Xe Review

Xe is part of one of the largest money transfer groups on the planet, allowing customers to send payments in 139 currencies to over 200 countries and territories. That means that even if you're looking for the most exotic of currency options, Xe probably has you covered.

Read this full Xe review for all you need to know, including XE money transfer fees, whether it's safe to use, how fast it is, how to get set up, and more.

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Xe: Key points

Key features:

  • International payments for individuals and businesses, to 200 countries and territories around the world

  • Online and in-app services available - pay by EFT, Interac, card or bank transfer

  • No transfer fee for payments over 500 CAD, and a low fee of 3 CAD below that (exchange rate fees do apply)

  • Business services including market orders, forward contracts and mass payments

Key stats:

  • Founded in 1993 as Xenon Laboratories, began focusing on currency exchange tools and services in 2000, before becoming known as Xe in 2001

  • 115 billion USD processed in transfers annually

  • Send 139 currencies to over 200 countries and territories

  • Part of Euronet - the third largest money transfer service in the world

  • Used by 13,000 businesses in over 100 sectors annually

Pros:

  • Extraordinary reach - 139 currencies and 200+ countries and territories covered

  • Business services include currency management solutions

  • Reliable, real time mid-market exchange rate information

  • Set up payments online and in-app for convenience - or by phone if you want to speak to someone

  • Xe is a FINTRAC registered money services business, making it a safe provider to choose

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Cons:

  • Exchange rates include a markup on the mid-market rate

  • Delivery times may not be as fast as some other providers

  • No personal multi-currency account options available

  • Business services more extensive than products for personal customers

Overall:

Xe is famous for its currency tracking tools and currency converters, which are great ways to keep an eye on changing rates. Their money transfer service is convenient and allows customers to send payments to basically anywhere in the world.

However, while there may not be a transfer fee for your payment, it's worth remembering that the rate you'll be offered when sending money isn't the same as you see on the Xe currency news pages. That's because while the currency tracking tools show the mid-market rate, the Xe money transfer rate has a margin included.

Xe is impressive for its global reach - and also has a great suite of options for business customers, including risk management products. Even customers sending the most exotic of currencies are probably covered, making Xe a provider to check out when you're shopping around for the best deals.

About Xe

Xe started out as Xenon Laboratories and was founded by highschool friends way back in 1993. One of the original products available was known as the Universal Currency Converter - and this quickly became one of the most popular currency converter tools available. Xenon became Xe, and started to focus exclusively on foreign exchange tools and services, by 2001.

As technology changed and developed, Xe added app services and dynamic currency trackers, which are still available today. In 2015, Xe became part of Euronet - one of the largest global providers of international transfers. Xe continues to develop its services with more recent additions including tools to allow people to access exchange rates via Amazon Alexa devices.

Today, Xe offers a range of international payment services for both personal and business customers, including currency management solutions for businesses looking to minimise risks of exchange rate fluctuations. Here's the rundown.

International bank transfers

The core service offered for individual customers is international transfers deposited directly into bank accounts. With payments in 139 currencies, to 200 countries and territories, there's basically nowhere in the world you can't send a payment to with Xe. This astonishing reach is probably the biggest selling factor for customers considering choosing Xe for their transfers.

You'll be able to set up your payment online or in the Xe app, and pay by credit or debit card, with a bank transfer, Interac or ETF. For transfers of 500 CAD or more there's no upfront transfer fee, and for lower value payments, there's a relatively low fee of 3 CAD added. There is also a markup added to the mid-market exchange rate.

Great for: people and businesses sending money internationally online and in-app.

Payments for cash collection

If you’re sending money through the Xe app you may be able to opt to have the payment collected in cash at an agent near to your recipient. This service isn’t available in all markets though - you’ll see the payout options available to you when you start to set up your payment.

The fees and exchange rate available for your cash collection payment will be displayed in the app when you arrange your transfer.

Great for: people sending money internationally to someone with limited access to a bank account.

Business services

XE also offers international payments for businesses, with the same broad range of 139 different available currencies. There are a few additional useful options for businesses too:

  • Forward contracts

  • Market orders

  • Mass payments

Forward contracts and market orders are used to help businesses minimise the risks involved with dealing with multiple currencies. A forward order lets you lock in an exchange rate for a future payment, while market orders are used to buy or sell foreign currencies automatically at pre-agreed rates. Both can help businesses avoid losses or maximise gains in the case of large changes in the exchange rates.

Mass payments are handy for saving time rather than money - but still equally attractive for busy business owners. Upload a file showing payments which need to be made - for employee payroll or to cover contractor invoices for example - and Xe can help you make all the transfers automatically in a range of currencies.

