Everything you need to know about the batch payments tool

TransferWise
08.31.18
11 minute read

The TransferWise batch payment tool is the faster, cheaper way for you to make multiple international money transfers.

The batch payments tool lets you create and send multiple transfers with one payment — by simply uploading a file. We built it for businesses that need to run international payroll, pay reoccurring invoices, or just want to streamline their payment processes. And the pricing is the same as regular TransferWise transfers.

Scroll down to read everything you need to know about:

  • Getting started with a batch payment
  • Choosing a template
  • Saving and uploading your template to your account
  • Reviewing and paying for your transfer
  • Resolving errors
  • Automating the process

We recommend Control (Ctrl) F if you want to know about a specific topic.

If you process $200,000 cross-currency payments a month, get in touch with our team here.

What to know before you get started

What’s a batch payment?

The batch payment tool allows you to create and send many transfers in one go by simply uploading a file. You can then make a single payment to TransferWise to cover all transfers in the batch payment file. The pricing is the same as a regular TransferWise transfer.

Batch payments are the perfect solution for businesses that need to make a large number of payouts to their customers, freelancers, employees, investors, or suppliers around the world. The main benefit of using the batch payment tool is being able to create up to 1,000 transfers with a single file rather than setting up one transfer at a time. Some people may call a batch payment a bulk payment, mass payout, or mass payment.

How do I create a batch payment?

It’s easy to create a batch payment. Below is an overview of the steps you need to take:

  1. Set up your TransferWise for Business account.
  2. On your account page, click Batch payments.
  3. Choose and download a batch payment template file.
  4. Open the template file in a spreadsheet editor like Excel and fill in your recipients' transfer details, including name, transfer amount, and currency you want them to receive.
  5. Save your file as a .CSV (it should have .csv at the end) and upload the file on the batch payments page.
  6. Review the transfers in your batch.
  7. Pay for your batch.
  8. Track your transfers in real time from your account page.

Why should I use batch payments?

The batch payments tool allows you to create and send multiple (up to 1,000) transfers in multiple currencies with one payment — by simply uploading a file. It’s great for businesses that have recurring invoices, need to make multiple payments, in multiple currencies, at the same time, or run international payroll. It can save you time and money.

The batch payments tool works everywhere that TransferWise for Business does — at the same price and speed as our individual transfers.

What to know about choosing a template

First, what is a batch payment template?

We’ve created different templates to help you get started with batch payments. They’re downloadable in .CSV (comma separated value) format files that you can open using a spreadsheet app, like Microsoft Excel. There are multiple to choose from, so just use the one that works for you.

  1. What’s the send by email template? — if you don't know the bank details of your recipients, you can add their email addresses to the template only as shown in the picture below. Just add their email addresses to the template, along with the transfer amount and currency. We send each a secure link so they can collect their money. Just make sure there’s a column for ”recipientEmail”. If you need to send money to multiple currencies, there's a way to do that, too. Learn more
  2. What’s the send to saved recipients template — if you've used TransferWise before, your recipients are automatically saved. For this template we add all the details of all your saved recipients automatically — the details will be filled in when you download the file. You can see all your recipients in the Recipients section here.. Once you’ve downloaded the template, you may delete anyone from the file that you don’t want included in the batch payment. Remember: you can't send money to new recipients with this template.
  3. What’s the send to bank account template — this template allows you to manually add recipient bank and transfer details. You can only send money to one currency with this template. If you need to send money to multiple currencies, there is a way. (See further down in: can I pay out to multiple currencies within a batch file?). All recipients you pay to with the file will automatically be saved in your list of recipients.
  4. Is there a template to send USD to people with bank accounts located outside the US? — Yes! This template is for when your recipients want to receive USD but their bank account is located outside the US. This template is similar to the other templates, but it’s unique for USD transfers made by SWIFT, which are slightly more complicated. This file is not available on the templates page, so you will need to download it here

How do I fill in a batch payment template?

