A brand-new fintech business which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Funding…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (providing you an affordable method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is drawn from your current account– just without the normal 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to request, which also helps.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you pick a paid strategy, but the complimentary strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is an organization design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or more affordable than the competition
add more and more features which your existing customers do not truly want or need
add costs, limitations or charges to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Curve, monzo and revolut are already in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Funding
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) make any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you do not require a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which provide a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you want a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, an extremely simple procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank automatically confirms that you have adequate money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. adds a 0.5% charge if you have the totally free card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic spend alert through the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to sprinkle out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
But converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is just about to happen (often in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Do not get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Fortunately recently a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards assures huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I believe the finest bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less stress over running out of money and the extra action. However that does not suggest it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make revenue from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free quantity on all our strategies, full information can be discovered on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription cost also removes all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Funding