There’s a lot to think about when you’re looking to scale up your startup globally and payments is a key one.
The cost of currency transfers can quickly stack up using the traditional banks, especially when the international payment systems was originally set up to cater for the big end of town.
While these transactions are highly profitable for the global payments providers involved, they have the opposite impact on your bottom line, whether you importing products, selling internationally online, invoicing clients overseas or batching out work to international freelancers.
WorldFirst has been disrupting international payments for almost 20 years, making doing business globally faster and cheaper, and offering personalised service to their customers so you’re not just another transaction and can navigate the complexities of currency exchange with confidence.
WorldFirst’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The free digital platform allows people and companies to buy, pay and receive payments in a local currency, without the additional costs of extra exchange fees.
Here are five benefits that come from using WorldFirst’s World Account.
1. Invoice in local currency
Benefit: Smoother customer payments experience.
A WorldFirst World Account gives customers local bank account details in 10 currencies, including the US, Australian, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canadian and Singapore dollars, as well as the Euro, British pound, Chinese Yuan and Japanese Yen.
Many businesses don’t want to pay an invoice in a foreign currency, particularly smaller businesses. So a combination of Xero and World Account enables local currency invoices.
Using a World Account gives Chris Minehan’s Digital Marketing agency, ClickedOn, which has offices in Sydney and Hamburg, Germany, a local presence for the 40% of its revenues generated internationally.
“Having local bank account details not only helped us to remove a pain point for our clients and ourselves, it also makes our international clients know that we are set up to handle their local concerns,” he said.
“Access to local bank details to collect in local currency is a great example of this, as is World Accounts integration with Xero, which makes invoicing really simple and scalable.”
Having a World Account, he said “has reduced the friction for us to operate in a foreign market and made our international clients stickier”.
2. Hold funds
Benefit: Avoid currency fluctuations
One way global uncertainty has played out in recent years through increased volatility in currency fluctuations. In the last seven months, the Australian dollar has ranged between 58 cents and 74 cents against the USD. One of the best ways to hedge against this risk is leave the money in the local account. You can do that with World Account. It’s free to open, there are no monthly account fees and no annual transfer limits. And you can then make foreign same-currency payments direct from your account.
With many nations also seeking payment in US dollars, that also means you can make payments from your US account from revenues generated there without having to convert funds across from Australia first, saving you additional costs, to pay, for example, a Chinese supplier with USD.
Matthew Phelan, Country Manager of WorldFirst in ANZ said in the current environment, holding funds for even an extra week or two can result in noticeably more money on the other side of your payment. Markets have been extremely volatile, so a product like World Account can help protect your profit margins which might already be under pressure.
3. Connect to marketplaces & gateways to receive funds faster
Benefit: Receive payments faster
Adding local bank account details to marketplaces like Amazon or website payment gateway can mean your business will receive funds faster, avoiding the foreign exchange conversions that puts some buyers off online because they’re uncertain about the actual cost to them.
Ben Cawood, owner of Sydney-based Caden Carbon Wheels, which sells his bicycle carbon racing wheels internationally online said foreign payments had been a big issue for his business, especially as they expanded into the US market.
Cawood uses his World Account for clients in multiple nations with different currencies. It saves both customers and his company money.
Paying by card was costing his customers 4%, or they can make a bank transfer via his World Account with no fees, with payment coming up in their local currency.
“Then WorldFirst will send me the money from that account at only 0.50%, everything included to my account, and it is usually there within a day of them transferring it in the other country.”
The option has dramatically changed the way his customers pay.
“Over 80% of my clients have gone from paying with credit cards and paying 4%, and me 5.5% was what I was getting charged, to using the bank zero fee option in their own country,” he said.
“So for me, it has been a game changer internationally. I have really been able to now focus on providing even better rates to those clients. So instead of having to up the prices to absorb those extra fees, they are getting better value, it is coming to me quicker and it has been really amazing for us.”
4. Pay suppliers, staff and partners in local currency
Benefit: Make less FX payments
When you collect funds in a local currency those funds can be re-used to pay local staff, partners, suppliers. So overall you are making less FX payments.
By signing up for a free WorldFirst account businesses you’ll have access to a fast secure payment system that allows them to make same-day payments in 30 different currencies.
5. Convert at better exchange rates
Benefit: Save money
When the time comes to pay an overseas supplier, repatriate your funds home, you’ll enjoy a market-leading exchange rate from WorldFirst, meaning you’ll bring more of your revenues home.
Adam Linforth, owner of Sydney-based Budgy Smuggler, an Australian-made swimwear company that sells globally online and also has a UK-based business.
Setting up in the UK tripled his sales conversions and it’s now a key market for the business, alongside France, and said that working with WorldFirst on currency transfers demonstrated there was “light and day” between their offering and the banks.
Linforth said WorldFirst has been “really helpful” in facilitating cross border payments.
“If we need someone to call, we can pick up the one and they’ve always been very responsive for us. With some of the different countries it can be a little bit complex. And the team has always been there when we’ve called on them,” he said.
To find out how WorldFirst can help your business, visit WorldFirst.