Since we launched WonderProxy we’ve had lots of bills to pay, often to ourselves or contractors. WonderProxy is a Canadian company, with a Canadian bank account, when we need to pay someone in the US we’ve had a few options: cheque, wire transfer, PayPal.
- Wire Transfer This requires me to go to the branch in person, wait in a line, pay a lot in fees, then the money shows up in a day or three, possibly with additional fees being deducted along the way.
- PayPal These are easy, open up our PayPal account, make a transfer, log out out again. The recipient ends up paying like 3.5% in fees, receives a mediocre at best exchange rate, then waits longer for the money to appear in their account.
These are easy, we open a filing cabinet, pull out a cheque, sign it and put it in the mail. Then the contractor waits for a week or so for the cheque to arrive, deposits in the bank, receives a horrible exchange rate, and waits two or more weeks for it to clear.
So, everything sucks, bad rates, fees, and possibly involving me going to a bank in person.
Eventually we got frustrated with the money we were effectively losing with crappy exchange rates, and took a look further. We came across XE's currency trading services. It took a fair amount of effort to sign up (various forms to be scanned and sent in), but it’s been fantastic. I log on to execute a trade, enter that I would like to buy USD with $1000CAD, and get a spot rate on the transfer. I choose to execute the trade, with the USD funds being deposited in the recipients US account. I pay XE through my bank’s online bill payment services, then about a week later the US funds arrive in the recipient’s account.
I get to do it all from my desk, we get a fantastic exchange rate, and the transfer service makes its money on the spread, so there’s no extra fees.
If you’re paying across borders, I would heartily recommend investigating XE to see if they can meet your needs.