Corporate FX – Best Business Foreign Exchange Services
We rank corporate foreign exchange providers by:
- Security of your business’ money, FCA registered
- Flexible hedging products like FX Forwards allowing a more tailored currency strategy
- Experienced dealer guidance
- Fast and reliable payment times
- Easy to use online platform
- Ability to receive payments with ease
Each business has their own requirements unique to them when managing a foreign exchange strategy. At MoneyTransferComparison.com, we help businesses (right through the spectrum of SMEs to large corporations) optimise their foreign exchange transactions. If your business needs to send or receive international business payments, you’ve come to the right place.
We review and analyse all aspects relating to business FX before we make recommendations, so you can be sure to choose a provider that aligns with your needs and requirements.
Top 3 Business FX Providers
- Supported Currencies: 120.
- Offices: UK, USA, France, Spain, Ireland, Australia, HK, UAE, Brazil, Gibraltar and Romania
- Execution of Orders: Online, via Telephone, or In App.
- Strong Point: Reputation, Liquidity, Service, Credit Rating
- Operating Since 1979. Highest Credit Rating Across the Industry.
4.6 /5 on Feefo
- Supported Currencies: 121.
- Offices: All 5 Continents, but not accepting USA based businesses.
- Execution of Orders: Via Telephone, Online or In Person.
- Strong Point: Exchange Rate Margins of 0.25%-0.15% for Large Clients and Excellent Service.
- Trading more than $7bn each year.
9.8 /10 on Feefo
- Supported Currencies: 55.
- Offices: UK, Australia, Canada, USA, Singapore and China.
- Execution of Orders: Online, via Telephone, or In Person.
- Strong Point: Online Platform, Dealers Experience, Employee Retention
- Publicly traded in Australia.
9.6 / 10 on TrustPilot
Business Money Transfers – A Client’s Testimonial
Intamarque is one of the UK’s fastest growing Distributors’ of FMCG lines with sales growing from zero to £35m in just 10 years. We were award the Fast Track 100 award which identifies Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales. We’ve been successful because we offer retailers, wholesalers and pharmacies a unique combination of extremely competitive pricing, outstanding flexibility and a high level of personal service and attention.
We are located in the UK centrally on the M5 corridor between Birmingham and Bristol.
We recently had the pleasure of using the service of MoneyTransferComparison.com who helped us secure a successful outcome of an order which was challenged due to the economic climate at the time.
The professionalism and attention to detail from MoneyTransferComparison.com was amazing and Intamarque would thoroughly recommend them to anyone needing to use this service.
Richard Shortt, Managing Director, Intamarque Limited
Additional information about our comparison
How Business Foreign Exchange Dealers Add Value to Your Business:
Here are some of the more common usages business to business money transfer brokerages can handle successfully:
- Import & Export Operations– Selling products or services to a foreign client.
- Regular International Payments– Automatically performing payments for outsourced services.
- Foreign Entity Funding– Sending funds to a foreign child-company
- Suppliers’ business Payment– Paying foreign product or service suppliers.
- Overseas Employees Salaries– Attracting a talented foreign-based workforce.
- Currency Risk Hedging– Fixing the FX rate for a particular specific of time.
- Commercial Mortgage Payment– Borrowing and repaying money to a foreign bank.
- Overseas Investment– Buying a plant, land or a company abroad.
- Payroll payments – Automated or non-automated international payroll payments.
- Repatriation of Funds – Receive foreign currency payments from abroad.
- Collection Accounts Abroad for Online Merchants– International bank accounts, paying and receiving. View our dedicated merchant international payment
Please note: foreign exchange companies are not online payment processing gateways.
6 Tips to Maximise your Business Foreign Exchange
If you’re a business that has made a decision to place a currency transaction or trade, then you’ve come to the right place. To see how a business fx provider can add value to your business, read our 11-point list above. Here are 6 absolutely critical factors to consider before making a contractual commitment to exchange one currency for another.
