Exploring Business Account Options for Foreign Exchange Needs

Published on
July 3, 2023
Written by
Marissa Saini
Writers@Aspire
Reviewed by
Episode #
Exploring Business Account Options for Foreign Exchange Needs
A dedicated business account for your foreign exchange needs can be extremely advantageous. Learn why & explore various options available in Singapore.
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Say you're running an IT support business from Singapore. Having clients from all over the world is exciting, but it comes with its fair share of challenges. Managing multiple currencies, ensuring profitable currency conversions, and making timely payments to vendors can be quite overwhelming when dealing with international clients.

So, what's the solution?

There's one that can make your life a whole lot easier: a dedicated business account for foreign exchange transactions. It can simplify your financial matters, help maintain cash flow control, and be useful in navigating currency risks. With the correct business account, you can confidently address these challenges and concentrate on what’s essential for your business - delivering excellent IT support to clients worldwide.

What Is a Multi-Currency Business Account?

A multi-currency business account is like a one-stop solution for businesses like yours who want to manage their operations effortlessly. With this account, you get all the necessary features, from handling local payments to managing international transactions. It's designed to make your life easier, allowing you to navigate the global business world seamlessly. 

It works just like your regular online bank account. With this account, you can easily send, receive, and withdraw money whenever needed. Whether through corporate cards, electronic payments, or wire transfers, you have flexible access to your funds. There may not be a physical branch, but you can still get top-notch customer support online or over the phone. It's all about simplicity and convenience right at your fingertips.

What Are the Advantages of a Dedicated Business Account for Foreign Exchange Transactions?

Opting for a dedicated business account for your foreign exchange transactions brings many benefits that can significantly benefit your business. Let's take a look at some of the key advantages:

Low Transactional Costs

If you have separate accounts in different countries, each bank will charge you fees for operating those accounts. And here's the tricky part – the transaction process can be complex and not so transparent, leading to hidden charges. On top of that, when your payments go through correspondent banks, you might face additional fees. 

With a single multi-currency account, you can hold all the currencies that match your customer and supplier bases and only pay a nominal single account fee. Moreover, these multi-currency accounts provide you with competitive rates for foreign exchange and reduced fees.

Streamlined Accounting and Reporting Processes

With a dedicated business account for foreign exchange transactions, you can easily streamline your financial records and make reconciliations. 

By issuing invoices and receiving payments in the same currency, you'll have fewer obstacles to overcome. Additionally, with providers such as Aspire offering accounting integrations, you can enhance the smoothness and accuracy of your financial procedures. This would not only save you time but also minimise errors when managing your finances, preparing statements, and generating reports.

Enhanced Transparency

With a dedicated business account, you can effortlessly keep track of your foreign currency balances, currency exchange rates, and transaction history. This transparency gives you a better view of your international financial position, helping you make smarter decisions and manage risks effectively. Plus, this makes meeting compliance and reporting requirements easy because you have a neat record of all your foreign exchange transactions. 

Save on Forex Fees

Every time you receive money in a different currency, your bank has to convert it to your home currency. And they may charge a hefty commission for this conversion. These fees can add up fast for a business that receives regular payments in different currencies. But with the FX business account, you can hold multiple currencies, which means the need for constant conversions disappears. And when there's no conversion, there are no conversion fees. 

Improved Cashflow Management  

A dedicated business account provides a convenient platform to manage all your international transactions, ensuring timely payments, recording receipts, and tracking incoming and outgoing foreign currency effortlessly. Keeping these transactions separate from your regular business operations gives you a clear and transparent view of your international cash flow. This valuable insight empowers you to plan, make informed decisions about currency conversions, and maximise the advantages for your business. Ultimately, it helps you identify effective strategies to boost and optimise your cash flow.

Supplier Satisfaction

A multi-currency account helps you pay your partners, suppliers, and clients in their own currency effortlessly. When you keep your suppliers happy, you unlock a world of benefits. They'll offer better material deals, provide consistent service, and nurture a strong business relationship.

