Making a regular business payment overseas
Looking for an easy and reliable way to set up a regular international transfer for your overseas business transactions? Well, whether it’s for making recurring payments for goods you’re importing or freelancers you’ve employed, you need to have an efficient foreign exchange account in place that doesn’t affect your company’s profits.
So how can you find a provider that gives you access to competitive exchange rates, doesn’t bite back with an exorbitant transfer fee and gives you the flexibility to spread out your transactions in advance? Read on as we answer some of the most common questions around making regular business payments overseas.
How can you set up regular international payments for your business?
With a bank.
You can open a foreign currency account with your bank to make multiple overseas transactions. The bank is a secure option for making overseas payments and it’s convenient to deal with a brand you’re familiar with.
But the problem with banks is they don’t offer the most competitive exchange rates in the market and they charge a relatively high transfer fee compared to independent IMT agencies. If you’re just making a one-off transfer the fee probably won’t make a huge difference, but when you’re planning regular transfers, the fees can add up to a big amount over time.
With an IMT specialist.
IMT specialists like HiFX or OFX are great long-term solutions for overseas business transactions. The best thing about forex agencies is that they specialise in the area and are known to offer some of the best exchange rates and low fees. And if you’re making frequent or large money transfers, this means a big saving for your business.
And when you sign up for regular business transactions, many international money specialists will assign you a dedicated account manager who can then help you monitor the volatile forex market so you can snag the best rates for your international payments.
What are the advantages of setting up regular overseas money transfers?
Ability to fix exchange rates in advance.
As you probably already know, exchange rates constantly fluctuate. That’s why it’s a smart idea to track the market so you can manage currency risks. If you do find that the value of the Aussie dollar is high against the currency you’re looking to transfer money to, the good news is many providers let you set rates months in advance so your business won’t be subject to unfavourable changes in the market.
Low or no transfer fees.
The other great thing about setting up a regular account for your business payments is that you can wriggle out of paying high exchange fees. Many IMT providers offer to slash or completely waive charges if you set up a regular account with them, especially if you’re transferring over a certain amount (generally around $10,000).
A regular IMT account doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you fix the exact number of times you’ll need to transfer money within a set period. Forex providers understand that as a business, you may need more flexibility to plan your payments in terms of how often you need to send money.
Fix transfer dates in advance.
Do you have clients or freelancers that need to be paid on set dates throughout the year? Then you probably don’t want to have to set reminders for multiple international payments every month! Setting up a regular account that sends out a certain amount to a designated overseas account is a good solution so payments can go out in a timely manner.
How does a regular business transfer work?
Step 1: Open a business account.
Whether you decide to go with a bank or an IMT specialist, you’ll need to make regular business transactions via a business account. Setting up a business account is easy and doesn’t require you to make any immediate transactions. You can simply register your details online to get the process started.
Step 2: Connect with the provider’s market expert.
As we mentioned above, many forex agencies give you the option to work with an account manager who can help you plan your account based on the currency or currencies you’re going to deal with, how often you need to send money abroad and the amount you’re likely to transfer.
Step 3: Sign up for a transfer plan.
After you’ve understood all your options for transferring money regularly, you can set up a long-term plan with the provider. Make sure you’ve read all the details about any additional fees and changes in exchange rates so you’re on top of your international transactions.
Step 4: Kick off the transfer.
Once you’re all set with the account formalities, you can transfer the dollars to the provider so they can make your first business transfer overseas! It’s really that simple.
What if you need to make changes to planned payments?
This could vary from one provider to another and the features of your account. But generally speaking, after you’ve fixed all the details of your transfer/s and need to make last minute changes to the deal, you may need to pay an amendment fee for doing so. Banks usually charge around $25 to make changes like the beneficiary’s bank address or other account details.
What are the main fees and charges associated with recurring overseas payments?
The transfer fee is an important thing to consider when you’re setting up regular international payments. That’s because it’s something that’s likely to be charged every time you make a transfer and after a number of transactions that’s a cost that’s definitely going to pinch.
Check out this scenario - Alex has 10 freelance employees in Malaysia and she needs to pay them a salary of $3,000 every month. When she compares IMT providers online, she finds that a big bank charges a transfer fee of $22 for an international online money transfer - this means $220 extra every month! But if she goes with an IMT agency like TorFx, she won’t need to pay any additional charges at all.
This is a fee that’s charged by the bank that’s receiving the money overseas. It’s not decided by your IMT provider and varies based on the currency you’re trading and the bank you’re dealing with.
Like we said, if you finalise a deal and then have a change in heart at the last moment, your provider can charge you a fee for tweaking the booking details. Thankfully, if you’re sure about all the information you’ve provided, you won’t need to worry about these charges.
Is it safe to set up large regular business payments with an IMT provider?
Yes! It’s understandable that you may have some apprehensions about transferring a large amount overseas, but all IMT providers that are licensed under ASIC will handle your money safely. So as long as you’re dealing with a regulated provider (that includes all providers listed on Mozo), you don’t need to worry about your money getting lost in transit. And if you’re still feeling nervous, you can track your transfer through your provider online or over the phone.
But don’t forget, you need to be sure of the details you’re providing from your end - if you give bank details for a beneficiary 12 months in advance and the account information changes later, you need to make sure you let the provider know. They can’t be held responsible if the money goes into the wrong account because you forgot to update the details.
If you still have more questions around making overseas payments for your business, check out our IMT guides for business transfers.