Australia and New Zealand businesses have a huge appetite for importing their goods and services from overseas, so finding a cheaper way to pay overseas suppliers can save your business money.

Whether it’s purchasing low cost consumer goods from countries like China, luxury goods from Italy or technology from the United States, businesses are exposed to a range of currencies which can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

Calculating the true cost of your international supplier payments

There are two key elements that make up the total cost of your international supplier payments. The fee and the margin.

The margin is the percentage difference between the market rate, or what your provider buys your currency for, and the customer exchange rate you achieve from your bank or money transfer provider. A bank can charge a margin of over 5%, meaning your customer exchange rate is 5% below the market rate, or what you see on Google or on the news. WorldFirst offers transparent pricing 0.60% or less based on your annual transfer volume. What this means is the cost of your overseas supplier payments will be lower as your exchange rate is higher.

On top of a margin, many providers also charge a set fee. This is simply a fixed fee on your international payments with banks charging as much as $20 per transaction. WorldFirst charges no fee on currency exchanges.

As a business paying foreign suppliers, you can realise significant value by achieving better exchange rates and saving on fixed fees.

Compare your current money transfer with a bank when paying overseas suppliers

Using a third party comparison tool on 25/11/2019 at 12:20pm (AEST), below you can see the total costs of an AUD to USD transfer with the banks.

Banks Transfer Amount Amount Received Transfer Fee FX Margin FX Cost Total Cost
ANZ 20,000 13,300 0 2.86 572.6 572.6
NAB 20,000 13,090 30 4.28 856.98 886.98
St.George 20,000 12,980 20 5.2 1,040.02 1,060.02
Westpac 20,000 12,980 20 5.30 1,059.39 1,079.39


How to start saving when paying overseas suppliers with WorldFirst

 Setting up an account is quick and free:

  1. Register for your free WorldFirst account. Sign up online only take a couple of minutes.
  2. On-boarding. We will ask a few on-boarding questions to get to know your business and then we will allocate you a dedicated account manager.

Making a payment to your supplier is fast and secure:

  1. Your supplier issues you an invoice in a foreign currency.
  2. You add your supplier as a beneficiary/payee online or your account manager can do this on your behalf.
  3. Book a transfer at a great exchange rate online, or over email or phone with your account manager.
  4. You send us the currency you are selling/holding, and we make your payment in the foreign currency. Most of our payments for major currencies will credit your beneficiary’s account within one business day.

WorldFirst has helped over 250,000 businesses and people save money on international transfers over the past 15 years.



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These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement.
Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed.
All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice. 
Please consider FX derivatives are high risk, provide volatile returns and do not guarantee profits.