Best Business Account for International Payments

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The Internet of Things and the advancements in technology have made it easier to conduct business not just locally but also beyond the borders. Businesses can now interact with buyers from the other side of the world and source supplies and inventory from other countries without booking as much as a plane ticket. These borderless transactions have allowed businesses to grow substantially and keep up with competition.

But for businesses to take advantage of the global economy, they need a business bank account that can process international transactions, allowing them to receive payments from their customers and make payments to their suppliers.

For many businesses, this might be the only thing keeping you from taking advantage of the vast market provided by the global village. As a business looking to expand beyond the borders, you will need an international business bank account to channel your funds. There are numerous factors to consider here, and luckily, there’s no shortage of options, so finding the right bank shouldn’t be a problem as long as you know what to look for.

What is a Business Account for International Transactions?

This is an account that does exactly what the name describes. As a company conducting business beyond borders, your payment processes look different from those conducting business locally. You need to provide multiple payment methods for your customers, who will most likely make payments for your goods or services in more than one currency.

This is where an international business account comes in handy. The account gives your business a funnel to receive payments in multiple currencies and hold funds before you channel them to your main account. Some accounts can also hold the funds for you and even give you some interest.

Being a business account, you can also use it to pay your suppliers and bills in their home currency, saving you currency exchange costs.

Some of the services you should expect from your business account for international transaction providers include the following;

  • Accessing payments in foreign currencies
  • Access to multi-currency accounts
  • Send payments internationally to foreign suppliers
  • Use credit cards without international transaction fees
  • Fully segregated bank accounts to separate personal and business finances

There’s no limit to who can hold an international business account. The clientele in this range of accounts varies from individual freelancers to registered companies. However, each international business account provider has their own policies and plans regarding the type of client it serves. You should carefully consider this before choosing your provider to ensure they can meet your international transaction needs.

Benefits of Having an International Business Bank Account

Having an international business account is one of the tools every business needs to take advantage of global trade. Most businesses have opted for business accounts from international transactions from Fintechs because of the obvious benefits they offer, as you will see. The accounts are more accessible for companies and offer numerous benefits, including the following:

Fast cross-border payments

The greatest challenge international businesses have is cross-border payments. The anti-laundering laws between different countries make it harder for international businesses to receive payments as easily as local businesses. An international business account solves this problem in multiple ways, allowing businesses to access their funds quickly and efficiently, unlike traditional banks’ long wait times and bureaucratic processes.

Access to currencies

You shouldn’t have problems accessing currencies with minimal fees when you get the right international account. Most international business accounts allow the business to hold funds in various major currencies. This is vital to the business’s operations because it allows you to forego the constant need to convert currency, which can be costly. With easier access to currencies, business costs decrease, and the business can remain more competitive in the marketplace.

One dashboard for global access

Ideally, running an international business account would require multiple accounts for each currency, which would be confusing and difficult to use. However, unlike traditional banks, fintechs have found ways to incorporate all the features of the account into one easy-to-use platform that you can access and operate anywhere on the planet. You don’t have to juggle multiple apps for payment processing, foreign exchange, etc. You only need one easy-to-use and convenient dashboard for all your financial needs.

Human customer services

Most international business account providers understand the need to provide quick and effective solutions to their customers. After all, time is money. They use a blend of technology like chatbot and human support to do this. If you can’t find the solution to your problem with the help of the chatbot, you are quickly connected with an expert who can assist. This not only saves time and frustration; it also improves the overall customer experience.

Flexible account types

Every business is built differently and has different financial needs. Even when it comes to business accounts for international payments, it shouldn’t be any different. You should find an account matching your business’s needs and requirements. Luckily, international business account providers have flexible accounts with multiple add-ons that you can select to make the account more suitable for your needs.

You can choose from different account tiers to find an account for your business size or shape that offers your preferred set of payment options. You only have to take time to find the right provider.

What to Consider When Looking for an International Business Account

Finding the right business account for international payments should be a priority. The account will determine how easy it is for your clients to make payments and also the accessibility of the funds once they are in the account. Because every business is different, you should be cautious about the type of account you choose and only work with a provider that can provide you with beneficial features for your establishment. Some of the features you should consider when considering various international business bank accounts include;

Foreign exchange fees

Foreign currency is going to be a huge factor when dealing with international payments. In many cases, businesses selling internationally also source internationally, and the foreign exchange rates and fees they get from their financial provider play a huge role in their bottom line.

You should look for an international payment processing business account with favourable currency conversation rates and competitive fees. Some of the fees can take you by surprise and wipe out your profits or make it impossible to maintain competitive prices.

If possible, go for an account that allows you to maintain multiple currencies, reducing the need to keep switching currencies back and forth.

Simple user experience

It’s common for international business accounts to come feature-packed to provide businesses with as many tools as they need to manage their payments and expenses. However, this often comes with the drawback of the platform being difficult and challenging to use, especially for new users.

