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Understanding currency exchange rates and transfers

I will need to transfer money within the next few months but hope to do it when the rate has improved. Some services monitor changing rates: how does this work and what is the advantage? Also, how are rates offered by currency firms set? J.C.

When sending money abroad, your choice of provider, transfer service and the timing are vital. Currency transfer specialists have created tools to help you get it right and avoid losing out.

As 2016 showed, the market is volatile and rates can fluctuate dramatically: Brexit talks, French elections and other global events promise more fluctuations. Following these changes is essential to find the right time to transfer money, so currency specialists offer a Rate Alert option, where you specify your desired rate and receive an email or text whenever this has been achieved.

Understanding market movements is also vital. Unlike banks with their array of products and services, currency specialists concentrate on foreign exchange, so can give the guidance you need. Most offer a personalised service with a dedicated account manager and online tools – such as currency charts allowing you to follow exchange variations – and regular email updates. No need to browse news websites and jargon-laden articles, the experts explain what has happened, what has changed and what may lie ahead.

There is no magic tool to predict fluctuations but you can use market information plus specialist help, to assess the best transfer time.

Exchange rates shown online and on various communications are quite often interbank rates – the rates at which banks (and only banks) buy and sell currency between each other. Provided for indicative purposes, they give a good overview of market variations but whenever you are ready or the right time comes around to transfer, we advise you speak to your account manager to obtain a quote based on your transfer amount. They will help you transfer worry-free while making the most of your money.

Question answered by Pippa Maile of Currencies Direct. For more information on international money transfers with Currencies Direct see or call +33 (0)4 22 32 62 40

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