Best 5 Currency and Forex APIs: A Review of XE, CurrencyScoop, OANDA and more

If you have had to build an application that supports multiple nations and counties then you know that currencies play a vital role of acting as the medium of exchange in the transactions that take place.

Currencies like the United States dollar, the Euro, or the British Pound are widely used around the world as a means of making payments.

Some companies that offer financial services have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to enable developers to integrate currency exchange, currency conversion, or other capabilities into their applications. We evaluated different currency APIs based on the following four main criteria:

  • Features: We assessed the distinguishing features of each of the currency APIs.
  • Coverage: We evaluated the number of currencies supported, data sources, frequency of updates, and other data coverage features of the APIs.
  • Price: We looked at the cost of using each of the APIs.
  • Ease of use: We looked at the ease of integrating the APIs in applications.

Ultimately, we created the following list of top 10 best currency APIs.

CurrencyScoop


The CurrencyScoop is a REST API that uses the JSON data format to deliver reliable currency exchange rates as well as currency conversions for individuals and businesses.

API features: The API provides five customizable endpoints for completing various types of tasks.

These are the live endpoint for getting real-time exchange rates, the historical endpoint for getting historical currency rates, the convert endpoint for converting different currencies, the timeframe endpoint for getting exchange rates for a specific period, and the change endpoint for getting any currency’s change parameters.

Data coverage: The CurrencyScoop API supports 160 global currencies and precious metals. The data is gathered from various commercial forex data providers and banks and blended algorithmically before dispersing to users. It provides frequent data updates, ranging from every 60 minutes to every 60 seconds.

Price: You can try the API for free, but you’ll access only limited features, such as 1,000 requests per month. To access more features, you’ll need to go for any of the paid plans, which start from $10 per month.

Ease of use: The CurrencyScoop API is very easy to use. It has comprehensive documentation that makes it easy to integrate into any application.

Xignite

The Xignite API provides an extensive variety of global currency data for powering your applications.

API features: The API comes with various methods for accessing real-time forex rates, historical forex rates, forward rates (expiration, bid, mid, ask, spot rate), bars (open, low, high, average, volume), currency conversions, and minute-level ticks for currency pairs.

Data coverage: It provides data for 170 currencies as well as other assets such as Bitcoin, metals, and options. To provide reliable and accurate data, the API amasses data from the major financial institutions around the world. The data is refreshed in real-time, as new quotes are received from the market participants.

Price: You can try the Xignite API for free for 7 days. Thereafter, you’ll pay depending on your specific use case.

Ease of use: Integrating the API is easy. It supports REST and SOAP and returns data in CSV, JSON, or XML format. It has an easy to follow technical documentation full of code samples.

XE

The XE Currency Data API serves as a hub for tracking the exchange rates of several currencies in real-time.

API features: With the API, you can access daily or live currency rates as well as historical currency rates from 1998. Furthermore, it offers endpoints for listing different currencies, converting one currency to another, and getting various statistics information.

Data coverage: The XE API supports more than 170 currencies. To ensure that the API delivers accurate output, the rates are collected from more than 100 credible international sources. The XE daily package option provides updated exchange rate data on a daily basis. On the other hand, the XE live package option delivers the latest rates within the previous 60 seconds.

Price: XE offers a free 7-day trial period for the API. Thereafter, it has various pricing plans, starting from $799 per year.

Ease of use: XE provides a test environment where you can familiarize yourself with how the API works. It also has a non-technical quick start guide, and technical specifications document to assist you in getting started. You can get the currency outputs rates in your desired data format — JSON, XML, or CSV.

OANDA

OANDA is a financial company that provides a wide range of currency products, which encompasses currency trading and currency data analytics. You can use the OANDA APIs to access its trading engine and escalate the functionality of your application.

API features: OANDA’s exchange rates API allows you to access real-time currency rates 24 hours a day. Its historical currency converter allows you to access historical exchange rates from 2005. With the market data the APIs provide, you can open and exit trades, manage account settings, and retrieve your trading history.

Data coverage: The APIs provide data covering more than 200 currencies. OANDA collects the data from more than 25 central bank exchange rates and delivers the output automatically to API clients.

Price: OANDA offers a free trial period of 30 days for testing the API. To continue using the API, you’ll need to go for any of its paid plans, which starts from $400 per month.

Ease of use: To assist users in getting started quickly, OANDA has a comprehensive collection of developer resources, including code samples, documentation, and forums. Furthermore, its REST APIs are language-agnostic, and the outputs can be returned in different formats — JSON, CSV, or XML.

Open Exchange Rates API


The Open Exchange Rates API provides developers with easy access to live and historical forex rates.

API features: The API provides endpoints for getting the latest exchange rates, getting historical exchange rates from 1999, getting a list of all supported currencies, getting time-series data, and converting any money value from a specified currency to another.

Data coverage: The API supports more than 200 currencies and digital currencies like Ethereum and Litecoin. It gathers data from several reliable providers and blends them algorithmically before dispersing to users. With the paid plans, you can get frequent rates updates, from 30-minute to 5-minute updates.

Price: You can try out the API for free, for as long as you want. However, you’ll be limited to 1,000 requests every month and hourly currency rate updates. To access better features, you can sign up for any of the paid plans, which starts from $12 per month.

Ease of use: The Open Exchange Rates API has helpful documentation with basic code samples to assist developers in getting started integrating its features into their web applications. It returns data in an easy to implement JSON format.

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