What are live exchange rates?

 

Live exchange rate may refer to:

A currency exchange rate that is updated in real time.
The interbank or market exchange rate of the moment.
An exchange rate provided to customers of money transfer companies which changes in real time but which also includes a small margin.

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Why Do Live Exchange Rates Fluctuate So Much?

There are a variety of reasons why a live exchange rate is always changing. For example, the various levels of inflation that occur throughout the world, and the varying interest rates from one country to another will affect a live exchange rate.
 
Other factors that can contribute to changing live exchange rates include export and import levels in a particular area, as well as the geopolitical stability of a region. Also, while the market is open, the non-stop trading of currencies and futures, particularly by banks, contributes to the instability of live exchange rates.

How Long Will a Live Exchange Rate Be Valid?

Live exchange rates are always in flux, so the rate could very well adjust from one minute to the next. As the foreign exchange market changes, so does a live exchange rate. As a consumer, the rate you get will depend on the company or bank you use to transfer money.
 
Using a money transfer service that utilizes live exchange rates will allow you to see exactly what is happening at any point in time. You can also use a currency converter multiple times a day to see how the rate is moving.  
Live exchange rates are typically published from opening hours in the Hong Kong Market starting Monday morning, local time. They are then provided until the closing of the New York Market, which would be Friday afternoon, local time. Public holidays are not included.  
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The benefits of following and using live exchange rates

Most banks have in the past, and still do, use an exchange rate that will apply for the entire day. Because they do not usually use live exchange rates, they have to build in a margin of about 5% on all international money transfers to ensure they can still be profitable even if the currency fluctuates dramatically.
 
Today, live exchange rates are becoming increasingly popular, and foreign exchange providers like OFX have decided to work with these live rates instead of daily rates to give consumers and businesses a smarter choice when it comes to sending money overseas.
 
If you are making a money transfer and you are using the daily quoted rate rather than the live exchange rate, you might end up losing out on a rate that would have worked in your favor. That’s why following live exchange rates is highly recommended.  
 

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Make smarter foreign transfers with the help of live exchange rates

If you were to transfer $20,000 to GBP with your bank, you may end up paying a whopping charge of up to $1,000 due to their reliance on daily exchange rates. Of course, they also charge this high margin simply because they can. Many people just don’t realize how old fashioned it is to transfer money with a bank. Recent research showed that 80% of Australian consumers said they would use their bank to transfer money despite a plethora of money transfer alternatives with superior exchange rates.*
 
If you want the smart way to get better rate on your transfer, switch to OFX. You could save as much as 75% on margins and fees when you use OFX to send money abroad.^
 
Regardless of what currencies you are working with, checking historical and live currency exchange rates will help you make an informed decision about when to transfer your money. 
Using our risk management tools can also protect your money from volatile markets. For example, you can lock in your preferred rate for up to a year with a Forward Exchange Contract if you do not need to make a transfer right away. Or you can use our Limit Orders option to set a target rate for your transfer and wait for it to take effect before sending your money.
 

*Survey conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of OFX (August 2016). Sample size: 1000 Australians. 
 
*Average savings based on a sample of OFX Customer deals between 5 July and 9 August 2016 on an AUD$10,000 to USD single transfer against published rates of ANZ, Westpac, NAB and CBA for the same period. Fees and transaction costs excluded. Quoted savings are not indicative of future savings. Please consider OFX’s PDS and your circumstances before making a decision about any financial product.

Sources:

  1. https://www.kantox.com/en/glossary/live-exchange-rates/
  2. https://www.expat.hsbc.com/1/2/hsbc-expat/ways-to-bank-with-us/international-money-transfers/faqs

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