Banks have historically provided financial services to businesses keen to diversify revenue streams and exploit overseas transactions and trade. Banks are understandably keen to promote these business relationships, but which has the ability to structure the best and most cost-effective solution for your business –  an FX Specialist, or a bank?

Whether you are an established international business or a growing e-tailer, who you choose to manage your FX can have a dramatic impact on company profits.

FX Specialist v Bank

Many businesses buy and sell goods and services overseas and have a regular requirement to transfer money from one currency to another. A secure, reliable and suitable service must provide value for money or fees can soon mount up. Cross-border transactions can involve more financial institutions and touchpoints than just the payer’s and receiver’s bank account. Smaller, local banks will often rely on arrangements with larger banks to facilitate cross-currency transactions on their behalf. This can mean that there are multiple banks involved when making/receiving an international payment. Whenever you send money internationally via a bank, the bank will typically charge a fixed money transfer fee. In addition to these fixed fees, banks generally offer uncompetitive exchange rates – increasing costs further. Said costs can often amount to 4% or 5% of the value of the payment each and every time. Banks do not offer a specialist FX service tailored to your business and needs. They provide a handful of solutions and businesses must decipher the best ‘fit’. Country-specific regulations are another FX hurdle. If the payment information is not properly presented, you can see:

  • Funds rejected
  • Funds held
  • Funds stuck at an intermediary bank

Customers and suppliers expect a smooth financial exchange and expect to see the payment in their local currency. Banks do not offer the breadth of financial payment services or secure international payment technology that FX specialists do. There is often little visibility or control of when transfers take place and at what exchange rate which can leave your business open to unfavourable rates that impact profits.

So, what financial payment solutions can an FX specialist offer?

Lower fees, tailored advice and expertise managing your currency risk are just a few of the services that a regulated payment specialist can provide. Coupled with greater speed and transparency – the benefits are compelling. In many cases, business payments are made the same day. Part of tailoring the correct currency risk management strategy is taking the time to understand the nuances of your business.

The Right International Payment Solution for Your Business

  • Forward Contracts

Forward contracts are a private agreement between two parties. They allow the buyer to purchase an asset at a set price point and time in the future and the seller is obligated to sell the asset. Forward contracts are often used to manage risk but are generally uncompetitive via high street banks. An FX specialist will be able to advise on using forward contracts as a risk management strategy for your business.

  • Global Payments

Countless organisations schedule regular payments to suppliers and employers. This can involve multiple currencies and beneficiaries. Bulk payments allow you to load and pay multiple beneficiaries and make payments that are quick, simple and accurate.

  • Online Technology Portal

Country and product-specific forms provide you with the exact information and parameters required to get your international payments right the first time and every time.

  • Dedicated FX Expertise

A culmination of understanding the market and understanding your business needs is an essential element of risk mitigation. A specialist will be up-to-date on what moves the market and if there are ongoing or upcoming political/economic events that may cause volatility. An FX Specialist allows for more accurate forecasting, timing and hedging.

Managing your international payments can be time-consuming and complex. Rather than paying hidden fees, charges and unknown interest rates on each and every payment, it may be time to consider partnering with a payment specialist.

Central FX is a leading foreign exchange specialist servicing corporate and private clients since 2008. Your dedicated payments specialist will help you manage your FX risk in three simple steps:

  1. Identify the risk
    We complete a Currency Risk Assessment to understand your needs, your numbers and crucially how market fluctuations may adversely affect you.
  2. Create a strategy
    With the risk identified, we help to create a strategy that meets your specific needs.
  3. Execute that strategy
    That strategy is then executed and we work with you on an ongoing basis to ensure your currency risk remains both understood and under control.

To book your currency risk assessment, please get in touch with one of our dedicated FX specialists.


Central FX is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the payment services regulation 2017. Our FCA registration number is 565847.