What’s the difference between a neobank and a challenger bank?

19-11-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

The presence or absence of a banking license is the biggest difference between neobanks and challenger banks, but it’s not the only difference.

Most banks began looking into online services shortly after 9/11 brought air travel to a sudden and screeching halt. They wanted a way to move money which did not involve placing paper checks on airplanes. Internet-based banking, or mostly internet-based banking, was the next logical step. According to some recent market research, neobanks and challenger banks will be worth over $470 billion USD by 2027. Frequently, people use these terms interchangeably. However, there are some significant differences between neobanks and challenger banks. Challenger banks are mostly online, and neobanks are exclusively online.

But while the presence of physical locations (and lack thereof) is an important distinction between neobanks and challenger banks, it isn’t the only difference between the two bank types. There are several differences to note, as these differences often have a direct bearing on which one is best for your family or business.

Difference #1: physical presence

Think of it like this. Many retailers, like Walmart, have both a physical and an online presence. Other retailers, like Amazon, are exclusively online. Challenger banks and neobanks are basically the same. But the Walmart comparison only goes so far. Most challenger banks only have a handful of physical locations, as their online services are their main draw. Furthermore, most of these physical locations are in the UK. After the 2008 financial crisis, the government opened the market to new banks.

Neobanks, on the other hand, first appeared in 2017 as a way to fill the niche between traditional banks and FinTechs. Less than four years later, there are hundreds of these institutions in the UK, U.S., and worldwide.

Difference #2: accounts, products, and services

There are some other differences as well. Typically, challenger banks offer both personal and business accounts. Moreover, challenger banks streamline their products and services, so they can be more internet-friendly. Challenger banks are small institutions which “challenged” the Big Four UK banks (Barclay’s, Lloyd’s, HSBC, and RBS). Their technology-based services and commitment to markets traditionally under served by the Big Four quickly attracted legions of customers.

While neobanks do offer some personal accounts and services, they usually target small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and business startups. They present themselves not just as banks, but as online financial technology firms, and typically appeal to more tech-savvy customers.

Difference #3: banking license

What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist? It’s not their sense of humor, or lack thereof. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, and psychologists can only provide therapy.

That’s also the major difference between challenger banks and neobanks. Most challenger banks have such a limited physical presence that they are essentially 100 percent online. But challenger banks have banking licenses and neobanks do not. So, only challenger banks can offer a full range of financial services. That includes things like issuing credit cards and loaning money. Neobanks can offer these services as well, but only if they are tied to a licensed institution.

There is some overlap. Many neobanks essentially began as FinTechs. Then, once regulators approved their banking license requests, they became challenger banks.

Some examples of challenger banks and neobanks

Formed in 1995, Richard Branson’s Virgin Money is one of the oldest challenger banks in the UK. It also has locations in Australia and South Africa. Between 2007 and 2010, Virgin Money also operated in the U.S. A private equity group began Aldermore in 2009. The online institution bought Ruffler Bank a few months later, so the neobank became a challenger bank almost overnight. Aldermore is also the poster boy of this sector’s growth. South African financial conglomerate FirstRand recently bought Aldermore for a staggering £1.1 billion.

Durham, England’s Atom Bank was the UK’s first online financial institution to tailor its platform to tablets and smartphones, as opposed to PCs. It was also the first 100 percent digital bank to receive a banking license. Shortly thereafter, international banking giant BBVA acquired a large stake in Atom Bank. As a result, it expanded its financial services to include residential mortgages, competitive savings accounts, and secured business loans.

Founded in 1996, First Internet Bancorp was one of the first FDIC-insured, state-chartered financial institutions in the United States with a 100 percent online presence. It mostly offers retail services, like checking accounts, and securities investments. Customers also have access to installment loans, personal lines of credit, and other financial services. Chetwood Financial Services is an example of a limited challenger bank. It offers most financial services, with the exception of residential mortgages. Regulators do not allow CFS to issue any buy-to-let residential mortgages. Civilised Bank, which is now known as Allicia Bank, is in the same boat. It offers a single financial product, a twelve-month savings account, by virtue of a limited Part 4a UK license.

In 2010, General Motors Assurance Corporation, GM’s financing arm and a free-standing financial services company, became Ally Financial. Not surprisingly, Ally focuses on auto leasing and financing. It has close to five million such customers. In 2016 and again in 2019, the company significantly expanded its mortgage lending business. Ally is affiliated with Via, an online vehicle auction site.

