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Rates and fees

Intermediary bank fees and global transfer fees

Confidently navigate the world of global transfer fees by learning how intermediary banks interact with the international payments app Zing.

Intermediary banks

Sending money across borders should be as easy as sending a text, right? Whether you're supporting your sister in Chicago or helping out your parents in Chennai, we believe in keeping it simple, fair and SWIFT (see what we did there). 

But let's draw back the curtain a bit. What exactly happens behind the scenes when you slide that 'send' button? We're here to demystify the steps and decode the fees. Because we know that when it comes to your hard-earned money, transparency is everything.

We’ll walk you through how your money travels globally, how intermediary banks are involved, the fees you’ll encounter and your choice of how to pay them. 

How do global transfers work?

International money transfers are made through the SWIFT network. It’s the world’s largest international payments system. In simple terms, if you send an international payment, SWIFT is a service that securely sends your money from your account to your payee’s account. The SWIFT network doesn't actually transfer money, and it isn’t a banking system – it sends payment requests between banks using SWIFT codes. 

What is an intermediary bank? 

Intermediary banks move international payments. Think of them as the middle men that allow your money to flow from your account in one country to your payees in another. Since intermediary banks must maintain connections with accounts across many different countries around the world – they tend to be some of the largest, most well-known banks. Think HSBC, Standard Chartered and Bank of America. 

Do intermediary banks charge fees? 

Yes – these banks can apply extra charges for handling the money.  

With Zing, you’re free to choose how to pay the charges intermediary banks may apply for handling the SWIFT transfer. 

Option 1: You pay the transfer fees 

With this option, your payee receives the amount in full, with no extra charges deduced from what they get. Zing displays the fees in full, so you know exactly how much you’re paying when you make the transfer. 

Option 2: You share the transfer fees with your payee

With this option, your payee may receive less than the amount you send because some of the fees will be deducted. Zing tells you when your payee is expected to cover these variable fees for your transfer before you pay.

Can I see my payment once I’ve sent it? 

You bet! Zing’s in-app payment tracker lets you see where your money is along its journey for outgoing payments.

Download Zing from the app store and get more transparency over your international money.

The Zing Product team