Date posted: 10/06/2020 5 min read

International money transfers during COVID-19

Keeping the cost of international money transfers as low as possible helps in volatile times. Brought to you by WorldFirst.

COVID-19 is prompting thousands of Australian businesses, both large and small, to turn to accountants for help in weathering the financial storm in these unprecedented times.

Indeed, as small businesses face ongoing uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, many are relying on accountants for urgent advice on how to limit its impact on their bottom line.

Cash management a ‘tool of survival’

In this context, WorldFirst country manager, Matthew Phelan, says it’s particularly important that accountants have all the tools to keep clients afloat in the current crisis.

That includes making sure they are able to provide their clients with effective cost management when it comes to international money transfers.

“COVID-19 is obviously incredibly stressful for businesses and the people behind those businesses at the moment, and when revenue is down, cost management becomes the most important tool for survival,” Phelan says.

“When revenue is down, cost management becomes the most important tool for survival.”
Matthew Phelan

“If you can save money on your FX (foreign exchange) and your cross-border payments you should look to do that, as it puts money immediately back into your pocket and allows you to budget your cash flow accordingly.”

International money transfers in ‘volatile’ conditions

It’s in this area that WorldFirst’s international money transfers for individuals, businesses and online sellers can be especially helpful given the unique challenges at hand, Phelan says.

For instance, unlike many other products in the space, WorldFirst’s multi-currency account for businesses and online sellers, known as World Account, offers transparent pricing of 0.50% or less, dependent on annual transfer volume, making it a great way for SMEs to collect, convert and make payments globally.

Another benefit is that it enables firms to receive, hold and make foreign payments in local currencies such as GBP, USD, EUR, CAD, JPY, AUD, SGD, NZD, HKD and CNH, he says.

“An increasing number of accounting partners are referring SMEs to WorldFirst first to access this product as it’s very difficult for an Australian SME to access local bank account details in overseas markets such as the US, Europe, UK or Singapore,” Phelan explains.

“By contrast, our World Account allows them to open up to 10 locally based accounts in major currencies. They’re opened on the same day, in one platform, and they’re free. We want to make it easy to do business anywhere.”

Additionally, Phelan points to a host of other features that assist SMEs to cut the cost of doing business across borders, particularly in today’s “volatile” conditions.

“Clients can collect and hold funds locally from international customers, and clients can transfer funds between balances as well as making local or international payments out,” he says.

“The World Account is also compatible with marketplaces and payment gateways and allows clients to create a ‘natural hedge’ as they can keep funds in their account for up to 90 days before having to move their funds.”

‘Market leading’ deal for CA ANZ members

For Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) members, there’s an extra reason to consider taking up WorldFirst’s offering – a 20% discount.

“We have agreed a 20% discount on our already market-leading transparent pricing exclusive for CA ANZ members, so no CA ANZ member who registers and trades with WorldFirst will pay more than 0.4%,” says Phelan.

This is available to CA ANZ members directly or CA ANZ members who sign up as registered partners and refer their clients.

For Phelan, it’s all part of WorldFirst pitching in to help out during extraordinary times.

“There’s never been a more critical time than right now to reduce costs. We can help businesses with faster, cheaper and more secure international payments. That’s what we’ve done for over 15 years for more than 250,000 clients.”

How does World Account work with online marketplaces?

1. Client has added their World Account details into the online marketplace account portal

2. Online shoppers make a purchase of the client’s product via the online marketplace

3. Proceeds of the online sales are collected by the marketplace

4. The marketplace then makes a payment into our client’s World Account each pay cycle. For example, Amazon pays every fortnight, whereas TradeMe pays every second day.

Find out more:

Visit or talk to its partnerships team:

Email [email protected] or phone +61 (0)2 8298 4934

Email [email protected] or phone +61 (0)2 8298 4936

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