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Currensea boosts customer acquisition 422%, with help of Google Search

August 1, 2023 Success story
Currensea talking through their key stats from using Google Ads and how it’s helped achieve their marketing goals

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Success story

In 2017, two ex-investment bankers were fed up with excessive bank charges, the tedium of topping up prepaid cards and managing separate accounts when going abroad.

So, James Lynn and Craig Goulding founded Currensea: the UK’s first direct debit travel card, offering limited foreign transaction fees. Alongside being carbon neutral, the fintech has also committed to removing 2.5 times the plastic it produces every year.


increase in new customer acquisitions


uplift in revenue


lower CPA

“Consumers have become wiser to the fact that old school products have all sorts of hidden terms and conditions. The average prepaid card has over £50 left on it. People are more money savvy now – they don’t want hassle. Instead, they want an easy, simple product. That’s why we have customers from 20 to 90 years of age, who all want a cost-effective solution.”

James Lynn, Co-founder, Currensea

Google was the go-to for brand awareness and boosting conversions

Currensea employees working in the office

While Currensea wanted to grow brand awareness, it also needed an intent-based solution that could boost conversions in a cost-efficient way.

“If you advertise on a social channel, you typically have to find the right people in the right market at the right time,” says James. “That’s fine for general brand awareness, but not conversions at a sensible price point. So, we needed a channel where people were already searching for travel products – that’s why we opted for Google.”

Approach: Invest in Google Search

In March 2021, Currensea began investing in paid Google Search campaigns, helping it to capture customers and holidaymakers shopping around for the best travel cards.

“Currensea was still relatively new at the time: we had a smaller brand presence with lower organic traffic,” explains Wilson Woo, Head of Digital Acquisition at Currensea. “It made intuitive sense to go with Google Ads to acquire new customers.”

Google’s Ads strategists were on-hand to provide Currensea assistance in establishing its first Search campaign. Quarterly calls were then set up, offering the fintech startup recommendations in further optimisation: keywords were amended; campaigns were switched on and off based on seasonality; and split testing was used to customise landing pages to different ad groups.

Alongside a current focus on tweaking Search headlines and descriptions, Currensea has implemented Smart Bidding and responsive ads to target CPA, boost organic traffic and achieve higher conversions at a lower cost.

“With Google Ads, someone already has intent – you’ve dealt with the first sections of the marketing funnel before you’ve even kicked off,” says James. “And with more people shopping around for deals now, they’re often searching more for the right product – it lends itself well to Google Search.”

James Lynn, Co-founder, Currensea

Results: Lower CPA, greater customer acquisition and increased revenue

Since using Google Ads, Currensea has seen big results: including 79% lower CPA, a 422% increase in new customer acquisition and 433% revenue growth, year-over-year.

“We’ve seen great metrics since using Search,” says Wilson. “Our CPA was initially higher with the new campaign but, working with Google’s Ads strategists, we’ve managed to optimise it further – and bring that figure down even more. As a lean team, that’s really helped us.”

A target CPA has now been rolled into all Currensea campaigns. This has been crucial to the fintech startup: in offering a consumer-first product, it has to give many benefits away to the customer, meaning a main aim is keeping its costs down.

“In order to offer a transparent, simple and cost-effective product to the end consumer, you need to get customers on board with a really effective CPA,” says James. “Through Google Search, we’re able to put out a great product to the market that really benefits consumers.”

Such has been the success of Search, Currensea is planning on increasing its investment even further, with the potential of implementing products like Performance Max and App campaigns for the summer months.

“Last year, 30% of our customers were acquired through paid Search or channels through Google Ads,” adds Wilson. “We’ve increased our budget by 82% year-over-year – it’s become that important to us.”

The power of Search not only means new customers are discovering Currensea online – it’s having a wider ripple effect.

“So many consumers are now finding us and discovering our product through Google, we’re finding that more people are coming to us via word of mouth,” says James. “It’s a credit to the platform that it helps customers find products that suit them better.”

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