Advances in the online world have simplified bill payments, and paying international bills is no different. No matter whether you wish to make a one off payment or set up a recurring transfer, you get to choose from different service providers. However, selecting one requires that you pay attention to your individual requirements.
What Kind of International Payments Do People Make?
People might need to make different kinds of international payments, some of which include:
- Utility bills. These include bills for electricity, gas, and water.
- Telephone and internet services. These include bills for landline, mobile phone, fax, and internet connections.
- Loan repayments. These could be toward a home loan, an auto loan, a personal loan, or a student loan.
- Credit card payments. You might need to pay off existing credit card debt.
- Rent. You might be on an overseas vacation, but you still need to pay rent.
- Accommodation charges. You plan to take an overseas vacation and want to pay for the accommodation ahead of time.
- Supplier invoices. Your business deals with international suppliers, who you need to pay regularly.
What Options Do You Have?
You may make international bill payments in different ways. No single method suits everyone equally well, given that individual circumstances tend to vary.
- Local bank accounts. Using a local bank account from the country in which your bills originate give you easy means to circumvent currency exchange charges. If you have an operational bank account in the country from which you need to pay bills, you may use the same to pay your bills online. If you need to make mortgage repayments toward a property you own in another country, consider opening a bank account the next time you visit. However, not all countries let foreigners open bank accounts, and you may also need to maintain an ongoing minimum balance.
- Credit cards. If you plan to use a credit card to make international bill payments, there is a good chance you will need to pay foreign transaction fees. The exchange rate that applies on your transfer depends on your credit card provider. If your card provider classifies particular bill payments as cash advances, you will need to start paying interest straightway, and typically, at a higher than usual rate.
- Banks. You may turn to your bank to pay your international bills online. However, the cost effectiveness of most banks often leaves room for improvement.
- Overseas money transfer companies. A number of specialist money transfer companies have come into being over the last couple of decades. By leveraging technology and keeping overhead costs to a minimum, they are able to give their customers considerably better value for money when compared to banks as well as high street forex companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram.
How to Compare Overseas Money Transfer Companies?
Since there are several money transfer companies that let you make international bill payments, select one after considering the following factors.
- Cost effectiveness. The cost of your transfer depends on the exchange rate you get and as well as all applicable fees.
- Speed. Pay attention to the turnaround time, especially if you want to pay a bill before a given due date.
Regular transfers. Not all companies let you set up regular transfers. Some of the leading ones that let you schedule your transfers according to your needs include Currencies Direct, Frontierpay, FC Exchange, OFX, WorldFirst, and TorFX.
- Minimum and maximum limits. Some money transfer companies have minimum and maximum transfer limits in place. Some even have fee-free thresholds, giving you the ability to make your international payments without incurring transfer fees.
- Payment methods. Just about every company lets you pay using your bank account. Not all companies accept payments via debit and credit cards, and card payments usually attract additional fees. Depending on where you live, you might also be able to pay using method such as ACH, BACS, CHAPS, iDEAL, SOFORT, or POLi.
- Customer service. To find out how previous customers rate different overseas money transfer companies, turn to review-based websites such as Trustpilot and Feefo.
What Information Do You Need To Make an International Bill Payment?
The information you will need to carry out an international bill payment includes:
- The name of the service provider
- The service provider’s bank account number
- The receiving bank’s name and SWIFT code
- An IBAN (for European payments)
You may make international bill payments from practically anywhere and at anytime, provided you have access to an internet enabled device. Comparing your alternatives may lead to noticeable savings, especially if you plan to transfer a considerable sum or carry out transfers regularly.