Three quick questions to ask your foreign exchange dealer

Running a business that deals with international funds, customers and products every day is many things — fulfilling, busy, rewarding. One thing it isn’t is ‘easy’. It takes grit and determination to build your business from the ground up. You’re constantly fighting for the best for your customers, and even when your business has grown enough that foreign exchange and online currency transfers are a part of daily life, you can’t rest on your laurels. You want to find the cheapest way to transfer money, which means keeping your eye on the ball when it comes to foreign exchange rates.

The forex market is one of the most liquid in the world, with currency rates changing second by second. Your bank or broker have been the best option when you picked them, but a lot can change in the market over a short space of time.

Ask these questions before you make a transfer to see if you need to find another FX supplier.

1.      What’s the margin on your exchange rate?

Though you probably won’t be struck with the horrendous exchange rates that travellers in airports suffer, your foreign exchange broker wants to make a profit out of your business. However, you have a right to know what the margin and fees are on the exchange rate you’re being offered.

Though Google might tell you one thing when it comes to exchange rates, the exchange rate that you’re offered will almost certainly differ — sometimes by as much as 5%.

Being in business means keeping on your toes, and that means changing your foreign exchange dealer if their rates are no longer favourable to you.

2.      When will my funds arrive?

Banks often warn that overseas payments can take up to five business days to arrive. In practice, this means a week without cash for your business, a supplier or a customer; and in situations where the cash has not arrived, doing business can be difficult.

If your bank knows the answer to this question straight away, and apologises for the delay, bear in mind that often it’s not their fault; money has to wind its way from your local bank to an overseas intermediary, which then forwards on the money to the receiving bank. These extra stages incur delays, and only when all banks agree to work together on this issue will the problem be solved. If your foreign exchange partner is not that bothered by your concerns about delays, though, they may not be the best choice to send money abroad with.

3.      Can you give me a better rate?

If you’re planning something that requires plenty of overseas funds, it might make sense to wait for the best rate. Asking for a better rate is something you should ask your bank or FX broker.

Most foreign exchange partners will say no. They want to get the most margin out of you, and don’t have dedicated staff to perform monitoring of the exchange rate, who will then contact you and let you know that your desired rate has become available.

Instead, that job would fall to you — which is both time-consuming and less important than other tasks that come with owning and running a business.

This is where AquireFX comes in. We can get money quickly between countries, always provide a fair margin for the currency we buy, and our rates are always lower than banks or brokers because we don’t have to pay staff who act as middlemen between you and the money you need to make your business run smoothly.

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