Frequently Asked Questions

A collection of the most commonly asked questions about the currencylayer API, billing and account management.

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General

  • What is currencylayer?

    Currencylayer provides a JSON-based REST API, delivering reliable and accurate currency exchange rates for 168 world currencies and precious metals at an affordable price, which makes it the perfect instrument for startups and online businesses, as well as for larger companies in need of reliable financial data via an easy to use interface. The currencylayer API is widely used to power financial departments, mobile applications and back-office systems around the world.

  • Who runs the currencylayer API?

    The currencylayer API is a product built and maintained by apilayer, a technology company aiming to build a variety of reliable and essential data interfaces (APIs) and make them affordable for both startups and larger companies. apilayer GmbH is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.

Data & Sources

  • How accurate is currencylayer forex data, and where does it come from?

    Our spot exchange rates are sourced from a very broad base of commercial sources and banks around the world, each of varying types and frequencies. The larger weighting particularly for major currencies is towards commercial sources as they more accurately reflect the trading occurring in the markets.

    In order to ensure the highest possible level of data coverage and accuracy, the currencylayer system relies on a very distinct “validation and fallback” algorithm, assigning different priorities to each data source and validating each forex rate as it enters our databases. If a source fails to deliver an accurate quote, the next highest provider is queried for this particular currency pair. This enables us to sort out possible inaccuracies and provide the vast majority of all spot exchange rates with a precision of six decimal places.

  • How often are exchange rates refreshed?

    Spot exchange rate data is collected within the 60-second market window. Depending on your Subscription Plan, quotes are refreshed every 60 minutes (Free & Basic Plan), 10 minutes (Professional Plan), or 60 seconds (Enterprise Plan).

  • Which currency data does the API provide?

    Depending on which API endpoint you are using for your query, the currencylayer API will return or calculate with the most representative forex market rate available, which is generally the "midpoint" value. The "mid" value will also be the most useful tool to your company's financial department for accounting & invoicing purposes, for financial estimates or planning, for calculator & converter applications, and for any other applications you power with currencylayer forex data.

    All exchange rates are returned as currency pairs. (See API Response)

  • Which currencies and precious metals are supported by the API?

    The currencylayer API provides real-time and historical data for a total of 168 world currencies and precious metals (including Gold "XAU" & Silver "XAG"). See a detailed list of all supported currencies.

  • At which time are historical exchange rates made available?

    The previous day's historical exchange rates become available each day at 00:05 AM GMT (12:05 AM London time). However, to allow for reverse rate conversions and consistent comparisons, all rates are time stamped at 23:59:59 GMT. All timestamp values returned by the API are standard UTC timestamps.

API Access & Features

  • How do I get an API access key?

    Every registered user is assigned a personal access key, a unique key that can be used to access and query the currencylayer API. If you are logged in, you can find it in your Account Dashboard, in the 3-Step Quickstart Guide, and in all interactive links contained in the API's Documentation. In your account dashboard you can reset your access key at any given time.

  • What is an API Request?

    Pricing is based on the number of monthly API Requests offered for each individual Subscription Plan. Accessing any type of currencylayer forex data using a valid API Access Key counts as one "API Request". Unlike most other providers, any API Endpoint or feature requested (including Time-Frame & Currency-Change Queries, as well as requesting multiple currencies at once) counts as only one API Request.

  • What happens if I exceed my API Request volume?

    Users will be automatically notified via e-mail and on their Account Dashboard once at least 75%, 90%, and 100% of their monthly API Request allowance has been reached.

    Since our team is aware that data requirements may be very variable, a Subscription Plan's Request volume may be exceeded by a maximum of 20%, which means that the actual hard-limit of - e.g. - the Professional Plan is 120,000, instead of 100,000.

    Please rest assured that exceeding the monthly API Request allowance will not cause any additional charges.

  • What is the API's uptime?

    The currencylayer API's system status is closely monitored around the clock. Every effort is made to ensure the highest possible level of availability and consistency, and we are proud to have an average uptime rate of nearly 100% (99.9%), calculated based on the past 12 months.

    There is a public API status page available at the following URL: status.currencylayer.com.

  • Can I change the currency to which all exchange rates are relative to? (Source Currency)

    Yes. If your subscription plan supports Source Currency Switching, you may use the API's source parameter and set it to any supported 3-letter currency code to cause all returned exchange rated data to be relative to that currency.

    You can learn more by taking a look at the Source Currency Switching section of the API Documentation.

  • Can I limit the number of output currencies?

    Yes, specific currencies can be requested simply by appending the currencies parameter followed by any comma-separated series of 3-letter currency codes of your choice.

    You can learn more by taking a look at the Specify Output Currencies section of the API Documentation.

  • Can I request exchange rates for a specific time-frame?

    Yes. Using the API's timeframe endpoint you may request historical exchange rates for a time period of your choice, with a maximum range of up to 365 days.

    You can learn more by taking a look at the Time-Frame Queries section of the API Documentation.

  • Can I determine fluctuation data for a specific currency throughout a certain time period?

    Yes. Using the API's change endpoint, you may request change parameters (both margin and percentage) for one or more currencies, relative to a source currency, optionally within a specified time-frame.

    You can learn more by taking a look at the Currency-Change Queries section of the API Documentation.

Plans, Pricing & Payment

  • What is the difference between free and paid subscriptions?

    The Free Plan is set out to be a "trial version" without a time limit, offering some very basic API functionialities, such as making API Requests, getting regular data updates, accessing historical data, and requesting specific currencies.

    Paid Subscription Plans feature significantly higher API Request volumes and data updates as often as every 60 seconds, ensure secure datastreams via 256-bit HTTPS Encryption, include unlimited and prioritised technical support, and offer a variety of must-have API functionalities.

  • Which subscription plan fits my needs?

    In order to test the API and to get an idea of the product, you can simply sign up for the Free Plan.

    As soon as you or your application requires more than 1,000 API Requests per month and more professional API functionality (e.g. for powering a currency converter, for accounting & invoicing purposes, for financial planning, estimates, shopping carts, etc.), you would be well-advised to sign up for one of the paid Subscription Plans, starting at Startup-friendly USD 9.99 per month, or at a 20% discount - if you decide to pay anually.

  • Which payment methods are supported?

    Payments can be made via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner's Club, American Express) or PayPal. Enterprise and high-volume customers may request annual bank transfer payments to be enabled. You can change your payment method at any given time in the "Payment" section of your account dashboard.

  • Can I also pay yearly?

    Yes. If you choose annual billing, the total price of your Subscription Plan will be 20% lower than the total amount you would pay with a monthly payment frequency.

  • How can I change my payment frequency?

    In order to change your billing frequency from monthly to yearly or from yearly to monthly, you will be required to downgrade your account back to the Free Plan.

    Step 1: Navigate to the Subscription page, click "Downgrade" in the Free Plan section and confirm your downgrade. Downgrades are not effective immediately, your premium subscription will remain active until the end of the current billing period.

    Step 2: Once your billing period ends and your account downgrade has become effective, navigate back to the Subscription page and click "Upgrade" in your preferred subscription plan's section. You will now be aked to choose a new billing frequency.

    If you need any assistance changing your billing frequency, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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