Open your .CSV template file with a spreadsheet app like Microsoft Excel or Numbers. The first row in the spreadsheet are all the headers that tell you what should be in each column. Make sure to leave the column headers unchanged.

Each following row in the spreadsheet will represent one transfer. You can add up to 1,000 transfers per batch file.

To set up your transfers simply add the details for each transfer below each column.

For help with a specific currency template, choose the “Choose a template” option from the first page of the batch setup. You’ll see the list of templates with a “Choose” button for each one. From there, you can select your currency route and see the specific requirements for that currency.

Once you’ve finished adding the details for each transfer, save and export the file as a .CSV format. You can also name the file at this point.

Can I pay out to multiple currencies within one batch payment file?

Yes, you can pay out to multiple currencies when using batch payments. It may be a bit more complicated, because you need to make sure that each transfer has all the necessary information for each recipient’s currency and bank account.

You can email us at business@transferwise.com to tell us what currencies you need to send to and we can create a template for you.

You can also create your own template from scratch, and add all of the transfer and recipient details yourself. Just make sure that you add all the necessary columns, depending on your recipient’s currency.

What to know about saving and uploading your file

What file format do I save my batch payments template file in?

Once you’ve open the template file in a spreadsheet editor and filled in your transfer details, you can save your file as a .CSV (it should have .csv at the end) and upload the file right on your account page.

How do I upload my batch payments template file?

Once your account is verified, you'll be able to upload your batch payment .CSV file. You can upload the file by dragging it into the dotted box on the batch payments page, or by clicking on “Select file” and manually uploading the file from the computer.

How do I see all the transfers I’ve created?

Click on “Download output file” once you’ve uploaded the batch file.

What to know about reviewing and paying for your batch

How do I pay for my batch?

At the final step of the batch payment, you’ll be able to pay for your transfer. You’ll see two payment options: pay by local bank transfer and use balances already in your TransferWise for Business account.

For Option 1, we’ll give you our bank details, and you can send the total amount of your batch to us via bank transfer. Once you have sent your bank transfer, mark your batch payment as paid by clicking "I have paid". When we have received money, we’ll pay out the correct amounts to each of your recipients.

For Option 2, you’ll be able to select to pay from one of your TransferWise for Business balances. You can learn how to top up your balances here.

We've changed our pricing. Check out our updated fees for however you use TransferWise here

How can I make sure my recipient gets a certain amount of money in their currency?

If you need to make sure your recipient gets a certain amount of money in their home currency, you need to first add their currency under the column “amountCurrency”. When you upload your file, we’ll calculate and tell you how much you need to send us in your currency to make sure your recipient gets exactly what they need.

For example, say you live in Switzerland and need to pay a supplier invoice of exactly 100 GBP. In “amountCurrency” write GBP and then in “amount” 100. Then write “CHF” in sourceCurrency” and GBP in “targetCurrency.” We will calculate how many CHF you need to send using that day’s exchange rate to equal 100 GBP. However, you need to pay immediately to get the exchange rate. You can learn more here.

If you need to pay a supplier in GBP in the equivalent of your currency, in this case 100 CHF, you can put CHF as your “amountCurrency.” The “sourceCurrency” and “targetCurrency” columns won’t change. You don’t need to fill out the "recipientEmail" and "paymentReference" columns unless you want your recipient to be notified of the transfer, or if you want the reference to appear on their bank statement.

When should I pay for my batch?

We recommend that you pay for your batch as soon as you upload your file. This will help make sure that you get that day’s exchange rate. We can only send payments once you pay for every transfer in your batch, and you mark your payment as paid.

If for some reason you can't pay in straight away, your transfers will remain open for a few days before being automatically cancelled by our system. Keep in mind the exchange rate may expire after 24–48 business hours, and after that your money will be converted using the mid-market rate. Read more on guaranteed rate here.

Add a refund account
You need to add your own bank account as a refund account, in case the exchange rate changes and we need to refund any of what you paid. Or if you cancel your transfer. Just add your own bank account as a recipient in your “Recipients” tab and mark it as “primary”. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to upload the .CSV file. Learn more here.

