In a nutshell
Xe is a great money transfer service. It’s easy to use, reliable, and fast – and has a massive range of currencies available (pretty much worldwide). You can also send money to be picked up as cash, and directly to mobile wallets. Businesses can use it too.
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Xe is one of the leading money transfer services across the world, and well established (around 30 years old). It’s trusted by millions of people worldwide to send money to nearly every country in the world, in over 100 currencies, transferring over $115 billion every year. And, it’s very highly rated (lots of 5 star reviews).
It’s also very popular with businesses who make international payments too (we’ll cover businesses in detail below).
With Xe, you can send money directly to your friends or family’s bank account directly (and businesses), or to a mobile wallet (an app on your phone), or as cash from a pickup location (over 500,000 locations worldwide), all from your Xe account – wherever you want to across the world. Your account is all online, through their website and there’s a great mobile app too (you can even make transfers by phone call).
To use, Xe, you simply add your money to your Xe account, in your local currency (e.g. Pounds in the UK), which you can do by a bank transfer, or a debit card or a credit card (fees may apply).
Xe will then convert it to the specified currency you’d like to send, using the current exchange rate, and it will be sent to the account you specified (sometimes in seconds). Simple.
It’s considerably cheaper than sending money from any high street bank (e.g. Barclays or NatWest). We’ll cover the exact fees below.
For the people who like a good deal, you can even set an exchange rate you’d like to buy at, and get alerted when the rate hits that rate, and even get the rate there and then, but for a future transfer.
Xe is part of Euronet, which is a very large global business that helps millions of people manage their money everyday. For instance, you might recognise an Euronet ATM next time you’re abroad (they’re everywhere!).
Sound good so far? Let’s dive into the details. If you’ve heard enough already, get started on the Xe website¹.
How Xe works
Xe sends money using the existing banking network (so very secure). It’s just like sending money from your bank account to your friend's bank account. For instance, if you’re both in the UK, you’ll get this pretty quickly (normally instantly).
However, if you send money to your friend in another country, directly from your bank account to theirs, it’s going to go through the global banking network, where lots of banks are connected to each other, across different countries, which can take longer – it will likely take a few hours, but expect transfers to take around 1-4 days in total.
All you need to do is set up your account, and you’re away – you can use the Xe website¹ and mobile app to transfer money whenever you like.
You’ll need to transfer money to Xe first, in order to make the transfer – and you can do this by doing a standard bank transfer from your bank account, or using a debit or credit card (fees may apply).
You can also set up a Direct Debit from your bank account to your Xe account if you want to make regular international transfers to friends, family or businesses (or yourself for things like mortgages or pensions).
You can also set up a regular payment in another currency from Xe to your friends, family or businesses too, so everything’s all automated, meaning you don’t need to keep logging in and sending money.
Choose your preferred exchange rate
If you’re a bit of a pro with exchange rates, you can actually set the rate you’d like to convert your money, and then send the transfer automatically. This is called a market order with Xe (although generally known as limit orders).
Lock in today's rate for later
This is a nice feature. If you like today’s exchange rate, you can ‘lock’ it in today, and it will be used for a future transfer. Pretty cool right? This is called a forward contract.
You can also set up alerts via email or via the mobile app, which will notify you when a certain exchange rate is reached for your chosen currencies – you can then login, buy and transfer your money if you want to. Potentially saving you a small fortune over time.
Pick up cash
You can send cash to friends and family across most countries in the world. This option is currently available if you're based in UK, Europe, Canada and the USA, and works simply by sending a transfer as a cash pickup on the app or website. They’ll then be able to go to a local pickup spot (normally a shop or a bank – there’s over 500,000 locations worldwide). To collect, you simply enter the pin number that you’ll have been given, and collect the cash. Easy.
Send to mobile wallets
You can also send money directly to a mobile wallet, rather than a bank account. All you need is your friend's mobile number (as long as they have a wallet set up).
Note: mobile wallets are becoming popular in countries where bank accounts are less common.
Send transfers over the phone
You can also call up and make a transfer too – how old school, but actually can be quite useful if you prefer to speak to someone.
Xe for businesses
If you’re running a business and need to make international payments, Xe is worth checking out. There’s also foreign exchange (FX) risk management solutions too (so you don’t get caught out if a currency your business is holding changes value).
Essentially, with Xe, you can make payments in a huge range of currencies, directly to the bank account of your suppliers or business partners, pretty much wherever they are in the world (over 190 countries).
This is a great feature, as your business comes across like a local business but in a foreign country. It can also save a lot of money in fees compared to high street banks.
Or, you might want to pay employees across the world in their local currency, saving them the time and admin of converting money themselves.
With Xe, you’ll get your own online account for your business, where you can handle everything you need to, and have a record of every payment too. And, as a bonus, if you see a great exchange rate, you can even lock it in today, and schedule payments anytime in the next 3 years.
