Compare your options to find a cost-effective and convenient way to send money overseas.
The ability to send quick and affordable international money transfers is a crucial requirement for many modern businesses. Whether you’re purchasing stock, paying overseas staff or just settling outstanding debts, finding a cost-effective and convenient way to move money around the world is essential.
How can you choose the right transfer provider to handle your international transactions? There’s a lot to consider to ensure that your business transfer needs are met, so let’s take a closer look at how to compare and choose money transfer companies.
Your business international money transfer options
Why do you need to send money overseas?
Before you can start comparing transfer providers, it’s important to look first at exactly why you need to send money overseas. The reason is key, because the types of transfers you send could have a big impact on which transfer provider is right for you.
For example, if your business is a start-up in the early days of its development, you might only be looking to send small amounts of money overseas. Meanwhile, larger organizations with a solid history behind them may need to transfer much larger amounts of money overseas, so they’ll require a provider that is set up to handle transfers of $100,000 or more.
It’s also important to think about the finer details of your transfer requirements. How often will you need to send international transfers? Where will you be sending them? Do you need a personal account manager to help manage your transactions? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to form a clearer picture of your transfer needs and then be able to start searching for a provider.
Factors you need to consider before choosing a business transfer provider
There are several factors that have a bearing on which transfer company is right for your business, including:
- The size of your transfers. Take some time to think about how much money you need to transfer overseas. If you’re a relatively new company or a small enterprise, you may be talking about transfers of just hundreds or only a few thousand dollars — and there are plenty of transfer companies that can help. But if you’re running a large organization and need to send transfers of $100,000 or more, you’ll have to find a transfer provider that allows you to send large amounts of money. Minimum and maximum transfer limits often apply, so check the fine print to make sure any provider you choose is suitable.
- The frequency of your transfers. Next, think about how often you will need to send an international business transfer. Will it be occasionally, such as once every few months, or will you be making multiple transfers in any given week, or even every day? Some transfer providers offer special deals to frequent transfer customers, for example every fifth transfer free, while others offer the flexibility of setting up regular payment plans to automate recurring transactions.
- Where you’re sending money. Make a list of all the countries around the world where you’ll need to send money, and then compare this with a list of countries and currencies that a transfer provider supports. Some transfer providers only offer transactions to a limited number of countries, so make sure you’ll be able to send transfers everywhere you do business.
- How you will send money. Are you likely to need to send money transfers when you’re on the go? If so, finding a transfer provider that offers a mobile app for quick and easy transfers could be very beneficial.
- Your customer service and support requirements. Finally, consider your customer support needs for international transfers. Could you benefit from having a personal account manager for your business, to provide on-call advice and handle any sensitive transactions? Alternatively, if you ever have a question or a problem with a transaction, would a 24/7 online support service meet your needs?
Can I use my bank?
Yes, you can use your bank to send international business transfers. Sending money overseas via your bank is a convenient option and can typically be handled through the Internet banking portal for your normal business bank account.
However, because banks add a large margin to the foreign currency they sell, sending international money transfers via your bank is usually not the most cost-effective option. Instead, it’s financially prudent to compare your bank with one of many transfer providers that specialize in international business transactions, such as OFX, TorFX and WorldFirst.
Online transfer companies have much tighter margins than banks, which means they typically offer better exchange rates and minimal transfer fees. By shopping around and comparing a few transfer options, you could find big savings for your business.
Bank vs. online transfer companies
Carrie is the founder of an American tech startup, and she needs to send $20,000 to Australia to fund her business expansion plans. Eager to save money wherever possible, Carrie compares the cost of sending the money from her bank with the cost of using an online transfer company.
As you can see in the table below, both online transfer companies offer substantial savings when compared to the bank. However, online transfer company B is the clear winner, allowing Carrie to send an extra AUD$344 without spending one extra cent of her American currency.
|Bank||Online transfer company A||Online transfer company B|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 1.2532 AUD||1 USD = 1.2687 AUD||1 USD = 1.2704 AUD|
|Amount received (in AUD)||AUD$25,064||AUD$25,374||AUD$25,408|
|Difference in AUD received (compared to bank)||–||AUD$310||AUD$344|
*Please note this is a fictional case study. Always source a quote for current exchange rates.
How to compare business transfer providers
So, what do you need to look at when comparing transfer providers? Remember to consider the following factors:
- Exchange rate. Compare the exchange rates on offer from any transfer provider you are considering using. Make sure that any rate you are quoted is the rate you will receive for your transaction, and remember that some companies with attractive exchange rates may also charge high fees.
- Fees. How much will you need to pay in fees each time you send a transfer? Are there special deals in place to help you save money, such as every fifth or tenth transfer is fee-free?
- Fee-free thresholds. If you need to transfer large amounts of money, look for a provider that offers fee-free transfers for large amounts. These companies will usually list their fee-free thresholds on their websites.
- Transfer limits. Check the details of the minimum and maximum limits each provider imposes on transfers. Are these suitable for your business transfer needs?
- Transfer options. It’s also worth checking to see whether the provider offers flexible transfer options, such as:
- Supported countries and currencies. Check each provider’s list of supported countries and currencies to make sure it allows you to send money everywhere you are likely to need to make payments.
- Customer support. Will there be a personal manager assigned to your account, offering one point of contact and expert advice for all your business foreign exchange needs? In addition, is 24/7 customer support available so that you can access help whenever you need it?
Got it. What do I do now?
- Use the table above to compare money transfer providers for your business. Enter the amount your business needs to send overseas and the country you want to send money to, and the table will show suitable options to meet your transfer requirements.
- Click through to a couple of the providers via the green “Go to Site” buttons and get preliminary, personalized quotes so you can compare your options before making a transfer.
- When you’ve chosen your provider, register your business details to create an account. You may need to provide information like your Employer Identification Number (EIN), your business address and a form of ID, so have these handy.
- When your account is approved, you can login online and request a second quote with the updated exchange rates. If you’re happy, accept the transfer and make a payment to the provider to lock in the transfer. Review the payment methods available, as there is often an additional fee for credit card payments.
- Track the transfer online, if necessary.