Compare business money transfer services
Discover some of the best ways for you to send and receive a business money transfer internationally.
Using an international money transfer service instead of your bank when paying international employees or invoices can save you both time and money. We break down the best ways to make an international business transfer so you can get back to work quicker.
Compare international money transfer services for businesses
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Does your business need to transfer money internationally?
There might be a number of reasons why your business needs to transfer money overseas. Here are the most common:
- Paying a supplier or vendor
- Paying international contractors or employees
- Paying commercial bills
How do businesses make international payments?
Take a look at the ways you can make and request payments across borders to figure out which is best for your business. Depending on the reason for your money transfer, you may have many options at your disposal, some better suited than others.
International money transfers for business
Money transfer providers are specialists that can get your funds from A to B at a low cost. And they’ll likely hit your account – or the account of your supplier, contractor or employee – sooner than other options such as banks.
Many specialist money transfer specialists also offer forward contracts, limit orders and recurring transfers to save you time and money.
- Best for: Businesses looking to send quick, cost-effective payments that can benefit from additional money-saving features.
Business payments for online sellers
For a service that goes beyond directly sending and receiving payments, a business payment account with a money transfer provider may better suit your business’s needs.
One such provider is Wise (formally TransferWise). Its account allows you to make business payments in more than 70 countries. You’ll also be able to pay and get paid as though you were local.
- Best for: Businesses looking to work with multiple currencies and accounts in multiple countries, all in one place.
A bank-to-bank transfer may be the most familiar and well-trodden path, but it may not be what’s best for your business. International bank transfers often come with steep transfer fees and poor exchange rates. Some banks charge £20+, for example, while some money transfer services don’t charge a fee at all.
- Best for: Paying vendors that only accept bank transfers.
International payroll services
When you’re looking to pay your employees, you can potentially get everything handled by an international payroll service. It processes the entirety of your payroll and stays up to date on tax and regulation changes so you don’t have to.
- Best for: Paying your borderless employees without dealing with local tax laws and payroll regulations.
Failing all other methods, you can send an international banker’s draft. It’s accepted in most countries. Doing so comes with quite a few drawbacks, including comparatively lacklustre security and slow delivery times.
- Best for: Times when no other option is available.
How do I find the best money transfer service for my business?
For business owners, time can sometimes be more valuable than money. You may think that because it handles your other finances, your local bank is the simplest and most obvious option when sending money overseas. In truth, international money transfers are no longer a game for only tried-and-true players such as banks. Newer companies and online money transfer providers promise to undercut the competition to earn your business and will usually deliver your money to recipients faster than the banks can.
Take a closer look into the following areas to find the best money transfer service for your business:
- Exchange rates. You may see a great exchange rate being advertised but you need to make sure that the rate you see is the rate that you receive. The mid-market exchange rate is the best rate you can receive – it’s the rate at which banks buy and sell a currency for. However, many banks and some money transfer services will have their own exchange rates, which are often worse than the mid-market rate. This can make a huge difference if you are regularly sending large amounts overseas.
- Fees. Check the fees carefully. Just because there are no fees to pay, it’s more than likely that the exchange rate will have a large margin added to it. Your business transfer might be free but how much more are you having to pay because of a weaker exchange rate?
- Discounts. Many services might offer discounts on the transfer fees or waive the fees altogether when you send larger amounts regularly.
- Forward contracts and limit orders. Find out which, if any, tools are on offer from a provider such as forward contracts or limit orders. Forward contracts allow you to lock in an appealing exchange rate for future money transfers while limit orders allow you to wait until you find a better exchange rate and then lock it in for your transfer.
- Compare. Finally, compare several money transfer providers before choosing one. Do your research to find a provider that offers reliable and affordable business transfers.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending a £10,000 business money transfer to India
Let’s say you need to send £10,000 to a supplier in India. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of 14 September 2021.
|Money transfer service||Major UK bank transfer|
|Fee||£1.49||£17 + additional correspondent and recipient bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 GBP = 101.09978 INR||1 GBP = 99.82 INR|
|Transfer speed||Same day||4 days|
|Amount received||INR 1,010,847||INR 996,503|
The bank option is both slower and more expensive when paying your supplier in India. If you went with the money transfer service, not only would your recipient get the money faster, they’d also get an extra INR 14,344 thanks to stronger exchange rates and lower fees.
Banks may seem like the more convenient option, but once you set up an account with a money transfer company you can send money with a few clicks.
How can I receive international payments for my business?
Your option for receiving funds is going to depend on what type of service you go with. Banks are likely to give you the option to open the account and get started in person, while a dedicated money transfer service will probably have fewer physical locations. You’ll probably also have options of opening an account over the phone or online.
The process is a bit more involved for business accounts, so set aside at least half an hour in most cases to get through the entire application. Make sure you have your personal details, business information and any relevant financial information you may need.
Do I pay taxes on an international business transfer?
Income from abroad is still taxable in the UK. Also be aware of any international tax laws that might apply, especially if you have an international bank account. While there are many treaties around the world to avoid double taxation, you may still be subject to additional taxes.
Because tax guidance and regulations can be confusing for businesses with foreign income, you’ll likely want to seek out a business accountant to make sure everything is above board. Some international business payment solutions like FlyWire can also help you manage your business taxes.
What are the hidden costs to an international business transfer?
When sending a business money transfer, you may be quoted one fee on top of the amount you want to send. But if you look closer or ask for a breakdown of this fee, it could relate to a number of hidden fees relating to the following:
- Poor exchange rates. When dealing with popular currencies, you might get a great exchange rate from a provider. However, that same provider might add higher margins to the exchange rate on exotic currencies resulting in you spending more. Find a business money transfer service that offers the best exchanges for the currencies you use the most.
- High fees. Is there a flat fee to your business transfer or a percentage of the total amount? And do you have to pay to receive a business transfer from overseas? Depending on the nature of your business and how you operate, you may want to compare flat fees against variable fees to find the most cost-effective option.
- Transfer delivery speeds. Business transfers can usually be delivered within 1-5 business days. If you want your transfer to arrive sooner, then you’ll pay for a faster turnaround. While instant and same day transfers are available with some services, you could pay more for these options.
- Payment method. How you pay for your business transfer can make a difference to the overall cost. A bank transfer tends to be the cheapest option while making a payment with a credit card could mean higher fees.
While there’s no one perfect product for making an international business transfer, knowing how to evaluate solutions and find the best one for your business goes a long way. Compare international money transfer providers to get more details on the services offered, how to better measure them against one another and what to do once you choose one.