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Learn about currency exchange

By Bidvest Bank
14-06-2011
The global foreign exchange market is a place to buy and sell foreign currencies. These currencies exist as fiat money, or as legal tender, and trading is open 24-hours every day. Operational on a global scale, forex is said to be the biggest market of foreign currency exchange in the world.

Because economic conditions fluctuate among forex’s main trading partners, that is, among the European Union, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, demand for certain currencies varies as well. The rate of exchange, which is often described in terms of supply and demand, is one of the contributing factors that set the values of currencies.

Bidvest Bank understands the complexities of currency exchange, particularly as it relates to our clients’ international travel requirements. With more than 90 branches in South Africa, Bidvest Bank is ready to help you arrange your finances abroad. Select one of our foreign exchange products and services that suits your travel needs or continue reading to learn about exchanging your currency.

How market activity changes currency exchange values

 During trading, dealers exchange one currency for another. They do this in the hope that the new currency will deliver stable or appreciating returns on their investments. This can have a negative effect on the market when many traders invest in one currency at the same time; the result of this is that it drives the value of that currency down relative to other currencies on the market. Adversely, when demand for a fixed supply of single currency increases, the result is an increase in price, thus raising the value of that currency in relation to other currencies.

Make the most of your currency exchange

When travelling from South Africa to foreign countries, it’s important to understand how to get the best exchange rate for your Rands. Below are a few useful currency exchange tips:
  • Exchange currency before you leave home: Long-distance flights often arrive late at night or very early in the morning when banks and currency exchange desks are closed. Exchange a small portion of your savings with Bidvest Bank beforehand to pay for transport and incidental costs until you have the time to visit a bank or ATM at your destination.
  • Spend your leftover currency wisely: In most cases, travellers are left with some foreign currency when returning from overseas. Many spend it on gifts for family and friends in airport duty-free stores, or they keep it as a souvenir of a foreign country. Another alternative is to exchange it on Forex using the spot rate of the day, which is the present price at which the currency can be bought or sold. By making use of forex currency exchange, you can convert your cash into your local currency and use your leftover spending money for the things you really need.
  • Ask Bidvest Bank about foreign exchange: From foreign bank notes to travellers’ cheques, Bidvest Bank ensures that your currency exchange is as favourable to you as possible. Our World Currency cards are pre-paid travel cards that give you access to your funds in the local currency of your destination, which allow travelling without carrying large amounts of cash.
Rely on Bidvest Bank for expert currency exchange

From Bangkok to New York, for business or for leisure, Bidvest Bank has a carefully tailored range of financial products and services designed to meet your unique currency exchange requirements. Locate a branch in your city or browse through our foreign exchange products and services to select those that meet your requirements.