30 October 2023 3 minutes

International business accounts: the pros and cons

Should you open an international business account for your business? Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of international business accounts, plus IBANs, cross-border payments and more, in our latest blog.
International business accounts: the pros and cons

If you conduct global business operations - whether that's paying local salaries or exporting international supplies - an International Business Account can help ensure your global transactions are processed smoothly. There are several pros and cons to using an International Business Account over a standard business account. Let's delve into what they are, as well as the features you can expect so that you can confidently optimise your cross-border business transactions.


What is an International Business Account?

An International Business Account is a type of account that allows businesses to send, hold and receive funds, both domestically and internationally, for commercial purposes. 

Before the rise of fintechs and electronic money institutions (EMIs) like 3S Money, traditional banks were the main providers of International Business Accounts, but now, thanks to technology, businesses have more banking options tailored to their developing needs. 

If you’re considering using a global business account to conduct business across borders, understanding the advantages and disadvantages - and how best to leverage them for your operations is vital. 

There are many features you can expect to use with an international business account. Let’s delve into a few of those: 


Common features of International Business Accounts

  • Multi-currency accounts
    These accounts are designed to hold and manage funds in various currencies simultaneously, providing greater flexibility and efficiency. With 3S Money, you can have multiple sub-accounts to streamline payments in over 65 currencies.

  • Local or virtual IBANs
    IBANs help banks identify the accounts they are transacting with to ensure those transactions are processed correctly. Learn more about IBANs and how they can help with scaling business.

  • Physical and virtual debit cards 
    For convenient, streamlined payments. With debit cards, you can use them for everyday expenses, making online purchases, or withdrawing cash from ATMs globally.

Advantages of using international business accounts

Now that we know what to expect from global business accounts, let’s dive into some of the pros and cons associated with them. 

Fast cross-border payments

There are lots of international payment networks and methods available however, they don’t all offer speedy transactions. Some providers can take anywhere up to five working days to process funds. International business accounts tend to be equipped for speedier payments. With 3S Money, for example, customers with local IBAN accounts can experience same-day international payments.

If you’re ready to make faster global business payments, get started with a 3S Money account today.

Client support

Most business accounts, including global ones, offer dedicated client support via client managers to help businesses navigate the world of international payments and deal with queries. 3S Money, offers a personalised experience and dedicated support, taking a consultative approach to client needs. 

Global reach

International business accounts can help empower businesses to expand easily into global markets as they make it much easier to access those markets. Take 3S Money for example, which has helped hundreds of businesses enter new global markets with local IBANs. Read more of our client success stories.

Access to more world currencies

When it comes to global business accounts, access to multiple currencies is a common feature that helps businesses thrive. For example, with a 3S Money account, businesses can create more than one sub-account in a variety of currencies (over 65).


Disadvantages associated with international business accounts

There are also some limitations or ‘disadvantages’ to be aware of when using global business accounts.

Costly transfers

International payments can be much more expensive than domestic ones, with providers charging up to $30 per SWIFT transfer. If you’re an enterprise-level business with overseas payments to send and receive, transfer costs can impact your bottom line. Thankfully, 3S Money charges only $1 to make SWIFT payments and $0 to receive them.

When thinking about costs, it's also worth noting Foreign Exchange (FX) fees as these impact your international payments.

Foreign regulations

With foreign rules and regulations evolving, business owners can be hit with changes - changes that can impact their ability to send and receive their international payments. 3S Money is FCA, CSSF & and DFSA regulated but it's important to keep up to date with international regulations. 

Here are the pros and cons summarised:


  • Advantages


    Client support

    Costly transfers

    Fast cross-border payments

    Foreign rules and regulations

    Global reach

    Handling logistics

    Access to more world currencies

    Conducting business across time zones


Why 3S Money is the better solution for your cross-border payment needs

If you’re looking for an international business account to facilitate your global payments, 3S Money can help. 3S Money offers:
  • Unparalleled client support via expert client managers

  • No transaction limits, so high-value payments can be made with ease

  • Low international fees ($1 to send and $0 to receive overseas payments)

  • Access to global markets in over 190 countries

  • Safe and secure payments (FCA, CSSF & DFSA regulated)

  • Local IBAN details


We’ve covered a lot in this blog, hopefully giving you a sound understanding of the pros and cons associated with using an international business account for your business operations. 
Here’s a quick overview:
  1. Thanks to technology, businesses have more banking options tailored to their developing needs – global accounts being one of those.

  2. International business accounts offer a variety of features that can help streamline your business operations and scale globally.

  3. 3S Money accounts give businesses access to new markets via local IBANs and multi-currency accounts.

  4. It’s important to watch out for additional fees and costs associated with international payments. 3S Money keeps these low, with $1 SWIFT payments.

  5. Last but not least, it’s also worth staying informed on the latest rules and regulations in the countries you do business in.

Reach multiple markets from a single 3S Money account

Join the thousands of clients already accessing several global markets from one single business account. Get started today and be pre-approved for an international business account in less than fifteen minutes.

Meet the authors

Sharyh Murray


Sharyh is the lead Content Writer at 3S Money with a strong background in crafting high-quality, compelling fintech and FX-related articles. With extensive expertise in the field, Sharyh's writing resonates with a variety of audiences and drives action among readers, whatever the financial topic.


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