Say goodbye to expensive bank to bank wire transfer fees. Streamline your global business transfers and save money. Every minute spent on the headache of an international bank transfer means less time for innovation and growth of your small business.
What is Veem?
Veem is a next generation platform for business to business payments. We enable small businesses to send and receive payments in their local currency using our unique multi-rail technology across several global networks. We cater to small businesses by allowing them a simple and inexpensive manner to send money across the globe.
Unlike the archaic technology of wire transfers, we have pioneered a new global payment method using both traditional and digital means to move money directly from your bank account to that of your recipients – saving you time, money and headaches.
Not only are we backed by some of the most sophisticated investors in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Japan and Australia, but we also offer a multitude of integrations that make your day to day banking challenges easier.
Unlike traditional banks, we use more efficient payment rails, allow you to track your money end-to-end and offer competitive exchange rates.
What does this mean?
When you go to send an international wire transfer by traditional means, i.e. when you trust a bank to send your money overseas, they are actually unable to send it directly to the receiving bank. Instead, your money is passed through many intermediary banks that each take a small fee for themselves.
Veem allows real-time tracking that shows proof of transaction, giving businesses a deeper sense of security by eliminating the threat of fraud. The funds are deposited directly to the receivers’ account in the exact amount expected, all in their local currency.
Veem removes friction of global payment process for SMBs
Securing your businesses data, privacy and payments is just the start. Begin your transaction knowing our staff has taken the time to verify the business partners information. Our team of professional global payment processors confirm your vendor’s bank details and make sure they have passed all regulatory compliance requirements whether you are sending or receiving money from abroad.
A brief history of international wire transfers
Since the beginning of time, society has organized itself through the exchange of money, goods and/or services. While the concept of banking has always existed in some form, official banks trace their origin to 17th century Florence with the Medici family. Banking provided security, allowing clients to move from place to place without the worry of pockets weighed down by gold bars and cunning thieves.
As the idea of banking grew beyond Italy, becoming more commonplace, the network between banks also grew. Fast-forward to the Industrial Revolution and the expanse of globalization, new methods of sending and receiving money were forged, increasing the speed and velocity as to how people could move money.
This moment in time was the birthplace of wire transfer technology.
Wire transfers are based off the same technology used for telegrams. In 1872, the first wire transfer took place using the Western Union’s telegraph network. Wiring money became a popular way to send and receive funds due to its speed and convenience. This became known as an electronic funds transfer or ETF.
Originally, banks used Telex, a customer-to-customer network of teleprinters (similar to a telephone system) to send and receive these wire transfers. However, the system was slow and insecure. It was also prone to error because there was no standardized code system, which caused problems for international transfers because of misinterpretations of financial requests.
100 years later, in 1970, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions (SWIFT) was invented. SWIFT created a worldwide communications network that shared and processed financial data and put in place a set of standardized codes that allowed banks to send and receive information in a secure and consistent manner.
However, since then, wire transfers have come to a standstill. When you send a bank wire or wire transfer today, you are using the same technology that dates back 50 years.
In the post-internet age, this once convenient method has become archaic, expensive and could cause you to lose money in fees or mistakes.
This legacy of outdated technology in the banking system has left us with some inefficient artifacts that are still in play today.
Luckily, Veem avoids intermediary bank networks. We transport your payments through cutting-edge blockchain technology. And because we only touch your payments once we only need to charge you once. Less touches means less fees and faster payments.
Types of wire transfers
The two main types of bank wire transfers are international and domestic.
How to send an international wire transfer?
International SWIFT wire transfers require the following information:
- Receiver’s bank name and address
- Receiver’s name, address and bank account type
- Receiver’s bank account number or IBAN (International Bank Account Number)
- Receiver bank’s SWIFT/BIC code
The main difference between the information requirements for domestic and international SWIFT wire transfers is that domestic wire transfers don’t require a SWIFT/BIC code or an IBAN.
How to send a domestic wire transfer?
