Visit Our Stores
Currency exchange is a business to exchange physical money or cryptocurrency of one currency for another over the counter or via website by executing buy and sell transactions for the reasons of trade, investment and tourism. The operator of the foreign exchange business can be large financial institutions, such as banks with many branches, or can be small individual businesses, like a foreign currency exchange retail kiosk established in shopping malls or airports. The nature of the money exchange business is that the dealer act as a middle man, buy in the foreign cash customers want to sell, hold the foreign banknotes on hand and wait until other customers show up and purchase the particular money from the dealer. The amount customers can get is pending on spot rate, which is a constantly changing value provide by major banks and large currency exchange dealers. Each forex dealer quotes its own rate base on the current mid-market rate, competitor's quotation and the dealer's inventory level. Due to the nature of the business, handing large amount of money, especially cash, fx business usually requires a license from local government authority. Every currency exchange business is a participator of foreign exchange market.
There are 3 types of currency exchange service providers in Canada, banks, convenient kiosks and retail shops. These 3 types of operators have different pros and cons, so they intend to serve different customers. A bank’s pro is convenient and cons are price and availability. Banks have the largest retail network, around 6000 locations across Canada by 6 major banks, so it is so convenient for customers to reach a bank branch in 10 minutes. In addition, exchange money at the bank save the hassle of withdrawing large amount of cash out of their bank account first and then bring the cash to another location to conduct exchange. In Canada, withdraw more than $3000 dollar usually need to reserve first and wait for a few days and transporting cash from a bank to another currency exchange outlet is a risky activity too. Banks clearly know its advantages. By setting currency exchange rates higher, banks can cash out its advantages, so price insensitive customers are perfect for banks. Except prices, availability is banks’ another con. Usually, banks do not keep foreign currency cash in each branch. When customers walk in request for foreign cash, the particular branch has to order from head office. The order takes 3-5 days to be available for pick up. To summary up the pros and cons above, banks’ ideal customers are customers who careless about exchange rate, and do not need it right the way.
Another type of foreign exchange dealer is some small kiosks established in airports, hotel lobbies, or hallways of shopping malls. This type of currency exchange establishments appear at really convenient locations for visitors. Travelers who need small amount of foreign currency are the customers. Usually this type of establishments only keep small amount of common foreign money on hand. The drawback of the convenient is the higher fees, worse foreign exchange rates and limit supply of each currency.
The last type of money exchange dealers act as an alternation of banks. This type of dealers usually establishes their locations in shopping centers, downtown core or community neighborhoods. Usually these establishments have 4 to 6 counters, more space than just a kiosk. These establishments attract customers by offering better than banks’ exchange rates. More than that, these establishments actually keep foreign currencies in stock for purchase. The logic behind the scene is that competitive exchange rates attract more customers so it is worth for dealers to maintain global banknotes in stock.
The foreign exchange market is a global marketplace for exchanging national currencies against one another. It determines money exchange rates for currency of every country. The foreign exchange market consists of spot market, derivative market, such as forwards, futures, options, and currency swap. The top tier participants of the market are mainly central banks, financial institutions, multinational corporations, follow by second tier brokers, dealers, currency speculators and investors. Since the participants of the top tier market are all banks, the top tier market is also called interbank market. The participants of the interbank market enjoy the best exchange rate possible. For an individual customer, there is almost no way you can have direct access to interbank market, you have to deal with your local, second tier foreign exchange brokers who have connections with top tier banks. The lower the tier, the smaller the amount, the worse the exchange rate offered. Unlike stock exchange, the foreign exchange market is a decentralized market. It means all trades conducted by computer networks between traders around the world, not at one centralized location. The market operates 24 hours a day, 5 and half days per week. Currencies are traded globally and continuously in major financial hubs, such as London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.From the trading amount point of view, London counts 40% of global foreign exchange amount, followed by New York 30%, but from the currency point of view, EUR/USD is the most trading currency pair, followed by USD/JPY, and the third pair is GBP/USD. USD/CAD counts the 6th position.
