Bank accounts and money exchange transfers
What are the best Foreign Currency Exchange options for Australian Amazon Sellers who are selling on Amazon FBA in the USA and other international marketplaces?
Amazon has recently reduced their currency transfer fee from 4% to 1.5% for money transferred from Amazon USA accounts to AUD accounts in Australia. This means that, if you have an Australian Bank account with AUD currency, you will be receiving more money into your account when getting a payment from Amazon.
When you first start out on Amazon, you will need an account for a few different reasons. The first reason will be for verification. So, when you are being verified in the beginning, you will want to give them a bank statement from an account that you have had for a while and where the details on the account are identical to what you have used in the backend. You will be able to change this later but, initially, you just need them to verify your identity with an existing account.
You will also need to put a receiving account into sellercentral to receive funds into. As it will take some time for you to receive any substantial amounts into your account, it is easier to just use your existing Australian business account for that purpose.
From a bookkeeping perspective, if you are a sole trader, you want all your business funds to go through one or two separate accounts that you don’t normally use for personal expenses so that you can keep your bookkeeping costs low. The more funds you need to explain to your bookkeeper, the more time they will spend tidying up your accounts.
If you have a Pty Ltd Company, you will need an account under the company name and your accountant will be able to advise on how to use it exclusively for business purposes to make your bookkeeping and accounting fees reasonable.
Apart from that, though, you need to think about foreign exchange currency transfer fees, both when you purchase from overseas suppliers, as well as when you are receiving money from Amazon. For this purpose, you will want to have at least one US$ account that will give you lower fees. If you are also selling consistently into other countries and marketplaces as well, you might want to think about other currency accounts as well.
World First have a fee-free, 0.5% transfer rate off the bat (plus AUD5 fee for transfers under AUD2,000), the lowest on the market today, no questions asked, if you sign up through here. Another great thing about World First is that their accounts integrate with Xero. If you call them on 1800 835 506, ask for Pharida Khiev who is our account manager.
Xero is probably the best accounting software known today and most bookkeepers and accountants are certified to use it. The integration means that you will never have to pay for your bookkeeper to import transactions into Xero, saving you a decent amount in bookkeeping and accounting fees every month.
OFX also offer fee-free international transfers and preferential exchange rates at a 0.85% margin here. More info here. However, if you call 1300 300 524 and ask for an account manager, tell them that Edward Wiley has indicated to Private Label Australia members that OFX sometimes match other rates, depended on expected transfers. So, you could potentially negotiate fees with them.
Neither World First, nor OFX, have a debit card available yet. This means that if you are making ongoing payments through an Australian credit/debit card, you are paying international service and transfer fees that could be quite high with your Australian bank every time Helium10 or Amazon take a regular payment. If you have multiple credit card payments coming out every month, it may be worth looking at Payoneer.
Although Payoneer has always had the debit card function, they are now releasing AUD balances into accounts and, although they have not committed to lower rates, you can always try to negotiate with them. Their advertised fee is 2% which still saves you quite a bit of money compared to major banks.
Here are the details:
- Payoneer debit card for subscriptions (Helium 10, shopify, etc)
- Pay amazon advertising directly from within your Payoneer dashboard
- Load AUD for supplier payments, etc
- Free payments between Payoneer accounts (Pay staff/suppliers for free)
- Introductions to new global marketplaces (Wallmart, shopee, JD, Lazadda, etc)
Customers will need to be on their latest version of the Payoneer Australia account. Please email [email protected] and mention they are part of Calli’s network for help with creating your accounts. Remy Jansons or Bonnie will be happy to help you.
When getting a USA or Global account, remember that you have more negotiating power, the more money you transfer with a company. If you have a thriving Amazon business, your transfers will be higher than others’. So, you could use that to your advantage and get some serious savings in your bank account.