Regular international payments are generally a simple and cost-effective way of sending money overseas to the same beneficiary on a recurring, typically monthly, basis.
Recurring international payments can remove exchange rate risk, reduce costs and save clients time and the inconvenience of remembering to book monthly international money transfers.
A client living in the UK needs to make monthly mortgage repayments for a property in France. The client arranges a regular payment plan to send GBP 1,000 on the 1st of every month into Euros. Next, a foreign exchange broker debits the client’s bank account, converting the GBP to euro at a competitive rate and paying the funds into a nominated French bank account accordingly.
Personal regular international payments
Private clients adopt recurring overseas payment plans for several reasons. These can include the following.
- Overseas mortgage payments
- Pension payments and transfers
- Salary payments
- Regular savings
- Maintenance on property
- Rental income transfers
The majority of foreign exchange brokers offer a forward contract for recurring payments. The client can either specify the buy currency or the sell currency.
Businesses can also use recurring overseas payments plans for a variety of reasons which can include.
- Rent on an overseas office
- Paying a freelance worker in another country
- Regular fixed cost stock purchase
- Paying overseas staff members
Businesses typically adopt recurring overseas payment plans to manage their fixed working costs and international payments.
How They Work
Clients can arrange an amount of currency they wish to buy or sell and nominate a beneficiary to receive the funds.
They need to confirm how often they would like funds to be sent overseas and agree on the recurring overseas payment contract’s length. For example, a GBP/USD transfer made every month for a year.
Many foreign exchange brokers offer to direct debit your funds. Alternatively, if this is not an option, payment can be made via standing order.
Once funds have cleared, the provider will release payment to the beneficiary. Recurring overseas transfers are sent in a similar way to standard spot contracts.
Usual terms (vary between foreign exchange brokers): Usually, a minimum of £150 can be paid via recurring overseas payments schemes.
Deposits are required if the regular payment rate benefits from a fixed rate on both the currency amount sent and the foreign currency amount transferred overseas. A foreign exchange broker will typically require a 10% deposit for the total amount of the regular payment plan.
Where can I set up a recurring overseas transfer?
Regular payment schemes can be set up with a foreign exchange broker. Transfers from the UK can also be debited automatically for the client’s convenience.
How long does it take to make a payment?
Once your account is set up and funds paid to your foreign exchange broker, a recurring overseas payment is processed in much the same way as a spot contract. Clients should expect funds to arrive the same day or up to 3 days later, dependant on the currency pair and their beneficiary account location.
Minimum and maximum transfer amounts
Each foreign exchange broker will typically set its minimum and maximum transfers limits. Typically, these amounts will range from around £150 per month to £5000 a month. However, many foreign exchange brokers have no limit on how much can be transferred on a regular international payment scheme.
Rates and Fees
As with any commodity, the more you look to purchase, the more interesting the rate offered becomes. As recurring overseas money transfers are typically under £20,000 (or currency equivalent), you may receive a less attractive rate than a more significant volume transfer. However, rates on offer typically represent a considerable saving over what is offered by banks. As with all other transfers, the commission charged to transfer funds regularly will normally be between 0.5% to 3%, depending on the amount transferred via a regular transfer plan.
Transfer Fees compared to banks are almost sure to be a lot more competitive. Suppose your recurring overseas payments are every month. In that case, you can very conservatively save £150+ in fees by using a specialist currency company.
As with one-off or ad-hoc international money transfers, regular international payments have a handful of flexible contract options. The vast majority of FX providers offer the following solutions.
- Set the currency amount debited: FX provider agrees with a private client to exchange a currency amount. This amount is traded at a competitive rate. Example GBP exchanged at spot rate into Euros on a bi-monthly basis. GBP is debited and converted into € and sent to a French bank account to top up an account.
- Set the amount of currency being received: Online web company has a monthly SEO subscription paid in US dollars. The amount is regular; A business arranges with the foreign exchange provider to secure a regular plan that debits a GBP amount monthly. Therefore, the USD invoice is paid on time every month.
- Set the amount being sent and received: An overseas property owner sees that the current GBP/ USD rate is high and wants to fix his USD mortgage cost for the year. They agree to a year-long regular payment plan. He selects the amount of Sterling debited from his account and the amount of USD credited. This exchange rate is set to all of the year’s payments, therefore avoiding any unforeseen market volatility and ensuring his property payments are cost-effective.
Benefits of regular international payments
There are several benefits to reap when fixing a recurring overseas payment plan. These include:
- Foresight on your salary or pension payment – a regular international payment plan is fixed both on the amount debited in base currency, the foreign currency amount or both. The plan allows clients to know how much foreign money they will send and how much they could receive and potentially fix both amounts.
- Never miss an international payment – Once a regular transfer amount is agreed with a debit and payment date, there’s no worry about your international payment being forgotten. A foreign exchange broker will debit and pay the agreed amount as long as the contract is set. Meaning your foreign bank account or international mortgage will never run low on funds or payments be missed.
- Flexibility to cancel regular international payment plans – most foreign exchange brokers will allow you to withdraw a recurring overseas payment plan with a week or so notice. Meaning if your situation changes or the property is sold, you can quickly stop funding your international mortgage.
A regular plan can prove a viable option for those who lack the time and seek a competitive way of sending money internationally, both for individuals or companies with ongoing FX requirements.
International direct debit from UK account
When sending funds from a UK pound account, many companies will directly debit the amount required and convert the currency to send the money to the international account of choice. Foreign exchange brokers that can’t direct debit will need to set up a standing order. A standing order will have to be cancel when you no longer need to send money internationally regularly.
Recurring payments abroad with no schedule
Clients can still benefit from foreign exchange brokers’ services. Those who need to make recurring overseas payments with no set schedule. Can convert their currency beforehand and distribute when they need to make payment. International payments could be for an international wedding or when having renovation work on an overseas property.