How do I add a “primary” account to pay for my batch payment?

You simply need to go to your “Recipients” page, where you'll see all your recipient details. If you haven't previously sent money to yourself in another currency bank account, you can add one by clicking 'Add new' next to 'My bank accounts'.

Once you've added your account, you can click the arrow next to 'Send money' in the account you want to nominate and you'll see the option to 'Mark as primary account’. You can then choose the associated currency of that account.

Can I use TransferWise to run my payroll on Time Doctor?

You can use TransferWise's batch payments tool with the Time Doctor platform to easily pay your overseas employees. If you already use Time Doctor for payroll, you can set up the TransferWise integration in Time Doctor.

Learn how to set up TransferWise integration in Time Doctor here

What are fixed source and fixed target transfers?

With batch payments, you can send a fixed amount of money in either your home currency (source) or your recipient’s currency (target). So if you’re invoiced in your supplier’s currency, it’s easy to make sure you pay the right amount in your currency.

You need to first add the currency under the column “amountCurrency”. When you upload your file, we’ll calculate and tell you how much you need to send us in your currency to make sure your recipient gets exactly what they need.

For example, say you live in Switzerland and need to pay a supplier invoice of exactly 100 GBP. In “amountCurrency” write GBP and then in “amount” 100. Then write “CHF” in sourceCurrency” and GBP in “targetCurrency.” We will calculate how many CHF you need to send using that day’s exchange rate to equal 100 GBP. However, you need to pay immediately to get the exchange rate. You can learn more here.

If you need to pay a supplier in GBP in the equivalent of your currency, in this case 100 CHF, you can put CHF as your “amountCurrency.” The “sourceCurrency” and “targetCurrency” columns won’t change.

What to know about resolving errors?

Why do I get an error when I upload my batch payments file?

If you receive an error during the file upload phase, you can download a file that will show you which of your transfers have errors and why. To do this, click on the option that pops up to “download output” file. This file will provide you with a duplicate of your original batch file, but will include a new column called "error message". It will list all of your transfers and show you which have errors. You can review the file and make any necessary changes. Once you’re done, save it and upload it again.

If you’ve checked everything above and still can’t upload the batch file, please contact our business support team at business@transferwise.com, forwarding the output file with the error messages to us. You also have the option to proceed with setting up the transfers that have no errors. We’ll just remove the ones with errors from the batch.

Common errors include:

  • Your file is not in a .CSV format.
  • Your file size is larger than 5MB.
  • There are more than 1,000 transfers or recipients in your batch file.
  • Header row column names have been changed.
  • You may have used special characters or punctuation.
  • Necessary fields are left blank.
  • Examples in the first row weren’t deleted (e.g., example@transferwise.com in the email column)

How do I fix a batch payments error?

If any of your transfers have errors, you’ll be notified after you upload your .CSV file. You’ll be given the option to fix the errors, or remove the transfers with errors and proceed with the batch payment. You could always fix the transfers with errors and add them to a separate batch payment file later on.

If you’re told transfers in your batch payment have errors, and you want to fix them, click the "Download output file" link that pops up. This will give you a duplicate of your original batch file, but will include a new column called "Error message". Use the information in this “Error message” column to resolve any transfers that have errors. Then you can upload the file again.

If you still have problems, please send the file with the errors to our business support team at business@transferwise.com and we can help you fix it.

What to know about automating your payments

Can I automate my batch payments?

If you’re interested in automating your payments, you can integrate with our open API.

TransferWise opened its API to help businesses streamline their workflows. By using it, not only can you automate payments — you can also connect your business tools to TransferWise, and create other ways to manage your finances.

There are no extra charges or premium subscriptions. And it only takes a few minutes to get your tokens.

Find out more

How do I integrate my business with the TransferWise API?

If you're interested in the TransferWise API, you can get started by exploring our docs or creating a sandbox account If you have other questions, you can get in touch with our sales team here.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more
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