International Payments FAQs
1. What information do I need to send a payment overseas?
Each country has their own requirements for receiving an international payment. The following information is general required by most countries. Additional information can be required depending on the country.
- Full name and address of the Beneficiary/Receiver
- Full name and address of the Remitter/Sender
- Bank Name, Branch Address, SWIFT code, local bank code (Transit in Canada, SORT in England, BSB in Australia, IFSC in India.
- Reference/Purpose of Payment
- Additional information required by some countries are TAX ID numbers, phone numbers, contact name (for corporations)
2. How do I know what account numbers should look like?
Only IBAN numbers follow a set standard. Account numbers in other countries vary in length and can be different in format from bank to bank.
3. What is a SWIFT code and why do I need it?
BIC/SWIFT is a standard format of Business Identifier Codes approved by the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO). It is a unique identification code for financial institutions and is 8 or 11 characters long. Example: BARCGB22. It is required to identify the bank that the payment is being directed to for most banking systems.
4. How do I know what the foreign exchange rate is?
Exchange rates are available from your dedicated account manager or directly online. You will receive a quote online and then you are able to book your order at that exchange rate. Exchange rates change several times a minute so it is only locked in when your order is booked. You will receive a confirmation with your exchange rate shown.
5. Are there any costs to use the online system?
No. Ascendant has a state of the art online system designed to help you manage all of your FX needs. By opening an account with Ascendant, you’ll gain access to our powerful system to manage your payables, receivables, hedges, invoices and more all for free.
6. Can you notify me when the rates hit my target rate?
Yes. Once you and your dedicated account manager have determined your foreign exchange goals, you can determine a target rate. Your account manager will notify you, or even book your trade as soon the market reaches the desired level, even if it’s outside of business hours.
7. What is an IBAN number?
An IBAN is an International Bank Account Number which is standardized across European Union country borders and is used for routing payments among European banks. All European banks require an IBAN in order to make an electronic payment to a customer. Many other countries are now requiring an IBAN number. Our online system will prompt you for an IBAN number for any country that requires it.
8. What is the difference between ACH, SEPA and wire payments?
ACH is the US system low value payment system that provides credit in 1-2 days but can take an additional period of time to be considered good funds. ACH rules are governed by NACHA. While there is technically no such thing as International ACH many countries have similar payment systems that provide a fast and cost effective credit of funds to the account. The names vary depending on the country.
WIRE is a settlement technique, it is used by various central banks around the world to do large payment settlement of their member banks. Best way to describe wires is as a real-time settlement system for banks for large value payments. Banks hold Nostro accounts with the central banks and all large payments are settled on a gross basis by the central bank. It is also the mechanism via which deferred net settlement is done on a periodic basis.
SEPA is the European equivalent of ACH. It is implemented in all the European countries and a couple of other participating countries. The payment is a single payment being made within the Euro country or to another (cross-border) Euro country. Credit to the account usually takes 1-2 days depending on the country
9. How do you keep my information secure?
10. How do you protect my money?
Ascendant holds licenses throughout North America that have very stringent reporting requirements. See our compliance information.
11. Is there a maximum or minimum number of payments I need to make?
No. Ascendant is a full service partner. Our aim is to help you manage all of your international payment and receivable needs. Depending on your payment volume, we can work with you to ensure that business runs smoothly by integrating your systems with ours, or simply customizing our online user interface to your specific needs.
12. How do I open an account with Ascendant?
Simply sign up and your dedicated account manager will contact you to walk you through the required documentation. Your account can be set up in as quickly as a few hours.
13. How do I get a user ID and password for aPay?
Once your aPay account is open, you will receive and email from your dedicated account manager with your Customer ID #, Username and Password. You can login and make payment right away!
14. How do I know how much money I need to send Ascendant?
Whether you initiate your transaction through your dedicated Account Manager or online, you will receive a receipt clearly outlining the amount of foreign currency bought/sold and the cost in your home currency. Alternatively, you can opt for Pre-Authorized debit and Ascendant will seamlessly debit your account the owed amount on the receipt for fast and efficient payments.
15. How does my payment recipient know to expect the payment?
Once your payments are booked and sent, your payee will receive an email outlining the amount and currency you’ve sent, as well as any pertinent reference information. Using aPay, you can also add an invoice to this email, detailing the particulars of the payment for fast and accurate receipt of your funds.
16. How long can I book forward contracts?
Typically, you can lock in a rate today for use up to 1 year from now. Your account manager will work with you to determine market trends, and how they fit with your needs to determine what length contract is right for you
17. How long does it take for my payment to reach its destination?
a. Most payments are credited to the foreign currency account in 24-48 hours. Country regulations and correspondent banks can delay this process. For example, Brazil requires the account holder to go to the branch and sign paperwork first.