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The foreign exchange markets can be difficult to follow but WeSwap’s latest research shows that almost a third of UK travellers believe you need a university degree to understand them effectively. With currency exchange rates fluctuating constantly, it means it can be near on impossible for the everyday traveller – without the appropriate FX software – to get the best rate.

As currencies move up and down, holidaymakers can be at the mercy of the graph without the right tools. When it comes to Euros, the difference can be hundreds:

  • If you had transferred at the lowest exchange rate of 2018, £1000 would get you $1269.16 at the interbank rate
  • If you had transferred at the highest exchange rate of 2018, £1000 would get you $1434.09 at the interbank rate

This means the difference of $164.93, all because you chose the wrong time to swap your money. We as consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to shop around different providers, yet we are unwilling to shop across a period of time, leaving us at the mercy of the markets.

In order to take advantage of the best rates of the year, we would have had to be watching the rates at these exact times:

  • GBP to EUR, 17/04/2018 at 15:15 – £1000 would buy $1158.01
  • GBP to USD, 17/04/2018 at 08:30 – £1000 would buy €1434.09
  • GBP to AUD, 11/10/2018 at 02:30 – £1000 would buy AUD1872.17
  • GBP to TRY, 04/08/2018 at 02:30 – £1000 would buy TRY8876.43
  • GBP to CAD, 20/03/2018 at 16:15 – £1000 would buy CAD1872.17

How can you time your forex acquisitions accurately?

“Those regularly transferring lots of money overseas or making foreign business payments will often have a broker available to them, who will watch the markets and offer advice,” says Stephanie Meyer-Scott, head of product marketing at WeSwap. “But it’s never been something the average person or family going on holiday could access before. Considering how expensive some holidays can be, how important they are to us and how long we save up for them, this seems wrong.”

Smart Swap aims to fix this. It means anyone, regardless of currency knowledge, can get peak rates in a simple, intuitive and jargon-free way.

If you know you’re going abroad, you can choose a rate that you want in the WeSwap app – this will show you how the currency has been looking so you can pick something reasonable – and and WeSwap do the rest. It aims to do away with the jargon, the queues and the stress.

WeSwap launches Smart Swap app for currency purchases

WeSwap says it has responded to the 72% of Brits that wanted a solution that made getting the best exchange rate easier with the introduction of the broker’s Smart Swap service, a new launch that will change the way British travellers buy their travel money.

Working with the WeSwap travel money card, smart Swap is WeSwap’s brand new in-app feature whiich allows traveller to choose a target exchange rate and then automatically swaps your money for you if that rate is hit, making sure you get the best possible deal when it’s available. No more remaining glued to changing FX rates.

The feature is a market first – WeSwap claims no other travel money provider or card service offers anything similar.

How does WeSwap’s Smart Swap app work?

  • In the WeSwap app, just enter how much you want to exchange, how much you’d (realistically) like to get for it, in which currency and when you need it by.
  • Leave it with WeSwap, put your phone back in your pocket and get back to planning your holiday.
  • The WeSwap app will monitor the markets for you and automatically make the exchange if your target rate is reached.
  • Once exchanged, the money is available to spend or withdraw on your WeSwap card right away.

You don’t even need to have all the money in your WeSwap account – WeSwap will let you know if your target rate is getting close, so you can add funds when you’re ready.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse has spent 25 years in journalism and marketing, including as a wealth management editor for the Financial Times group, covering capital markets and international private banking, and as an investment banking correspondent for Euromoney in Hong Kong. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal.

Stuart has worked at CMC Markets, supporting the re-launch of its global financial spread betting and CFD trading platforms. He is also the author of two books on trading, published by Financial Times Pearson. Based in The Armchair Trader’s London office, Stuart continues to advise fund managers, private banks, family offices and other financial institutions.

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