The exquisite smallness of a 0.2% fee

By on June 10th, 2016 in Editorial

Meanwhile, the average exchange fee with a bank is 0.8%, though this can – as reported by Kiki Loizou in the Sunday Times – sometimes be as high as 1.5%, if banks deem you a small enough business to be exploitable.

Yet 80% of businesses (according to our 2015 study ‘Breaking out of the FX status quo’) still opt to use banks, mistakenly believing that the size and reputation of these institutions guarantees the best deal on foreign payments. Quite the opposite is true.

Perhaps it’s difficult to imagine just how exquisitely small a 0.2% fee is, so we’ve put together a helpful list visualising 0.2% in the context of some real world examples.

  • You’re driving from London to Edinburgh, but your car breaks down with 0.2% of your journey left. You’d be able to walk the rest of the way to your destination in approximately 15 minutes.
  • 0.2% of 24 hours is less than three minutes, so walking the remainder of your London-Edinburgh journey would comprise only 1% of your day.
  • 0.2% of the entire human race would fit comfortably in Chad.
  • An unhinged Saw-type maniac bursts into your home in the middle of the night. He demands 0.2% of your body. You would be mathematically justified in giving him some toenail clippings or a small quantity of hair.
  • And most importantly:

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James is freemarket’s Chief Commercial Officer. He has a history of finding new ways to solve age-old financial challenges and was responsible for launching some of the first online money transfer and prepaid card initiatives in Europe.


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