Global money transfer companies enable Amazon sellers to sell internationally and relieve them of many bureaucratic and financial hurdles. Without a money transfer provider, it will be much harder for you to run your international Amazon business since you will have to deal with complicated and expensive currency exchanges.
Understanding how cross-border payments work, and how you can use it to optimize your business can be a real headache, especially if you are new to this topic.
That’s why we created this ultimate guide for you where we’ll cover everything you need to know about global money transfer. You will also learn how to connect your new virtual new bank to your Amazon seller account and how to choose the provider that provides the best solution for your business
Here’s everything you need to know:
What is a Global Money Transfer Company?
International money transfer services are virtual global banks that provide you with local bank accounts in all major markets.
You can use these bank accounts to receive payments from various Amazon marketplaces in local currencies and easily manage your funds.
The easiest way to explain how these companies work is to use an example:
If you’re an online seller based in the USA and you’re selling in Europe, e.g. in Germany, you will make all your sales in Euros. If you don’t use a third-party payment service, Amazon will automatically transfer your earnings to your US bank account every two weeks – in US dollars. For the conversion of the Euros you earn from your sales in Germany into US dollars, Amazon charges a heavy fee of roughly 4%. So if you have a turnover of €100,000, Amazon charges €4,000 for the conversion of the currency alone.
A virtual payment provider allows you to collect your payments from Amazon in Euros and keep them in your virtual bank account.
You can then decide for yourself whether and when you want to transfer your funds to your local bank account – at much lower conversion fees – or whether you want to keep your funds in Euros in your virtual bank account.
Why should you use a money transfer company to manage your cross-border payments?
Global payment providers can facilitate your global selling activities in many ways.
For US Amazon Sellers selling worldwide
First of all, with the virtual bank account number they provide you with, you’ll be able to sell in any marketplace you like and collect your payments and keep your earnings in the currency you received them in. You can even keep a part of your earnings in your account to pay for your local 3PL or freelancers, your VAT, or for other services.
This way you prevent losing money twice to currency conversion.
Amazon would automatically transfer your earnings and exchange them into dollars at a high fee, and then when you have to pay your 3PL, you would have to exchange them back, which would cost you exchange fees again.
For Non-Residents selling in the US
A different example would be if you are not based in the USA (e.g. in Australia), but sell on Amazon.com and source your products from China. Chinese suppliers usually want to get paid in USD, and with a virtual bank account you can keep the dollars you earned in the USA and use them to pay your supplier.
If you would use Amazon directly, you would receive your earnings in AUD, which will cost you >4% in exchange fees. Then you’d have to exchange it back into USD to pay your supplier.
Moreover, many popular software tools and companies like charge their services in US dollars, so it is always advantageous to have some funds available in USD.
Who needs a virtual bank account – and who doesn’t?
You’re a non-resident seller or selling in multiple marketplaces
You should definitely use a third-party payment service if you’re selling in a country where you’re not a resident or if you sell in several marketplaces with different currencies. It’s always better (and cheaper) to collect your payments in the local currency and decide for yourself if and when you want to convert your funds to your bank account.
You’re not an international seller
If you’re exclusively selling on one marketplace and you’re a resident there, you will not need a virtual bank account. So if you’re a US citizen living in the US and you’re only selling on Amzon.com, there’s no need for you to use a third-party payment provider.
You will receive your earnings in your local currency anyway, so you will not benefit from saving on conversion fees.
How do virtual banks work?
A global payment management provider sets up a bank account number for you in their name. The bank account number will be with a local bank they work with.
So if you are a US citizen and you would like to sell on Amazon.de, they will give you a local bank account number, e.g. at Deutsche Handelsbank. Similarly, if you’re not a U.S. citizen but want to collect payments in the U.S., you will be given a bank account with, for instance, the Bank of America.
Each payment service has their own requirements and will perform their due diligence if you want to open an account there. It is basically a background check like any other bank would do. The documents and information you need to provide will depend on the service you are using, but usually you will need:
- A valid government ID of any kind (passport, driver’s license..)
- A local bank account through which you can receive payments
- Proof that your business is legit (supplier invoices, company registration..)
Basically, the payment provider only has to make sure that your business is genuine and legal. Then all you have to do is fill out a few forms and you’re good to go.
If your registration was successful, your payment provider will provide all the bank details to use for your seller account, as shown in the image below.
What are the Benefits of a global money transfer service?