1) Know who you are dealing with
Before getting overexcited about the ultra-competitive currency transaction rate you are being offered, you may want to ask the question, ‘With whom am I doing business?’.
In the corporate foreign exchange world, this question carries a lot more traction and will take you a lot further in search of a reliable corporate FX broker. The not-so-often-spoken truth about foreign exchange at all levels is that entities often do business under the financial authorisation of another entity, under so-called ‘affiliate’ or ‘white-label’ agreements, depending on the FX niche in question.
To ensure that you know the full story of the company to whom you will be potentially transferring millions of dollars with the expectation of a currency exchange, make sure you carry out a full due diligence check on the company you have earmarked and check its financial market status through our website.
Each business money transfer provider will also have their own banking partners whom they hold their accounts with, purchase currency and use for business payment delivery. It’s important to understand which bank partners your FX provider works with and if these are reliable too.
2) Timing is everything
This is an obvious one that’s often forgotten. Many corporations jump into conducting a currency transaction with a spot transfer when needs demand it, rather than when it’s most advantageous to do so and utilising a forward contract.
This usually comes down to an oversight or simply being faced with unforeseen circumstances, or merely being ignorant that better rates even exist. This can be simply removed from the equation by having a reliable and proactive fx provider already waiting, having completed the account-opening process beforehand.
3) The Ins and Outs
Knowing exactly what has been (or is about to be) contractually agreed is important, as is knowing exactly what the expected currency transaction will look like. Keeping a close eye on the specifics of the deal, such as currency exchange rate, due date, country where nominated bank account is held, and associated bank fees is essential to the deal maintaining legal integrity and for costly clerical mistakes to be avoided.
In modern times, recommended business foreign exchange operators routinely offer online portal functionality, allowing corporate users to log in and track all the details of their transactions. Being able to use and understand these tools can be more difficult than first believed, however, especially if the corporate entity does not routinely engage in financial market transactions. Have an explore through your providers online portal and set-up (but don’t complete!) test payments of varying amounts to better understand the fees involved for say a £10k international business payment vs a £1m payment.
It is easy to forget that currency transactions with some brokers are filled with jargon that may not be easily understood by firms outside of the financial services industry. For this exact reason, we have established MoneyTransferComparison.com, which does all the hard work for its readers.
4) Mitigating risk, reducing the cost
What a corporate FX B2B payment can cost is not solely limited to the commission fees that have been agreed upon. There are also tangible and intangible costs that all businesses, regardless of size, should consider when conducting a currency transaction.
Of the tangible variety, there is a transaction cost in the form of commissions or flat fees, including as-yet-unseen bank charges. There is also the possibility of interest-bearing charges upon late delivery (particularly in the case of regular international business payments).
In the intangible corner, there is an outside chance of a international currency provider not being able to carry out the transaction, despite the agreement made. This could well mean legal expenses and delays in obtaining the expected funds, or any funds at all.
It cannot be emphasized enough how important due diligence is when opening a currency account — especially corporate accounts where many of the protections afforded to private individuals are not forthcoming. Meanwhile, operators of start-ups and small-sized businesses often make the mistake of acting as a corporate entity, believing they have the commercial rights of an individual.
The larger the expected volume of trading, the larger the risk mitigation should be in the form of professional due diligence.
5) Relative or absolute
The best business currency rates do not always come from the same fx company. Very often, one provider will have the best rate one day, and another will have it the day after. Therefore, one consideration worth making is asking just how competitive your current rates actually are. This may be routine for financial sector firms, but for real-estate agents, import/export companies and shipping agents, as just a few examples, currency exchange rates are often a late afterthought without forward-planning and taking into account alternative means of obtaining the right currency at the right time.
6) Banks aren’t always so bad, sometimes
One of the prime reasons many businesses switch their corporate currency exchange solution from their bank to an alternative provider is cost. However, using third parties for currencies carries unforeseen risks, deep considerations and potentially additional steps to obtain the same peace of mind that banks arguably provide. Therefore, to finish this list of things to consider, one consideration may simply be that your existing banking service may not be so bad after all.
