I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Cedric Menager, CEO of PagoFX, the new international payment transfer service backed by Santander for my Podcast Mrs Mummypenny Talks and my YouTube channel to talk about their launch. It is a new way to transfer money around the world. We had a wonderfully inspiring conversation about PagoFX and how it works as well as the future of fintech (financial technology brands) and traditional banking. We also talked about money mindset, money needs and what money means to individuals. Plus, the shift the banking world needs to make to build trust and offer solutions to their customers. It is a brilliant conversation, well worth watching or listening to.
My Experience so far with transferring money abroad
My personal experience of transferring money abroad is that it is expensive! I have been burnt many times with high foreign exchange mark-ups and transfers fees. I have not taken the time to investigate a better way than my personal or business bank or PayPal to exchange this money.
Until now I have used PayPal to transfer money out of the UK and to receive payments from other countries. I also use my business bank account with Starling Bank to receive some bigger payments or to make payments for products abroad. These are mainly dollar transactions. I also use my Starling account when abroad to withdraw cash and to make payments, mainly Euros and Dollars.
Occasionally I need to send money to friends and family abroad. I also have many friends and readers who own property abroad, and often must send money to other countries, mostly Spain.
All these transactions feel like I have been paying far too much in fees, but it has always felt safe, and I have known that my money has been transferred or been received quickly. Here lies the thing with foreign money transfers, customer need to feel safe and secure with their transaction and want great value for money with transparent fees.
Let’s Talk Fees
There is much confusion about fees in the world of foreign currency exchange (FX). Firstly, you have the currency exchange rates. Today, if I look at the mid-market exchange rate of £ to $ on Google the rate is $1.25 to £1 (24th June 2020). This is not necessarily the fee you get when you change your £ into $, you will also pay a currency loaded fee. This means there is a margin included in the FX rate. Looking at Thomas Cook exchange today, they are offering a rate of $1.195, meaning that on a £100 transaction you would get $119.50 dollars rather than the mid-market rate of $125 on Google.
Be wary of this loaded currency fee, it can be significant. Especially if the FX company is offering “fee free”transfers!
Secondly there is the explicit transfer fee, the % or flat fee that you pay for the transaction.
PagoFX is here to shake up the money transfer world
PagoFX is a financial technology (fintech) company backed by Santander specialising in international money transfer. A wonderful combination of a customer centric fintech brand backed by a leading global bank providing financial stability and trust. PagoFX is a mobile app (Apple or Android) or you can access it via their website, PagoFX.com. It can be used by the general public and sole traders as at mid-June 2020. It is open to any UK resident, regardless of the bank you use.
Worked example – How do you get 5k Euros to Spain?
Using PagoFX you will know exactly how many Euros will be received upon set up of the transaction. There is a clear competitive transfer fee of 0.7%. And the exchange rate you receive is the real-time, mid-market rate, which is similar to rayes found in public sources like Google, Bloomberg and Reuters.
You must nominate a UK account to transfer the £ from and PagoFX take care of the rest once you press send.
With larger movements of money, it is important to watch the movements of the exchange rate as it moves every day. But who really knows what will happen to exchange rates over time, so many uncontrollable events can affect them (a Donald Trump Twitter rant for example)?
When transferring money around the world price is important to customers, trust, and security. We, the customer, need
s a product with transparency of fees and with no timing delay to the money transfer. PagoFX can do this, and we must start to realise that there are other options than PayPal for making payments.
How do I set up PagoFX?
You need to set up an account to send money to receiving countries via the app or website that will only take minutes. It is a very simple and well-designed customer experience. I can vouch for this as I have set up an account on the Android App! Perfect for people who are keen to save money and want reassurance that their money is safe.
The account set up process is very simple. You need an ID (I used driver license) and debit card. You are then ID checked, comparing a picture of ID to a camera phone selfie. Provided these are a match your account will be approved, and you can immediately transact.
PagoFX is a very recent launch, with launch offers!
PagoFX launched during Covid in April 2020. It was a great time to launch as there was (and still is) a huge demand for sending money abroad, e.g. family members stuck abroad needing money. PagoFX was launched with a 0% fee campaign, where customers can send up to £3k abroad for 0% fee. This launch offer is live until 16th August 2020.
This is a collaborative post with PagoFX, backed by Santander.