TorFX provides a broad selection of currencies, competitive rates, and helpful customer service, despite a past slightly tainted by controversy.
|Transfer speed:||2-4 days|
|Trustpilot score:||5 stars|
|Our score:||3 stars|
What we like
- Cleanly designed online platform
- Large selection of currencies
- Helpful customer service
What we don’t
- Online trades limited to £25,000
- The potential of unexpected charges from the SWIFT network
- Not the best option for low values
TorFX has an interesting past, to say the least. Its beginnings are shrouded in controversy, after being linked by association to a failed payments company. But since being acquired, it has consolidated its operations and worked hard to earn the trust of its customers.
Despite the drama, TorFX has a proven track record of completing international transfers. In conjunction with its parent company, they make up a notable share of the foreign exchange market in the United Kingdom.
To learn more about this service and see if it’s right for you, read on for our in-depth TorFX review.
Affiliate disclosure: If you sign up with a money transfer service after being referred from our website, we might earn a referral fee. Learn more.
About TorFX Money Transfer
What is TorFX all about? Let’s begin our TorFX review with some general information about the service.
TorFX was founded in 2004 by Peter and Susan Banstead, who were previously involved in the failed Crown Currency Exchange. In the aftermath of Crown’s insolvency – whereby many customers were affected – TorFX tried to distance itself from the event, despite sharing common ownership and management. Notwithstanding these links, as far as we are aware, TorFX operated successfully until it was acquired by Currencies Direct in 2011.
Since its acquisition, TorFX has been able to consolidate its operations, and leave its troubled past behind. The company extended its international in reach in 2013 by establishing an Australian office in Surfers Paradise. Then in 2015, TorFX (along with its parent) was sold to a pair of private equity firms, Palamon Capital and Corsair Capital, for over £200 million.
TorFX is currently led by Jon Beddell, who interestingly enough is also listed as one of its co-founders. Nigel Fox has been appointed as Managing Director, while Neil Cooper is Chief Financial Officer. They are supported by Tracy Moore, who acts as Chief Operating Officer, and has been with the company since 2005. The Australian operations is managed by Paul Billing.
TorFX address (Head office)
The TorFX address is as follows:
Tor Currency Exchange Ltd
PZ360, St Mary’s Terrace
Penzance TR18 4DZ
TorFX has established local offices in the following countries:
TorFX supports the transfer of funds to 176 countries. For the most part, the service facilitates its transfers using the SWIFT network, which allows it to deliver funds to all corners of the globe. The downside to this network is that there are often charges incurred by the recipient, of which TorFX has little control of.
TorFX has a minimum transfer value of £100, so it can be used for relatively small transactions if required. There is no maximum transfer value, which is great news for anyone who needs to make large transfers. However, its online platform is limited to £25,000. For values larger than this, TorFX will complete your transfer manually.
TorFX fees and exchange rates
What are TorFX fees and exchange rates? To properly consider this question, it will take a few minutes to explore the foreign exchange market.
How the foreign exchange market works
Let’s begin with how the foreign exchange market works. Banks and other money transfer services will buy foreign currency at a price very close to the mid-market rate. They will then sell this currency to you, the customer, for a higher rate than they bought it for, taking a margin in between – known as “the spread”.
The spread is essentially a hidden cost that is not disclosed to you during the transaction. Then, in addition to the spread, some services will charge a transaction fee on top – which is typically the fee that they quote to you. In any case, the total cost of a transfer for you, the customer, is the combination of the two; the spread + transaction fee.
Q. Do TorFX rates include a spread?
A. Yes, there is a spread.
Q. What about TorFX fees?
A: No, there is typically no transaction fee.
But for the moment, don’t pay too much attention to the details. Rather, for the purpose of our TorFX review, let’s consider the overall cost.
Why focus on overall cost?
If you focus on the spread or transaction fee in isolation, it is easy to become lost in marketing gimmicks. Instead, it is more helpful to consider the overall cost when these factors are combined. For example, a typical bank will charge up to 5% of the overall transfer value in spread and transaction fee to complete a transfer on your behalf. Not great.
But what about TorFX Money Transfer? To determine its overall cost we need to compare a transfer with a benchmark, the mid-market rate, which in theory has no cost. Practically speaking, it is unlikely that you will ever receive the equivalent of the mid-market rate, however, your goal should be to get as close as possible.
