Why Bank of America Charges More than Most Banks for International Wire Transfers
April 4, 2018
As small businesses active in import and export know very well, global business requires global payments. Most banks, including Bank of America have recognized this necessity and offer international wire transfers to their business clients.
But, like everything else in life, this service comes with a price tag. Since customers usually accept that international wire transfers require more work from their bank than a simple domestic transfer, they can tolerate a reasonable service charge.
But is what banks charge reasonable?
International Wire Transfers
To answer that, we need to take a brief look into the nature of international wire transfers. If you’re interested in a full description, read our article What Is a Wire Transfer & How Do They Work?
Banks, including Bank of America send money overseas through the SWIFT system, an international communication network of banks. When you order an international wire transfer, your bank alerts the network and your payment travels through the system, from one intermediary bank to another, to its destination. If it ever gets there.
The network has its flaws. First of all, this system is slow and uncertain. Since nobody knows the exact route your funds will take, the transfer can’t be tracked, and its arrival is unpredictable.
In short: nobody knows where your money is.
Hidden fees are another major issue. Even though your bank may tell you its own fees upfront, you won’t be notified of the receiving bank’s fees, nor of any other fees the intermediary banks in the SWIFT network may levy upon your transfer.
Not to mention the conversion rates. Banks make a lot of money charging bad foreign exchange rates, and they’re rarely upfront about it.
All in all, you lose time and money when sending an international wire transfer through your bank. This is especially true if you’re using Bank of America, since their fees are some of the highest.
Bank of America’s International Wire Transfer Fees
If you have an account with Bank of America, you may think that it’s easiest to choose their services when you need to send an international wire transfer.
But are you prepared to pay their high fees?
Bank of America charges $15 for an incoming wire transfer, and a whopping $45 for any outgoing USD transfers.
Does handling international transfers require so much work that it justifies these fees? No, not at all. Sending money overseas doesn’t create a significant addition to the normal workload of a bank.
So how come Bank of America levies all those fees on every international wire transfer you request?
Simply, because it can.
Bank of America and any other banks that charge international wire fees do so because their clients don’t know of any other options. It’s true that for a long time, banks were the only way to get a transfer across to overseas business partners.
Even today, banks do just fine for large corporations. After all, what is $45 for a multinational company that makes billions each year?
Small businesses, on the other hand, feel that burden heavily. Unfair charges combined with uncertain timing take their toll on any small business with no time or money to spare. And anyway, why pay for services with no added value?
Luckily, with advances in financial technology (FinTech), small businesses now have many alternatives for sending money abroad.
Veem allows you to send and request international transfers with just a click. You can track all your transactions through your personal dashboard, and know exactly when your next transfer will arrive.
Veem charges no wire fees, and offers competitive foreign exchange rates.
With Veem, you can save time and money that you can invest back into your business. Stop paying unfair charges for unreliable services.
Instead, sign up for a free Veem account to click, save, and grow.
All fees accurate at the time of this posting.