How smart online sellers save on foreign exchange costs

online-businessesIf you’re an online seller, you need a cost-effective and secure way to bring your money back home and save on foreign exchange costs.

As an Indian business selling your goods and services all over the world, you will eventually need to transfer your profits back to Indian Rupees. A common problem when doing this is finding an affordable way to repatriate the funds you earn without getting slugged with huge fees and poor exchange rates. An international online seller account might be a way you can keep more of your profits when you make the money transfer each month. However, as an exporter from India, be sure to understand RBI’s rules relating to exports from India.

What are international payments for online sellers?

Rates last updated January 28th, 2020
Name Product Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Description Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
InstaReM International Money Transfers
INR 4,000
1 - 2 days
Online, Phone
Quick and simple international money transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies.
The ‘Rate’ and ‘Amount Received’ displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Compare up to 4 providers

International payments for online sellers allow you to transfer and repatriate the money you earn from selling products to overseas buyers. For example, if you’re selling books on a US ecommerce website or marketplace such as Amazon or eBay, the payments you receive for each book sold would be sent to a US account in US dollars. You then need to find a way to transfer those funds back to India and to do it in a way that gives you the best value for money.Back to top

How do international payments for online sellers work?

Setting up an effective international payment method allows online sellers to repatriate their earnings back to India. Although some ecommerce sites will send payments to India, they typically charge high fees for doing so and often don’t provide you with access to the best available exchange rate.

The solution to this is to find a specialist money transfer company to help you manage your international payments. These companies, such as WorldFirst, specialise in securely and cheaply moving funds around the world. They let you set up an account in the country where you are doing business, allowing you to receive payments from around the world via international marketplaces.

Then, when you want to transfer your money to India, these companies offer lower fees than ecommerce sites to help you repatriate your funds much more cost-effectively. They also provide transfer options, such as limit orders and forward contracts, allowing you to get the exchange rate you want for your transfer.

Back to top

What types of international payments are available for online sellers?

Depending on your circumstances, there are several international payment options that may offer a range of advantages for you and your business.

  • One-off spot transfers. When you need to make a fast payment at the best available exchange rate, this is the option you would choose.
  • Recurring transfers. Many transfer providers allow you to set up a recurring payment plan for extra convenience.
  • Forward contracts. You can protect yourself against exchange rate fluctuations by locking in an exchange rate for a transfer that will be sent up to two or even three years into the future.
  • Limit orders. This option allows you to specify a target exchange rate for your international transfer. Your transfer company can then monitor foreign exchange markets and when the desired rate becomes available automatically transfer your funds.
Back to top

How do I compare international payments for online sellers?

You’ll need to consider the following features when comparing transfer companies and the options they offer:

  • Exchange rates. Getting the right exchange rate is critical to ensure that your international payments are cost-effective. Compare the rates offered by money transfer providers to see which one comes out on top.
  • Transfer fees. Check the fee that will apply every time you repatriate funds to India and whether it is reasonable. Even fees that seem minimal can add up over time, so shop around for the best deal.
  • Foreign account fees. Make sure you’re aware of any fees that apply to the foreign account you use to receive payments. Are there any ongoing fees or transaction fees to contend with?
  • Countries and currencies. In which countries can you open an account and in which currencies can you receive payments? The ability to access a wide range of international markets could be critical for online sales growth.
  • Flexible options. Does the provider only offer one-off transfers or can you save time by scheduling regular payments? Are limit orders and forward contracts also available to help you get a better exchange rate?
  • Processing times. Time means money in business, so consider how long it will take each company to transfer the funds to your account from overseas.
  • Customer support. If you ever have a question or a problem with a transaction, knowing that prompt and friendly customer support is just a phone call away can provide peace of mind. See how you can get in touch with customer support and during which hours it is available.
Back to top

What are the pros and cons of international payments for online sellers?


  • Worldwide sales. Finding a cost-effective international payment option allows you to connect with customers all around the globe.
  • Save money. International money transfer providers can provide much better value for money for your business.
  • Get the best exchange rate. You can use transfer options such as forward contracts or simply choose when to repatriate your funds to India in order to take advantage of the highest exchange rate.


  • Fees apply. You’ll need to contend with transfer fees when repatriating funds to India.
Back to top

Things to avoid with international payments for online sellers

One key problem that online sellers face is setting up an account to automatically transfer funds back to India on a set schedule. While this can be convenient, it fails to take exchange rate fluctuations into account and often may not offer the best deal. Finding an account that allows you to pick and choose when to send money to India is recommended.

Another thing to avoid is simply opting for the default international payment option offered by an international ecommerce site. This usually involves settling for a lower exchange rate and paying higher fees than are necessary, so compare your options and shop around for better value.

Frequently asked questions

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site