Your Ultimate Guide to International Money Transfers

Navigating international money transfers online can be tricky. You need to find a cheap, fast and secure way to send money worldwide. Zyla’s here to help.

09 Nov 2023 Rahul Chohan

4 min

Reading Time: 4 minutes

We’re in a globalized, digitized economy, so overseas money transfers are becoming commonplace for millions of people and businesses. To illustrate, according to the latest estimates, the forex market has a daily trading volume of over $5 trillion, making it the most actively traded market in the world.

Therefore, it’s highly likely there will come a point in your business journey where you might need to process international money transfers online regularly, whether you’re an e-commerce seller looking to pay a wholesaler in China, collect customer funds, or pay remote teams in Europe to help expand your business.

For all your international payment and collection needs, this article will serve as the ultimate guide to global money transfers. We’ll provide tips on sending and receiving fast and secure payments worldwide and explain how platforms like Zyla can help you save money and streamline cross-border transactions.

How to send money worldwide (the traditional way)

For those new to sending money abroad, approaching your bank and opening a multi-currency account would be the first obvious choice of transfer method, as the wire transfer process is relatively straightforward.

First, you need to open a multi-currency account, provide the recipient details, and initiate a SWIFT transfer in your chosen currency. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and is a global cooperative that provides secure messaging services for international financial transactions. SWIFT wire transfers can take up to 3-5 business days to reach the payee’s bank account.

To receive bank account transfers from international customers or partners using traditional banking providers, you must give the sender your multi-currency account information and other payment details, such as the SWIFT code of your bank. The sender can then initiate a money transfer to your account. Once complete, the funds will be deposited in your currency of choice.

However, there are several pitfalls to be aware of when taking the traditional financial institution route.

These include:

High costs

Money transfer fees vary from bank to bank but may include a monthly subscription fee or a high minimum deposit fee to keep a multi-currency account open.

You can also send international bank transfers without opening a multi-currency bank account in the United States, but additional charges may also apply, incorporating the costs of covering each electronic transfer. With a multi-currency account, there may also be an additional percentage charged for withdrawing your own money or using the bank’s overdraft facility.

Slow transfer time

As mentioned previously, sending international wire transfers via the SWIFT system can take up to 3-5 business days to clear, which may not suit the needs of modern businesses, as they may need to send urgent transfers to help them secure timely services or access early supplier discounts.

It’s also possible that your banking service may not be able to provide 24/7 payment initiation services, which may pose challenges for businesses that need to navigate differences in time zones. Then, of course, if there’s a problem with the payment, delays can result in the transaction taking weeks to clear.

Increased admin burden

Opening a multi-currency account with a bank can be a long process requiring extensive documentation, an in-person visit sometimes, and extended wait times for account approval.

For small business owners, going through the steps of applying for a multi-currency bank account can be time and resource-draining, especially if the application is rejected.

Uncompetitive conversion rates

Banks are businesses like any other and may charge a commission for their currency exchange services, as they have to hedge against currency fluctuations and cover the costs of facilitating international money transfers and preventing fraud. These extra costs could mean you get less money in exchange for your currency.

However, in some cases, if you transfer large sums (such as $10,000 or more), your bank may offer you cheaper transfer fees. Therefore, shopping around for the best international payment and collection service is crucial.

Alternative ways to send money worldwide

Thanks to digitization and the international easing of financial service regulations, fintech platforms (also known as nonbank providers) have emerged to address the shortcomings of high fees and slow service commonly found in traditional banking institutions.

For example, many money transfer apps let you apply online and can approve your registration in approximately 1-3 business days. They can also process payments faster than the SWIFT system because they use modernized technology and have a streamlined business model, enabling them to initiate money transfers more efficiently.

Overall, alternate payment platforms like PayPal are subject to different financial regulations than traditional banks. They also offer fewer services, giving them more flexibility in operating and making them more capable of providing instant transfers online across multiple currencies.

So, whether you’re looking to collect multiple currencies from e-commerce marketplace customers or ensure that you can send business payments to suppliers worldwide, you can find a multi-currency transfer service to suit your needs.

How to send money instantly internationally

Sending international payments using an online payments and collections provider like Zyla is easy.

Once registered, all you have to do is open your payment portal at any time of the day, add funds to your account, and fill in the recipient’s details online, along with the chosen foreign currency. The platform will outline the transfer costs and exchange rates for you to check over and confirm.

Cash transfers can sometimes be completed in less than 24 hours, provided you meet currency exchange platform deadlines. Otherwise, it can take one to three days to go through.

For non-USD business transfers, the transaction can still be completed within four business days following the Designated Payment Date, giving you the convenient option of banking like a local anywhere in the world.

Why Zyla offers the best international money transfer service online

Sending fast and secure payments is the key to staying ahead in the global, digitized economy. Opening a Zyla Account brings a host of benefits for borderless businesses of all sizes, including:

Free to open

You can avoid the hassle and fees of opening a multi-currency account by signing up for a Zyla Account for free. In some cases, your account can be approved in 24 hours.

Competitive exchange rates

We track up-to-date foreign exchange rates and pass the savings on to our customers. Before your transaction, our customer experience team will inform you exactly how much it will cost to help you keep control of your expenditures.

Zyla: Your user-friendly online platform that streamlines international transactions

Your Zyla Account platform is intuitive to use, making transfer and collection processes straightforward. We also make it easy for you to connect your e-commerce storefront to over 100 e-commerce marketplaces, enabling you to collect and hold customer funds in a range of world currencies.

To find out more about our money transfer platform’s great benefits, sign up for a Zyla Account here or call our customer helpline (855) 797-3366.