In July 2015 Euronet Worldwide purchased XE, a global leader in digital foreign exchange information and a place the average Joe often visits to find the latest exchange rates. The goal of this purchase has always been clear: to make XE the world leader in digital money transfer services. The recent launch of the XE Money Transfer might award them with that title.
The purchase was a smart move. According to the analytics website Alexa.com, XE had an impressive ranking under the top 500 global websites. The site receives about 200 million visits per year. According to Nasdaq, the XE app – launched in 2009 – witnessed more than 35 million downloads and 3 billion rate requests. It was clear that consumers regarded the site highly and many opted to subscribe for paid services from the site.
Euronet, on the other hand, has a strong foundation in electronic financial services. The company offers payment and transaction processing solutions to financial institutions, retailers, service providers and individual consumers. These services include comprehensive ATM, point of sale and card outsourcing services, card issuing and merchant acquiring services, software solutions, cash-based and online-initiated consumer-to-consumer and business-to-business money transfer services.
Euronet has been consistently developing its money transfer division. This was also made clear when it made significant investments in Ria Money Transfer and acquired of HiFX in May 2014.
Euronet Worldwide may have a history as a more traditional, cash-based money remittance business, but it’s fast becoming a major player in the field of Internet-based, international remittance. Since Ria was acquired in 2007, the company’s money transfer division’s operating income has improved at a 25% compound annual growth rate.
XE Money Transfer is to-the-point and customer-centric
There is no doubt that the business of digital, international remittance is gaining serious ground and there are many startups out there trying to make it big. Yet the XE Money Transfer service seems to have a number of clear advantages.
Firstly it’s history as a reliable source of exchange rates automatically promotes a sense of trust when it comes to transferring money across currencies. Users are assured the information regarding exchange rates they receive, is accurate. In many cases, the XE app is already downloaded on their smartphones. XE is a name they’re familiar with, giving it a strong head start in acquiring new business from old customers.
XE boasts 33 000 annual customers in 127 countries. Their currency tools are not only free, but also accurate. With a customer database this large, as well as two decades of experience, it’s easy to see how XE would become a preferred money transfer service above a startup with a small track record.
XE also has the major advantage of being a digital company from the beginning. Unlike the traditional money transfer companies that move into digital, but bring the traditional, often laborious, processes with it, XE already has certain digital processes in place. These processes are tried and tested, making it much easier for international money transfer clients who want to make use of digital services, to trust and support it.
Another clear focus of XE Money Transfer is to put the costumer first. Costumer service is one of the cornerstones of this new service and when clients are working with their hard earned money and sending it across borders, they will always choose the company that has a good and helpful customer service department.
The XE money transfer focuses strongly on being a quick and easy way to transfer money internationally for a range of different reasons. The site promises a sign-up time of only 3 minutes and use everyday examples like sending money to friends and paying international invoices.
Free services is key in a non-committal world
The modern day consumer likes to shop around. With online tools available to do everything from purchasing a well-priced yoga mat to booking airline tickets, digital consumers want to know they are spending as little as possible before they click the “pay” button.
A very clever aspect of the newly launched XE Money Transfer Service is the ability to, firstly, create a free account and, secondly, to get free a quote. Users can play around with the currencies and amounts they’d like to transfer. This means they will know exactly what the transaction will cost before having to commit to any fees.
A wide range of currencies
Apart from the major international currencies, XE Money Transfer also accommodates payments to lesser-known currencies. They currently have 58 currencies listed on their website – a piece of information users can access before having to create an account.
The smaller currencies, like East Caribbean Dollar, Jamaican Dollar, Malawian Kwacha, and Sri Lankan Rupee are rare finds on digital international remittance services. XE Money Transfer offers this service, but only when transferring large amounts. In this way, it increases the options available to consumers.
The importance of transparency
Another aspect that might elevate the XE Money Exchange service about its competitors is its transparency. On the page titled “Great rates & no fees” the company posted rare information – how they make their money. It reads as follows:
“Most currency exchange providers make money on the spread, which is the difference between the buy and sell prices. At XE, currency is our specialty; we buy huge volumes of currency each year and we have much lower overheads so we can pass these extra savings on to you.”
Furthermore, the page gives an explanation of how an exchange rate, and therefore the rate of transfer, is calculated. It’s stated in simple, understandable language and mentions three factors that determine the quoted amount. These are:
- The amount of the bought and sold currency
- The timing of your transaction and delivery dates
- The exchange rates on offer in the foreign exchange market place
It’s important to explain the complicated world of currencies, exchange rates and international money transfer in a simple way in order to make the customers feel assured and informed.
The importance of the merger with Euronet
One could argue that XE could have launched a digital, international money transfer without being acquired by Euronet, but the impact would not have been the same. By having this significant global financial player behind it, XE was able to propell itself to be a top competitor from the start.
XE also leans on the credibility of Euronet Worldwide as a recognized leader in global financial services to earn the trust of its new money transfer clients. To reassure these clients that their money is in good hands, they mention the group’s achievements in the last year: it transacted over $11 billion for 112,000 clients in 117 countries.
Personal and business focuses
With the sphere of digital remittance expanding drastically in recent years, international money transfer has evolved significantly from being a service mostly used by businesses to being something the man on the street requires in his everyday life. Friends are increasingly sending money across borders, families are sending money to pay for the children’s schooling and parents are funding their kids’ study abroad programs and topping up their allowances.
XE Money Transfer hit an important nail on the head by making this a service both for personal and professional reasons. By referring to their history as a trusted and accurate source for currency rates and their merger with a major financial player, they seem to be ticking all the boxes required to be a successful player in the field of digital remittance. It definitely is a brand to keep an eye on.