Our view: PagoFX offers the features and pricing of a fintech start-up with the security of being backed by Santander. Read more...
PagoFX Customer Reviews
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great app, very simple and good prices!!
Brilliant idea & great app!
Cheaper than using my bank to send money abroad. No complaints.
It's the best App for sending payments abroad
Fast and easy
Excellent product and service, well done Santander!
Amazing product and service!
My favourite way to send money!
I find the app easy to use once the registration done. Money arrives quickly to destination and there are not hidden surprises in terms of costs. I recommend it.
Quick and easy way to send money abroad
Simply, cheap and great customer service
Really user friendly. Great prices.
fast & cheap
The best money transfer app!
It's super easy to use, quick and fast, the money arrived at my UK bank account in a couple of minutes. If you have any issues or doubts you can chat with a real person, unlike other apps.
Fast, secure and cheap
Secure, easy and quick way to send money wherever you want.
Fast, simple to use and most importantly, I know what to pay upfront! Brilliant!
Awesome and Fast
Secure & easy way to send money from a reputable brand. Rates are great and pricing is transparent.
User friendly and best app ever for these transactions!
Secure, easy and cheap. Best option to send money abroad and great user experience.
Awesome UX/UI, simple, clear, fast and secure all I thought is there!
Breaks constantly and people you send money to get charged for it
App is incredibly easy to use and funds arrived on the same day!
Easy-to-use and simple app for making international payments, also having Santander behinds give me trust and security
Easy, quick and looks great
I feel safe because it has bank-level security, the costs are very low and it is very easy to use!
Very easy to use, clear and transparent. I have bank accounts in 3 countries and wish PagoFX had existed years ago, I would have saved a lot of money and stress!!
Super fast and secure! The Customer Service is one of the key differentiators of this app!!
Works like a charm. Fast and reliable.
I have never felt so secure when sending money abroad. Also, amazing customer service that has answered my questions in seconds! Will definitely recommend to my friends!
Being based away from Australia, and unable to get home thanks to the pandemic, I really valued the security behind PagoFX, its ease of use and its real-time, mid market exchange rates. As we say back home: You beauty!
Their robust ID check reasure me that it's a very secure company to make money transfers with. Their customer support is always very helpful
Quick and easy way to send money abroad!
A super easy to use app, all is clear and payment takes seconds to arrive.
Fast and easy money transfer
Quick, simple and safe! Offering very good exchange rates with low and transparent fees.
Quick setup and easy money transfer
Super easy, fast and low price app!
Review date: 28th January 2021
What is PagoFX?
PagoFx was launched in 2020 by Banco Santander and aims to revolutionise FX money transfers. It’s an open market extension of Santander’s existing transfer service and represents their foray into the world of fast low cost money transfers. With just a smartphone app, you can quickly and affordably send money anywhere in the world. Businesses, sole traders and individuals can sign up to their system, enter their details and pick a currency to make a transfer in, all with just a few clicks.
With a simple eye-catching design, simple process and the opportunity to get real time mid-market rates, this is a formidable entry into the online forex world. It offers the speed and convenience of an online transfer service, together with the full backing of Santander.
PagoFX Currency Transfers
Transferring money with PagoFx is quick and simple. You can download the app, view live currency rates and pick from a selection of currencies. It provides full transparency of price and an open platform which can be used with a debit card from any financial entity. In doing so, it moves towards the model of fintech pioneers such as Transferwise (now known as Wise) and Azimo. However, it does this with the full backing of one of the world’s biggest banks, something they say is a unique proposition.
It aims, therefore, to offer a best of all world’s solution: the accessibility and transparency of a fintech startup with the power, reliability and reputation of a regulated bank. It believes this status gives it an edge over smaller, agile, competitors and may reassure some people who prefer the familiarity and reassurance which comes with an established, regulated bank.
PagoFX Charges and Fees
While many money transfers services have been viewed as opaque with complex fee structures, PagoFX aims to put everything out in the open. Their fees depend on where you’re sending your money to. For example, 0.5% for the Eurozone, 0.9% for Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, 1.9% for Brazil or 1.5% for Kuwait, Qatar or Saudi Arabia.
This fee will be charged from the money being sent to the recipient. This makes it one of the more transparent and affordable options out there. Recipient banks may charge separate fees which should show up as a charge on their statement.
One area of perceived limitation is in the currency options. Currently you can only transfer money from GBP to other currencies. Although they are adding currencies to their lists, there are still considerable gaps which are covered by other providers.
