Choosing the right international business payments provider: what should you check for?

Once you’ve ascertained what you need from a provider, the next step is shopping around to select the best provider for your business.

Xe Corporate

April 1, 20215 min read

Meeting with a potential business payments provider

Working with a foreign exchange (FX) specialist can greatly help your business to navigate the currency markets and protect your bottom line from potential market volatility. However, not all providers are the same because not all businesses are the same. Each business has its own currency needs and risk exposures dependent on its size, operations, and planned payments. 

We recently offered a guide on understanding what you need from an international payments provider. We encouraged you to consider: 

  • Overhead visibility of your FX requirements 

  • How you prefer to conduct business 

  • The simplicity (or complexity) or your FX requirements 

  • The payments your business makes or will make.

All of these factors can greatly impact what you’ll need from an FX provider to suit your business. 

Once you’ve ascertained what you need from a provider, the next step is shopping around to select the best provider for you. In addition to considering whether they can meet your needs, be discerning about each provider and whether they should be trusted with your business’s international payments. 

Do your due diligence 

As with any financial services company, do your research and use your best judgment. If something feels off, it very well could be. If the rate looks too good to be true, it probably is. There are some other questions that you should ask yourself as you research each provider: 

  • Are they registered? Companies that provide money transfer services in the UK, for example, have to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check which ones are authorised on their site. If you deal with a firm that is authorised or regulated by the FCA, you will be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service if something goes wrong. Confirm that the provider is registered with your country’s authority. 

  • Are they authorised? Larger companies are called an “authorised payment institution” while smaller ones are listed as “small payment institutions”. All authorised payment institutions must meet obligations that include providing certain information to customers before they commit to using the service. This includes whether they safeguard client money, what exchange rate they will provide and whether there will be any additional charges, how the transaction will be carried out, how long the money will take to arrive, how long they will take to correct a transaction in the event of a mistake and your rights to cancel a transaction.  

  • How does their site look? You can also take a look at the company website to see if there are any additional security measures in place. Looking at their site will also give you a quick snapshot of the business. If their site is outdated or poorly-run, it could reflect poorly on their business practices. 

  • Can you call? Sometimes, the quickest way to get a feel for a provider is to speak with them directly. Giving the company a quick call is another way to check you are comfortable trusting them with your money and to get answers to any questions you might still have about their service. This call will also give you an idea of whether you would be able to speak to someone if you do encounter any issues with your transfer. 

What should you check before deciding which provider to use? 

  • How strong is the company’s balance sheet? If they don’t have full accounts on their website, you can check at Companies House. Xe, for example, is owned by NASDAQ-listed global payments processing company Euronet Worldwide Inc.  

  • How big are they and how long have they been in business? A large, established company with experience in the markets will likely be better-equipped. At Xe, we’ve been in the business for almost 30 years now with offices around the world to serve our customers. 

  • How good is their payment processing? Are they audited by reputable auditors? Can they send payments quickly and securely?  

  • How many other businesses trust them with their international payments needs? Judge them by the company they keep. Do they work with any other reputable businesses? Do they have experience working with businesses like yours? Xe for example, serves over 13,000 businesses of all sizes across 100 industry sectors. 

  • What online security measures do they have in place to keep your funds safe? Look out for well-known online security ‘trust marks’ such as Norton online security. For example, if the site URL begins with “https”, that makes it a secure site. A URL beginning with “http” is a warning sign of an insecure site, which you should not give your sensitive information to. 

What should your business know about Xe? 

At Xe, we know the currency markets. With nearly 30 years in the business, we are the world’s trusted authority with the knowledge and experience to help businesses navigate the currency business and their international payments. Today, over 13,000 businesses across 100 industry sectors look to Xe for: 

  • Fast, secure and simple international payments 

  • Tools and solutions to manage their currency needs 

  • Expert FX risk management guidance 

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Interested in signing up? Take a look at our guide to signing up for your Xe Business account and getting your first quote. 

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