An Introduction to Foreign Exchange Services for Businesses

Published on
June 30, 2023
Written by
Marissa Saini
Writers@Aspire
Reviewed by
Episode #
An Introduction to Foreign Exchange Services for Businesses
Understand foreign exchange services that financial institutions offer to businesses & how they can save your business money.
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As the world becomes increasingly connected via the internet, businesses have incredible opportunities to expand globally. However, when you start a business internationally, you'll need to deal with the foreign exchange market. It's because the foreign exchange market comes into play when you need to convert one currency into another for various purposes such as international trade, business travels or investment.

When doing business globally, one of the most crucial choices you'll need to make is selecting the appropriate foreign exchange service for your company. In this article, we will help you understand what foreign exchange services are all about, why they matter for businesses, and how picking the right one can save you a lot of money.

What Is Foreign Exchange?

Foreign Exchange is a global marketplace where people buy, sell, and exchange different currencies. They are also referred to as Forex or FX for short. The whole point of foreign exchange is to convert one currency into another. It is used for many reasons, like when you’re involved in international trade, going abroad for business travel, investing in other countries, or even just trying to make vendor payments across the border.

The foreign exchange market is where all this currency trading happens. It's like a big platform where banks, financial institutions, companies, governments, and regular folks can all trade currencies with each other. When you trade currencies, you do it in pairs. You buy one currency while selling another at the same time. The exchange rate refers to the rate at which currencies can be traded or converted between countries or economic regions. These rates are determined by a bunch of things, like how much demand there is for a particular currency, what the interest rates are like, how well the economy is doing, and even what's happening politically. 

What Is the Role of FX for Businesses?

Foreign Exchange contributes significantly to the smooth running of international trade. When doing business with other countries, you must often convert your local currency into foreign partners' currency. And that's where foreign exchange comes in.

Foreign exchange lets you convert your money into the currency of your trading partners. This makes it super easy for you to make transactions across borders. It's like a bridge that connects different currencies and makes global commerce flow smoothly. 

Overall, foreign currency exchange is the backbone of international trade. It helps businesses convert currencies, make transactions, and even explore investment opportunities. 

What FX Services Do Banks and Other Financial Institutions Provide Businesses?

Today, banks and other financial institutions have tools and solutions to make managing your international transactions and currency needs much more effortless. Let's check out some of the standard services they offer:

FX conversion

If you need to convert funds from one currency to another, banks and other financial institutions can help you do so. Whether you're converting money from international sales or trying to deal with currency fluctuations, they offer competitive currency exchange rates and efficient FX conversion services. So you can get the best value for your money.

Local Transfers

Some financial institutions can help you make local payments in different currencies. So, if you need to pay someone in a different currency, they can take care of that. It saves you from worrying about converting currencies and simplifies the payment process.

For example, Aspire's multi-currency business accounts allow businesses to conduct free local transfers in SGD, USD & IDR. With separate accounts for each currency, companies can efficiently make local payments to vendors, suppliers, and other recipients in the respective currency, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming currency conversions.

International Wire Transfers

With international wire transfers, you can quickly pay your suppliers, partners, or vendors in other countries. It's all about quick and hassle-free transactions. By relying on the experience and systems of banks and financial institutions, you can have peace of mind knowing that your funds will be securely and accurately transferred to the proper recipients.

Multiple Currency Payments

Dealing with invoices from international vendors, suppliers, or customers can be a bit tricky. But banks and other financial institutions have solutions for that too! They offer global invoice payment services, making it easier for you to settle invoices in different currencies. It simplifies cross-border transactions and takes the headache out of currency conversions.

With Aspire, making fast and easy payments is a breeze. We offer you the convenience of converting and paying in over 30+ currencies at low and transparent fees. Our fees are up to 3 times cheaper than traditional banks, and you won't encounter any inflated or hidden fees. 