San Francisco-based Good Money sends half its profits to social justice and environmental preservation groups. Accountholders cast ballots to decide where Good Money invests. The bank offers a range of FDIC-insured products, mostly DDA checking and savings accounts. As of January 2019, there was a waiting list to be a Good Money customer. All new customers also have the option of purchasing a stake in the company. Credit Suisse X is the online arm of the venerable Zurich-based investment bank. Its online banking services are targeted to individuals with high incomes. Online financial institutions are more able to go after specific market segments.

Use Xe to make international money transfers

Neobanks and challenger banks are good options for customers who want an all-online or mostly-online experience. But they are not a very good option for international money transfers. Traditionally, bank fees are rather high in this area, and you may not get the best exchange rates for your transfers.

Money transfer providers, such as XE, are neither neobanks nor challenger banks. Xe does not try to be all things to all people. Instead, we focus on electronic funds transfers in general, and international electronic funds transfers in particular. We have worked very hard to develop a platform that’s both convenient and secure. As a bonus, we are also able to offer fast money transfers (some taking just a few minutes) and competitive exchange rates.

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

When Dealing with Foreign Exchange, Don’t Forget About Compliance

12-11-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

What’s the most common problem in foreign exchange? It may not be glamorous, but one of the most common problems is regulatory delay—and it can have a major impact on your supply chain, cash flow, and relationships with suppliers and customers.

In the previous installments of our blog series on foreign exchange risk management, we’ve discussed several of the most common (and costly) mistakes that businesses make when making international payments and dealing with foreign currencies. Today, we want to take a closer look at regulatory compliance: what it is, what you need to do to be compliant, and what can happen to your business if you don’t take the necessary steps.

What do you need to know?

Financial institutions and other FX providers must comply with strict regulations while conducting foreign exchange transactions on behalf of their customers. Under know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) rules, they are required to verify the identities of all the parties they deal with, including the foreign parties with which your business may have contact. Additionally, there are overseas banking details to consider. While bank identifiers in the UK, for example, are standardised around account numbers and sort codes, the equivalents vary from country to country internationally. Depending on where you’re doing business, you may need to deal with data such as international bank account numbers (IBANs) and bank identifier codes (BICs).

The bottom line: your foreign exchange providers will legally require certain information so that they can transact on your behalf, and your business will need robust processes in place to generate said information and ensure that there aren’t any delays in business.

What happens if you don’t have the right policies in place?

Regulatory delay is one of the most common (and expensive) FX problems for businesses. If your business doesn’t know what it needs to do to be compliant and have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all business is up to regulatory standards, then you could see consequences. What’s the most likely outcome? Your payments won’t go through on time. Consider how that could impact your business, your cash flow, your supply chain, and your relationships.

What can an FX provider do?

If you’re not well-versed in everything you have to do to remain compliant while conducting business as usual, a specialist FX provider is the way to go. An FX provider can help you handle the various regulatory requirements and remain compliant in every country that you do business with.

For example, do you have online systems in place to automate data entry and quickly identify mistakes or missing information that may get in the way of your payments being made on time? Does your provider offer simple, easy-to-understand advice on the information you require from foreign counterparties and where to find it? Can you store payment details so you don’t have to keep re-entering them each time a transaction is due (and potentially leave room for human error)?

You don’t need to be an expert on regulatory compliance. However, if your business engages in any degree of foreign exchange, then you will need to pay special attention to regulatory compliance. If you don’t currently have the knowledge or resources to take care of compliance on your own, an FX provider is the way to go to ensure that your business won’t be disrupted by regulatory delay.

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

What is remittance?

05-11-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Remittance payments, which are essentially sending money home, are easier than ever when you choose Xe.

In a nutshell, payment remittances are expatriates sending part or all of their foreign wages to friends or family back home. Technically, remittance can be defined as any such payments, whether or not the money crosses an international border. But in almost all cases, when people talk about money remittances, they are talking about financial transfers, usually wages, from a developed country to a developing country.

Many people are surprised to learn that developing nations receive more capital from money remittances than from any other source. For example, in 2018, low- and middle-income countries received about $345 billion USD in foreign aid and foreign investment. Financial remittances to these countries exceeded $525 billion USD.

