How to manage international payments in your SME?

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International trading is not reserved for large multinationals. If you’re a fast growing small or medium business, chances are you are sourcing products or services from foreign providers. But do you have a system in place to manage international payments smoothly and avoid additional costs?  Here are a few options you should consider in advance. Read More

From now on Xchanger cooperates with PwC!

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Today begins the first day of our cooperation with was selected to the Startup Collider – an acceleration program, which is another innovative initiative by PwC CEE to nature and promote Central and Eastern European startups.

What we will do over the next 3 months?

Through this collaboration, we have a unique opportunity to share knowledge with specialists from PwC. 3-month accelerator program assumes access to world-class mentors, practical sessions with experts, as well as access to the global family of PwC. They are going to help us develop appropriate strategy. Thus, by the end we should have refined value propositions, business plans, processes and possess knowledge about our respective markets, client needs, regulations and many more.

Only 8 selected startups from all around the central and eastern Europe have a chance to cooperate with PwC  in Warsaw to fall in love with the city of Pheonix and could be able to dedicate themselves to the acceleration program. Side by side with startups, their highly qualified dedicated mentors will provide a shorter route to market that we could pursue our dream, in the fastest way possible.

For the best start-ups, will be developed a comprehensive program of go-to-market, indicating close cooperation with PwC for the implementation of their already developed products and services in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.

We are proud and excited to be a part of this initiative!

Find more information about the program: here.


7 reasons why you should compare the exchange rates in 2017

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1. Comparison is a matter of increasing awareness

Do you compare the deals for hotels and flights when planning a trip? Are you going to to move and use a price comparison platforms to compare flats or houses prices? Or maybe you are looking for home appliances and check which store has the best price? Recently, comparison of insurance becomes very popular as well. Why not to compare the exchange rates? You can save not only time but also money?

2. Save time

There are many competitive money operators, having very similar offer. It’s terribly time-consuming to organize 100 different money operators by visiting their pages, comparing the rates, services, additional costs and speed of the exchange. Comparison platform, such as Xchanger, will do it for you!

3. Save money

Rates and costs related to the transaction differ between money operators. Getting used to to a single operator, we simply forget that another may have a better deal. Many of us do not see the subtle difference between the approximated values ​​of exchange rates. Let me show you an example:

Let’s say you want to convert 3000 EUR into USD and the problem is which money operator you should choose? As you can see at the picture above, every money operator charges additional cost. Some of them charges more some less plus they have different exchange rates. Without comparing you might spent way to much on your transaction and lost around 18 USD on exchange.

4. See hidden costs

You know how much it really costs you money exchange – you know the costs (jakie niesie ze sobą transakcja) with the transaction. “Zero fees” solutions are quite often used to attract consumer’s attention, but what they do not charge they take from the consumer in a different way. These are hidden additional costs in the form of a transfer fee for a credit card, etc.). Comparison platforms usually show all of the costs connected with the currency exchange in order to show you the best possible offer.

5. Use promotions to exchange

The partnership between the money operators and comparison platforms allow you to take advantage of special offers. The most popular are occasional ones (cyber monday, black friday, another anniversary, etc.) and these are:

  • exchange with the reduced margin, which is based on the fact that the customer does not pay the standard fee (usually 0.2%), but its fractional part,
  • exchange without spread, which means that the money operator allows the user to exchange currencies at a rate that does not include the difference between the price of sell and price of purchase,
  • loyalty promotions, every point scored in the loyalty program can be exchanged for one of the major currencies or commission of exchange can be reduced.

6. Be always up to date

Exchange rates, depending on the market situation are constantly changing. So, using comparison sites you can see only current exchange rates that interest you, updated in real-time. In addition, the best option changes with the needs: one month you want to exchange currency cheaply, in another you care about the speed of the transaction.

7. Have an access to a wider range of currencies

If you are looking for less popular currency you want to exchange it is very possible that not all of money operators will have it in their offer. Each comparison platform, having in its base lot of money operators will show you in a few seconds in which one you will find the desired currency.

FATCA – Will your bank account be blocked?

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FATCA ( Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) is an act passed in 2010 by The Congress of The United States. It aims for repairing the US tax system by being after those tax payers, who hide their incomes on bank accounts in financial institutions from abroad. To make it happen, The US has to conclude  agreements with other countries, incl. Poland.

According to the Act, all financial institutions in Poland are obliged to gather  FATCA Statements form the owners of bank accounts and investment products regarding the information, whether they are US taxpayers.

Who has to provide the Compliance Statement?

  • The Statement has to be filled by private and business clients, who opened an account in financial institution between 1. July 2014 and 30. November 2015 and have a deposit exceeding 50.000 USD;
  • Very important is the fact, that it includes not only bank accounts. The Statement should be filled also, when a new agreement with insurance company, brokerage house or investment fund was signed.
What if my deposit doesn’t exceed 50.000 USD?

Theoretically, the statement does not have to be submitted, when the amount of money on your account is smaller than 50.000 USD. In fact, a lot depends on the bank- some of them impose their client to fill such statement.

An example of Deutsche Bank shows, that individual clients, whose  account’s balance as of 30th November 2015 exceeded 50.000 USD were supposed to provide the Statement. Business clients were also supposed to provide the Statement, no matter of the account’s balance or the deposited amount.  By contrast, mBank doesn’t care about the deposit – the most important is when the account was opened.

What about accounts opened before 1st July 2014 and after 30th November 2015 ?

You probably signed the FATCA Statement in a particular financial institution, if you signed an agreement with bank,  insurance company, investment fund or brokerage house after 1st December 2015. To be calm just make certain, that you don’t have to provide any complementary documents.

If your account deposit exceeded 50.000 USD as of 30 June 2014, the financial institution should ask you for appropriate documents.

Attention: The deadline for The FATCA Statement is on 1st December 2016. If you don’t prove the Statement on time, a few days later an access to your account can be blocked.

What would be the effect of not providing the Statement on time?

If you don’t submit the  FATCA Statement on time, and your financial institution recognize it as demanded, you will lose an access to your account after 1st of December 2016.

According to the Article 19.7 of The Act from 9th October 2014 about The Agreement between The Government of Poland and The Government of The United States regarding the improvement of fulfilling the international tax duties and the implementation of FATCA legislation „The blockade of a bank account lies in temporary preclusion of disposing and using all assets of yous bank account, including its usage by financial institution. The blockade can involve the part of assets on the account”.

Another consequence would be a transfer of your personal information to the US Tax bodies, to be assured, that you don’t hide any money and there is no tax evasion.

What should be done to unblock the account?

If a bank account is blocked, you should contact your bank as soon as possible and sign the FATCA Statement so that the bank can unblock your account.