Great for: businesses trading internationally, working with suppliers abroad, or paying a remote team.

How does Xe work?

Once you've created your Xe account you can send international payments online or in the Xe app. If you’re sending high value payments - the equivalent of 70,000 USD a year or more (about 90,000 CAD) you’ll also have access to a support team by phone. They can help with higher value single transaction payments, or offer regular payments, market orders and other currency services if you need them.

When it comes to the fees and rates available from Xe, there's no transfer fee for payments over 500 CAD, but there may be a markup on the exchange rate used. That can still mean you save compared to using a bank, but it might not be the very cheapest option out there. It's also worth noting that when payments are transferred by the SWIFT network, third party charges can creep in too. These are levied by intermediary banks, which means Xe can't confirm what they may cost in advance.

Is Xe safe?

The short answer is - yes, Xe is safe.

Xe Canada is FINTRAC registered as a money services business - that means that Xe is a safe way to send money.

Xe pricing

If you'll be charged a fee for a transfer with Xe you'll be notified. From Canada, there's a charge of 3 CAD for most international payments under 500 CAD. For higher value transfers there's usually not a transfer charge, but there may be a fee added to the exchange rate.

Xe also points out that third party charges can apply. These can include costs imposed by your own or the recipient's bank, or your credit card provider if you pay that way.

Let's take a look at some example costs, when sending different payment amounts to a friend in US dollars. These examples assume we pay by bank transfer, and the money is delivered into the recipient's bank account:

Your recipient gets:Fee breakdown

Total to pay

1,000 USDNo fee for direct debit or bank transfer1,293.33 CAD
5,000 USDNo fee for direct debit or bank transfer6,462.45 CAD
10,000 USDNo fee for direct debit or bank transfer12,919.90 CAD

Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 28th April 2022

In these examples, there's no transfer fee when you pay using direct debit or a bank transfer - however there are fees added to the exchange rate in the form of a markup.

Xe exchange rate

Xe offers live currency exchange rate data which shows the mid-market exchange rate for different currency pairs. This is useful as a benchmark as it shows the wholesale prices of currencies. However, it's not the exchange rate you'll get when you send money with Xe.

You'll see the exchange rate offered by Xe for your international transfer when you start to set it up. The exchange rate will include a markup added to the mid-market exchange rate.

It's good to know that you'll see the exchange rate available at 2 stages during the process of agreeing your transfer. You'll see the indicative rate available at the time you start to input your payment details. Then, when you've worked through the process and entered all your recipient details, you'll also get a second chance to review and confirm the transfer. It's possible that the rate available will change between these two points. If it does, Xe will notify you so you can double check, before you confirm the payment.

How long does Xe take?

When you set up a payment with Xe you'll see an estimated arrival time. This is intended to be an indication of the earliest likely arrival - but if your money still hasn't got to where it needs to be 24 hours after this time, you're advised to call Xe direct for help.

The length of time it takes for an Xe payment to arrive depends on a range of factors:

  • How long it takes for your funds to be received by Xe. Card payments are fastest, bank transfers could take up to 3 days to be received, depending on your own bank's processes

  • How long it takes for your funds to clear - this may take a day or so

  • How long it takes for the funds to arrive at the recipient's bank - this can take up to 3 days depending on the processes in place at the receiving bank

Xe Pros

  • Extraordinary reach

  • basically the entire globe is covered

  • Business services available

  • Real time exchange rate data

  • Range of ways to make a payment

  • Safe provider, fully regulated in Canada and around the world

Xe Cons

  • Exchange rates include a markup on the mid-market rate

  • May not be as fast as some other providers

  • No multi-currency account available for personal customers

How to use Xe

Here's how you'll be able to send Xe international payments using the app or desktop site:

  1. Sign into your account

  2. Select your starting currency and recipient currency

  3. Enter the amount you want to send to get a quote

  4. Add your recipient's bank details

  5. Pay by card or bank transfer

  6. Check the details, then hit Confirm to send the payment

  7. You're all done - you can now track the payment in the app

Funding methods

Pay for your Xe international transfer using:

  • Credit card

  • Debit card

  • Bank transfer or EFT

  • Interac

  • Billpay 

Payout methods

You’ll be shown the payout options when you set up your transfer. Usually you’ll be offered the option to have the money deposited into the recipient’s bank account directly, and in some select markets you can also choose to have the transfer collected in cash at an agent location.

