Currency exchange Netherlands: 8 business payment solutions for international transfers
- Currency exchange
- International payments
Currency exchange transactions (fx) as well as international transfers are a highly relevant topic in the Netherlands: Dutch companies are actively engaged in international trade, with exports to countries outside the Eurozone accounting for around 33% of total imports and imports outside the Eurozone accounting for around 53%.
There are a variety of ways to manage international transfer – but the terms vary from provider to provider and depend on factors such as currencies needed or transaction volumes, which makes comparisons for companies in the Netherlands complicated. For this reason, we take a deeper look at 8 provider solutions for small- and medium-sized company owners to handle topics around the exchange of foreign currencies in the Netherlands.
Providers for international trades and currency exchange for SMEs in the Netherlands are:
- Traditional banks
Especially for companies with lower volume of currency exchange in the Netherlands, the solutions are limited and SMEs hence may struggle to find the right partner for their foreign payments and international transfers.
Businesses should consider the following 8 criteria to choose the right partner for their handling of currency exchange in the Netherlands:
- Is it possible to enter free international transfers of money via SWIFT? With most providers, this is not free of charge or only a limited number of free SWIFT payments are possible. Some do not provide information on what exactly is offered.
- What are the fees per transaction for international transfers? Many services are not transparent about this and fees can vary widely with each international trade, depending on the traded volume or the current market situation. This makes it impossible to properly calculate and plan.
- Is it possible to submit multiple payments via pain.001 payment files? This is a very important consideration and often overlooked, especially if you have multiple transactions that are prepared in an accounting or ERP system. It will save your accounting team a lot of time and headaches.
- Can the payment information be exported from the tool? Camt.053 is the European standard for any communication between payment institutes and accounting tools. Supporting camt-files will make the booking of these transactions a lot easier and can, in some systems, even be automated.
- Does the provider offer a solution for free peer-to-peer payments? This will allow you to create your own payment network and move money around the globe instantly at zero cost, without the bounderies of the existing banking system.
- Is the provider also offering custom IBAN-accounts for international payments? Account numbers in your company’s name make the payment process clearer for your clients and reduce the risk of administrative errors.
- Are local accounts (e.g. US, CAN, UK) available for incoming and outgoing international transfers? If yes, what are the fees? Local IBANs in the respective country will provide you with even more possibilities to receive and send payments in foreign currency in the most convenient and cost-effective way possible.
- Which additional services does the provider offer to enhance your banking experience? Can the provider support your business with services such as hedging possibilities, splitting options or a multi-currency debit card?
Herebelow is an overview of currency providers for small and medium-sized enterprises, showing what to consider when focusing on foreign currency exchange in the Netherlands:
|Free international payments (SWIFT)||Yes||No||Yes||No||N/A||No||Yes||No|
|Transparency about fees and markup||Transparent, fixed prices, 0.2 – 0.4%||Intransparent, up to 1.0%||Starting from 0.3%||No||No||From 0.41% plus business account EUR 50||0.4% for fx with free account||1.5 – 3.0%|
|File upload for mass-payments||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|File export for easier accounting||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Peer-network (free international payments)||Yes||Coming soon||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Multi-log in and team collaboration||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes||Depends on the bank|
|Own IBANs for incoming payments||Yes, without additional fees||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes, with additional fees|
|Local accounts (e.g. US, CAN, UK) for incoming payments||Yes, without additional fees||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||Yes||No|
|Hedging possibilities||Yes||Yes, manually via phone||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Depends on the bank|
|Splitting option for already entered trades||Yes||Yes, with additional fees||Yes||Yes||N/A||No||N/A||No|
|No additional fees for small transactions||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||N/A||Yes||Depends on the level of subscription||Yes|
|Multi-currency debit card||Yes, coming in Q1||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
1. amnis – the digital end-to-end solution for international business payments
amnis provides companies with the simplest, fastest and most cost-effective platform for international payments. To meet this high ambition, foreign currency exchange transactions are consistently thought of from the company’s point of view and the solution starts where companies effectively come into contact with third currencies: when they are paying invoices in foreign currencies and receiving customer payments.
Unlike most other providers, the margin on the currency exchange rate is fixed per customer – regardless of whether 500 EUR are exchanged on one day and 500,000 on the next. This makes a currency exchange in the Netherlands very attractive for businesses.
amnis can provide you with all tradable currencies to receive and send money abroad worlwide, the exchange rates can be fixed any number of days in advance and it is possible to trade currencies over the weekend – 24/7. Additionally, you can receive and send payments in 20+ currencies with a multi-currency account and manage all funds centrally to have the full overview at all times.
Talk to your amnis’ expert today and find out how you can accelerate your global business payments!
