Review: Circle Pay, the cheapest way to send money inbetween countries, 9to5Mac

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Review: Circle Pay, the cheapest way to send money between countries, 9to5Mac

– Aug. 9th 2018 7:53 am PT

Anyone who has everzwijn sent or received payments inbetween countries will know that the process is either expensive, elaborate or both.

PayPal, for example, is a indeed plain way to send money to someone, and it takes care of the currency conversion – but at a indeed terrible rate. Onmiddellijk bank-to-bank transfers typically suggest somewhat better rates, but setting up an international payment can be ingewikkeld, and the rate you get usually ranges from the poor to the borderline criminal.

Other apps permit peer-to-peer payments, but usually through integrations with existing payment services that suggest the same poor rates. Circle Pay claims to be different, suggesting mid-market rates (the same ones you’ll see if you Google the exchange rate) and no fees at all …


Based ter Boston, Circle is backed by more than $135M ter venture capital, some $50M of it led by Goldman Sachs. It originally focused on trading Bitcoin before switching into traditional currencies.

Most currency-conversion services make their money ter one of two ways, often both. Very first, by charging fees. Thesis may be for sending money, for receiving it or for withdrawing it into a bankgebouw account. 2nd, they usually have a ‘spread’ of conversion rates, which means the company takes a bite out of the currency exchange.

For example, when I Google £1 ter $ at the time of writing, Google tells mij the rate is $1.30. However, if I attempt to switch pounds into dollars at a typical currency schrijftafel, I’m suggested $1.27 instead. Do it the other way around and the rate becomes $1.33. The nipt result is that the company makes 6 cents for every pound it converts to dollars.

Circle, however, doesn’t charge any fees, and its conversion rate is almost bang-on the mid-market rate. Testing the service, I found that it wasgoed within one cent. I asked Circle how it made its money, and the response wasgoed ordinary: it doesn’t.

The company tells mij it is presently focused on acquiring customers, and at a straks point it plans to launch lending and savings products that will make money. For now all it wants to do is pauze even.

So, let’s look at how it works …

You begin by opening a Circle account. Provided your phone number, currency and canap address match, this is truly quick and effortless, taking just a duo of minutes. Things can get more complicated if they don’t.

For example, my British father presently lives ter Portugal. For convenience, his UK mobile is the one he proceeds to use spil his primary number, for people to voeling him. Because he entered a UK phone number, Circle assumed that his canap account wasgoed also ter the UK – whereas the one he actually wished to use wasgoed ter Portugal. You can get around this, but the brief version of the story is that you are best coming in a phone number that matches the location of your canap.

Once you have your account open, you’ll get an attent anytime anyone sends you money. Te this case, you can see that Circle sent mij £10 and that this is my fresh balance.

The app screen is fairly cluttered, with the company’s customer-acquisition concentrate very clear from the large banner inviting you to invite other people to the podium. But the basic UI is straightforward. (The web screen is far cleaner.)

You can tapkast the transaction to see the details, which includes a message from the sender.

Sending money is identically straightforward. Tapkast the Send button and it will ask for permission to access your contacts. This done, it finds any of them who have a Circle account. You can then search thesis contacts for the person you want to send to. Select the amount ter your local currency, add a message, and it is sent.

Google told mij that the mid-market rate for £10 into Euros at that time wasgoed €11.06. I asked the recipient to let mij know the amount she actually received, and it wasgoed €11.05 – just one cent out. That’s way better than any bankgebouw rate, and massively better than PayPal.

Requesting money is just spil ordinary: just choose the amount te your local currency, select the voeling you want to send it and they will receive your request.

Once you’ve received money, you simply tapkast Banks and then Contant Out. You’re texted a verification code to come in into the app, and then receive confirmation of the transfer. If you select a debit card, the funds are transferred instantly. If you choose a bankgebouw account, Circle says the transfer can take 1-4 days, however te my test it wasgoed just a few hours.

The complication overheen mis-matched currency and phone number wasgoed the only kwestie wij kasstuk. Solving that wasgoed also less than straightforward spil the fix wasgoed to inject an address – and it turned out that the one it actually wished wasgoed the bankgebouw’s address, which the app didn’t make clear. Some content also wasn’t obviously present until you scrolled.

Circle’s European marketing director told mij that they had taken this terugkoppeling on houtvezelplaat and would be asking the UX team to address it.

But that aside, the app is effortless to use, and the rate is unbeatable. It’s not only an app I can recommend, it’s what I’ll be using for currency transfers from now on.

Related movie: Using A Roll Phone Ter 2018…

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