How can I get the best exchange rate between the US dollar and the West African CFA franc?
Just like the Central African CFA franc, the West African CFA franc is pegged to the euro at a fixed rate, making exchanges between the euro and the West African CFA franc easy and predictable. But, making an exchange with US dollars is slightly more complicated as rates fluctuate following the exchange rate between the dollar and euro. Because of this, some travelers recommend exchanging dollars into euros first and then exchanging euros for CFA francs when you reach your destination.
When it comes to money transfers to any of the countries that use the West African CFA franc, online money transfer services are your best option. When sending money, be aware of exchange rates, service fees and transaction times.
Did you know?
The West African CFA franc is sometimes also called the CFA franc BCEAO. CFA is a French acronym for the Financial Community of Africa, and BCEAO refers to the Central Bank of West African States, which is the issuer of the currency.
The US dollar is the most traded currency in the world. The world’s unofficial reserve currency, it can be found in most major currency pairs. In forex, it’s an important benchmark and target rate for countries that fix or peg their currencies against its value. It is also used as the standard currency for oil, precious metals and other commodities.
CFA Franc BCEAO
The CFA franc BCEAO is used by the eight independent states in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo. It replaced the French franc in 1945.
What affects exchange rates between the US dollar and the West African CFA franc?
The exchange rate of the West African CFA franc follows the euro, so we need to understand what drives the exchange rate between the dollar and the euro. These two currencies are the two most traded currencies in the world today, with billions of dollars’ worth of currency changing hands every day.
Interest rates and economic growth in the EU have a big impact on the value of the euro against the dollar. Political problems within the EU can negatively affect the exchange rate — events like the UK leaving the EU, also known as Brexit — causing the euro to drop in value compared to the US dollar. With the CFA franc being pegged to the euro, similar events to Brexit can have an impact on the exchange rate between the CFA franc and the dollar.
The countries currently using the West African CFA franc are:
Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)
Send money from USD to XOF
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
How does the West African CFA franc trade against the US dollar historically?
Since the West African CFA franc is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.9 francs per euro, fluctuations in the exchange rate between the CFA franc and US dollar are the same as the euro and the US dollar.
Overall, the CFA franc has been weakening compared to the US dollar over the past decade. The currency had its strongest moment compared to the US dollar in 2008, when the dollar weakened as a result of the financial crisis — you’d only need about 400 francs to buy 1 US dollar. However, the number rose to about 520 francs per dollar by the end of the year.
Since 2014, there hasn’t been any major movements in the exchange rate between UDS and XOF.
US Dollar to the CFA Franc BCEAO for the last 10 days
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US Dollar to the CFA Franc BCEAO for the last 10 months
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US Dollar to the CFA Franc BCEAO for the last 10 years
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Market rate for common transfer amounts USD to XOF
Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder US. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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