Whilst working in the finance department of Waiariki Institute of Technology, New Zealand, I noticed we paid a lot of overseas invoices and payments in foreign currencies. We were losing out massively on the exchange rate and through hidden bank fees. Since joining CurrencyFair I’ve seen first hand how such institutions can make significant savings by paying invoices in a beneficiary’s local currency.
How third level institutions can save money
I recently interviewed some of my old colleagues and discovered that the main reason institutions make foreign currency transfers is when paying agents recruiting on their behalf in overseas countries, such as China, India and Australia. Literally hundreds of thousands of dollars are exchanged for this reason each year, meaning these institutions are paying a lot more than they should to pay international invoices. However there are many other ways that a currency exchange platform such as CurrencyFair can help institutions just like Waiariki to save money.
All universities use the latest in technology and software for their students and staff. From external hosting to internal accounting or payroll software, every department would have a unique set of requirements. Subscriptions for these IT packages or accounting software are often sourced in the US and can be invoiced in USD. By managing these recurring payments through a currency exchange platform like CurrencyFair, the college could have saved thousands of dollars each year.
Universities and colleges send their staff and students around the world to promote their research and represent the institution. Standard expenses like accommodation, flights and event tickets are incurred when sending staff and students abroad and often you lose out when booking and paying through the exchange rate local booking sites offer.
Library subscription fees
The college library has massive subscription fees for journals and research databases. Often these are offshore subscriptions, with the college invoiced monthly and annually in foreign currencies. By paying these invoices via bank transfer, the college was losing out on the exchange rate, costing them yet more in unnecessary charges. By using a payment provider like CurrencyFair you can set up recurring transactions to make the payments hassle free and know you are saving every time you send.
The college would use digital advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google AdWords for a variety of reasons, including student recruitment. Invoices are issued in US dollars, and were paid via the company credit card, again incurring unnecessary costs.
By paying invoices, researchers and guest speakers in the local currency, such institutes can save thousands of dollars every year. For example, by using CurrencyFair, Waiariki could pay a USD invoice via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. This means they can send USD locally as opposed to sending via wire, helping them to save money.
By sending money locally, getting better exchange rates and cheaper fees, huge savings can be made that could be invested back into academic initiatives, such as research grants, improved facilities or additional subscriptions for software. With thousands of education institutions worldwide who could benefit from a smarter way to transfer money, the potential benefits for the global academic community are significant.
Find out more about how CurrencyFair can help universities save money when paying international invoices.
This article was written by Aaron Harvey, a member of the CurrencyFair Customer Experience team. Interviews with Jonathon Hagger, Daniel Woodward (Waiariki Institute of Technology).