisclosed sum in cash.
Euronet finally had the brand power they long sought. Three months after taking control, they introduced a currency exchange service on XE’s main page. Powered by HiFX, it offered visitors the ability to check rates and move money, all on one convenient platform.
What Advantages Does XE.com Offer Singaporeans?
Fast forward five years. XE has risen to the top tier of online money transfer sites. In such a congested marketplace, though, it’s hard to know how they are different from the competition.
What advantages does XE offer? For starters, you can easily compare their currency exchange rates against the interbank rate. This dynamic forces XE to offer competitive margins. Secondly, their money transfer interface is very user-friendly. This allows for friction-free transfers that keep customers coming back.
Finally, XE offers Singaporeans the ability to connect with a dedicated dealer. Not all transfers are the same – especially the larger ones. For instance, if you are repatriating a sizable inheritance, sending too much at once could trigger gift taxes.
Meanwhile, the geopolitical climate has been stormy of late, creating risks of its own. If you send a transfer at the wrong time, a late-breaking story could cause rates to move against you.
Dedicated dealers are well-versed in cash transfer law, and they stay on top of the news. They know how to size and time transfers to avoid issues. They also recommend tools like forward contracts, which protect their customers from geopolitical risks.
XE.com Crushes The Banks When It Comes To Money Transfer
These above-stated advantages are all great reasons to start using XE. However, the best justification is often the simplest – XE is a far cheaper money transfer solution than the banks.
A quick comparison illustrates our point perfectly.
Let’s say you just bought a condo in Chiang Mai, Thailand. To complete the transaction, you’ll need to move 625,000 THB. DBS offers you an SGD/100THB rate of 4.5211. At this price, you would need to transfer 28,257 SGD, plus applicable fees.
Let’s look at what XE has to offer. XE.com doesn’t publicly broadcast its exchange rates. However, past clients report they post rates 1% off interbank and charge no fees. That would mean their SGD/100THB price would be around 4.4713. Move money at this rate, and you would only need to send 27,946 SGD – a savings of more than 300 SGD!
Still sceptical? Check out this XE.com review on MoneyTransferComparison.com – they go into exhaustive detail on their pros and cons.
XE.com – A Credible Money Transfer Alternative To The Banks
Life in our city-state is already a costly affair. Whenever you are offered the same level of service for less, that’s an opportunity you should jump on. XE combines a slate of currency exchange tools with a money transfer service that enjoys a 96% rating on Trustpilot.
If you’re looking to save on remittances, business transactions, or any other transfer – know that XE beats the banks soundly!
This article was written in an informative manner for readers to get to know more about XE. The opinions expressed here by Money Kinetics’s columnists are their own, not those of Money Kinetics.