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Frequently Asked Questions

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Sending and Receiving International Payments

Foreign Exchange Online


Sending and Receiving International Payments

1. Why deal in foreign currency?
Dealing in foreign currency can save you time and money, reduce risk, and help you gain a competitive advantage.
  • Save time. When you send a wire in foreign currency, the recipient does not have to wait for the overseas bank to accept it and convert it to local currency. Wires sent in foreign currency move directly to the foreign beneficiary and are subject to less delay than US denominated wires sent through intermediary banks. In many countries, Wells Fargo maintains accounts that can be used to receive incoming wires and accelerate collection times.
  • Save money. When you send international wires in foreign currency, you pay lower fees than for US dollar international wires. You may also pay lower international bank fees.
  • Reduce risk. By sending a wire in foreign currency you can lock in the exchange rate, secure your order, and know the full cost of the transaction before the wire is sent.
  • Gain competitive advantage. You may be able to negotiate a better price with your overseas business partner. By receiving a wire in local currency, the beneficiary will avoid assuming the risks of currency rate fluctuations and the costs of foreign exchange.
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2. What are the risks involved when dealing in foreign currency?
A Foreign Exchange Specialist can help you manage the financial risk associated with changing currency values. Some of these risks include transaction-related charges from foreign banks, overpaying your supplier, overcharging your customers, lowering the competitiveness of your product, and undercharging your customers. Even businesses that only trade in US dollars may face opportunity risk if they have competitors dealing in foreign currency and therefore are enjoying competitive pricing advantages created by exchange rate fluctuations. We specialize in providing you the right solution to handle your international transactions. We can also help you find the most advantageous way of negotiating transactions. In fact, you may reduce your risk by dealing in foreign currency. Contact a Foreign Exchange Specialist at 1-866-819-8972 or fill out this form to have a specialist contact you.Back to Top
3. How do I get the most current real time exchange rates?
Wells Fargo offers services in virtually any freely traded currency. Call a Foreign Exchange Specialist for current rates and market commentary. Additionally, customers can receive real time exchange rates through Foreign Exchange Online.Back to Top
4. When traveling internationally on business what forms of payment should I bring?
We recommend carrying some foreign cash to help cover initial expenses such as taxis, meals and tips. You can order foreign currency online, at one of our in-store Wells Fargo International Teller sites, or by phone at 1-800-678-4653. While we suggest carrying different forms of payment including currency (cash), credit cards and ATM cards, it's a good idea to avoid carrying large amounts of cash and provide additional security, by using ATM and credit cards when possible. Back to Top
5. How can I get a foreign currency draft?
You can visit a Wells Fargo store, visit us online, or contact a Foreign Exchange Specialist at 1-800-678-4653. Back to Top
6. Can Wells Fargo accept foreign checks for deposit, and if so, how long does it take to credit my account?
Yes. Wells Fargo accepts deposits of foreign checks for many countries. Foreign checks are credited to your account in a matter of days. With our Global Check Clearing service, foreign check deposits can be prepared in your office and mailed to our processing centers. You no longer need to visit the bank or wait weeks for your checks to clear. After you sign up for this service, you will need to stamp the front of the check and include a deposit slip. Then, send everything via overnight mail to Wells Fargo's Global Check Clearing Operations Center. To get started, contact a Foreign Exchange Specialist at 1-877-201-9639.Back to Top
7. What is the benefit of sending or receiving foreign currency wires for my business?
Save time. When you send a wire in foreign currency the recipient does not have to wait for the overseas bank to accept it and convert it to local currency. Wires sent in foreign currency move directly to the foreign beneficiary and are less subject to delay than US denominated wires sent through intermediary banks. In many countries, Wells Fargo maintains accounts that can be used to receive incoming wires and accelerate collection times.

Save money. When you send international wires in foreign currency, you pay lower fees than for US dollar international wires. You may also pay lower international bank fees.

Reduce risk. By sending a wire in foreign currency you can lock in the exchange rate, secure your order, and know the full cost of the transaction before the wire is sent.

Gain competitive advantage. You may be able to negotiate a more favorable price with your overseas business partner. By receiving a wire in local currency, the beneficiary will avoid assuming the risks of currency rate fluctuations and the costs of foreign exchange.Back to Top
8. What types of transactions can I perform with Foreign Exchange Online?
You can perform four basic types of foreign exchange transactions:
  • Spot contracts allow you to buy or sell foreign currency at competitive FX market rates. Once you select the currency you want to buy or sell, the foreign exchange rate is presented for you to accept.
  • Forward contracts allow you to arrange today to buy or sell foreign currency with delivery of funds occurring on a future date beyond the spot date. This eliminates the impact of a rate fluctuation on your profit margins when you receive or make future foreign currency payments.
  • Forward window contracts allow you to buy or sell a foreign currency at a designated price during a specified period between two future dates, providing more flexibility than contracts tied to a single date.
  • Swap transactions allow you to protect the dollar value of an initial overseas investment in a foreign currency and any receivables generated in the future. A swap transaction is the simultaneous purchase and sale of currency to cover your short- and long-term exposures.
In addition, you may settle your foreign currency contracts via wire transfer or draft or by accessing your Wells Fargo Multi-Currency Account. Repetitive payment instructions are stored within the system, allowing you to efficiently settle transactions without re-keying data. Drafts can be printed locally from your desktop. You can also request a rate for exchanging checks in qualifying foreign currencies and deposit the US dollar equivalent into your company's Wells Fargo account.Back to Top

Foreign Exchange Online

9. Is the Foreign Exchange Online site secure?
Yes. Wells Fargo integrates fraud prevention measures to maximize the security of your online sessions. Read more about Wells Fargo's commitment to online security. As a leader in electronic banking, Foreign Exchange Online takes advantage of the highest level of commercially available security: 128-bit encryption. Our system requires three-factor authentication — company ID, user ID and password — in addition to a token card to initiate the transaction. Back to Top
10. How does transacting my FX business over the Internet improve my efficiency?
Foreign Exchange Online is accessible through the CEO® business portal and Wells Fargo Business Online® Banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can execute transactions and get account information any time and on any PC with Internet access and a Web browser. To get started, contact a Foreign Exchange Specialist at 1-866-819-8972.Back to Top
11. Different staff members in my company have different approval levels. How is this handled?
Users' individual security levels determine the level of menu options that they may access. Users cannot activate selections for which they are not authorized.Back to Top
12. Who assigns security levels on the system?
Your company's security administrator identifies the users and assigns security levels based on functional responsibilities.Back to Top
13. How does using Foreign Exchange Online make repetitive payments more efficient?
The system stores repetitive settlement instructions and drop-down menus that allow you to quickly fill in repeat beneficiaries. You can also save beneficiary information in a database for future use, make split payments from a single contract and settle your contracts with easy-to-use screens.Back to Top
14. Since timely management of my FX transactions is important, how will I know if there is an open item and avoid losing the opportunity to complete the transaction?
Your Foreign Exchange Online home page displays a message alerting you to outstanding contracts needing settlement instructions and contracts maturing within a week.Back to Top
15. I have a current relationship with a Foreign Exchange Specialist. Will that relationship remain the same?
Absolutely. Foreign Exchange Online is another way you can access foreign exchange services at Wells Fargo. It enhances, rather than replaces, your relationship with your FX Specialist.Back to Top
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