Thousands of B2B payments are sent to the UK on a daily basis through a variety of networks and payment methods. In this article, we’ll take a look at what options are available for quick international business payments and what the best way to send money to the UK for your business is.
What payment networks are supported in the UK?
First off, there are three key payment networks supported in the UK that can be used to send B2B payments. These are SEPA, SWIFT and The Faster Payment System:
'SEPA' is a European Union payment network that stands for Single Euro Payments Area. It allows for the free movement of money throughout the continent and makes transferring money across national borders simple, quick and easy – which is especially helpful for businesses servicing clients or seeking to expand into Europe.
In addition to this, SEPA payments are very secure, enabling smooth payments with little hassle. While the UK is no longer a member of the EU, it still takes part in the SEPA network, alongside other non-EU countries such as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT, for short) is a system that underpins the majority of international payments. SWIFT in and of itself is a large-scale messaging network that allows banks across the globe to communicate information with each other.
Each member of SWIFT is assigned an individual ID code to ensure payments are sent and received to the correct accounts. The network allows businesses to send and receive payments across borders even if the two parties use different banks.
SWIFT is undoubtedly the most popular method for businesses looking to send payments overseas, with its streamlined, secure and smooth process.
The Faster Payment System
The Faster Payment System is a UK-only payment method available 24/7 that provides users with near-instant payment times. It was created in 2008, and with the rise of fintech and other international financial developments, Faster Payments has increased in popularity exponentially. This is largely thanks to their speed, ease of use and security.
Real-time payments up to £1m can be made using FPS, with 99.9% of UK bank accounts accepting the method. This is very attractive for businesses wishing to make large transactions to the UK. Users can also initiate single immediate, forward-dated and direct corporate access payments, as well as standing orders using the network.
What methods of payment are available?
- Direct debit
- Bank transfer
- Credit card
- Debit card
What currencies are supported?
The official currency of the United Kingdom is the pound sterling, commonly referred to as the pound. The £ symbol designates it and its international currency code is GBP (Great British Pound).
Sterling is the world's fourth most-traded global currency after the US dollar, the Euro, and the Japanese yen.
Here are the currencies supported for transactions to the United Kingdom with a 3S Money International Business Account.
Requirements for sending money to the UK
- Full name
- Bank code
- Proof of address
- A BIC (Business Identifier Code)
How much do payment transfers cost to the UK?
Check your eligibility for a 3S Money international business account. You can be approved in as little as fifteen minutes.
Here are costs you can expect when making international business payments:
1. Outgoing transfer fee:
You’ll most likely be charged a flat fee for sending an international transfer. This could be as much as £20-£40. 3S Money charges just $1 (or your local equivalent) per transfer, regardless of how much you send. Find out more about 3S Money pricing.
2. Incoming transfer fee:
Most UK banks charge around £7.50 for receiving payments from international bank accounts. 3S Money charges £0.00.
3. Initiation fee:
Some banks might charge you a fee if you request the transfer over the phone or in person rather than online. Expect this to be around £20. 3S Money doesn’t charge initiation fees.
Banks might also charge a fee based on a percentage of your transfer amount. For UK banks, this is currently around 3-4%. 3S Money charges just $1 per transfer (or your local equivalent) regardless of how much you send.
5. Exchange rate markup:
The exchange rate you can find on Google or see on the news is called the “mid-market” rate. Transfer providers apply their own exchange rates to international transfers, which means you’ll pay more – and they keep the difference. 3S Money offers FX rates up to 5x lower than traditional banks.
How long do transfers to the UK take?
- SWIFT payments can take up to five working days
- SEPA payments can take up to one working day
- FPS transfer will be settled immediately
How do I make payments to the UK? Step-by-step
- Open a 3S Money International Business Account.
Once approved, get UK account number and sort code in your business name.
- Enter the transfer details.
Add the recipient’s name and account details, then choose the currency and country.
- Send your money.
Make the transfer from your online account and receive an alert when it’s complete.
How do I receive money from the UK? Step-by-step
- Open a 3S Money International Business Account.
Benefit from one easy-to-use platform for all your international payments.
- Give customers your account details.
Get a UK sort code in your business name to easily collect GBP payments.
- Receive your money.
See the payment arrive in your online account.
3S Money - the better UK business account alternative
With a 3S Money Business Bank Account, freedom has never felt so good. Operate with flexibility, speed and security when sending payments to the UK, all with our one-account solution.
Benefits of opening a 3S Money account in the UK
Below, we’ve outlined some of the benefits of incorporating a 3S Money business bank account into your international B2B payment process and why it could be transformative for your business.
3S Money is an international payment provider with wide global coverage. What does that mean for your businesses? For one, it means access to over 190 countries and more than 65 currencies.
If you’re sending payments to more than one country regularly, you can also set up separate sub-accounts for specific clients. Whether you send money to the UK from the USA, Germany or Denmark, we’ve got your back.
Instant payment transfers
We say no to banking bureaucracy and yes to simple, speedy and secure payments. International transfers to the UK are near-instant when processed between 3S Money accounts, all using our accessible client portal. Our UK business bank account makes that process even easier.
Dedicated client support
We believe in real-life support for our clients. Once signed up, all of our clients receive a dedicated account manager available within 20 minutes, who is on hand to deal with any queries you might have – so no call queues or automated replies when you get in touch!
Having to split up large payments can bring unnecessary admin onto a busy workday. Unlike some payment providers, we haven’t introduced any payment caps, which means that you can send large-scale payments to over 190 countries in one go. For larger businesses, as well as those looking to scale, this can be liberating.
When it comes to your business’s financial growth, international borders come with their hurdles. In contrast to many international bank accounts, you don’t need to be a resident of the country in question in order to open one of our accounts. The freedom that comes with our local IBAN allows for huge amounts of flexibility, giving your organisation the chance to flourish all over the world.
Streamline your UK business payments today
Sending payments to the UK couldn’t be easier. Interested in getting started?
You can check your eligibility for a 3S Money international business account.