Below you can find a number of commonly asked questions, basic facts and background information on Foreign Exchange Services.

This section focuses on buying or transferring large sums of foreign currency for private or corporate clients, of around $5,000 and above. For smaller global transfers, visit our area on Money Transfer.


What is a Foreign Exchange Service?

A foreign exchange service is a specialist or brokerage that provides foreign currency services for both private and corporate clients. As brokers, they deal with large volumes of global currencies each and every day meaning they can access the best available exchange rates and are highly trained in dealing with large transactions.

They offer their services in an easy-to-understand way so that you get the best for your money, whether you are a private individual or a large firm. All accounts are opened securely and within full financial regulations, so that you can get started on global transactions and payments.

What Would I Use a Foreign Exchange Service For?

Foreign exchange services are there to make your global payments take place in a low cost, fast and highly secure way. Typical reasons for using a foreign exchange service include:

Private Clients

  • Buying property overseas, mortgage payments abroad
  • Overseas school / college / university fees
  • Personal transfers
  • Working / living abroad
  • Any other personal requirements

Corporate / Business Clients

  • Import and export of international goods and services
  • Dealing / trading currency
  • Paying staff based overseas
  • Hedging and risk management
  • Any other business requirements

Can I Use my Regular Bank?

Of course you can use your regular bank to carry out global transfers and payments. However, there are some very simple reasons why this can end up costing you more money. These are widely known and accepted, though most banks can provide currency services.

The main reason that a normal bank costs more for global transfers is that they are usually obliged to add fees to the service. These can include administration fees and commission. A specialist foreign exchange service will never add fees (as long as the transfer is over a certain benchmark amount, typically $5,000) and commission will also not be charged.

Another key reason that a foreign exchange expert can offer a cheaper service is that the exchange rates they offer are unbeatable by banks. Regular banks can access the best exchange rates on the market (the interbank rate) but cannot pass these on to their customer. They first take a cut (or margin) which is far higher than a broker would take because a bank's overheads are bigger and therefore must be managed. A foreign exchange broker can also access the best rates, but will pass on the vast majority of this to you, the customer. Most foreign exchange services can offer between 1% and 3% of the interbank market rate.

Put simply, a foreign exchange service can offer the most value-for-money service for you and your money. In the majority of cases, your transfers will be completely free and carried out either via email or over the telephone.

What is the Interbank Rate?

The interbank rate is the rate of interest that large banks are charged for on short-terms loans. It is an internal rate at which they borrow and lend to one another so regular customers will never be able to access it. Most global regions or countries have their own interbank rate such as the LIBOR in the United Kingdom.

The closer to this rate that the exchange rate you are offered by your broker is, the better!

How Much does it Cost to Use a Foreign Exchange Service?

Mostly, it is completely free of charge to use a foreign exchange specialist. The only instance in which you will be charged a fee is if your transfer amount is under a certain level. Each broker has their own minimum transfer amount, so check these in advance.

Typically, this amount will be around $5,000 but it may be less, depending on the broker and the amount of transactions you need to carry out. They can make transfers of lower amounts on your behalf, but these are usually charged a flat fee of around $15 (again, the amount depends on the broker). Above their minimum level and you will not be charged a cent, from start to finish.

The process of setting up an account and making transfers is very simple, and typically goes like this:

  • Set up Account

You will usually be asked for some ID (passport) and proof of address to set up an account with a foreign exchange specialist. They will then verify these.

  • Personal Broker

You will be assigned your account and a personal broker

  • Set up a Transfer

Setting up a transfer is as easy as ABC. All you need to do is contact your broker to make your transfer request and they will give you a live exchange rate quote for your chosen currencies. If you are happy with the rate, then you can go ahead with the transfer

  • Transfer Verified

Your transfer will always be fully verified by yourself. If you need to set up multiple payments to one account, most brokers will not require the full bank details each and every time they will have them in a secure record.

  • Funds Arrive

Depending on your broker, the currency and its destination, your transfer will arrive from instantly to within a few working days.

  • Extras

Most brokers can tailor-make the account according to your personal requirements. They will go over the options with you from forward contracts to instant transfers. You will be able to discuss your needs in person with an expert who speaks plain English over the phone or via email, and you will never have to deal with an anonymous call centre.

Corporate Foreign Exchange

Business or corporate clients can enjoy the very best foreign exchange services. No matter what size your business, corporate foreign exchange services can provide an all-round level of excellence for you and your money.

Foreign exchange brokerages offer separate private and corporate client services, so that you know your accounts are being dealt with by an expert who knows exactly what your business needs are.

You will be given a tailor-made account service, to ensure that your currencies are handled exactly as you would wish. Choose from a number of high-tech currency options and hedging strategies and enjoy a one-to-one service at all times. You will be guaranteed the best available exchange rates, no commission and a fast and secure transfer service.


Please note that Which Way To Pay New Zealand ( is not authorized to give personal financial advice under New Zealand's financial services regulations, including the Financial Advisers Act (Securities Commission New Zealand).

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