Knight Frank is offering its 2,200 UK staff a company-branded debit card which allows them to buy cheap foreign currency.
Currensea’s card, selected by Knight Frank bosses, allows users to access the best foreign exchange rates at no more than 0.5 per cent above the base rate - by comparison high street banks typically charge between 3.0 and 5.0 per cent per transaction abroad.
Currensea offers users savings of at least 85 per cent on every overseas transaction as they avoid the normal fees charged by banks and other card – customers can then opt to donate all or part of these savings to charity. For example, a user spending $1500 while visiting the USA can choose to contribute 50 per cent of their savings – over £20 – while still saving money on foreign exchange
Knight Frank employees will also be able to donate to charity by rounding up spending to the nearest 5p in the UK. All donations will go to Surfers Against Sewage, a marine conservation charity, with Gift Aid added on top.
As the average charitable donation using the Currensea card is up to £30, total annual donations could exceed £66,000 if all Knight Frank’s UK employees opt for the card in their benefits package.
Will Beardmore-Gray, senior partner and group chair at Knight Frank, says: “The introduction of the scheme supports our ambitions as we become the first corporate partner to offer the charitable giving feature – allowing our people to donate some, or all of their exchange rate savings to a great cause and one close to our hearts, Surfers Against Sewage.”
The Currensea card uses open banking – a secure data-sharing approach between financial institutions – to connect directly to someone’s bank account with their approval, allowing travellers to make overseas transactions directly from funds in their current account, whilst avoiding high bank fees, and allowing UK users to enact the round-up function.