Last editedFeb 20232 min read
Has your business gone global? If you work with international clients, you’ll need to send and receive money from other countries. Unfortunately, the price tag of an international bank transfer can really add up when you factor in currency conversion fees and other hidden costs. Here’s a closer look at international wire transfers, as well as how to cut down on the expense of receiving them.
What is an international wire transfer?
An international wire transfer is an electronic bank payment. This type of transaction moves funds from one bank account to another based in a different country. Processing times will vary widely, but it typically takes one or two business days to complete the transfer. This makes an international bank transfer a faster, more convenient option than cash, checks, or other traditional payments.
Most international bank transfer payments use the SWIFT network, an international standard that assigns each bank a unique code for identification. These are called BIC or SWIFT codes. One thing to note is that it’s not always possible to move money from one SWIFT-connected bank to another. Sometimes, the funds need to pass through more than one bank along the way – with fees taken out each time.
What details do I need for an international bank transfer?
If you’re sending an international bank transfer, you’ll need to provide the following information:
Recipient’s name and address
Recipient’s bank account number, routing number, and SWIFT or BIC code
Name and address of recipient’s bank
If your business is accepting a transfer from overseas, you’ll need to provide the sender with all of these details. Be prepared to give them:
Your business account number
The name and address associated with your business account
Receiving bank details including wire routing transit number and SWIFT code
When your bank receives money from an international bank, it’s automatically converted into USD unless you have a multicurrency account.
How much are international bank transfer fees?
International bank transfer fees will vary widely depending on location and transfer amount. The first fee to be aware of is the cost of currency exchange. Currencies are bought and sold throughout the day with slight fluctuations in value. The median of a currency’s price is called its interbank or mid-market exchange rate. Not all wire transfer services use the interbank rate, charging a higher fee and pocketing the difference.
US banks charge high fees to send international wire transfers, typically ranging between $35 and $50 depending on the bank you use. Fees depend on whether you make an online, in-person, or phone transfer. Then, if your transfer passes through multiple banks on the way to its destination, you could be charged additional fees on top of this. There are also occasionally costs for receiving a wire transfer, depending on your business bank account.
How to cut the cost of receiving an international bank transfer payment
As you can see, the cost of receiving an international bank transfer payment can quickly add up especially when you look at currency exchange rates. One way to get around this is to open a multicurrency bank account or use an international payment gateway.
GoCardless also offers a way to significantly reduce the costs of international bank payments. Our research shows that 49% of businesses are frustrated by these international payment costs, not to mention the lengthy transfer times and unpredictability. We offer transparent fees by converting payments using the best exchange rate offered through Wise. We currently support payments in multiple currencies, so you can collect payment from customers in the UK, Eurozone, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand all at real exchange rates. There are no hidden fees, making this a far more affordable option when compared to the hidden costs of wire transfers.
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.