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Why companies should offer currency exchange as an employee benefit

Even top companies lose good employees, but what’s the most common reason for leaving? It’s not always because of the pay or the professional prospects. For 49% of employees, dissatisfaction with the benefits package is the key catalyst for moving on. 

For multinational companies in particular, the one benefit that cannot be overlooked is foreign currency exchange as a service. It might be possible to attract top talent with premium health insurance, housing and education allowances, and foreign service premiums - but to retain your overseas staff you’ll need to make it easy and affordable for them to bring their money home. 


Employee benefits offer

Unlock a 20% discount on exchange margins and offer your employees an easy-to-use platform for sending money overseas with CurrencyFair. All employee transfers are fee-free, and we’re fully compatible with leading brokers. 

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Currency exchange: reward or benefit?

Strictly speaking, rewards are written into the overall compensation package, and may or may not be performance related. Common examples include health insurance, retirement planning, and equity opportunities. 

Benefits, on the other hand, tend to be non-monetary and are often tiered so that employees unlock enhanced levels over time. Access to an on-site gym or masseur is a classic example, but many companies are responding to their employees’ financial concerns (70% of Americans are financially stressed) by evolving their financial education offering. Around 63% of companies now offer financial coaching as an employee benefit. 

Where does currency exchange qualify? In the sense that it’s a service employees can access, it’s as much a benefit as use of an office gym or financial education coaching. But in terms of value, it can be just as critical as the core remuneration package. After all, an overseas salary is only as good as the foreign exchange service for bringing the money home. 

Why it’s so important for global companies

The typical employee stays with a company for four years, and HR departments will factor that churn into their long-term strategy. When you’re a business sending employees (and their families) overseas, however, there’s a much greater risk of staff losing morale because of both professional and personal challenges, such as:

  • Culture shock and homesickness
  • Language barrier
  • Cost of living hike etc. 

Creating and maintaining a competitive employee benefit program shows your employees not just that they’re important to your business, but that their wellbeing matters. When regular employees are stressed, they take time off as sick leave. When overseas employees are struggling, they come home. 

What’s driving the demand for foreign exchange benefits?

Today’s multinationals straddle the world’s major financial centres, rotating managerial and support staff between global headquarters, outsourcing or offshoring entire departments, and opening up new territories in a relentless push for growth. 

It’s no longer just banking, engineering, or oil and gas fuelling the classic “expat” pipeline. Today’s global brands cover retail, sports, and even education. Each sector requires a steady stream of homegrown and foreign talent, so that the modern payroll is more likely to be feeding a wide variety of international accounts. 

The choice for the employer is simple: 

Do you leave your employees to make their own arrangements, potentially exposing them to high bank fees, longer transfer periods, and less-than-competitive exchange rates? Or do you take a proactive approach to financial wellness by offering a foreign exchange service that secures them a better deal? 

Bear in mind that the issue affects not just monthly salary payments, but also the transfer of realised Employee Stock Options (ESOs), Restricted Stock Units (eg. Amazon) and funds from Flexible Spending Accounts, where there may be capital gains tax to calculate or transfer limits/declaration requirements to observe. 

What are the best platforms for foreign exchange?

HR equity managers who want to improve their employee retention and wellbeing can choose from an ever-growing range of cloud-based platforms that automate and streamline foreign exchange. Our business here is not to indulge the beauty contest, but we can make a judgement on the essential benchmarks any FX platform should meet:

Security Your employees funds are prize pickings for hackers and scammers, so the platform must offer robust encryption and two-factor authentication as standard. 

Compliance Cross-border currency flows are subject to rigorous Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know your Customer (KYC) and tax reporting requirements. Your chosen platform should make it simple to enter the essential information as necessary, and notify the user whenever details need updating. 

Competitive rates and low fees Particularly if you’re a non-resident account holder, bank fees can absorb a sizeable amount of a monthly pay packet, and the banks themselves rarely offer a competitive interpretation of the mid-market rate. The best FX platforms offer fixed fees, attractive rates and the option of transferring funds at a chosen rate through a peer-to-peer marketplace. 

Speed of transfer When you’re supporting family back home, or maintaining mortgage payments on property, you don’t want to wait 10-15 working days (in some cases) for your bank to transfer funds. That sclerotic pace was once the standard but now stands out like a relic of a bygone age. 

Good customer support With the big banks favouring automated customer service options, the opportunity to speak to a genuine human out of banking hours is priceless in an emergency. 

Ease of use A foreign exchange platform doesn’t have to look and behave like a financial services platform. The best ones on the market behave like the apps we use everyday with a clear, intuitive interface. 

How CurrencyFair is a market leader

No prizes for guessing that our very own CurrencyFair app checks all the above boxes - but you might be surprised by the additional benefits of signing up as part of your employee benefits program could include:

  • 20% discount on exchange margins
  • €0 transfer fee on all transactions, no matter the office location
  • €50 ‘Refer a Friend’ bonus
  • “Plug and play” integration - no implementation work required
  • Exceptional customer support with a dedicated account manager to help with employee communication and any transfer queries
  • A trusted and secure currency exchange platform by a fully licensed and regulated entity
  • Fully compatible with leading brokers Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab. 

Employee benefits offer

Unlock a 20% discount on exchange margins and offer your employees an easy-to-use platform for sending money overseas with CurrencyFair. All employee transfers are fee-free, and we’re fully compatible with leading brokers. 


Register your interest in our employee benefits offer in the form below. 


This information is correct as of June 2023. This information is not to be relied on in making a decision with regard to an investment. We strongly recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before making any form of investment or significant financial transaction. This article is purely for general information purposes.

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