A beginner's guide to Foreign Exchange payments

Posted on the 12th May 2016 by Susan Curtis in SME blog

A beginner's guide to Foreign Exchange payments

Foreign exchange terms and phrases can be easy to understand if you’ve worked in the financial sector for many years or are experienced in international payments. 

However, for those who only occasionally need to transfer money between bank accounts, pay a deposit on a house abroad or make a payment to a third party in a different country the terms and acronyms used can be like a foreign language.

Here at Money Mover we like to keep things simple for our customers so we’ve created the guide below to help you navigate the world of foreign exchange language.

  • Mid Market/InterBank Exchange Rate – this is the rate at which financial institutions buy and sell to one another.  Essentially it is the wholesale price of currency.  Because banks and large FX brokers buy their currency at this price, they make most of their profit on the difference between the interbank exchange rate and the rate they offer you.  By comparing the rate your bank offers you to the exchange rate you see on sites like XE.com, it’s easy to see how much you’re being charged.  Alternatively, you can send us details of your past transactions here, and we’ll do the hard work for you.
     
  • TODay (TOD) – this is often called a same day payment.  It means your payment will be sent to your recipient in the same working day
     
  • TOMorrow (TOM) – as the word suggests, this means that the transaction will be sent to your recipient on the working day after you have instructed the trade.
     
  • SPOT – this is usually the default payment type within foreign exchange. It means your payment will be settled and sent to your recipient 2 days after the trade is instructed.
     
  • FORWARD – forward payments allow you to lock in an exchange rate for a transaction at a pre-specified date in the future. Forward payments require the immediate payment of a deposit (margin), the value of the deposit will be a proportion of the total payment amount. Your final settlement balance will be reduced by the value of the deposit that you've paid. You can read more about how forwards work here.

Money Mover recently carried out research on the hidden costs of moving money internationally.  The report showed that this has cost SMEs billions of pounds more in bank charges than it should have done.  To read the full research click here.

Money Mover puts most of the major currencies (and a number of the minor ones) at your fingertips, enabling you to make payments throughout the world in a simple, low cost and transparent way.

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