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How to pay virtual assistants in the Philippines

The Philippines is one of the top locations to search for English-speaking, hard-working virtual assistants who can work for you from remote locations. Filipino professionals can help you manage your business, and you get the chance to save money (average virtual assistant salary in the Philippines is $400/month).

Once you’ve hired the right person for the job, it’s a matter of figuring out how to pay them in a way that will allow you to save money when transferring it internationally. Check out our guide below for some helpful tips.

How to pay an international invoice

1. Negotiate currency exchange rates

Talk to your remote employees to find out if they would be willing to accept payment in your domestic currency. For example, if you’re a business in the United States and you need to pay a company in China, you may find that many businesses are happy to be paid in dollars.

2. Find a money transfer provider that works for you

Paying for an international invoice doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With the right provider, you can transfer your money easily online, and at a better rate. We’ll compare two popular options later in this article.

3. Mitigate your currency risk

Currency risk is the risk that a business or individual’s financial performance or position will be impacted by fluctuations in the exchange rate. Depending on the provider you choose, you can access tools to help mitigate risk like forward contracts to protect against any unfavourable currency movements. This will help with offering consistent pricing if you need to pay virtual assistants or remote employees regularly.

A city landscape on a foggy morning at sunrise

How to transfer money to virtual assistants in the Philippines

After you’ve found the perfect virtual assistant from the Philippines, it’s time to think about how you’ll go about transferring your money to pay them in a timely fashion. While you might immediately think of using your bank, there are quite a few drawbacks to consider.

Transferring using a bank

Banks usually end up charging high fees and margins for each transfer you put through. So, when you consider the margins, fixed fees, and marked-up currency exchange rates, which are sometimes up to 5% above the interbank rate, it becomes abundantly clear that transferring your money through your bank can get really expensive.

As a smart businessperson who’s already taking the step to save money by hiring talent from the Philippines, why would you want to spend more than you need to when submitting payments to remote workers?

Transferring using an international money transfer provider

International Money Transfer (IMT) providers are typically specialist online money transfer companies, like OFX, Worldfirst or Western Union. With an online money transfer, you can send money to the Philippines in a much more affordable way, and you don’t have to sacrifice security or convenience. In fact, OFX moves money internationally in a swift and secure fashion, and you can do it all online and on the mobile app.

Beyond that, OFX charges either no fees, or fees that are much lower than what banks typically charge, so you’ll be saving money in the fees alone.

Plus, our margins on the interbank exchange rate are also much lower, meaning you can save even more money whenever you need to send money abroad. And you can even use the handy currency charts to know what to expect when you’re ready to convert your money into the Philippine peso.

Let's compare:

Fixed fees Exchange rates margins Support
OFX Low to no fixed fees, depending on where you’re sending from. A small margin that’s typically lower than the banks’ margins. Available 24/7 over the phone to provide helpful human support for all currency-related enquiries.
Standard bank Hefty fixed fees, sometimes around $30, just to make a transfer. Many banks can charge up to a 5% margin on the interbank rate, depending on how much you’re transferring. Banks operate within certain hours of the day, so you can’t always get the support you may need.

What your business should look for in a global money transfer provider

Before you use any money transfer provider, do your research. This will allow you to choose the right international money transfer service, and it will give you the peace of mind of knowing your money will arrive safely in the Philippines.

Here are the main things to look for:

Speed

Once you have international invoices that need to be paid, you’ll want to be sure that those payments can be submitted in a timely fashion. Plus, your remote employees will want to be paid in an efficient manner.

In addition to moving money swiftly, OFX is open 24/7, so you don’t have to wait for your bank to be open in order to make a transfer. Like many up-and-coming businesses, working at all hours of the night can become the norm, so even if you needed to transfer at three in the morning, OFX are available.

Good rates

Whenever you’re paying invoices in a foreign currency, you run the risk of getting hit with high fees just to convert your currency and move your money internationally. This can undo the financial benefits of hiring virtual assistants in the Philippines.

OFX charges lower margins and fees compared to what banks charge. And we also offer tools that can help you make smarter transfers and save even more money every time you send funds abroad.

OFX’s Forward Exchange Contract, for example, allows you to lock in a great exchange rate anytime. Even if you aren’t going to pay an international invoice for your virtual assistant just yet, you can lock in the rate that you want, thereby protecting yourself against rate fluctuations that would cost you money.

OFX’s Limit Order is another helpful tool that you can use when you don’t need to make a transfer right away. This lets you get the ideal exchange rate, as we’ll contact you the minute your target rate is triggered. Then, you can take advantage of that rate to save money. It’s so simple, yet so effective at helping you save extra cash.

Human service

These days, great customer service is hard to come by. And with banks that work within specific operating hours, you can’t always get a person to help you when you have questions or concerns.

At OFX, the opposite is true. Our business customers receive a dedicated account manager, so anytime you need assistance, OFX are available.

Woman talking to a virtual assistant

If you’re hiring online freelancers on a contract basis, it’s up to them to follow the tax laws of the Philippines.

However, it’s still a good idea to take steps to be sure that your virtual assistants are following their local laws, which might include registering with their Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), reporting their income, and paying their taxes on time.

The best places to find virtual assistants in the Philippines

These days, there are many websites on which you can connect with skillful virtual assistants from the Philippines. They include:

  • OnlineJobs
  • Virtual Staff Finder
  • TaskBullet
  • Outsourced
  • Virtual Coworker

Hiring virtual assistants in the Philippines is a wise move

Because the Philippines is one of the best countries for businesses that hope to outsource some of their tasks to workers abroad, it’s a great place to start when your goal is to hire a virtual assistant. You’ll access a pool of talented, educated, and skilled individuals who can help you achieve your business goals, and you can save money in the process.

IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.