Occasional Paper 56: Fair exchange: Presenting foreign exchange quotes to improve consumer choice

We have conducted research into the ways in which foreign exchange (FX) firms may present their costs and exchange rates. The results show us which approaches help consumers shop around and choose the best deal. 

Occasional Paper No. 56 (PDF)


In this study, we tested 3 different practices for presenting cost and exchange rate information in an online experiment with a nationally representative sample of participants. We measured which approach was most effective in helping them to choose the best deal:

  • a fixed exchange rate versus a real time, dynamic rate
  • requiring consumers to pre-register before receiving a quote (an example of a ‘sludge’, or harmful friction which discourages behaviour that is in the user’s best interest)
  • showing a timestamp for the exchange rate and providing a risk warning

We found that the option which showed a fixed exchange rate, did not require registration and provided no warning about moving exchange rates led to the most shopping around and a higher likelihood of choosing the best deal.


Chris Burke, Lucy Hayes, Cherryl Ng and Laura Smart.


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