When looking around for a provider, go for one with a smooth, easy-to-understand dashboard that makes managing your finances easier. These user-friendly dashboards still have the same amazing features but with an easier layout that saves you time and allows you to spend more time on the parts of your business that need it.

Security

Many international business account providers oversell the convenience and simplicity of their platforms because they understand it is what entrepreneurs and business owners want. However, this shouldn’t be at the expense of safety and security. The provider should deploy the latest and most advanced security features to protect client data and your funds from unauthorised access. The account should provide 2FA access and end-to-end encryption of data and transactions as a standard.

Best Business Accounts for International Payments

Pay iO – Best for Small, Medium, and Large Businesses

When you start looking at the different options, you will notice that most of them only offer business accounts as an add-on, not as the primary feature. If you want a business-centric provider that has taken the time to provide businesses with the tools they need to make international payments a breeze, then Pay iO is the best option.

Pay iO international payments business accounts are feature-packed with numerous advantages. The features are categorised into three tiers with the ability to customise a selection of tools, features and even costs to your business’s needs.

With Pay iO, your business can receive direct account-to-account payments, removing middlemen and enhancing customer experience. You can also leverage other solutions on the platform, such as Open Banking, to get paid in real time and free up your time and resources. You can use ready-made plugins to customise the payment journey and simplify it for your customers and clients.

Other notable features available on Pay iO include round-the-clock access to your dashboard using the mobile app and web, the ability to send and receive global payments and manage your account quickly and efficiently, reducing administrative time and effort, a digital wallet with a dedicated bank account, mid-market currency conversion rates with low fees and a fast and multi-currency account with access to a global network that means you can access the account everywhere.

Pay iO International Business Account Advantages

  • The foreign exchange rate is done at the mid-market rate
  • You can hold and exchange multiple currencies using the multi-currency account
  • You can integrate the account with various bookkeeping and accounting tools
  • You get custom API access for easier payment processing

Pay iO International Business Account Disadvantages

  • There is no free account
  • Not available for personal applications

Revolut International Business Account – Best Overall Neobank for International Business Banking

With the Revolut business account for international payments, you can hold and exchange up to 28 currencies and give your team members debit cards for free that you can top up in 150 currencies. This feature makes Revolut Business an excellent choice for teams that do business globally.

Being a UK-based company, Revolut gives you UK and EUR bank details, while US-based companies can get USD and GBP bank details.

One of the main differences between Revolut and Pay iO is that the former has a free account. However, it has very low fee-free allowances. With the other options, you incur a monthly fee when you upgrade to the other tiers, consequently raising the allowances as well.

With the features you get from these premium tiers, the cost is worth it. It also helps that the price is transparent, and Revolut will convert your money at the mid-market exchange rate and waive the fixed transfer fees.

Once you exceed the fee-free limits, Revolut will mark up the exchange rate to around 0.40%. You can also set up a desired exchange rate on the Revolut international business account that will trigger a currency conversion once the mid-market rate meets it, which saves you money. It is one of the many features that Revolut Business offers its clients.

Revolut International Business Advantages

  • Foreign exchange is done at the mid-market rate
  • Hold and exchange 28 currencies
  • Get paid like a local in the UK
  • Integrates with your website to accept payments
  • Provides cards to your team to manage company expenses
  • Sophisticated team features and custom API access
  • Connect to apps and accounting software for your business

Revolut Business Disadvantages

  • The free plan sets very low monthly free allowances
  • USD account details only available to US companies
  • US companies cannot get EUR bank details
  • Free limits are set on domestic payments and international wires

Wise Business – Offers the Most Bank Account Details

Wise has been a trailblazer in the financial world since its founding in 2011. It has been at the forefront, offering unique financial solutions to age-old problems, such as sending money internationally and receiving and sending payments globally.

Wise has solved these challenges by offering international accounts that provide numerous features that businesses can use to manage their finances and currencies better.

Wise Business is a low-cost international business account that comes with a card that allows you to manage over 50 currencies and gives you local bank details in 10 different currencies such as AUD, CAD, GBP, EUR, USD, NZD, TRY, SGD, HUF and RON.

With the account, you will collect money seamlessly, withdraw money from e-commerce stores in up to 10 currencies and use your 10 bank accounts to create invoices. When you’re ready to convert your revenue into local currency, you can rely on Wise to provide you with industry-low fees that can save you thousands of dollars compared to traditional banks.

Wise also provides a transparent exchange rate that always ensures you get the real mid-market exchange rate per transfer. Wise only makes it money by attaching fixed fees per transfer, which range between 0.8% and 2% depending on the currencies involved in the conversion. Common conversions like USD to EUR may be more affordable compared to others like BRL to THB, which may cost around 2%.

As with Revolut, you can also set up a desired exchange rate on Wise that will trigger a conversion rate once the mid-market rate meets it.

