Options for paying an international invoice online
When it comes to paying an international invoice, many business owners think of using their bank to submit an electronic money transfer. Unfortunately, your bank is banking on that. Because research shows that 80% of people would use their bank to transfer money, banks charge an absolute premium on international invoice payments (up to $500 on a transfer of $10,000.)^
According to The Telegraph
, a study estimated that small businesses in the U.K. were paying a staggering £4bn annually because of the costs associated with paying international invoices via their banks.1
That is a lot of zeros, and whole lot of money that could have been put to better use to grow those businesses!
So even though you might find that using your bank to pay domestic invoices works out just fine for you, keep in mind that you could get stung harshly if you use the same payment method for your international invoices.
2. Online payment services
Online payment services like PayPal might be convenient, but they can take a chunk out of your bottom line too. When PayPal converts your currency to pay an international invoice, they will use a wholesale exchange rate that is adjusted periodically, based upon market conditions. As of August 2017, you can expect that they will tack on a 3% fee on the transaction amount, in addition to the wholesale exchange rate in the U.S.2
Also, if you are planning on using a credit card or debit card via PayPal, keep in mind that your credit card or debit card issuer might also charge their own fee for any international transaction. And if you are purchasing with PayPal Business Payments, you might also be charged a fee.3
3. Credit Cards:
In addition to using your bank or an online payment service like PayPal, you also have the option of using your credit card to pay an international invoice.
Business owners who would prefer not using a wire transfer option might consider this payment method instead. But it also comes with its own set of drawbacks that you need to consider before deciding if this is the right choice for your company.
First off, you will need to confirm with your supplier if they will accept a credit card, such as Visa, Discover, MasterCard, or American Express. You will need to receive confirmation that these types of payments will be accepted and that they will be secure. Therefore, depending upon where you do business, paying by credit card might not even be a possibility.
Like the payment options described above, paying with a credit card will also result in having to pay extra fees. A lot of credit card companies will add an additional charge that typically ranges from 1.95% to 3.5% for international payments.4
This service fee is tacked onto the total amount for the transaction, so things can add up quickly.
By now, you are probably thinking, “There has to be a better way!” Thankfully, there is. As an alternative to expensive banks, credit cards, and online payment services, an online money transfer provider like OFX could help you pay your international invoices without taking a big bite out of your pocket.
With OFX, you will have market access and telephone customer support 24/7, in case you run into any questions or concerns. Our simple transfer form will guide you through all of the information that you need to provide to ensure your money will be sent securely and swiftly. You also have several transfer options so you can pay all of your international invoices in a way that will benefit your business.
With OFX, you can send your money to more than 190 countries and convert your funds into 55 different currencies. Most transfers will only take 1-2 business days to complete, though some could take up to 5 business days, depending upon where you are sending your money.
In terms of fees, OFX does not charge any fees to create or maintain your account, and our margins on the exchange rate are substantially lower than the banks.
Another distinguishing advantage that comes with using OFX to pay your international invoices is the option of using a Forward Contract.
This will let you lock in a great exchange rate for up to 12 months, so even if you are not ready to pay right away, you can still take advantage of the savings. Or you can set up a Limit Order instead. This will let you set your target exchange rate, and then OFX will notify you once that rate has been triggered so that you can make your payment at the right time to save the most money.