FX & International Payments

How to overcome international payment challenges as an SME

13 Jan 2022

SMEs make up 90% of businesses worldwide, and the SME market in the UK contributes £2 trillion a year to the economy. SMEs also contribute significantly to international trade volumes – $35 trillion of trade is expected this year as the economy continues to recover. <br> Yet despite the pivotal role SMEs play, they’ve traditionally had to navigate complicated and costly international payment systems. Corporate B2B payment platforms aren’t always viable for small business owners who usually rely on their bank to facilitate transactions.


International payment challenges

If you're an SME owner who carries out international payments, the following challenges might resonate with you. Fortunately, there's a solution out there that's making them a thing of the past. Before we explore it, let's take a closer look at the challenges.

Expensive fees

International payments are notoriously expensive due to unfavourable rates and high processing fees. These can harm an SME's cash flow and pose a barrier to growth, especially when intermediary currencies that result in double conversion fees are used.

Inefficient processing times

Processing international payments can take weeks, putting businesses at risk. In some instances, items can't be shipped until full payment has been received. 

When supply chains are already experiencing disruption, businesses need to carry out international payments at speed at a time of increased competition. 

Complex processes

When it comes to FinTech, user experience is essential. Businesses need to navigate international payment systems with ease instead of being made to jump through hoops before a payment reaches the recipient.

Lengthy processes and poorly designed platforms distract business owners from what they should be doing: exploring new markets, acquiring clients and hiring talent.

Lack of visibility

Transparency is vital for businesses, but it's not always there in the international payments market. SMEs need to know when their payment has reached the recipient and what fees will apply without digging deep.

A simpler, faster, cheaper alternative

Companies that trade across borders shouldn't be penalised, whether large or small. 

If you're looking for more transaction transparency, quicker processing times and less expensive fees, you've come to the right place. 

Powered by Wise, Funding Options offers SMEs greater choice on FX and international payments. You can create an account to pay international invoices, vendors, and employees in 70 countries without subscription fees and without paying any hidden charges. Here's what you'll benefit from when you sign up:

1. Cheaper, faster invoice payments

You can use your account to pay invoices based on the actual foreign exchange rate. It's fast, too, with 40% of payments instantly arriving in the recipient's account. Transfers are approximately six times cheaper than traditional banks.

2. Multi-currency banking

There aren't any hidden fees, so you'll never be unpleasantly surprised when you receive payment. To avoid paying high recipient and conversion fees, you can convert and transfer funds to one of your other accounts from your international one.

3. Use your Wise debit card to pay in any currency

You might not be the only one who needs to pay for business expenses. Allocate cards to employees and pay in the local currency to save on conversion fees.

4. Streamlined payments

It couldn't be simpler: all you need to pay a recipient is their bank details or email address. If you're paying multiple recipients, you can do so using the batch payment feature, which allows you to send up to 1,000 payments at any one time.

5. Pay/receive money in multiple currencies

Your account will enable you to pay invoices in over 50 currencies and receive money into 10 currency accounts. It's up to you how long you hold it in your account.

Are you ready to grow globally without the hassle of expensive international payments?

Sign up today

Thomas Boyd
Thomas Boyd

Head of Commercial

Thomas Boyd is the Head of Commercial at Funding Options. Thomas started his career in the finance sector at LendingCrowd. His work over the past five years has focused on supporting the vibrant and growing community of SMEs across the UK.

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