For the time being you can currently choose from: EUR, USD, the Argentine peso, Australian Dollar, Bulgarian lev, Bahraini dinar, Brazilian real, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, Colombian peso, Czech krona, HK dollar, Croatian kuna, Hungarian forint, Israeli shekel, Indian rupee, Kuwaiti dinar, Mexican peso, Norwegian krona, New Zealand dollar, Peruvian nuevo sol, Polish zloty, Romanian leu, Saudi riyal, Swedish krona, Singapore dollar, Turkish lira, South African rand.
They are expanding their reach with several currencies coming soon including the Japanese yen, Moroccan dirham and the UAE dirham.
PagoFX Euro Exchange Rate
At the time of writing, PagoFX was offering £1 for €1.1709 with a fee of £70. This means that if you were to transfer £10,000, the recipient would get €11,627.04 in return.
By comparison, Wise charges £35.08% at a rate of 1.17096 which means you would receive €11,668.52. Azimo offers flat fees of £1.99 and other low-cost currency providers offer no fees. Other services will take longer to come up with a quote and may involve additional bank fees and other hidden charges.
PagoFX US Dollar Exchange Rate
When sending £10,000 PagoFX charges £80. At the time of writing, the current rate between GBP and USD was £1 to $1.3943, which means the recipient should expect to get $13,831.46. This does not include any fees the receiving bank might charge. Exchange rates fluctuate throughout the day so this may change slightly depending on the direction of the markets.
Wise, offers a lower charge again of £35.64. At the time of writing their rate was £1 to $1.39415 which means you could expect your recipient to get $13,891.81. Azimo, meanwhile, offers flat fees of £1.99, while others such as OFX, TorFX and XE.com have no fees.
Pago FX offers a simple online way to transfer money. You can quickly download the app for free to send money from your phone, tablet or mobile device. They do not have a telephone trading service. Everything can be done quickly and simply using any debit card from any bank online.
Getting started is easy. You can simply type in how much you want to send and in which currency. This will then show you precisely what the rate is, how much they will charge and how much your recipient will get. From there you can sign up and choose between whether you’re sending for business or personal reasons.
PagoFX & Santander
Pago FX was launched by Santander to compete with the growing number of online money transfer services. It aims to open up their existing money transfer service to users from other banks. In other words, you can use a debit card from any financial entity to send money on their platform. It’s quick, easy and much more affordable than sending money using traditional banks.
It is effectively Santander and the traditional bank system waving the white flag against the rising tide of fintechs.
Platforms such as Wise cut out the middleman providing the benefit of lower fees and more transparency. PagoFX does the same thing offering a simple online service or mobile app, cheaper fees and same day transfers. Wise still has the edge on price, but Santander hope to counter that with their scale and influence they can bring as a major global bank.
PagoFX Security & Regulation
Pago FX is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. Any company that wishes to engage in the transfer of funds over the value of €3 million per month must have authorisation under the payments services regulation of 2017 and the electronic money regulations 2011. The FCA ensures the provider is a suitable and responsible provider for handling client money and that there is some degree of protection in place. Using an FCA regulated firm means you are using someone who has been assessed and shown to meet a certain standard of quality, reliability and suitability.
PagoFX For Individuals
Pago FX offers a simple, affordable and fast way to transfer money overseas. Users can download an app to their mobile phone or use the website to move money quickly and simply using their debit card. It offers the speed and affordability of an online money transfer service with the full backing of a major bank. You can register on the site quickly and simply and start sending money abroad almost immediately. It offers transparent and affordable transfer fees which vary depending on the currency involved. Eurozone transfers attract low fees of 0.5% while currencies outside Europe can rise beyond 1%. This is a much more affordable option than other traditional banks, but still lags behind the likes of Wise and Azimo.
PagoFX For Businesses
A secure and fast way to make international payments for businesses and sole traders. You can register a business account and access bank rate transfers with the full backing of a major global financial institution. Costs vary depending on your currency. For example, if you’re sending to the Eurozone, you’ll pay a fee of 0.5%. If you’re sending to Brazil, you’ll pay £1.6. To use their business service you will have to enter and validate your business information and verify your identity with an ID card and a quick photo.
They also offer a substantial knowledge centre for business owners with a range of guides offering advice about starting a business.
PagoFX Currency Forward Contracts
PagoFX do not offer currency forward contracts. Currently PagoFX only offers transfers using debit cards, but a number of their competitors do offer forward contracts such as MoneyCorp, TorFX and World First. However, you can purchase forward contracts through Santander.
The value of your currency can rise and fall depending on market conditions. Currency forward contracts are a way to avoid this risk. They represent an agreement between two parties to buy or sell a currency at an agreed rate. They can be taken out up to a year before the transfer for most currency pairs with around 10% of the value of the contract usually being payable upfront.