Card Payment Services

Banks and other financial institutions also offer card payment services specifically designed for businesses. You can use debit or credit cards to pay vendors and suppliers and cover employee travel expenses. It's convenient and secure, allowing you to transact in different currencies wherever you go. You can use your card to pay at merchant shops as well as to make payments online.

For example, With Aspire, you can issue unlimited cards to your team members, allowing faster and more decentralised purchasing while ensuring a safe and secure process. With Aspire's corporate card, you can also set spending limits and adjust them whenever necessary. Moreover, your team can snap pictures of their receipts using their phones and initiate the reimbursement process. 

Bulk Transfers

Instead of processing individual transactions one by one, some financial institutions allow you to handle multiple international payments or transfers simultaneously. This saves you time and effort while helping you manage your financial operations more effectively. It also simplifies the administrative tasks associated with processing individual transactions. With their support, you can conveniently handle a large volume of transactions. Imagine processing payrolls or making multiple payments in less than half the usual time.

Accounting Sync Across Accounts

Some financial institutions, like Aspire, allow you to connect your business accounts directly to your accounting software. That means all your financial transactions, like payments and deposits, can be automatically updated in your accounting records. It saves you the trouble of manually entering all the data yourself. Plus, it ensures that your financial records are accurate and up-to-date. With this, you can easily reconcile your accounts, reliably and effortlessly.

How a Foreign Exchange Service Can Save Your Business Money?

Here's how:

  • Low fees and great foreign exchange rates: When choosing a foreign currency exchange service, look for providers with the lowest forex margins. This way, you can minimise transaction costs and keep more money in your pocket.
  • Tailored to your business needs: Ensure the service offers features matching your requirements. You want to avoid overpaying for unnecessary financial products. Find a service that understands your business and provides the right solutions.
  • Multi-currency accounts: Opt for a multi-currency account to send and receive funds in different currencies. This helps you avoid unfavourable currency exchange rates and allows you to hold currencies and convert them when the rates are in your favour.
  • FX hedging tools: Look for a service that offers access to forward contracts. These contracts allow you to secure favourable currency exchange rates for future transactions. Protecting your business from currency fluctuations can save money and avoid potential losses.
  • Professional Guidance: Some foreign currency exchange services provide expert guidance to help you make smarter transactions and currency exchange decisions. They have professionals who can offer valuable advice on the best timing for your activities. With their expertise, you can make informed choices and optimise your foreign exchange operations. 

Looking for the Right Foreign Exchange (FX) Provider in Singapore?

With Aspire's multi-currency account businesses can enjoy market-leading FX rates up to 3 times cheaper than banks. Issue You can also make free local transfers in USD, SGD & IDR to avoid FX fees altogether. 

With Aspire, you can issue unlimited virtual cards to your team instantly. Each employee can have their own virtual card, eliminating the need for card sharing or one-time passwords. This not only speeds up the purchasing process but also enhances security. With corporate cards, you can  earn 1% cashback on digital marketing and SaaS spending with top names in the business tech industry. 

And that's not all! You can gain real-time control and visibility of your card spends, making it easier to monitor overspending or unexpected charges. You can set spending limits, establish approval policies, and easily track expenses at your fingertips.

Moreover, our product seamlessly integrates with your accounting software. This means you can close your books twice as fast as all transactions are automatically synced with major accounting software. So, with Aspire, you have a comprehensive solution that offers convenience, savings, security, and integration. Choose Aspire to take control of your business finances and streamline your operations with our powerful features.

For more episodes of CFO Talks, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or add our RSS feed to your favorite podcast player!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marissa Saini is a seasoned writer and an avid trendspotter across business finance, personal finance, travel and lifestyle industries. With writing history at SingSaver, INK, and ohmyhome, Marissa leverages her broad range of experiences to simplify finance and make readers financially savvy.
Marissa Saini
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Aspire is the all-in-one finance operating system for businesses. Our mission is to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs with the financial tools they need to realise their company’s full potential.
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