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Choosing a currency specialist, what you need to know

In the final article of the Currency Strategy series with CCIQ partner, OFX, we explore the considerations when choosing a Currency Specialist – from security & regulation, fees, strategy options, customer service and technologies. When sending or receiving funds from overseas, it’s important to protect your transfers with a firm that can help you make the most of your money. Register for the OFX Webinar – Building a Currency Strategy.


Security & Regulation
It’s important to determine whether your chosen broker is complaint with local regulation – for example, in Australia, the broker should be regulated with Australian Financial Services (AFSL) license from ASIC, which is required for any dealing in Australia for financial products. Determining the compliance of a specialist is important to ensure extra security, by ensuring that the company safeguards client funds and maintains a certain level of capital funds. Brokers will list their membership with regulatory bodies on their website. To ensure the safety of your funds, you should only do business with a firm that is fully regulated in all countries of operation.


Exchange Rates & Transaction Fees
By nature, Currency Brokers offer far better exchange rates and lower fees than any bank. However, you should compare exchange rates and fees between brokers. The market is exceptionally competitive, and a selection of firms may quote ‘interbank’ exchange rates (the rate at which banks swap currencies between each other) to grab your attention and add additional service fees and margins after proceeding.
Before deciding on your broker, get a complete quote and ask up-front if there are any additional fees and charges attached to the quote.Explore ‘Key Tips in Optimising your Payment Routes’ to understand the difference between banks & brokers.


Understanding the different strategies available to you
Having a solid understanding of the various currency strategies available to you can help you manage your money smarter and get more ‘bang for buck’. Your currency specialist should help you to understand the difference between products such as Forward Contracts, Spot Rates and Limit Orders, and how single use, or combinations of these products can impact your bottom line. For more information on currency strategies, check our ‘Currency Risk Management’ article, or contact OFX directly.
Register for the OFX Webinar – Building a Currency Strategy | Aug 9 12:00pm


Customer Service
As we all know, customer experience dictates perception of a brand, irrespective of how great the product or service is. It is imperative that during the decision-making process, that you review the customer service options offered by the broker. You can do this by searching for testimonials, reviews and comments online across social media, forums and the firm’s website. It is important to understand exactly the type of service offered by your currency specialist, so you can be sure that you’re receiving the attention, and care that your business deserves. Good brokers offer 24/7 support to their customers as foreign exchange markets are open 24 hours a day. In this respect, having access to your own Currency Specialist who can help manage the various risks involved with foreign exchange is key, so ensure that the FX firm has good 24/7 customer service, so you can make a sound and quick deal, whenever you’re ready to.


Platform
Last, but certainly not least, consider your broker’s platform. You’ll want a platform that offers transparency on your rates, as well as quick and simple way of locking in and tracking your international transfers - a seamless user experience. Nothing should be slow, tedious or unclear – as this can negatively affect your ability to trade, depending on your currency strategy.
Source: CCIQ


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