Most of these remittances were transfers to individuals. Many countries, most notably India, China, and the Philippines, have large overseas diasporas. Additionally, many companies have more international connections than ever, making remittances more common.

When you choose a remittance of funds provider, convenience, cost, and security are usually the three most important factors. Xe remittances feature all these things. Our online portal, which features bank-grade security, is available to account-holders 24/7/365. Furthermore, we do not charge additional fees for many electronic transfers to one of the 130+ countries we are connected to.

What should you know about remittances?

The aforementioned convenience is the biggest remittance pro. Many transfers require only a few minutes. Additionally, the currency transfer is usually seamless. The sender transfers native currency, and the recipients usually gets the funds in native currency.

Largely because of the high volume of remittance transfers, there are occasionally calls for better regulation. Since many international transfers are under the radar, remittances are a popular tool for money launderers and terrorist financiers. For these reasons, FinTech companies like Xe keep a close eye on transfers to multiple different recipients or transfers to organizations instead of individuals.

On a related note, many people send money to groups, or join groups, which have hidden sinister agendas. Technically, these links run afoul of American and international laws and standards. But if your affiliation is tied to one specific aspect of that group, such as its support for refugees, you are typically okay.

High fees for small transfers are an issue as well. The average provider charges over 7 percent for transfers of $200 or less. That’s significantly higher than the average fee for larger transfers. Low income families are very vulnerable in this area. Seven cents out of every dollar is not much for wealthy families, but could be a week’s worth of gasoline for a poor family.

In addition to the fee, many countries directly tax remittance payments. These rules obviously vary significantly in different places. Additionally, even if the remittance is a gift, it is normally taxable income.

Understanding the Terms and Conditions

We won’t deny it: financial language can get a little dry. Frequently, remittance transfer agreements involve so much technical jargon that they appear to be in a different language. Here are some common remittance terms and what they mean:

  • ABA Number

    All American banks, and most foreign banks, have nine digit codes used in electronic transfers. If you do not know the ABA number, a/k/a the routing number, ask Google. You might also need your account number, and if you don’t know that, you’ll probably need to visit a branch in person.

  • AML

    As mentioned, money laundering is a serious problem in this area. So, many institutions have Anti Money Laundering protocols. These protocols usually involve transfer limits and transaction verification.

  • KYC

    Similarly, many institutions have Know Your Customer protocols. Common KYC items include text message verification, username/password authentication, and security questions, like your mother’s maiden name.

  • Recall

    If you transfer funds in error, it’s technically possible to cancel the transaction and retrieve the money. But the process is complex and there are no guarantees. So it’s best to get it right the first time.

The more comfortable you are with the lingo, the easier it is to send a remittance abroad.

How to send a remittance

Cash pickup, usually through a company like Western Union, electronic transfers, usually through a FinTech like Xe, and bank transfers are the most common forms of remittance payments.

In terms of the infrastructure, most remittances use Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Most cash and bank transfers use the SWIFT network. These transfers often involve a third party. These third parties do not work for free, so the fee could be higher. Xe and other online institutions normally use EFT transfers. Generally, these transfers are much more direct.

Cash pickup is usually the fastest and cheapest way to remit money overseas. It’s also the most cumbersome and least convenient way. Most recipients can only use cash for some in-person transactions. And, transferees must always travel somewhere to receive their money. On the other hand, bank transfers are extremely convenient. However, they are only available to certain people.

On the plus side, cash and bank transfers normally accept many different payment methods, such as cash, credit/debit card, cash, money order, wire transfer, or even personal check. These options normally require face-to-face transfers, as such payment methods are difficult or impossible to use online.

Xe remittances essentially combine the low cost and fast speed of cash transfers with the convenience of bank transfers. That combination makes Xe an excellent way to send money overseas.

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

US Election: how would Democratic and Republican victories impact the US dollar?

29-10-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Regardless of the winner, there will be motion in the currency markets. Are you prepared?

In just one week, the 2020 United States presidential election will draw to a close.

While many are making their predictions based on recent polling data, as time has shown (just look at the 2016 election), the polls are not definite, and the United States could conceivably see a victory for either Biden or Trump.

Whatever the result of the election may be, it will likely cause movement in the currency markets, and lead to changes in the value of the US dollar (and potentially other world currencies as well).

Volatility in the currency markets can dramatically impact individuals and businesses alike. Are you prepared for what could happen?

