Small, online businesses are now global enterprises.  Whether you’re purchasing from overseas suppliers, paying freelancers across the globe, or selling to customers worldwide, sending and receiving money remotely is now a critical aspect of a business.

Money transfer services have significant advantages over traditional banks for sending and receiving money, whether domestically or overseas.  But you want to choose a service provider who can provide the service you need at a reasonable price.

Let’s look at the best online banks for small businesses.

Best Online Bank for Small Businesses

Wise

Wise offers an innovative solution to money transferring that uses two local transactions instead of a single international transfer.  It’s set apart from other money transfer services on the list due to the fact that it converts funds at the true mid-market exchange rate.

Most money transfer services mark up the exchange rate, whereas Wise does not.  Instead, they charge a percentage of the transfer amount and a flat fee for specific countries.  Bank fees are eliminated because they use local accounts to send and receive money.

Here are the main features of Wise:

  • Transparent fees and you know exactly how much money the recipient is getting
  • Ability to open a multi-currency account and hold balances in up to 40 different currencies
  • A batch payment tool that allows you to make up to 1,000 transactions through uploading one file.  If you are sending money to multiple overseas recipients on a regular basis, this is a huge time saver.
  • You can only send money directly to bank accounts.  Wise will not be able to transfer funds to an individual without a bank account.

TorFx

TorFx is a United Kingdom and Australian-based money transfer service.  It’s known for its personalized service.  After you sign up for an account, you are assigned a personal account manager who walks you through the setup process and the processing of your first transaction.

If you’re a business owner who has difficulty with regulatory issues in recipient countries, TorFx’s personalized service gives you a way to overcome your hurdles.

What to expect for TorFx:

  • It uses the SWIFT banking network, which allows you to transfer funds anywhere in the world.  This does, however, mean there are extra charges for using the network.
  • There are the minimum and maximum transfer values.  If you need to transfer a sum larger than the max value, you will need to contact your account manager for help.  They are usually more than happy to authorize individual transactions when requested.
  • There are no fixed rates.  TorFx makes money through spread or margins on exchange rates (essentially the difference between the buy and sell rates of currency).  Their rates are competitive and often at least 3% better than the banks.
  • Your transfer speed depends on the currency you’re using, the bank, and the monetary amount.  Most transactions are completed within 2-4 days.
  • You have an opt-in option to receive market news, currency movement updates, and other types of economic reports.

XE

Xe’s headquarters are located in California, USA, and Ontario, Canada.  The money transfer service offers you transactions in 42 different countries, is available in multiple languages, and includes online and phone supports.

There are no fixed fees for service on XE; the service makes money on the spread of currency.  Exchange rates are linked to live Forex rates.  If your transfer is happening while markets are open, your rate will vary right up to your transaction confirmation.

Here’s what to expect while money transferring with XE:

  • Exchange rates are not listed on their site.  You have to set up an account and log in to get current exchange rates.
  • You will have to fund your account with a bank transfer as the service does not take transfers from credit cards.  They must also be sent directly to a recipient bank account.
  • Transfers take an average of two days to be completed, but the exact timeframe depends on the currency, dollar amount, and destination country.
  • There’s no minimum or maximum transfer amount.  If you’re making particularly large transactions, you will have to provide additional information to a customer service agent.
Best Online Bank for Small Businesses

OFX

OFX is based out of the US for online money transfers and provides transfers to 80 different countries.  This is one of the cheapest international service providers compared to others.  OFX stands out for its exemplary customer service.

There are no transaction fees on OFX.  Just like other providers on the list, OFX makes money from the markup on exchange rates.  This fluctuates and depends on the volume and route through which currency is traded.

Things to expect from OFX:

  • There is a website or a mobile app you can use to complete money transfers
  • It’s free to set up an account, and you aren’t locked into a contract.
  • There’s a minimum transfer amount of $1,000 USD, but there is no maximum amount.  If you regularly transfer large sums, this is ideal.
  • Transfers are usually completed within 2-4 business days and can only be sent between bank accounts.
  • 24/7 customer service is offered via email or phone.  You can reach an English-speaking agent at any time.
  • Certain currency transactions require a phone call to customer service.

Payoneer

Payoneer is not a money transfer service but an online payment provider.  It’s the number one competitor for PayPal (which is both a money transfer service and online payment provider) and may be worth considering for taking protected online payments from customers.

Payoneer is available in 200 countries and allows you custom invoicing options for different clients.  They have great customer service and offer free payments between different Payoneer accounts.

The setup of Payoneer provides a means for businesses to pay contractors and freelancers by providing direct payment solutions and currency conversion.  There are some situations where Payoneer works well and somewhere it doesn’t.

Where Payoneer works:

  • For service providers or freelancers taking payments from clients
  • For small businesses getting paid for goods and services
  • For online sellers
  • For marketplaces sending mass payouts around the globe

They are a strong competitor to PayPal, but their services are designed for business.

Where Payoneer doesn’t work:

  • Personal payments
  • Large business transfers.  There is a limit of $15,000 USD/15,000 EUR/15,000 GBP with Payoneer.

There are several loops to jump through to use Global Payment and a lot of fees.  Most transactions require a 1% fee; unless you use a credit card, you will pay a fee of 3%.  There are also fees for USD transactions, but no fees for the Global Payment Service in certain other currencies. 

If you’re exchanging currencies, you will pay 0.5% more than the market exchange rate (this sounds ugly but is actually very competitive, it’s one of the most popular reasons companies choose Payoneer).

Final thoughts

It’s important to make sure you’re using a reliable platform to send money around the world.  You want to choose one that is transparent about its fees and has a stellar customer service record.  Take some time to decide which online money transfer service is best for your small business, as choosing the wrong one can cost you hundreds in fees and exchange rate markups.

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