If you can achieve a total cost of less than 1% of the overall transaction value then you are on the right track. However, it really depends on what your needs are and if you are willing to pay a little bit extra for additional features, advice, or research. To find out the mid-market rate of any currency pairing, use this calculator at xe.com.
What is the average cost of TorFX?
Currencies Direct has an average cost of 2.12%. To calculate this figure, we received three quotes to exchange British Pounds (GBP) into Australian Dollars (AUD) – for low, medium, and high values. The overall cost of each transaction was then compared against the mid-market rate and represented as a percentage of the transfer value.
Here is the calculation:
|Transfer value||Overall cost|
An average cost of 2.12% means that for every £1,000 sent, on average £21.20 will be lost in spread + fees. By using this figure, we aim to make a fair representation of TorFX across a range of transfer values. Of course, it is not a perfect measure for all situations, but it is helpful for comparative purposes.
Important note on SWIFT: You should be aware that any transfer conducted via the SWIFT network may incur additional hidden charges by correspondent banks; the exact cost depending on the amount of the transfer and the recipient bank. In our experience, these fees can be as high as £25 per transaction.
TorFX review: Market comparison
Now that you know about the average cost of TorFX, how does this compare to other services in the market? To help you determine its relative competitiveness, we have prepared a chart. Beside the name of each service, we have listed its average cost, speed of transfer, receiving countries, and our review score – sorted from highest to lowest.
To sort this chart by a specific column, click its respective heading. If you are reading on mobile, you may need to scroll horizontally to view all fields.
|wdt_ID||Service||Ave. cost||Speed||Countries||Our score||Review|
|1||MoneyGram||3.50%||1-3 days||194||2 stars||Read review|
|2||OFX||1.20%||3-5 days||226||4 stars||Read review|
|3||Currencies Direct||1.79%||2-4 days||188||3 stars||Read review|
|4||CurrencyFair||0.45%||2-4 days||157||5 stars||Read review|
|5||Azimo||0.89%||1-3 days||200||2 stars||Read review|
|6||OrbitRemit||0.43%||1-3 days||43||4 stars||Read review|
|7||Paysera||0.97%||3-5 days||174||3 stars||Read review|
|8||RationalFX||1.16%||1-3 days||201||3 stars||Read review|
|9||Remitly||0.77%||1-3 days||58||2 stars||Read review|
|10||Ria Money Transfer||3.06%||1-3 days||158||2 stars||Read review|
If you would like to learn more about the rationale of our TorFX review, take a look at our review methodology.
A typical transfer with TorFX takes 2-4 business days, from sending to receipt. The exact duration will depend on a few factors, including the currency pairings involved, the transfer value, as well as the particular systems of the sending and receiving bank.
How do payment features affect our TorFX review? Let’s take a look at its capabilities.
A spot contract consists of a single payment from one currency to another at the currently available exchange rate. If you need to send money right away, simply login to the TorFX website and with a couple of clicks a transfer can be arranged.
A recurring payment is the easiest way to transfer money to the same recipient on a regular basis. A recurring payment allows any future payments to be direct debited automatically, providing a convenient solution to make better use of your time.
A market order allows you to set a target exchange rate that you would like to transact at in the near future. If and when your target rate is reached, TorFX will initiate the transfer of funds immediately. This is useful if your transfer is not urgent and you willing to wait for a better rate.
A currency forward contract is useful if you would like to lock in an exchange rate but aren’t quite ready to transfer. This feature allows you to confirm a specific rate for up to 12 months in the future, protecting you from unfavourable rate movements.
TorFX customer service can be contacted by phone or email. Here are the contact details for a couple of its offices:
+61 7 5560 4444 (Australia)
+44 1736 335250 (United Kingdom)
In our experience, we found TorFX customer service to be friendly and helpful. We did not have to wait too long to speak with someone on the phone, and our queries by email have been answered in a prompt and professional manner.
Security and regulation
As a customer, is TorFX safe to use? Let’s take a look at some of its security measures.
TorFX is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and is licensed as an Electronic Money Institution under reference 900706. Its international subsidiaries are also regulated by the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction of their operations, such as ASIC in Australia.
Customer funds are held in trust
In accordance with the standards imposed by government regulators, the funds of TorFX customers are held in segregated accounts and are kept apart from the company’s own operating accounts. This ensures the security of customer funds, should TorFX encounter financial difficulty.
