Airwallex: Foreign Currency Payments Made Easy


Receiving or sending payments in foreign currencies can be costly for Australian businesses. Airwallex is an Australian-owned remittance solution that can help cut your business payment costs — is it the right solution for your business?

If you’re planning on scaling your business, you will need to engage international clients or start working with overseas businesses. Marketing your services or products in another country, however, means that your overseas clients will likely want to pay in the currency of their home country — not Australian dollars. This is where Airwallex can help.

The unpredictability of foreign exchange rates and high international transfer fees can make this process difficult. Australian businesses that run ecommerce platforms, for example, or businesses that engage freelancers and outsource talent must often make payments across international borders.

Airwallex, founded in Melbourne, is an Australian business account platform designed for modern businesses that frequently transact across the world. Focused on low-cost, high-speed international remittance, Airwallex provides businesses with competitive exchange rates, global coverage, and powerful automation options that minimize time spent on remittance.

What does Airwallex offer your business that the Big Five don’t, though?

What is Airwallex?

Founded in 2015, Airwallex is a cross-border payment platform designed to streamline the international payments ecosystem for Australian businesses. The core offering of the platform is fast, low-cost international payments — Airwallex is able to deliver faster, cheaper cross-border payments by allowing users to access interbank exchange rates.

Put simply, Airwallex functions in a similar manner to the online banking services you are already familiar with. After signing up with Airwallex and performing a fast ID verification process, users are able to deposit or convert money into various currencies via a simple dashboard.

Airwallex provides support for 18 different currencies across 130 countries. Global accounts make it possible to accept international payments in the local currency of clients, while international currency-converted payments can be made in a single step.

One of the biggest advantages offered by Airwallex is the exchange rates the platform offers. By leveraging interbank relationships, Airwallex charges between 0.3 and 0.6 percent above interbank rates, creating highly competitive currency conversion fees.

Airwallex Global Accounts

Airwallex global accounts are designed for businesses that aim to cut down on the cost of accepting international payments. These accounts function as dedicated foreign currency accounts, allowing businesses to receive payments like a local within hours.

The Global Accounts structure dramatically accelerates the international remittance process — by accepting payments in a specific country via a local payment network, Airwallex users are able to receive and exchange it to their currency of choice as soon as it becomes available in their global account.

By using Airwallex Global Accounts, Australian business are able access a wider range of international customers by expanding their payment options, convert funds to AUD, and withdraw it to a local bank account at a far lower cost than incurred by international transfers.

Transactional Foreign Exchange Advantages

Dealing in foreign currency means dealing with the inherent risk of foreign exchange. Airwallex offers a suite of Transactional FX products that allow Australian businesses to minimize foreign exchange risks.

Airwallex’s Transactional FX solution provides real-time access to both pricing and execution via API and ensures a highly stable trading environment by partnering with liquidity providers from around the world. Similarly, to Airwallex’s Global Accounts Solutions, the Transactional FX features benefit from wholesale comparison rates.

Airwallex FX features include the MarketFX currency converter webapp and LockFX, a more robust API-only solution that delivers fine control over FX exposure and a broad spectrum of integration options.

A good example of how Airwallex’s Transaction FX solutions is a scenario in which an Australian retailer may need to make multiple payments to a US-based supplier. Using the transactional FX webapp or API, the Australian retailer can create a series of payments that book the FX component of the transaction at market rates. To execute the payment, Airwallex leverages a panel of liquidity providers to pay out the US-based receiver, accelerating transaction speeds and minimizing cost.

High-Speed International Payments

Traditional international payments such as SWIFT transactions officially take 24-48 hours but can often take much longer, creating cash flow issues. Airwallex provides high-speed international payment solutions across 130 countries and connects to local payment networks in order to create the fastest transaction route possible.

In a similar manner to the Transactional FX solution, Airwallex’s international payments solution offers both webapp and API functionality. Importantly, Airwallex’s international remittance solution is scalable — it’s possible to execute thousands of transactions per second using Airwallex’s API functionality.

Borderless Cards

An interesting feature offered by Airwallex is the virtual card solution. Airwallex offers virtual visa cards that are designed to allow Australian businesses to make instant payments to suppliers or enable employee purchasing decisions with minimal complexity.

The Airwallex virtual card functions as a simple solution to often-complicated manual payables processes. Rather than issue physical cards, the solution provides users with virtual Visa cards that can be generated on a per-payment basis, supporting multiple currencies and delivering competitive conversion rates.

Key Takeaways

The rapid growth of borderless business means that more Australian businesses are required to receive and send money internationally every day. Traditional international remittance systems are slow and often expensive when compared to modern fintech solutions — the Airwallex platform provides a simple and effective solution to international remittance obstacles while offering a highly competitive fee structure.

Receiving and sending payments internationally can be a complex and costly process for Australian businesses. If you’re interested in finding out whether Airwallex will work with your business, reach out to Fullstack for comprehensive guidance today.

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Stuart Reynolds is the founder of Fullstack Advisory, an award-winning accounting firm for businesses leading the future. He is a 3rd generation accountant who specialises in tech & online companies.

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