Ben Stivens, Foreign Exchange Manager at Bendigo Bank, explains some challenges businesses may face and how the Business FX team can assist.
What is FX?
FX is any situation where one currency is exchanged with another. The Business FX team at Bendigo Bank looks after currency exchanges for businesses of all sizes, both importers and exporters.
Currencies trade against each other as a pair. For example, AUD/USD is the currency pair for trading Australian and US dollars. The rate of the exchange depends on the currencies’ value in the FX market.
How can FX help my business?
There are many FX solutions that can assist businesses to manage their foreign exchange needs. Talking to an FX specialist may help to uncover the right solution for your business.
Need to pay bills offshore or convert payments into AUD?
When a customer needs to pay a bill offshore or convert funds received in a foreign currency into Australian dollars a straight currency conversion is typically used.
What if I am concerned about currency fluctuations?
Some customers choose to lock in a rate with a foreign exchange contract or “forward”. An FX contract will guarantee a rate of exchange for you to use in the future, and you agree to buy a certain amount of currency from the bank. By guaranteeing the rate of exchange, you can price your imports or exports with certainty.
There is a chance the market rate may rise or fall and a small change in the exchange rate could have a significant impact to your business's bottom line. This highlights the importance of having the correct FX solutions in place.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, the Australian dollar fell from around 70 cents to 55 cents (AUD/USD) in a six-week period, so businesses who had locked in their exchange rate using a forward were protected. Setting a future exchange rate can provide certainty as it removes the currency volatility from your business decisions”, Ben explains.
Need to receive and make payments in a foreign currency?
Foreign currency accounts are useful if you can invoice and pay bills in another currency like US dollars or Euros. They allow you to receive payments in a foreign currency to be used to pay invoices in the same currency or be converted to AUD when it suits you.
Looking for a self-service solution?
Online FX is an electronic dealing system that allows approved business customers to buy and sell currency via Bendigo Bank internet banking. This gives you the power to monitor and view current exchange rates and book conversions at a time that suits you. This service comes with the added benefit of being available outside business hours, allowing you to book FX deals at a time that is convenient for you.
Need help managing your business FX?
The Bendigo Bank FX team offer dedicated service and a full product suite, no matter the size of your business.
Unlike some other providers, Bendigo FX work as a team to look after all customers. Ben says that you’ll receive the same service from everyone on the team, and everyone ensures the best outcome is achieved.
“Our team know which customer we’re talking to and what we’re talking about. And if you have a question that can’t be answered on the spot, we’ll always get back to you with a solution. We’re here to help.”
Excel Pacific, a timber import business based in Melbourne, is a great example of a business that has benefitted from our FX expertise. The company have trade with Indonesia, China, Europe and New Zealand and deal in US dollars and Euros.
Finance Manager, Victor Wendyono says he had challenges with other banks and FX providers before his switch to Bendigo Bank.
“It feels with other banks that they are the big fish, and your business is the small fish, so why would they listen to you?” Victor tells us. “Bendigo is completely different – they have a face and work with us to really understand how our business operates and what we need.”
He also mentions the continuity of staff that he deals with. “The bank has a team who talk to each other and know each other’s clients. I don’t need to repeat my story every time I speak to someone on the phone, as whoever I speak to knows what’s going on.”
But these are not the only reasons Excel Pacific have moved their FX and other banking to Bendigo.
Victor says that Bendigo Bank is proactive in a way he hasn’t found elsewhere.
He hasn’t needed to ask for a price match on a rate as their FX pricing is consistently competitive with other banks, which saves his business time and money. He also has peace of mind about his transactions because the FX specialist team work closely with his Business Banking Manager to help him achieve his goals.
“They’re good at what they do – what more can I say?”
Any advice provided in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable product disclosure statement(s) on our website before acquiring any product.