A Simple Guide to Business Money Transfers (International Focus)

Mike Renaldi

Whether you’re trying to employ a freelancer in Spain or looking to pay a local accountant, running a business means potentially navigating the ins and outs of business money transfers. Expanding business globally is becoming a must for those who want to keep up with the competition.1

But if you aren’t quite sure where to start, this guide will show you what to do and what to consider. We’ll also go over how Wise Business might be the global money transfer service you’re looking for.

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Bank wire for business money transfer: What is it and how to do it

Bank wire transfers are a traditional method for transferring funds from one bank account to another across different banks or countries. It’s a universally recognized way for businesses to make secure payments domestically or internationally. They’re a good option for sending money if you need to move large amounts of money. Unlike some other money transfer options, wire transfers can’t be canceled once initiated.2

Fun fact: This method has been around since the 19th century!3

How it works

Bank wire transfers are initiated by providing details such as the recipient’s bank name, account number, and other important details.

Depending on the bank and the country, extra information like a SWIFT code, BIC, or IBAN might be required. These codes serve to identify the banking institution and make sure your money travels on a secure pathway.

To wire money, take the following steps:

  1. Gather the right information: This includes the amount in the applicable currency, the recipient’s information and bank details, and, potentially, the reason for the transfer. International transfers typically require more information.
  2. Visit a bank branch or log in to your online banking account (if offered): A representative will help you initiate the transfer, while your online banking platform will guide you through the steps to do so.
  3. Pay the transfer: Once you’ve paid for the transfer and paid the applicable fees, the wire transfer will be complete within 24 hours for local transfers and one to five business days. These times may also vary based on cut-off times for your bank.4

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Digital business money transfer service: What is it and how to do it

Digital money transfers are a much more modern way to send money. They’re a useful way to perform quick, efficient domestic and international transactions. These online platforms boast an edge when it comes to convenience, speed, and costs.

How it works

As long as you have an internet connection and access to a device, any business can initiate a money transfer whenever they want to. Just like wire transfers, you’ll need to know the required recipient details, but some platforms simply require an email address.

These platforms come with features such as multi-currency accounts and currency exchange options, making things much easier if you frequently do business internationally or are looking to start.

Here’s a quick guide to using digital money transfers:

  1. Choose a platform: Do your research and find a suitable digital money transfer service that fits your business needs. You could consider ease of use, supported countries and currencies, transfer speed, and fees.
  2. Input recipient details: Navigate to the transfer section on the platform and enter any required recipient details.
  3. Enter transfer amount and currency: Type in the amount you want to transfer and the currency you want the recipient to receive. The platform will provide a conversion rate (if required) and might charge an extra service fee.
  4. Initiate the transfer: Review the details and then authorize the transfer. You’ll receive a confirmation and typically be able to track the transfer.

See the Best Banks for Small Businesses >>

How to send money to a business account

Whether you choose to use a bank wire transfer or go for a digital money transfer, sending money to a business account is the same as initiating a transfer from a personal account. The money can come from a personal or business account, and you can follow the same steps listed above.

Calculate how much your business money transfer costs

Given that the costs of a transfer can make a huge difference in which method you choose, understanding what contributes to the cost of a transfer will help you make the right choice. Factors that impact a transfer cost might include:

  • Transfer fees: Most services will charge a fixed fee per transfer that depends on where the money is going, how fast it’ll take to get there, and how much you’re sending.
  • Exchange rates: If you’re sending money from one currency to another, the transaction will often involve a currency conversion. The conversion rate will depend on the foreign exchange rate that day and whether the institution has a markup on that or not.
  • Receiver’s bank fees: Occasionally, the recipient’s bank may tack on additional charges to accept international transfers.

To get an estimate of the transfer cost, some providers offer a free calculator that will show you almost exactly what you’ll be paying. You’ll be able to see how their exchange rate works and what their transfer fees are, but you may have to check with the receiver’s bank to see what their fees are.

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International business money transfers: What to consider

Now that you’re more familiar with how to initiate a transfer and the fees associated with one, you’ll want to consider a few factors to ensure your transactions are swift, secure, and cost-effective.

  • Exchange rates: Conversion rates will fluctuate depending on the day. Be sure to strategize your transfers when rates are more in your favor.
  • Processing time: Take note of the processing time for your provider, and plan your transfer in advance so your money gets delivered on time.
  • Transfer fees: As we’ve looked at, fees can add up, especially with international transfers. Take the time to understand the fee structure associated with your provider.
  • Security measures: Make sure the service you choose has robust security measures in place, like fraud protection and advanced encryption.
  • Customer support: Having reliable customer support to contact will help you feel more secure in case you encounter issues.
  • Automatic payments: If your business regularly makes transfers, consider a service that lets you set up automatic payments and save recipient details.
  • Accessibility: Do you have to go into a physical location to make a transfer, or can you make them online without time and location restrictions? It can be a big bonus to find a provider with a mobile app that allows you to make transfers whenever you need to.

Business money transfer providers

With so many financial institutions, traditional banks, and digital platforms out there, how do you choose? It’s clear from our review that digital money transfer providers have the benefit of being user-friendly and having advanced features.

Let’s take a look at three top digital service providers to see how they’re changing the business money transfer experience.

1. Wise

Wise stands out for offering the mid-market exchange rate – the fairest possible rate – to its users. Along with a transparent, pay-as-you-go fee structure, these features provide major cost savings for businesses that do international transfers regularly.

You can also send transfers through a number of transfer types and choose the best payment option based on fees and the potential arrival time.

Businesses can enjoy a multi-currency account that can hold over 50 different currencies at once and get local account details in 9 different currencies so they can pay like a local.

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2. PayPal

PayPal needs no introduction, with its ease of use, global reach, and features like invoice creation and payment reminders streamlining the money transfer process. It also offers strong security measures and buyer-seller protection for peace of mind.

But while it is a powerful tool, businesses should watch out for high fees for both domestic and international transactions.5

3. Convera

Convera provides a way to bypass all the complexities of global commerce(See Convera alternatives). It not only allows you to send and receive international payments but also offers international payments for clients and customers.

Customers can pay less fees by accessing Convera’s 500+ local bank accounts around the world instead of having to resort to local methods.6


  1. https://ins-globalconsulting.com/news-post/8-reasons-company-expand-2023/
  2. https://www.wellsfargo.com/financial-education/basic-finances/manage-money/payments/ins-outs-transfers/
  3. https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/fedwire
  4. https://www.chase.com/personal/banking/education/basics/how-to-wire-money
  5. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/merchant-fees
  6. https://convera.com/solutions/offer-fx-payments/

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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