I’ve often complained about the high cost (i.e. FX fees) involved with doing business internationally – most banks in the UK just don’t understand that modern businesses are increasingly international and that “traditional” 3% FX charges on card spend and expensive/lengthy SWIFT transfers (and the SWIFT system in general) make them really uncompetitive.
I’ve tried to find solutions. The best I’ve found are:
- Revolut’s business product, although as a limited company, you have to do a lot of volume to make it worthwhile, which is hard as the USD facilities are very limited.
- Starling Bank’s business account, that I’ve decided we won’t adopt even when they accept multi-PSC businesses, because of the complete lack of a web interface.
- Curve – a sort of proxy that charges the Visa/Mastercard of your choice with the Mastercard rate + 1% when you spend on it in a foreign currency (the 1% is eliminated when you use a cashback credit card).
Until today when this arrived in my inbox!
Whilst I wouldn’t normally recommend using an e-money product as a bank account, Transferwise are backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland and were one of the first entrants to the fintech space. We’ve been using them on and off for years and the only thing stopping us using their borderless business account was the lack of a debit card.
Their (market-leading) offer is now:
- FREE real bank accounts in the UK, USA and EU (and elsewhere),
- FREE debit card
- Web AND mobile banking
- Faster Payments, SEPA, ACH AND Wire (with a fee)
- Approximately 0.5% FX fee,
- Proper company and decent service
- Xero integration coming soon(tm)
Interested? Sign up here.