Oct 2016

Cheaper travel money… peer-to-peer

By: Odyssey Cloud
Tags: Disruption, Fintech

Another interesting disruption in the financial area.

This week we take a look at currency exchange rates.

Traditionally we’ve all arrived into a foreign airport and accepted the horrible exchange rates at the exchange kiosks, or perhaps we’ve gone downtown and bought Traveller’s cheques before departing, or some cash, or perhaps loaded up a currency card from one of the banks.

Whatever is done, we always have this feeling that the exchange rates aren’t quite the best available.

Moving into the 21st century, there are now new online offerings to challenge the incumbents.

Ok, so we’re not suggesting downloading an app to meet someone in a dark alley to exchange currencies, though that app is already out there, but there are lots of new options arriving that challenge the status quo.

One of these is WeSwap, which has a card issued by the provider, and they simply swap your currency direct with other travellers. It’s about connection, its about disruption, and it’s about challenging the status quo on exchange rates, hidden fees or shocks when you get home to have poor exchange rates.

WeSwap was founded in 2011 and fully launched in 2015, and so this peer-to-peer currency exchange site has taken a few years to kick off, but peer-to-peer has a tendancy to snowball with sufficient momentum and marketing.

We certainly expect more providers to enter this market while the commissions remain high, and peer-to-peer models will continue to challenge the status quo. Will it affect the mainstream? Think peer-to-peer models like Uber and AirBnB.

It will be interesting to see whether a peer-to-peer compliance offering will hit the market anytime soon.