It all depends on the type of business you have, transaction size, frequency and currencies required. However, determining which option is best can only be done after some mindful thinking and careful consideration of all the factors surrounding foreign exchange dealings that specifically apply to your business. The rule of thumb will dictate that if your business is large enough, you could potentially get the same rates and fees directly from your bank, and get direct access to the trading room. If you are an SME, a corporate foreign exchange solution is likely to be your best choice especially if you can leverage the technology for payment automation.
Written by George Tchetvertakov, a 10-year veteran in the foreign exchange space. His diverse experience includes editorial and writing roles in publications such as Finance Magnets, alongside roles in FX firms like Head of Market Research at Alpari UK and Business Development Executive at Moneycorp UK.
Corporate Foreign Exchange: Hedging Tools
Composed by Badre Bouarich, a former Trader and Multi Asset Structurer (Forex, Interest Rates) at HSBC bank in London & an expert Financial Writer. To read our complete guide about currency hedging click here.
A main task for a firm is to minimize (hedge) risks that are not necessary for the performance of the business. Among the different types of risk lies a very important one that can jeopardize the financial health of any global company: Foreign Exchange Risk.
As currencies fluctuate and as markets increase in volatility, it becomes very difficult to predict the future and gain stability in terms of inflows and outflows. For this reason, more and more companies are hedging their future cash flows and stabilizing the rate at which they will exchange currencies in the future.
As the derivatives market has developed and as counterparty risk became mitigated through clearinghouses, hedging possibilities have widened, making it possible to reasonably hedge cash flows due in 3 years time. Now, there are different instruments that will enable you to achieve your desired objectives – although a thorough understanding of the products involved is necessary.
There are additional tools to the vanilla 4 orders presented here, such as a Time Option, which is fully hedged. And participating forwards, which allow some upside vs your standard forward contract.
Again, commercial corporate FX companies will make tremendous efforts in order to inform you about market developments, along with the most adapted instruments to use. Moreover, they will give you access to a set of hedging instruments that banks will provide only for the largest corporations. It’s very important to understand each hedging tool so you are completely aware of any potential downside risk and why you are required to pay a premium when agreeing to an option, if indeed it incurs a fee.
All Recommended Business FX Services for 2020
If you are looking for a business FX provider and want to see all the options readily available for you, you can have a look at the list below of all the best-rated business foreign exchange companies on MoneyTransferComparison. It doesn’t go out to say others are any less good, or that each one of these companies is excellent, but rather a list of reviews worth reading to become more familiar with the options in hand.
* Kantox offers an online platform which is specifically made for businesses. It’s not a traditional corporate Forex dealer.
** Hargreaves Lansdown is a large financial company, their FX isn’t, necessarily
Why Are These Particular Business FX Companies Recommended?
Corporate foreign exchange does not only consist in sending business to business payments from place A to place B (and sometimes B2C as salaries). It also involves continuous advisory, market monitoring and timely execution. When conducting their business operations, companies need to find corporate forex brokerages and real partners that will enable them to increase profitability, while mitigating risks.
For these reasons, we have taken into account the following elements when making our choices:
- Wide Global Reach– In the era of globalization, it’s necessary for your business to gain worldwide exposure and access to new markets. As developed markets get very competitive, emerging markets can offer tremendous business opportunities that the best Foreign Exchange firms will enable you to capitalize on.
- Liquidity / Competitiveness– High liquidity enables companies to tighten their bid/ask spreads and offer you better fx rates. For this reason, liquidity is among the most important parameters to take into account when dealing with a commercial Forex company. By selecting the right company, you could save up to £10,000 on a £500,000 transfer.
- Credit Rating – FX derivatives can be trickier than straightforward international payments. If the commercial service provider goes bust, it’s not only your funds that are at stake, but also the contract, which might not be honoured when it matures. This is why selecting a company with a high credit rating is absolutely essential.
