Currency Exchange

What is a 'Currency Exchange'

A business that allows customers to exchange one currency for another currency. A currency exchange may be a stand-alone business or may be part of the services offered by a bank or other financial institution. The currency exchange profits from its services either through adjusting the exchange rate or taking a commission.


Also referred to as a foreign exchange market and a bureau de change.

BREAKING DOWN 'Currency Exchange'

The exchange rate that a currency exchange quotes is typically close to the spot rate, although the exchange will adjust this rate somewhat to ensure that it makes a profit on the transaction. Because the transaction is not conducted at the spot rate, and depending on the profit that the exchange wants to make, consumers may find that it is less expensive to incur ATM or credit card fees at the foreign destination, rather than use exchange services ahead of time.

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