Exchange rates are vary from dealer to dealer, since the market is decentralized and each participator quotes its own rates based on its inventory level, demand, supply and other competitor's rates. However, currency exchange rates are similar from one trader to another. How the foreign exchange rates are determined? Firstly, top tire participators, such as banks, quote their customers the money exchange rates base on the current demand (buy) and supply (sell) amounts of the particular currency. The dealer try to quote an forex rate which can match the most of demand and supply. In the meanwhile, the dealer also has to consider what other competitors' quoation to ensure its rates are competitive. That is why foreign currency exchange rates are always different from dealer to dealer buy always similar.
Exchange rates are using one currency to express another currency. For example USD/CAD = 1.35313 means that 1 dollar USD is worth 1.35313 CAD. There are few types of exchange rates. Restricted currencies have restricted exchange rates set by the government. On the other hand, free-floating exchange rates are totally determined by foreign exchange market. Some currencies, such as Hong Kong Dollar peg its value to US dollar. Peg means the exchange rate of this currency is floating with another currency. For some currencies, there are also onshore exchange rate and offshore exchange rate. Onshore exchange rate is the rate used to trade this currency inside the country. While offshore exchange rates will be applied if the currency is traded outside the particular country. Exchange rates can also be distinguishes as spot exchange and forward exchange rate. The spot rate is used when the transaction will be completed immediately. Meanwhile, forward rate is used for booking the trade currently and execute a while later, for example, 1 month.
A currency converter calculates how much it is worth from 1 currency to another based on the current exchange rate.
Toronto foreign exchange market is the most active market in Canada, followed by Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, since Ontario receives the most new immigrants, international students. In addition to newcomers, headquarters of all financial institutions and foreign exchange dealers are in Toronto. From the business point of view, currency exchange Toronto is the largest trading partner of United States in Canada, most manufacturing businesses which export products to USA are in Ontario. Toronto International airport serves for nearby residents up to 12 millions. Every year, about 15% of these residents take international at least once, so money exchange in Toronto is essential for Torontonians.
There is no surprise that USD/CAD is the most popular currency pair in Canadian foreign exchange market, since USA is the 1st trading partner of Canada and annual trading amount between US and Canada is $582 billion in 2018. 90% of USD/CAD conversion is from 3 major business sectors, petro, agriculture and manufacturing, while immigration, purchasing assets and pay tuition fees are the top 3 reasons for the remaining 10% USD/CAD conversion. For all those transactions above, only 4% is conducted by cash, all the rest are done by wire or other financial instruments. In Canada, amount convert from USD to CAD is significantly more than the amount convert from CAD to USD. The reason is Canada export most of its products to US and get paid in US dollar, but all business expenses are paid in Canadian, so more US dollar need to convert to CAD. Due to the reason above, the cost to convert USD to CAD is a little bit more than convert CAD to USD, even the difference is not that significant. For example, if the interbank exchange rate is 1.35 today, the rate for dealers to buy in USD should be 1.32 and the rate for dealers to sell USD should be 1.38, 3 cents apart from interbank rate, but the reality is that the rate for dealers to buy USD is 1.31, 4 cents less than 1.35, the rate for dealers to sell USD is 1.37, only 2 cents more than 1.35. Every year, September is a really bad timing to sell USD to dealers, but December is a really good season to sell US dollars to dealers. The reason is international students come to Canada in Sept. and brings in a lot of US dollars. The extra supply drives the exchange rate down. On the other hand, holiday season in Dec. drives the exchange rate of US dollar up.
We can delivery foreign cash to your home in 4 business days via Canada Post after customers place orders from our website and pay us by interac.
Visiting Canada with your home currency on hand? No problem. We can convert 78 currencies to Canadian dollars in four of our locations. Our currency exchange rates are guaranteed better than other similar businesses in airports or tourist destinations. Why? We are a business established in the local communities and looking for repeat businesses, not a one-time deal.
Studying in Canada is a long journey and take years to accomplish. A good currency exchange broker can save you a lot of money during your stay in Canada. Our exchange rates to purchase currency from you can earn you up to 2% more than local banks. Why? Banks have so many locations and their operating costs are much higher.