- Customer Service– Alerts, Stop losses, recurrent payments, timely execution and market advisory are all elements that will enable you to gain time while focusing on your company’s core value proposition. Corporate FX firms with great customer service will watch your back while you focus on the operational side of your business.
- Foreign bank accounts – Corporate clients can now set up collection bank accounts abroad via WorldFirst. Typically, this was something only available for online merchants with FX providers and helps to avoid any unnecessary foreign transfer fees. . Read our dedicated Merchant bank account guide.
Experiencing problems with an FX provider? We will try to help out!
If you are experiencing any sort of problems or having major disagreements with any of the FX providers listed on our website we would love to hear about it. This kind of information can help us separate the wheat from chaff and figure out what business FX clients are really experiencing, and additionally to that, we may be able to contact the company and see if there’s a way to mitigate the issue and achieve a full satisfaction of all parties involved.
We don’t commit to look into every single email we get (we do get a lot of those, most of which are unjustified complaints relating to the extensive KYC process businesses have to undergo in order to conduct a transfer), but we did help several disgruntled clients in the past and plan to continue doing so. Please have a look here: FX Case Investigation service to learn more!
Should You Go for Large or Boutique?
Here on MoneyTransferComparison, we have tested and rated a variety of FX companies offering business services. Some of these we rated poorly (like Western Union), some don’t handle business (like Azimo), and some simply don’t appear to be a good option for business, even though we think they provide good solutions to private clients (like Transferwise).
Even so, there are more than 10 other companies that provide corporate FX services that we do recommend. The main differentiation between them is their size.
Large currency firms
Higher trading volumes, more employees (both sales, marketing and dealers), and more offices across the globe. These typically are headquartered in London.
Advantages: Get better rates than smaller companies and thus the haggling space on the spreads they take could be smaller. These companies have a lot of experience dealing with thousands of businesses in varying sizes in different markets. They usually have higher global reach than smaller firms, and local presence in countries which enables them to handle complicated transactions better. Plenty of testimonials to attest for their quality of service from fellow business owners.
Disadvantages: Though the staff is professional, as a small business you are not likely to be dealing with the head dealer.
Boutique currency firms
Smaller trading volumes, fewer employees, and usually fewer than 5 offices (where oftentimes there’s only a single UK office).
Advantages: Often provides a higher level of expertise from currency dealers. Extremely service oriented. They need your business to work with them, and are therefore willing to offer tighter spreads.
Disadvantages: Usually don’t accept US-based businesses. Have fewer corporate clients, so some scenarios could be unprecedented. Lower global reach (dealing with fewer currencies). Less testimonials to their services than with larger firms.
We suggest that larger multinational corporations stick to the larger business fx companies (preferably, one from the 10 best money transfer for businesses list). After all, they need a company that can handle these large transactions efficiently and have been doing so for a long while. The risk with large transactions does exist – as currency transfers are not insured – and if a company goes bankrupt, you could be getting hurt (although client accounts are separated from the company’s accounts by FCA instruction).
For smaller businesses, if you prefer to manage FX yourself and just require a good online platform than a larger broker could also be suitable for you. However if you prefer to receive dedicated dealer guidance and further understand your hedging strategies we suggest trying one of the smaller firms. They could be more willing to give you better rates and more tailored services than larger firms. Smaller businesses can also get direct access to the head dealer and even the Managing Director / Senior Associate of the company, if required.
The Conclusion – Business Money Transfers Overview 2020
Within a global macro-economic conjuncture that is characterized by transition and instability, businesses have been facing a growing number of risk-bearing factors. Nevertheless, this climate has also created a tremendous number of opportunities for businesses willing to open up, take the extra step and explore global marketplaces.
As a consequence, international money transfer for businesses flows have sky-rocketed and it has become critical for business owners and managers to optimise their cross-border transactions, while turning potential risks into value-adding elements. An international business to business payment conducted via an corporate foreign exchange provider that specialises in those type of clients is the best choice, that a small business owner or a company’s money manager, can make.