How to avoid getting ripped off when paying invoices abroad

TransferWise content team
3 minute read

Your bank is secretly expensive

"The cost of the wire transfer fee was greater than the cost of the goods."

This is an actual situation that happened to Brit and Marina, who own an international fashion company called SVILU, which makes environmentally responsible "beautifully made, thoughtfully designed staples for women."

Unbelievably, when paying an international invoice, their bank was charging them more for transfer fees than the actual value of their invoice. They couldn't believe it at first, but the impact was such that leaving their bank for TransferWise "actually improved the quality of our clothes, and our business." You can see their full story in the video below.

The real cost

So how could they have been losing so much money in transfer fees alone?

Even when banks and money transfer companies say they are “free” or “no fee”, they usually still charge around 5% by giving you a bad exchange rate.

In fact, our research shows that small businesses in the US spent roughly $17.8 billion in international money transfer fees over the last 12 months alone. We believe that money should go back to where it belongs: to you, the entrepreneurs and business owners.

Don’t waste your money on sneaky bank fees. TransferWise’s mission is to bring transparency and fairness to the world of finance, and in October, we launched our first feature for business in the US - invoice pay.

Low-cost, fast and easy-to-use, our dedicated invoice pay product comes with no sign-up costs or monthly fees. Just a 1% fee per transaction, and 0.7% for amounts over $5,000.

Fair, fast and low-cost

While we’ve long been helping businesses save money on international payments, our new tailored product makes it faster and easier than ever before.

And no matter what, TransferWise always gives you the real exchange rate - with no hidden markup. That’s the rate you see on Google or Reuters, not the made-up rate that banks and brokers use to take an extra chunk of your money.

That’s because we believe that businesses should know what they’re paying upfront. We believe finance should be fair, honest and transparent. There are no nasty surprises for the recipient either. Just a hassle-free way of making international payments.

See what New York-based fashion brand SVILU had to say about TransferWise:

TransferWise co-founder Taavet:

“Small businesses in the US are a major economic force, accounting for more than half of all jobs. And banks are treating them really badly. We’ve listened to what businesses want and are excited to be releasing this tailored, easy-to-use product with features that make life easier like fast registration, simple reporting and the ability to make payments at scale. Most of all, we’re excited to be able to offer US businesses a fairer and cheaper alternative for international money transfer.”

So whether you’re paying freelancers, contractors or importing from overseas, TransferWise for Business is there for you. To save you money and time. To give you one less thing to worry about. To let you focus on what’s important - building your business.

For more information or to start saving, head to TransferWise for Business. Or try the calculator tool below to see how much you could save.

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

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