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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are many of the questions asked by clients over the years, and the answers to them.
If your question isn’t answered below, please contact us directly.

General questions about Direct FX    
The safety of your money   
Who regulates Direct FX  
What will it cost me  
Applying to use Direct FX   
Locking in an exchange rate   
I have locked in a rate, what happens now  
Currency exchange advice we give you   
Other transacting related questions   

General questions about Direct FX   

?   Why would I use Direct FX ahead of its competitors?
  • Professional, personal service. Ours can’t be matched. Along with the safety of your funds, this should be your number one priority.
  • Trusted and safe. We are highly regulated and respected in the market. So much so, that banks themselves use us.
  • Best exchange rates. We will not be beaten on price.
?   How can Direct FX provide such competitive exchange rates?
  • Because we transact 150 billion annually, we can buy and sell at the interbank rate
  • Our retail rates have a far smaller profit margin in them, than our competitors
?   Who are our customers
  • Individuals. Migrating, selling or buying an asset overseas, or working abroad and sending money home regularly.
  • Businesses. From small businesses to large multi nationals, trading internationally.  
  • Banks. The major retail and investment banks in Australasia, Hong Kong and Singapore.   
?   Who owns Direct FX
  • Privately owned by Direct FX’s management.
  • One hundred percent New Zealand owned.
?   How long has Direct FX been in business
  • In New Zealand since 2001.
  • In Australia since 2006.
?   How does Direct FX generate its revenue
  • We add a small profit margin to the rates we provide to retail clients
  • We charge banks brokerage
  What experience do Direct FX currency advisors have

Collectively our 11 advisors have over 250 years’ experience arranging currency exchanges. This allows our retail clients direct access to advisors with a level of experiences that many bank treasury trading teams don’t even have. You can read more about each of our advisors here.

The safety of your money   

?   Is my money protected

Yes. Legislation sets out how we must hold and use your money. This ensures it is segregated from company funds, and held safely on behalf of clients. To read a full simple explanation of how our Client Fund accounts have been established, and the safety therefore provided, please read further here.

?   Does Direct FX hold insurance to protect me 

Yes. We holds professional indemnity insurance pursuant to Section 912B of the Australian Corporations Act. This covers loss or damage suffered by retail clients, due to any breaches of our Australian Financial services License conditions.

?   Does Direct FX belong to an independent disputes service 

Yes. The law in Australia and New Zealand requires us to be a member of an independent disputes resolution scheme. We are members of the:
  • Financial Ombudsman Service in Australia                       (membership # 14614).
  • Financial Services Complaints Limited in New Zealand     (membership # 849)
Who regulates Direct FX?

  Who authorises Direct FX to provide its financial services
  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and;
  • The New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA)
ASIC have issued us with an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL # 291471). Our AFSL authorises us to provide financial product advice and deal in a financial product. It also sets out financial requirements we must meet.

?   Are Direct FX financial statements independently audited
  • Yes, annually by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • Then lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
?   Is compliance with our Australian Financial Services Licence required to be independently audited
  • Yes it is.
  • Our Australian Financial Services License also sets out rigorous internal reporting we must comply with.  
What will it cost me?

?   Do you charge transaction fees

No we don’t, but an intermediary bank in general will, if we send you a currency other than NZD or AUD. The beneficiary bank may also charge a receiving bank fee, when we send you a currency other than AUD or NZD. The exchange rates we provide already have our profit margin included.

?   Will my bank charge a fee to receive your payment
  • Not when we send you AUD or NZD
  • If we send any other currency on your behalf, it is possible the beneficiary bank may charge a fee
  • If you are concerned about a beneficiary bank fee, please check with that bank first
?   Are there any other possible charges I should know about

When we send currencies other than AUD or NZD, dependent on who the beneficiary bank is, an “intermediary bank” may charge a small fee. An intermediary bank is a third bank, who may be needed to complete delivery of the payment. If you are concerned, please tell us who your beneficiary bank is. We will then check and advise whether or not an intermediary fee can be expected, and the approximate amount.  

Applying to use Direct FX   

?   How do I apply to use Direct FX   What does the personal application process involve
  • Two minutes to complete our online application form
  • Two identification documents will be requested in our auto reply email
  • For organised clients, we can complete this process within the hour
?   What does the business application process involve
  • Five minutes  to complete our online application form
  • We will then email you our agreement for sign off
  • Identification documents will be requested
  • For organised clients, we can in general complete this process within several hours
  Why do you need identification documents from me
  • We must  clearly identify and risk assess all clients, to comply with current regulatory requirements.
Locking in an exchange rate   

  How do I lock in an exchange rate
  • First complete the application process, then:
  • Simply call or email us with your instructions
  • Either lock in the current “at market” rate we quote, by agreeing to transact, or;
  • Leave a “limit order”, to target a specific rate or exchange
  Can you call me when a specific rate becomes available

Yes just tell us what level this is, and we will call you if this level is reached. This is termed leaving a “call level”. Be aware though that rates constantly fluctuate. Although we endeavor to call clients immediately, often the rate will have moved by the time we call.

  Can I cancel a limit order I have placed with you

Yes you can, as long as we are able to cancel it, prior to it being completed.