Currency exchange rates go up and down 24/7 and creates many opportunities to invest in Toronto, Winnipeg or North York. Do you take advantage of the weak Canadian dollar or strong US dollar to invest in Canada? Take additional advantage to buy/sell foreign currency with Currency Mart instead of major banks.
Do you know, in general, Canadian banks make more profit by purchasing foreign currencies from customers than selling foreign currencies to customers? For example, banks make 5% profit by buying foreign currencies from customers, but only 3% profit to sell foreign currencies to customers. Currency Mart's foreign currency buy-in rate is guaranteed better than the major banks. On average, our profit margin is only 1%.
Are you traveling to overseas countries? No problem. Currency Mart has 51 foreign currencies in stock daily such as US Dollar, Euros, Japanese Yen and Great Britain Pound and can bring in an additional 20 foreign currencies in 1-3 business days. More than sell foreign currency to you, we take care of your leftover money too. Bring your foreign currency bills back to us within 30 days from the date of purchase, with your receipt, we will buy back up to 30% of your total purchase at the same rate.
Mexican Peso, East Caribbean Dollar or Costa Rican colón? No problem. We have them all either in stock or 1-3 days notice. Are you thinking about exchanging money either before your departure or after your arrival? A hassle-free vacation starts from having foreign cash on hand. In general, our exchange rates are better than overseas travel destinations or hotel front desks. The same idea as coke is cheaper in supermarkets than in convenient stores.
When you have a bank account in the USA, we can wire transfer US dollars to your account for only $35.00(cad) no matter the wire amount, so no need to bring US cash with you. Savings can be hundreds of dollars per year.
Bringing USD cash for shopping in the US is a far better idea than credit cards. Most credit cards charge a 2.5% convenience fee, which is on top of the exchange rates. Besides, you have no idea what rates credit card companies have applied until after the transaction. Our USD to CAD rate is about 2% cheaper than major Canadian banks.
Shopping on Amazon US site or paying off your us dollar credit card? Purchasing a US Dollar cheque to pay off your credit card is cheaper than purchasing US Dollars from your bank. Deposit our USD cheque onto your credit card account, up to 2% savings from the exchange rate.
Many Canadians think about purchasing/renting a property in the USA, and we can help. By taking up to 2% off from Canadian dollar to US dollar exchange rate compared to major banks, we can help make your dream a reality and the savings can be thousands.
A few reasons make our currency exchange rates better than banks'. Mainly, we deal with more customers than banks because banks can only deal with customers who have accounts with them. More clients make our operation more efficient and drive our average transaction cost down, so we can afford to offer currency exchange rates better than banks. Additionally, our locations are for optimizing currency exchange business only, such as downtown cores or shopping centers. Oppositely, banks are everywhere, but some places are no demands at all. Again, currency exchange oriented location makes our operation more efficient.
The Canadian government agency, FINTRAC, issued the currency exchange business license to Currency Mart and renewed every two years. Our license No. is M11432814. Please verify our license by name from the FINTRAC website. FINTRAC Currency Mart has four currency exchange service locations registered with FINTRAC, in Cargill building of Winnipeg downtown, in St. Vital Shopping Centre of Winnipeg, in Richmond-Adelaide Centre of Toronto downtown PATH and Yonge Sheppard Centre of North York.
Coins are too heavy to ship around the globe. Currency shipping requires unique security measurement, so the shipping cost can easily over the value of coins. None of our locations in Winnipeg and Toronto deals with coins. In fact, not only us, almost all currency exchange dealers are not deal with coins.
Currency Mart does not have a limit for currency exchange amount, and customers can exchange any amount. However, there are a few limits customers may need to know. The debit card limit is from $500 to a few thousand a day, pending on your account. Cash withdraw from bank branches for both USD and CAD usually is $3000 per day without reservation.
The answer is Yes and No. Most similar currency exchange dealers need to convert one foreign currency to Canadian dollar first before they can exchange to another foreign currency. That means those dealers make money twice. Currency Mart can do a better job, we can directly convert foreign currencies to US dollars or from USD to other foreign currencies, but for foreign currency other than USD, we still have to exchange to CAD first.