Demystifying Cross-Border Payments

How Remittance Methods and Currency Issues Affect Global B2B Payables

From transaction and conversion fees to reliability, no single payment method works optimally in every situation. Understanding the effect of global payment remittance is critical to creating a payables strategy that:

  1. Ensures greater delivery success
  2. Reduces the risk of losing payees
  3. Scales with global initiatives

Payee Preferences


Preferred Payment Methods
  •  PayPal
  •  Check
  •  Wire
  •  ACH
  •  Prepaid Debit
  •  eCheck
Click Below to Filter on Transaction Size

The map above indicates the top payment methods for each country based on real data from Tipalti. How payees want to be paid depends on the country and transaction amount. Fees and banking infrastructures vary by payment method and that determines how much overhead is associated as well as the deliverability of the remittance. Even within a single country, there’s room for payment diversity.

At Tipalti, we’re constantly analyzing transactions to 190 countries and 3 million payees to understand which methods are the most preferred.

Note: Even though payees may have expressed a preference, that method may not always be the most optimal. Payees don’t always consider the best option, and instead pick the most convenient, so it’s important to educate them what the tradeoffs are.

Global Payment Methods

Here is a quick primer of each payment method. For a more in-depth look at each payment type, be sure to review our comparison of payment methods.

The Currency Conversion Conversation

When paying globally, the issue of currency conversions and foreign exchange naturally come up. And depending on the country, there are vastly different reasons where local currency may or may not be favorable.

Based on our remittance data over the last 12 months, when given a choice to automatically have currency converted, here are the countries and the percent of payees that opt for a conversion at the time of payment. The data identifies that payees in some countries have a higher propensity for wanting to be paid in local currency, while others prefer USD.

AndorraAndorra40.0%
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates27.2%
AnguillaAnguilla0.0%
AlbaniaAlbania3.4%
ArmeniaArmenia0.0%
AustriaAustria84.2%
AustraliaAustralia82.7%
Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina2.4%
BarbadosBarbados0.0%
BangladeshBangladesh22.5%
BelgiumBelgium71.3%
BulgariaBulgaria31.6%
BahrainBahrain10.5%
BermudaBermuda100.0%
BruneiBrunei0.0%
BoliviaBolivia66.7%
BrazilBrazil11.1%
Bahamas, TheBahamas, The75.0%
CanadaCanada44.5%
SwitzerlandSwitzerland42.4%
ChinaChina1.4%
Costa RicaCosta Rica0.0%
CuraçaoCuraçao0.0%
CyprusCyprus25.3%
Czech RepublicCzech Republic44.0%
GermanyGermany84.0%
DenmarkDenmark76.4%
Dominican RepublicDominican Republic1.3%
AlgeriaAlgeria0.0%
EstoniaEstonia36.9%
EgyptEgypt10.2%
SpainSpain78.2%
FinlandFinland78.4%
FijiFiji100.0%
FranceFrance78.4%
United KingdomUnited Kingdom78.6%
GuernseyGuernsey0.0%
GhanaGhana15.4%
GibraltarGibraltar0.0%
GreeceGreece93.6%
GuatemalaGuatemala41.2%
Hong KongHong Kong7.5%
HondurasHonduras0.0%
CroatiaCroatia59.4%
HungaryHungary65.9%
IndonesiaIndonesia9.6%
IrelandIreland64.7%
IsraelIsrael16.2%
Isle of ManIsle of Man28.8%
IndiaIndia69.3%
IcelandIceland0.0%
ItalyItaly88.6%
JerseyJersey27.7%
JamaicaJamaica0.0%
JordanJordan61.3%
JapanJapan73.8%
KenyaKenya22.8%
CambodiaCambodia0.0%
Saint Kitts and NevisSaint Kitts and Nevis0.0%
Korea, SouthKorea, South72.0%
KuwaitKuwait68.8%
Cayman IslandsCayman Islands0.7%
LebanonLebanon0.0%
Saint LuciaSaint Lucia0.0%
LiechtensteinLiechtenstein0.6%
Sri LankaSri Lanka45.0%
LithuaniaLithuania41.9%
LuxembourgLuxembourg52.3%
LatviaLatvia26.5%
MoroccoMorocco79.8%
MonacoMonaco7.7%
MontenegroMontenegro78.8%
MacauMacau20.0%
MaltaMalta53.7%
MauritiusMauritius0.0%
MexicoMexico75.0%
MalaysiaMalaysia14.0%
New CaledoniaNew Caledonia100.0%
NigeriaNigeria0.9%
NetherlandsNetherlands72.9%
NorwayNorway82.7%
NepalNepal60.6%
New ZealandNew Zealand73.6%
OmanOman100.0%
PeruPeru8.0%
French PolynesiaFrench Polynesia100.0%
Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea100.0%
PhilippinesPhilippines72.2%
PakistanPakistan70.7%
PolandPoland31.2%
PortugalPortugal74.2%
ParaguayParaguay0.0%
QatarQatar33.3%
RomaniaRomania42.9%
RussiaRussia23.4%
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia89.4%
SwedenSweden67.6%
SingaporeSingapore28.7%
SloveniaSlovenia52.3%
Slovak RepublicSlovak Republic71.6%
San MarinoSan Marino63.6%
SenegalSenegal100.0%
TogoTogo0.0%
ThailandThailand76.3%
TurkeyTurkey54.1%
Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago0.0%
TaiwanTaiwan27.1%
UgandaUganda25.0%
UruguayUruguay0.0%
VietnamVietnam38.5%
KosovoKosovo87.8%
South AfricaSouth Africa70.7%
ZambiaZambia0.0%

