May 20th, 2020

What does ‘good’ international payroll look like?

Global journey

Over the last few months the world’s currency markets have been experiencing high volatility with major currencies moving sharply on a daily and even hourly basis. We all know this to be as a result of the impact that COVID-19 has had and continues to have on the world economy.

It’s at times of volatility like this, whatever event or happening is driving volatility in the markets, that currency specialists get asked to dust off that fabled crystal ball and predict what lies ahead for our US Dollars, Euros and Pounds in the weeks to come or asked what can be done to make it easier and quicker for businesses to manage their international payments when paying international assignees.

Sadly, there is no crystal ball – well not the on the trading floor anyway! It’s understandable that people and businesses are seeking extra support and guidance at this time, and simply want to get some idea as to how their staff and businesses are being impacted and what they can do to make their international payments simpler, easier and less resource intensive.

Global expansion

As more companies expand globally, so has the need to move talent where it’s needed. Having the right people in the right place at the right time is often the difference between success and failure.

There are more companies operating internationally now that advances in technology, communications and logistics give them the scope to look beyond domestic markets to new and emerging ones. However, with every opportunity, there are usually obstacles to overcome along the way.

International payroll can be one of these obstacles.

Companies often forget to think about this last piece of the puzzle. Typically, companies expanding into new countries run their finance from a central function. The question ‘How do  we best pay our people and suppliers?’ is rarely asked until there’s a problem.

Simplify your global payments

In a nutshell, global payments are made anywhere in any currency. On paper, this sounds straightforward. The reality is that it can be anything but. There are choices to make, challenges to address and pitfalls to avoid.

A business has two choices of who to use to make international payments: a bank or a third-party provider.

Banks play a unique role in society. We all benefit from their stability, reliability and geography. They provide a range of invaluable and compliant services to millions of organisations and more than two billion individuals globally. Most banks, however, simply aren’t set up to make international payments efficiently or cost-effectively. They may be using out-dated processes and systems requiring lots of manual input, making it more expensive and resource-intensive than it needs to be.

By using a specialist international payments provider, businesses can process, execute and deliver multiple payments quickly, easily and securely with fewer resources and, typically, make significant cost savings.

What does ‘good’ international payroll look like?

For employees: Salary arrives with the correct amount on time, every time.

For employers: Reliability, compliance, swift, seamless and affordable.

There can be a number of implications if you get your international payment processes wrong but thanks to technology, it’s pretty straightforward to simplify and streamline global payments.

A third-party payment processing provider should be able to offer an end-to-end payment solution. One that automates payment processes, eliminates manual errors and verifies and validates payment data before it’s sent. You shouldn’t be restricted in terms of how many payments you can upload in a single file and you should be able to process all of your different currencies and even same currency payments in that same file. To complete the full set, you should also have end to end tracking and reporting provided as well.

It’s also worth considering the complexities of sending different currencies to certain countries. Your provider should proactively support you to process these and provide detail on what is required by particular countries and regional banking nuances.


At Xe, our core business is International Payments. That’s our focus, and our expertise allows us to deliver value to our clients. We offer businesses of all sizes, a unique mix of bank beating services and intuitive technology enabling businesses to manage their foreign exchange more cost-effectively.

To speak to someone at Xe about global payment solutions email the team at

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