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How to Send Online International Payments

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Last editedFeb 20232 min read

In today’s global marketplace, competitive businesses make international payments as efficient as possible. Traditional methods like cash, checks, and wire transfers can be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of new international online payment methods to make the process run more smoothly. Whether you need to place an order from an overseas supplier or pay contractors in a different time zone, here are a few of the best ways to send online international payments.

Why should your business send and accept international payment methods online?

According to the World Bank, international money transfers are more popular than ever with overseas remittances reaching an estimated $630 billion in 2022 alone. If you want to work with the best contractors and suppliers, this means finding a way to send money for payment. Online payment methods are more convenient, with lower fees than traditional forms of banking. 

The best platforms for sending international payments usually let you receive payment as well. When working with international vendors, you’ll want a flexible payment experience at both ends of the transaction. Offering a selection of online payment methods makes your business more competitive overseas, while making it easier to track accounting and tax considerations.

What are some international online payment methods?

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of international online payment methods for both senders and recipients.

1. Wire transfers

Wire transfers are one of the standard ways to send online international payments directly between bank accounts. Unlike payment gateways, there’s no middleman or third party to deal with. Processing times can vary, with the fastest transfers received within the same day. Fast, reliable, and secure, they’re a good option if you need to send money quickly. However, you can expect to pay much higher fees to use this service in comparison to some other methods. Fees typically range between $35 and $50 depending on your bank.

2. Multicurrency accounts

Multicurrency bank accounts offer another way to send an international online payment. Examples include the Wise service, which lets you hold funds in multiple currencies all from the same online account. This gives you a local presence in numerous countries so you can take advantage of better exchange rates.

3. Online payment gateways

Online payment gateways are a third option for those sending and receiving international payments. PayPal is one of the best-known gateways that let you access international payment methods online. However, it has plenty of competition from other service providers. These include Shopify Payments, Amazon Payments, Google Pay, Stripe, and GoCardless. Each offers its own fee structure, features, and currency rates so it’s best to compare options carefully.

What is the best way to send an international online payment?

When it comes to sending money, the best option is usually a money transfer service or multicurrency account. It’s best to avoid paying online with a credit card, which typically involves a much higher upfront fee as well as additional interest costs. Fees and features vary widely between regions, so be sure to compare costs and transfer times. The best service providers offer real-time exchange rates comparable to what you’d find on a currency exchange platform, without additional markups.

What is the best way to accept international payments online?

If your business needs to accept international payments online, you’ll need a more permanent solution. An online payment gateway or multicurrency account will usually be a better option than wire transfers, for example. In addition to comparing transfer speeds and cost, you should also look at factors like customer support and the variety of payment methods offered. 

GoCardless allows businesses to receive international payments at real exchange rates. Collect one-off and recurring payment directly from customer bank accounts for maximum convenience. Customers can pay in their own local currency, which is automatically exchanged into USD in your own bank account – with no foreign merchant account required. With transparent pricing, you’ll avoid paying costly transfer and exchange fees.

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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