2. iBanFirst – for larger companies with a high number of payments
iBanFirst has been positioning itself as a partner for bigger companies, especially for corporates with high fx volumes. However, foreign exchange margins can be untransparent and vary from customer to customer. They claim to be transparent and offer low costs, but no clear overview with pricing information can be found.
Features like the so-called “Payment Tracker” as well as deposit solutions are part of the offering of iBanFirst. Clients have the possibility to trade forward contracts, but when booking fx forwards transparency, especially on forward points, is missing. Furthermore, clients are highly dependent on their account manager in order to execute fx forward transactions. Unfortunately, prices and margins are only available upon request, in contrast to iBanFirst’s transparency-claim. Also, clients are not able to execute bulk payments via upload and bookkeeping system integration is very limited.
3. Ebury – What borders?
Ebury has entities in over 24 countries and can therefore be counted as one of the big international players. Like for many other providers in the currency world, Ebury is headquartered in the UK. The company provides IBANs, hedging solutions and international payments. Despite Ebury’s claims of being a foreign exchange pioneer, no price transparency can be found.
Ebury is focused on companies with middle to high fx exposure.
4. Franx – 100% subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
Franx offers a digital platform for international payments, spot transactions, forward transactions, fx roll and fx swap as well as an IBAN account for several currencies. ABN AMRO Bank N.V. moves its customers to Franx when their fx volume is insufficient.
For SWIFT payment transactions in USD or CAD, Franx charges 6 EUR plus an additional fee of 6 EUR, which makes a total of 12 EUR per transaction. For a SWIFT payment in any other currency or to any other country, the transaction costs amount to 18.5 EUR. The IBAN comes at no charge, but if you have less than 50,000 fx per year, you will be charged a 10 EUR monthly fee. For individual requests, e.g. a search or handling, a fee of 25 EUR will incur.
There is no transparent margin overview for spot and forward transactions on Franx’s website.
5. Monex – longest on the market
Founded in 1985, UK-based Monex Europe Limited is part of a listed investment grade financial services company (Monex S.A.B. de C.V.).
Monex is an online payment platform designed to make international payments easier and faster. Various services are offered in their online account, such as automated single or batch payments and payments in multiple currencies in over 60 countries.
Monex offers only limited access to information on their website, which makes a transparent comparison difficult, especially in terms of fees and mark-ups.
6. Wise – high on the list for freelancers
Wise, formerly Transferwise, has its roots in the UK and grew with expats looking for a cheap way to send money back to home. In the German-speaking area, Wise is present through partnerships with neo-banks as well as FinTechs.
The main focus of Wise lies on the transfer of foreign currency payments. Thanks to its uncomplicated processes, the solution enjoys a growing popularity among freelancers. With over 150 currencies, Wise covers the widest range of tradable currencies besides amnis.
The rate markups for exchanging currencies in the Netherlands with Wise depend on the volume, but are relatively high for a neo-bank and even in the best case never lower than 0.4%.
7. Revolut – the British challenger bank
With more than 350,000 customers, Revolut is by far the most popular smartphone bank in Europe. Private individuals appreciate the free debit card and favorable exchange rates.
With Revolut Business, the startup, which operates under a Lithuanian e-money license, also offers a service explicitly targeted towards small companies: The business account is multi-currency capable and you can choose between three pricing plans. There is a limited allowance within which foreign currencies can be exchanged at the interbank rate. However, with an allowance of only 10,000 to 50,000 CHF per month at the preferred rate (depending on the selected price plan), the offer is clearly aimed at small companies that only have occasional payments in foreign currencies. Above that allowance, a surcharge of 0.4% applies – which very quickly puts the best offer of Revolut Business on par with the most expensive one at amnis. Also, there is no such allowance for the free business account.
8. Traditional banks – manual and intransparent
Last but not least, companies can of course also conduct their foreign currency transactions via the good old house bank. What should be avoided at any cost is issuing foreign currency payments via the local bank account – the applied exchange rates are exorbitant and a margin surcharge of 1% or more is not uncommon (Dutch Banks’ Foreign Exchange Comparison).
The processes at most banks are still quite manual and inflexible, the fees are often intransparent. It is also not unusual for foreign exchange transactions at banks to still be conducted over the phone. Unfortunately, very few banks offer digital all-in-one solutions for foreign exchange trading for small and medium-sized businesses, and if they do, they usually require a high minimum annual turnover.
Level up your foreign currency exchange in the Netherlands with amnis!
Since 2015, amnis facilitates the global payments and fx transactions of businesses: amnis is the simplest, most affordable and fastest global payment solution for SMEs in the market.
Try it out yourself and open a free demo account, or book a meeting with one of our experts.