In building a global payment strategy, finance and treasury teams need to understand the administrative and operations costs of taking on conversion efforts and weigh that against what they think they might save negotiating exchange rates with their bank. The process of establishing and maintaining foreign accounts and maintaining proper governance over them, may not be the best approach. Offloading the effort to an expert may offer the best experience for payer and payee.

Challenges to Multiple Methods and Currencies

Managing multiple payment methods and currencies can be extremely complex, which is why many businesses avoid it. Tipalti handles six different methods and estimates that in those six, there are over 26,000 global remittance rules to contend with. Expecting a team to adhere to those rules manually at scale can be expensive and not a responsible use of operational funds.

The answer to solving this complexity, especially as part of a scalable payables strategy, involves two technologies that streamline the ends of the process:

① Get the right data into the system to make payments

② Simplify payments across multiple methods

① Getting Payment Data Right

Preventing payment issues requires that the correct payee information is collected. While it’s possible to have your finance team communicate individually with each payee to ask how they would like to be paid, this is by far the least efficient and least secure approach.

Instead, put the responsibility on the payee to supply their payment information.

Use a secure portal that asks payees for their payment information, including nuanced elements such as their desired payment method, currency preference, and bank routing codes (e.g. IBAN and SWIFT codes when necessary). Collecting and validating this information up front prevents remittance issues later.

If you decide to build your own portal to accomplish this, note that your developers will need to update the thousands of rules required to collect this information.

② Simplifying the Payment Process

Rather than making your global payments through individual banking portals, run all outbound payments through a single point.

Controlling payments from a single point is much easier and more secure than managing multiple payment branches. While this requires a programmatic interface to connect to the various bank rails, it ultimately reduces the manual effort and payment errors.

Centralizing payments also simplifies reconciliation processes later.

Freelancers Willing to Leave Marketplace Due to Payments Issues

Download Study

Why Care that Payees Care

Payees want a better payables experience to ensure they’re paid in a reliable way and that it doesn’t cost them a premium to do so.

In multi-sided or marketplace business models (such as in digital media, adtech, or the gig economy), partners are critical to delivering the content, goods, and services that drive revenue. When unhappy payees leave, that depletes your supply chain, hinders growth, and damages your reputation. In those situations, getting payables right is crucial to a sustainable business.

Publishers Willing to Leave Network Due to Payments Issues

Download Study

WATCH THE DEMO
Tipalti’s global mass payment capability enables you to pay thousands of suppliers in a matter of clicks:

  • Schedule Thousands of Payments
  • Pay to 190 Countries in 120 Currencies
  • Supports Multiple Payment Methods
  • Built-In OFAC and Other Sanctions Screening
  • Enterprise-Grade Financial Controls

Request a Payment Mix Analysis

Want to understand how the payment method mix you’re offering may impact you? Contact one of our payment experts today to learn more. We can take your real-life data and help you optimize how you pay for a better payee and payer experience.

Note that the analysis will require your payment data and a thorough understanding of your use case.