- The name and address of the recipient.
- The name and address of their bank or credit union.
- The routing number of the institution.
- The account number for the recipient that they wish to deposit the funds
To find this information, your best bet is to directly contact your intended recipient. Assuming payment information or inputting one incorrect number could result in a lost or tampered payment.
Veem’s online platform makes it easy to input the information for both the sender and receiver. You’ll never get a number wrong nor worry about having to put your money in someone else’s hands.
Understanding fees before making an international wire transfer
There are numerous fees associated with making traditional international wire transfers.
Exchange rates are at the center of international wire transfers. The exchange rate from one currency to another isn’t the same across every institution. Banks often increase their profit or margin this way.
To do this they take a look at the mid-market rate and add a spread, which varies from institution to institution.
Mid-market Rate – The mid-market rate is the midpoint between the buy and sell prices of two currencies. The midmarket is how institutions determine their rates.
Spread – A spread is a fee that the exchange institution charges. This is why you will never see that “Google mid-market value” when you use any institution either online or in-person to exchange your money. Spreads are not disclosed and are built into any foreign exchange rate that you are given. Spreads can be anywhere from 0.07 – 7% above mid-market rate.
Banks charge a fixed fee—attractive at first glance—but their exchange rate and fee will be a lot weaker than other services. These are known as hidden fees, weak exchange rates and commissions built into the transfer process.
The recipient often has to pay to receive their money as well. If that’s the case, they could also ask for compensation, adding more expenses to a simple wire transfer.
Veem offers competitive exchange rates you won’t see elsewhere. And with the Veem FX Calculator, you’ll know exactly how much money you need to send to pay your receiver.
Where you’re sending
Depending on which country you’re sending to, it may cost significantly more to transfer funds.
According to the World Bank, international transfers in Africa cost 3% above the global average.
If the area you are sending to also lacks banking infrastructure it may mean your money goes through more intermediaries which means more banks are taking a cut of your funds.
Not to mention remittances and a country’s participation in global trade can also greatly affect the cost of wire transfers.
Volume of Money
The amount of money you send greatly affects what you’re charged. The lower the amount, the higher the commission. The more you send, the less you’re charged. It sounds odd, but it makes sense to reward you for sending more money.
This is why bigger corporations rarely concern themselves with the cost of wiring money, they do it often and they do it in large amounts.
As a small business, make sure that the amount you’re sending is worth it. More money is almost always better, as it can seem like a drop in the bucket that is your transfer.
Banks are an institution, which is why they are the first option considered when making international wire transfers. In fact, around 80% of international wire transfers are handled by bigger banks. But big banks like Bank of America charge anywhere from $25-$65 per outgoing wire transfer. Charges will vary, and can be waived for certain accounts. By certain accounts, we mean, bigger businesses with deeper pockets and more prominent status.
Incoming wires typically cost $10-$25. These fees are generally more difficult to waive. Essentially banks are capitalizing on their own complexity. While they may waive fees, their exchange rates might be more difficult to understand, and therefore worse than you thought.
Not to mention, they offer security and ease since they’ve been around for so long.
While banks are not thought to be the most expensive option, being that they handle most of the world’s volume, they’re definitely not the cheapest way to send money internationally.If you’re not careful about the fine print or the exchange rate, they can end up with a 15% margin of your transferred funds.
SWIFT Tracing Fee
SWIFT does not offer an intuitive or thorough way to track your money. For the curious and conscientious business owner, you will have to pay a tracing fee. There are multiple people and institutions that get involved with a SWIFT international wire transfer and if you want to know exactly how your money is travelling, it will cost.
To do this, SWIFT will retrace their steps to see where your wire went. It’s important to note that this can only be done in retrospect, that is after your payment has traveled through an institution and has been logged.
So in summary, simply to see where your money’s going and how it’ll get there, not only will you have to pay for it, you aren’t even able to track it in real-time.
