- What is a Multicurrency Bank Account?
- Who Can Have a Multicurrency Account?
- How a Multicurrency Account Saves You Money
- How Many Currencies are in a Multicurrency Account?
- Reduce the Risk of Transaction Declines
- Easier and Faster Business Transactions
- Better Rapport with Business Suppliers and Other Vendors
- Manage Your Account with Online Banking
- Is a Multicurrency Bank Account Right for You?
The decision to establish and add to offshore banking and investing accounts is a sound one. As you begin this journey, much of what you already know about domestic banking will still apply.
You will also encounter new ways of setting up and managing offshore resources. One of the options you will have available is the multicurrency bank account. Here are a few basics about how this account works and what you can do with it.
What is a Multicurrency Bank Account?
Also known as foreign currency accounts, multicurrency bank accounts are financial accounts for receiving, disbursing, or holding funds in more than one currency. One of the easiest ways to think about this type of bank account structure is to envision a primary account that serves as an umbrella. Underneath the umbrella are several subaccounts, each holding funds in specific currencies.
The nice thing about this approach is that you can easily transfer funds between those subaccounts. While you may not use this approach often, it can be used to take advantage of currency exchange rates to grow wealth and prepare to make a transaction involving a specific currency.
Who Can Have a Multicurrency Account?
Business entities and non-profit organizations are among the most common depositors who will own multicurrency accounts. That stands to reason since these are the kinds of bank customers who are most likely to engage in financial transactions that involve parties located in more than one country and where at least two currencies may be involved.
If you qualify as a high net worth individual, offshore banks have provisions for opening personal bank accounts with this type of setup. This may be ideal if you frequently travel to various nations. There’s a good chance that this type of account would work better for you than relying on your domestic accounts to make purchases.
How a Multicurrency Account Saves You Money
One of the key ways that this type of account can save money is by allowing you to manage transactions as if you were a local party. By structuring the account so that you have a subaccount with currency used in the nations where you travel, it’s easy to draw on those resources to make purchases. This allows you to avoid currency transaction fees that would apply if you used the money in your domestic checking account.
This solution can save money even if you find yourself in a nation but do not have a subaccount with the appropriate currency. The reason is that the currency transaction fees related to one of the other foreign currencies you carry in the account may be lower than what would apply using those domestic funds.
In addition, the current exchange rate between the currency you use and the local currency could be more favorable than using the balance in a domestic account.
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How Many Currencies are in a Multicurrency Account?
If you travel to many countries or do business with companies in multiple countries, you may wonder how many different currencies you can hold in this type of account. The answer is that it depends on the offshore bank. According to their terms and conditions, you may be able to structure the account to allow for the easy use of anywhere from several currencies to several dozen.
As with all offshore financial accounts, what you can do depends on the laws in the country where the account is based. The most practical way to find out how many currencies you can include in the account structure is to talk with a bank officer. In many cases, you will find the maximum number of available currencies is more than sufficient for your purposes.
Reduce the Risk of Transaction Declines
Here’s another reason why a multicurrency account is a smart move for those who travel or make frequent international purposes: the odds of a transaction decline are kept to a minimum. Declines of this type are rarely about available funds. Instead, they have more to do with bank security measures.
Your domestic bank may balk at honoring a transaction if it’s associated with a country you usually don’t visit or have any previous business transactions in your account history. The unusual nature of the transaction is often enough to place a hold on it until you are contacted. There is never a convenient time for this to happen when you are in another country.
Using a multicurrency account eliminates this situation because the transaction is treated as a local transaction. Even with a business account where you may be in one country, and the supplier/vendor is in a different one, using the correct currency helps avoid suspicion of fraudulent activity. Think of what that means in terms of completing transactions with less difficulty.
Easier and Faster Business Transactions
Whether receiving payments or making them, you want the transactions to clear the bank as quickly as possible. Most suppliers will not release the goods or services purchased until the payment is complete. In like manner, you want to ensure payments you receive are posted and added to the account balance without delays.
When you have an account capable of sending and receiving payments using different forms of currency, there’s one less step to manage. The result is that the transaction completes in less time, and you are free to use the cash received or know that your purchase is released for delivery.
Better Rapport with Business Suppliers and Other Vendors
You already know that prompt payment for goods and services is one of the best ways to build rapport with sellers. It can lead to access to special offers that other customers never see. It also means a supplier is more likely to make extra efforts for a client known to pay for goods and services promptly.
Using your multicurrency account for those payments makes building this type of goodwill easier. Thanks to the resulting positive rapport, you are more likely to get a little extra help when and if the need arises. That’s especially helpful when the purchased item is needed to ensure you can honor commitments made to your customers.
Manage Your Account with Online Banking
What does it take to manage an offshore multicurrency bank account effectively? As it turns out, the process is much like managing any offshore banking, term deposit, or checking account. You’re granted remote access using secure login credentials. You can initiate payments to other entities, confirm the status of received payments, and transfer money to other accounts.
The nice thing is that you can manage the account from your home country or any country you may visit. All it takes is a secure internet connection. That’s comforting when you want to see what of your recent vacation spendings have cleared and which are pending, and decide if you need to ready more funds in the local currency for use in the coming days.
Is a Multicurrency Bank Account Right for You?
To determine if a multicurrency offshore bank account is right for you, speak with an international expert who can help you examine its benefits in more detail. You’ll find that offshore company registration agents have personnel who can show you how the account is structured and detail more of its features and benefits.
Contact the team at International Wealth today and learn more about how this type of international bank account could prove helpful for you.
- Luigi Wewege is the President of Caye International Bank, headquartered in Belize, Central America. Outside of the bank, he serves as an Instructor at the FinTech School in California, which provides online training courses on the latest technological and innovation developments within the Financial Services industry. Luigi is also the published author of The Digital Banking Revolution, now in its third edition.