Managing your business money in 2022
Whether your company is small or large, being smart about exchange rates and other fees could make all the difference to your bottom line.
Download our free guide to managing your business payments in 2022.
With the Russia-Ukraine crisis set to influence global trade flows, the price of energy driving inflation rates and omicron still looming, our FX team considers what 2022 holds for our most popular currencies and how you should manage your global business payments to protect your bottom line.
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Securing the best exchange rates
Generally speaking, both banks and payments providers charge a margin, typically via a commission or a percentage-spread, for converting currencies from the funding currency (what you send them) to the payment currency (what the recipient receives). Banks are traditionally risk averse to currency movements due to the size of the portfolio of client assets they hold in multiple currencies. Any shock movement within the currency market can amount to significant losses, and in a bid to mitigate this risk, banks tend to apply higher margins.
International payments providers generally take a different approach, utilising live rates which they transact with immediately. Using this methodology, they don’t need to hold on to funds, the risk is less, and margins can therefore be much lower amounting to better exchange rates for their clients.
Just as a bank cheque takes time to deposit into an account, so does sending money from one country to another. International FX payments can often take days to reach your recipient if sent via your bank. This is because banks often use manual currency conversion processes and tend to send funds via costly legacy banking networks. If you wish to transfer funds quickly, banks may not be your best option.
Specialist payments providers have established “points-of-difference” in the international payments market through innovative solutions to enable same-day international payments using more robust platforms and security systems. Specialist payment providers tend to route international payments via newer alternative payment rails that are quick, low-cost and easy to track, meaning recipients receive their payments in full and on time, while payment initiators can stay up to date with their payment statuses.
Whilst a bank may provide familiarity, specialised payments providers can offer better FX and payments expertise, superior technology and more cost-effective exchange rates. Through the tailoring of solutions and streamlining compliance requirements, services provided are largely more client-centric and focused. This often amounts to lower fees and charges as well as a superior customer experience for their clients.