Online sellers now have a cost-effective and secure way to save on foreign exchange costs with an international transfer provider.
What are international payments for online sellers?
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 an eCommerce website or marketplace and the buyer is in another country, you’ll need to find a way to transfer those funds back to the U.S., and to do it in the way that gives you the best value for your 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 America. Although some eCommerce sites will send payments to the U.S., 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 World First, specialize in securely and cheaply moving funds around the world. They allow you to set up an account in the country where you are doing business, so you can receive payments from around the world via international marketplaces.
Then, when you want to transfer your money to America, these companies offer lower fees than eCommerce sites to help you to 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, when you want to transfer the funds.Back to top
What are the types of international payments 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. These options include:
- 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 now 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.
How do I compare international payment methods?
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 America 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 have 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 very often 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.
What should I look for?
- 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 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 the United States in order to take advantage of the highest exchange rate.
- Fees apply. You’ll likely need to contend with transfer fees when repatriating funds to America.
Things to avoid
One key problem that online sellers face is setting up an account to automatically transfer funds back to the United States on a set schedule — for example, every two weeks. 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 America 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 is necessary, so compare your options and shop around for a better value.Back to top
Frequently asked questions
How long do transfers take?
Transfer times vary substantially depending on the transfer company and where you are sending funds from; however, transactions can be processed within 24 hours in many cases.
How do I track a transfer?
Specialist online money transfer companies will provide you with a tracking or reference number for each transaction. You can use this number to track your transfer online.
Should I use a bank to send international money transfers?
While banks can send secure international money transfers, they usually offer poor exchange rates and high fees. Online money transfer companies can often save you a significant amount of money.