Dedicated Technical Support

Financial institutions offer dedicated support from professionals who know all about international finance and foreign exchange. They're there to guide you through market trends, help with risk management strategies, and keep you in line with regulatory compliance. With their knowledge and assistance, you can make informed decisions and optimise your foreign exchange transactions. It's like having a trusted advisor by your side, ready to lend a helping hand whenever needed.

Manage Cash Across Subsidiaries

With a multi-currency account, managing cash across subsidiaries becomes much easier. You can effortlessly handle complex treasury operations for all your organisations in one place. This account will let you switch between your different business entities using a single login, while keeping track of your finances in real-time. This unified approach simplifies cash management across your subsidiaries, giving you greater financial control.

Faster Transactions

When you conduct transactions in local currencies, you tap into the power of local payment networks. It's like having a shortcut to speedy payments! And with a multi-currency business account that you can access online or through an app, you can instantly access your funds no matter where you are. It's all about keeping things moving, eliminating delays, and enjoying the convenience of immediate account access.

What are the available Business Account options in Singapore that offer foreign exchange (FX) services?

DBS Business Multi-Currency Account

With just one DBS Business Multi-Currency Account, you can conveniently hold multiple currencies, including SGD and 12 other major currencies such as AUD, CAD, CHF, CNH, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NOK, NZD, SEK, and USD. This flexibility allows you to manage your international transactions and expand your business globally easily. 

If your company is incorporated in Singapore and wholly owned by Singaporeans or PRs, you may be eligible for instant account opening upon approval. This means you can start using your account without any unnecessary delays.

Depending on your account bundle, you can enjoy free transactions such as FAST and GIRO. This helps you save on transaction fees and manage your expenses more efficiently.

OCBC Multi-Currency Business Account

With the OCBC Multi-Currency Business Account, you can easily receive or pay in multiple currencies just like a local. Their account allows you to transact in up to 13 major currencies, including USD, EUR, AUD, JPY, GBP, CNH, HKD, CAD, NZD, CHF, SEK, DKK, and NOK, making it convenient for you to conduct business with international partners and customers.

There is no need for an initial deposit, set-up fee, or fall-below fee. This helps you save on unnecessary charges and ensures a more affordable banking experience.

This account eliminates lengthy paperwork processes. Foreign currency is automatically enabled when you receive a deposit, giving you quicker access to your funds.

WISE Business Account 

With WISE business account, you can simplify your international transactions by setting up local account details in 9 different currencies. This allows your overseas customers to conveniently pay you using these local accounts, ensuring faster payment processing regardless of their location. 

They support over 40 currencies and transactions in more than 170 countries. This gives you the flexibility to conduct business globally and caters to customers worldwide, all through a single account.

They also offer business debit cards that can be used overseas without incurring foreign currency transaction fees. Additionally, you can set spending limits on each card to manage expenses effectively. 

Aspire Multi-currency Business Account

With Aspire's Multi-currency Business Account, you experience fast and transparent international payments with low fees and market-leading FX rates, up to 3x cheaper than banks. We prioritise transparency, and that’s why we display all charges and FX rates upfront to ensure no hidden fees or surprises. Plus, you can enjoy the convenience of free domestic transfers, including SGD, USD, and IDR transfers. With our account, you can also earn unlimited 1% cashback on qualified SaaS and digital marketing purchases

Our multi-currency business account streamlines payables and receivables management. Create professional invoices, automate payment reminders, streamline bill payments, simplify employee reimbursement and synchronise invoices with your accounting software. This integrated approach saves you time and reduces errors. Whether your business has established finance processes or you're starting with simpler operational needs, our tailored options are designed for you. 

Moreover, we have introduced Business Account Lite, a free plan offering the essentials of a global business account, including local and international payments, corporate cards, and a chance to explore our powerful software features. For businesses with growing finance operations, you can upgrade to Business Account Pro, which includes everything in Lite and additional features like multiple users, unlimited budgets, payables, receivables, and advanced accounting integrations.

