Sending cash abroad? 4 ways you didn’t know an international money transfer could benefit your business
No matter the size of your business - whether it’s still in its early days or it’s already sprawled halfway across the globe with offices in five major cities - chances are you’ll need to send money overseas at some point in time.
While the bank or Paypal might be the first things to pop into your mind, they’re not always the best go-to options. For big money transfers, a specialist international money transfer (IMT) service could eat a lot less out of your business budget and lend you a hand you didn’t even know you were looking for!
According to IMT specialist WorldFirst’s Managing Director ANZ, Ray Ridgeway, making the switch from a traditional bank to a foreign exchange specialist could bring your business loads of benefits.
“Businesses can achieve better exchange rates, get charged less or no fees and enjoy service from a dedicated account manager. They will also have access to unique products like multi-currency accounts which help them operate more seamlessly in an increasingly global marketplace,” Ridgeway said.
“Businesses like WorldFirst specialise in foreign exchange and international payments, whereas banks have a vast range of products which are a higher priority to them.”
So how can IMT providers give your business a boost you didn’t even know it needed? Here are four ways you could take advantage of their services:
1. Pay for software subscriptions
Have a few computers in your office with Adobe Creative Suite installed for editing pictures and videos?
If you’ve got a large subscription, like software on multiple computers, that could add up to a couple of hundred dollars a month, or an even larger sum if you make payments annually. IMT providers is a cost-effective way to pay for those subscriptions, as they could save you the dollars you would have otherwise lost to a poor exchange rate and high transfer fees.
For a lot of software, you’re expected to pay a monthly or yearly fee instead of one large upfront payment. It can be hard to keep track of those recurring costs, but a specialist IMT service could be a great long-term solution.
Once you’ve opened an IMT account with a provider, you’ll not only be able to pay for those subscriptions directly in US dollars, but you can also set up automated regular payments. That way, you can avoid the hassle of making a transaction each time the bill date comes around.
2. Receive payment from customers internationally
With IMT, you’ll be able to receive payments from clients or customers around the world. The range of currencies available for exchange varies from provider to provider, but in general, you’ll have access to transfers across hundreds of countries.
So PayPal vs IMT specialist - which is better? It depends! While PayPal can be great for small transfers, up to about $200, your income could take a hit if transfers get any larger than that, as PayPal charges higher fees for bigger transactions. So if a global customer transferred you money in USD, you could end up with a lot less AUD than you’d like.
For substantial transfers, IMT specialists could be a more cost-effective option, as they tend to have sharper exchange rates and some even come with zero transfer fees! What’s more, while PayPal requires both the sender and the recipient to have an account, IMT accounts for businesses can usually accept funds from anyone.
According to Ridgeway, multi-currency accounts like WorldFirst’s World Account “means that businesses exporting their goods can receive funds from global customers in the local currency, making the business cheaper and faster than other alternatives for business.”
Just be sure to do your research on competitive IMT deals in the market so you can get the most bang for your buck.
3. Pay overseas employees and suppliers
Have contractors, staff or suppliers abroad? If you’re looking for a convenient and efficient way to pay them on a regular basis, specialist IMT providers could be a great option.
International money transfers typically take 1-5 days, and when you opt for automated regular payments, you can say goodbye to setting monthly reminders and hello to timely transfers that will keep your staff and suppliers happy.
For businesses who have both clients and staff overseas, “[the] foreign revenue they receive from their clients can get paid directly into their local currency accounts, and those funds can then be used to pay their staff and outsourcing costs which saves time and money!” said Ridgeway.
Concerned about just how safe and secure your transactions are? Worry not - IMT specialists must undergo regular audits and they’re regulated by ASIC to ensure they’re following best practice. On top of that, they use high-quality security systems to ensure your cash ends up where it needs to be, and your personal details are also protected.
4. Keep up with market trends
Let’s be honest, many of us don’t know much about the ins and outs of the foreign exchange market. That’s why having an IMT specialist by your side can be helpful, as they’re experts in their field.
When you take out an account with an IMT specialist, they can assist you with things like managing your foreign currency payments, tracking exchange rates and navigating risks in the market, such as rate fluctuations. You can even subscribe to their daily economic email updates to keep abreast of what’s happening in the global markets.
And if you’ve spotted a killer exchange rate, IMT providers also give you the option of booking rates for future transactions. For a small fee, you can arrange a forward contract with your IMT provider, where you lock in a great rate now but make the actual transfer later.
Looking for a specific rate but not in a hurry to make the transfer? You could opt for a firm order, or limit order, which lets you place a transaction at a rate of your choice. IMT providers will then keep their eyes on the markets for you and make your transfer the moment your desired rate has been hit.
Ready to send money overseas? Head over to our international money transfer comparison table to find a deal that suits your business.