What’s the fastest way to transfer funds to offices in other countries?
In an increasingly global market, more and more companies have offices overseas and need to transfer funds between these. Traditionally, options for doing this were limited to banks, building societies, post offices or online currency brokers. There are, however, some downsides here, the first being cost and the second, time.
Money transfers using the traditional methods take on average one to two days to complete, although it can be longer. For small and medium-sized business owners especially, this delay can be costly and make it difficult for them to manage their cash flow. Thankfully, there are alternatives out there for companies that need to transfer money quickly and, as an added benefit, most are cheaper, helping keep company spending under control.
Originally an American company, Western Union now has branches worldwide including many UK high streets. Its customers can transfer funds internationally in addition to options to do the same online or via the telephone. A mobile app can also transfer funds to mobile wallets in emerging markets.
MoneyGram is the Canadian equivalent of Western Union and has storefronts in over 200 countries, including the UK where staff are available to help you transfer funds, as well as a website and mobile app. It also offers options to send to a business bank account and also mobile wallets, and its site includes a rate calculator to help you when forecasting how much a transaction will cost.
Founded in 1998 and owned by eBay, Paypal is one of the best known and widely used online money transfer sites, letting you send funds and pay for goods quickly and easily using an email address or phone number. Paypal offers competitive charges which are paid by either the person paying or the person receiving the money depending on the type of transaction.
An alternative to Paypal, Amazon Payments offers a similar service but looks to leverage its extensive customer base and power as an online retailer as it allows you to use the service if you are an existing customer without having to re-register. Instead, you can use your existing log-in details. The downside of this option is that it is only available in some countries so not all international offices of a company might be able to use it.
You can use Google Wallet if you have a Gmail account to send or receive money which can then be spent from your phone (it needs to be an Android) as tap and pay, or withdrawn from an ATM if you have a Google Wallet card. Since not everyone uses Android phones and tap and pay is not available in all stores, this might be of limited use to most companies.
Another Canadian company, Hyperwallet let you transfer money between 28 countries and send money by email between Canada and the United States. A benefit of this app is that it offers mass business payments, although depending on where your office is based it may not be a suitable option.
WorldRemit is a UK company and a recent entrant into the money transfer market, founded in 2010. It offers low fees and online money transfers to 50 countries including Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia.
TransferWise is another UK-based online money-transfer site which has been looking to break into the market by charging lower rates than its competitors, making it a good option for keeping your company spending down. However, it is only available in Europe, America and India at present, meaning it has limited reach.
The US-based Xoom allows individuals to transfer money through a computer, phone or tablet. That money can be sent to a bank account or to one of their partners, where the money can be collected. Xoom operates across 30 countries.
Soldo is a spending management solution that offers an alternative to transferring money and paying fees, helping you take control of your spending and keep a close eye on company expenses. Our solution provides prepaid business cards which your employees can use anywhere in the world.
You decide the amount to add to the card and can specify what that money can be spent on – and where. You can access real-time reports through an administration dashboard to check the exchange rate and just how much you have paid. Money can be added as needed with no fees, reducing your company spending and allowing you to manage cash-flow better.
You can learn more about how to get a prepaid mastercard here.