Kiosk that turns unwanted foreign currency into pounds to launch in tube stations from August – and it will even accept pesetas and francs
Fourex machines accept many out of circulation currencies
Turns this into pounds, euros or US dollars with no commission or fee
Opening in Blackfriars, Canary Wharf and King's Cross station in August
By LEE BOYCE FOR THISISMONEY.CO.UK
PUBLISHED: 03:18 EST, 4 June 2015 | UPDATED: 05:38 EST, 4 June 2015
A machine which accepts old currency and turns it into pounds will soon be popping up in London tube stations and a Westfield shopping centre.
Fourex kiosks - the brainchild of entrepreneurs Jeff Paterson and Oliver Du Toit - will accept unsorted coins and notes, both in and out of circulation, from over 150 currencies and convert their value into pounds, euros or US dollars.
The software within the kiosks processes and evaluate each coins within seconds, and will mean old currency – including now defunct German deutschemarks, Spanish pesetas and Austrian schillings - can be resurrected from near worthlessness.
The firm says it does not charge fees or commission, meaning even tiny amounts can be poured in for a return.
The rate customers receive on some currencies could be low, but for out of circulation coins gathering dust at home, it will at least give holders something back.
Fourex makes money on the difference between the rate it offers users and rate it achieve on the currency markets.
The coins collected are separated and shipped back in large quantities to the country of origin
It is possible for people to exchange out of circulation currencies themselves, but this involves 'paperwork and regulations', according to Fourex, and is only economical for large sums.
For this reason, it says, the general public rarely do it.
All exchange rates are displayed on screen on the sides of the kiosks, and customers can use the exchange rate calculator on the main screen to calculate exactly how much they will receive for their money.
Fourex states it offers competitive rates as it does not have to pay for staff or premises as a traditional bureau de change would have to.
It sets its rates according to a percentage margin, and this is based on the popularity, as well as the ability to trade that currency back into the market.
It says margins on euros, dollars and other popular currencies are competitive, purely because of the volumes it expects to trade. Margins on exotic currencies will be slightly higher, based on the difficulty trading that currency back into the market.
Currencies out of circulation will be collected over a longer period of time, and transported back to the central banks of each respective country.
Apart from the time taken to collect and costs involved, Fourex says there are enormous amounts of bureaucracy to overcome, so rates have to accommodate these factors.
This is Money hasn't seen the rates offered by the firm - so people planning on pouring vast sums of current currencies into the machines will still need to shop around first to compare.
The firm have secured a contract with Transport for London and Westfield. It also received £670,000 worth of investments through crowdfunding website CrowdCube in less than two weeks.
The first stations to have the machines will be Blackfriars, Canary Wharf and King's Cross, while Westfield Stratford will also have one come August.
It has been estimated by lend-to-save firm Zopa there is about £3billion of unused foreign currency in British homes.
Jeff Paterson, co-founder of Fourex, said: 'We have been completely humbled by the interest, excitement and investment we have received so far for Fourex, not only from multi-million pound companies such as TFL and Westfield, but from the 436 people from every corner of the globe who invested through CrowdCube.
It has also beaten 2,500 other products and businesses to sail through to the final ten of Virgin Media's 'Pitch to Rich' competition.
It will see the firm take the idea to Sir Richard Branson and fight for a share of a £1million kitty provided by Britain's most famous entrepreneur.
People who use the machines can also choose to donate part or all of their exchange to one of its six charity partners – UNICEF, The Railway Children, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, The London Transport Museum, EllenorLions Hospice and the UK Stroke Association.