BEN, SHARE, OUR: 3 options for international payments

6 November 2018

When you initiate an international payment, you have 3 billing options to choose from: either you take the possible costs at your own expense, or you charge them to the beneficiary of the payment, or you share them fairly.


International payments are usually processed by several banks.

An international payment is usually processed by several banks: those of the issuer and the beneficiary, and 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, can assume, share or invoice to the transferee.

  1. " Share" (SHA): The costs are shared between the beneficiary and the issuer of the payment, at each transaction: the costs of the issuing bank are borne by the one sending the funds, the costs of the intermediary and beneficiary banks will be deducted from the amount and 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 the full payment. This model represents about 30% of market transactions.


iBanFirst: fast and economical payments

iBanFirst offers these 3 options to its customers. The choice depends on the customer's needs and of course on the agreement between the customer and his supplier.

  • In the European Economic Area (i.e. when the issuing and receiving banks are located there), the law requires the « Share » option to be activated for any payment in an official EEA currency. A transfer in OUR or BEN fees cannot be made. Also outside Europe, it is the « Share » option that is the most widespread.

  • The « Our » option offered by iBanFirst is much more economical than the options offered by traditional banks, due to the minimization of the fees applied. 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 on our Client Fees and Terms of Use Pdf
  • In addition, 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 a 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 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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