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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

The market rates that are published on sites such as xe.com or forex.com are based on millions of dollars of trade in the international foreign currency market. Such rates are just an indication of the direction that rate is going. No foreign exchange office will trade at those rates. Like any other business, foreign currency is an inventory item that has a market value, but when sold, it is normally sold at a higher rate than the market rate.

The local currency is also referred to as the ‘base currency’ or ‘home currency’. The local currency is Canada is Canadian Dollar and it is denoted by its standard ISO code CAD. All international currencies have a standardized three letter ISO code

The foreign exchange rate is the market value (in local currency) for 1 unit of a foreign currency; this is also referred to as the ‘direct rate’. For example if the USD/CAD rate is 1.01, it means that market value of $1 USD is approximately equivalent to $1.01 CAD. We are assuming that CAD is the home currency.

The inverse rate is the market value for 1 unit of local currency in foreign currency equivalent. For example if the CAD/USD rate is 0.99, it means that market value of $1 CAD is approximately equivalent to $0.99 USD.

An EFT is an Electronic Fund Transfer from one bank to another. Although sending a wire is slightly more costly than sending a draft, the benefits often outweigh the extra costs. The advantages of EFTS are as follows:

  • More secure than cash or drafts
  • The receiving bank does not put a hold on EFTs
  • Faster than physical means of transfer

Funds can be transferred quickly and securely (through electronic channels) out of province, out of state, or out of the Country. This form of transfer is often the most secure and convenient for international trade because there is no waiting period for banks to clear your cheques.

A Spot Contract is a foreign exchange purchase or trade. The rate is based upon the spot rate at the time of purchase. This rate is fixed and is usually settled at the close of the trading day, or within two business days. Sometimes this is also known as booking at a fixed rate. Once a spot transaction is booked, it must be settled.

A draft is a guaranteed cheque. They can be issued in all major currencies. A draft must be physically transferred and difficulties may arise when cashing them in countries that are politically unstable. Drafts are less expensive than sending a wire.