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The Importance of Transparency in Foreign Exchange Transactions

When transferring funds between accounts in foreign countries, it's important to have visibility on both sides of the transaction. Here's a closer look at how using a trusted online foreign exchange service can maximize transparency, whether an individual is on the sending or receiving end of a money transfer.

Greater Control

When individuals send money abroad, they might run the risk of unfavorable currency fluctuation between the time the funds are sent and the day they're received. This risk is even steeper when individuals lack a clear sense of the exchange rate at which the money transfer is executed, says Douglas Goldstein, CFP, president of Profile Investment Services, a financial planning and investment firm in Jerusalem and Miami, and author of The Expatriate's Guide to Handling Money and Taxes.

Unlike banks - which typically offer a standard "rate of the day" set in the morning - a foreign exchange service can allow individuals to take advantage of competitive, real-time exchange rates, which can further reduce risk exposure, says Victor Hinojosa, director of North American partnerships with Western Union Business Solutions.  

“If you do a transaction with your bank and there’s an issue, you are at the mercy of the banking world in terms of finding out what went wrong.”

— Victor Hinojosa, director of North American partnerships with Western Union Business Solutions

Increased Visibility and International Payment Awareness

Individuals can reap further cost savings when sending money online with an online FX provider by gaining access to payment history and tracking the status of payments. "You can see exactly who you're sending to and access a record of how many times you've sent funds to that individual," Hinojosa says.

This level of transparency also extends to instances where there are questions related to a specific foreign transaction. Online foreign exchange services may offer around-the-clock access to customer service representatives who can view an individual's international payment record and answer any questions regarding the status of funds.

However, when individuals are banking overseas, this same level of service may not be provided. "If you do a transaction with your bank and there's an issue, you are at the mercy of the banking world in terms of finding out what went wrong," Hinojosa says. "If a payment is sent to the wrong account, you don't know how long it could take for the bank to pull out those funds, which can end up costing you."

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Combine Foreign Exchange Services to Boost Efficiency

Western Union® Online FX uses its relationships with 50 institutions and banks around the globe to help simplify the money transfer process.

According to Hinojosa, individuals who process international payments solely through a bank might have to wait at least two to six weeks for those funds to be converted. Furthermore, the rate at which the currency conversion takes place can range between 2.5 percent and 3 percent, which can negatively impact an individual's finances.

By opting to use a provider that works in tandem with banks overseas, individuals can keep cash in their pockets while receiving the benefits of a multifaceted payment process. "We leverage our international banking network to receive the funds and convert them automatically into your account, which makes those payments happen a lot quicker," Hinojosa says.

Whichever way they decide to approach the foreign exchange process, individuals should ultimately avoid going at it alone. By using an online FX service with 24-hour customer service, individuals will always have help on hand when they need it.

Live Cross Rates

USD 69.1780 1.3128 0.7872 53.3650 1.0000 0.8808
CAD 52.6620 1.0000 0.5993 40.6280 0.7609 0.6706
AUD 50.0830 0.9505 0.5700 38.6390 0.7236 0.6378
EUR 78.4920 1.4897 0.8933 60.5560 1.1342 1.0000
GBP 87.8300 1.6669 1.0000 67.7600 1.2692 1.1185

Example: 1USD = xx INR

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