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How To Get the Best Exchange Rate Always

In this edited transcript of Robyn Vogels’ interview with Geraldine Collett, Halo Financial, you’ll learn:

  • why we recommend their services
  • what sets Halo financial apart
  • how to always get the best exchange rate
  • many others

For the full interview, see below.

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Robyn:

I’m Robyn Vogels from Personnel Relocations. I’m the owner of Personnel Relocations and the author of Your DIY Move Guide to Australia and I’m joined today by Geraldine Collett from Halo Financial. I wanted to invite Geraldine to chat with me today because her service for foreign exchange is definitely one of the best that I’ve come across in the 12 years that I’ve been working with people and moving them internationally. What I really like about Geraldine’s services is how personal it is, that she is looking to work with people on a long-term basis and help you with both your short-term and long-term goals. Is that a good summary Geraldine? Have I kind of summed that up in a fair amount? Tell us a bit more about yourself.

Geraldine:

Good morning, good evening, good afternoon wherever you are. I’m sort of coming to you from Auckland as we mentioned before when we had that weather discussion. But yes I’m from Halo Financial, and we are a foreign exchange specialist. We do pretty much only foreign exchange so we like to think our expertise can help you with your, as Robyn said, long term and short term goals for achieving the best possible exchange rates. Hopefully, we can help you with that with our personalised service.

What Makes Halo Different

Robyn:

Let’s just start at a really basic level of explaining what foreign exchange is and perhaps how you offer it in a different way? What makes Halo different?

Geraldine:

We like to think of ourselves as more of a boutique firm than a large corporate not only because we’re a smallish firm but also the way we have a personalised and very client-focused approach. When we are talking to clients and working through what their requirements are, it’s that real one-to-one service. We like to be able to get to know our clients, build the relationship, and actually find out a little bit more about what your needs are going to be so that we can help you create a bespoke plan and work through helping you get the best possible exchange rates within your time frame.

Robyn:

I think that’s an important part because people tend to look at maybe the service charge and think that’s where they’re going to save money, but it’s not. It’s more to do with the most accurate and best currency exchange.

Geraldine:

Absolutely. You know most people are sort of mindful that exchange rates move up and down all the time. Every move and can rise to quite a high peak and dip quite low as well or they can plateau a little bit. But I think it’s about having the guidance, which is important to make sure the timing is right that they transfer when the exchange rates are moving. Having that guidance and that conversation around when this is happening is the insight we provide. For example, this month on a particular currency pair we know what is happening over the last little while, and this is what we expect to push exchange rates in the future so we can help you with that,  get the best possible exchange rates.

Robyn:

What I quite like with Halo is that personal touch, you are at least phoning our clients. It’s not a case of me just going on “Okay, I need to send money today” and just doing the same old same old. It is a case of you working with them and phoning them and saying “If you do it at this time or that time or you wait a little bit for that…” A lot of my clients are moving internationally. They arrive in Australia then they need to pay their rent and their first month’s bond, which is a fair amount. Obviously, also getting any other money out of the country, but at least you can work with them to say “Well, move what’s essential now, but it’s better to send this at another time.” You really get to understand their needs and give them expert advice.

Geraldine:

Absolutely. I think the timing is absolutely key and talking to clients we can give you that information. If you just go to an online platform, you’ll get provided with a rate and you do the transfer not knowing whether it’s a good rate or not. That’s where we come in and that’s where we can personally make the difference. It’s not always a good idea to do all your money at once. It’s a good idea to wait, watch and be guided by the experts in the field. Our guys sit and watch the FX charts moving all day, every day. They provide that confidence around making the right decision to exchange your money or wait and the difference with rates. You might see a rate move 0.1 of a per cent or half a per cent which doesn’t actually sound very much. But when you’re talking about high-value transactions or you know a lump sum, those small movements and exchange rates can make a significant difference. The difference cannot only be hundreds but it can sometimes be thousands and that’s what really makes a difference. And that’s where we can help with that guidance again.

When To Contact Halo Financial

Robyn:

How far in advance should people get in contact with you?

Geraldine:

One of my top tips always is don’t leave it till the last minute because you want to get the best exchange rate. The more time you’ve got, the more time we can work with you to make sure you get the best exchange rate. We talk to people a year out from leaving,  It might be at the very beginning. We just want to provide you with some information. Let’s get you educated on what rates are doing so that you receive regular updates from us. You can receive–if you’re really keen–daily updates but that might just clog your inbox. But we can also set alerts. So if rates aren’t really in your favour at the moment, we can set an alert on what a good rate would be and leave that sitting for a few months. Then if it does right, we can personally give you a call or drop you an email and say ”Hey look, it’s hit the right time, it hasn’t done this for months. It’s real-time movements. If you want to move some or all of your funds, we can do that for you. So it’s just doing all the work for you. Basically, get those really good rates. The more time we’ve got, the more chance we’ve got of getting some really good rates for you.

