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What Is a Currency Broker?

Currency Brokers, also referred to as international payment providers, offer an alternative to using a bank to make international payments. The benefits of using a currency broker include accessing international payment expertise, better exchange rates and the use of specialist products and technology to assist with more complex payment requirements.

Compare Currency Brokers and Money Transfer Rates

With over 130 currency brokers and money transfer services in the UK alone, deciding who to go with can be quite overwhelming.

Quote Goat’s team of money experts have worked in the currency sector for the past ten years, we’ve spoken to all types of clients and have personally used each of the currency brokers that we work with.

Our comparison panel consists of leading UK money transfer specialists, all of whom are regulated by the FCA, and are able to assist both personal and business clients with all requirements from one-off payments to complex situations. 

If you are going abroad and are looking for travel money then visit our travel money comparison table to compare rates for all currencies including euros and USD.

The Money Transfer Process


Register with a broker

Sign up with your chosen broker and supply documentation in accordance with anti money laundering regulation


Get a quote

Look at the quote available to you and ideally compare against a quote from another broker


Pay the funds

Log onto your online banking or call and transfer funds to the broker for exchange


Payment delivered to recipient

The broker will transfer the funds to the nominated bank account in the nominated currency

The Mid-Market Exchange Rate Or Interbank Rate

The mid-market exchange rate is the true exchange rate between two currencies, the above shows the rate between GBP and EUR. This mid-market exchange rate is not accessible to you and I, it is reserved for transactions between and large corporations.

Use this rate as a guideline when comparing rates from the brokers on this page, ideally you want to be as close to the Interbank rate as possible.

Information on Currency Brokers

To many people the world of currency brokers feels understandably alien. On this page we hope to address any questions you may have and provide an explanation of who they are and what they do.

Transferring money into other currencies has always been seen as an opportunity by banks to add a margin onto the exchange rate, sometimes as much as 5% on top of the actual exchange rate. This means you lose 5% of the funds you are transferring.

The growth of currency brokers has put an end to this with many brokers charging as little as 0.2% for exactly the same service offered by your bank. Equally your money is just as safe when you use a broker as they are regulated by the FCA and adhere to the same rules that the big banks abide by.

It is also worth noting that prices are becoming more and more competitive, with brokers setting the size of their margin dependent on your transaction amount, the  currencies you are transferring between (currency pairs) and more.

No single currency broker is the cheapest all the time so depending on the frequency of your transactions and the volumes we recommend signing up with two or three of the below which allows you to compare quotes from multiple brokers each time you trade and negotiate with them to find a better deal.

International Payment FAQs

What fees do currency brokers charge?

Currency brokers make money by charging a margin, or percentage, on top of the interbank exchange rate. The margin charged will often be dependent on the volume that a client is hoping to transact. Customers transferring a higher volume will tend to benefit from lower margins. These fees can be as little as 0.2% and increase dependent on a number of factors including the transaction type (e.g. spot/forward), the currency pair and the transaction volume. Currency brokers are almost always significantly cheaper than using a bank, where banks are often charging up to 5% on top of the interbank rate. The best way to ascertain the rate you may be charged is to get a quote above.

How does a money transfer company make money without charging a fee?

Good question. Even though it is often advertised that brokers, transfer services and even airport currency bureaus do not charge a fee, they do still make a profit by building a margin into the exchange rate.

What is a margin?

A margin in currency exchange terms is the difference between the official exchange rate (mid-market rate) and the exchange rate you are given when exchanging money. Banks can charge as much as 5% in a margin (sometimes more), meaning that if you were transferring GBPs to USDs you would be paying 5% of your USDs to the bank for changing your money

What margin do currency brokers charge?

Money transfer services and currency brokers have built up a whole industry by purchasing currency in bulk directly from the banks at a tiny margin and then transferring fnds for clients, charging their own margin, typically up to 85% less than the bank would have charged the client directly.

Who’s the cheapest and how do I find them?

There is no broker that is always cheapest which is why we recommend signing up with two or more from the table above and then comparing rates each time you go to trade. This becomes more and more important as the size of your transaction grows. If you are buying a house overseas for £100,000 you could save as much as £4,500 by using a broker instead of the bank.

Author Image - Michael Foote

Written By Michael Foote, Insurance and Finance Expert

Michael Foote is the founder of Quote Goat and has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors. Since launching Quote Goat he has appeared on TV as well as many of the largest online publications including Forbes, The Telegraph and The Metro. Prior to Quote Goat, he worked in finance in the city for a number of firms including HSBC.