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Paying foreign currency invoices

Find out how you can pay overseas invoices, in foreign currency and even save in the process.

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As Australian businesses expand their reach globally, foreign exchange plays a bigger role in daily operations. Business owners need to ensure they can easily pay invoices in multiple currencies and manage currency risk caused by volatile markets. If you have any interaction with international business, take a look at our guide on paying a foreign currency invoice.

How to pay an international invoice

1. Review the Invoice Currency

  • Understand the Agreement: The currency of the foreign invoice depends on your agreement with the supplier.
  • Assess Your Business Needs: Consider your business type and the supplier's country to determine if the invoice should be in the supplier's currency or in AUD.
  • Request Currency Options: If possible, ask for two invoices or a single invoice listing both currencies, giving you the choice of which currency to pay in.

2. Consider the Currency Risk

  • Evaluate Risk Implications: Be aware that invoicing in your domestic currency (AUD) transfers the exchange rate risk to the supplier, which might affect pricing.

3. Select a Payment Provider

  • Choose a Suitable Provider: Decide between a bank or an international money transfer company such as OFX or TorFX based on the invoice amount, frequency, and the required currency.
  • Registration with Provider: Register with your chosen provider, which is a standard requirement for most services.

4. Confirm Exchange Rate and Fees

  • Obtain a Quote: After registration, request a quote for the exchange rate from the provider.
  • Rate Confirmation: Ensure the provider confirms the exchange rate, so you know the exact cost in AUD.

5. Transfer the Payment

  • Initiate the Payment: Transfer the specified amount in the chosen currency to your provider.
  • Provider Processes Payment: The provider will forward the funds to the supplier's nominated bank account.

6. Payment Confirmation

  • Confirm Transaction: Ensure that the payment has been successfully processed and confirmed by the provider.
  • Keep Records: Maintain records of the transaction for your financial tracking and auditing purposes.

Providers of foreign exchange payment services

1 - 25 of 25
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Xe Large Transfers
24 hours
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Revolut
Within minutes
$0
Send money with great rates and low fees in 30+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%
50% off first transaction fee from any country in APAC (outside India).
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Rocket Remit
Within minutes
From $0 to $5
Send money instantly to friends and family in over 45 countries using just your mobile number.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
SingX
Within minutes
From 0.5%
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Get your 1st and 2nd money transfer for free with promo codes FIRSTFREE and MASTERFINDER!.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Limited time offer: Earn up to 125,000 bonus Qantas Points as a first-time converter. Ends 30 April 2024. Conversion limits and T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
Streamline global payments in 60+ currencies. Send & receive securely in 150+ countries, with fast settlements & competitive rates. Simplify book-keeping & manage everything in one place.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
OFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
WorldFirst
24 hours
From $0
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Send business
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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Features offered by international money transfer providers

When deciding on a provider to use, consider all the features of their service and the fees charged. It may be worthwhile to choose a provider with multiple branches or an online service platform so it is easy to pay foreign exchange invoices. Some of the features offered by these providers include:

  • Forward contracts

A forward transaction contract is an agreement between you and your chosen provider where they agree to sell to you foreign currency at a future fixed date and at a fixed rate of exchange. This can help your business with cash flow and can protect you against fluctuations in foreign currency rates. A forward exchange contract needs to involve the payer and the payee.

  • Foreign currency option

Foreign currency options offer different methods to limit foreign exchange risk. With FX options customers have the right to buy or sell foreign currency at a specified price within a set period (US option), or on a fixed date (European option). As an importer, you need to sell Australian dollars and pay a premium. This type of contract allows you to take advantage of favourable exchange rates. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian-based businesses had a "net asset foreign currency balance sheet exposure of $2,389.9 billion" as of March 31 2022.

  • Online transfer

Many banks and international transfer providers have dedicated online platforms to assist you with international transfers. This is a quick and easy payment method that is easy to use and becoming popular for business.

  • SWIFT transfers

A SWIFT transfer refers to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and uses a global interbank network. Many providers have built their services around this network. This option involves sending your funds to the provider who then immediately transfers it to the nominated bank account.

How to compare foreign exchange payment providers

  • Fees. Some providers will charge fees to use their payment service; however, there are many who provide their services for free. Certain providers only charge you a fee if you send over a certain amount of money so be sure to check the fine print.
  • Customer service. If there's one thing you want from an international payment provider it is peace of mind. International money transfers can be tricky and you don't want any mistakes which may hurt your business. Look for providers who offer over the phone or in-person services when facilitating your payment.
  • Convenience. When dealing with international business exchanges you want a service that is going to be convenient. Although not every provider is available 24 hours a day, they should provide 24 hour access to your account to monitor your payments.
  • Informative service. Services typically provide exchange rate alerts and access to live exchange data which may prove invaluable to your business.

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JoeJuly 10, 2017

    I am new to importing and have just paid my first overseas invoice, yet the charges were astronomical, and I did not have piece of mind! What if I do not receive my goods? I am looking to import USD $3,000 every 5 weeks. What is the best and safest option? Thank you in advance

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 12, 2017

      Hello Joe!

      Thanks for the comment! :)

      If you regularly deal in currencies, a multi-currency bank account can be a good option. Also known as a foreign currency account, they allow you to hold different currencies and convert them into AUD when you want. This means you can avoid short-term rate fluctuations from harming your balance.

      Please feel free to read our guide on multi-currency accounts to learn more about how these accounts work.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    RobJanuary 30, 2014

    Hi there,
    Do HSBC offer the multi currency accounts for ad hoc payments for goods overseas? I need a provider that will allow me to hold US currency and make purchases online by transferring directly to their account. I am not a corporation but trying to establish a online business.

    Thanks

      AvatarFinder
      ShirleyJanuary 31, 2014Finder

      Hi Rob,

      Thanks for your comment.

      HSBC offers a personal and business multi currency account that allows you to hold USD. Please enquire about this directly to HSBC to see what type of account your online business is eligible for.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

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