PagoFX has a lot to like about it.
- Speed: Everything happens quickly and smoothly. You can go online sign up, choose a currency and transfer money with your debit card.
- Reliability: The service comes backed with the impressive power and performance of Santander. It caters to people’s desire to gain a better rate than they currently receive from their banks with a natural caution regarding fintech startups.
- Affordability: You get real time mid-market exchange rates. This is the rate at which banks lend to themselves. In the past this was denied to ordinary people who had to make do with the opaque charges of money transfers.
It might be a bold move towards the faster, cheaper world of online money transfers, but it still a work in progress and, as such, is limited. Cons include:
- Limited currency options: Currently you can only transfer money from GBP to other currencies and it excludes some popular remittance destinations such as Bangladesh.
- Debit card only: Transfers can only be made with a debit card which restricts the flexibility of services on offer and the app is still new and relatively untested.
- Fees: Although its fees are cheaper than traditional money transfers, they are less competitive when compared against other online money transfer services.
PagoFX is expanding its offering all the time. For example, new currencies are in the pipeline. Many of these issues, therefore, may well be addressed in time.
PagoFX brings the power of big banks to the world of low-cost currency exchange. This is what Santander thinks makes it unique. It comes with the trust, reliability and familiarity which comes from an established big bank provider. The clean cut website is much easier to use than its competitors making it ideal for someone who just wants to sign up and send money overseas. However, it arrives at a packed marketplace where the likes of Wise and Azimo have already developed a firm footing. It stands well against these especially in the ease of use and transparency of the app, but many of these are more established and have done more work on developing their product services. The fact that the likes of Wise can still beat them on price is a serious problem.
Tom Cropper has been writing for us since 2015. Tom is a financial journalist and his work has appeared in titles such as the Guardian, Euromoney and many others.
Cedric Menager, CEO of PagoFX on why being Santander backed and focussing on transparent pricing is key to their success
Interview date: 19th January 2021
With currency brokers seemingly growing on trees thanks to the advance of fintech solutions we talk to Cedric Menager, the seasoned tech entrepreneurs about why PagoFX does things better.
What separates PagoFX from all the other currency transfer providers out there?
PagoFX is an international payment service for customers now in the UK, Belgium and more recently, Spain, and it offers a unique proposition, which is simple, very transparent and low-cost from a pricing standpoint, and with the security of what you can find from a bank.
We are something that is unique and that you can’t find on the market. We are a startup but within a very large bank [Santander]. That’s what makes us unique, a combination of what we’ve seen and learnt from the fintechs about pricing, about simplicity of the user experience, and what a bank can bring as trust, as security. I don’t think there is an equivalent in the market of this combination.
How important are pricing and transparency to PagoFX?
When you look at international payments, very often, it’s presented as a bit complex or not as transparent as we do, and that’s why we try to educate our customers and to show that it’s not a completely free service – there is a commission – but we want to make it very clear and very transparent on what it is.
What sort of customer is PagoFX right for?
We’re open to any customer. Our value proposition resonates with most customers.
Whether you have a unique need and you want to perform a transaction, you have this element of security and simplicity. Or if you have more regular needs or with a higher amount, the same value plays.
Within our customer base today, we see several different types of profiles. We have a high proportion of people who have properties abroad, paying deposits, paying for services or monthly services. Then you have people who are working in the UK and helping families at home, or students living in the UK and also sending money. There are very different types of profiles, which correspond to the market, but generally speaking, our value proposition can resonate with very different types.
What was the attraction of joining PagoFX as CEO?
I’ve been in tech and payments for more than 15 years. I spent quite a significant part of my career at PayPal, which obviously do a lot of international payments.
The thing that really excited me is it’s a unique time for a bank to transform itself. They have to go through this transformation. I don’t think I would have joined a bank 20 years ago but I have the ability to bring together a team from the fintech world, with people like me but with many other team members who have joined from startups or large corporations, with people joining from Amazon, from PayPal and from Google.
There are a lot of team members from the fintech world or big tech, and we have people from the bank, who are very knowledge about banking and payments.
What I find exciting is that you can make something unique with this combination that you will never be able to do internally.
Why do you think banks are having such a tough time adapting to discount foreign exchange?
I think there are several factors. One is one of their business lines. You can’t really be as performant when you are an expert, and especially in one line of business when you offer hundreds of products like a traditional bank. There is a question of efficiency, and also, management of old portfolios, where you want to be more competitive in one area but not the other.
The other element is that some customers still value the convenience of running transactions through their bank accounts without going outside and having to manage another account.
