With many questions around Brexit yet to be resolved, companies looking to do business across borders could be forgiven for feeling unsettled. But while the negotiations rumble on and companies watch and wait, there are steps organisations can take to help make international business run more smoothly and cheaply.
For many companies, particularly smaller organisations, the hardest part of working with suppliers and customers abroad is often trying not to put the company at a disadvantage compared to local businesses due to extra costs or regulations associated with cross-border commerce.
Companies looking to do business overseas for the first time, or expand into new territories, can find it hard to navigate the financial maze around accepting foreign currencies or running international bank accounts. For many, e-payments provide a way to cut through the red tape of international business banking.
E-payments accounts allow organisations to hold and deal with multiple currencies through a single account, streamlining their financial management and giving them one clear view onto their incoming and outgoing funds.
Furthermore, e-payments accounts provide companies with an IBAN (an international bank account number). Rather than having the pain and hassle of setting up an international account in each country they do business in, companies can effectively access the same functionality through an e-payments account with an IBAN.
With an IBAN, companies can accept payments and transfers from customers, regardless of where they're based in the world. For businesses with a European IBAN account, funds can be transferred in as little as one working day – quicker than most traditional international bank-to-bank transfers. What's more, creating an e-payments account is fast and simple – not something that can be said for opening an international bank account.
E-payments can also offer a way for businesses to sell internationally without the need for any complex financial infrastructure. Thanks to their integration with the biggest global marketplaces – the likes of Amazon, eBay, Etsy and others – e-payments enable businesses to easily offer their goods to buyers across the globe and accept payments in local currency.
What’s more, e-payments typically offer integration with various international e-wallets, which look after a customer's payment details and login credentials so they can make online purchases. The popularity of different brands of e-wallet usually varies according to geography. Thanks to the integration of e-payments and e-wallets, companies can make it a lot easier for overseas customers to make purchases from their website, increasing international reach and boosting sales as a result.
For those who prefer traditional payment methods, e-payments accounts can accept funds from Visa and Mastercard debit or credit cards, as well as from other issuers’ cards. Once again, e-payments' financial flexibility enables companies wanting to do business internationally to deal with the broadest range of people with the minimum amount of fuss.
For businesses looking to grow, hiring staff or freelancers from abroad can be a vital way to get insight into local markets or find skills not available elsewhere. Ensuring that overseas workers get paid on time to the bank account of their choice is crucial to build trust and ensure the smooth running of the company. E-payments can prove useful here too: e-payments accounts can be used for easy mass payouts, such as paying employees, freelancers, and affiliate networks.