Now you can make international payments from anywhere in the world without having to pay expensive fees.
If you are travelling overseas for an extended period of time, you still need to find a way to continue paying your bills back home. A few years ago, the only way to do this was to pay your bank incredibly high fees to arrange these payments for you. Nowadays, you can make regular international payments without incurring fees and can even expect a locked-in exchange rate.
Regular international payments
Online companies now allow you to pay your bills while overseas, ensuring it’s no longer time-consuming, expensive or difficult. When you sign up with a company that makes regular international payments on your behalf, you can expect to find fixed exchange rates for specific time periods. Alternatively, you can also find companies that take prevailing exchange rates or the average exchange rate into account before each transfer is made.
How do you make overseas payments?
Making overseas payments requires you to contact your bank or a company that offers this service. If you register with your bank, funds can be debited directly from the designated account. If you register with a company offering this service, funds are first transferred from your bank account into the account you hold with the company. After converting these funds into the chosen currency, the company pays your bills. For either of these options to work, you have to make sure you have adequate funds each month in the designated bank account on the chosen payment date.
Examples of regular transfers overseas
An increasing number of individuals and businesses need to make regular international payments. For individuals, these may include mortgage payments, debt repayments, transferring pensions, salary transfers, savings, rental income and school fees. Regular international payments that businesses need to make may include paying wages, paying royalties and paying for services received.
What are some of the ways I can pay my international bills?
- Fixed regular payments. Mortgage payments, rent and subscription charges tend to remain the same each month, so these types of bills qualify as fixed payments. Fixed payments allow you to benefit from locked exchange rates that protect you from negative exchange rate fluctuations.
- Non-fixed payments. When it comes to utility bills and other bills that fluctuate from one month to the next, you cannot benefit from locked exchange rates. To make non-fixed payments, the prevailing exchange rate is used. The prevailing rate is the average rate in the current market.
How do I compare foreign exchange services?
- Fees. Most banks charge fees for all international transactions you make, and some also charge set-up fees. Many online companies offering the same services do not charge set-up or transfer fees.
- Accessibility. Can you setup your transactions using the Internet, an app on your smartphone or over the phone? Ensure the accessibility options work for you.
- Exchange rates. Exchange rates change every day, but some companies give you the option to take advantage of a locked-in exchange rate to make regular payments. Even with locked rates, the exchange rate varies from one company to another, so compare rates from various companies.
- Reputation. Every year the number of companies offering these services increases, so it’s important that you pay attention to reputation. Choose a reputable company that always delivers your payments on time, keeps your money secure, and offers great customer service. Do your research, read real customer feedback and compare companies before you hand over your money.
Why should I use a money transfer service instead of my bank?
- Pay on the move. You could be on a cruise in the middle of the Atlantic, on a safari in Africa or on an expedition in Greenland and still pay your bills without lifting a finger. Once you set up automatic international bill payments, all you have to worry about is having enough money in your account each month.
- No late charges. Late charges only occur if you don’t pay on time. With automatic payments set up ahead of due dates, you won’t have to contend with late charges.
- Locked-in rates. If you are making regular fixed payments, you can benefit by opting for locked-in rates that protect you from exchange rate fluctuations.
- Fees and rates. If a company doesn’t charge fees, it probably makes its profits by offering lower exchange rates. Pay attention to both of these points and choose the option that best suits you.
Frequently asked questions
This is possible in most cases, but you might have to do so five to seven days in advance.