How will a Biden win affect the dollar?

In our previous post on the topic, here’s what we had to say:

Traditional wisdom would dictate that a Biden victory could lead to huge spending and tax increases which could see the Dollar weaken further, however many now believe that a safe and stable pair of hands for the US recovery from the COVID pandemic may just be the thing the Dollar needs to rebound.

Even today, you’ll see conflicting forecasts regarding a Biden victory. Some maintain that a Biden victory will lead to a drop in the dollar’s value. Earlier this month, the dollar fell to a nearly three-week low (its second straight week of downward motion), with many attributing its drop to increasing expectations of a Biden victory. Others believe that the greater uncertainty toward the Biden administration’s attitude toward the dollar may result in greater volatility.

However, others have stated that a Biden victory would be the “best possible outcome” for the dollar seeing as, between 1980 and 2016 (but excluding the 1984 and 2008 elections), the dollar rose an average of 4% following Democratic victory, as opposed to the average 2% jumps when Republicans were victorious. Additionally, many investors are reducing their bets on extreme currency market volatility in the event of a Biden victory.

What will happen to the Dollar if Trump wins?

After Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, the dollar did rise, and some predict that it will do so again. However, the US dollar Index has dropped more than 7% since his inauguration in 2017. Yet on the other hand, as stated above, the dollar does tend to strengthen immediately following a US presidential election, regardless of who wins (in fact, only 1 of the 10 elections since 1980 saw a drop). Many still predict a stronger dollar following a Trump victory, due to the administration’s support for fiscal stimulus as well as the fact that there would be less uncertainty in reelecting Trump over electing a new president.

What else?

Due to the much higher-than-usual frequency of mail-in ballots and early voting during this particular election, it’s possible that the winner will not be announced on Tuesday November 3, and will be delayed by a few days or more. A delayed announcement or a contested winner would extend the period of uncertainty, and almost certainly lead to a fall for the dollar.

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

The US Election, the Dollar, and the Pound: what’s the forecast?

22-10-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Currently both election polls and the betting odds predict a clear lead for Joe Biden. However, it is important to cast your mind back to the night before the 2016 election when the same polls and odds had had Hillary Clinton as the clear favourite.

The United States presidential election is just over a few weeks away. For the US citizens, these last few weeks leading up to Election Day are going to be a whirlwind.

One of the areas that this election could have a major impact is on the value of the US Dollar. Earlier events this year such as the coronavirus pandemic have already led to fluctuations in the dollar’s value, and the election of a new president—and all that comes with it—could potentially lead to more.

What’s the forecast?

Currently both election polls and the betting odds predict a clear lead for Joe Biden. However, it is important to cast your mind back to the night before the 2016 election when the same polls and odds had had Hillary Clinton as the clear favourite.

The currency markets will have priced in a Biden victory to a certain extent, and therefore should Biden manage to displace the current president we could see a relatively muted reaction. If Donald Trump manages to hold onto the White House we could expect to see a
significant unwinding of positions that were based on an assumed Biden victory.

Traditional wisdom would dictate that a Biden victory could lead to huge spending and tax increases which could see the Dollar weaken further, however many now believe that a safe and stable pair of hands for the US recovery from the COVID pandemic may just be the thing the Dollar needs to rebound.

Looking at levels, the below Reuters FX Poll shows that markets are expecting the Pound to hold steady with a weakening US Dollar showing smart money targeting a level of 1.3000 at year ending climbing to 1.3400 by mid 2021.

How should businesses respond?

Nobody knows for certain where the markets could go next, and this uncertainty and volatility can have both a negative and positive impact on company bottom line, particularly where there is an exposure to USD.

With expert guidance from Xe, your business can confidently navigate the choppy waters of financial uncertainty.

In today’s volatile foreign exchange markets, we work harder to protect your business from exchange rate fluctuation. Our solutions are designed to take the uncertainty out of global
payments so you can stay focused on running your business.

  • Market Orders
    Flexible with your transfer time? Pick a rate and transfer automatically when the market hits your desired rate.

  • Forward Contracts
    Lock in a rate for future transfers. Transfer anytime at your locked rate within 3 years.

  • FX Options & Structured FX Products
    Bespoke solutions uniquely designed for your business needs, provided by our sister company, HiFM Limited.

  • FX Risk Management
    Currency volatility impacts your business. We deliver a risk management strategy to meet your specific objectives.