What Factors Should Businesses Consider When Choosing a Business Account For Your FX Needs?

When you're choosing a business account for foreign exchange services, there are several factors you should consider to make an informed decision. Let's break down some of the important factors for you:

Account Features

When choosing a business account, assessing the features offered by different providers is important. Low foreign exchange (FX) rates are among the most important considerations. You may look for a provider offering competitive rates to ensure cost-effective currency conversions. Additionally, consider features such as a user-friendly online banking platform, seamless fund transfer capabilities, the ability to hold multiple currencies, and integration with accounting software. Evaluate which features align with your business needs and will effectively facilitate foreign exchange transactions.

Fees

Compare the fee structures of different account providers and ensure transparency in pricing. Look out for transaction fees, currency conversion fees, and account maintenance charges. Be cautious of any hidden costs associated with foreign exchange services. Consider your expected transaction volume and frequency to determine the cost-effectiveness of each provider. Pay attention to maintenance charges, both monthly and annual, as sudden increases can impact your business funds. Before opening a business account, stay informed about the financial institution's pricing plans.

Transaction Limitations

When selecting a business account, it's important to consider the transaction limits set by the account provider. Evaluate if these limits align with your business's requirements and the anticipated volume of foreign exchange transactions. Some financial institutions often impose limitations on monthly transactions, and exceeding these limits can result in additional maintenance charges deducted from your account. Additionally, there may be restrictions on how much cash you can deposit each month. These limitations can become significant obstacles as your business grows and engages with more vendors and clients.

Customer Support

When selecting a business account, evaluating the support provided by the account provider is crucial. Your accounting and finance team might need help beyond the online banking system. Make sure to seek out dedicated customer support options like phone call support, chat, AI, emergency helplines, 24/7 customer support technicians, or in-person visits. Consider the availability of dedicated relationship managers, the responsiveness of customer service channels, and the provider's reputation for delivering reliable support. Having prompt and dependable customer support is essential for handling foreign exchange transactions and addressing any concerns or questions.

Security

Look for well-established institutions with a strong track record in providing foreign exchange services. Research their regulatory compliance, security measures, and adherence to industry standards to ensure the safety of your funds and data. As you handle your cash flow and deposit your money through the business account, digital security becomes paramount. Choose a provider that offers bank-level encryption technologies to safeguard your information and maintain the reputation of your business.

Accessibility and Convenience

When choosing a business account, it's vital to assess the accessibility and convenience provided by the account provider. Consider whether they offer physical branches or digital banking platforms that align with your preferences. Look for user-friendly interfaces that make account opening and management easy and efficient. Opt for a provider that offers convenient access and meets your needs in terms of banking channels.

Integration Simplicity

Your accounting team relies on various systems to handle transactions and ensure accurate records. Modern business accounts, therefore, offer automatic reconciliation features that seamlessly update your systems with any changes in your bank account, whether it's a credit or debit. Choose a business account that allows for smooth integration, enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of your financial processes.

Multi-Currency Corporate Cards

As your business expands and your accounts team takes on more responsibilities, it becomes essential to delegate bill and invoice processing. The option to create and assign multi-currency corporate cards for various payment functions is a testament to the banking industry's innovation. With these cards, you can achieve swift and transparent international payments at competitive foreign exchange (FX) rates. Moreover, you gain the ability to efficiently handle various financial obligations, including SaaS-based subscription fees, employee expenses, recurring payments, and more. This feature streamlines financial operations and provides greater control over your business expenses.

Additional Services

When choosing an account provider, it's crucial to consider if they offer additional services that cater to your specific business needs. Look for services such as risk management advisory, market insights, trade finance facilities, and other value-added features that can enhance your foreign exchange capabilities and support your international business operations. These additional services can provide valuable support and guidance, helping you navigate the complexities of global markets and make informed decisions.

Take your time and research to find the one that meets your needs, keeps costs low, offers convenience, and provides reliable support. Check out different options, compare them, and don't hesitate to ask for recommendations or read reviews from other businesses. By carefully considering your options, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

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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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