Frequently asked questions: how does freemarket work?

What is a scheduled exchange?

We make regular exchanges of currency between freemarket members. These are scheduled at least once per day, at noon; for popular currency pairings, there may be more at intervals throughout the day.

During each scheduled exchange, we aggregate and match as many currency requirements as possible, enabling you to buy and sell with other members at the mid-market rate.

If our members’ requirements are not completely matched within an exchange, we use our buying power to obtain the additional currency at an advantageous, wholesale rate. We divide out the wholesale currency evenly among everyone taking part in the exchange, so everybody achieves the same, fair exchange rate.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount that I can exchange?

Our minimum transaction is £5,000, or its equivalent in another currency. There is no maximum.

There are no limits on how many, or how few, transactions you make. You can use your account as often or as rarely as you choose.

Can I pay third parties directly from my freemarket account?

Yes, you can.

Some of our members prefer to make freemarket exchanges between two bank accounts they control; others use their freemarket account to make and receive payments directly.

If you’d like to make a payment to a third-party bank account, you’ll need to enter the details on your membership portal here, and allow a little time for us to verify the account.

How quickly can I get my currency?

Once your membership is approved, you can begin exchanging currency immediately – and your funds will usually be available on the same day you make an exchange.

Very occasionally, if an exchange is scheduled at the end of a business day, the currency might arrive the following day. If this is likely, we will contact you as soon as possible.

How do I join?

If you go to join freemarket, we will guide you through the process, and ask you for all the information we need to verify your membership.

To safeguard our members and ensure fair play, we’ll then take a little time to carry out our compliance checks and set up your account. Everything will be ready for you within 24 hours.

Joining freemarket is free of charge, and there’s no obligation to use your account.

Frequently asked questions: how much does freemarket cost?

Is freemarket free to join?

Yes; that’s correct. Creating your freemarket account is completely free, and there is no obligation to use the service once you have joined.

Do you charge commission?

For businesses and individual members, we make a service charge of 0.2% on your transaction amount. As an illustration, a currency exchange worth £10,000 costs £20.

This is the only cost of using freemarket. Because you exchange currency with other members at the mid-market rate, there is no margin applied between buying and selling.

We waive our service charge for registered charities, meaning freemarket is entirely free to use.

How do you calculate your exchange rates?

For scheduled exchanges between members, we use the mid-market rate. This is exactly halfway between the average prices traders are currently using to buy and sell. It is the same in each direction, with no margin in between.

Where the currency requirements in an exchange are not evenly matched among members, we obtain the difference at a wholesale rate. This currency is divided equally among members taking part in the exchange, to ensure a single, fair price for everyone.

Frequently asked questions: how secure is freemarket?

Where will my money be held?

All of our members’ funds are deposited in segregated escrow accounts, held by the RBS Group (NatWest).

Once you have joined, we will give you the details of your own freemarket account, where you can deposit funds ready for exchange.

How do I know my money is safe?

freemarket is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and HMRC. Under these regulations, your money is always in a bank account you control, in a segregated escrow account at NatWest. And NatWest makes all the withdrawals and payments on your behalf; freemarket never holds your money.

freemarketFX Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Payment Institution under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (Firm No. 585093). We are also regulated by HMRC under Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (Registration No. 12601391).

Frequently asked questions: API integration with other systems

What is API, and how does it work?

An application programming interface (API) lets software systems work together without human intervention.

In our case, the freemarket API allows your system to exchange information with the freemarket platform automatically. If you exchange currency regularly, it could make the process faster and simpler.

Who should use the freemarket API?

The API is ideal for any business or individual who makes currency transactions regularly, and manages their finances from another system.

How do I set it up?

Once you have an active freemarket account – and have been through our standard validation checks – you are welcome to request an API key by emailing support@freemarketfx.com.

The key will enable your system to log in, retrieve transaction information and make new transactions.

To help you test the integration and confirm everything is working as planned, we provide a sandbox (test) facility. This enables you to make virtual, test transactions before using the API with your live account.

Frequently asked questions: foreign exchange for charities

Do you offer a discount for registered charities?

If you’re a registered charity, you can use freemarket free of charge, with our compliments.

At freemarket, we believe charity funds should be spent where they’re needed most, not on foreign exchange. We will waive our service fee, enabling you to benefit from the mid-market exchange rate, and pay no commission.

This applies to payments you make, as well as funds you receive.

If you would like any help getting started, please email charities@freemarketfx.com.