The first in a range of automated foreign currency conversion machines opened in London’s King’s Cross yesterday, and included the option to donate the money to six charities.
Fourex claims that UK citizens are holding on to up to £3 billion in foreign currency coins and notes. We can’t exchange coins at banks, and low value notes are often not worth the transaction charge. Yet UK residents make 58 million trips abroad each year, and 33 million tourists visit the UK, so the unrealised value of this small change continues to grow.
This is why Fourex has produced a self-service machine that can handle the conversion of over 150 currencies. You simply pour the coins and notes in – there i no need to sort them first because the machine can recognise coins in one tenth of a second – and you then receive the converted cash.
You can choose to receive your money in pounds, dollars or euros.
After you have deposited your money, you will be asked if you would like to donate some, or all of your money to one of Fourex’s charity partners.
• London Transport Museum
• Guide Dogs
• the Stroke Association
• Railway Children.
You can either round up, donate all of your money, or share your deposit between all six charities. Your money goes directly to the charity you have chosen.
There is no fee to process coins donated to charities. The total value of your transaction as displayed is donated to the charity of your choice.
How does Fourex make money?
Fourex’s machines charge no commission or fee, just “competitive exchange rates”. These are updated daily and displayed on the side of the machine. It buys and sells currency into the market.
You can also use the machine to convert out of circulation currency, like pesetas and deutschmarks. The same applies to old UK currency too.
The machines do not let you donate to other charities, just those listed.
However, the machines might prove useful to many other charities if they are the only way their supporters can convert unwanted foreign or old UK coins and notes into cash, which could then be donated to their favourite charity.
Where are the machines?
There is only one machine at launch, in London’s King’s Cross station. But Fourex have plans to install more in shopping malls, train stations, airports and cruise liners.
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