Getting technical, if you’re after currency data, you can also build your own tools that connect to the Xe system for up-to-date currency prices – and you can even get prices for things like the central bank rates, gold, and crypto.
Xe exchange rate
In order for your friends or family to receive the currency they’d like (e.g. Euros), Xe will need to convert your money from your currency (e.g. Pounds), into their currency. To do this Xe uses their own exchange rate.
The Xe rate takes the mid-market rate, which is generally accepted as the ‘real’ exchange rate, and then they add a small fee into this rate – the actual fee depends on the currency. Generally, it’s very low, and competitive.
This is typically how most banks and money transfer services convert money, although some do simply just use the mid-market rate instead of their own interest rate, and then add a different type of fee on-top separately (like a subscription fee).
With Xe, the fees are transparent, and you’ll know what you’re paying before you transfer money, but there can be multiple fees per transfer – although overall, the fees are competitive, and come in far cheaper than using high street banks to send money.
It can get a bit complicated, but there will be a fee to send money, called a ‘send fee’ and a fee within the exchange rate.
Note: Xe for Business typically has no fees for international payments (although there is for same-currency payments).
For some transfers, Xe will charge a fee, called a ‘send fee’. You’ll see this when you make a transfer, it’s typically around £1.99. If you’re sending larger amounts, such as over £1,000, this is typically free.
If you use a credit card, you may also be charged by the card provider.
Exchange rate fee
With Xe, you won’t be using the ‘real’ exchange rate, which is often called the mid-market rate, you’ll be using an exchange rate set by Xe. This isn’t necessarily a problem, and lots of banks and money transfer services do this too – but it means there is a fee within the exchange rate itself.
This is typically around 0.50% to 2% depending on the currency (the more popular currencies, such as Euros and Dollars have lower fees).
Third party fees
Depending on where you’re sending the money, there might be fees taken from the recipient’s bank, or an ‘intermediary bank’ (a bank that’s effectively a middleman, helping to make the transfer). This would mean your friend or family would receive a bit less than you actually sent.
Xe won’t know what this fee is as it’s from the receiving bank, so it can’t be displayed when you set up the transfer.
The customer support is excellent.
There’s a large help centre on the Xe website, which has got pretty much every question that you might have, answered.
You can also phone up customer support, 24 hours per day, Monday to Friday, and get help immediately (well, after a short wait on hold). They say on their website, wait times won't be longer than 10 minutes. And from our research this is true. There’s also support for a range of different countries too.
Or, you can chat online through the app, to a real person (rather than a robot), whenever you like (response time is typically 2 minutes), and there’s over 100 different languages spoken.
Pretty great right? There’s a reason why they get so many 5 star reviews.
Is Xe safe?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to use and send money with Xe.
Xe is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They’re the people who make sure financial services companies are looking after you and your money.
Typically, being authorised by the FCA also means customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which can compensate you by up to £85,000 if the company were to go out of business, and you had money on the platform (which is unlikely anyway, as you’ll typically just be transferring money in and out straight away).
However, that doesn’t apply to money transfer services – but that doesn’t mean your money isn’t safe. Xe is owned by Euronet, a very large, multi-billion dollar, global company, that operates a huge range of ATM machines globally and various other payment services for people directly and businesses.
Xe customer reviews
Customers love Xe. On Trustpilot, the popular reviews website, it has a score of 4.3 out of 5, from over 63,000 reviews. That’s excellent.
Lot’s of the reviews mention how dependable and quick the service is, how the fees are reasonable, and the great customer service.
The Xe mobile app is also very highly rated, with a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on the Apple app store, although 3.5 stars on the Google Play store.
Xe pros and cons
Here’s a quick recap and the pros and cons of Xe:
- Huge range of currencies (100)
- Send money worldwide
- You can pick up cash (over 500,000 locations worldwide)
- Send to a mobile wallet
- Low fees compared to high street banks
- Excellent customer service
- Business account available
- Doesn’t use the mid-market exchange rate (but their own low rate)
- Relies on banks to make payments, so can sometimes take a few days
- No card for holiday spending (just transfers)
We love Xe, it’s a great option for money transfers. It’s very well established, trusted, and safe to use – and that reliability when it comes to money transfers is essential.
There’s a huge range of currencies (almost every one), and you can pretty much send to every country around the world.
It’s very easy to use, and you can send money within a few minutes using their website or mobile app (the app is great).
The fees are good, with a mix of fees to send money (depending on how much you want to send), and a fee within the exchange rate itself, which itself is reasonable. It’s almost certainly much lower than using your traditional bank.
You can also send money directly to be picked up as cash (which is not very common), and there’s over 500,000 locations worldwide. Plus, you can send directly to a mobile wallet too.
If you’re running a business and making international payments, it’s a great option – you can manage everything from one single place, and make payments like a local, all while benefiting from the low fees.
Overall, it’s a great option, and highly recommended. 5 stars from us. To learn more, check out the Xe website¹.