One price on the shelf and another at the checkout…

Posted on the 29th August 2017 by Alex Garbutt in Team blog, SME blog, Business, Finance

Transparent international payments and foreign exchange pricing

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is cracking down on Payments and e-Money Institutions that are using currency conversion tools in a “potentially misleading” way.

There have been a number of complaints from consumers who have been deceived by companies who display the interbank exchange rate from on-site currency calculators and promotional information when in fact, this rate is never available to consumers when actually converting funds. It’s like supermarkets advertising one price on the shelf, then charging more at the checkout.

The FCA has previously warned currency transfer firms that they need to comply with the 2008 Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (‘the CPRs’), however this warning seems to have gone unheeded. A new statement reiterates these concerns, particularly around the use of currency converter tools and other forms of marketing such as press and leaflet promotions that mislead consumers with superior rates based on the interbank rate, rather than the “materially inferior rate which they may actually receive”. The FCA cautioned firms that not acting in accordance with regulatory expectations could result in disciplinary action, and advised seeking legal advice where necessary.

Foreign exchange is one of the last bastions of the financial markets to suffer from a lack of price transparency, making it easy for less scrupulous international payments and foreign exchange providers to succeed, and this is one of the reasons we started Money Mover. We believe our customers deserve full transparency. At Money Mover, we display the mid-market and effective exchange rates, in addition to clearly disclosing our single, all-inclusive fee. The only currency conversion tool you’ll find on the Money Mover site is the ‘Quick Quote’ function within our web application. This shows the ‘fully loaded’ price – inclusive of the effect of exchange rate spreads and charges.

The FCA’s focus on stamping out misleading marketing is a clear indication that the industry is changing. As for Money Mover, with our low rates, and guaranteed no hidden fees, transparency is just business as usual.

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