Sell on any Amazon marketplace as a non-resident
Virtual banks allow sellers to expand their business to markets around the world without having to be resident.
More marketplaces, more customers, more revenue.
Save fees & prevent double conversions
The main reason for using virtual bank accounts in foreign marketplaces is to avoid the high fees that Amazon charges for cross-border payments.
Third party payment services usually charge 1-2% less than Amazon for currency conversions, and you avoid having to convert your currency twice if you need to pay for something in the currency you received your earnings in.
You can save thousands of dollars in fees every year.
Payment providers usually don’t charge any account set-up, management or subscription fees.
Typically the only way they make money is by taking a cut on the currency conversion but that cut is still less than the fees Amazon charges.
Receive working capital
As you know, Amazon usually pays you every two weeks. If you’re short on capital to reinvest in stock, PPC or other things, that can be a huge problem.
That’s why for a small fee, some payment services offer paying you in advance to increase your cash flow.
This is how it works: your payment service receives your sales data from your Amazon account. Let’s say this month, you make 50k in sales but will only receive your money in 2 weeks. However, you urgently need the money to buy more inventory. You can then withdraw a certain amount, e.g. $10,000, in advance from your virtual bank account because your payment provider has the proof (your data) that you will receive $50,000 from Amazon in two weeks.
Since your payment provider takes a risk by lending you the money (your account could get suspended, you could go to jail etc.), they will charge you a small fee for the early withdrawal.
Pay your VAT if you’re selling in Europe
If you are a foreigner selling in Europe, you can keep part of your earnings in Euros on your account and transfer the VAT directly to the relevant tax authorities.
How long does it take to set up a virtual bank account?
Opening an account with a global payment provider usually takes no more than 1-2 business days, depending on whether you have all the documents ready.
If there’s a reason why your background check takes longer than usual or if you need more documents for your application, it may take a few more days. However, this rarely ever happens.
How can I connect my virtual bank account to my Seller Central?
After you have successfully registered your virtual bank account, you can easily change your bank details in your Amazon seller account.
Simply use the bank details provided by your payment service.
After successfully changing your bank details, Amazon will start transferring your earnings in the respective local currency to your virtual bank account.
In the dashboard, you can see your funds, decide if you want to keep or transfer the money, and if you want to convert it into another currency.
Will I get suspended if I change my bank details in Seller Central?
Many sellers are worried about getting suspended if they change their bank details in their Seller Central.
However, you shouldn’t be too worried about this.
First of all, it will not necessarily happen to you. Not every seller has problems when trying to change their payment information.
Secondly, even if your account gets suspended, you can get it reinstated pretty quickly and easily by simply providing Amazon with the documents they require.
If you can’t get reinstated yourself, you can use an experienced Amazon appeal service to get your Amazon account back.
Don’t let the fear of a possible (short) suspension stop you from saving tons of money in fees.
How to choose the right payment provider for your Amazon business
Choosing the right provider that fits best to your personal needs is crucial. We put together the five most important factors that you should look at when choosing a payment payment provider for your Amazon business.
1. Great support
The most important feature of a third party payment provider is that they offer great 24/7 support.
Managing your finances is a delicate and important matter, which is why the availability of the customer service and the service quality should be the top priority for any payment provider.
Obviously, a global money transfer service needs to emphasize internationality, meaning that the service should be available in all major markets and support the most common currencies.
3. Reasonable Pricing
Since the main reason to use an intermediary payment service is to save fees, the service shouldn’t cost too much.
There is no point in using a third party payment service provider if the cost of its services outweighs the amount of money you save by using it.
4. Local Language available
Since managing your funds is an extremely important, but sometimes quite complicated matter, it is best if the payment service is also available in your own language so that you can fully understand all processes and options available.
5. Important Features
Some provider do offer important features that could be very useful to your personal business and needs. One example would be a Debit Card. A few providers actually do provide you with a Mastercard for example, which enables you to withdraw money in local currencies without exchange fees. You could also use it to pay service providers in their local currency, online or even in person.
Alternatively, use our free matching service to receive your hand-picked recommendation!
As you can see, it’s important to choose the right provider matching your personal needs. But you can also let us do the work for you! We offer a free matching service, providing you with a personal recommendation – 100% free of charge!
As you now know, there are many good reasons to use an external payment provider.
Save fees, expand internationally and always have full control over your funds.
We hope that after reading this article you will know what makes a good payment service. If you are not sure which global money transfer platform is right for you, check out our directory and compare the best cross-border payment providers for Amazon sellers.