?   Once I lock in a rate, can I change my mind

No, as soon as you agree a rate, we buy the currency you need. We can however reverse a transaction in certain circumstances, if your needs change. Be aware that this will involve undertaking the opposite transaction. Because exchange rate markets are volatile, this may result in a profit or loss to you. You must be 100% sure you wish to proceed, before locking a rate in.

?   What’s the minimum amount I can exchange

In general NZD 10,000, or the foreign currency equivalent. However we make exceptions to this rule, especially if transfers involve both NZD and AUD. Explain your requirements to us, and we will always try to help.

?   Can I lock in today’s rate, for a distant settlement date

Yes you can. In general most currency exchanges are settled within two business days. If however you want to lock in a rate for a settlement date of say between a week, and a year in the future, you can. These are termed “forward exchange contracts”. Many businesses use these to remove the risk associated with currency fluctuations, so they know exactly what rate they will be dealing on in the future. If you want to learn more about forward exchange contracts, please call us and we can discuss this with you directly.

?   Can I lock in a rate before you have received money from me

Yes. Clients are only required to send us their sold funds, once an exchange rate is locked in. However many clients like to send us their money in advance. Whilst this isn’t necessary, it does speed up the settlement process, and in most instances then allows us to pay them the currency they have bought, the same day a rate is locked in.  

What currencies can I exchange

You can buy or sell, in either directions, any of the currencies listed below. For example, you can sell GBP and buy AUD, and you can also sell AUD, and buy GBP.
  • Australian dollars (AUD)
  • US dollars (USD)
  • New Zealand dollars (NZD)
  • Euros (EUR)
  • Pound Sterling (GBP)
  • Canadian dollars (CAD)
  • Japanese yen (JPY)
  • Swiss francs (CHF)
  • Hong Kong dollars (HKD)
  • Singapore dollars (SGD)
  • South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Thai Baht (THB)
  • Swedish krona (SEK)
  • Norwegian krone (NOK)
  • Danish krone (DKK)
?   Can I lock in a currency conversion online

No we don’t provide an online dealing service. We believe clients get better results transacting directly with us, and its one less logon and password for them to remember.  

I have locked in a rate, what happens now?   

?   When we agree an exchange rate, do you send me a trade confirmation

Yes. We email you our PDF trade confirmation as soon as we lock in a rate for you. Our trade confirmation sets out the full trade details, including the Direct FX Client Funds account, where your sold currency then needs to be sent.

?   How quickly can my currency exchange be completed

This is entirely up to you. Most transactions are settled on the second business day, after a rate is locked in. However we can settle trades a lot quicker, for organized clients. Please talk to us about your time frame requirements.

?  Will you tell me when you receive money I’ve sent you

Yes. As soon as we receive money you have sent us, we will email confirming this. We reconcile our client fund accounts each morning, so you would expect to hear from us by 10:00 AM (AEST), if we have received a payment from you.

?   When do you pay out my bought currency

On the “settlement date”, that has been pre agree with you. In general, the settlement date is two business days after a rate is locked in.

?   Do you tell me when you have paid me 

Yes. As soon as we have paid you or your beneficiary the currency you have bought, we will email you confirmation of this. This email will include a PDF payment advice copy of your records.

?   Can I leave my bought currency in Direct FX’s client fund account

Yes. We are able to hold your bought currency, until you are ready to receive it, or have it sent to a third party.

Currency exchange advice we give you

?   Will you tell me when it’s best to exchange my money?

We don’t claim to be able to predict currency movements, no one can. What we will do is give you as much information as you need, to allow you to make you own informed decision, that suits your particular requirements. Be very wary of any company that claim to be able to provide more than this, as it is simply not possible.  

?   What currency advice can you give me
  • Advice on what is driving exchange rates, and the current market expectations
  • General risk reduction strategies and the transacting methods you have
  • The same level of advice that we are authorised to provide to bank treasury traders
?   Do you provide currency reports

Yes. We provide the following report types, in plain English. To subscribe to our reports, please email us:

     Specific currency reports:
  • A review on the past week, includes charts, and future expectations
  • Available in AUDUSD, AUDNZD, AUDGBP, AUDEUR, AUDCAD, AUDJPY, NZDUSD, NZDGBP, NZDEUR, NZDCAD, NZDJPY.
  • Sent at the end of each week, and take two minutes to read.
  • An excellent way of keeping closely in touch, without the need to read daily reports

     Weekly FX update:

  • An overview of the current global economic events driving the FX markets
  • Specific comments on the performance of the currency pairs most traded by our clients
  • Sent on a Monday and takes 5 minutes to read
  • A very good report to keep in touch with the economic fundamentals globally driving FX rates.  

     Intermittent FX reports:

  • Predominantly covering economic releases in Australia and New Zealand
  • Sent shortly after announcements are made
  • Of use to those wanting to be kept very closely in touch with market events

Other transacting related questions   

?   Can I exchange cash

  • No, we do not deal in cash.

?   Do you load travel cards

  • No we don’t.

  Do you offer speculative margin trading services

  • No we don’t.

  What countries can my money be sent to

  • All except Cuba, Iran and Iraq.

?   What countries can I send you money from

  • All except Cuba, Iran and Iraq.

?   Do you pay interest on client balances held in your client fund accounts

  • No we don’t.

?  Can I send money to a third party

  • Yes you can.
  • All payments to third parties are first checked, for compliance with anti money laundering and counterterrorism financing laws.