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Telegraphic Transfer (TT) Or International Automated Clearing House (IACH): Which Overseas Funds Transfer Should You Use?

As a business, how you make overseas transfers can affect your negotiations.


This article was written in collaboration with OCBC Business Banking. All views expressed in this article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg based on our research. DollarsAndSense.sg is not liable for any financial losses that may arise from any transactions and readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence. You can view our full editorial policy here.

According to the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), 7 in 10 businesses in Singapore already report a presence in at least one overseas market. While this leaves 30% of businesses without an overseas presence, it’s also quite likely that many of them will be working with overseas-based clients, suppliers and other partners.

Apart from distance, another pain point Singapore businesses will have when working with overseas-based partners is to make international payments. One of the most common ways that most business owners or finance managers may use to make overseas fund transfers is via a telegraphic transfer, or more commonly known by its acronym – TT.

Through your existing business bank account, you can send a TT payment, which will be processed in the same business day. When doing so, you will typically be charged a small percentage of the transfer value and cable charges. Your payee may also incur a fee by their beneficiary bank.

Read Also: Why Open A Business Account With A Bank?

International Local Currency Transfer: An Efficient Way To Make Overseas Funds Transfers

What if you had another option for making foreign currency transfers while still enjoying the same convenience? Depending on your specific requirements for making foreign currency transfers, OCBC Bank’s International Local Currency Transfer service via its International Automated Clearing House (IACH), could provide a better outcome.

If you’ve never heard about International Local Currency Transfer, you’re not alone. We weren’t entirely familiar with it ourselves until we started using it.

The main benefit of using OCBC’s International Local Currency Transfer is that your payee enjoys greater certainty in receiving the full value of the transfer in their local currency. At the same time, you incur a simple flat fee of $30 per outgoing transaction.

However, International Local Currency Transfers typically take 3 business days to process. While this is slightly longer than sending a  TT, International Local Currency Transfers are perfect for non-urgent cross-border payments.

  International Local Currency Transfer (via IACH) Telegraphic Transfers
Speed Transfers processed within 3-4 business days Same-business-day processing (subject to cut-off time)
Cost Flat fee of $30 per transaction Fee is a small percentage of the transfer value and cable charges
How much your payee receives Payee receives full value of transfer in local currency Beneficiary or agent banks may charge a fee, resulting in payee receiving a lower amount in their local currency
Currencies you can transact in Available in nine foreign currencies:
1. AUD (Australia)
2. CAD (Canada)
3. DKK (Denmark)
4. GBP (United Kingdom)
5. HKD (Hong Kong)
6. NOK (Norway)
7. NZD (New Zealand)
8. SEK (Sweden)
9. USD (United States of America)
Typically available in more currencies (for example, OCBC provides access to over 30 currencies via TT)
Convenience Can be made via OCBC Velocity or OCBC Business Banking App, without having to apply for any new service Can be made via OCBC Velocity or OCBC Business Banking App, without having to apply for any new service

 

Run Your Business More Efficiently (And Very Likely Benefit Your Payee Too)

OCBC’s International Local Currency Transfers give you another option to make overseas payments. Depending on your business needs, this can help you in your business operations.

While it’s convenient to have same-day processing when required, many businesses will have payment terms that can stretch at least 3 business days or longer. If your payment terms are not as urgent, using OCBC’s International Local Currency Transfers can be more cost-effective with a $30 flat fee. As mentioned above, International Local Currency Transfers also give your payee greater certainty in the amount they ultimately receive in their bank account (i.e. without incurring a fee on their end).

This can make it easier for them to reconcile payments, especially since they receive exactly what they have invoiced you for. Also, if you put yourself in their shoes, it’s always nicer to receive the full amount rather than to end up regularly seeing a lower amount just because you’re working with an overseas partner.

To offset additional costs and inconvenience they face, your overseas partners may charge you a higher amount. If you are able to eliminate foreign exchange risk and additional bank charges for your overseas partner, you put yourself in a position to negotiate a more favourable deal for your business.

For example, if you are purchasing fresh produce from Australia, you may be quoted a higher price if negotiations are not done in AUD. By letting your Australian supplier know that you are able to settle the full value of the payment in their local currency within 3 business days, it may help you negotiate a lower cost and speed up negotiations.

International Money Transfers Made Simple With OCBC Business Banking

Without having to apply for any new service or set up any new functions, you already have at least two different ways to make overseas payments with OCBC Velocity at your disposal. Depending on your business needs, you can directly make TT transactions and International Local Currency Transfers from either the OCBC Business app or via OCBC Velocity on desktop.

For your benefit, we made a transfer to Hong Kong via the International Local Currency Transfer option to see how it worked. After logging into OCBC Velocity, we simply have to select the option to make a transfer to a bank overseas and input our transfer details. Once this is done, we will be presented with both TT and IACH options. We simply need to click on the IACH option.

When making the transaction, we are also able to see the exchange rate we are being quoted. We did a quick check on Google to verify if the exchange rate for our Hong Kong dollar transfer was competitive – it was.

OCBC IACH

Making Full Use Of The Tools OCBC Velocity Puts At Our Disposal

The increasingly digital world will only open more avenues for international business and operations. Hence, the need to make international funds transfers is only going to rise.

OCBC’s International Local Currency Transfers is a cost-effective way to send local currency to our payees via its International Automated Clearing House. Its low flat fee of $30 is transparent and easy-to-comprehend. While transactions typically take 3 business days to process, we can leverage on it to negotiate overseas business deals more quickly and/or at more favourable rates.

If we require to make more urgent international payments or need to send money in currencies not supported by IACH, a TT offers same-day processing and as many as 30 supported currencies. This too can help us get international deals over the line, as we are able to pay on the same day itself.

Whatever our overseas business needs may be, our OCBC Business Bank account helps us to make transactions seamlessly and conveniently.

Read Also: 6 Tips (Via OCBC Velocity) We Can Use To Run Our Business More Successfully

Need Financing Support During This Period?

SMEs can enjoy extra financing support of up to $3 million through the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme when you apply online with OCBC. Terms and conditions apply.

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