Last editedJan 20222 min read
Whether you’re running a small business or a large organisation, taking your business global is a great way to encourage growth. By selling to customers outside of your country, you open yourself up to a much larger market and can boost your revenue considerably. It’s clear that taking advantage of global opportunities is becoming increasingly essential to business success.
However, this global expansion is not always simple. Receiving money from abroad can be complicated and can incur charges that might make you reconsider your decision to cater to an international market. But that shouldn’t put you off, as restricting yourself to a single market can limit your business opportunities. Keep reading to discover 4 tips on how to receive payments from overseas.
Use online payment gateways
One of the best ways of receiving money from abroad is through online payment gateways such as PayPal. There are also a number of other gateways that you may choose to use, including Stripe, Google Pay and Shopify. Consumers usually like to use these payment methods as they are familiar with them and due to their simplicity.
One of the biggest benefits of using online payment gateways for international business payments is that the fees are significantly reduced. Generally, you will pay a fee that is calculated as a percentage of the overall transaction cost as well as a small transaction cost, and there is no obligation to pay exchange rate or conversion fees.
In addition, they can offer integration with third-party apps and services and allow for various payment options, including credit and debit cards and sometimes even cryptocurrency.
Consider opening a multi-currency account
If you find that you are often making or receiving payments from abroad, it might be a good idea to open a multi-currency account, also known as a foreign currency account. Put simply, this is a type of account that allows you send and receive funds in multiple currencies – funds are either exchanged into pounds sterling or held in the original currency until you are ready to exchange it.
You will not always have to convert the funds that you receive, and therefore you can avoid some of the exchange rates that usually make international business payments so costly. Note that these usually only cover major currencies, and you should always check with the bank to see which are accepted.
Bear in mind that, as you are storing money in multiple currencies, the value of your money can fluctuate significantly. If a currency becomes less valuable, then it translates to a loss in the total balance of your multi-currency account.
Do bank transfers, without the bank
One of the most common solutions for those wondering how to receive payments from overseas is to do a money transfer. You’re probably already familiar with online payments via bank transfer, but did you know you can also make these transfers with third-party companies such as World First or Western Union?
These international companies are sometimes known as ‘non-banks’ and they offer a quick and easy way to make international transfers. They have much lower fees and better exchange rates than traditional banks, and they also offer 24-hour customer service. On the other hand, they tend to be limited in the payment methods that they accept, and often do not take credit cards.
Always remember security
When you make payments within the UK using authorised bank accounts, all transactions are protected under the Financial Compensation Scheme, which is a regulated body that can cover you for any potential losses.
The situation is a little bit more uncertain when you’re making or receiving international business payments, and so you should always research any online transfer services or methods carefully. Make sure that they are registered or authorised by a trusted body before using them for your transactions.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.