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Are you an individual or SME facing steep charges by the banks on international payments?

MyCurrencyTransfer.com is a cheaper and more transparent option where founders do not want you to get short changed by high fees or excessive margins added to the real exchange rate.

High Street banks lookout, My Currency Transfer has a strong product offering on travel money and international payments.

We spoke with Daniel Abrahams, Co-founder of this UK, now Isreal-based startup on their success and what's next.

In one sentence, what is My Currency Transfer?

MyCurrencyTransfer.com is an award winning foreign exchange comparison site, helping individuals and businesses find a fairer and cheaper deal on currency. 

What problem does My Currency Transfer solve?

Individuals and SME’s are getting ripped off by the banks on international payments. They deserve a fairer, cheaper and more transparent deal compared to what they are getting at the moment. Most get short changed by high fees, excessive margins added to the ‘real exchange rate’ and a poor service. 

The daily global turnover of retail deliverable foreign exchange is $1.5 bn. Banks apply horrendous margins of up to 5% of the amount being transferred and apply excessive fees up to £40 per payment.

Industry research suggests 86% of our addressable market is still captured by the high street banks. 

Our platform helps save customers around £1,500 on every £50,000 being transferred. We list FCA regulated foreign exchange brokers who apply tight margins to the ‘real exchange rate’ and as a site, we aim to operate a culture of no tricks or hidden fees. Our dynamic engine displays everything including all rates, fees & margins.

Ultimately, more quotes equal a better saving.

What are your immediate goals?

Recently, we just relocated our management team to Tel Aviv for three months. The plan was to experience first hand ‘The Startup Nation’ and tap into the very impressive local talent pool. It’s been a great experience and we leave for London having established our first international office. 

The rest of 2013 will be spent building our in-house team, bulking up the dev and marketing talent and continually improving our product offering. We have some exciting development plans that will be released to the public in the next fortnight. Our sister site, MyTravelMoney.co.uk is going from strength to strength and provides live travel money rates for over 60+ currencies.

We’ll look to bolt on additional products in the run up to what we expect to be a busy Summer period. 

What were the biggest challenges involved in building My Currency Transfer?

The business has been self-funded from day one, and despite being approached on almost a weekly basis, we haven’t raised any external funding to date. It’s definitely limited our ability to supercharge our traffic acquisition and execute on new product developments as fast as we’d have liked.

However, it’s given us time to continually iterate our product without pressure and learn some valuable metrics about our customers. In the early days, it was very important for us to be able to steer the ship without divesting control.  

Now, should we choose to take investment, we’re now in a much stronger position to really push on. 

How does the company make money?

MyCurrencyTransfer takes a small fee every time a trade is introduced via the website. By facilitating a competitive marketplace amongst currency specialists, we still ensure that customers get a far better deal than going direct. 

Who is in your team?

We’re a team of eight. My Co-founder Stevan is in charge of our small team of techies, responsible for site development and the execution of new product rollouts. Philip Blackwell is part of our management team and is Head of Design. We’re going through a major upgrade to the UI/UX on the site and Phil has been brought in to be the creative maverick! 

Where would you like to be in one, three and five years?

In the next five years, we want to fulfil our mission of finding every single visitor globally a fairer and cheaper deal on currency. Whether you need to buy travel money or make an international payment, we want to be the one-stop shop for a great deal on foreign exchange.

In the next 12 months, we’ll look to launch our service in Australia, Canada and the USA. We get a lot of visitors from countries outside the UK but need to service them better on a local level. 

With regards to our product, we’ll look to build more of a community element into our offering via reviews and customer feedback. We’ll also work hard on our technology to continually increase level of competition amongst our providers, all with the goal of getting our customers a great money transfer deal.

Over the next five years, hiring smart, local talent will be key. And of course, to achieve our goals, I’m sure we’ll need to revisit the investment question once again. 

Other than My Currency Transfer, what are your favourite websites/apps/tools?

Wow, too many to mention! I love Basecamp and I think it’s a tremendous way for entrepreneurs and small teams to manage projects. The collaboration apps from the guys at 37 Signals are extremely impressive.

Broadening it out slightly, I think the future winners will come from peer-to-peer related apps and products, and I am a huge fan of AirBNB. I could go on..!

Ryan Sommer

Published 11 June, 2013 by Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer is web veteran and recovering expat who contributes to Econsultancy on startups, content marketing and new media. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or add him to your circles on Google+

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