Global Exchange's portfolio of solutions addresses your organization's needs at every point along the foreign exchange processing lifecycle

Frequently Asked Questions

Global Exchange has more than 20 years of experience answering the questions and meeting the needs of our clients. Here are our most frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers.

Why deal in foreign currency?

Dealing in foreign currency saves time and money, reduces risk, and helps you gain a competitive advantage when doing business internationally.

Is it better to wire money in US dollars or in foreign currency?

In most cases, money sent overseas in US dollars is converted by the foreign bank into the local currency of the receiver. But, if the money is sent overseas in the local currency, the funds are immediately credited to the receiver's account, usually saving one to two days in transaction time. By sending your payment in the currency of the destination, you can also lock in an exact exchange rate on the day of the transfer. And, you'll have the security of knowing the exact value of your payment now.

What are the risks involved when dealing in foreign currency?

Global Exchange can help you manage the financial risk associated with changing currency values. Trading foreign currency may result in substantial loss of funds and/or complete loss of funds and therefore should only be undertaken with risk capital. Other risks include overpaying your supplier, overcharging your customers, transaction-related charges from foreign banks, lowering the competitiveness of your product, and undercharging your customers. Businesses that trade in US dollars only may face risks if their competitors deal in foreign currency and consequently are enjoying competitive pricing compensation created by exchange rate fluctuations. Global Exchange specializes in providing the right solution to handle all your international transactions. We can decrease your risk by dealing in foreign currency while also help you find the most beneficial way of negotiating transactions.

I was billed in Euros. How can I make this payment?

You can send exact foreign exchange quickly and easily with international wire transfers and bank drafts. Global Exchange can debit your account for the US dollar equivalent and make the payment in the exact amount of the currency.

How can I request a foreign currency draft?

You can request a foreign currency draft by calling our office at 800-682-2187, or submitting a request via Some foreign countries do not accept foreign drafts, so contact Global Exchange for an update.

When will the beneficiary receive the payment?

Payment will be released to your beneficiary upon Global Exchange's receipt of your payment. With Canadian wire transfers, the beneficiary will receive payment in one business day.* With European wire transfers, the beneficiary will receive payment in two business days.* All other wire transfers will be two to three business days.* If the payment is more than US$50,000 it is Global Exchange's standard practice to hold the payment one extra day to ensure good funds.*Global Exchange does not guarantee value dates. Depending on the financial institution that is handling the payment, it may take more or less time.

What is an IBAN?

IBAN is an International Bank Account Number. The IBAN is used for international payments to countries in the European Union. An IBAN is required by a receiving bank to apply a euro payment directly to a beneficiary's bank account. As the primary account identifier, beneficiary accounts in Europe and payments not bearing an IBAN are subject to delay, additional charges or, and in some cases, rejection.

How will the IBAN be identified?

The IBAN contains characters in front of a normal recipient account number. These characters consist of a two-letter country code followed by a two-digit check number. The IBAN in its printed format is likely to be prefaced by the word IBAN and should be presented as a continuous string of alphanumeric characters.

What if I do not have an IBAN?

It is legally required for all accounts in the EU to have an IBAN. This information should be displayed on invoices or statements. As part of the Global Exchange solution, SmartFX will notify the beneficiary for the IBAN and/or inform them that the payment may be delayed or subject to additional charge if this information is not provided. The beneficiary's destination bank may reject the payment without an IBAN.

Are IBANs used in the USA?

U.S. banks do not use IBAN numbers. When routing funds throughout the USA, traditional banking codes (i.e. ABA numbers) and bank account numbers are used.

Will I need an IBAN if I am sending or receiving a payment from a country outside Europe?

Countries outside of Europe do not use IBAN's. Global Exchange will notify its clients when and if this regulation changes.

Who is required to use IBANs?

Any company, bank, or institution that sends payments to Europe. The beneficiary is expected to include their IBAN in all euro payment invoices or payment instructions. Receivers of payments from Europe must supply their IBAN to those making the payment as well.

How will the IBAN benefit my company?

The IBAN will help when sending or receiving funds quickly, efficiently, and with minimal cost. The lack of an IBAN may result in being charged a penalty for non-receipt of funds, investigations, or lifting fees.

What is SWIFT?

SWIFT is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. It is a non-profit organization comprised of its member financial institutions. It was established in 1973 by European bankers who needed an efficient and secure system for inter bank communications and transfer of funds and securities. At that time, all inter-bank communications were by telephone, telex, courier, or mail.

While the traditional Fedwire contains no instructions other than basic information, SWIFT is a messaging service. Therefore, each SWIFT message is a condition of wire transfer. SWIFT does not hold funds nor does it manage accounts on behalf of customers, nor does it store financial information on an ongoing basis. As a data carrier, SWIFT transports messages between two financial institutions safely and securely.

More than 8,300 banking organizations, securities institutions, and corporate customers in more than 208 countries trust SWIFT every day to exchange millions of financial messages. SWIFT has its headquarters in Belgium and has offices in the world's major financial centers and developing markets.

What does a SWIFT wire contain?

A SWIFT wire transfer consists of a one-page electronic document containing: the name and code of the originating bank, the date and time, the address and code of the receiving bank, the name and internal code of the person initiating the transmission, the names and numbers of the accounts involved in the transfer, a description of the funds being transferred, the MT category of the transmission; and acceptable, standard phrases necessary to complete the transmission.

What is a SWIFT MT Number?

SWIFT messages are preset and referred to by category numbers called MT numbers. For example, MT300's only deal with Foreign Currency Exchanges. Each type of message or condition in each category is preset as well. For example, there are 88 different messages available under the category MT500. Each MT category has its own manual of standards, as well.
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