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Compare business money transfers and international payments for your business

Discover some of the best ways for your business to send and receive money internationally.

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OFX

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  • Competitive exchange rates
  • Flexible transfer options
  • Transfer to 50+ currencies
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Using an international business money transfer service instead of your bank when paying international employees or invoices can save you both time and money. We break down the best ways for your business to make international payments from Canada to help you get back to work quicker.

Compare international business money transfer services

Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates, transfer speeds and more for your business transfer.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 150 1 day CAD 0.00 0.78 USD
7,803
Exclusive offer: Discounted exchange rates for your first and ongoing transactions. $0 transfer fee.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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CAD 1 Same day CAD 0.00 0.779 USD
7,795
XE Money Transfer can help your business unlock international transfers. Forward contract and limit order options available. Go to site Show details
USD 10,000 1 - 2 days CAD 0.00 0.777 USD
7,767
Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$100 3 - 5 days CAD 0.00 0.779 USD
3,897
Send money without fees and at competitive exchange rates to 130+ countries. Go to site Show details
CAD 1 Same day CAD 0.00 0.779 USD
3,897
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
CAD 10 Within an hour CAD 1.99 0.775 USD
3,872
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
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CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 45.00 0.783 USD
3,882
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies. Go to site Show details

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Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Does your business need to move money internationally?

There might be a number of reasons why your business needs to transfer money overseas. Here are the most common:

  • Paying a supplier or vendor
  • Paying international contractors or employees
  • Paying commercial bills

How do businesses make international payments?

Take a look at the ways you can make and request payments across borders to figure out which is best for your business. Depending on the reason for your business money transfer, you may have many options at your disposal, some better suited than others.

International money transfers for business

Business money transfer providers are specialists that can get your funds from A to B at a low cost. And they’ll likely hit your account – or the account of your supplier, contractor or employee – sooner than other options such as banks.

Many specialist business money transfer specialists also offer forward contracts, limit orders and recurring transfers to save you time and money.

  • Best for: Businesses looking to send quick, cost-effective payments that can benefit from additional money-saving features.

Business payments for online sellers

For a service that goes beyond directly sending and receiving payments, a business payment account with a business money transfer provider may better suit your business’s needs.

One such provider is Wise (formally TransferWise). Its account allows you to make business payments in more than 70 countries. You’ll also be able to pay and get paid as though you were local.

  • Best for: Businesses looking to work with multiple currencies and accounts in multiple countries, all in one place.

Cost-effective international transfer services for online sellers

Bank transfers

A bank-to-bank transfer may be the most familiar and well-trodden path, but it may not be what’s best for your business. International bank transfers often come with steep transfer fees and poor exchange rates. Some banks charge $50+, for example, while some business money transfer services don’t charge a fee at all.

  • Best for: Paying vendors that only accept bank transfers.

How to transfer money overseas from your bank account

International payroll services

When you’re looking to pay your employees, you can potentially get everything handled by an international payroll service. It processes the entirety of your payroll and stays up to date on regulation changes so you don’t have to.

  • Best for: Paying your borderless employees without dealing with local tax laws and payroll regulations.

Bank wire transfer

A bank-to-bank wire transfer may be the most familiar and well-tread path, but it may not be what’s best for your business. International wire transfers often come with steep transfer fees and poor exchange rates. Bank of America, for example, could cost up to $50 or more, while some business money transfer services don’t charge a fee at all.

  • Best for: Paying vendors that only accept wire transfers.

Mail a cheque

Failing all other methods, you can mail a cheque. Doing so comes with quite a few drawbacks, including comparatively lackluster security and slow delivery times.

You may also run into low maximum amounts for international money orders if you decide to use USPS.

  • Best for: Times when no other option is available.

How do I find the best business money transfer service?

For business owners, time can sometimes be more valuable than money. You may think that because it handles your other finances, your local bank is the simplest and most obvious option when sending money overseas. In truth, international business money transfers are no longer a game for only tried-and-true players such as banks. Newer companies and online money transfer providers promise to undercut the competition to earn your business and will usually deliver your money to recipients faster than the banks can.

