Doing business internationally can be an enormous headache for many reasons, but the most aggravating issue will always be the amount of money that can go up in smoke just by sending and exchanging currency. Fortunately, you have plenty of options to help you tackle these issues and get the most out of your foreign currency transactions.
Quick takeaways if you’re in a hurry:
- Sending and receiving money internationally has traditionally been something that regular banks were used for, but alternatives have appeared in recent years that offer extremely low or no transfer fees.
- FX firms operate by buying bulk currency at favourable rates and using it to exchange or transfer money for clients at a higher market rate for a profit. The client gets a no-hassle transfer, and the firm makes a profit.
- The value of a quality FX service isn’t just in low fees, they can help you maximise the amount you receive and minimise the amount of money you need to send by carefully tracking exchange rates for you.
Read on: Navigating the FX market: don’t go it alone
[Estimated read time: 6 minutes]
Foreign exchange and international money transfers have historically posed a major obstacle to businesses and individuals who want to buy and sell internationally. Fluctuating exchange rates and transfer or exchange fees can produce unexpected costs that make the entire process of doing business across borders tedious and potentially unattractive.
Over the last several years though, the specialised FX (Foreign Exchange) industry has begun to undercut the banks who traditionally managed this process by harnessing the power of the foreign currency exchange market.
Many traditional banks charge percentage amounts or significant flat fees to complete a transfer or an exchange. As a result, larger amounts typically require larger fees, which adds up especially quickly for percentage-based fees. FX firms like HiFX charge much lower fees for small amounts, and often no fees at all for larger amounts. That’s because their income isn’t dependent on those fees, but rather on the amount of money they move.
How can HiFX offer low or no fees?
The way that HiFX and firms like it operate, most of their income is generated on the currency market, and isn’t derived from client fees. They purchase large amounts of currency when rates are exceptionally favourable, and then sell it at a marginal profit by transferring money for their clients.
Clients don’t have to pay any fees because the amount of profit that the business can generate is dependent on how much money can be invested, and not on fees paid by the customer. The more money moves around, the better the results.
How FX services help you and your business save
FX firms don’t operate the same ways that traditional banks do, and because of that they can offer some additional benefits beyond just sending money more affordably in terms of transfer fees. Here are a few standouts:
Managing FX market volatility
Exchange rates change rapidly all the time, which can pose a risk to businesses that are sending or receiving money at any given moment. While the amount of money lost in any one traditional transaction is likely to be small, businesses or individuals that make a large number of international transactions can suffer serious losses as a result of natural market volatility. FX firms can help businesses avoid losing significant amounts of money to volatility by carefully tracking exchange markets, and timing those transactions to benefit their clients.
Unsecured credit facilities
FX firms often allow you or your business to apply for an unsecured credit facility that lets you manage payments more easily. Beside simple convenience, this can make sending money a faster and more streamlined process overall.
Exchanging money for travel
Making purchases overseas with your regular credit cards can be impractical, because there’s no way to ensure favourable exchange rates when you’re already out in another country. FX services can help you get that travel money sorted out ahead of time when conditions are in your favour and deliver it to your door, loaded in the form of a prepaid card or cash.
HiFX and similar businesses offer thorough, and labour intensive customer service than you can traditionally expect from your bank. It’s not unheard of to get a call at any hour of the day recommending when to conduct a transaction to maximise your benefit. This kind of detailed attention can have a dramatic effect, often saving clients between 1-4% of the total value of the transfer. For a single transaction this isn’t necessarily dramatic, but for larger and more numerous transactions, this can add up to enormous savings over time.
If you or your business sends or receives money internationally, you stand to gain sound benefits from using a Foreign Exchange expert like HiFX. At Fifo Capital we’re a big fan of their work, and if you mention this article and Fifo Capital when you give them a call you’ll be able to take advantage of their great promotional rate. Visit www.hifx.co.nz to learn more.