Website is securely protected
The TorFX website is protected with TLS encryption, which prevents sensitive data from being intercepted during your visit. You can confirm that this is in place by recognising a green padlock next to the website’s URL on your browser. TorFX has also implemented two-factor authentication.
Are there TorFX complaints?
Are there any TorFX complaints – or TorFX bad reviews for that matter? Let’s take a look at its reputation.
As of publication, TorFX has received over 2,500 reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars; representing a positive experience in 95 percent of interactions with its customers.
Here are our observations of the feedback posted:
- Helpful customer service
- Was kept adequately informed along the way
- Trouble-free process, after initial teething issues
- Cannot view actual rates until after sign-up
- Unauthorised deduction of charges after failed transfer
- Hidden charges incurred in SWIFT banking network
Upon viewing the Twitter and Facebook feeds of TorFX, we can see a range of varied interactions between the service and its customers. It appears that any queries raised by customers are addressed within two days of posting. Typically, TorFX will move the conversation into private messaging to rectify any issue.
Because TorFX is a well-established service, its social media team is active in publishing news and market updates. This will be useful information for you if make transfers on a regular basis or run a business.
TorFX does not have a lot of mainstream media coverage. Any reporting on the service typically relates to market updates and other industry-related commentaries. Anyone who has concerns about the past of TorFX, will be happy to hear that the company has won a number of awards in the past decade.
Three Time Winner, Consumer International Money Transfer Provider.Moneyfacts
Twice Ranked Top 15, Smart50 Awards.SmartCompany
Sunday Times Fast Track 100, 2008 & 2010.Fast Track
TorFX client account experience
How does product design affect our TorFX review? Let’s take a look at its user experience.
The TorFX website has been designed thoughtfully, with special attention being paid to user experience and functionality. As far as we are aware, the website is only available in English.
A TorFX app has been developed for both Apple and Android devices. By using the TorFX app you can access your account at any time and use its core features; such as initiating new payments or tracking the status of in-progress transfers.
The registration process takes around 10 minutes and is relatively straight-forward. You begin by entering your email and a password, before providing essential contact information such as name, address and phone number.
Before you can commence transferring funds, you first need to provide proof of identification so Currencies Direct can verify your account. Typically this will require providing two types of documents:
- Photo identification, such as a passport or drivers licence
- Proof of address, such as a bank or utility statement
How does TorFX work?
As a part of our TorFX review, we will take you through an example transaction. If you would like some guidance in navigating your own account, you can follow along below.
Step 1 – Sign up and login
Visit torfx.com, sign up and login. To begin a transfer, click Make a Transfer. Alternatively, you can enter some basic information into the quote widget and click Transfer Now.
Step 2 – Select recipient
First, designate your intended recipient – the details of which are entered in a separate menu – and click Select.
Step 3 – Select currencies
Choose the currencies involved and click Get Rate. When you are ready to proceed, click Continue.
Step 4 – Select payment method
Select your desired payment method. At this stage, the TorFX can accept debit card or bank transfer. Click Continue.
Step 5 – Confirm transaction
The terms of your quote are presented, including the exchange rate and fees applicable. When you are happy to proceed, click Confirm.
Step 6 – Make payment to local account
You are provided with instructions to proceed with your part of the payment. Now is the time to transfer your funds into the local bank account of TorFX.
Step 7 – Track payment
When your funds are received by TorFX, it will complete the final leg of the transfer. You can track its status online or with the TorFX app. You will also receive email updates throughout the process.
Finally, once the transfer is complete its status will be updated accordingly. The funds should arrive in your recipient’s bank account shortly.
In our experience, the TorFX platform was simple to use and we were satisfied with the instructions provided along the way. The entire process took 3 business days. However, because TorFX uses the SWIFT network, our transaction incurred a short payment of $25. Not ideal.
TorFX review: Final thoughts
TorFX provides a professional service at a reasonable price. Its online platform is easy to use and is suitable for transfers of up to £25,000. For larger values, it has a team of friendly dealers that can complete transfers on your behalf and hold your hand through the process.
The service is also well suited to business transactions of all shapes and sizes. If you have complex requirements or are in need of expert advice, TorFX is a solid choice. That said, the service is not well suited to smaller transfers. If you are more technically inclined, you may consider alternatives such as TransferWise or CurrencyFair.
If you have any questions or feedback about our TorFX review, let us know in the comments below.