Would be interested to hear what service people use for transferring funds overseas to local suppliers / partners / operators. Has anybody researched the cheapest?
Strikes me there are two costs. The transaction fee and the spread versus the market rate. As a guideline a credit card company would usually take around 2.5 - 3% of the transaction value (hidden in the spread on the exchange rate).
We are using American Express FX and only have a £1 transaction fee, but the rates we get quoted are usually around 2.5-3% above the interbank rate, hence looking for an alternative.
Travelex Global Business (former Rüesch International)
You could also try Baydonhill - we use both them and Amex, and choose which one to use for each payment based on whose rate is cheapest. Baydonhill's transaction fee is £4, but their rates are nearly always better than Amex (we pay Amex £5 per transaction - must check that and haggle them down!).
I'm also meeting with Cambridge Mercantile in a couple of weeks as on a cold call they made to us, the rates they were offering seemed better than both Baydonhill and Amex - we'll see when they come whether that was just sales pitch talk or they are a better option.
Thanks for the tips. In my searching I checked Oanda's rates. They are superb if you are sending more than $1000 a go. Fees are high ($20) but rates are at or below interbank. Problem is you have to fund the account by bank transfers, rather than have a convenient direct debit pulling the money out. Convenience is a big factor when making lots of payments.
If its lot of payments to a few suppliers - that is different to lots of payments to a lot of suppliers......
I have been looking at virtual credit card accounts - which you can put money onto. Then the supplier can spend the money (with their credit card number) or transfer it to their own bank
Quite a few of these virtual card systems out there - mainly used by affiliate networks who have to pay out many amounts to loads of suppliers all the time....