Some businesses in the town, like Centra, give a good exchange rate when people pay in sterling in the shops, restaurants or pubs of the town. Others give a very poor exchange rate. The business makes a few extra cents. However, people have a good idea of the exchange rate and know when they are being ‘ripped off’. It is counterproductive if a business makes a few extra cents but the customer doesn’t come back.

Previously, businesses could use the excuse that they lose money when they change the money at the banks and that was true. The banks didn’t give a great rate.

Online Exchanges

However, that excuse won’t hold up now. There are online websites where you can exchange money very cheaply. I use one called Currency Fair

This is a peer-to-peer currency exchange where the company only charge you a transfer fee of €3.50 when you move the money from a sterling account to a Euro account or vice versa. You could actually make a profit if you were prepared to wait for someone to buy your sterling. I usually just take the firms offer and lose about one percent.

There’s another one which is even better called Transfer Wise who charge you just 0.5% for an exchange and transfer.

Business Group

It would be a good idea if the businesses of the town got together, perhaps through the East Inishowen Business Group and decided that they would give a common rate for sterling – and a good one at that. They could monitor it weekly. Currently the exchange rate is around €1.18 to the pound. If they gave that rate across Moville or even €1.20 that would attract more people to come here from across the border.

There are two main routes into Moville form the north and that is up the Derry road or coming across on the Ferry. A sign could be put up at the entry to Moville from the Derry Road and where they disembark from the ferry (or better still when they embark) which shows the current rate across Moville (where they see a particular sign displayed outside the premises).

The fact that they Moville businesses were doing this could be publicised in Derry or the North. Also, people who come here and get a good rate would tell others. It wouldn’t cost much to implement this, it would give a good image of Moville and I’m sure it would attract people back.