Now you can make international payments from anywhere without having to pay exorbitant fees.
If you’re travelling overseas for an extended period, you’ll still need to continue paying your bills. Not so long ago, your only legitimate option for sending regular overseas payments was to arrange payments with your bank and pay plenty of fees in the process. But now you can look forward to making regular international payments without incurring fees, and you can even expect locked exchange rates.
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Regular international payments
Paying bills when you’re overseas is no longer time consuming or difficult, with a number of online businesses enabling you to do this on the move. When you sign up with a business that makes regular international payments on your behalf, you can expect to find fixed exchange rates for specific time periods. Alternatively, you can also find businesses that take prevailing exchange rates into account before each transfer.
How does making overseas payments work?
Making overseas payments requires you to get in touch with your bank or with a business that offers this service. If you register with your bank, funds can be debited directly from the designated account. If you register with a different business, funds first transfer from your bank account into the account you hold with the business in question. After converting these funds into the chosen currency, the business pays your bills. For either of these options to work, you have to make sure you have adequate funds in the designated bank account around the chosen date each month.
Examples of regular transfers overseas
An increasing number of individuals and businesses need to make regular international payments. For individuals, these payments could include mortgage payments, debt repayments, pension transfers, salary transfers, savings, rental income repatriation and school fees. Regular international payments that businesses need to make include paying wages, paying royalties and paying for services received.
What are some of the ways I can pay my international bills?
- Fixed regular payments. Mortgage payments, rent and subscription charges tend to remain the same each month, so these qualify for fixed payments. Fixed payments let you benefit from locked exchange rates that protect you from negative exchange rate fluctuations.
- Non-fixed payments. When it comes to utility bills and other bills that vary from one month to the next, you can’t benefit from locked exchange rates. To make these non-fixed payments, the prevailing exchange rate comes into play.
How do I compare foreign exchange services?
- Fees. Most banks charge fees for all international transactions you make. You might also have to pay establishment fees to set up a suitable account. This is not the same with online businesses that offer such services, with many offering their services without charging establishment or transfer fees.
- Accessibility. Can you set up your transactions using the Internet, an app on your smartphone or over the phone?
- Exchange rates. Exchange rates change every day, but some businesses give you the option to take advantage of a locked exchange rate to make regular payments. Even in such scenarios, the exchange rate varies from one business to another, so compare rates from various companies.
- Reputation. Given that the number of businesses offering these services continues to grow, it’s important that you pay attention to the business's reputation. After all, what good is signing up for such a service if your payments don’t make it on time? Worse still, what if you lose your money?
Why should I use a money transfer service instead of my bank?
- Pay on the move. You could be on a cruise in the middle of the Atlantic, on a safari in Africa or on an expedition in Greenland. Once you set up automatic international bill payments, all you have to worry about is having enough money in your account.
- No late charges. Late charges enter the picture only if you don’t pay on time. With automatic payments set up ahead of due dates, you won’t have to contend with late charges.
- Locked rates. If you’re making regular fixed payments, you can benefit by opting for locked rates that protect you from exchange rate fluctuations.
- Fees and rates. If a business does not charge fees, it probably makes its profits by offering lower exchange rates. Pay attention to both these aspects.
Frequently asked questions
Is there a minimum and maximum limit to how much I can pay?
There generally is, though limits vary from business to business. Lower and upper limits can vary from $500 to $20,000.
Can I change the dates of transfers?
While you can change the dates of transfers, you might have to do so five to seven days in advance.
Can I cancel transfers?
This is possible in most cases, but you might have to do so five to seven days in advance.