The SWIFT network is out of date. Transfers are often lost, and the fees charged don’t even cover these losses.
Veem understands how important transparency and accountability is, which is why we offer end-to-end tracking. You’ll never have to worry about where your money is or how long it will take to reach its destination.
How banks use wires to move money
The speed and reliability of international bank transfers sent using SWIFT depends entirely on the relation between the sender’s bank and receiver’s bank.
If the sender’s bank has a direct relationship with the receiver’s bank, the message about impending funds can be sent directly on the SWIFT network to the receiver’s bank about the transfer.
Once the receiver is notified, the funds can be transferred over to the receiver’s account.
Transferring funds between two banks that don’t have a direct relationship requires the use of intermediary banks that share accounts with both the sender’s bank and receiver’s bank.
How long it takes
Transferring funds on the SWIFT network is much faster when dealing with banks that have a direct relationship. SWIFT messages are usually received within minutes, and the actual transfer of the funds is even faster.
As a result, banks with direct relationships process transfers faster, the more banks that the message needs to be transferred through the longer the process takes.
Unlike the SWIFT network, Veem utilizes multi-rail technology that harnesses the best of blockchain to make sending money easy and cheap. There is no need for multiple banks to touch your money before it is sent, ensuring that it is sent in the fastest manner and with the most up-to-date technology.
Are wire transfers safe?
Generally speaking, wire transfers are safe. In the US, every wire transfer needs to come from a bank account. This means that every sender and receiver must be identifiable, preventing fraud and criminal activity.
An important thing to note is that wire transfers can be lost when bouncing from multiple intermediary banks because of a lack of direct relationship between a sender’s bank and a receiver’s bank.
With updated regulations and ways to protect your money like Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, strides have been taken to further protect your money when you send it abroad.
Know your customer compliance
The advancement of technology has opened doors for businesses but it has also opened doors for criminals. With the growing corruption, bribery and money laundering passing through international banks, KYC regulations were instituted by financial institutions in order to prevent banks from being used for illegal activities. KYC policies integrate four main aspects to help a bank better know its user: Customer identification procedures, monitoring of transactions, customer acceptance policy and risk management.
While helpful for curbing crime and protecting customers, the cost of regulatory compliance has made it so that banks are less likely to use correspondent relationships, especially because banks are uncertain whether regulations will grow even stricter.
How are wire transfers protected?
When you put your money out into the SWIFT network via a wire transfer, it is always a gamble. They are inherently protected by the fact that your financial institution is presumably secure, and that both the sender and receiver are identifiable by their banks accounts.
Wire transfers are therefore protected by the process of financial system and also the individualized codes utilized by SWIFT.
The dangers associated with wiring money often lie with the possibility you are being scammed by an individual or “institution” asking for money.
Human error can also be a cause for concern. Incorrectly inputting banking information can route your money to the wrong place. This could occur on the banks side, and yours as well. You can make sure the numbers are right, but human error on the side of the bank is often unavoidable.
Ultimately, the best protection for your wire transfer is yourself. Know who you’re sending to and why, input the correct information on your side, and you shouldn’t have a problem.
What happens if they’re lost
Once a wire transfer has been sent, your payment can touch anywhere between 2-7 intermediary banks on the way to its destination. But if it never makes it, a trace can be done at a cost. The fee for tracing bank wires can be as much as $50.
Once lost, it also becomes a waiting game, the banks involved in the transfer are responsible for locating the transfer.
Each participating bank and financial institution must scour its records, and work with the others to locate your transfer. This process often takes weeks.
Can you call wire transfers back?
Unfortunately, wire transfers can’t be called back. This is why it’s crucial that banking information on your side is accurate.
However, in the case of fraud or bank error, wire transfers can be called back by the bank or financial institution in question.
Veem allows end-to-end tracking to ensure that you know exactly where you’re money is being sent and how long it will take to get there. On average, funds take anywhere from 1-3 business days, allowing small business owners to take the worry out of sending money internationally.