So they accept a price difference for the convenience of managing the payments through their bank account. That price difference can be a huge amount, so now with the competitiveness of the market, more and more people are shifting to alternative solutions. We’ve seen that a lot in the UK, but now, it’s happening in other markets as well. I think now banks are taking it more and more into account and are reacting more and more, which actually is what Santander has done with us.
Where do you see PagoFX in five years’ time?
We are a bit more than six months from our initial launch, so we still have a lot to do to get the experience really at the best level for our customers. That is obviously a big priority for the coming years.
We have also the intention to expand globally, where we have the support and competitive advantage with Santander. Santander is a very global bank with a presence in more than ten markets, where the bank is in the top five of each market. Going to America will be important for PagoFX, as well as expanding in Europe.
What do you think is the main mistake people make when transferring currency abroad?
One is really looking at the price, but understanding the cost of the transfer, and that’s what we’re trying to help with our transparency. In many cases, you don’t have a very good understanding of the pricing and you’re almost like paying for the amount you will receive on the other site.
PagoFX enables you to see exactly the amount that you’re paying and exactly the amount that you will receive on the other side. People should be able to benefit from that if they do not have previous experience.
The second one is following up the evolution of the rates. If you don’t have to immediately transfer the money, you can adjust a bit on timing to look at the variation of the currency. In a world where currencies are still evolving quite a lot, we’ve been ourselves exposed to the pound variations while launching in the UK over Brexit and Covid; there have been a lot of evolutions. That’s the second thing that people should not minimise, really trying to be conscious of the evolution of the rate and trying to trade at the time where it’s optimised.
Will PagoFX do currency forwards and currency options to help with a bit of hedging?
No. At this point, we are just doing the payment transfer in itself. We’re starting to really give advice to customers, so we are planning to send them a recommendation of currencies that are at a good level for transacting, depending on the month, or maybe there are some evolutions that are positive for them, with communicating to them, hey, if you need to make a transfer in this currency at the right balance, it seems to be at the right level.
What’s your favourite book on business and investing?
One book that has been a specific inspiration where sadly, the author just passed away, is Delivering Happiness.
It’s about the story of Zappos, an online retailer in the US, which has been very successful and was finally bought by Amazon. It’s a business book but you can read it as a novel. It's a business book with a very interesting message about how they’ve been able to use customer service as a very strong differentiator, and have it as the main point of building their reputation.
That’s something that we are leveraging as a strategy for PagoFX. What we’ve been observing as well, especially on the fintech front, is that customer service was not at the right level.
There are some cases where if you’re transferring money to a certain country, we need to validate the payment or ask some information from the customer. That can sometimes can be very painful if you don’t have the proper investment in your customers. What we’ve done is really enabling the customer to interact with real people, and that makes a big difference in the feedback that we have.
That book was a big inspiration and I asked all the team to read it. It’s been impressive to see how customer service and making it a big part of your value proposition was key for the business, and I think that’s relevant for us.
What would be your one golden rule of effective currency transfers?
I would certainly say use PagoFX. But, I think, generally speaking, I would try to find feedback from customers who have been using some of the solutions. I know there is a lot of available information online on feedback from customers. I think another one again is price transparency. I think that’s a key element for some customers.
And the third one, I think if you haven’t used any solution yet, I would advise to go for one that comes with trust and security as a value. There are many different types of payment provider offers and not all of them are as trustable as you need. So that’s a very key element to check as well.
Cedric Menager is CEO of PagoFX
PagoFX Frequently Asked Questions:
Is PagoFX any good?
PagoFx is something slightly different in the world of foreign exchange. Until now, there has been a divide between the established banks any the low-cost foreign exchange startups such as Wise. As such it offers the best of all worlds, with transparent and affordable charging coming with the backing and the power of Santander. It is a fast, effective service, but it is still developing and expanding its reach. Over time it will get better, but there are still options and services it can’t quite address.
Is PagoFX a safe?
Yes. PagoFX is regulated by the FCA in the UK. This means it has been assessed as being suitable and reliable for purposes. It offers high levels of safety and security with the backing of Santander offering enhanced levels of protection against fraud or other problems with the system.
How long do currency transfers take with PagoFX?
Transfers should take place within a day.
How much does PagoFX cost?
Costs vary depending on the currency you with to convert to. For example, the cheapest rates are to be found with the Eurozone at £0.5 while USD will cost 0.9. Other countries such as Brazil, Argentina or Saudi Arabia are more expensive.
Who owns PagoFX?
PagoFx was launched in 2020 by Santander as their entrance into the world of low-cost foreign exchange.