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

What is a wire transfer, and is it the best choice for sending your money?

15-10-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

At its simplest, the term “wire transfer” refers to the electronic transfer of money from one person to another, typically using a bank.

But this doesn’t mean wire transfer is just another term for “money transfer”. There are stark differences between money transfers and wire transfers.

Unlike online money transfers, wire transfers primarily use networks like the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) or Fedwire to transfer funds between banks. To make wire transfer (and why it’s different from online money transfer) crystal clear to you, let’s peek into the basics, such as how to wire money to someone, how fast it is, and whether it’s convenient (and to what degree).

What does it mean to “wire” money?

To wire money simply means to electronically transfer it from a sender’s bank account to the recipient’s one. You can use it to send money to a business or to another person, whether he or she is living on the other side of your street, or across the globe. It’s an alternative option for transferring money domestically or overseas to sending a money order or a check.

The term dates back to the late 1800s, when the necessary banking information was transmitted through telegraph wires. Though the transfer now happens electronically, the name has stuck.

Types of wire transfer

Wire transfers are of two types, domestic and international.

  • Domestic wire transfers take place within the same country.

  • International wire transfer is used to wire money between two different countries.

How does a bank wire transfer work?

First, you’ll need to go to your bank to conduct the wire transfer. You may be able to do this online or over the phone, but you’ll likely have to go in person. You’ll need to provide them with the following information:

  • The recipient’s name

  • The recipient’s BIC code (Bank Identifier Code) or SWIFT code

  • The recipient’s IBAN code (International Bank Account Number)

  • The recipient’s routing number (for domestic wire transfer)

  • The amount of money to be wired to the recipient

Next, you’ll have to deposit the money you want to wire, along with a separate transaction fee to be determined by the sending bank.

The sending bank then requests the receiving bank, via Fedwire or the SWIFT system, to credit the recipient’s account with the wired funds. One or more intermediary banks may also be involved in the process to facilitate the transfer (which likely means additional intermediary fees).

There’s no actual transfer of money. Once all banks have received the necessary information, the money is deducted from your bank account and added to the recipient’s bank account. And voilà—you’ve got your wire transfer process sorted!

How long does a wire transfer take?

Now that you know how to send a wire transfer, and have gathered all required information, setting up and initiating one is only a matter of minutes.

Depending on how soon you submit your request, banks within the US may process your wire transfer on the same day. International wire transfers take longer, but not more than 4-5 business days (at least, not usually).

There’s a specific reason why the processing time is different in both of these cases. In the case of domestic wire transfers, Fedwire or another real-time wire processing system clears the payments within a day. But since international wire transfers involve a domestic clearing house as well as a foreign processing system, these take an extra day or two.

How much does a wire transfer cost?

Bank wires are usually on the more expensive side than other types of electronic fund transfers. You may have to pay anywhere between $15 and $50 USD per transaction.

The bank levies a wire transfer fee, depending on the norms they follow and the transfer amount. At some banks, making wire transfers in-person or over the phone may cost more than wire transfers made through the bank’s website.

Of course, the fee also depends on whether the wire is domestic or international, and incoming or outgoing. Outgoing international wires are at the higher end of this price range, while incoming domestic wires are usually free to the recipient.

For example, the fees for international wire transfers going out of the US generally range from $45 to $50. At the same time, outgoing domestic transfers (if you’re in the US, and you wire money to someone else’s bank account within the US) usually cost between $25 and $30.

Some banks may also charge fees if you’re receiving wired money, though other banks may not. This fee may be between $8 and $10 for incoming transfers, or within the higher range of $15 to $20 at some banks.

Is wiring money safe?

Speaking of bank wires, these are less prone to risks of fraud than checks are. If a check bounces, several weeks may pass before you come to know that the payment was bad.

In contrast, you can’t initiate a wire transfer unless you have sufficient funds in your bank account, so it’s quite safe.

Is it more convenient than money transfers? 

Uh, no. First of all, compared to money transfer, a wire transfer can cost you an arm and leg, like we’ve discussed above.

Secondly, with money transfer, you can complete the entire process from the comfort of your home, or from anywhere you are, as long as there’s an internet connection. But to send or receive a wire transfer, you have to contact your bank, or even go there in person during business hours.  So you need to gather more information than a typical money transfer requires,  take more time out of your day, and pay more in fees.

Yes, you can use a wire transfer to quickly transfer and receive money through a bank, even internationally, but that’s just about it. Overall, wire transfers are more expensive and less convenient than money transfers, which are usually hassle-free. That’s why we think you’ll have more peace of mind sending money with Xe.

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

How Can Xe Help Your Business?

08-10-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

From simplifying international payments to monitoring the currency markets, Xe is ready to help your business make the best foreign exchange solutions.

At Xe, we don’t just facilitate individual money transfers between individual banks accounts. While we do help our customers make money transfers to pay bills, prepare for international travel, or send money to loved ones back home, we also provide a number of money transfer products and services to our corporate customers.

Each year, over 13,000 businesses in over 100 sectors turn to Xe for help managing their international money transfer and foreign exchange processes. What can Xe help with? We’d be happy to tell you.

Save on currency conversion costs

We’ve said this before, but it always bears repeating. When you’re consistently making international payments or exchanging to foreign currencies, if you aren’t prudent in your transfer method, you can easily find yourself on the hook for a lot of additional costs. Bank fees, wire fees, unfavorable exchange rates, and hidden transaction fees are just a few of the extra costs you can potentially incur when making international payments.

Don’t have time to watch the markets? Don’t know how to analyze market volatility, or figure out the best time to transfer money? No problem. When you work with Xe, we’ll watch the markets for you. We’ll help you to get the best exchange rates possible for your transfers, and let you know when you should be making your payments to minimize the added costs. You can also integrate our Currency Data API into your existing systems to easily access exchange rates for your chosen currencies.

Simplify and effectively manage your payments—all of them

When you’re making frequent—and numerous—global payments, it’s important that they clear on time, are free of any errors, and meet all necessary regulatory compliance standards. Fortunately, this isn’t something that has to be done manually and payment by payment. Our systems can help you to simplify and streamline your international payments, without sacrificing quality in the process.

Our Mass Payments solution will enable your business to process, execute and deliver multiple payments on a global scale from a single gateway or integrated into your own systems, easily and securely. This solution will vastly reduce the amount of time and manual work in your international payments, which will then allow you to devote more time and resources to other areas of your business.

Get advice from someone who knows the markets

If you don’t have a background in foreign exchange, trying to make sense of the financial markets can seem an impossible task. And when you’re a business owner, you likely don’t have the time to sit down and familiarize yourself with every minute detail of the foreign currency markets.

We’ve been in the currency business for over 25 years. We know the markets, and we can help you to understand them, recognize the issues they may present to your businesses, and determine the best solutions to navigate the markets and make the best decisions for your business.

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

Should you choose Xe or wire transfers to send money abroad?

01-10-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

We’ll take you through the process step by step to help you figure out the better option.

So, you’re looking to send money overseas. Obviously you’ve ruled out physically sending money via snail mail, so that leaves you with electronic methods. If you’ve done any online research, the most common terms you’ve probably come across are money transfer and wire transfer. You might’ve even seen them used interchangeably. Is there a difference?

Yes, there is a difference between wire transfer and online money transfer (also known as electronic funds transfer). While both methods transfer money from one bank account to another by electronic means, they’re not quite the same—and you won’t get quite the same experience with the two methods. We previously discussed the difference between transferring money with Xe and the banks. Now, it’s time to give the same attention to wire transfers. Where are you better off?

Which method is faster?

Both methods will take money around the world in a short amount of time. Wire transfers typically take around 3-5 business days, but this can vary. If the wire transfer involves an exotic global currency, if the transfer requires travel through intermediary banks, or you’re sending money to a country that doesn’t have a strong banking relationship with your country, the wire transfer could take even longer.

At Xe, your transfer will typically take 1-4 business days, though the majority of our transfers complete within 24 hours. Or, if you’re sending money to one of these countries, your money will reach its destination in just a few minutes. The timeframe will never be a mystery; we’ll communicate the expected arrival date before you confirm your money transfer, and we’ll communicate with you throughout the process so you’ll never feel that your money is lost in electronic limbo.

How much will they cost you?

