| Tips for Efficient International Business Payments

Tips for Efficient International Business Payments

Businessman using UniTeller for cross-border payments

Globalization changed commerce forever. Companies of all sizes can now buy and sell anywhere in the world. In a very real sense, a significant number of businesses are global. 

And yet, while the capability for global payments exists, inefficiencies remain ubiquitous. Too many businesses simply lack the infrastructure needed to streamline global payments. 

As a result, they overspend on payment fees, endure lengthy transaction times, and compromise their financial security along the way.

Fortunately, there’s a better path forward—and today we’ll show you how to get there. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the top payment challenges facing modern businesses and provide actionable tips to address them. 

Then, we’ll compare the best international payment methods on the market and reveal how you can help your firm save money and time.

Challenges Facing International Business Payments

Innovations often introduce more questions than answers.

Consider the invention of flying. As soon as airplanes put people in the sky, questions abounded:

How can we fly safely?
How can we fly affordably?
How can we fly consistently?

Before commercial aviation could be established, these questions needed answering.

International business payments are in a similar position: in order to thrive, they must be able to work safely, affordably, and consistently.

Unfortunately, cross-border payments are often undermined by three pernicious obstacles:

  1. Currency Exchange: For most companies, negotiating a range of fluctuating currencies can be costly and unpredictable.

    Plus, many businesses rely on manual, legacy systems to mediate foreign exchange, burning precious time and money in the process.
  2. Chain of Intermediaries: Cross-border payments often get crippled by passing through a series of cumbersome gateways.

    While stalling transfers (and incurring hefty fees), these intermediaries can also burden business accounting departments with clerical work.
  3. Security Threats: Cybercrime and fraud are an existential threat in the digital economy.

    Unfortunately, too many businesses lack the security protocols and compliance measures needed to protect their best interests.

These are just a few of the many challenges facing international business payments. 

Now that we’ve outlined the primary obstacles, let’s review some helpful strategies to help your business save money, address compliance concerns, and streamline payment processes.

Cost-Saving Strategies

When it comes to saving money on payments, some strategies are obvious—like shopping around for the best exchange rates. 

Other strategies require a bit more nuance, like using forward exchange contracts (FEC) to lock in exchange rates and protect against currency fluctuations.

If an FEC isn’t appealing, you can negotiate exchange rates with your payment processor and save money on incoming and outgoing transactions. Payment terms can also be negotiated.

For example, if your business intends to make a sizable international transfer, you might be able to settle longer payment terms with the beneficiary. This could help spread the cost over a longer time period and improve your firm’s liquidity.

As you can see, cost-savings strategies are easily attainable—especially for one-time payment transfers. However, if you’re looking for repeatable, long-term solutions, you may need to find a more comprehensive option.

Addressing Compliance and Regulatory Considerations

Payment fraud is a harsh reality for modern businesses.

Last year, nearly 60% of U.S. companies dealt with payment fraud, with the average case totaling $1.8 million in losses

When it comes to payment security, the fundamentals still apply: always know where you’re sending money (or where you’re receiving it), verify all financial information, and immediately report suspicious behavior. 

Of course, you’re not alone in the fight. Regulatory frameworks like Know Your Business (KYB) and Know Your Customer (KYC) help keep an eye out along the way. 

Nevertheless, businesses should invest in custom security tools to protect their interests. That may include incorporating encryption protocols, end-to-end compliance platforms, and anti-money laundering (AML) software to defend your company around the clock.

While security isn’t free, it pays for itself by keeping criminals at bay. 

Streamlining Payment Processes

There are endless ways to streamline payment processes—and that’s part of the problem. 

It would take years (and huge capital reserves) to upgrade individual components of your business.

For example, you could automate your manual processes. You could employ AI to increase operational efficiency. You could download new apps to monitor Forex and time your transactions. Or, you could look for a fully-integrated API that does all of the hard work on your behalf.

It’s an idea worth pursuing: employing a turnkey solution that provides the targeted solutions you need, all in one place. 

We live in the 21st century, after all. Dynamic technology is available to modern businesses. All we have to do is use it.

Exploring Popular International Payment Methods

As international business payments have skyrocketed, fintech innovators have sought to match demand with new payment methods. 

Some tools are more familiar than others. For example, the standard bank transfer continues to dominate the scene. While it’s a decades-old approach, it largely works (for the most part). And by “works” we mean, “the funds reach the intended destination—eventually.”

Nevertheless, bank transfers remain prohibitively expensive. Though ideal for one-time payments, recurring bank fees can drain a company’s capital resources over time.  

Other legacy payment methods refuse to cede ground to newer technology. 

Believe it or not, paper checks are still making the rounds—both in the U.S. and overseas.

In fact, they account for almost 33% of B2B transactions

The popularity of checks can be easily explained: people trust what they know, and paper checks travel slowly, which helps businesses retain their funds for a few extra days (or weeks).

In recent years, digital wallets have made their presence known throughout the global economy. 

Apple Pay, Dwolla, and Google Pay are among the most dominant players in America, while vendors like Alipay and Cash App are thriving internationally.

Though digital wallets are specifically tailored to individual consumers, some companies have tried to adapt the technology for business payments (with varying degrees of success).

Ultimately, all of these payment methods share a fatal flaw: they have been adapted to the international business payments landscape. They weren’t made with that landscape in mind. 

This is a crucial distinction, as businesses need more than a payment method that’s simply “good enough.” 

As we’ve seen, issues like currency exchange, security concerns, and exorbitant costs have inspired businesses to seek a more unified solution. 

They’ve found a state-of-the-art, seamless API integration built exclusively for B2C, B2B, and C2B payments.

Leveraging UniTeller’s International Network

At UniTeller, we specialize in helping businesses move money around the world—in real-time.

By partnering with our team, your business will join a global paying network in every corner of the world. 

Better yet, you’ll unlock a fully customizable, end-to-end service that seamlessly moves funds across borders in 80+ countries, 50+ currencies, and 200,000+ paying locations. 

And thanks to our global payment API, you can send & collect payments in multiple currencies. 

While we’re proud of our network, we’re equally thrilled by our product suite

Whether you need white label integrations or robust turnkey solutions, the UniTeller platform provides the targeted solutions you’ve been looking for. 

As always, you’re guaranteed high security standards and fraud protection. After all, our “Best in Class” AML and compliance platform has your business covered 24/7/365. 

With UniTeller, your gateway to global payments solutions is just one API integration away.

Uniting the World With Payments

When it comes to transferring money, UniTeller maintains high standards of excellence.

As a fully-licensed money transmitter in the United States and Canada, we remain intensely committed to providing payment services with a transparent and flexible business model.

With UniTeller, your business can complete international payments with unrivaled security, reduced cost, and enhanced speed. We’re the gateway for businesses to drive global payments into the 21st century. 

Want to learn more? 

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