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What’s the Best Way to Send Money? Tips for Busy Travel Agents

Foreign funds are often difficult to track and after fees and currency exchanges, the total price per transaction can end up eating into profits.

We can help you send over 130 currencies and access to a global network of 200 countries and territories.
We can help you send over 130 currencies and access to a global network of 200 countries and territories.

For anyone in the travel industry, sending money abroad can be a common occurrence. Whether it’s scheduling a tour or booking a hotel, managing international payments is inescapable. Of course, this process can be costly and time-consuming. Foreign funds are often difficult to track and after fees and currency exchanges, the total price per transaction can end up eating into profits.

The Trouble with Online Currency Converters

Businesses seeking to send a foreign payment often quickly check the current rate through an online currency converter. While this is helpful in finding the general difference between two foreign funds, the numbers provided in such tools typically show the wholesale rate between banks. This means the rate is usually more favourable because large financial institutions commonly exchange funds in large quantities – well above the amount typically sent by businesses. As the volume is lower the rates will be less favourable.

On top of this, the time it takes to send and track money to its destination has long been a source of frustration for businesses. Endless hours can be spent finding and reconciling invoices each month. For organizations of all sizes, this practice is increasingly burdensome, as valuable time could be better spent on customer-focused activities.

Should you Send a Cheque?

If a travel agent sends $10,000 Canadian to a company that organizes cooking classes for travelers in Italy, the local organizer may opt to send a cheque. The time frame for clearing and exchanging the funds is typically longer, and the final cost is unpredictable as the local bank will deduct a fee for their services. During this period, the cooking class owner may make frequent contact to attempt to confirm payment to reserve spots in their busy classes, causing a hassle for both parties. Possibly, the class will fill up, causing the travelers to miss out and the organizer to scramble to find a replacement activity.  

The Hidden Cost of Using a Credit Card

Another popular option is a credit card payment. The same Canadian travel company can choose to pay by credit card, which will instantly provide a payment to the Italian business. However, this convenience comes with a price. The rate applied to these charges is typically unfavourable when compared to other options. Businesses that accept credit cards must also pay a merchant fee – generally a percentage of the purchase amount. Vendors typically pass this cost onto the buyer, raising the overall price.

How to Send Local Currency, Internationally

Luckily, there are other options that could be more affordable while offering fast international payments.

Have you heard of an ACH? An automated clearing house is an electronic network that typically handles domestic payments between financial organizations. Because of its speed and fee structure, it’s considered one of the most efficient ways to send funds. Essentially, this intermediary batches the payments from an entire day sends them at once.

This may seem like an unusual method for sending international money as it requires the currencies to be sent in the local currency of the recipient. Western Union Business Solutions exchanges funds into a local currency before a transfer, the payment is eligible for ACH payment capabilities. This method is transparent, predictable and the sender can guarantee the full amount received. Plus, currencies from some of the most popular destinations are applicable, including Euros, Australian dollars and British pounds.

Sending Exotics and Hard-to-Find Currency

Visiting off-the-beaten path destinations seems to be a growing trend among travellers. If you need to send exotic currency in a hurry, consider a wire. Our network of industry experts and relationship managers are here to help you navigate the global marketplace. We can help you send over 130 currencies and access to a global network of 200 countries and territories. Our online platform has an easy-to-use interface with a simple 2-click payment process. Trying to obtain an exotic currency through a traditional bank can be tricky. The organization may not carry the currency and may need to procure it through a subsidiary. The process can be long and costly causing a headache for customer-facing travel guides and frustrating vacationers. 

To find out how to utilize this strategy for your travel agency or tour operator, contact one of our specialists.