When sending an international payment through the Swift network, it's important to understand the different charge bearer codes that can be used to split the fees associated with a transfer between the originator and beneficiary. In order for the beneficiary to receive payment in full, the sender must cover any transfer related fees which are to be paid on top of the explicit amount sent to the beneficiary. Column never charges additional fees on top of the agreed upon amount.
While it is standard practice for banks to charge a fee for processing international wire payments, you can indicate who will pay the bank charges associated with a payment. When making an international wire via Swift, Column supports the following charge bearer codes:
DEBT(Originator Pays All, equal to
OURin old MT messages): With this option, the originator of the payment is responsible for paying all fees associated with the transfer, including those charged by the sender's bank, the intermediary banks, and the receiving bank. This ensures that the full amount of the payment is received by the beneficiary without any deductions. However, it may be more expensive for the sender as they are bearing the full cost of the transfer.
CRED(Beneficiary Pays All, equal to
BENin old MT messages): When using this option, the beneficiary of the payment is responsible for paying all fees associated with the transfer. This may result in the beneficiary receiving less than the full amount of the payment, as the beneficiary will need to cover any fees charged by intermediary banks and the receiving bank. While this may be beneficial for the sender, as they will not need to pay any fees, it may result in the beneficiary receiving less money than was sent.
SHAR(Shared Costs, equal to
SHAin old MT messages): When using this option, the fees associated with the transfer are split between the originator and beneficiary. The originator pays the fees charged by their bank, while the beneficiary pays the fees charged by the intermediary banks and the receiving bank. This option may be a good compromise between
DEBToptions as both the originator and beneficiary share the costs of the transfer.
To avoid banks deducting additional fees from your transfer, you should select
DEBT as the charge code. Countries generally abide by the provided charges indicator, but in certain jurisdictions, the provided indicator may be ignored.
Principal-protected, or full-value USD international wires, are a type of international wire transfer where the full value of the transfer is guaranteed to be received by the beneficiary. This means that the beneficiary will receive the full amount of transferred funds, even if intermediary banks lift fees before the funds are credited to the beneficiary. Column can support principal protection on USD-denominated international wires by using
DEBT in the
charge_bearer field. Reach out to us if you are interested in learning more about this product offering!
Column allows you to charge your customers for international wires at the per-transfer level to avoid monthly invoicing and complex accounting. Fees charged by Column or your platform will not be included in
charges fields of international wire objects. Instead, they are returned in their own fields.
If Column fails to deliver an outgoing transfer to our correspondent bank, or an outgoing transfer is returned before its funds are settled to our correspondent bank, fees charged by Column or your platform will be refunded to its originator. However, if an outgoing transfer is completed because its funds have been settled to our correspondent bank successfully, fees will not be refunded even if it is returned by an intermediary bank or the beneficiary bank.
Column may charge a fixed fee per outgoing transfer, as listed in your term sheets with us. You have two options to cover such fixed fees:
- Monthly invoices: you don't charge your customers directly in real time per transfer. Instead, Column will send you monthly invoices based on number of transfers in your platform. You charge your customers outside of Column system with your own accounting. In this case,
column_fixed_feefields of international wire objects will always be zero.
- Auto debit customer accounts: you want to cover Column fixed fees by automatically debit your customer accounts per transfer in real time. Such fees will be added to total transfer amounts that will be debited from your customer accounts (see Example below). In this case,
column_fixed_feefields of international wire objects stores exact amounts, and they will be excluded from your monthly invoices. Please contact our customer support team if you want to enable this feature.
Your platform may charge your customers for additional fixed fees and FX margin fees as well. Column provides you an option to charge such fees per transfer in real time to avoid complex accounting on your side. You can set the fixed fee, FX rate margin in basis points (
1 bps = 0.01%) and international wire revenue account in your platform dashboard. Your platform fees per transfer are returned as follows:
platform_fixed_fee: fixed fee charged by your platform for a transfer
platform_fx_fee: FX margin fee charged by your platform for a FX transfer based on your FX rate margin
fx_rate: effective FX rate with your platform FX rate margin markup
Fees charged by your platform are credited to your international wire revenue account (set in Dashboard) directly in real time.
The following example explains how international wire billing works: suppose you want to send
EUR 9,000.00, and the FX rate is
1 USD =
0.90 EUR without any fees. Without any fees, the customer account will be debited by
Assume Column and your platform billing parameters are set as below:
column_fixed_fee: Column charges
USD 15.00per transfer. You selected to directly debit your customer accounts per transfer to cover such fees instead of monthly invoices.
fixed_fee: Your platform charges your customers
USD 5.00per transfer additionally.
fx_rate_margin_bps: Your platform charges your customers
0.25%) FX rate margin for FX transfers.
With all fees applied, the customer account will be debited by
USD 10,045, and
USD 30 will be credited to the international wire revenue account of your platform after the outgoing transfer is completed. The transfer object will have the following field values: