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How to accept international payments for your business

You can accept payments through wire transfers, but the cost could add up

Summary

If you’ve branched out into overseas markets, you might not be able to accept payments through your usual method. Here’s what you need to know.

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With people around the world now doing business by Zoom, FaceTime, WebEx and GoToMeeting, it’s easier than it’s ever been to serve international clients. And many small business owners are setting New Year’s resolutions to branch out into new markets, including overseas clients.

But if you tend to send an invoice once you’ve done the work, you may have run into a challenge ­– getting paid. Simply sending an electronic invoice using your invoicing software may not allow you to receive payments from some countries. Not all clients may be set up to pay you by business credit card.

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

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One option is having customers wire payments to your bank account, but the cost can add up for both you and your clients. It may cost as much as $45-50 for someone to send an international wire to your bank. On top of that, you may have to pay $15 or $20 to receive it.

That’s not the only option. Here are some others to consider:

American Express – FX International Payments

Available for payments in more than 110 countries and more than 80 currencies, FX International payments through American Express allows merchants to send and receive payments securely. Transaction fees may apply, so ask if any apply to your account. This platform also generates foreign exchange transactions reports. Enrolled users can receive American Express Membership Rewards points.

See related: How to offset credit card fees

Payoneer

Payoneer allows users to set up local currency accounts in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico and the U.K., so clients can pay you using a local bank transfer. Fees vary based on the currency and method of payment.

You can withdraw the funds to your local bank account. Payoneer supports conversions in 150 currencies. You can also pay contractors, suppliers and other businesses from your Payoneer balance.

PayPal

PayPal is available in many countries, but your options to receive payments will vary depending on your currency. If you buy and sell goods or services, receive payments through QR codes, make any kind of commercial transaction or request money using PayPal, you are charged commercial transaction fees.

These range from 1.90% plus a fixed fee for QR code transactions to 2.90% plus a fixed fee for commercial online transactions and Venmo. There is an additional 1.5% fee for international commercial transactions. You might also get charged an additional fee depending on the currency.

See related: Square vs. PayPal Here: What’s best for your business?

Stripe

Stripe allows both invoicing and ecommerce payments and is available in more than 135 currencies. The fee for commercial card charges is 2.90% plus 30 cents. There also is a 1% fee for international cards, as well as an additional 1% fee for currency conversion.

TransferWise

Popular among entrepreneurs who do business in many countries, TransferWise allows businesses to send and receive payments around the world, using a multi-currency account that can hold more than 50 currencies. One draw is its relatively low fees. There is a fixed fee for transferring money, depending on the currencies involved, which you can find using the company’s calculator.

Bottom line

As the world becomes more digital, it will also become more global. That’s a good reason to keep an eye on what’s going on in the international payments space in the year to come.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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