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BEN, SHARE, OUR: 3 options for international payments

6 November 2018

When you initiate an international payment, you have 3 invoicing options to choose from. Either you assume all potential fees yourself, you charge the beneficiary or you share them evenly between both parties.


International payments are usually processed by several banks

An international payment is usually processed by several banks. Those of both the issuer and the beneficiary, as well as any intermediary banks. For example, to transfer funds in dollars to China, the payment must be made through a US bank, in conjunction with the US central bank. This generates transaction costs that the issuer, as originator of the transaction, can either assume, share or invoice to the transferee.

  1. " Share" (SHA)
    For each transaction, the costs are shared between the beneficiary and the issuer of the payment. The costs of the issuing bank are borne by the party sending the funds, while the costs of the intermediary and beneficiary banks are deducted from the amount sent, and are therefore borne by the beneficiary. The more institutions involved, the higher the costs will be. This system is used for about 60% of market transactions.

  2. "Ben" (BEN)
    The transaction costs are invoiced to the payment beneficiary, as a deduction from the payment amount. This system is not very widespread and accounts for only 10% of market transactions.

  3. "Our" (OUR)
    The issuer of the payment chooses to cover all costs. This ensures that the beneficiary receives full payment. This model represents about 30% of market transactions.


Fast and economical payments with iBanFirst

iBanFirst offers its customers three options. Their choice depends on the customer's needs and, of course, on the agreement between the customer and their supplier.

  • In the European Economic Area (i.e. when the issuing and receiving banks are both located within this zone), the law requires that the "Share" option be adopted for any payment in an official EEA currency. A BEN or OUR transfer cannot be made. That said, even outside the EEA, the "Share" option is the most widespread.

  • The "Our" option offered by iBanFirst is much more economical than those offered by traditional banks, due to the minimisation of applicable fees. In addition, with iBanFirst, funds are generally transferred within 24 hours, depending on specific geographical constraints and time difference.
Type of Payment Fees
SHARED - All currencies €5
OUR - All currencies €10
Full details available on our Client Fees and Terms of Use PDF
  • iBanFirst relies on several correspondent banks, but if both the issuer and the payee have an iBanFirst Pro International account, no fees are charged. iBanFirst proceeds with an entry between the two accounts, without going through the United States.

  • iBanFirst is also a member of the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) network, which allows it to generate international bank account numbers (IBAN), while maintaining control over payment options. As a result, iBanFirst offers faster and cheaper international payment services than traditional banks.

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