Top 5 FX International Payment Services

FX international payment services

The best way to make or receive an FX international payment is by using a money transfer service that offers the best foreign exchange rates. It can be difficult to find the best company, that's why we give you a starting point. Here is a list of 5 of the cheapest money transfer services to make it easy for your business to send FX payments for international invoices or receive money from overseas.

1. Best foreign currency account: TransferWise

2. Best for online sellers: OFX

3. Fee-free for large amounts: WorldFirst

4. Great exchange rates: InstaReM

5. Customer service: XE money transfers

 

If you're wondering if your business can just use your bank for your FX international money transfer, the answer is yes. However, it's always good to find out more information.

Best foreign currency account - TransferWise Borderless Account

TransferWise offer a multi currency account in Australia, called the Borderless Account. It's easy to set-up, receive and send foreign currency. The fee structure is better than any of the banks listed.

The thing that makes it different is that it allows you to up a local bank account in AUD, GBP, EUR, NZD or USD. That means if you open up a USD account, you’ll have your own ABA and account number (think BSB and account number).

Having your own local bank account makes it significantly easier, faster and cheaper to make an international payment direct from your local account, without the need to exchange currency. Or for your international buyer to pay you locally.

  • It’s very fast and easy to create an account
  • Their service charge is low, fees and pricing are transparent
  • You can pay via bank transfer, credit or debit card
  • There’s no minimum transfer size
  • Can't pay for your transfer via cash or cheque
  • Limited customer support, interact by email or online support
  • If you’re transferring over $40,000, their percentage-based fee can make them less competitive

Best for online sellers

OFX is an Australian based money transfer company. They are particularly good at reducing the cost of FX international payments for online sellers.

What makes OFX stand out from the rest of the competition is it's 24/7 telephone support service - perfect for online merchants and suppliers transacting all day and night.

They also have a great resource hub for online sellers with plenty of helpful articles.

  • They’re not as competitive if you’re sending less than $2,000
  • Minimum transfer amount of $250
  • You can’t pay for your transfer using cash, credit card or a cheque

Fee free transfer for larger amounts

There's a lot to like about the services that WorldFirst offer. WorldFirst don’t charge any fees whether you're sending or receiving an international payment in foreign currency no matter the amount.

Recently WorldFirst lowered their exchange rate margins to just 0.5% or less for transfers, which certainly puts it ahead of the banks for cheap transfers.

  • Better exchange rates for larger amounts
  • Local currency account
  • Dedicated account manager and personal FX advise
  • Foreign currency receiving accounts for online sellers
  • They’re not as competitive if you’re sending less than $2,000
  • You can’t pay for your transfer using cash, credit card or a cheque
  • Calculator on their homepage doesn't quote the actual rate you would get for your transfer

Great exchange rates

InstaReM operates globally. With competitive exchange rates and fast turnaround times, this company can be a solid financial platform for international money transfers for business. Especially for sending money to and from India.

The primary service InstaReM offers for businesses is its MassPay platform. It allows companies to configure how and when payments are disbursed to multiple recipients at once. It's useful for payrolls or to pay for large multinational product orders.

  • Their website is quick and easy to use
  • API integration for large corporates
  • Launching business cards with personalised branding
  • Great for smaller amounts of money under $1,000
  • FAQs section less comprehensive than other websites
  • No currency hedging tools (limit orders, spot/forward contracts)
  • Doesn't specialise in personal advisory services

Awesome customer service

XE has been around since 1993, so they know a thing or two about business transfers! They provide a wealth of trusted information on exchange rates, including currency price history, news and more.

XE will also help you create a risk management strategy for currency exposures and recommend a hedging plan for your business with a dedicated account manager for business clients. What's not to like?

  • XE are a worldwide, trusted authority for currency exchange
  • They don’t charge any fees for sending money overseas
  • It’s easy to get in touch with and use their customer service
  • Their website is quick and pain-free to use
  • You can’t pay for your transfer using cash or a cheque
  • No foreign currency accounts
  • Exchange rates not as competitive as other money transfer specialists

Can I use a bank for FX international payments?

Yes. If your business is just starting to send money overseas or receive money in other currencies, banks are worth looking at. Only because it's a good starting point. However, banks may not be cost-effective given the fees that come with it.

On the plus side, medium to large businesses can benefit from the whole range of complex hedging products and detailed business reports and research intel a bank can offer. Some banks like American Express even offer membership rewards points per foreign exchange international payment, minus the credit card.

Banks offer foreign currency accounts with a larger range of currencies that might be suitable for your business needs. However, these are also expensive. You can apply at a branch, but chances are banks will refer you to their business banking or corporate banking department.

When should I use a bank for my international FX payment?

There is no magic number at which point banks become useful. But if you're making 1 to 2 payments under $1,000 or receiving a small amount of money from an international buyer as a once-off, going through your bank for convenience makes it useful. Even if it's still more expensive.

 

Bank Foreign Exchange (FX) Rates for International Payments

Bank foreign exchange rate calculators

Most banks provide a currency calculator which show exchange rates for making FX international payments on their websites. However, banks quote the market rate, not the actual rate you'll get for your international transfer.

This makes it tricky to compare the exchange rates and total costs that banks offer against other international money transfer options like specialist money transfer providers. Our comparison table accurately does this for you.

From our research, Australian banks quote exchange rates that are typically 2-3% worse than the base exchange rate.

Pros and cons of using banks

  • Open a foreign currency account and save money on currency conversion fees
  • International businesses can bill in foreign currency
  • Relationship manager will help you manage FX rate risk
  • Often a larger range of currencies available
  • Bank fees are high
  • Varied bank fees makes it difficult to compare
  • Can be difficult to open a business account

If you're still unsure about using a bank for your FX international payment, check out our bank reviews for details on the forex fees they charge:

Compare bank and money transfer companies exchange rates

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