close menu

Your one-stop forex jargon buster

by Gemma Blommaert | Jul 29, 2014
  • We've put together a short glossary of terms to dissect the jargon that surrounds international money transfers. If, by the end of this article, you can tell the difference between exchange, interbank and locked-in rates, you’re well on your way to saving heaps of money.
    • AML: Anti-money laundering – a term used to describe the controls employed by financial institutions and other regulated entities to detect, prevent and report money laundering activities. In the UK, AML is governed by four Acts of primary legislation.
    • Bureau de change: A business where people physically exchange one currency for another.
    • Currency converter: An invaluable online tool that lets you check the exchange rate between two countries to determine what your currency will be worth in the country you are transferring to. Always choose a forex agent that offers a currency converter as a built-in feature on their website.
    • Exchange rate: The rate at which one currency is exchanged for another (for instance British Pounds for South African Rands).
    • Foreign exchange market: A global, decentralised market where currencies are traded. The main players are the larger international banks. The foreign exchange market determines the relative values of different currencies around the world.
    • Interbank market: The financial firms known as “dealers” who are actively involved in large quantities of foreign exchange trading. Most foreign exchange dealers are banks, so this behind-the-scenes market is sometimes called the “interbank market”.
    • Interbank rate: The difference between buy and sell rates. Forex, like other products, has different buy and sell rates. Although the interbank rate is not something that’s typically available to the public, a good forex agent will offer a rate that’s as close as possible to the interbank rate if the transaction involves millions of Dollars. Some unscrupulous websites and forex agents display alleged interbank rates on their site, only to explain in their disclaimer that this rate is not available. If you’re unsure – always ask.
    • Locked-in rate: "The rate you see is the rate you get”. Always try to get a locked-in, fixed or booked rate when transferring money, otherwise the rate could change by the time the transaction goes through and you could be left out of pocket.
    • Remittance: The transfer of money by someone working in a foreign country to his or her home country.
    • Transfer fees: The fees charged by a bank or foreign exchange company when you need to transfer money between two countries. These fees can vary a great deal depending on the forex agent you choose.
    • Wire transfer: An international bank-to-bank funds transfer, also known as an international money transfer or forex transfer.

    For a jargon-free forex service that beats the banks, visit 1st Contact Forex, where the rate you see is always the rate you get.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • Cross-border payments
      How to make cross-border business payments and collections simpler, cheaper and faster
      Aug 23, 2019  |  by Calvin Matsaure
    • Boris Johnson portrait
      How Boris Johnson’s election has caused trouble for the Pound
      Jul 31, 2019  |  by Sable International
    • Arrow and man sliding down
      Why the Rand is tanking
      Jun 10, 2019  |  by Sable International
    • Currency Solved
      Introducing a better way to pay and get paid: Currency Solved
      May 17, 2019  |  by Anton Van Teylingen
    • forex partner program
      Earn passive income with our Partner Programme
      May 09, 2019  |  by Anton Van Teylingen
    • Businessman-balancing
      Brexit: How to protect against currency fluctuations
      Mar 13, 2019  |  by Anton Van Teylingen
    • Rand-pound-sterling
      Britain - a good time to invest? Make use of your 2018 investment allowance
      Nov 14, 2018  |  by Andrew Rissik
    • trust-handshake
      But, do you know your forex broker’s name?
      Oct 10, 2018  |  by Saskia Johnston
    • risk-ahead-sign
      Increase your business’s bottom line with currency hedging
      Jun 06, 2018  |  by Calvin Matsaure
    • dollar-euro-birdcage
      Is your forex broker saving or costing you money?
      May 15, 2018  |  by Tim Smith

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.