Yes, both methods will cost you some money on top of the money that you’re already supplying to transfer. However, the costs will not be the same from provider to provider. You will be charged one fee to send a wire transfer. You may also be charged a fee from the receiving bank upon the money’s arrival. If the money travels through intermediary institutions, those institutions may also charge you a fee. And it’s not just fees: wire transfer providers can set their own exchange rates, and often add margins to those to boost their bottom line. Adding those together…you’re suddenly paying a lot more than you thought! When you transfer money through Xe, you will be charged one fee for your transfer. That’s it. One service fee, and it will be clearly displayed on our confirmation screen when you transfer money through the Xe app. You can even choose whether you’d like the fee to be taken from what you send or what your recipient gets, so there’ll be no mystery around how much money will make it to your destination.

What’s the process like? Is it convenient?

Some banks and providers have online wire transfer capabilities. But more often than not, you’ll need to go to the physical storefront, wait in line, and fill out the form each time. You’ll need to make sure that you have all of the information you need, otherwise you’ll be making another trip out to the wire transfer provider. Is it the most difficult thing in the world? Well, no. But could it be more convenient? Definitely.

The best part of online money transfers? You can do them anytime, anywhere. Just head to Xe.com or open the Xe app from your couch, your bed, or wherever you have internet access to initiate a transfer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can enter your information in the secure online form and save it if you’re planning on making future transfers to the same recipient, and if you have any questions later on you can easily reach out to customer service for support.

Overall?

Both wire transfers and Xe money transfers are fast, secure, reliable ways to get money abroad. However, if you’re looking for quick arrivals, minimal fees, and an easy-to-navigate transfer process, we think you’ll be happy sending money with Xe.

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

How to Effectively Track Your Expenses

24-09-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

When you look for advice on how to create a budget or save more money each month, the first step is usually to track your expenses. But how do you really do that?

Tracking your expenses is a great way to start creating your personal budget, but it’s also a great way to:

  • Spot patterns in your spending, including potential problem areas
  • Be more conscious of your day-to-day spending and prevent impulse purchases
  • Set realistic financial goals
  • Reduce stress surrounding your finances.

But how exactly do you track your expenses, especially when you have a lot of them? Are you supposed to track everything down to the $2 you spent on a drink at the vending machine? Where do you start? How often should you track your expenses? Tracking your expenses sounds straightforward enough, but when you don’t know where to start, it can feel like an overwhelming task. We’re here to help. Keep reading to learn more about how to track your expenses and where to go once you’ve done that.

Write it all down

Yes, all of them. Don’t just track the big purchases or the regular payments. Everything from your rent or mortgage payments to your occasional takeout order needs to be tallied up. Think of it this way: does it cost you money? If so, add them to the list, even if they don’t feel like traditional “expenses”. We recommend splitting your list into three categories: dailyweekly, and monthly. This will help you to understand your short-term, in-the-moment spending habits as well and also keep track of spending over time, to better spot patterns.

How you do it doesn’t matter. Some people prefer the old-school pencil-and-paper method, while others prefer to use spreadsheets or computer programs. There are even budgeting apps that you can use to track your expenses and generate a budget. Choose whichever method you’re comfortable with and know you’ll stick with, and get started!

Break them into categories

If you’ve ever sought out advice on saving money, it’s almost certain that you’ve been advised to remove or reduce your unnecessary expenses and purchases. And it’s true: not all expenses are created equal. Some are essential to keep yourself alive and well, while others might be technically unnecessary but built into your current routine and lifestyle, while others are in-the-moment impulse buys. Budgeting advice typically dictates setting aside a certain amount of money for the unnecessary but enjoyable purchases each month after you’ve already established how you’ll cover your essential expenses. In order to differentiate between the three, we recommend further categorizing your expenses. Consider using the following categories:

  • Bills and other essential regular payments (such as rent or mortgage payments, student loans, car payments, credit card payments, insurance, or utilities)
  • Nonessential regular payments (such as streaming platforms, online subscriptions, gym memberships, and other services)
  • Groceries
  • Eating out or ordering in
  • Gas
  • Prescriptions or medical costs
  • Pet costs (if you’re a pet owner)
  • Charitable donations
  • Personal spending (such as online shopping or buying other goods or services solely for enjoyment)
  • Caring for your family or sending money to loved ones

With each expense type, consider: is this necessary? If not, is this something that brings me happiness or fulfillment? What would happen if I didn’t spend money on this? These questions will help you to determine where these expenses fit in your overall budget.

