Reduce the costs of international transfers

Making an international transfer as a company

In making an international transfer, a company may choose between two types of international transfers: A SEPA transfer if the international transaction is to be made between two countries which are part of the European Union or EFTA countries (including Switzerland) or a SWIFT transfer ( Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) for international transfers to other countries.

Why make an international transfer?

Transfers are usually made by companies for the following reasons:

  • The company wishes to purchase goods or services from a company located in a country other than its own. To make payments to a foreign supplier, where the company makes an international transfer, SWIFT or SEPA depending on the country.
  • A company set up abroad must, first establish that the subsidiary or local entity has the capital, to make an international transfer, through a notary, lawyer or bank.
  • A company already operating abroad, the parent company must make an international transfer to ensure the operating expenses of its subsidiary or to repatriate the turnover of its subsidiary into the currency of the parent.

Why it is important to make the right kind of international transfer?

Between a SEPA and SWIFT transfer, costs vary greatly, along with turnaround and transmission delays. The cost of an international transfer in accordance with SEPA standards does not exceed that of a local transfer, that is to say, in most cases will be free. However a SWIFT transfer is more expensive because there is less standardisation and therefore involves more manual handling. In terms of time, the SEPA credit transfers are executed within a business day while SWIFT transfers may take up to several days, and for those same reasons, are more expensive. If you need to transfer funds quickly, try to favour SEPA as much as possible.

The charges

The fees the bank charges to a company that wants to make transfers, depend on the transfer type (SEPA or SWIFT) and any specific conditions that the company has with its bank.

SEPA Transfer

Fees for SEPA Transfer

When a company receives a SEPA transfer, there is in principle either no charge, or a very much reduced cost.

When a company issues a SEPA credit transfer, the cost will generally depend on the chosen mode of transmission (a company that issues his order on the Internet will generally pay less than by making the transfer over the counter or by telephone). Usually a fixed fee is applied.

SWIFT Transfer

Fees for international SWIFT transfers

SWIFT transfers have special characteristics: the issuer of the transfer of must decide how the transfer costs will be covered. These costs may be covered fully by the issuer, fully supported by the recipient of the transfer, or shared.

  • When they are fully covered by the issuer, it means that the company will cover its bank’s charges, incurred by the transfer, and the recipient’s bank charges. In practical terms, the recipient’s bank will charge the issuer’s bank their fees. The fees are then debited by the issuer’s bank on behalf of the latter.
  • When they are fully taken care of by the recipient, the company that issues the international transfer will not apply any fees, including those in his own bank who will charge the beneficiary’s bank.
  • When they are shared the costs of the issue of the international transfer are covered by the issuer (debited by his bank directly from his account), and reception costs are borne by the recipient of the funds.

Sharing charges

It is desirable to decide with the customer or supplier the type of expense that the company wishes to undertake within the framework of the business relationship. When this is not specified, “shared costs” should be favoured.

The cost of issuing a SWIFT transfer depends on the transfer amount, within a recognised minimum and maximum.

Finally, as part of a SWIFT or SEPA transfer, the bank may make additional charges, if, for example, the IBAN is incomplete or invalid, as well as any miscellaneous fees that depend on the situation and the general conditions of the bank.

How b-Sharpe can help: Being expert in Switzerland in international transfer operations and foreign exchange, b-Sharpe can advise on the best way to optimise your international transfers. With the good management of international transfers, suitable currency hedging and exchange rates amongst the best on the market, b-Sharpe can save you a lot of money. To be convinced, contact us!

They recommend us!

An overall winning & trustworthy service with savings on (i) Money - I cannot find a better all-in FX rate! and (ii) Time - I moved from physically withdrawing & changing @Migros bank over w/e's to online (e-banking + email) with b-Sharpe. In addition you gain on better decision making - you choose anytime when and how much to change. the b-Sharpe team turns it around in 24h and I'm informed exactly what rate was applied. I see the transfers on my a/c within a further 24h!
B. Manish
B-Sharpe provide a unrivalled platform and service within their industry. The level of service and professionalism that I have experienced first hand is a testament to the dedication of the company to service their clients needs. The process regarding all transactions is smooth and swift and I can only offer my highest recommendation for this team.
Smith Paul
Contracts Manager

Try it, sign in with a few clicks!