LEADING FOREIGN EXCHANGE ENTREPRENEURS LAUNCH ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ TRAVEL MONEY BUSINESS
Three leading foreign exchange entrepreneurs who established enterprises that sold for a combined £350 million, have joined forces to launch a new travel money business called Centtrip that is looking to shake up the industry by offering ‘spread free’ exchange rates, much lower charges and greater transparency.
Centtrip’s initial product is the first prepaid Mastercard offering 14 currencies on a single card at ‘spread free’ exchange rates. Customers pay one fixed annual fee of £10 and 0.5% of the value of funds loaded to their account. Thereafter they can buy foreign currency from Centtrip at authentic 0% rates from the live market, as much as they need as often as they need. There are no charges for point-of-sale transactions in the UK or abroad, and competitive international ATM fees.
Centtrip has been developed by Tony North and Brian Jamieson who were co-founders of Schneider Foreign Exchange, and Daniel Butcher who was one of the founders of FX broker HiFX. Each business had an annual turnover of $15 billion, and were recently sold for a combined £350 million.
As well as the founders investing in the business, Centtrip has an investor pool of globally influential business leaders. These include Eric Nicoli, former chairman and CEO of EMI; Haim Perry, founder of Hotels4U; Marisa Drew, Global Co Head of Emerging Markets at Credit Suisse and Jonathan Berman, a partner at law firm Mischon da Reya.
Brian Jamieson, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Centtrip said: “The London forex market is ripe for further consolidation. There were up to 400 companies in this sector in 2009 and now there are probably less than a hundred. To prosper in this market you need a business model that is extremely competitive and unique. We believe we have that in Centtrip. We are not here to simply challenge the banks; we are here to challenge the consumer to find a better way. To introduce a whole new dimension to the travel money, banking and payment card experience.”
Tony North, Director and Co-Founder at Centtrip said: “We are looking to revolutionise both the corporate and consumer space with refreshingly transparent and fairer pricing alongside effective and intuitive account management.
“We want to redefine how people and businesses buy their travel money by pioneering a better, customer focused way to avoid the perils of inflated foreign exchange rates – anywhere between 2% and 9% across other card providers, banks and bureau de change.
“We provide our customers the very same rate of exchange at which we buy the currency – spread free.”
About the proposition
Centtrip is a new travel money business called that has launched with the first prepaid Mastercard offering 14 currencies on a single card at ‘spread free’ exchange rates. Customers can manage their accounts via a smartphone app or online through a multi-currency travel account.
Customers will pay one fixed annual fee of £10 and 0.5% of the value of funds loaded to their account. Thereafter they can buy foreign currency from Centtrip at authentic 0% rates from the live market, as they need as often as they need.
New research(1) from financial services research company MoneyComms reveals the average foreign exchange spread on both credit cards and debit cards is 2.40 and 2.42% respectively. For prepaid currency cards, the corresponding figure is 2.59%.
Looking at four different scenarios for spending between £1,500 and £50,000 in Euros and using ATMs abroad,(1) MoneyComms found for the lowest value example the savings from using Centtrip when compared against the average cost of using UK debit, credit or FX cards was £22.11, £29.97 and £19.6 respectively. The corresponding savings on its £50,000 Euro scenario were £1,011.9, £1,085.6 and £975.95.
The research also applied the same scenarios to US Dollar transactions and similar savings from using Centtrip were identified.
Andrew Hagger of MoneyComms said: “Centtrip has launched a very competitive and compelling proposition that will certainly ruffle a few feathers in the prepaid currency market. It should appeal to both the consumer and corporate markets, and it will be interesting to see how the competition responds. All of this is good news for the end customer.”
In addition to spread free exchange rates, no charge for point-of-sale transactions in the UK or abroad and competitive international ATM fees, Centtrip’s card also offers the heritage and confidence of the MasterCard brand. This means it’s accepted at over 34 million locations and 2.1 million ATMs worldwide.
(1) MoneyComms reviewed the charges and costs of FX transactions made via credit, debit and prepaid currency cards on 9th December 2014.
(2) As well as looking at published costs and fees, four different scenarios were developed to benchmark the Centtrip card against market average costs. The scenarios are as follows:
· Scenario 1 (once a year holiday user) – £1500 annual spend (including 3 x £200 currency equivalent ATM cash withdrawals and 9 purchase transactions)
· Scenario 2 – £5000 (more frequent traveller) annual spend (including 10 x £200 currency equivalent ATM cash withdrawals and 20 purchase transactions)
· Scenario 3 – £20000 (serious traveller/property overseas/business user) annual spend (including 20 x £200 currency equivalent ATM cash withdrawals and 80 purchase transactions)
· Scenario 4 – £50000 (heavy business use/property overseas) annual spend (including 50 x £200 currency equivalent ATM cash withdrawals and 200 purchase transactions).
Phil Anderson/Jamie Brownlee – Citigate Dewe Rogerson 020 7638 9571
Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Centtrip was established by Tony North and Brian Jamieson, who together with Daniel Butcher were co-founders of two of the UK and Europe’s most successful corporate foreign exchange brokers with an annual turnover of $30 billion.
Created specifically to serve the needs of the higher spending individual, frequent traveler and companies with a requirement for international travel, Centtrip is the world’s first e-money account and prepaid MasterCard to hold 14 currencies on a single card and provide foreign currency at the same rate at which it is bought – authentic 0%. At only 0.5% to load the account, no Point of Sale charges and lower international ATM fees Centtrip is redefining the way we buy and spend international currency.