Exchange rate lock service launches to meet ‘financial needs of migrants’
Although available to anyone in the UK, Lebara Money said the ‘like it, lock it’ service is “dedicated to meeting the financial needs of migrants in Europe”.
The international money transfer service claims to combine a highly competitive FX rate with the first ever scheme allowing customers to lock in a rate for up to 30 days.
The service allows customers to transfer a minimum of £100 (£1,500 maximum) to an international bank account. To lock in a favourable rate costs between 0.5% and 1%, depending on the destination.
As an example, someone planning in June to send £1,000 home to India in July could have locked in a pre-Brexit rate on 22 June and been £147 better off when the money transfer was made on 6 July.
However, if sterling were to strengthen within 30 days of locking in a rate, Lebara Money confirmed to YourMoney.com that customers can cancel their locked rate transaction any time before 11pm the day before the scheduled transfer, but they will still face a 0.5% – 1% fee.
The new service comes four months after Caxton FX launched a ‘buy back’ guarantee, promising to lock the rate for your left over holiday currency for £5.
Selma Ribica, director of Lebara Money, said: “Before now, only large corporates and wealthy people moving huge sums of money around the world have been able to lock in competitive exchange rates, despite the more fundamental need migrants have for such a service, even if they are moving much smaller amounts. As our first step in meeting the financial needs of migrants across the UK and Europe, the unique Lebara Money transfer service is a good example of how we will make our customers’ lives easier and save them potentially hundreds or even thousands of pounds.”