Peer-to-Peer is a recent innovation for international money transfers. The playing field is being levelled with retail customers benefiting from great rates that were previously only available to big companies. At the forefront of this innovation are ‘peer to peer’ money transfers.
Online peer to peer (P2P) first began in the early nineties, with file-sharing services like Napster, Bearshare and KaZaA. Since then, P2P developed into numerous other, more legal, uses. Skype, for example, uses a hybrid of P2P and client-server systems. P2P lending is increasingly common with sites like Lending Club and Prosper.com connecting individuals seeking funds with others able to lend money in return for interest. Even sites like Ebay and home rental service AirBnB come under the umbrella of P2P ‘collaborative consumption’.
Now peer to peer has come to the financial services industry too. Sites such as CurrencyFair.com put the power in the public’s hands, allowing you to get a great exchange rate with a safe and secure money marketplace.
P2P currency exchange and money transfer providers such as CurrencyFair bring together a network of users, each looking to exchange money for another currency. By matching you with another user selling the currency you want to buy, the P2P provider is able to offer an exceptional rate, and unlike banks and brokers, the rates are NOT dependant on how much you exchange. Every customer gets equal access to the same fair rates. Gone are the large middleman fees charged by banks and brokers.
The P2P provider, as a regulated entity, also provides security and convenience. They ensure that you can exchange safely, and that your money gets where it needs to go efficiently and quickly.
Is peer-to-peer the future of international money transfers? Only time will tell.