International money transfers offer a safe, affordable and convenient way to manage international business payments.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, business in the modern world is conducted in an international scale. Whether you’re paying overseas staff, buying product from a foreign supplier or receiving payments from abroad, it’s essential that you find a secure and affordable way to manage your international payments.
Specialist money transfer companies offer the ideal solution. With attractive exchange rates and flexible transfer options, they provide a simple and convenient way for your business to send money overseas.
What is a business transfer?
An international business transfer is a payment to someone overseas for business purposes. It involves exchanging your New Zealand Dollars for a foreign currency, such as Pounds Sterling if sending money to the UK or US Dollars if sending money to the United States, and then transferring the funds to a recipient overseas.
You can send an international business transfer for a wide range of purposes, including paying staff, paying suppliers and paying your overseas business bills. While you can send business transfers via your bank, you will usually be able to find better exchange rates and lower transfer fees if you use a specialist transfer company such as NZForex.
How does an international business money transfer work?
The process for sending an international money transfer for your business is quite easy. The first step is usually to sign up for an account with a transfer provider – this is often free to do online and you’ll need to supply a range of details about your business, such as your NZBN.
Next, you need to provide details about where you’re sending the money, the amount you’re sending and the currency you want to transfer. You’ll then be able to review the exchange rate and fee the provider is willing to offer, before electronically transferring funds from your bank account to the transfer company.
The provider will then convert your New Zealand Dollars into the currency at your destination at their best available exchange rate, and then transfer the funds to the beneficiary. Same-day processing is available in some cases, but depending on where you are sending the money the transfer could take up to five business days.
Ben runs a small business from his home in Wellington’s north. He owes $1,000 to a supplier in the UK and would usually send the money via his bank, but having recently learned that banks offer a raw deal on international transfers he is keen to compare the price his bank offers with what he can get from a specialist transfer company.
As the table below shows, Ben can send an extra £26.20 by using a money transfer company and also save NZD $25 in fees.
|Bank||Money transfer company|
|Exchange rate||1 NZD = 0.440 GBP||1 NZD = 0.4662 GBP|
|Transfer method||Bank account transfer||Bank account transfer|
|Processing time||1-3 days||1-3 days|
|Amount received (in GBP)||£440||£466.20|
What are the types of international business transfers?
- Telegraphic transfers. Telegraphic transfers are overseas wire transfers sent by your bank. While they offer a secure transfer option, they are typically not the most affordable transfer option.
- Online transfers. Specialist transfer providers like NZ Forex and Currency Online offer this convenient and secure service. As well as one-off transfers, many specialist providers allow you to lock in a rate now for a future transaction with a forward contract, or specify the exchange rate you want and automatically place your order when that rate becomes available with a limit order.
- International bank drafts. An old-fashioned transfer method is to obtain an international bank draft which can then be sent overseas.
How do I compare specialist transfer services?
- Exchange rates. The better the exchange rate you receive, the better value for money you will get from your transaction.
- Transfer fees. Most companies will charge you a fee on each transaction, so compare these penalties – but remember that some companies waive their fees on large transfers.
- Transfer options. Limit orders and forward contracts can help you get the exchange rate you want for your transfer, while the ability to set up a regular payment plan can be very handy for recurring payments.
- How to lodge a transfer. Some companies offer online transfers only, while other transfer providers also offer phone and in-branch transfers.
- Supported currencies. Check to see whether the provider allows you to transfer funds in relevant currencies for your regular transfer destinations.
- Processing time. Read the fine print to work out how long it will take for each transfer to be completed.
- Customer support. If you ever need help, will you be able to quickly and easily find the right answer?
Should I use an international money transfer services instead of a bank?
- Better exchange rates. Compare the exchange rates on offer from specialist transfer companies with those available from your bank.
- Lower fees. Specialist transfer companies tend to charge lower fees than the banks.
- Transfer options. Specialist transfer providers offer plenty of tools to make it easier and more cost-effective to manage your business’ international payments, such as forward contracts and limit orders.
- Transfer options. Some specialist transfer companies may not be able to offer transfers to as many destinations as larger banks can.
Are there any risks?
One of the key risks you need to consider when sending an international money transfer is fluctuating exchange rates. Exchange rates can vary due to a huge range of factors, including everything from interest rates to the performance of a country’s economy, so you need to be aware that rates move up and down regularly. If you’re using a forward contract to lock in an exchange rate now for a future transaction, you should be aware that exchange rates could rise in the interim but you will be stuck with your pre-booked, lower rate.
The other main risk of international money transfers is failing to compare your options and getting a bad deal as a result. Compare exchange rates, fees and features between companies to get the best transfer deal.
Frequently asked questions
How long do transfers take?
This varies depending on the transfer provider and where you are sending your money; some transfers can be completed the same day while others will take several business days.
Where can I send money?
This depends on the transfer provider you choose. Check your provider’s website to see a list of available transfer destinations.
Can I track my transfer?
Yes. Money transfer providers usually offer online tracking services so that you can monitor the progress of your funds.