How to create an account

Xe recommends you create an account using their app, which is available on Apple and Android phones. Here's how:

  • Download the Xe app

  • Click the option to sign up

  • Follow the prompts to enter your email address and personal details

  • Upload the verification documents requested

  • Once your account is verified you can get started

What documents you'll need

As part of the process of setting up an account on Xe, you may be asked to verify your identity, address or other details. The exact documents you need to provide will depend on the type of payment you're making. You could be asked to upload images of document including:

  • Government issued ID like a passport or driving license

  • A copy of a bank statement

  • A copy of a utility bill

You may also need to add details about how you expect to use your account, including how, and how often, you're likely to use Xe services.

How long does verification take

Verification can often be done in real time, which means your documents are automatically checked and you'll be ready to send money right away.

If there's any delay or further documents are required you'll be informed by Xe directly.

Xe limits

Xe doesn't publish details of their minimum payment limits online. However, with a flat fee of 3 CAD for transfers under the value of 500 CAD, lower value payments may work out on the costly side.

There's no upper limit to how much you can send with Xe. In fact you might get extra support from the Xe team if you make high value or frequent international transfers worth over 70,000 USD a year or the currency equivalent.

Supported currencies

Xe supports 139 different currencies and lets you send to over 200 different countries and territories. That means they've got pretty much the entire globe covered.

Xe regularly updates the countries and currencies available - check here for the most up to date available information.

Xe reviews

Xe scores an average of 4.4 stars on Trustpilot, from a total of over 48,000 listed reviews at the time of writing. That counts as an Excellent score.

Of the reviews which gave the highest possible rating, the focus was on the efficiency of using Xe and the service available. Here are a couple of happy customer comments:

"Fast quick and efficient"

"Excellent service, cash transferred into my account the next day. Good exchange rate and kept updated"

When it comes to less positive reviews, themes included challenges about verification for high value payments, and some transfers which had taken longer than anticipated. Check out Trustpilot for the full range of up to date reviews before you get started with Xe.

Xe accessibility

Xe is available on their desktop site, and also has an app you can download on both Apple and Android phones. You can also access support by phone if you send high value or frequent payments. 

Xe customer service

You'll be able to talk in real time to Xe customer service once you have an account with them. Log in to see your options - or you can request a response by email, or join a live chat within the app.

Customer support channelXe availability
Phone supportLog into the app or desktop site to see the most appropriate phone number for your issue
Chat supportAvailable when you log into the app or desktop site
Email supportUse the online contact form to request a reply by email

Xe alternatives

  • Wise - send payments which use the real exchange rate and low transparent fees, or open an online international account to send and hold multiple currencies. No monthly fees apply.

  • Western Union

  • domestic and international payment service with a network of agents as well as online and in-app services. Payouts available to bank accounts or for cash collection. Fees tend to be on the higher side.

  • TorFX - send online and in-app payments through a specialist broker, for delivery direct to recipient bank accounts. Set up forward contracts, target rate orders and stop loss orders.

Conclusion

The stand out benefit of Xe money transfers is that they'll get your money pretty much to any country on the planet. With 139 currencies and 200+ countries and territories covered, there's every chance you'll find the service you need. If you’re sending high value payments, the Xe phone service is an added bonus, and offers reassurance that you'll always be able to get through to someone if you need to discuss your options.

Xe's business services are even more extensive with a good range of currency risk management tools available. The main drawbacks of Xe are that their exchange rates may not be the very best available, and their delivery times can vary depending on where you're sending money to. But it's a service well worth looking into - especially if you're sending money somewhere exotic.

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FAQ

How much does Xe cost?

Xe transfers under 500 CAD cost 3 CAD; there’s no transfer fee above that amount. However, there is a fee added into the exchange rate used for payments.

How long does Xe take to transfer funds?

You’ll see an estimated arrival time when you set up your payments. It’s worth remembering that this is the earliest your money is likely to arrive - your payment may be slightly delayed depending on a range of factors including your own, and the recipient’s bank processing times.

Is Xe safe?

Xe is FINTRAC registered in Canada - making them a safe service for your international payment.

How does Xe apply exchange rates?

Xe exchange rates are calculated by adding a margin to the mid-market exchange rate.

Does Xe have a mobile app?

Xe has an app you can download on both Apple and Android phones.

How does Xe work?

Open an Xe account conveniently online or in the app, to send payments all over the world. You can arrange a transfer online or in the Xe app, and pay by card or bank transfer.

How many currencies does it support?

Xe supports 139 different currencies and lets you send to over 200 different countries and territories.

General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions. We compare currency exchange and money transfer services in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. We only display reputable companies which we have researched and approved.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated May 17, 2022