Robyn:

It’s also important to remind people or just inform them who might be watching this video that Personnel Relocations can help you open your bank account in Australia before you arrive. Some banks allow that for up to a year before you arrive. so you can deposit money into the account, but you won’t be able to withdraw until you arrive in Australia. So getting that bank account open and working with Halo to move money into it is going to save you in the long run. And as you say don’t leave anything in a relocation too late. The last few weeks and the first few months are too crazy in relocation to try to be dealing with this. It is when your relocation gets THAT busy, that you just jump online and quickly send money through the bank and actually waste potentially thousands of your dollars. 

Where To Start

Robyn:

We’re going to be setting up a link and information on the Personnel Relocations website. Our clients can actually contact you through our website, but then they’ll be taken to a dashboard from what I understand, and then how does that work, do they create a profile with you and book a consultation or what happens from that step?

Geraldine:

There is a choice actually, for anyone who is wanting to chat with me personally, I am more than happy for them to come directly through me. If you want to register with us and submit your information through Personnel Relocations, you can do that through the link on that page as well, all your information, one of my colleagues would give you a call or drop you an email and arrange a time to go through what your requirements are. The guys in the team, the experts, are, as I mentioned before the guys who watch the screens all day and really know what they’re talking about. As I said, I’m delighted to have a chat with you anyway, but the guys will be the ones that work through with you to create that plan. There are lots of options but probably the easiest is about the form that comes through to us and then the guys will start creating that plan with you to move forward. 

How Safe is Halo Financial?

Robyn:

It’s probably a silly question but I know it might be on a lot of people’s mind, how safe is it? 

Geraldine:

Halo financial is safe and secure like any bank in the world we are FCA authorised and regulated in the UK, but we are covered and we can do transfers from pretty much most countries. I won’t say every country in the world or every currency but most of the currencies. We can do a transfer for you and it just needs to be from a bank account in your name in your home country to a bank account either in your name or a third party which can be a business or another beneficiary but we can go through details.

How Fast is a Transaction?

Robyn:

So everything is online and how long does a transaction take? 

Geraldine:

Really good question actually, we’re very quick, as soon as you transfer the funds through to Halo we do a conversion pretty much straight away and then we send the funds straight to your beneficiary account as I said whether it’s your or a third party so it’s very quick depending on what time of the day you do it and where you’re actually sending the money. It’s the same day or the next day. For example, doing from the UK to Australia would probably be on the next day you kind of wake up the next day and your money’s there. So it’s very quick especially if you’ve got urgent payments that need doing.

How To Get Best Exchange Rate: Top Tips

Robyn:

I wanted to ask you what your top tips would be on foreign exchange, so many of us only do it maybe once or twice in a lifetime and then there are others that perhaps have to send money back to their home country for paying mortgages or whatever they might need to do. So what would your top tips be when it comes to foreign exchange?

Geraldine:

As I mentioned before, please don’t leave it till the last minute, start talking to us as early as you can, even if you are a long time away from moving, start speaking to us, but I think and I haven’t mentioned this before, but it’s not only about the timing and being educated on what the rates are doing for your particular currency pair but we actually offer a range of solutions as well. There is a whole plan, a whole suite of solutions that can actually help mitigate currency risk and that’s what I’d like to talk to you about as well. Again, going back to that, don’t leave it till the last minute where there’s a range of solutions around to help you the most money so I think that would be really my top tip. Just don’t leave it till the last minute, speak to us soon and get educated, find out what’s happening to those rates so when it does come– time to change your money that you are happy with that you’ve done really well and as I mentioned it can make the difference of thousands for you.

Robyn:

I’ve seen that for myself,  just sending money through the bank from one bank to another and then realized it’s not just about the $10 service fee it’s about the exchange rate as well and getting the best rate for that. Do you have any sort of newsletters or any (once somebody has signed up with you) will they automatically get these alerts and get sort of you’re talking about being educated so is there information on your site or something that they can sign up for to get educated basically?

Geraldine:

You can sign up on our site and you can select what information you want to receive so whether it’s a monthly newsletter or regular updates. You can select your currencies so you can literally be updated on whatever you choose to be updated on. We’re across all the social media channels as well, so if we have a bit of a movement in a particular exchange rate, we do put those out across our social media channels so that our clients are alerted to that. But yet it’s something that they can select any way to get the regular updates.

Robyn:

Thanks, Geraldine I appreciate you taking the time to join us. Please do check out Halo Financial. I just love that they in for the long term and it’s all about customer service which is a dying service in some countries.

Geraldine:

Everything has gone technical and online, so it’s great there’s someone that you can actually talk to or pick up your phone and have a chat too. So we’re happy to call you wherever you are in the world.

Robyn:

I’m probably a bit old-fashioned, but yes I do like the personal service. I think it’s a great resource, as you said, for people to get educated to chat to you early and to do the right thing by themselves. Everybody wants to save money on their move and the foreign exchange is a big one. This is one where you can literally save thousands.

 

You can watch the interview here:

 

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