It was only a matter of time before buying and exchanging foreign currencies online became reality. Since we do everything else online, why not exchange our money too?
Of course, many people find transitioning from brick and mortar style of currency exchange to a new digital form difficult. But there’s no reason to distrust online exchanges. After all, some of these online currency brokers such as US First Exchange operated their businesses even before the era of the internet.
They’ve just now upgraded their business model to encompass the online market.
Hopefully, this article will dispel any distrust you still feel towards online currency brokers. They’re here to stay, so you should at least see what they have to offer.
What Are Online Foreign Currency Exchanges?
There’s some misinformation circulating the internet about what it is that online foreign currency exchanges do.
The most common misconception seems to be that online currency brokers offer online trading services besides dealing with foreign currencies. That is simply wrong. You won’t be able to buy shares on the stock market or purchase goods and services.
Online foreign currency exchanges are just like regular exchange offices — you can only buy or sell foreign currencies, and that’s it.
How to Buy or Sell Currencies Online?
The process is fairly similar to exchanging foreign currencies in person. First, you need to find a currency broker that offers competitive exchange rates. However, you don’t have to spend the entire day going from one exchange office to another. It’s all much more convenient online — you’ll find the best conversion rate in no time.
Depending on whether you’re buying or selling foreign currencies, the process is slightly different. Ultimately, it’s still going to be simpler and safer than having to do it in person.
If you’re buying foreign currencies, the steps you need to take could not be simpler. Choose the currency you wish to buy, the amount you’d like to buy, and pick the payment method: credit card, bank draft, or a money wire are all usually available.
Serious online currency brokers will try to verify your identity to ensure everything’s in proper order. Once that’s over, give the service your delivery information, choose a shipping method and you’re all set. All that’s left is for you to wait for the money to arrive at your doorstep.
When selling, you need to choose the foreign currency you’re trying to exchange into US dollars. You’ll need to ask the online currency broker for a shipping kit so that you can pack your banknotes properly. Most online exchange services are very finicky regarding the state of the notes they buy, so make sure they’re in top shape and secured, so as to avoid damage during transport.
Once the money safely arrives and the online currency broker checks the condition of banknotes, your payment will be processed and money deposited in your account.
And that’s the whole process. It’s quite straightforward and it saves you a great deal of time.
Is Buying or Selling Foreign Currencies Online Safe?
Simply put, buying and selling your foreign currencies online is completely safe.
First things first — currency exchange websites employ all the security measures like all the other modern websites do. The currency transactions rely on cutting-edge security protocols to keep you and your money safe. It really is no different than using your credit card to purchase goods from Amazon and eBay or pay for your Netflix subscription.
When you buy foreign currencies from online brokers, they’ll ship the money to you using secure packaging. That means the packaging is opaque, hiding its content from prying eyes. They’ll also use high-quality envelopes that aren’t so easy to tear, protecting your money even further. The foreign currency itself will be held together using either paper clips or rubber bands. And most likely, the edges will be taped over to prevent tampering.
Currency sellers are expected to follow all of the above when selling their foreign money to the online currency broker. When you’re the one selling foreign currencies, keep the content of your package secret. Not even the shipping clerks need to know what’s inside the envelope.
Expect the online currency brokers to use shipping services such as FedEx that offer tracking. That way, they also ensure that no one else can get a hold of your package, since you’ll have to sign for it personally.
One more thing you should look for is online currency brokers that offer to cover the entire value of the shipment. You won’t get better insurance than that.
The main takeaway from all of the above is that buying and selling your foreign currencies online is as safe as it gets. And it’s definitely safer than walking around town with a pocketful of cash you want to exchange.
Why Should You Give Online Exchanges a Try?
We’ve already stated some of the more obvious reasons as to why online exchanges are the superior mode of currency conversion. Nothing beats the safety and convenience of online foreign currency exchange.
But if you need an extra reason or two, consider currency exchange rates. It’s highly unlikely you’ll find more competitive rates than what online currency brokers offer. You’ll pocket all the extra cash while saving precious time you’d otherwise spend looking for the least exorbitant exchange office.
And if you run an international business of your own and need to convert huge wads of cash, the difference between conversion rates can make or break your finances.
Another advantage of online exchange services is currency alerts. Sign up for updates on the currency of your choice, and you’ll get a notification each time the currency’s buy and sell rate changes.
The Bottom Line
There really are no reasons to avoid online currency exchanges. Safety shouldn’t be a concern at all. Online currency brokers place a lot of stock in the security of each transaction. It’s in their best interest that each transaction go as smoothly as possible.
At least take a peek at their conversion rates. If you like what you have to see, then there really is no reason to postpone your transition into the digital mode of foreign currency conversion. It’s the way of the future.