Our goal is to reduce the friction between cross-border payments, and cost is one of the biggest pain points. To ensure that we are providing clients with truly low-cost currency exchange rates, we constantly benchmark our fees with other cross-border payments providers, especially banks.

This report aims to determine the magnitude of how Verto compares with high-street, UK banks on business cross-border payments.

Research methodology

  • Data was obtained from publicly available bank websites

  • Only business transfers/bank accounts were investigated

  • Tested transfers in GBP to a mixture of developed and developing market currencies

    • Amounts range from 25,000 to 100,000 GBP

    • Currencies used: AUD, EUR, HKD, USD and ZAR

  • Omitted additional ‘hidden’ fees like correspondent banking charges

Summary of results

On average, the cost of sending cross-border payments using high-street banks is on average, about 5 times more expensive than Verto. The margins are even higher for an illiquid, exotic currency, such as the South African rand (ZAR).

Table 1: Comparing the cost of sending GBP to five different currencies

Currency pair

No. of times more expensive than Verto

GBP/AUD

5.17

GBP/EUR

4.88

GBP/HKD

4.39

GBP/USD

5.48

GBP/ZAR

6.61

Average

5.35

HSBC and Barclays, as seen from Table 2 below, have the highest fees for business cross-border payments too. Both of these banks were also the least transparent in pricing (as they were not available publicly). To get around this, data from third-party comparison websites were used, and we also pretended to make a transfer in an attempt to get a quote.

Table 2: Comparing the cost of sending GBP into the same five currencies by bank

Currency pair

No. of times more expensive than Verto

Halifax

6.33

Lloyds

5.21

Santander

2.57

HSBC

8.2

Barclays

7.35

Average

5.35

It was difficult to determine the true cost of sending cross-border payments via banks because of the lack of transparency on their websites. In most cases, businesses can only access the rates after logging into the bank’s online banking platforms.

To put this into perspective, this is what you pay, when sending 10,000 GBP to USD.

Table 3: Cost breakdown of sending the above amount with Verto and UK banks

Providers

Fixed fee (GBP)

FX Margin

Total fees (GBP)

Halifax

9.5

3.55%

364.16

Barclays

15

2.98%

312.51

Lloyds

15

2.60%

274.61

Santander

80

0.06%

85.76

Verto

0

0.41%

40.61

Businesses that use traditional, high-street banks as a medium for cross-border payments pay significant, yet opaque fees. On the other hand, Verto only adds a small markup on exchange rates and charges no transaction fees. We deliver value to cross-border businesses through our transparent, affordable fees and support for more exotic currency pairs. Find out more about what we offer by contacting a member of our sales team or subscribe to our newsletter below.

Verto is an Electronic Money Institution, not a bank. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Ref. 901073).

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