Expanding Your Business Abroad? You Need a Multi-Currency Account

by Airwallex
February 6, 2023
Expanding Your Business Abroad? You Need a Multi-Currency Account

Our partners at Airwallex share the intricacies of expanding your business into new countries and how they can help support your growing business.

Are you considering taking your business to the next level by expanding internationally? Are you wanting to open up to new markets to increase your global revenue streams and drive toward your business’s goals and future aspirations? If so, exploring the benefits of multi-currency accounts and how they can support your exciting new endeavor should definitely be an item on your pre-expansion to-do list. 

Globally, more and more consumers have moved online, making e-commerce an increasingly international game. 

Never before have shoppers been as willing to purchase products from online retailers that operate outside their domestic market. These international shoppers are an absolute gold mine for businesses looking to expand. However, when you start to scale your business globally, you need to think carefully about the international banking and payment services you choose to support your big move. 

From exchange rates to money transfers, monthly fees to customer satisfaction and supplier relationships - global expansion can come with as many challenges as it does benefits. Airwallex provides the financial infrastructure you need to manage these hurdles. Helping you reduce the cost and admin burden of scaling abroad. Want to learn more? Then let’s dive in.

What is a multi-currency business account?

A multi-currency business account is a type of bank account that allows a business to hold, manage and transact in many different currencies. This makes them a great choice for international businesses. 

Multi-currency business accounts enable organizations to receive payments in different currencies from international customers, hold those currencies in their accounts, and make fast payments to overseas suppliers without incurring international transaction fees. 

Businesses can also convert funds from one currency to another at a low rate compared to banks. And protect themselves from the risks posed by currency volatility. 

Foreign currency bank account vs multi-currency account, what’s the difference?

Multi-currency accounts and foreign currency accounts work in a similar way. However, the Airwallex Global Account (which is a type of multi-currency account) has been designed to make life easier for business owners. Whilst traditional banks might ask you to visit a bank branch before you open a new foreign currency account, Airwallex allows you to open multiple foreign currency accounts (including EUR, GBP and CAD) online. No bank branch visits. No hassle. 

Multi-currency accounts are typically run through partner networks. This means you can easily set up an account in a foreign country and receive local bank details (IBANs) that make it easy for you to operate in that country. 

So, although you’ve opened your multi-currency account here in the United States, you can open a local bank account in the UK (for example). This means you can send and receive payments locally, avoiding fees and transfer delays.

Connect your multi-currency account to Amazon and PayPal and reduce fees

Popular platforms like PayPal, Shopify and Amazon charge high foreign exchange fees when you collect payments in different currencies. By connecting your Airwallex Global Account to these platforms, you can avoid paying these fees, as the account gives you the power to draw down multiple currencies without forcing you to exchange them. Multi-currency accounts also mean you provide a more localized online experience for your customers, as they can purchase from you in their home currency. 

For example, a US-based business that sells products on Amazon to European customers can collect euros into their Airwallex account, hold them there, and use them to pay their European suppliers, all whilst avoiding FX fees. 

It’s an efficient and simple way to create a local banking presence for your business in a specific region without having to open an actual entity there, so you can conduct seamless international trade and boost your global growth.

An Airwallex Global Account will also allow you to manage all your funds in one place. View your multi-currency balances from a single interface, spend in multiple currencies with your Borderless Cards, transfer funds to suppliers and employees around the world, and view all transaction data in one platform. And Airwallex syncs with Xero, so you can automate reconciliation. 

What are the benefits of fintechs versus traditional banks?

With the introduction of new and innovative fintech products to the market, international businesses are starting to see the benefits of fintechs versus traditional banks. 

Traditional banks face several problems when it comes to catering to customers who aim to expand internationally.

  • Slow and outdated technology - Traditional banks are notoriously slow to adopt new technologies, making their services less efficient compared to fintechs. The SWIFT network (an outdated and sluggish method of transferring money internationally) is still used by traditional banks. 

  • High and unnecessary fees - Banks charge many types of fees that can affect the cash flow of international businesses, including for services such as account maintenance, high foreign exchange conversion fees, wire transfers, and overdraft fees.

  • Inflexible products - Traditional banks are notoriously slow on their speed of adoption for new offerings that could improve their services to customers. Fintechs tend to be more adaptive and interested in innovating for their clients. 

In contrast, there are plenty of benefits that come with adding multi-currency accounts to your business’s financial tech stack. 

  • Empowering your global reach - With an Airwallex Global Account, you have the ability to transact with customers and suppliers worldwide, increasing your cash flow and driving your expansion as a newly-upgraded international business. You can open foreign currency accounts in EUR, GBP, USD, AUD, NZD, and more; all without leaving the United States (or even your desk). 

  • Saving on currency conversions - Multi-currency accounts eliminate unnecessary currency exchange fees. You can collect international payments from your customers and then spend them later in the same currency (or transfer them back to US dollars using Airwallex’s market-leading fx rates). 

  • Streamlined accounting - With a digital multi-currency account, you can easily manage your cash flow and business finances online, seeing multiple currency transactions from a single account. Airwallex’s Global Account integrates seamlessly with accounting software like Xero, so you’ll never again have to spend time on tedious and time-wasting account management and data entry. 

  • Improved international customer experience - Make it easy for your customers to buy from you and trust your business by giving them the option to pay you in their local currency. You can then convert your sales proceeds back into US Dollars if you wish, or spend the proceeds in the same currency. 

  • More efficient than traditional banks - Many banks request that you make an in-branch appointment before setting up a foreign currency account, and it can then take anywhere from five days to four weeks before everything is up and running and you’re trading. With an Airwallex Global Account, you can open 12 foreign currency accounts online at the click of a button, without ever having to leave the US. 

  • Lower costs - Fintechs often have much lower fees than traditional banks. For example, Airwallex won’t charge you any account fees or transaction fees for your money transfers. 

Expand your business with Airwallex

Opening an Airwallex Global Account for your international business is simply better. Better for your customers, better for your teams, and better for your bottom line. With no monthly or card fees and only a small margin on top of our market-leading interbank FX rates, a multi-currency account like ours comes with transparent pricing that’s a no-brainer for your business’s journey onto the global stage. 

Let us help you in hitting your business goals out of the park, as you send and receive money from around the world with an Airwallex Global Account.

What would you do with the right amount of capital?

Working Capital Advance

Easy payment structures offer amounts with fast turnaround, Simple and easy process to access working capital.

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Business Line of Credit

Get instant access to revolving credit with unlimited terms, and the best rates for your business.

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  • Soft credit pull that doesn't affect your credit score