Take a closer look into the following areas to find the best business money transfer service for your business:

  • Exchange rates. You may see a great exchange rate being advertised but you need to make sure that the rate you see is the rate that you receive. The mid-market exchange rate is the best rate you can receive – it’s the rate at which banks buy and sell a currency for. However, many banks and some money transfer services will have their own exchange rates, which are often worse than the mid-market rate. This can make a huge difference if you are regularly sending large amounts overseas.
  • Fees. Check the fees carefully. Just because there are no fees to pay, it’s more than likely that the exchange rate will have a large margin added to it. Your business transfer might be free but how much more are you having to pay because of a weaker exchange rate?
  • Discounts. Many services might offer discounts on the transfer fees or waive the fees altogether when you send larger amounts regularly.
  • Forward contracts and limit orders. Find out which, if any, tools are on offer from a provider such as forward contracts or limit orders. Forward contracts allow you to lock in an appealing exchange rate for future money transfers while limit orders allow you to wait until you find a better exchange rate and then lock it in for your transfer.
  • Compare. Finally, compare several business money transfer providers before choosing one. Do your research to find a provider that offers reliable and affordable business transfers.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending a $10,000 business money transfer to France

Let’s say you need to send $10,000 to a supplier in France. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of August 1, 2020.

Money transfer serviceMajor Canadian bank transfer
Fee$0$50 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate1 CAD = 0.623 EUR1 CAD = 0.610 EUR
Transfer speedSame day2-5 days
Amount receivedEUR€6,230.00EUR€6,069.50
Verdict
  • Better value and faster
  • Slower and more expensive

The bank option is both slower and more expensive when paying your supplier in France. If you went with the business money transfer service, not only would your recipient get the money faster, you’d also save more than €160 thanks to stronger exchange rates and lower fees.

Banks may seem like the more convenient option, but once you get an account set up with a business money transfer company you can send money with a few clicks.

How can I receive international payments for my business?

Your option for receiving funds is going to depend on what type of service you go with. Banks are likely to give you the option to open the account and get started in person, while a dedicated money transfer service will probably have fewer physical locations. You’ll probably also have options of opening an account over the phone or online.

The process is a bit more involved for business accounts, so set aside at least half an hour in most cases to get through the entire application. Make sure you have your personal details, business information and any relevant financial information you may need.

Do I pay taxes on international business transactions?

Income from abroad is still taxable in Canada. On top of the CRA’s regulations, be aware of any international tax laws that might apply — especially if you have an international bank account. While there are many treaties around the world to avoid double taxation, you may still be subject to additional taxes.

Because tax law is so involved, you’ll likely want to seek out a certified advisor to make sure everything is above board. Some international business payment solutions like FlyWire can also help you manage your business taxes.

What are the hidden costs to an international business transfer?

When sending a business money transfer, you may be quoted one fee on top of the amount you want to send. But if you look closer or ask for a breakdown of this fee, it could relate to a number of hidden fees relating to the following:

  • Poor exchange rates. When dealing with popular currencies, you might get a great exchange rate from a provider. However, that same provider might add higher margins to the exchange rate on exotic currencies resulting in you spending more. Find a business money transfer service that offers the best exchanges for the currencies you use the most.
  • High fees. Is there a flat fee for your business transfer or a percentage of the total amount? And do you have to pay to receive a business transfer from overseas? Depending on the nature of your business and how you operate, you may want to compare flat fees against variable fees to find the most cost-effective option.
  • Transfer delivery speeds. Business transfers can usually be delivered within 1-5 business days. If you want your transfer to arrive sooner, then you’ll pay for a faster turnaround. While instant and same-day transfers are available with some services, you could pay more for these options.
  • Payment method. How you pay for your business transfer can make a difference to the overall cost. A bank transfer tends to be the cheapest option while making a payment with a credit card could mean higher fees.

Bottom line

While there’s no one perfect product for making international business payments, knowing how to evaluate solutions and find the best one for your business goes a long way. Compare international money transfer providers to get more details on the services they provide, how to better measure them against one another and what to do once you choose one.

Frequently asked questions

Why do businesses use international bank transfer services?

A business with overseas interests may have large amounts of money going out and coming in on a regular basis. To order to make these business transfers cost-effective, a business may turn to a service that specializes in international business money transfers rather than uses a bank. These specialized services can offer the best exchange rates, fastest delivery speeds and the highest transfer limits – all at a competitive price.

Can I set up regular payments for my business?

Yes, many banks and transfer companies offer the convenience of recurring transfers.

How long does an international business money transfer take?

The transfer delivery speed will depend on the currency and the country you are sending to or receiving from. Business transfers will generally take between 1 and 5 business days. However, instant or same-day transfers may be available.

Can I monitor the progress of my funds?

Nearly all business money transfer services provide a unique transaction ID that you can use to check the status of your funds. In most cases, you can do this online or by phone.

How safe is an international business money transfer?

When processed through a reputable bank or company, your funds are safely tracked until in the hands of your recipient. Any transfer over $10,000 CAD needs to be reported to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), but that responsibility generally falls on banks and business money transfer companies. Financial institutions may also report any transactions deemed suspicious, regardless of the amount being received.

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