Look for patterns

Granted, your expenses won’t always be exactly the same. For example, winter holidays mean that you’re likely to spend a little more than usual in December, while you may have some months without many social gatherings or events that necessitate spending money. However, general trends will pop up. For example, do you always stop at the same coffee shop before work? Do you typically order takeout on Fridays? Do you pay for 4 different streaming services, but only consistently use one? How many online purchases did you make this month? How much is your old car costing you in repairs and maintenance?

Some patterns may not surprise you, but others may be eye-opening. Seeing just how much you spend each month on certain things could make you think: do I really need to be spending this much money on these things? Are there other areas in my life where I could use this money?

Use it to form smart financial habits

Now that you know what your expenses are, you’re well on your way to forming a smart, sustainable budget. Compare your expenses to your current monthly income and calculate how much is left over each month. Are you happy saving this much each month? What are you doing with the extra money?

If you’d like to have more left over each month, now’s the time to turn back to your categorized expenses and calculate where you could stand to spend a little less. You could even put “savings” down as a consistent monthly expense, and hold yourself accountable for putting a certain amount of money away each month. Just like your budget, your expenses should be revisited on a regular basis as your circumstances and spending habits change. If your current spending habits aren’t working for you, give it another go.

One common mistake is to immediately cut out all or most of your “unnecessary” spending, but just like immediately cutting out all remotely unhealthy foods from your diet, it’s likely not going to be sustainable in the long run and will only lead to resentment. You’re allowed to have fun and spend money on yourself! Tracking your expenses and creating a budget is the way to do it while still being financially responsible and planning for the future.

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

What’s the Best Way to Exchange Your Currency for a Trip Abroad?

17-09-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Got an international trip coming up? Need to make a currency exchange? Let us talk you through your options.

When you’re preparing for an international vacation, there’s a lot you need to remember to bring. Between your passport, enough clothes, adapters, it’s easy to fill up a few bags with just the essentials. However…it’s also important that you don’t forget to bring some money to use on your trip. Odds are, if you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need to make payments in a different currency. What’s the best way to get the money? When should you make the currency exchange?

You have a few different options for exchanging your currency. We’re going to run through your options and let you know what the best option is and what you should do your best to avoid.

4. Using ATMs and card payments

Technically, you don’t need to make any currency exchanges. If it comes down to it, you can just go to an ATM or use a debit or credit card to make your payments. But while this option might sound like the most convenient one (at least as far as your time is concerned), it’s far from the best option.

When you visit ATMs or use your card to make payments in another country (and currency), you’re going to be subjected to numerous service fees and transaction fees each time you withdraw cash or swipe your card. If you’re there for a short time and only plan on making one or two payments that might not be so bad, but if you’re planning on making numerous purchases, these fees can and will add up—fast.

3. Exchanging in person at your destination

Another common option is waiting until you enter the country, and exchanging your currency there. People typically do this at the airport or at a local bank or currency exchange store.

While this method will let you avoid the high transaction fees, it unfortunately will not protect you from unfavorable rates of exchange. These providers are free to set their own rates, and it is very likely (especially if you’re exchanging at an airport kiosk) that the rates will give you much less for your money than if you transfer elsewhere.

And from a peace of mind perspective, wouldn’t it be nice to have your money taken care of before your arrival? That way, once you arrive, you’re free to start exploring or take a rest, without having to worry about getting money on top of wrangling your luggage and figuring out how to get to your lodgings.

2. Exchanging at the bank before your trip

As we mentioned in the previous section, it’s always nice to have your currency exchange taken care of before you reach your destination. It’s one less item to have on your to-do list when you arrive, and then if something happens upon arrival, you’ll already have the money that you need.

While banks are reliable, easily accessible, and can facilitate a currency exchange for you, they still aren’t the best option. While their rates will be better than those of airport kiosks, banks still come with a few drawbacks—namely, limited working hours, unfavorable exchange rates, and transaction fees.

So where does that leave us? Well…

1. Using money transfer to get currency before your trip

We promise we’re not biased—this really is the best option. Using an online money transfer service to exchange your currency before your trip will allow you to:

  • Avoid transaction and payment fees

  • Trust you’ll get a fair exchange rate

  • Take care of your currency exchange quickly and from your own home

  • Let you relax knowing that your currency exchange has already been handled.

It’s quick and easy to make an online money transfer. You don’t need to find a physical storefront and worry about business hours—you can initiate one on the go, 24/7, 365 days a year.

 

 

Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page