Wise International Business Account Advantages

  • You get to use the real exchange to convert foreign revenue
  • You get account details in 10 currencies, including GBP, EUR and USD
  • Batch pays up to 1,000 invoices and salaries at once
  • Industry-low fixed per international transfer payment
  • Integrate with accounting software like Quickbooks
  • No monthly fees

Wise International Business Account Disadvantages  

  • You have to pay a one-time fee of £45 to get the 10 bank account details
  • You pay around $4 to receive USD wire payments
  • Prices have been gradually increasing over time
  • Minimal accounting software integrated
  • Local ACH transfers are not free

Novo – Best International Business Account in the US

The UK has been a growth hub for fintechs. Many of the most renowned fintechs offering business accounts for international payments are from the UK. Novo is one of the few notable ones from outside the UK. It happens to be one of the best in the US because of its straightforward and transparent fee schedule. There are no fees with this business account except for the overdraft fees.

When you open an international Novo business account, you also get a physical or virtual MasterCard with zero foreign transaction fees and reimbursement for all ATM fees, even for withdrawals abroad.

With Novo’s digital platform, you can track your sales and balances across many payment platforms like Etsy, Amazon and Strip. The account also supports integration with accounting tools like QuickBooks and Xero. The online banking platform has partnered with another giant in the international payments niche – Wise, to make sending international money transfers easier at the real exchange rate.

The notable limitation with Novo is that it is for small business checking only. The free payments, wires, and refunds at all ATMs make them attractive to small businesses looking to cut costs while remaining efficient in international payment processing.

Novo International Business Account Advantages

  • No monthly fees and free incoming and outgoing ACH payments
  • No fees for both incoming domestic and international wire payments
  • Refunds at all out-of-network ATMs
  • Savings and cashback rewards at selected stores
  • Large library of easily-integrated apps and software
  • Integrated with Wise for wires and with Stripe for instant payouts

Novo International Business Account Disadvantages  

  • Insufficient charge of $27
  • It doesn’t provide business loans

Tide – Best for SMEs

Tide is an online financial platform dedicated to small and medium businesses and self-employed professionals such as freelancers, consultants and contractors. You can open your Tide business account for international payments in minutes from the Tide app.

One of the main benefits of having a Tide account is the impressive administrative work the app does for you, such as helping follow up on unpaid invoices, paying salaries and reporting your taxes. These save you substantial administrative hours and help you keep up with all your obligations. With Tide, Startups and UK newcomers can use their address as a virtual office address, easing the process of setting up your company in the UK.

The lowest-tier plan on Tide charges 20p per transfer. However, domestic transfer limits increase substantially if you purchase a paid plan.

ATM withdrawals always cost £1, and never charge international card transaction fees. If your business is expanding globally, you must carry out international transfers. However, Tide may not be the right system for you. You could pair Tide with international platforms such as Revolut Business and Wise to improve coverage and send and receive payments from even more locations worldwide.

Tide International Business Account Advantages

  • Invoicing is included in all membership plans
  • FSCS protection for ClearBank deposits
  • Fee-free card transactions abroad and £1 for ATM withdrawals
  • No credit checks are required at the application
  • Option to create separate accounts for different purposes
  • Ability to sync accounts with accounting software

Tide International Business Account Disadvantages 

  • Only available for UK businesses
  • Don’t support international payment for most members
  • No multi-currency account or foreign currency storage
  • You must pay extra for dedicated customer support
  • Fee applies to direct debits and cash deposits
  • Cheque deposits not accepted

Starling Bank Business – Fully Licensed UK Neobank

The Starling Bank business account for international payments is impressive for several reasons. The main one is that Starling Bank is one of the few challenger banks to be a fully registered bank. It is designed for sole traders and limited companies operating their businesses in the UK. However, you can also use the account to receive payments from other countries. Receiving money in Sterling (£) currency into your account is free. Also, making payments in Sterling and withdrawing cash from ATMs also incur no fees.

At £0 a month, you can access a fully licensed UK current account, Starling Bank’s feature-packed platform, and free Sterling transactions. For an optional monthly fee, you can add services to your account that match your business needs, such as tax reporting or business accounts in Dollars and Euros.

You will be charged for transactions outside the UK; Starling Bank will use the exchange shown within the international payments page of the app and charge you a 0.4% transfer fee per transaction. If you decide to send it with a SWIFT payment, they will charge £5.50.

Starling Bank Business Account Advantages

  • Free to get paid in Sterling and transfer to Sterling
  • No foreign card transaction fees or ATM fees
  • Integrated with Xero, QuickBooks and others
  • Cash and in-app cheque deposits

Starling Bank Business Account Disadvantages  

  • Only offers multi-currency accounts in USD and EUR for a fee
  • Charges X-rate margin and fixed fees for international transfers
  • Upgrade needs to create and send invoices

As is evident, each international business account has different features. Choosing the right one requires carefully understanding your business’s needs to pick an option and provider that best solves these challenges.

Rapid Setup, Web & Mobile Access, FX Exchange

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