Transfer money is cash you move from your UK bank account to another account overseas. This will typically incur various charges, but you can usually get more competitive deals by using a foreign exchange specialist instead of your regular bank or building society.
Money transfers are charged at different rates of interest and you’ll usually have to pay a currency exchange fee if you’re switching between currencies. If your business has money transfers involved in its everyday transactions, these costs can easily build. So whether you’re looking for ways to save money on regular payments, or you face less frequent one-off business money transfers, there are steps you can take to keep the charges to a minimum.
If you’re thinking about transferring money overseas, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the currency exchange rates, which weigh up the national base rate of the British pound against the currency you’re converting it to. There are charges you may have to pay when transferring business money, including:
To get the best money transfer deals for your business, keeping the interest rates, transfer and commission fees to a minimum will ensure your money goes further.
Here are some other useful tips:
You can transfer money internationally in several ways.
It’s typically cheaper to use business money transfer over a bank. During a bank transfer, the exchange rates tend to be poor value, and the add-on charges (transfer, administration and commission fees) are usually quite high. It’s worth keeping track of the most up-to-date currency exchange rate to make sure you know when you’ll get more value for your money.
Foreign exchange brokers are the fastest way to transfer money overseas and ensure your money arrives the same day or the following day, while high street transfer services usually take a couple of days to arrive.
Bank transfers can take four to six working days and tend to be the slower alternative. You may be able to pay extra for faster service, but the charge will vary depending on the provider.
A forward contract lets you lock in today’s exchange rate but allows you to transfer money at a chosen date in the future. This can often be any time up to 12 months in the future. It’s important to note that currencies can be volatile and there is the risk that the rate could move against you.
It’s also possible to fix a future payment at the current rate, thereby removing the risk of the cost of the payment going up due to sterling falling, for example. Many companies offer rate-alert services and the opportunity to set the exchange rate (within a few decimal points of the current rate) for a transfer to be made.
All UK-based firms handling overseas money transfers are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, which means there are a number of safeguards in place to protect your transactions. It might be a good idea to visit the official Financial Services Compensation Scheme website to see whether the provider you’re considering is listed.
If you want to transfer money straight from your bank account, you can do so via online banking. The process is similar to adding a new payee to your account, but you’ll need to provide some extra information, including:
When choosing a provider to transfer money, it’s best to consider the following:
To make sure your deal fits your needs, compare business money transfer deals with the MoneySuperMarket comparison tool, where we’ve teamed up with FXcompared to access competitive money transfer quotes. Simply tell us which countries you’re trading with and your annual cross-border payment, and you’ll be able to find a tailored list of options. We’ll specify whether the providers are FCA-regulated you’ll be able to request a free quote from our site.
We want you to have as much choice as possible when you’re looking to transfer money abroad for business purposes. But some companies don’t want to be included on comparison websites, so we can’t promise to show you every single one. We’ve ranked these companies according to how much money you would receive, based on a hypothetical quote. You can find out more about how we work here.