Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Knight Frank partners with Currensea to allow employees to donate to charity with new branded debit card

Knight Frank, the property consultancy, is offering its 2,220 UK employees a company-branded, money-saving debit card that allows them to make charitable donations and reduce foreign exchange fees when spending abroad. The partnership with Currensea, which has created the open banking-enabled debit card linked to existing bank accounts, launches today for use in the UK and abroad.

The Knight Frank branded card has been made available to all UK employees as part of an updated benefits package, coinciding with the appointment of William Beardmore-Gray as new Chairman. Currensea uses open banking to connect directly to someone’s bank account with their approval, allowing travellers to make overseas transactions directly from funds in their current account.

Currensea’s card allows users to access the best foreign exchange (FX) rates at only 0% to 0.5% above the FX base rate. With high street banks typically charging 3-5% per transaction abroad, offering users savings of at least 85% on every overseas transaction as they avoid the normal fees charged by banks and other card – customers can then opt to donate all or part of these savings to charity. For example, a user spending $1500 while visiting the USA can choose to contribute 50% of their savings – over £20 – while still saving money on foreign exchange

Knight Frank employees will also be able to donate to charity by rounding up spending to the nearest 5p in the UK. All donations will go to Surfers Against Sewage, a marine conservation charity, with Gift Aid added on top. As the average charitable donation using the Currensea card is up to £30, total annual donations could exceed £66,000 if all Knight Frank’s UK employees opt for the card in their benefits package.

This is Currensea’s first corporate partnership and the latest in Currensea’s unique ‘powered by’ programme which allows businesses and charities to issue branded cards for users to round up UK spending and convert savings made on overseas spending into charity donations. Other partnerships include St Martin-in-the-Fields, a charity supporting the work of the iconic central London church including helping women move away from homelessness.

Will Beardmore-Gray, senior partner and group chair, Knight Frank commented: “We are delighted to introduce Currensea at Knight Frank. The introduction of the scheme supports our ESG ambitions as we become the first corporate partner to offer the charitable giving feature – allowing our people to donate some, or all of their exchange rate savings to a great cause and one close to our hearts, Surfers Against Sewage.”

James Lynn, Co-Founder of Currensea, comments: “Knight Frank’s new employee benefits package is a great example of how organisations can introduce initiatives that encourage employees to support vital causes close to their hearts, whilst also saving money themselves. A branded card also provides a unique marketing benefit for Knight Frank, showcasing the firm and employee engagement through spend.”

“This is our first corporate partnership since the launch of ‘powered-by’ and we’re very excited to work alongside Knight Frank to create a staff benefit unique to the UK. As travel returns to pre-pandemic normality and millions across the UK plan their summer trips, Currensea users can avoid the high foreign exchange fees they typically face when spending abroad – opting to donate some or all of the savings they make to Surfers Against Sewage, a charity doing hugely important work that also echoes our beliefs around sustainability.

“Similarly, rounding up spending is a simple way of supporting the causes we all care about, with a small contribution making a huge difference when every employee’s donation is taken into account.”

Joanne Dewar, Vice Chair at Global Processing Services (GPS), said: “Global CSR statistics increasingly highlight the value employees place on their companies leading with purpose and benefitting the world around them, and this latest initiative from Currensea is doing just that, while providing a bonus of reduced foreign exchange fees for end-users. That’s why we’re delighted to continue our support of the company’s ‘powered by’ initiative. Currensea is going from strength to strength with its dynamic new offerings powered by our API-first cloud-based platform and this move into the corporate gifting space is no different. The future is incredibly exciting for our partnership, and we look forward to helping the Currensea team bring new products to market that have financial empowerment at the heart of the operation.”

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