In a complex world where people travel, buy and sell across borders, it's important to keep track of what your money is worth. Oanda.com, can help.
More than 160 currencies are in use worldwide - from major ones like the dollar, euro and yen; to regional and smaller ones like the CFA franc and Bangladeshi Taka - and calculating the exchange rates between any two currencies is a job for specialists. Oanda.com co-founder Michael Stumm says his site offers information for all kinds of users.
"Obviously travelers, they go look up what are the exchange rates if they go travel to a foreign country. There's companies that do import-export. They need to exchange currency. They want to look up what the rates are. People doing taxes. It's all sorts of different people," he says.
The Oanda.com website also provides different types of exchange rates, depending on the kind of transaction. It's especially instructive - and helpful - to see just how many different kinds of exchange rates there actually are.
"The price you pay can vary quite substantially, depending on how you exchange that. So the most expensive are the cash shops you'll find at the airport, train stations, in cities. Those are by far the most expensive. The banks that trade among themselves in million-dollar quantities, they get the best rates. That is referred to as the Interbank rate. Credit cards are actually quite good. Cash cards in ATM machines - those also offer reasonably good exchange rates for consumers," says Mr. Stumm.
At Oanda.com, you can not only find out what a country's money is worth, you can also see what the money looks like, thanks to the pictures contributed by users. "They can upload images of the currencies of their home countries, say, and make it available to anybody in the world to go look at what the currencies look like," says Mr. Stumm. "It's actually very interesting to see all those different types of bills and what the images are that are on it, or the pictures. It's a very popular part of our site."
Oanda.com even features a wallet-size quick-reference card you can print out for any pair of currencies, and historic rates of exchange going back years in many cases. For a full array of money exchange tools, surf on over to Oanda.com, or get the link from our site, voanews.com/ourworld.