Last year alone, British consumers spent £46billion abroad. Of this, a conservative £28 million will have been lost in card fees, with the average fee to use a card abroad is 2.25% and 61% of foreign purchases are made with plastic rather than cash. This is more if taking into account mark-ups charged by banks and foreign exchange bureaux. That might be reason why travellers are seeking new ways to spend money abroad safe, and some exchange platforms and Fintech start-ups provide just what these customers need.
Like WeSwap, one of the world’s first peer-to-peer currency exchange platform, that has announced that a staggering £250million in global currency has been traded since its launch, making WeSwap the first UK P2P travel money fintech to do so. This Fintech start-up, based in the UK, has partnerships with 30+ travel industry, API integrations, and a growing hotbed of travel-money products. “WeSwap has firmly established its position as one of the UK’s leading innovators in foreign exchange,” the company mentioned in a recent press release.
The way WeSwap operates isn’t new at all, but it is gaining strength as part of a growing trend in a rather traditional sector. P2P currency exchanges companies like CurrencyFair, Kantox (for businesses), and TransferWise allow users to register online for an account and deposit money into it. Depending on the site, users can accept a given exchange rate or bid on an exchange rate of their choosing. Once the user finds an acceptable rate, the site makes a match, shows change of ownership of funds, and remits the funds within 1 to 2 days through a simple domestic transfer. No currency ever leaves the country, it is merely exchanged between users. Users can send money to any person, business account, or even their own account in another country.
As a growing sector overall, WeSwap has seen an uptake in interest, facilitating speedy innovation and overall growth. According to the company, it estimates it has saved it’s community close to £9 million in what would have been lost in card fees and poor exchange rates since its launch. These figures alone cement WeSwap’s unique and innovative service offering, saving travellers money and making for fairer and more affordable for holidaymakers and business travellers alike.
Jared Jesner, CEO and Founder of WeSwap commented: “We’re incredibly proud to hit £250million swapped, but we’re not stopping there. The outbound travel market is enormous and increasing every year – consumer needs when they spend abroad are also rapidly evolving. WeSwap plans to be there throughout holidaymakers’ journeys, and we’re currently working on pilots for new additions to the WeSwap portfolio like money transfers, fair lending for holidays, insurance and a subscription model. We’ve also always planned to expand WeSwap internationally, and now we’re on the cusp, with concrete plans in place to enter a major new international market. This is a really exciting time for the business.”
P2P foreign currency exchanges are still relatively new and they are most convenient for changing common currencies like dollars, pounds, euros, and yen where there are always many people looking to exchange. Because the platforms depend on connecting individual users in different countries, users of smaller currencies may not immediately find a good corresponding match. Small currency users may also find that certain platforms do not yet deal in their currency. Users trying to exchange a very large amount of money may also have trouble finding a match.
Hernaldo Turrillo is a writer and author specialised in innovation, AI, DLT, SMEs, trading, investing and new trends in technology and business. He has been working for ztudium group since 2017. He is the editor of openbusinesscouncil.org, tradersdna.com, hedgethink.com, and writes regularly for intelligenthq.com, socialmediacouncil.eu. Hernaldo was born in Spain and finally settled in London, United Kingdom, after a few years of personal growth. Hernaldo finished his Journalism bachelor degree in the University of Seville, Spain, and began working as reporter in the newspaper, Europa Sur, writing about Politics and Society. He also worked as community manager and marketing advisor in Los Barrios, Spain. Innovation, technology, politics and economy are his main interests, with special focus on new trends and ethical projects. He enjoys finding himself getting lost in words, explaining what he understands from the world and helping others. Besides a journalist he is also a thinker and proactive in digital transformation strategies. Knowledge and ideas have no limits.