CashSwap vs WeSwap Currency Exchange Breakdown
In the past, we’ve explained how CashSwap facilitates peer to peer currency exchange at the airport using our traveler network. We’ve explained what makes CashSwap different from traditional currency exchange companies like Travelex and Moneycorp. Today we need to explain how CashSwap is different from another company that you just might have gotten confused about, WeSwap. Based on the names, you might think that WeSwap and CashSwap are similar companies with a similar business model. They are not.
While CashSwap has actually revolutionized the way that travelers exchange currency by eliminating the legacy business model and its high priced middlemen, WeSwap is has simply taken the legacy business model and moved it online.
CashSwap does not actually handle currency in any way. As a result, the overhead required to run the service is comparatively very low. CashSwap simply manages a traveler network that let’s people connect with each other to perform their own currency exchanges. Because it has low costs, all of that savings is passed right down to the traveler in the form of presenting the real exchange rate with a very low, flat connection fee of $3.99 per swap (currently waived).
Conversely, WeSwap has a very complex business process which actually requires the storage and handling of money. When you sign up, it’s more akin to opening a new bank account. Funds are deposited and a bank card/credit card is issued by mail to provide access to those funds. You can paint a pretty picture of the final steps and show a customer simply using a debit card to make a purchase overseas, but it’s not that simple and travelers are being vocal about it.
Because WeSwap operates more like a bank, it is subject to regulations fitting a financial institution. These regulations vary from country to country and require bright minds to navigate. New currencies can only be introduced once all regulations have been satisfied. CashSwap can swap into all currencies worldwide vs. only 18 for WeSwap. WeSwap also has high costs to physically manage the customer accounts along with the brick and mortar-ish mailing of travel cards. The money to pay for all of this needs to come from somewhere. Just like the legacy currency exchange companies, WeSwap modifies the exchange rates and charges exchange fees that are a percentage of the transaction amount.
Currency Exchange Rates
When using CashSwap, the actual exchange rate is the rate shown to travelers. Travelers are encouraged to Google the rate to double check it.
From the WeSwap website, “We use the Interbank/mid-market rate (or Xe.com rate) as a reference to set our rate.” WeSwap doesn’t offer travelers the real exchange rate. They set their own. Like Uber, they also have something similar to “surge pricing” where they add surcharges to the exchange rate based on volume. Again, from their website, “from time to time, we’ll add a small surcharge to that rate. This will never ever be more than 2.5%.”
CashSwap only presents the real exchange rate, also known as the market rate. WeSwap offers their own rate, potentially with an additional surcharge added on. Does that sound familiar? It should because it is exactly how traditional exchange businesses operate.
CashSwap has only a flat connection fee of $3.99, regardless of the currency exchange amount. If a traveler is exchanging $1,000 in currency, the fee is still only $3.99.
WeSwap’s transaction fee is a percentage of the total transaction but it gets more complicated than that. CashSwap only facilitates physical, face to face currency exchange. By nature, it’s instant. WeSwap work more like a money wire service. As such, travelers need to request currency days in advance or instead pay higher fees. A swap 7 days in advance will cost 1% of the transaction while an instant swap will cost 2%. On a swap of $1,000, that’s a $20 charge for the transaction on top of the lower exchange rate and any additional surcharges.
WeSwap does offer an array of services similar to a bank or credit card company. Just like banks and credit card companies, they also charge transaction fees for most of them. ATM withdrawals, replacing a lost travel card, and refunds all have additional fees attached. In truth, they have so many potential fees that there are actually 4 printed pages of fees on the WeSwap website. Again, sound familiar?
We know that it’s difficult for travelers to make informed decisions when they travel to other countries. There may be language barriers or, in the case of getting foreign currency, there might be some complicated math involved which makes it hard to know if something is a good deal. At CashSwap, we keep it as simple as possible. We show the real exchange rate and have a single, small, flat fee (currently waived).
Today, CashSwap can say, “Connect directly to other travelers at the airport instantly to exchange currency at the real exchange rate for free.”
WeSwap would say something like, “Get the currency you need instantly on a debit card for something in the ballpark of the real exchange rate, possibly with a surcharge added, for the variable cost of 2% of your money. And then if you take less than $200 of that currency out of an ATM there will be another small fee for that.”
Which one seems simpler to you?
Download the app on Google Play now and see the savings in less than 60 seconds. There’s no need to sign up to check the rates!