Now you can make international payments from anywhere without having to pay exorbitant fees.
If you’re travelling overseas for an extended period, you’ll still need to continue paying your bills. Not so long ago, your only legitimate option for sending regular overseas payments was to arrange payments with your bank and pay plenty of fees in the process. But now you can look forward to making regular international payments without incurring fees, and you can even expect locked exchange rates.
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.
Why might I need to make regular overseas payments?
- Do you own property overseas?
- Are you spending a few months traveling but still need to keep on top of your bills at home?
- Are you working in the Philippines and sending money back home when you can?
From mortgage payments, credit card bills and other debts to utilities, salary transfers and rental income deposits — there’s a long list of reasons why you might need to set up a recurring international transfer. It makes sense to compare your options to find a secure, cost-effective solution.
Regular international payments
Paying bills when you’re overseas is no longer time consuming or difficult, with a number of online businesses enabling you to do this on the move. When you sign up with a business 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 businesses that take prevailing exchange rates into account before each transfer.
Setting up a recurring payment
Many digital money specialists allow you the convenience of setting up regular payments, whereby you submit your recipient’s information and transfer details for payments as far as 12 months into the future. Some even offer tools — like forward contracts and limit orders — that protect your transfers against market fluctuations, locking in more favorable exchange rates. And giving you the freedom you need to affordably manage your international payments.
How does making overseas payments work?
Making overseas payments requires you to get in touch with your bank or with a business that offers this service. If you register with your bank, funds can be debited directly from the designated account. If you register with a different business, funds first transfer from your bank account into the account you hold with the business in question. After converting these funds into the chosen currency, the business pays your bills. For either of these options to work, you have to make sure you have adequate funds in the designated bank account around the chosen date each month.
Examples of regular transfers overseas
An increasing number of individuals and businesses need to make regular international payments. For individuals, these payments could include:
- Mortgage payments
- Debt repayments
- Pension transfers
- Salary transfers
- Rental income
- Repatriation fees
- School fees
Regular international payments that businesses need to make 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 qualify for fixed payments. Fixed payments let you 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 vary from one month to the next, you can’t benefit from locked exchange rates. To make these non-fixed payments, the prevailing exchange rate comes into play.
How do I compare foreign exchange services?
When looking for a money transfer provider to handle your regular overseas payments, keep the following factors in mind.
- Transfer fees. Fees vary substantially and can make a big difference to the financial effectiveness of a transaction. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Recurring transfers. Does the provider offer the option to set up recurring transfers in advance? How far ahead can you schedule transfers, and will you need to pay an extra fee?
- Exchange rate. The exchange rate is a crucial factor when calculating the overall cost of your transaction, and early all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
- Transfer options. Can you take advantage of flexible transfer options to save yourself time and money or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract?
- Payment and delivery options. Some transfer companies allow you to pay with a credit card online, by phone or through an app. Others like Western Union and MoneyGram offer agent locations for cash payments and pickups. Also ask how your recipient can receive your funds: bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet and more.
- Transfer speed. If it needs to be there fast, some companies allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you have more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
- Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
- Customer support. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
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. Once you set up automatic international bill payments, all you have to worry about is having enough money in your account.
- No late charges. Late charges enter the picture only 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 rates. If you’re making regular fixed payments, you can benefit by opting for locked rates that protect you from exchange rate fluctuations.
- Fees and rates. If a business does not charge fees, it probably makes its profits by offering lower exchange rates. Pay attention to both these aspects.